Thursday, April 15, 2010

Saying "Thank You" to Our Fellow Researchers

I went to the Tri-State Genealogical Society's Annual Dinner Meeting held at a local restaurant in Evansville, Indiana  this past Tuesday. In addition to the fellowship and meal, Harold Morgan gave a presentation titled "Evansville in The Depression." It was a great presentation and I left with several notes for some research regarding my family, as well as a some future blog entries.

My intention for attending was to become more involved in my local genealogy society. I believe that giving back to this community is important since the local genealogy world has given so many gifts to me.

I had the oppportunity to thank one of those gifts, one of those "treasures" that evening. Her name is Bettie Ann Cook. Without her dedication to the record there are several points of information regarding my family from Ohio County, Kentucky I would not know. She has co-authored/compiled several books, including :

Ohio County, Kentucky Records
Marriages and Early Consents 1799-1880 Ohio County, Kentucky
Pioneer History of Washington County, Kentucky
Fayette County, Kentucky Records
Fincastle and Kentucky County, Virginia-Kentucky Records & History
Kentucky Federal Court Records: District & 6th Circuit Court Order Books

Every time I have opened one of those books again to read the contents of a will, marriage, or land transaction I silently appreciate and marvel at a person who has taken the time and effort to put that information into a book for other researchers. Once I realized this person also lived in the Evansville area, I kept hoping I would have the opportunity to meet her, and was very pleased when I discovered she was in the room, so I made a mad rush to her as we were breaking up that evening.

Meeting her was a gift to me, but to Bettie the gift was hers. I can't tell you how many times she thanked me for thanking her. Bettie told me that when compiling the records for Ohio County, she would drive down every day and since she did not have a computer (these were done in 1986), all records were written by hand. I call that dedication, and the understanding that her work was important for others. She told me how much it meant to her to have someone thank her for her work, and that I "made my night and all day tomorrow too."

There are a few more members of the Tri-State Genealogical Society that received formal appreciation at the dinner:

Brenda Joyce Jerome, CG of Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog fame for all of her contributions to the Tri-State Packet, our quarterly publication and the blog, called  the TSGS Cruiser

Don Counts for being a major contributor to the society blog

and Connie Conrad, who is currently indexing and organzing records in the Posey County Courthouse. She also noted Don Pierce, Deb Travers, and Vanetta McDowell as assisitng in this project.

The next time that you are at a society meeting or purchasing a book that assists in your research from the author, take an extra minute to thank them not only for all the work, but also for the gift of their research itself. (Sorry if that sounds preachy- the more researching and writing I do, the more I appreciate the gift of those who came before me).

Don Counts receiving Certificate of Appreciation for Tri-State Genealogical Society President John G. West

Connie Conrad
Harold Morgan


1 comment:

Greta Koehl said...

You are so right and this is so important. I had an opportunity at our recent genealogy society convention to meet and thank the person who has compiled books of land record abstracts, maps, etc. of some of the areas I am researching, Dr. A. B Pruitt. They have been such a help!