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  • 09 Jan 2017 10:49 AM | Deleted user

    ·         ROOTSWEB ARTICLE

    New Year’s Resolution

     You've probably made the usual New Year's resolutions in the past. You know--the ones about eating less and losing weight, exercising more, cleaning out the attic and garage. If you are like most of us, those resolutions are soon broken or forgotten--until a new year rolls around again.

     This year, give some thought to resolutions you could make for the New Year (one's that might be easier to keep than the above) that would help you to progress in your genealogical research. I have a list of genealogical resolutions I'm going to make for the New Year; perhaps you would like to adopt one or more of them for yourself.


    At the top of my list is being more meticulous about documenting where I found information--always listing a source for each event I've found and listing what records I've used to reach my conclusions.


    Your source is where you learned your information. It might be a birth certificate, tombstone inscription, information your grand-aunt Susannah told you, or even Sally JONES's research files. Don't list a document as your source if you didn't actually see the document. If Mary SMITH told you she saw a document, then Mary SMITH is your source unless or until you also see the document.


    Documenting sources and then sitting back and reviewing them can help you determine whether your sources are good ones that you can readily accept, or whether you might want to dig a bit deeper for more reliable documentation. Mary SMITH may be an excellent researcher but if you have taken her word for  the evidence you might want to obtain the original document she claims to have seen. You might find

    something in the document that Mary overlooked.



    If you have searched the local newspapers looking for an obituary for Uncle Harry or checked the local cemetery records where you think he might have been buried, and you have come up empty-handed,  make sure you record the fact that you have searched these resources and list the date on which you performed your search. This is an error I made in my early days of research and I can tell you it has led me to repeat searches unnecessarily in the future, in places I've already looked. Of course, recording the date you did your search is important as you might later find that new records have been discovered for  the cemetery you previously searched.



    If you have been researching for any length of time, you have probably come to a dead-end on one or more of your ancestral lines. Among my brick walls is my Irish MCCONNELL line, mostly because I have been unable to ascertain where they lived in Ireland before immigrating to America.


    The New Year is an excellent time to pull out all of the information you have gathered--clues and hints and family stories, and also the leads you eventually ruled out. Revisit the research with a fresh look.  Also take into consideration that new information may have become available online that was not there when you last checked. Don't forget to search the archives of the RootsWeb mailing lists and message boards as well as look for new Web pages and family trees that have been posted by others since you last looked. 




    When you reach a dead-end, sometimes the best approach is to try to "move sideways" rather than back another generation. By this I mean you might want to attempt to learn more about the dead-end ancestor's spouse's family or the ancestor's siblings. You might be able to learn information about these other people connected to your ancestor. And through that research you may, in turn, learn about your ancestor.


    In one instance in my research I was unsuccessful in obtaining a death certificate for my ancestor, but I was able to find one for his brother and their parents' names were listed on his certificate. In another case, I found the tombstone for my ancestor's brother and later learned my ancestor was buried in the same cemetery. By searching for a spouse or sibling's family you might also find another researcher studying  that family who holds the information you need.  



    Yes, I know, you vowed in other years to clean out the attic and never got around to it; but maybe you haven't thought of that chore in light of your genealogical research. If you (or your grandma) have an attic in need of attention, it could turn out to be a family history goldmine rather than just a place where "junk" is gathering dust. Consider making that resolution again and this time sticking to it and following through.

    You might be surprised at the treasures you find.



    Share with others when you do make new discoveries and you will find that others will be willing to share with you. The greatest resource in genealogical research is other people interested in the same families. 

    Remember that RootsWeb provides the resources where you can meet and share information with newfound cousins.



    RootsWeb Review: RootsWeb's Weekly E-zine

    2 January 2008, Vol. 11, No. 1

    (c) 1998-2007, Inc. 

    This article originally appeared in the January 2010 issue of WVGS Generations.



  • 05 Feb 2016 8:05 PM | Deleted user
    Dea Guerri entered a poem writing cost sponsored by Lisa Louise Cooke.  Dea was one of eight winners.  Here is her winning poem - 

