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PLATTE COUNTY RESEARCH TOOL AVAILABLE

 Platte County Historical Society (PCHS) announces the development of a research tool for helping those with Platte County (MO) ancestors locate records specifically about their relatives.

 A master index made up of many of the indexes from previously published PCHS books has been developed into a search tool most computer owners will be able to quickly put to work.  The index, with 65,363 entries from Abbett to Zyswyler, is for use with Microsoft’s Excel and Works spreadsheet programs for Windows.   Step-by-step printed instructions are included for those unfamiliar with the use of spreadsheets.

Using the ‘Find’ tool in the spreadsheets, the user types in the surname being searched.  All entries will be searched, pausing on each occurrence of the search name anywhere in the file.  In the individual entries are the name of the PCHS book and the location of the entry within that book.

This means that not only will the tool quickly find every record in which someone with that surname is recorded, it will also find wives and widows, whose names are no longer their maiden names, if their maiden name was a part of the source record.

The research tool also includes hundreds of name-spelling cross-references, linking the several different spellings found in Platte County records for the same persons.  A separate search must be performed with each spelling, but the result is that different records will be identified wherein the name was misspelled.  Misspelling of names was common from the time of the founding of the county in 1839 up to about 1900 as folks anglicized their ‘foreign’ family names and after Webster’s first dictionary, published in 1880, taught us that how a word was spelled was important.

Records contained in the master index include: Tax Lists for 1839 and 1849, the 1840, 1850, 1860 and 1870 Platte County Censuses, Marriage records from 1839 through 1885, Mortality and Death records 1850-1880 & 1883-1888, Cemetery records 1839 to well into the 1900’s, plus 1842 landowners, 1877 Atlas and 1907 Atlas of the county.

The research tool, named “Platte People”, is recorded on a CD that works in a computer’s CD drive.  It is priced at just $20.00, plus $3.50 shipping and handling, and is now available from PCHS using the mailing address found on the Bookstore webpage.  It will be upgraded from time to time as additional materials are indexed and become available for adding to the file.