Friday, November 13, 2009

Technological Shores of the Internet

“All you need is the plan, the road map, and the courage to press on to your destination.” ~ Earl Nightingale Quotes [U.S. Motivational writer and author, 1921-1989 from]

You Are Here
On the second post, “Here's my Plan, Stan,” concerning Roscoe Martin, his family, and the tragedy that befell them, I spoke of my plan and promised the strategy in which I will use to implement the plan.  So this post is my “road map” to finding who killed my grandmother's brother and his four children in a house fire 14 Jul 1957 in Vienna, Johnson County, Illinois, and why.  After this “road map” post, I will be “stepping-up” the Roscoe posts with detailed accounts of my searching with screen shots and everything.  This way you'll know exactly how I'm searching ~ not just where.  As always, if you have suggestions, please feel free to chime in with help.  This is a “win-win” because I can derive help from others, and hopefully, others can derive some help from me.

They Saw My Light
I mentioned in my last post, “Somehow, Someway, & Someday,” of how the genea-gods favored me with a smile, giving me genea-bliss in the form of a distant cousin.  A distant cousin who knew Roscoe.  A distant cousin who Roscoe nicknamed his first son after.  A distant cousin who will be sending me information about this tragedy.  I'd like to take a moment and point out the “vital importance of being earnest” in your family story search.  To not leave any stone unturned.  To walk down every avenue, known and unknown, in searching for your family story, for your earnestness will indeed payoff.  Certainly, this isn't the first time that I've been contacted by a “distant cousin” who, too, is researching their family story, but it is the first time I've been contacted by a distant cousin who has some of the specific information that I seek.  That's a good feeling, to say the least.  It's good to know that the time that I've taken to set-up familial beacons on the technological shores of the internet have not been in vain, for it's proof that the familial “ships” really do see the light on the shore through breaks in the darkness and the distance of time.

This Road Map is Written in Pencil
Here is the “road map” that I intend to use to guide me to the answers that I seek.  This is not written in stone, but will change as the search goes on.  As new information is gathered and assessed, this road map will indeed change.  For example, when I receive the information from my distant cousin, I will update this list, hopefully, crossing items off the list, but knowing genealogy, it will probably bring more things to add to the list. ;)

  • Mail application and $13 check to the Johnson County Historical & Genealogical Society.
  • Mail request & check for Roscoe's Social Security Application.
  • Mail request for military records [National Archives].
  • Contact Barnett family researcher of this same area.  See if any relation to Police Chief Barnett.
  • Contact Vaughn family researcher to see if has any info.  [Roscoe's maternal grandmother, Catherine Caroline, was a Vaughn.]

Update Online Familial Beacons
  • Place a new query on Ancestry's message board on the Martin surname board as well as the Johnson County, Illinois board.
  • Place a new query on the Rootsweb Martin mail list and the ILJohnson mail list.
  • Place a new query on the Genforum Martin surname board as well as the Johnson County, Illinois board.
  • Place new queries on the Genealogy Wise Martin surname group and Illinois group.  Also search for southern Illinois and/or Johnson County, Illinois groups.
  • Search Ancestry's family trees looking for others who have Roscoe and/or Norma.
  • Search Rootsweb's WorldConnect family trees for others who have Roscoe and/or Norma.
  • Add pertinent info to My Heritage tree, Dynastree tree, and Family Link tree.
  • Notate any researchers on the above boards and make contact with them.
  • Surname Saturday on Twitter and on blog: post names, names, & names.  Saturday's blog post will be a re-cap of the week's research in hopes of connecting with someone who knows something.
  • Promote research on Facebook and Genealogy Wise page.
  • Check Diigo.
  Phone Calls:
  • Johnson County Sheriff's Dept. to find where the sheriff's department's reports from 1957 would be located for arson cases, if they still exist.  Also inquire about the Medical Examiner's report and its location. [The ME suggestion is from Sheri Fenley ~ thanks Sheri!]
  • My aunt [dad's sister]: See what she knows ~ told to her by my Paw Paw, Roscoe's sister.

Systematic Online Search:
  • Consult outline for research in Illinois, search for available materials & make a “to order”/to do list; search databases for available info, and notate other researchers.
  • Illinois Regional Archives Depository / Southern Illinois University: looking for available pertinent records such as Roscoe's birth certificate, etc.  Also see just what is available.
  • Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, Springfield, IL: look for instructions for search in the Vienna Times [A suggestion made by Jennifer.  Thanks Jennifer!]
  • Find pertinent databases; search found databases.
  • National Archives & Record Administration: Find info to obtain military records.
  • Heritage Quest/ProQuest: Search for books in Johnson County, Illinois and/or books concerning Martin surname.
  • Google Books: Search for books on Johnson County, Illinois and/or Martin surname.
  • PERSI: Check for articles concerning Johnson County, Illinois and/or Martin surname.
  • USGenWeb: for Johnson County, Illinois: run searches for pertinent names & places; place query.
  • Genealogy Trails for Illinois: run searches for pertinent names and places; place query.
  • run search for Roscoe and children; if positive, contact poster of info.
  • Google [general search]: timeline and history of the lie detector test.
  • Google Genealogy Search: run searches for Roscoe & others involved.
  • Google Earth, Google Maps, & Historic Map Works for applicable maps of area.
  • Find A Grave: look to see any if any other possible relatives have left virtual flowers on any of these family members' virtual memorials.  Make contact.
  • Montgomery County Memorial Library [online database]: Perform searches for Johnson County, Illinois & Martin surname.
  • Clayton Genealogical Library [online databases]: Perform searches in catalog & for microfilm for Johnson County, Illinois and Martin surname.

Visit and Research:
Montgomery County Memorial Library
Clayton Genealogical Library
Local Family History Center

Courage?  Check.  Plan?  [Just Call Me Stan.]  Check.  Road Map?  Check.
So, have I forgotten anything?  The above is listed in the order in which I plan to complete it.  Some can be done simultaneously [ah, the joys of a laptop and a desktop].  As I mentioned before, I will be going into detail as to how I'm searching online with screen shots [Hey, I'm going high-tech!  Thanks to Denise for her review on her blog Family Matters of Jing which I downloaded and plan to use for screen shots.]  Also I use Gensmarts, and I will be sharing how I use that as well in my research.  As you can probably guess and as I mentioned above, I will be increasing my posts on this particular research problem.  It will be technical, but I believe that the search can be a part of the family story.  Remember, it's interactive, so feel free to tell me what you think.  Well, time to go because it looks like I've got a mountain to climb...

All images from Microsoft Office Clip Art.


  1. WOW! This is great! You did a great job. Everything is very well thought out and you have a very thorough plan. You go girl! I am going to love following this story ;)

  2. Just nominated your blog for Kreativ Blogger Award! Go to My Nola hertiage or Our Family as A Whole to pick up your award

  3. I love how you are sharing your research processes with us! Here's a link for you to request the military records you are after -- hope it's helpful!

    I was able to request my father's records online, but I still had to mail in a signature form.

    Good luck!

  4. Impressive! Are you sure you aren't Stephanie Plum by night? This is a terrific research plan and I can't wait to see how it unfolds. Good luck!

  5. Interesting. I like your post. Thnaks for share. I am follow your blog.

  6. I am the grandson of Norma. My mother was the first born of Roscoe and Norma. She was a child and in Belleville, Il at the time.


Inappropriate comments will be deleted. So keep it clean and be nice.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...