    Where I’m From

    What Once Was

    End of depression, start of World War II

    In Detroit, Michigan on Willis Avenue

    Mont Elliott, Gratiot, Packard’s, Chrysler, GM

    Hudson’s, big snows, victory gardens and Ragged Ann’s

    From brick city to wood house to Illinois farm

    Grew up my best years in cornfields and barns

    Horses, cows, pigs and chickens, too

    Cast iron wood stove and a porch with a view

    Orchards, and gardens and beehives all ‘round

    Our elders just farmed only part of the ground

    The rest was for grandkids to discover and explore

    Learnin’ was easy and we all wanted more

    The farm gave us food, family and song

    Summers there were never too long

    Christmas was special, Thanksgiving, too

    With piano, violin, accordian and kazoo

    Snow falling softly and upstairs we were

    In beds of down like eskimos in fur

    Linoleum floor and bulb with a string

    Was a modern addition that time did bring

    No facilities near, it was way out back

    No water in house, but we did not lack

    The love and the fun of just being us

    Free for the time without too much fuss

    Don’t get me wrong, we also did chores

    From pickin’ beans and eggs to mopping floors

    To shuckin’ corn, no gloves, bare-hand

    Milk cows, and put out the milk cans

    I wish I could give to all of our youth

    What I felt as a child…a simple truth

    To live close to nature and with family love

    Music, your own food and light from above

    My memories are with me as my pages turn

    Close to the time when my life adjourns

    I’ve lived a good life in a very special time

    When life was simple, the best one would find

    Dea Guerri

    November 14, 2015

  • 16 Jan 2016 4:53 PM | Deleted user

    President’s Note: "Please join me in congratulating the 2015 Award recipients and thanking them for all that they have done for the Wabash Valley Genealogy Society."

    2015 Member of the Year - Dea Guerri

     SPECIAL MESSAGE FROM DEA"To do the things you love, with people you love to be with, who share similar interests,  never seems a chore, but becomes something you look forward to and benefit from.  I thank everyone for this award, and it belongs to all of you, old and new members, who have been part of my journey with WVGS."  Thank You."

    Deanna Guerri was elected by the WVGS membership at the annual December business meeting and social as the 2015 Member of the Year.  As a Charter Member, Deanna has contributed much to the society over the years volunteering to organize research trips, assisting with hosting meetings, conducting an outstanding workshop on cemetery gravestone photography, and contributing many hours to the very successful WVGS cookbook team.  Besides serving as Director-at-Large for the past two years, she serves on both the Public Education Program Co-Committee and the Historical Preservation Committee.  She joined other volunteers and played an instrumental in helping WVGS host the IGS Annual Conference last April, making it a huge success for both societies.  In addition to all of this in 2015, Dea accepted the invitation to chair our re-established Ways and Means Committee, where she spear-headed fund raising efforts with the Indiana Bi-Centennial book sales, coordinated the application work for an IGS grant, and spent hours working on plans for other future fundraising projects for WVGS.  Recently elected to serve as Vice President in 2016, Deanna Guerri is deserving of the special recognition bestowed upon her as the WVGS Member of the Year.


         Outstanding Service Award - Linda Malooley

    Linda Malooley has been selected as the recipient for the 2015 Outstanding Service Award.  The WVGS Board of Directors annually takes the opportunity to honor a select member for outstanding service to the society during the past year.  Since joining WVGS in 2005, Linda has served as Vice President in 2008 and 2009, served as President in 2010 and 2011, and was voted Member of the Year in 2010.  Over the years, she has volunteered her time to organize and coordinate two previous WVGS sponsored genealogy seminars and multiple research and conference trips for society members.  As current Co-Chair of the Public Education Program Committee, Linda spends countless hours leading and organizing the efforts of that group to schedule top quality speakers and educational programs.  Each year, she arranges and conducts the Beginning Genealogy Classes for new WVGS members.  Through Linda’s tirelessly efforts and leadership, WVGS hosted one of the most successful annual conferences for the Indiana Genealogical Society in the last several years back in April.  In addition to all of this hard work, Linda served as Chair of our renamed Social Media Committee and has revolutionized WVGS’s outreach and online presence through management of both our website and Facebook page.  This Outstanding Service Award reflects the deepest feelings of debt and gratitude that the WVGS Board of Directors has all that Linda Malooley has done for our society in 2015.

     SPECIAL MESSAGE FROM LINDA: "It has been a real pleasure working with our genealogy family and I have found some true friends. Volunteering for WVGS is becoming my ‘encore career’ or how I am recycling myself.  It’s just been GREAT FUN.  Thank you for this recognition"


"Preserving The Past, Serving The Present, Promoting The Future"

Wabash Valley Genealogy Society 

Based in Vigo County, Terre Haute, Indiana. Serving Clark, Crawford and Edgar Counties in Illinois.

Clay, Greene, Parke, Putnam, Sullivan, Vermillion and Vigo in Indiana


P.O. Box 9347

Terre Haute, Indiana 47808-9347


Society Email Address:

Society Phone Number: 812-264-1510   Please leave a message.

President: Tim Phipps     Email:  

For other WVGS officers and their contact information click on "Contact" above left.

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