|Common Roots in Muskegon County Bring Strangers Together|
If you had just one day out of the whole year to spend in Muskegon doing family research, where would you go? The local LDS Family History Center on Giles Rd? Evergreen Cemetery? Hackley Library? The county clerk's office at the Muskegon County Courthouse? Seven genealogy enthusiasts, acquainted only through the MIMUSKEG-L, met for the first time on August 18, 1999. For at least a couple of out-of-town participants, this would be their only opportunity to research in Muskegon this year.
Around 12:30 p.m. six of the researchers walked to the Frauenthal Center for lunch at the busy City Cafe. (Donita Harrington had to leave early due to a family emergency.) Research notes, genealogy experiences, and friendly conversation were on the menu, along with delicious sandwiches, salads, and drinks. Following lunch, the group met back at the library for a photo op. (see below)
Pictured on the steps of the Hackley Library in downtown Muskegon are (back row) Kathy Coffee, Diane Weaver, Charles (Charlie) Schaefer; (front) Carolyn Gabris, Jill Clark. (Missing from photo: Donita Harrington, Laura Sikkenga)
The county courthouse was the next stop on the tour and it was a busy day in the clerk's office. Just when it looked as though the listers might not all get in to view the records, table space was cleared and the kind volunteer from the MCGS found a way to eventually get everyone in. Diane Weaver, who had driven up from the Chicago area, said her good-byes before leaving for home by way of the Muskegon Co. Intermediate School District records building where she hoped to find some helpful resources. Jill Clark, conducting research for an e-mail friend, located a couple of death certificates and one marriage record. (If you ever encounter a notation in an index about something being recorded at a later date, be sure to ask one of the office staff in the clerk's office as it will probably be found in another book which they can locate for you.)
The afternoon hours went by quickly and there was no time to drive up to North Muskegon to visit the FHC, however the day was profitable and fun for those who participated. Jill Clark, MIMUSKEG-L listowner, coordinated the get-together and was pleased with the turnout. "I'd like to try it again next year. I understand the Ottawa County listers are planning a similar gathering at the library in Holland sometime in the near future. That's pretty neat!"
Surname interests of those participating in the research day-
Kathy Coffee -- firstname.lastname@example.org -- researching: DUTMER, MEDENDORP, SIEPLINGA, BROERSMA
Diane Weaver -- email@example.com -- researching WIETON, WOLCOTT, MILLS, SCOTT
Charlie Schaefer -- researching BEUSCHEL
Carolyn Gabris -- researching SOWLES/SOULES, WILKERSON
Jill Clark -- Jilliemae@aol.com -- researching SYERS, MONROE, FRANCISCO, DEWEY, SACKETT
Donita Harrington -- WMAN1239@aol.com -- researching PUFFER, MOYER
Laura Sikkenga -- researching SYERS, SIKKENGA
Anyone else have a story of meeting those researching in Muskegon County? I'd love to hear from you-Patti
Copyright © 1999 by Jill Clark & Patti Norton