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The Tri-State Packet

Volume XXIII, Number 1
September 1999


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September 1999

Welcome to a new year for TSGS and The Packet. As you can see, the name at the bottom of this column is a new one, possibly one you've never seen before. If you're a regular patron of Willard Library, you know me as the Archives Assistant; mostly I shelve books, work with the marriage data base and retrieve the older county records from the Annex. I obtained my bachelor's degree in Communications from ISUE, now USI.

In 1982 I plunged into genealogy and never looked back. I began my search by reading how- to books on genealogy (weren't as many then as there are now), researching at Willard Library, and going to courthouses and libraries where my ancestors lived. At that time Willard did not have the vast collection it does now, although I didn't know any better and was impressed by what they had anyway. I might have saved many miles of driving if I had the use of the Kentucky Death Records from 1911 to 1948, or marriages from Union, Hopkins, Webster, and Christian counties in Kentucky, or Williamson, Franklin, or Gallatin counties in Illinois. At that time, "Internet" was something out of science fiction. Despite those early "handicaps," I've traced my father's line back to 1747 in Bucks Co., Pennsylvania.

Along the way, I've learned that genealogists are among the most generous people I know, in terms of sharing their knowledge, their research, and their hard-earned dollars to help buy new books. They also volunteer hours of time toward research projects, organizing, inventorying, and abstracting, and generally helping other people over the inevitable brick wall we all run into sooner or later. Volunteers are the lifeblood of any organization, and additional volunteers are always needed. If you've been contemplating on helping out, now is a good time to become involved. You'll get to work with some of the greatest bunch of people you'll ever get to know. You can share what you know and learn from others. Mostly, though, you'll have a good time.

If you think you live too far away to be an active volunteer but want to do more than pay your annual dues and read The Packet, we can use your help, too. The quarterly covers three states, but you'd hardly know it. There's been a scarcity of new, original information from Southern Illinois and Western Kentucky. We'd like to see more from those areas. Ideally, we'd like to have correspondents representing their own counties to send in abstracts, records, family profiles, county histories or news from their own county library and/or society.

If you live away from the immediate Tri-State area, your help is needed, too. Tell us about the research library in your area, or the the history of your area that might be of interest to researchers.

Any article pertaining to genealogy and/or the Tn-State is welcome, but it must be original and well documented. We do not knowingly accept previously-published material, save for a rare exception.

Please feel free to write me with your comments, suggestions, constructive criticism, etc. Snail mail: Attn: Packet Editor, Willard Library, 21 First Avenue, Evansville, IN 47710; my e-mail address is

Hope you have a pleasant autumn. If you can, attend our regular monthly meetings, and don't forget our annual seminar on Saturday, 16 October.

Peggy K. Newton

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September 1999

Five years have passed since 1994 when I completed the last of two years as President of the Tri-State Genealogical Society. I was more than ably assisted in that position by Bettie Cummings Cook, Margery Shaw and Marjorie Blocher Kinsey. By their leadership, the society has thrived in excellent fashion. Membership has risen by at least 40 percent and just take a look sometime at our website: That website was established and is maintained by our member and WebPage Master, Christopher D. Myers.

Since 1994 and until now, I worked behind the scenes, first to qualify the society, tax-wise, as a 501(C)3 organization and second as the person responsible for the quarterly mailing of our journal, The Packet. There were dependable volunteers like Sandy Bitz, Sally Wyman, Eleanor Glenn Tenbarge, Leroy Anderson, Eloise Weller, Doris Katterhenry and Georgia Williams who made those mailings almost a social event.

But the Summer of 1996 will be etched in my memory forever. The society had undertaken to produce the 1870 Census for Vanderburgh County, Indiana under the leadership of Barbara Veazey (then Thompson). The Fifth Ward of that census was remarkable for its lack of clarity, poor penmanship and had discouraged all who had examined it. Being retired, and intrigued by the challenge, I volunteered to make the attempt to record what I could decipher. I chugged along about four hours a day, two afternoons per week for about six weeks. On several occasions, Eleanor Glenn Tenbarge would yield the best microfilm reader for me to use when she was near the end of her current recording effort. My progress was measured in perhaps a page to a page-and-a-half per afternoon. On Wednesday afternoon, 17 July 1996, our society's then current President, Margery Shaw, dropped by to check on my progress and gave me encouragement and I vowed to see the Fifth Ward project to a conclusion.

Later, the evening of the same day, our son-in-law, who lives in Pennsylvania, called with the horrible news that his wife, our daughter, Janet, was working the Paris-bound TWA Flight 800 and that it had crashed. We were stunned. We turned to CNN and watched the burning wreckage and listened to the reporters, hoping for a miracle. It was not to be. Ten days later we attended her funeral in the Poconos of Pennsylvania. We grieved and still do.

It was powerful therapy for me to plunge again into unfinished recording of the Fifth Ward of Vanderburgh County. For while I was concentrating on the squiggles and dim writings of the census taker, I was handling my grief my way. Also, our society's members were unstinting in their expressions of sympathy. My wife, Louella, was the Membership Chairperson in those days and she continued.

Later this year that 1870 Census publication is likely to reach the "light of day" and now you will appreciate how it helped this old volunteer cope with his tragedy. I have come to know that other society members have also had heartbreaking losses and have been sustained by their involvement as volunteers and leaders in building the Tri-State Generalogical Society.

`Til December, aufwiedersehen,
--George T. Wolf

P.S. Thank you, R.I., and Sandra Cunningham for the meticulous audit of the Treasurer's records. We surely appreciate this contribution to the Tri-State Genealogical Society.

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September 1999

The Tri-State Packet is pleased to publish queries from TSGS members. Queries are limited to 50 words & five typed lines. Please include your name, address and membership number (on the mailing label), and at least one name, date and location.
Submit your questions to:
TSGS Packet
c/o Willard Library
21 First Ave.
Evansville IN

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A Note From Our Corresponding Secretary
Sue Hebbeler
September 1999

Effective immediately, I am instituting a new policy regarding in-depth research. Previously, I had just charged $10 an hour plus one dollar per page, with payment due upon completion of the research. The cost was $10 an hour, even if nothing was found. This still holds true, except now I require $10 in advance for any type of extensive research. Checks or money orders should be made payable to me. Research that falls in this category includes census records, newspapers/obituaries, city directories, or other records on microfilm that take a little time to locate. Basically, this means anything that takes more than an hour to search. Also, this new policy will not affect the people I am currently doing research for. However, should they write back and ask for more in-depth research to be done, this new policy will apply.

All research that takes an hour or less to search is still one dollar a page for copies. I respectfhlly ask that you not send money in advance, as you will be billed later. Also, please enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope, as I answer these letters first. Again, as in the more extensive research, checks or money orders should be made payable to me. Finally, if you use e-mail as your mode of correspondence, I ask that you include your home address on it. I don't have a computer and have to answer by "snail mail." Of course, I can use the library's computer, and do so whenever I can. However, I am not always in the library, so you are more likely to get a quicker response if you do as I suggest.

I hope this will clarify matters regarding research. If you have any more questions, you can write me in care of Willard Library or the Tri-State Genealogical Society.

--Sue Hebbeler
Corresponding Secretary

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