Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Back from the trip, part 1

So I'm back from my research trip to Eastern IN and Western OH and overall the trip was really successful.

The first stop was to the Indiana State Archives in Indianapolis to view the 1850 agricultural census for Eastern IN counties including Wells, Steuben, Randolph, and Jay counties. I was hoping to find some lead to the ever-lasting "Who was Mary J. Braden Bromagem" question. Is she a Braden or is she a Hawkins? Well, as far as the 1850 agricultural schedule is concerned, who knows. I didn't find anyone in that schedule that I hadn't already tracked through the regular 1850 population schedule. So that part was a bust, fortunately it didn't leave a cloud over the rest of the trip.

The next day I started hitting the archives and courthouses in Western Ohio. I have to say that the Greene County, OH Archives did not disappoint. I've spoken briefly about how great they are in the past, due to my experiences with their copy request system, and they are just as great in person. The microform machines are new and in good condition, and easy to read and use as well. The staff is knowledgeable and helpful, and they care about what you're working on too which is great because they may be able to steer you in a new direction based upon their knowledge of county records. Their holdings are also pretty great; they have land deeds, tax lists (though most have been lost/destroyed), some probate files, and much much more on microform. They also have just received the original clerk's deed books so if the microform isn't working for ya, you can just look at the original in-house. The other huge plus is they only charge 6 cents per page for copies! I was able to get a ton of copies, papers that probably aren't vital but are certainly nice to have, and that really means a lot to me. While most repositories are charging out the wazoo and still struggling to keep their doors open and maintain a useful and accessible resource, this little town has one of the best and most user friendly records repositories around. I can't say enough good things about them.

From there I moved up to Darke County, OH and headed straight for the Darke County Courthouse in Greenville. I was able to find a few Bromagem land deeds at the courthouse, but I don't think there was much of significance. I'm still going over the paperwork though so I may come back to this.

The real gem of the day was heading out of town toward Hillgrove Cemetery, the gravesite of Elias Bromagem, father of James Bromagem....

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