Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Treasure Thursday- An Unusual Entry

Although Treasure Thursday usually contains a long awaited miltary file or a photo of a item from my family that has been passed through the years, I decided to take a different take on the theme this week.

Since I have spent many hours researching this week (who has time to do anything else?), there is a site for those of us with Southern Indiana roots that is a great gift and definitely a treasure. Initially known as the Browning Genealogy: Evansville Indiana Area Obituary Search Database the site has actually grown into much more over the past few years, which I will discuss in a moment. Charles Browning was the owner of the locally owned Browning Funeral home and years ago knew the importance of genealogy to others. He would cut the obituaries from the local newspapers, then make an information card regarding the deceased person to include information from several categories including: family members, cause of death, residence, funeral home, and the name of the cemetery where they were buried. In his memory (Mr. Browning passed away in 2007), his family and others continue with his work, which includes more than 537,000 cards to date. An example for my  aunt, who died tragically in a fire,  is shown below:

There are times when the obituary is more recent and obtaining through our local newspaper costs a fee of nearly $ 3.00, yet I have located it attached to the card on this site which makes these even more of a treasure. I have even used the listings at the botom to trace other family members through time until I reached a current generation.

A recent discovery I made to the Browning information also leads to additional site called . This includes the obituary information, but also includes other databases that Charles Browning began, including one he called his People Study. I typed in my last name and found announcements regarding scholarships won when I left for college, my parents 50th and 60th wedding announcements, photos from yearbooks, announcements regarding the soldiers in my life just to start.

There is also a Business Entity Search, a Veteran database, and an Immigration Database which notes records from Warrick County for my ancestors when they went into the courthouse and announced they wanted to be US citizens. All of these databases are a work in progress and there are more records to be entered in the computer system so checking back would be beneficial, but what a fantastic gift Mr. Browning, and his family have left for people with ties to Vanderburgh, Indiana and the nearby areas.

For this genealogist, I count this as a very special treasure!

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