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06 August 2012

Journey to the Past: Franklin County Records at Columbus Metropolitan Library

With hundreds of cemetery photos, an update to the family tree database, and more mysteries than answers, I was headed off to the Columbus MetropolitanLibrary for the morning of Wednesday, May 23rd. (I know that it's now August for this post. But as you can see, I've had a plethora of research finds. And I haven't even begun showing the research that I found. This will take YEARS! And I'm fine with that.)

I wanted to spend a few hours looking through the Franklin County Will Books in hopes of finding some persons from my database. I also wanted to see what was listed in the Franklin County Cemetery books. If I had extra time before my 11 am lunch date with Geiszler cousins, then I would poke around in the library. 

I've found a website for Franklin County Cemeteries operated by David K. Gustafson & Leona L. Gustafson very helpful and informative. The website mentions the books Combined Index for Franklin County, Ohio Cemeteries, Volumes I – XI: A publication of the Franklin County Chapter, The Ohio Genealogical Society (Columbus, 1980 – 1997). According to the Gustafson website, these books contain:

an every name list of all names appearing in the eleven volume set of books, Franklin County, Ohio Cemeteries, that was compiled and published between 1980 and 1997 by the members of the Franklin County Chapter of The Ohio Genealogical Society.

Using the website by the Gustafson's I knew which books I needed to look up. I had emailed Leona a bit prior to my trip and she forewarned me that there was not much additional information in the indexes that were not on their website. Nevertheless, I wanted to have a peek at the indexes. I found every name I sought after and was able to conclude that a few of the names on my list were not my family members. Whew. I was off to a good start. 

Map of Walnut Grove as found in the
Combined Index for Franklin County, Ohio Cemeteries

For each page I found, I 'copied' them with my digital camera. I used the following settings with great success:
  • AV Priority Mode
  • macro setting
  • auto white balance
  • f/2.8, exposure 1/60, ISO 100

The only struggles I had were keeping the pages flat. I wish I had a tripod so I didn't have as many blurry pictures. Nevertheless, I felt a great sense of accomplishment. 

I found a GREAT map in this book. Though it was primarily used to showcase where the cemeteries were located, I thought the map was wonderful to orient a non-Ohio native to the area. It was more of a sketch and included minimal information, yet just want I needed. I will use this for further research to understand where people lived and the relation it had to other areas simply within the county. 

Franklin County Map as found in the
Combined Index for Franklin County, Ohio Cemeteries

I wish I had checked this out before I went to some cemeteries as it had SECTIONS listed. That might have helped me out in places like Obetz cemetery for one. And it included several maps of the cemetery. Again, this could have helped me in cemeteries such as Obetz. I'll have to blog about this later.

Obetz Cemetery Section Map as found in the
Combined Index for Franklin County, Ohio Cemeteries

Now, I realize these images were a bit dark. I could lighten them up a little with a photo editing program. I can also play around with my camera settings to learn how to take brighter pictures (if that's the correct term). For my needs, the photos are just fine. However, I'm willing to take suggestions on how to improve.

This is another installment in a lengthy multi-series post about the fantastic research trip I took to Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio. If you're just joining the this series, you'll be able to see every post under the label Research Trip.

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