Monday, March 21, 2005

Volume 18- 1, Spring 2005: Programs & Events


March 14, 2005
Historical and Genealogical Research
in American’s Newspapers

Thana Cottrell,
BGS Treasurer 2005

April 11, 2005
Rose Wooley, Public Relations at CCAFS and CCAFB

May 9, 2005
Funeral Home Records and The Privacy Act
Ollie Follweiler,
Beckman’s Funeral Home

June 12, 2005
How to turn simple spreadsheets into a “Genealogist’s Dream”
T.C. Cottrell

July 11, 2005 & August 8,2005


Information provided by: Dolly Rosales, Vice-President/Programs




April 15, Library in Cocoa



April 5, 2005,
Benedict Arnold

April 16 2005
Titusville Library......10-3pm

May 3, 2005
Barbara Maloney, BGS Editor

June 7, 2005
Copyright Laws
David L. Stewart



Cocoa Library, Room 3
April 23, 2005
9:30 - 11:30 am
In the Lobby after Noon

Friends of the Library, Cocoa Fl.
April 23, and 24th. 2005
10 to 2

Friday, March 11, 2005


As you know, I declared 2005 as the year of our members. My motivation was to emphasize the opportunity we have to meet and talk with other members including our BGS Board. Learning what others are doing and researching almost always provides insight for new ideas for your own research. It also gives us, the Officers and Chairmen, information about what you would like to see in future BGS meeting programs. Knowing this makes it easier for us to provide topics of member interest. An additional benefit of members communicating which recently surfaced is that some members would like to obtain a new BGS badge with their name and research surname engraved upon it. Lucy Brown, our Publicity Committee Chairman, picked up the ball and collected names and money at our February meeting for a batch of new badges. Thank you to Lucy and to those who made it known they wanted a badge. Make "talking to other members" a personal "To Do" for yourself at each of the future BGS meetings you attend. Reach out and talk to someone you don't know or would like to learn more about. Don't be afraid to approach someone, after all, they are a genealogist just like you. It seems like we just started the new year, 2005, and it's already time for the "Nominating Committee" to be elected. This is because we need a little head start for its members due to many members being away for the summer. Article X, Section A of our bylaws says we will nominate and elect three members to the committee at our May meeting who will find members to fill positions of Officers and Chairmen of the Standing Committees, and present them to the membership at our October meeting with elections taking place in November. Please consider becoming a member of this committee. Don't reject the idea just because you might not be in the area for the whole year. Many of the BGS Officers and Chairmen aren't, including myself. The utilization of e-mail and other forms of communication has "enabled" each of us to fill a position much better which we couldn't have done as recently as a few years ago. Think about it. Please. If you would like to be a part of this valuable committee, or, and this is also important, would like to run for an Officer or Chairman position, please contact me or any BGS Board member. Please see for how to contact any one of us. Yes, many of our Officers and Chairmen continue from year to year, but don't let that stop you from coming forward. We need new people with new ideas all the time. Our society wouldn't stay alive without them. I'm looking forward to hearing from YOU, our members!

Take care and happy hunting...

Peter Bradish


The Brevard County Library has recently made its comuterized data base accessible from your home for library card holders. This includes Heritage Quest which has census and other genealogy sources. To access, go to:

  • Click on “search our data bases”
  • Click on “something new”
  • Enter library card number and last name
  • Make sure you sign out when “finished” on the bottom left hand menu.

Frank Bryan
BGS Computer Committee

(18-1) RESEARCH: Cocoa Tribune Death Report Index

Bonnie and Jim are creating an index of the death reports carried by the Cocoa Tribune newspaper. This newspaper was first published in March 22, 1917, and printed the obituaries, funeral notices and death reports of the local area up until April 1966, when these notices were transferred to the Florida Today newspaper. Almost all issues of the Cocoa Tribune newspaper are available on microfilm. They are scanning the microfilm images of the Tribune, page by page, writing down the name, age, date of publication and page number of all death reports. These are then entered into a computer database. They are working backward in time, beginning with the April, 1966 issue. In order to keep the files fairly short, we have broken them into five year blocks. So far, three of these blocks have been transcribed. After transcription and proofreading, we upload a copy of the file to Roots Web, and make a print copy for Michael Boonstra for use in the Genealogy Department of the Central Brevard Library and Reference Center. We also give our webmaster a copy of the file on computer disk. She then posts the file on several other Internet sites.The index can be found, in print form, in the Genealogy Department of Central Brevard Library and Reference Center. Look on top of the filing cabinet containing the Microfilm collection of the Cocoa Tribune newspaper.The index can also be found on the Internet at: Click on Research, then Obituaries. Browsable. Click on the link to the Cocoa Tribune. Searchable. Scroll down to Deaths. Browsable.

