Tuesday, April 6, 2010

IN/IL Research trip

I was able to squeeze in a bit of an extended research weekend last week and it turned out pretty well even though I was not able to accomplish 2 of my 3 goals....hmmm, that sounds really bad, doesn't it? But it really wasn't.

Mission 1-Find Great Grandparents' Marriage Record

On Wednesday, I had a full day. I drove out to Indiana to drop my son off with his grandparents and then headed out to Kentland, Newton Co., IN. My paternal Great Grandparents' marriage record from 1914 was at the Courthouse but I was almost unable to get it. Their marriage ledgers, like others I've seen elsewhere in the state, were arranged by year and then alphabetically. Each ledger had its own index rather than having one all-encompassing index. I was not able to locate the entry for my Great Grandparents though, despite having the exact day and year of the marriage (thanks to the Indiana Marriage Collection on ancestry.com). I did search the index section page by page thinking that it was more than likely that my Great Grandfather's surname was misspelled (I've seen "Gilkison" messed up in more ways than I can count) but they were simply not there. So it became necessary to go page by page in the ledger, which I did. I was able to find them eventually, with the correct name and date, they had just been skipped in the index.

It's interesting to note again that I first found their marriage entry in the Indiana Marriage Collection on ancestry.com which is a database made up of information gathered by two agencies: the WPA and a researcher who used the FHL films. The record for my Great Grandparents was sourced through WPA records which presumably means that there was someone personally going through the records at the Courthouse so apparently they did not utilize the indexes for the ledgers alone otherwise my Great Grandparents' record would not have been included. Good to know for the future.

Also good to know, was that the Courthouse not only had the marriage license, but also the applications; the top filled out by the groom, the bottom filled out by the bride and both had their signatures. This marriage occurred in 1914 and from what I could tell by my somewhat brief perusal, all of the records, at least in this particular ledger volume for this time frame, had the applications.

Mission 2-Find gravestone at Sheldon Cemetery in Sheldon, IL

After leaving the Newton Co., IN Courthouse, I headed up Rt 24 about 5 miles and crossed back into IL. Sheldon lies right on the border in Iroquois County. My Great Great Grandfather (the father of the man whose marriage record I had just picked up in Newton Co., IN) lived and died there. He worked for the railroad, something not hard to believe when you visit Sheldon-a town surrounded in train tracks- and died in a train accident there in 1921. The stone for both Ira and his wife (Sarah Williamson Gilkison) are at Sheldon Cemetery which I found, thanks to Google Earth, at the far south of the main road through town. Again, without the help of Google Earth and my handy dandy GPS I probably would have had trouble making my way through all of this rural land. I was extremely grateful for them on this trip and in fact, was feeling so ambitious with the help of my techie gadgets that I went on to....

Mission 3- Search for family gravestones at St. Anne Township Cemetery in St. Anne, Kankakee Co., IL

It was an easy trip North from Sheldon, about a half hour, maybe less, to a little town called St. Anne. Family roots on my father's side run deep in this little village because several branches all seemed to converge on it at the same time. Because of that, I found a number of family members at the little township cemetery there; Dellibacs (my French-Canadian line), Yoders (non-Amish, from PA), and Kleinerts (Polish/German) were all there. It was also just nice to finally be able to say that I've been there. My Dad and his siblings remember several family pilgrimmages to St. Anne as children and I've heard about the town for years but never been there myself. I also examined the community in the 1900 census for one of the NGS Home Study Course assignments on CD 1, so it was nice to be able to see it for that reason as well.

The next post covers the big visit the following day to Parke Co., IN...

1 comment:

  1. You have been awarded the Ancestor Approved award for your great work on your genealogy blog...please stop by my blog and pick up the award (by right clicking on it and saving it to a .jpg) and then post the below information with the picture, using the format I used when receiving it.

    The Ancestor Approved Award asks that the recipient list ten things you have learned about any of your ancestors that has surprised, humbled, or enlightened you and pass the award along to ten other bloggers who you feel are doing their ancestors proud. Here are the 10 things I have learned from my ancestors.