Sunday, January 22, 2012

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy: Free Offline Genealogy Tools

The prompt for Week 4 of 52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy, from Amy Coffin at We Tree, and hosted by Geneabloggers, is:
Free Offline Genealogy Tools

For which free offline genealogy tool are you most grateful? How did you find this tool and how has it benefited your genealogy? Describe to others how to access this tool and spread the genealogy love.

The offline genealogy tool for which I am most grateful is the ERIE COUNTY, OHIO CEMETERY CENSUS BEFORE 1909. This book was published in August of 1989 by the Erie County Cemetery Project volunteers, friends, and benefactors. Co-chairmen of the project were Katharyn Huss Wunderly and Patty Dahm Pascoe. The book was printed by the Erie County Board of Education Graphic Arts Department, and was bound by the Crawford Bindery of Akron, Ohio. (Printing and binding of the book were by contract.) Several libraries in the ClevNet Consortium own the book ERIE COUNTY, OHIO CEMETERY CENSUS BEFORE 1909. The title is also available at the Library of the R.B. Hayes Presidential Center.

Cemetery inscriptions are included for all the tombstones that were able to be viewed by the volunteers. Information on each tombstone was recorded onto index cards, which were then microfilmed. A copy of the microfilmed index cards is available for viewing at the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center as well as at the Center for Archival Collections, Bowling Green State University. Whenever possible, records were checked against cemetery records, plat maps, Probate Court records and on occasion newspaper accounts of a person's death. Only tombstones of individuals who died before 1909 were included in this project.

The reason I find this title so helpful, is that many of my ancestors lived and died in the same county in which I currently reside. All I need to do is go to page of a particular township, and I can view the names, and cemetery inscriptions, of all those who are buried in that cemetery before 1909. My Irish ancestors are listed in the St. Joseph's Cemetery. Some of my Steen ancestors are buried at Oakland Cemetery, the largest cemetery included in the ERIE COUNTY, OHIO CEMETERY CENSUS BEFORE 1909. Many, many of my Parker and House ancestors are buried in the Perkins Cemetery. My Hungarian great grandparents are buried in the Castalia Cemetery. This resource is a valuable tool for anyone researching family history in Erie County, Ohio. A companion volume for this title is: Erie County Ohio Cemeteries Census: An Every Name Index. This volume gives the exact page number listed for every name included in the Cemetery Census.

The reason I consider this a free offline genealogy tool,is because one can freely view this resource, as long as you visit a library that has this title in its collection. I can't think of a week that has gone by in the last five years, in which I did not consult this book! Of course, the fact that I work at a library probably has helped me find my way to this title so often.

Check out your own public library, and you too may find some valuable resources that are not accessible online. Happy hunting!


Linda Hughes Hiser said...

I know this book would be helpful in tracking down some of my husband's ancestors. You have also put a fire under me....I NEED to go to the Hayes Library in Fremont!!!

Dorene from Ohio said...

Linda, If you ever get to visit Hayes, maybe we can do lunch!