BGS Research Committee

Thursday, March 10, 2005

(18-1) HICKAM FIELD, DECEMBER 7, 1941 [Part 2] by Jim Fulton

I can’t remember that we’d ever had any training on what to do in case of air raid. Some of the guys ran across the street into the parking lot. One was shot in the rump and, strangely, later died. Our Squadron Commander Major Laverne G. “Blondie” Saunders, came running from the officers quarters and slid in on his belly alongside the barracks as a Jap plane strafed him. He yelled for us to get to the flight line and continued on toward our planes. Many of the older non-com’s seemed more confused then the younger men. A M/Sgt. in the 26th Bomb Sq. ordered his men to line up in formation to march to the hanger—a Jap plane dropped a frag bomb and splattered many of them onto the walls. Our 23rd guys took off running on their own. I was the first GI to reach the radio shack in the hanger, but somehow our section chief, S/Sgt. Schlotte, had already gotten there from NCO quarters near the Pearl Harbor fence. He assigned me to the field telephone switchboard linking us to 5th Bomb Group Headquarters.

A rookie navigator cadet watching the show from the doorway beside the shack ignored our yells to take cover and was shot in the chest. Good men risked their lives getting him to the hospital under fire. My crew’s bombardier, T/Sgt. “Shanty” O’Shea, was hiding in the concrete bombsight vault outside the radio shack, drunkenly yelling. “THE FLAG’S STILL FLYING”

Two of my buddies, Bill Hamilton, and Lee Benbrooks, told me they were going back to the barracks for pistols and helmets, and they’d get some for me. When they came running back to the radio shack they handed me a helmet (shallow, WW1 style) but said they couldn’t get me a gun. I told them if I didn’t have a gun, I wasn’t going where I’d need a helmet. They each grabbed a .30 caliber machine gun and ammo from the armament shack and ran out to install them in dispersed B-18’s Lee go his gun going first and, not having tracer rounds in his ammo belt, was firing at Jap fighters without drawing return fire. But when Bill opened up with tracer, the Japs dove on them and a bullet went thru the fuselage, right between Lee’s legs.

The low-level attack eased up, but then we saw silver planes high, coming in over the mouth of the harbor, starting their bomb-drop at the far end of Hanger Row from us. They hit every hanger down the line including the 31st Bomb/4th econ squadrons’ hanger right next to ours, but, fortunately for us, the bombs meant for the 23rd/72nd Sq’s hanger drifted off toward the barracks. Consequently the 23rd only had seven men killed during the raid.

Another radio operator, “Hunk” Elsasser, and I were told to report to a 4th Recon Sq. old B-18 which had been dispersed into the outfield toward Honolulu airport. I was not overjoyed to be going up in a plane with piddling little single .30 caliber guns rather then the dual .50’s I’d gotten used to in the B-17. On our way to the 4th Recon plane, Hunk and I ran past a B-18 with flames coming from its nose compartment. Billie Smith from the 23rd radio shack had burned his hand badly trying to get the hatch open to save the young kid who had been firing at the Jap planes and was now trapped. No one could help him as the bombardier’s compartment melted down around him. (Billie now is my across-the-river neighbor and, with me, founded the 23rd Bomb Sq. Assoc. in 1982. Billie is also the husband of long-time secretary of BGS, Marion Smith of Merritt Island who died 15 June 2004.)

As we waited for orders to take off I was pleased the strafing had eased up because there was no place to hide out there except under that B-18 loaded with bombs. Suddenly a plane came zooming down the line from the direction of the mountains. It was a P-40 fighter from Wheeler Field and was completely silhouetted by a hail of tracers from machine guns on top of the Marine Barracks at Pearl. The pilot kept dropping down, trying to buildings and trees between him and those guns till he wasn’t 10 feet off the ground. Some of those bullets fell around us. I KNEW THE PILOT WAS DEAD! But later heard that he had limped back to Wheeler and SURVIVED.

Read our next Newsletter, June 2005, to see what happened to Jim and his buddies. See you in JUNE.


Today we received our copy of the Jan/Feb 2005 Everton's Genealogical Helper magazine. YOU are highlighted in 2 different places in the magazine.

