Sunday, August 29, 2010

Getting back to business...Indexing Project Begins

Well, admittedly I've gotten VERY behind on my various projects this month. My Dad was in the hospital then hospice before passing away on the 13th and so I haven't done much of anything this month. But something big did happen genealogy-wise that I wanted to share. I started working on getting an indexing project in Parke County, IN started and we've now had two volunteers go in and index and/or photograph probate packets there.

Currently, we have around 700 photos to index as well as an additional number of packets that have been indexed. We started with the earliest records which generally begin in 1833 though there are several pages referring to earlier cases. So we're just getting started. Right now we're looking for volunteers who can go on-site to get the records indexed and/or photographed but now that the info is starting to come in, we're also going to be needing some volunteers to do the typing. Right now we're thinking that once the information is entered into the database, we'll post it on the Parke County GenWeb site which is managed by one of our volunteers. We're not sure yet if the site is capable of holding the massive amount of info, and especially photos, but at least for now that's what we're thinking and if it turns out we need additional space or need to look elsewhere for a home for the info we'll cross that bridge when we get to it :)

So if you live in IN or were planning a visit and may have some time to spare to help index a few packets, please let me know. Or maybe you're not local to the area but would still like to help with the keying-in, drop me an email as well.

This is going to be a HUGE project and we could use all of the hands we can get.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

David Gilkison 1948-2010

My Dad passed away last week after a long, hard battle with colon cancer. He was originally diagnosed in 2001, recovered, and had just a couple of years free of the disease before it came back with a vengeance. He couldn't shake it after its return and even ended up losing one of his kidneys because of it. This last bout was really bad and he had to take aggressive chemo treatments and radiation and nothing was making much of a difference, but he just kept taking more and more hoping that there would be a change. He really fought hard but it was time for his body to rest and for him to have some peace.

He was born in the South suburbs of Chicago and I really can't imagine him living anywhere else, despite the fact that he always said he wanted to retire in California, probably around San Francisco. His mother was the granddaughter of German immigrants and his father came from a long line of Indiana and Kentucky farmers. They divorced when he was very young. He graduated from high school and went into the Navy during Vietnam and managed to come back home. He married my Mom and worked as a truck driver. I always thought he was kindof an anomaly in that profession because he was a whiz with money (I was the only 1st grader with shares in a couple of stocks!) and loved art and art history. He would have been a great art history professor or stock trader I think, he was that interested in the subjects and that good. Not really the kind of jobs that you usually think truck drivers could do, but that was Dad. He was also passionate about his two favorite hobbies-photography and golf. The history buff in him turned his interest towards the works of Ansel Adams and hickory-shafted golf clubs rather than the more modern styles, though he did have interest in the changing faces of his hobbies too.

I'll definitely miss the way he encouraged me, sometimes more like pushing :) and he always seemed to care what was happening with me and what I was up to, just like a Dad should. It's still hard to think that the time has come to say goodbye, but I'm glad that he's finally got some rest and peace.

Here's probably my favorite picture of Dad with his own dad, my Grandpa

Friday, August 6, 2010

Interesting tidbit

I'm not sure if you all have seen the news around the gene-boards about the Tuttle farm in Dover, NH going up for sale, but if not you can find the story here:

Most people are taking an interest in the story because of the fact that the farm has been held by the same family, the Tuttle's, for 378 years (or at least that's what they're claiming). My interest is more personal. My immigrant Stevens ancestor settled in Dover in the 18th century and his neighbors were the Tuttle's, and I've got a few deeds between he and various members of the Tuttle family at the time. As I read the news article, it sounds like the family started out with a much smaller plot of land and over time, added to their holdings so I'm guessing by now the land they hold encompasses my ancestors old plot as well. It's kindof funny to think that the descendants of his neighbors are now selling his old land along with their own, hundreds of years after his initial purchase.