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The Tri-State Packet

Volume XXIII, Number 4
June 2000


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Peggy K. Newton

June 2000

This issue, No. 4, Vol. 23, marks the end of my first year as editor of The Packet. It's been a learning experience but I enjoyed every moment of it. I want to thank the people who entrusted me with this very important responsibility, first and perhaps most of all, Bettie Cummings Cook. She has been in this very spot several times over the years. Her advice and encouragement have been most valuable and certainly appreciated.

Other past editors, Brenda Joyce Jerome and Karen Marie Kirsch, have also been generous with their wisdom based on their own experiences here in "the hot seat."

Working with George Wolf, President of TSGS, was a great pleasure. His kind words after I had experienced a difficult time in my life did not go unnoticed.

The contributors to The Packet who willingly spent hours researching and/or abstracting records and other items to share with the rest of the world thank you for submitting your articles. If you have yet to see them in The Packet, please be patient. Trust me, your article will be published. And those of you who have seen your names following "Submitted by" - or maybe you're one of the regular columnists - my appreciation for your dedication holds no bounds.

The writers and contributors come from various backgrounds and a wide range of work experience, but all share a common goal - to share their knowledge and passion for this most fascinating pastime. Thank you, Marge. Gilbert, Larry, John P. for your regular contributions and consistently high quality of material.

Eleanor Glenn Tenbarge, who was honored by a most deserved award from the Indiana Genealogical Society (see story elsewhere in this issue) was an inspiration to me in what was a difficult year for her. Earlier this year she lost her sister and was spending much of her time in Florida during the final days of her sister's illness. We're pleased to see her back and as active as ever in the society.

At nearly the same time Glenn lost her sister, John West lost his younger brother. To Glenn and John, please accept my belated condolences.

And how can I not mention my coworkers at Willard Library - to Pat Sides and Carol Money for working in my place when I was needed at the TSGS Board Meetings; to Barbara Quails and her successor. Misti Nelson for putting up with me; and to Carol Bartlett, Archivist (I am her assistant) and Lyn Martin (Head Honcho of the Special Collections Dept.) for their ideas, contributions, and their patience and understanding.

It's now time to plan for the year ahead. We believe it will be an exciting one and we hope a successful one for The Packet. We hope to include more photographs (and more improved photographs). We are planning new features that we hope will enhance your research experience - how-to's and a column on making the most of your visit to Willard Library. Don't worry, though - The Packet will essentially remain as it is, only, we hope, even better.

If you have any thoughts and ideas on stories, articles, or regular features (for example, would you like us to offer more coverage on websites?), please write to me in care of Willard Library, or e-mail me at:

In the meantime, have a great summer and much success in your research. The Tri-State Genealogical Society won't meet in July and August, but will meet again in September on the second Tuesday of the month at Willard. And be sure to renew your TSGS membership for the coming year (2000-2001).

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George Wolf

June 2000

Volunteers do not just happen...

Looking back over more than a decade of being involved in The Tri-State Genealogical Society, I asked myself the question, "How did it happen to me?"

Previous to my retirement, I had never been a resident of metropolitan Evansville. When we moved from upstate New York to Newburgh in 1983, my wife and I elected to track down some of our ancestors who had lived in Warrick, Spencer and Perry counties. Also, my family ties were rooted in Vigo county, a two-hour drive up U.S. Hwy 41. Along the way, in our pursuit of information, someone suggested attending a meeting of The Society at Willard Library. We did and we became members of The Society and frequent researchers at Willard. The year was about 1986, plus or minus a year. Average attendance at our monthly meetings barely netted twenty individuals.

One of the key officers in those days was Ken Franks who was, among other things, responsible for mailing The Packet. He invited me to help. It did not take much genealogical smarts to attach mailing labels. Ken taught me how to negotiate the streets of Downtown Evansville as I rode with him to the Post Office to deposit our load of Packets for delivery to the remote homes of our widespread membership. In addition, he introduced me to the use of a computer in keeping family records.

Eventually, I was recruited by a Chairperson of the Nominating Committee to stand for the office of Program Chairman. Though I attempted to advise them of my lack of genealogical contacts in the Evansville environment as well as our annual February long hibernation to Tucson, Arizona, I accepted. In the process, I was promised program ideas and contacts for the year's programs. Lo and be- hold it worked! Among the speakers that year were Dennis Au (French ancestry and their Indiana migrations), Karen Schoenbaechler (German family research) and Dee Morgandant (resources of the D.A.R.).

Next up were two years as Treasurer, followed by two years as President, then as a Director and one more as President. The point of this is, none of my participation would have occurred had I not been asked in the first place.

There has always been ample help from members, too numerous to mention. Answers to questions of protocol, procedure and policy were always available and eased me through each office. All I needed to do was ask.

Our Society, needs to make the effort to inspire participation in support of Willard Library through such activities as Midnight Madness, Tree Tops, and other support work. Perhaps we need to install, also, a mentoring program for each office of the Society to the candidates who would serve in official positions. Let's give some creative thought to the development and encouragement of our general membership to serve as directors and officers in our Society.

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New Officers for 2000-2001
New TSGS officers for 2000-2001 were elected at our regular meeting in May.

President - Karin M. Kirsch
Vice President - John West
Recording Secretary - Cynthia Maasburg
Corresponding Secretary - Sue Hebbeler
Treasurer - John Powell
Program Co-Chairpersons - Bettie Cummings Cook and Marjorie Blocher Kinsey
Membership Chairperson - Alice Plane
Packet Editor - Peggy Newton

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