Monday, March 08, 2004

Volume 17, Issue 1

The Future


March 8 – Cemeteries - Connie Bradish

April 12 - Book Review – 1000 Years – Shirley Myers

May 10 – PDA’s for Genealogy – Thana & T.C. Cottrell


President’s Message

February is Spring/Fall in Florida. The new leaves are pushing out the old leaves and they are fluttering to the ground. The Swamp Maples are dropping their bright red winged seeds. Hiking yesterday I saw the first little purple violets of the season blooming along the trail.

February is also time for Spring Cleaning. As I look around my disorderly desk and the piles spreading across most horizontal surfaces, I know it’s past time to get organized…again. Around the holidays, my organization seems to degenerate into the Pile-It System, first you pile it here and then you pile it there. It works fine until there is an avalanche. A big problem is the feeling of being overwhelmed by the size of the job. Mark Twain said, “The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks and then starting at the first one.” Break your big job into small jobs…the desk top, one file drawer, one pile…and begin there.

A good organizational system should be simple (KISS – Keep It Simple, Stupid!), consistent (KICK – Keep it Consistent, Kiddo!) and flexible (Blessed be the flexible for they shall not be bent out of shape.) Somehow I have to keep re-learning this. There are several ways of organizing your data. Which system you use depends on which works best for you. You need to file the way you think. YOU have to be able to find stuff and YOU have to be able to file it in thee same place each time you find similar stuff.

SURNAME SYSTEMS, filed alphabetically by individual surname or by family using the husband’s surname or file numerically by Ahnentafel number.

NUMERICAL SYSTEMS, using Register or Modified Register System, Perfect Tree System, Ahnentafel or Ancestor Table System, and the Abracadabra System, a term invented by George Freeman Sanborn Jr. of the New England Historic Genealogy Society for systems that use numbers and letters to show generation and position within the family.

SORCE SYSTEMS, filed alphabetically by title, author, type of source or geographically by location, Country, State, County, City.

I use a combination of Surname files and Source files. My biggest problem has always been the lag between doing the research and recording the information. So when I come back from the library or other research facility, I make a file for each source consulted, including citation information, repository information, and photo copies and transcriptions of information. They all go into a plastic file box of unrecorded data. As I put the data into my computer I put a big red check mark on each page and the files are transferred into file drawers.

An old Chinese proverb says, “Talk does not cook rice.” So that’s enough talking about it, time to get busy and attack some of these piles.
Vera Zimmerman
February 12, 2004


by Betty Eichhorn

As I reported in the last newsletter, I bought a membership in the Godfrey Library that includes access to The New York Times that is online from 1851 to 2001 (currently). The subscription cost only $35.00 and includes Heritage Quest censuses and the ProQuest library collection. Since then the Godfrey has added the Washington Post (1877 – 1988) and the Los Angeles Times (1881-1984). All three papers are every word searchable, even the ads. Check it out at

Using their search engine of the New York Times, I first looked for my maiden surname and found 61 references during that 150 year period. (I have a rare surname.) A surprise to me was that about 15 were concerned with debts and bankruptcies filed before and during the Great Depression following the stock market crash of October 1929. I found my father, his brother, and two cousins all with bad debts.

I remember my mother telling me of going to buy groceries with only 60 cents I her purse during that hard time. She also said she baked and sold cookies to make a little money. The first reference to my father was in1930 when he filed a lien against a man who was building a new house on Montauk, Long Island, NY and who had not paid my father for materials provided. The notice of the lien appeared immediately after an article which stated that this man, who was the head of an investment trust, had disappeared after his company collapsed. From that, I assumed that Dad never collected the money owed because a few months later, he was being sued for not paying his debts.

Dad’s brother was also listed in court records as owing several thousand dollars. Their two cousins filed for bankruptcy. All were in business and probably were not paid and therefore could not pay their debts. I would call this “trickle-down economics.”

Use newspapers to search for more than surnames. They are great for researching events that affected your family’s life, such as weather events – severe storms, floods, tornadoes, crop failures, etc. Also organizations that your ancestor belong to, events in their hometown, a non-relative associated with your family, epidemics, etc. By researching these things, you can round out the family stories. Even if your family lived in a small town, you can use a big city newspaper for major events and people. You know that out local paper reports on large and small events from all over the U. S. as well as the whole world. So did papers of long ago.

