Thursday, October 2, 2014

Annie's Ghosts


The author of Annie's Ghosts, Steve Luxenberg will be giving a presentation on Tuesday, Oct. 7 at 7 p.m. at the Intermediate School District, Lawrence, MI.  Come and hear about his search for an aunt that he never knew.

Monday, July 28, 2014

County Museums

County Museums

Remember your county museums.  Even if they don't have your family information there, you can find out what was happening when  they were living.  It puts flesh on your ancestor.

Van Buren County Historical Museum/County Poorhouse is a treasure trove for such information.  The rooms are used to show off the collections that they have received.  These include a carriage room, the doctor's office, dentist's room, a kitchen, laundry, wedding room, baby clothes, shop, a schoolroom, just to name a few.  Many people have donated items and their names are added to the donations.

In the Van Buren County Poorhouse, the building was divided into two parts – one side for the men and the other for the women.   The second and third floors were where the hired staff lived and the able-bodied inmates (as they were called).  Eventually a sunroom was built where the men and women could be together for a period of time.  The poorhouse was a farm where those that were able worked.  It was nearly self-supporting.

It is possible that at some point in time, one of your ancestors might have lived in a poorhouse.  If there is one near you, please consider going to see what they can offer you, if not your own family, at least the see what was happening at the time the place was open.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Birth/Death Date Calculators

So you want to find your ancestor's birth date.  You head out to the cemetery and the only thing is the death date.  But, they have listed how old the person is in years, months, and days.  There are a few things that must be taken into account when trying to figure out the birth date - leap years, which calendar was being used at the time your ancestor was living, and if you have Quakers which calendar they were using.  The Julian and Gregorian calendars are the main two calendars in use.  Great Britain and its colonies changed in 1752, dropping 11 days from the month of September.  That should confuse us all.  Remember not everyone might have followed the new calendar.  Also, if you have Jewish ancestry the calendar might be the Jewish calendar used for births and deaths.

Here is are a few sites for a calculator but certainly there are many, many more.  Just be sure that they list that they take into consideration things like the leap years, etc.

Good luck in your search.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Toni I. Benson Remembered

October 25, 1962 - July 5, 2013

Toni Benson was the first Local History Librarian at the Van Buren District Library.  She was appointed in 1995 and continued in that capacity until her death on July 5, 2013.  It was a job that she dearly loved and shared her enthusiasm with everyone.  Because of her passion for genealogy, she became a charter member of the Van Buren Regional Genealogical Society in 1987.  She wore many hats as part of the society, including president.

We will miss Toni and the way that she encouraged us.  But because of that encouragement, I will be picking up the blog.  I hope to help and inform you in your genealogical research.  Please check back to see what is in this "new" blog.   Pam Pender, Local History Librarian