Ah, June… I love this month, mostly because I’m taking a 10-day vacation for a genealogy trip! Whoo hoo! I love genealogy road trips!
I left after work on Wednesday, June 8th, and drove from Chicago-land to Southern Illinois to do some genealogy sleuthing. My research target for this trip is to find more information on the Goddard family who lived in Johnson County, Illinois. My first stop, however, is Nashville, Illinois, where I spent the night. On Thursday, I ventured through four county courthouses in Washington, Perry, Randolph, and Franklin Counties. I found some information on Denton Lawhorn’s family in Washington County; I found a death certificate on William B. Pierce in Perry County; I found a birth certificate for my great-aunt Freida Lawhorn Tubbs in Randolph County; and a couple of marriage records for the Coates and Shinall families in Franklin County.
On Friday, I spent the entire day in Johnson County looking for Goddards. I went to the Johnson County courthouse and dove into the probate files looking for anything that would tie my 2nd-great-grandfather John L. Goddard to any Goddards in Johnson County. I didn’t find any real evidence, however I did get a lot of Goddard records. I still need to go through it all to glean out anything I can on my Goddard line.
The next day I spent at the Metropolis Library, still looking for anything to do with Goddards. I didn’t find much information at all.
Next stop was Birmingham, Alabama! A word of caution: if you ever drive to IGHR in Birmingham, do NOT speed in Alabama!!! I got a little too excited about 10 miles north of Birmingham, and got caught speeding — their tickets for going 10 MPH over the speed limit is $200!! Yowzah!
On June 12-17, 2011 I attended the The Samford Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR) ”Advanced Methodology and Evidence Analysis” course, instructed by Elizabeth Shown Mills, Thomas W. Jones, Richard Sayre, and Craig R. Scott. This course was FABULOUS, although I must say it stretched the ol’ brain quite a bit. Elizabeth Shown Mills, of course, is the ultimate authority on Evidence Analysis, and she is a wonderful instructor. I learned quite a bit of methodology and research strategy, but the #1 lesson I learned for advanced research: “Get the FAN club”… which means when researching, also look at your ancestor’s “Friends, Acquaintances, and Neighbors”, as they may provide more information!
It certainly was a great trip, and was well worth the time and money (even the $200 unexpected speeding ticket)! Now all I have to do is go through everything I found in Southern Illinois and get it into my database!