For instance, I have an undated article from an unidentified newspaper about my father written after he had returned from a trip around the world as a merchant mariner. I have wondered for years when the trip took place. Recently I re-read the article and it mentions an event in which his brother, my uncle, was involved. Uncle Charles was also a merchant mariner and the article mentioned that an attempt to rescue passengers from a ship in distress, the life boat that he had been in had flipped into the sea. The name of the ship was the Powhatan.

Well, I now have something to search on. I plugged Powhatan into the NY Times search engine and included a span of years that would most likely cover the right time period. Up popped an article dated 25 January 1920 headlined “Powhatan’s 271 Passengers Here.” A long article explained that one week earlier on Sunday, both the engine and boiler rooms of the Powhatan had flooded. The ship was then at the mercy of the sea, and the passengers had no lights, heat, nor water for several days. Uncle Charlie’s ship, the Northern Pacific, was 1000 miles east of the Powhatan outside the English Channel when they received an order to go to the rescue. They reached the Powhatan on Tuesday evening along with several other ships. The sea was rough but three lifeboats were lowered to go to the Powhatan to remove the passengers. Two lifeboats “stove in” when they got to close to a destroyer, but the sailors were rescued. The passengers were finally transferred on Thursday evening in the dark using searchlights and the Northern Pacific reached Hoboken NJ with the passengers on Saturday.

So I got two things out of this search, the year when Dad returned from his trip and the validation of a story about my uncle whose name did not appear in the article. Not bad.

So think about what you would like to know more about and put those newspaper search engines to work, whether you use Godfrey, Ancestry, or any other service. You may be surprised at what you find.

Incidentally, Powhatan was the father of Pocahontas.


Some Bytes


There soon will be about 60 new genealogists in the area. Perhaps not new, but more knowledgeable on how to conduct research. Census records, military records, immigration records, birth, death and marriage records, and other types of records that might provide family history have been discussed, and vacations of the members of the classes will now include visits to court houses, cemeteries, libraries, archive centers, and other places where information on families may be found.

Three classes in “Beginning Genealogy” have been held during January, February, and continuing into March, at the First United Methodist Church in Cocoa Beach, with about 20 members in each class. Some of the class members were members of the BGS before class began, and have done extensive research. Their inputs during class times were appreciated.

Visits to the Cocoa Library and the LDS Family History Center were included as a part of the class activities, and thanks to Michael Boonstra and Nancy Sieck for their special effort. Class members commented on how helpful Michael and Nancy were.

Many thanks also to Eleska Aubespin, reporter for the Florida Today Newspaper, for her excellent article in the January 4, 2004 edition. This undoubtedly the best coverage the BGS has had in recent years, and the large number of enrollees in the classes was a result of this coverage.

The initial plan was to have on class and only 15 people had indicated their interest in attending. Our concern was that twenty-five attendees we hoped for might not be reached. When 30 persons called, the decision was made to have two classes. A day or two later when 50 people had called, the third class was planned. Jim Fulton agreed to come out of retirement to teach the third class. Jim’s word to Vera Zimmerman, our President, was that we had gotten too much of a good thing.

Thanks to Betty Eichorn for teaching the class on Immigration Records, in addition to her attending the Monday afternoon sessions with Al Smith.

My personal thanks to Jim Fulton and Al Smith, not only for leading their classes, but for giving me information and support in my first genealogy teaching effort.

To the class members I would say: Enjoy your journey through you family history and genealogical research.
Lloyd Holt


Another Byte

On Tuesday February 17, Marion Harrison volunteered to brief my class on the LDS Family History Center (FHC). Marion is teaching the GSSB Beginners class, and is the Asst. Director of the FHC. She really helped us. I had forgotten where many of the files were located and even some details on how to use them. I was surprised at how much of the FHC material is now on the Internet, even the Locality Catalog, which is by far the most important file, with its listing of every important record in every county of the U. S., and in many countries throughout the world, even Swaziland! If you have not looked up the census, marriage, birth, land, probate, civil suits, etc. on your ancestor, there is a great deal you do not know about him/her, and you have probably missed some ancestors entirely! It’s a there in the Locality File. We are indebted to Marion for the several hours she spent passing on to us some of her knowledge about the FHC.
Jim Fulton



Our new members are from Mims on the North to Satellite Beach on the South. We welcome you, and are ready to help in anyway we can to help you find your ancestors.



