Monday, October 08, 2007

Gathering Information

The search continues for the descendants of the children of Michael and Christenia Fisher who remained in northern Indiana: Caroline Fisher and Christian Ringgenberg, Katherine Fisher and George M. Walter, Sophia Fisher and William Foltz, and Sophia Fisher and George M. Walter.

Today, I went to Goshen (about a 45 minute drive from where I live) to get the information from the marriage records for their children and some of their grandchildren. I had previously gotten some of the dates from the WPA Index which covered the years 1850-1920. I just wanted to verify the information so did not get copies made. Elkhart county is one of the Indiana counties where you can't get copies made from the bound volumes of marriage records. They will make copies from the microfilmed copies at their archives office and mail them to you. The cost is reasonable, only 15¢ per copy and they are sent within a couple of days, but I have too much paper as it is and decided not to get copies since these are just relatives and not my ancestors. Eventually, possibly within the next year or two, Indiana marriages will be available as digital images from FamilySearch so if I really want copies I can get them at that time.

After about two hours spent verifying that information and transcribing some additional records I was off to Elkhart to get some obituaries. The Elkhart Public Library has an online database to the
Obituaries in the Elkhart Truth. The database currently indexes obituaries that appeared in that newspaper from 1921 through 1944, and 1967 to the present. It is an ongoing project with new entries being added weekly. As a service, they will provide copies by mail but since I had so many and was going to Goshen, I decided to go on up to Elkhart and get them myself.

By spending some time this past week doing searches in the online index, finding the obituaries in the microfilm was a piece of cake. After 2 ½ hours, I had printouts of the 33 obituaries on my list! A look through those gave me the dates of death for three other relatives and I was able to get those obituaries as well.

So, now I need to go through all of this new information, evaluate it, and get it entered into my genealogy database! Hopefully I'll get a few clues on where to find some living descendants and will be able to make contact with some "new" cousins!

It had been a while since I was in Goshen or Elkhart and I was amazed by how much growth there was in the area. Lots of new houses and commercial development. I took the "back roads" coming home and noticed signs of fall coming on. Soy beans being harvested. The corn has mostly changed from bright green to a dusty tan. Some leaves are changing color, some are just turning brown and falling off the trees. It's been dry and rather warm here in northern Indiana this fall. It was in the high 80's this past weekend. I hope we still get some of the bright colors as autumn leaves us, though I'm not really looking forward to the winter that will follow.

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