October 2020 Program
Genealogical Adventures During the Pandemic
Different members of our society talked about the projects they’ve worked over the past several months.
This archived presentation may be watched here.
Summary of the October 4, 2020 program, “Genealogical Adventures during the COVID 19 Pandemic”
Jonathan Stayer has been working on the 1862 military enrollment sheets involving the first-round drafts of eligible men between the ages of 18-45 living in York County. Information recorded included age, occupation, residence, nearest schoolhouse or mill. Notations were made regarding their physical condition, including who refused to provide to answer. Jon compared the listings to the 1860 and discovered that many of the day laborers listed on the draft list were not listed on the census.
Richard Konkel decided to review some of his early research from years ago and found new information and updated information that hadn’t been available 20 years ago. Through a contact in Russia, he discovered that family members who had gone to Poland in 1803, had moved to outside of St. Petersburg, Russia by 1809 and by 1813 had moved to the Ukraine. This solved a mystery for Richard as to why he could find his ancestors on an 1811 revision list (census). He found a variety of articles on newspapers.com that gave him information that he had not known about them. He also found a detailed death record from 1702 about a member of the Geltz family (he had an article in an earlier newspaper about his research on this family.)
Rebecca Anstine shared a power point that she had developed. She works part-time for a community college. When the college had closed in March – it was thought it would only be for a couple weeks. Almost 3 months later, in June, she was allowed on campus and decided to take pictures for a “Frozen in Time” power point. It showed that March newspapers, calendars, schedules, displays, event advertisements were still up. It was an eerie experience to walk through the empty halls have everything in place and dated for March!
Erica Runkles had read the book, The Great Influenza by John Barry and the effects of the 1918 influenza pandemic. She compared this to stories that she had heard or read about various family members and the effect it had on her family. She also noticed that effects of the influenza were still present in the 1920. This led Erica to create an online google workbook that people can access to find out what’s going on with the positive coronavirus cases in Lancaster county now. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1jvlOW7IV3Wa7AbeS2mGNrvffqtRrhy_CaB9OMDcrG00/edit?usp=drive_web&ouid=117954638930507508025
She updates her ledger book of data everyday using the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s COVID-19 dashboard tools for every PA county and zip code area and then transfers certain information to the online workbook she shares with a local journalist and college professor. The ledger book will be for her descendants to reflect on life during this 2020 pandemic. https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/coronavirus/Pages/Cases.aspx
Jerry Smith told about his research on “McDonald Benson” – a father and son who both changed their names on opposite sides of the ocean. For many years, this had been a brick wall for him, until he discovered that son had been naturalized by enlisted in WW I and his deployment records provided that name of a Next of Kin, which lead to immigration records where he discovered the reversal of the first and last name.