Saturday, July 11, 2009

What do Fill Dirt, a 1500 Year Old Indian Mound, and the Wal-Mart Corporation have in common? Nothing Good!

For a number of years, I had my own personal little boycott going against Wal-Mart. I was upset when they abandoned their building on the East side of Fremont, to build a newer, better, bigger version across town. It was mostly a quiet rebellion, in which I took my business to the local K-Mart, grumbling about the extra 15 minutes of drive time that this change of buying habits necessitated.

My anger briefly flared again in 2001 when I found online, Wal-Mart’s Realty Division. I was shocked to see close to 300 stores across the country had suffered similar fates. Today, more than a decade (maybe even closing in on two decades, my senility creeping mind can’t remember exactly when the “new” store was built) after coyly hinting to the local newspaper that they, Wal-Mart, had undisclosed plans for the soon to be abandoned building on the East side of Fremont, the building remains empty, unoccupied, and a monument to the schizoid good neighbor policy Wal-Mart brings to its host communities. What does this have to do with genealogy? 

Nothing really, except that earlier on Friday, I received an email from my geneablogging buddy, Mississippi Terry, of Hill Country of Monroe County. He asked his friends in the geneablogging community to “Read Deep Fried Kudzu today and weep at the wanton destruction of our heritage.” 

In the post, the writer tells about the plans of Oxford, Alabama to destroy a 1500-year-old Indian Mound site to use it as fill dirt for the building of a new Sam’s Club. The mayor of Oxford, Leon Smith, was quoted as saying to the local ABC affiliate, “if any remains are found, they will be reburied there.” 

Well, sure, after digging them up and tossing them all together in a heap, that’s the least the city could do. I’d like to think that the Wal-Mart Corporation is ignorant of these plans, and would not condone such a thing. I’d like to think that upon learning of such activities by the town of Oxford, the Wal-Mart Corporation would prove me wrong in my assessment of their community minded character, and say, “No, Way!” I’d like to think it, but I’m not holding my breath.

© 11 July 2009, Desktop Genealogist Unplugged, Teresa L. Snyder 

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Sandusky County Kin Hunters Meeting This Sunday

Are you making effective use of obituaries and death certificates in your genealogy research? John Tate will be discussing this topic at the Sandusky County Kin Hunters meeting this Sunday, July 12 at 2:00 PM The meeting will take place at the Sandusky Township Hall on Rt 19 North in Fremont. There is ample parking and the meeting is handicapped accessible. Guests are always welcome! For further information, please contact Kim at 419-603-0367.

© 9 July 2009, Desktop Genealogist Unplugged, Teresa L. Snyder 

Footnote and Gannett - A Partnership Made for News-Messenger Readers?

There was interesting reading in my email box today. Footnote, the home of 57 million digitized historical documents, has partnered with the Gannett Company, the publisher of 84 daily newspapers (including our own News-Messenger) to add historical newspaper content to the online world. Two of those newspaper’s, Florida Today and Poughkeepsie Journal (NY) have already had digitized pages added to Footnote’s ever growing list of documents.

According to Footnote, they plan to digitize “the full run” of these two newspapers. That could be quite an accomplishment since the Poughkeepsie Journal dates back to 1785! Footnote has kicked off the venture with news articles featuring Woodstock and the Moon Landing. No word on whether any of our own local newspaper will eventually be added to Footnote’s content, but that might be worth Footnote’s subscription price, which goes up to a $79.95 annual rate as of August 1.

Footnote is currently running a limited time special rate of $59.95 for the annual subscription. Which of Gannett’s newspapers will have their content added to Footnote? I don’t know. Since Ohio is woefully underrepresented in Footnote’s current small town historical newspaper collection – I couldn’t find any when I took a quick peek – my guess is that at least some of their Ohio newspapers will eventually be part of the collection. If the News-Messenger ends up as one of them, wouldn’t it make a nice promotional, giving the subscribers to the News-Mess a discount on an annual Footnote subscription? Just a thought….

© 9 July 2009, Desktop Genealogist Unplugged, Teresa L. Snyder