YOU are on pages 63 and 64. The title is "Brevard Genealogical Society, Cocoa, Florida". They are writing about the cemetery gravestone photographing project BGS started over a year ago. The first paragraph they wrote about you is this (and no, we didn't write it, they did): "There's a genealogical society that is setting a higher standard and paving the way for wider global access. Brevard Genealogical Society in Cocoa, Florida is pioneering a new project that will assist thousands of genealogists to get information online without ever having to set foot in a Brevard County cemetery. We hope it will become a model program and inspire other societies to step up into similar, technological endeavors." And it goes on. Why did they write this? Because you are doing just what they say. And, the editor of EGH found out about it. They asked for details and we supplied them.

Want to learn more about what your society did? The second reference of our society starts on page 29 of the magazine. Read the "Rock On!" article which is all about your project to photograph each gravestone in central Brevard County, and post the results on the Internet. Yes, we wrote this article. And we wrote it about what you, the members of BGS, are doing. EGH said they were impressed and wanted to highlight our society.

Be proud of yourselves. You've earned it. What you have done is laudable. But also be enthusiastic. We need to photograph two dozen more cemeteries. :-) You can help.

Take care everyone, BGS needs you...

Peter and Connie Bradish

(18-1) BOOK SALE

BGS will be having a book sale of duplicate copies of the genealogy books in its collection on April, 21st and 23rd. There are numerous titles available which vary greatly in content from multi-volume sets, how to books to ships passenger lists, etc. Many of these books are in excellent condition and were books left over from the merging of the BCC and BGS collections. The books will be offered for sale on the 21st from 10:00 - 2:00 in the Conference Room on the second floor at the Central Brevard Library. This will be for BGS members and other society members. On Sat. the 23rd the books will be for sale at a BGS table in the Friends of the Library book sale. All money from the sale will be used to purchase new books for the Genealogy Library.

JOAN BULLARD. Library Committee


Beginning Sat, March 5, patrons of the Family History Center (FHC) in Rockledge will be able to copy Library microfilm or microfiche using a new system. The new computer system will generate paper copies, but also allow downloading to computer disk or CD. Costs are as yet to be determined, but they will be nominal.

The Family History Library recently activated the keyword button on the Family History Library Catalog. The FHLC is available online when on the home page, click on the library tab, then on Library Catalog. Using the Keyword feature, it is possible to search for a given word in the title, author, subject, and the notes fields of each item in the catalog.



APRIL 11, 2005

I was born and raised in Orlando, Fl., moved with my husband to Titusville in 1968. I'm a charter member of Genealogy Soc.of N. Brevard. I was a secretary at KSC (Kennedy Space Center) for 18 years, retiring in 1999. My interest in the cemeteries at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station began in 1990, when my supervisor mentioned “Mrs. Nathan Penny” was buried there in 1890 - (100 years ago) And there were other graves on the Air Force Station.

MAY 9, 2005
Funeral Homes and Privacy Act.

I was born in the Florida East Coast Railroad in St.Augustine and graduated from St.AugustineHigh School in 1969 along with my wife now, Sherry who grew up next to the Old Fort in St.Augustine where her parents had a fruit market. My mother was born in Jasper, Florida, at a sawmill where mygrandfather worked at that time (Oct. 1930). I started working for Craig Funeral Home in St.Augustine while I was going to junior college.That was how I got started in funeral service; we had ambulance service back then. I graduated from Mortuary College in Miami in Dec. 1972 and in 1984 we bought Beckman-Williamson Funeral Home in Cocoa Beach. In 2000 we opened another funeral home in Viera-Rockledge and have our own crematory which my son manages for us in Rockledge. I will speak to the Genealogical group about funeral home records, the privacy act, and most of all answer questions that anyone may have about funeral home records and funeral home practices.

JUNE 13, 2005
Spread sheets for the Genealogists

Program Description - The program will include a brief overview of workbook and spreadsheet functions; a review of spreadsheet basics including how to format cell colors and styles and how to use simple math calculations to summarize numerical data; the design and use of a census tracking workbook with multiple spreadsheets to graphically track and display the status of census searches for individuals; designing and using a research log; and how to use excel to build complicated forms such as census forms that can be used to document the transcription of census records.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

(18-1) Native American Research Tip

If you have been unsuccessful in locating your Native American ancestors in the 1900 and 1910 Heritage Quest Online census indexes, there is a reason. As a people, they have been mis-indexed. Bring them out of hiding by typing "Indian" in the surname field of the 1910 federal census. You will find there are 111,898 heads of families listed under "Indian." Enter "Oklahoma" and find there were 19,916. Narrow the search to "Comanche County" and there were 399 enumerated. After selecting a name, view the original census page that lists family members.