Monday, December 27, 2010

Sunday, December 26, 2010

10,000 Dead People

For several years I have been working on a massive database of, basically, burials in south Logan County. It includes cemeteries from Hurlbut, Elkhart, Mt. Pulaski, Lake Fork, Laenna and Aetna Townships and two in Chester. Elkhart is not complete. I frivolously named it "10,000 Dead People." Otherwise it gets a bit too close.

It is more than just a list of the burials. Jane DeWitt, who set up the original list, looked up these people in various sources and added information to the basic list. I have reduced it to the number of columns which fit on a landscape page. I have added information. There may be a maiden name, date of death and maybe birth, spouse, parents, cause of death, military, occupation and assorted other information.

It has taken forever to get it into a format that can be used on the web and then get it into consistent columns. I am still cleaning up columns. It is very time consuming. As I try to clean up each row I get distracted. I knew many of these people. It includes people very close to me. Further, as a genealogist, I want to add information. Finally I gave up, stopped adding information and just worked on consistent columns - all the military in the military column, etc.

At this point I am approximately one third done. Rather than wait until I am done I am going to be putting it online as it is and then continue working on it. I anticipate it will be up by January 1, 2011.

I anticipate there are many, many errors. Some are caused by the manipulations the file has gone through. Some are caused by errors in previous transcriptions. Some are caused by using old books with bad or faint handwriting. There was reliance on old histories which, as we know, were not necessarily accurate to begin with. If you see something in the database that you believe is incorrect do not hesitate to let me know. Please include why you believe it to be incorrect. Ideally the final corrected version will include citations where appropriate.

Ideally I will eventually link names to other things - printed obits, photos, printed bios, etc. I don't know if that is feasible at this point but I hope it is.

Stay tuned.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Biographical record of Logan ... - Google Books

The Biographical record of Logan ... - Google Books

From Google books and a free download. See if your ancestor's biography is in this 1901 book. There are live links to some but not all of the biographies.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

What's in a Name

The Elkhart Historical Society presents “What’s in a name?” Mike Starasta, director of the McKinstry Library at Lincoln College, on September 24, 2010. Starasta is an experienced genealogist with expertise on researching archives and using libraries, genealogical websites, genealogical databases and local organizations to develop family trees. Topics include using researching archives, libraries, genealogical web sites, databases and local organizations to find your family history. In addition, Starasta will discuss the genealogy of some of the founding families of Elkhart – Gillett, Shockey, Latham and Oglesby. Reservations are required.

More information on their website:

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Web Archive

The Web Archive is a very useful tool. I suggest bookmarking it and checking it periodically.

Do a search for "logan county" illinois. Write it just like that including the quotes. Since the last time I checked they have the 1860 and 1870 census. They are long downloads since they put the entire state in one file but it is worth it. They also have some of the old histories, maybe one you are looking for.

It is free.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Before Logan County was formed it was Sangamon County. Except for land records for information on Logan County between the first settlement in 1819 until 1839 you must look in Sangamon County records. Most Sangamon County records for that period are housed at IRAD including Board of Supervisors' records and files, various Circuit Court files, election records, marriage records, probate records.

Do not rule out any records. From the election records I found the following list of voters for Union Precinct [a precinct name I was not familiar with] on August 2, 1824:

Charles Counsel
Job Burden
Jacob Bryan
Mathew Rogers
Oliver W. Kellogg
Levi Cantrill
Archibald Constant
William Carpenter
Andrew Cline
Samuel Rhodes
Nathan Hussey
Joshua Sayles
Humphrey Taylor
Thomas Brock
John Orendorff
George Power
Robert Evans
Joseph Beedle
William Brock
Gardner Randolph
Joseph W. Center
Daniel Harper
Evans Brittin
Isace Morgan
Robert McClelland
Jonathan Hodge
Jeharias Lankston
Samuel Carman
John Hendricks
James W. Estill
Thomas Strawbridge
Richard Wright
William Estill
John Stevenson
Hezekiah Davis
Edward Davis
William Johnson
Jacob Dean
William Willcoxan
Nathan Kenneda
Hezekiah Briggs
Jesse Sutton
John Renhart
Peyton Mitchel
Meredith Cooper
Thomas Briggs
James Stewart
Hiram Robins
Bostin Finder
Garret Elkins
John Sutton
James Strawbridge
Stephen Phelps
Ambrose Cooper
Thomas Branson
Martin Porter
Christopher Orendorff
Samuel Carpenter
James Williams
Wyatt Cantrall
John Dorson
John Clin
Cornelius Vandeventer
John W. Taylor
William Strawbridge
Andrew Branson
Eli Branson
Jojin Branson, Jr.
Isiah Stillman
William A. Hodge
Joseph Woods
Philip Smith
Washington Turley
John Woods
David L. Taylor
Stephen Stillman
George Borders
Charles Hayes
Robert Downing
John Branson
James W. Chapman
Alexis Phelps
Henry Cooper
Robert Buckles
Enoch Smith
Benjamin Briggs
Jeremiah Birks
James Turley
Alexander McNaghtin
Abraham Musick
John Simpson
William Prockter
Charles Turley
David Riddle
Levi Millard
James Garvin
Janes Sayles
James Morrow
John Brook
James Latham
David Hughs
Nicholas Moore
Joshua Dean
Myron Phelps
Landa Hurst
Thomas Prim
James C Stevenson
James Stringfield
Henry Holland
Abraham Hathaway
John Dixson
John Porter
Thomas Constant
Peter Vanburgen
Willima Lofton
Ezra Knapp
John Stevenson
Charles Smith
David England
Samuel McClure
John Prim
Robert McClure
John Buckles
John Strode

I don't know where Union Precinct was but I recognize a lot of Logan County names including ancestors and collaterals who were living along Salt Creek at that time as well as people living in the south end of the county in the Lake Ford area. Presumably at that time polling places were few and far between.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

New Relative Located

I have a relative I have never met who, like me, is a double Downing. We are descendants of one of the three marriages of children of Robert Downing to children of Samuel Downing. Although these families settled within a mile or so of each other on Salt Creek they were not related prior to the marriages.

My "cousin" said he'd like to find out more about his wife's genealogy. Her ancestors are also from Logan County. I said send me what you have, you never know, I might know something that would help. Her ancestors lived in Lincoln so it was a long shot. He did.

Imagine my surprise when I read his list of names. His wife is also related to me. Her ancestor Charity Bowman was a sister to my ancestor Hannah Bowman. Both ladies, along with their mother, are buried at Steenbergen Cemetery.

It's a small world.