By Betty Eichhorn

Twenty members of the Brevard Genealogy Society celebrated Black History Month by photographing the tombstones in Hilltop Cemetery, the pioneer black cemetery off U. S. 1 in Cocoa. The event took place on Valentine’s Day and included four husband and wife teams. The day started with fog, but it lifted and the sky was partly cloudy the rest of the morning.

Nine teams of one photographer and one assistant each were assigned a section of the cemetery. Because the cemetery was quite large and many stones needed cleaning with water or the inscription enhanced with soft white chalk, a few teams did not finish their area and will have to return.

Several people visited the cemetery while we were there and Patrice took the opportunity to interview them. She obtained some background material on their relatives and will include it with the photographs.

The day before, Pete and Connie Braddish, taught 16 of us how to prepare stones for photographing and how to photograph them to get the best results. All worked the following day at Hilltop. It was an excellent course and if they should repeat it next year, we recommend it as a way to learn how to photograph your own family’s stones.

Those participating in the cemetery project were:

Chairman, Patrice Green and Co-chairman, Betty Eichhorn

Pete Bradish & Connie Bradish Jim Brown & Lucy Brown
Frank Bryan & Artie Bowers Mary Jane Law & Glenice Fablinger
Bob Schverak & Frankie Schverak Dianna Brown & Joan Bullard
Thana Cottrell & Vera Zimmerman Gene Wood & Barbara Maloney
Shannon McGregor & Marjorie Henson

Editor’s Note – Hopefully you all saw the article in Florida Today on Feb. 25th by Kathy Hagood in the community section.




From Jodell Wilson

This was published in ANSEARCHIN NEWS several years ago. No indication was given for the source, but I want to thank HELEN SUTT LIND, Johnson City Ill. of the Williamson Co. Ill. Genealogical Society for the permission to re-print.

1. Allow 5 days for each 100 miles. Bad days, what you can make, or stay in camp if agreed on by all. Real good days and ground make it easy pulling 25 or 30 miles per day, if camp sights come right.

2. Take plenty of ammunition.

3. Recommended – Shave you head—Indians have no interest in bald heads.

4. Do not drink whiskey or alcohol in freezing weather or you are liable to freeze to death.

5. Do not fire rifles, only when absolutely necessary.

6. Do not stay up late. Get your sleep. Guards are on duty all night.

7. Do not smoke strong pipes and cigars in close places where women and children are.

8. Keep your politics and preaching to yourself. Let the preacher do the preaching.

9. In case of runaway teams or wagons, get down and try to ride it out. If you jump, you are liable to get killed or hurt badly. The horse men will pick the team up, maybe not too far off.

10. All people- young, married or not-stay inside the circle of wagons in Indian country, or you are liable to lose your scalps.

11. The wagon master will try to pick spots so men, women and children can bathe, clean up and wash clothes, when possible.

12. Be courteous and help others.

13. Be not too noisy, even with your musical instruments, only when it is safe.

14. When can, we will have recreation and dances.

15. Do your part by all means. Church services will be held when it is considered safe from Indians and other hazardous conditions.



A Floppy Disk has been put together about DNA with many sources for those interested in this
Subject. KENNETH L. MARPLE will be available to discuss the issues involved.


Notes from the Editor

Please bear with us as I take over as you newsletter editor. This issue is definitely different looking and the next issue will probably look different also as I fine tune my computer.

I’m going to add sketches on our new members, but would like a1”/1”picture, with about a paragraph and one half from each who would like something on themselves added to our paper. This may be about their search, their family names, or just where they are working area. This can be emailed to me.

Please have articles to me for all events, present, and future, by the last week before I go to press.

I have enjoyed putting this together for you, and I would like to thank everyone for the news articles. Patrice Green for all the help she has given me to get started here, with her help over the phone, and in person.

Your new editor.....Barbara Maloney



In 1975 Connie graduated from the University of Georgia with a master’s degree in biology and began teaching biology in college retiring in 1997. She and her husband Pete are on the road in a motor coach 8 months of the year in retirement seeing friends, relatives, and North America, doing genealogy research, writing magazine articles, giving seminars and attending RV rallies. They are members of NGS, NEHGS, NYGBS, and several local societies in the United States.

Connie and Pete will be doing a 4 part seminar for Western Michigan Genealogical Society’s 50 Anniversary celebration conference, “Got Ancestors?!” held in Grand Rapids, Mi. in October.

Connie’s last one “My Ancestor in the Revolutionary War Who Can’t Get Me In the DAR” would be a great one for her to do for us sometime, CONNIE ??????