Monday, December 27, 2010

Sunday, December 26, 2010

10,000 Dead People

For several years I have been working on a massive database of, basically, burials in south Logan County. It includes cemeteries from Hurlbut, Elkhart, Mt. Pulaski, Lake Fork, Laenna and Aetna Townships and two in Chester. Elkhart is not complete. I frivolously named it "10,000 Dead People." Otherwise it gets a bit too close.

It is more than just a list of the burials. Jane DeWitt, who set up the original list, looked up these people in various sources and added information to the basic list. I have reduced it to the number of columns which fit on a landscape page. I have added information. There may be a maiden name, date of death and maybe birth, spouse, parents, cause of death, military, occupation and assorted other information.

It has taken forever to get it into a format that can be used on the web and then get it into consistent columns. I am still cleaning up columns. It is very time consuming. As I try to clean up each row I get distracted. I knew many of these people. It includes people very close to me. Further, as a genealogist, I want to add information. Finally I gave up, stopped adding information and just worked on consistent columns - all the military in the military column, etc.

At this point I am approximately one third done. Rather than wait until I am done I am going to be putting it online as it is and then continue working on it. I anticipate it will be up by January 1, 2011.

I anticipate there are many, many errors. Some are caused by the manipulations the file has gone through. Some are caused by errors in previous transcriptions. Some are caused by using old books with bad or faint handwriting. There was reliance on old histories which, as we know, were not necessarily accurate to begin with. If you see something in the database that you believe is incorrect do not hesitate to let me know. Please include why you believe it to be incorrect. Ideally the final corrected version will include citations where appropriate.

Ideally I will eventually link names to other things - printed obits, photos, printed bios, etc. I don't know if that is feasible at this point but I hope it is.

Stay tuned.