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Volume 15, Issue 10 (October 2004)

Gregory Stanton Claypool, Editor

Louisville Genealogical Society
PO Box 5164
Louisville, KY 40255-0164


Meetings & Workshops:

October 12th - Sonja Wagenaar will be with us to tell us all about the new Frazier Arms Museum. She is anxious to spread the word about all the information and exhibits at the museum, and we are all curious about what is available.

October 26th - "Chasing European Ancestors" by Ross Sherer. Ross is a member of LGS, and this workshop will be on his research experiences and travel in Germany and France this year to find his family records.

Reminder: General Board meetings will be held at 12:00 Noon, one hour before the regular LGS workshops held on the 4th Tuesday.

New Mailing Coordinator Urgently Needed
Richard "Dick" Bealmear, who has served as LGS mailing coordinator for the past two years, has notified the organization that he will no longer be able to continue in that capacity effective 01 November 2004. Anyone interested in taking over this job should contact Richard as soon as possible. The new mailing coordinator will need to meet with him once or twice in order to learn the procedures required for printing labels and preparing the newsletters for mailing. You may contact him at either of the following: or 267-6481.

Treasurer's Report
August 31, 2004
Bank Balance $6,433.60
CD Balances $5,857.98
Total $12,291.58
Membership Total: 316

LGS Christmas Luncheon
Scheduled for December 14th, to be held at Big Springs Country Club. More information, registration and costs to be announced in the November Newsletter and LGS Website. Just mark your calendar now. Reservations will start next month.

As a Reminder to the Membership
Regular LGS meetings are held at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints at the corner of Linn Station Road and Hurstbourne Lane from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. Caffeine, tobacco and alcohol are not permitted on the premises

LDS Family History Library News
As you may already know, the LDS Library subscribes to various internet genealogy resources, such as In the past, a small hourly fee was charged for the use of these. Now, there is great news: Society members can now use these online tools for free.

Internet Web Sites This is a new search engine for genealogy researchers. There is also a way to research old records, census and more. The site is in an experimental stage and is growing all the time. This is an online shopping for family history supplies, including books and The Genealogical Helper magazine. This site helps you research surnames, state resources and more. It updates regularly and will be adding more information monthly. DRAFT CARDS. View World War 1 Draft Cards (1917-1918) of some well-known Americans. Includes Jack Benny, George Burns, Irving Berlin, Jimmy Cagney, Norman Rockwell, Gabby Hayes, Joseph P. Kennedy, Tom Mix, Carl Sandburg, Babe Ruth, and the Marx Brothers. LINKPENDIUM. Explore this genealogical information directory by surname and U.S. localities. Add your own or favorite website to its growing collection, which currently features more than 1,045,631 links. RESEARCH TOOLS: Stumped on meanings of initials and symbols on tombstones, strange initials in obituaries or abbreviations found in public records? Need a perpetual calendar or birthdate calculator? Preserving America's Heritage for Future Generations Historians and Genealogists / Collectors of Antique Family Photos, Family Bibles, and Family Documents / Authors of Genealogical Research Books. This is an interesting site worth looking at. Contains lost and found family bibles, some from Kentucky. Also a large library of old found photographs, with descriptions. If one of these is of your family, copies apparently can be acquired. Just a fun website to explore.

Thanks to those LGS members who are keeping a sharp eye out for interesting internet web sites and passing them along to me for inclusion in the newsletter. Keep it coming, folks.

The Bullitt County Genealogical Society
Will meet on Thursday, October 21, at 7:45 p.m. at the Kentucky Room, Super 8 Motel in Shepherdsville. Speaker: Jane-Rives Williams. Topic: Women and Children in the Revolutionary War.

Finding Documentation at a Cemetery
by Christine Sievers

If you are unable to find the death certificate of your ancestor, cemeteries can offer an abundance of information. Sometimes, it will include all or almost all of the facts found on a death certificate, and even more. Obtaining this information for your first dead male ancestor will give you the skills you need when going further back in time where cemeteries are older and vital records are harder to find. More importantly, we never have too much documentation on our ancestors.

Whether you have the death certificate or not, a visit to your ancestor's grave may be the only concrete object that remains to tell of his or her existence. This is sadly true for many of our women ancestors. As a genealogist, you will find that at the site of your ancestor's final resting place, he or she will become more alive to you. Then you may be bitten by the cemetery bug, and there is some planning to do. First, call to find the hours that it is open and when a good time would be to talk to someone about the burial records. Large modern cemeteries are busy places, so you will need to be patient and polite. Identify who you are, your relationship to the deceased and that you are a genealogist.

Next, gather your tools:

1) You will want to take a picture of the headstone or grave marker. "Recording Cemeteries with Digital Photography" by Steve Paul Johnson will give you tips on getting good digital pictures at cemeteries.

2) Have pencils, paper and a clipboard to record information and thoughts. You may want to include some graph paper.

3) Take with you information on your ancestor, as well as other family surnames or relatives who might be buried there. As you get further into your research, information on collateral (sisters, brothers, etc.) relatives will become important. Take the time to visit and record their grave sites, also.

4) Wear comfortable clothes, particularly shoes, because you may do a lot of walking. If possible, take an older family member with you. This is a wonderful way to generate family stories.

5) With the above in mind, a small tape recorder would be very helpful.

When you arrive at the cemetery, your first stop will be at the office. Most Modern cemeteries have a cemetery map. They can pinpoint your ancestor's grave on it and save you a lot of time. Records to ask about and get copies of are:

Burial Registers: Burials are recorded chronologically, sometimes including other information such as birth and death dates, age, other relatives, as well as the location of the burial plot.

Burial Permit Records: Since 1920, burials have been regulated. Usually, burials are only allowed by licensed morticians who have obtained a permit. This will be your clue to the funeral home location and death certificate.

Cemetery Deeds: Often a family will purchase a number of plots for family members. Who is the owner, and who is buried in these plots are again clues for further research. Sometimes, who was never buried in their purchased grave will give a clue to a distant more or a family story.

Now you are ready to find your ancestor's grave. Note the location in respect to other graves, take a picture and record the marker information including symbols and pictures.

Take time to wander around the surrounding graves. You may find people important in your ancestor's life -- other wives, children who didn't survive to adulthood, and maybe even another direct ancestor of yours. "How to Read a Graveyard" will give you insights into what to look for.

Being prepared will make your trip enjoyable as well as profitable. When you leave the cemetery, you will most likely be armed with clues for further research.

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To view past Louisville Genealogical Society Newsletters,
click here for July
click here for August
click here for September.