Sunday, December 12, 2004

This Just In

I received a few e-mails this week in reply to e-mails I sent. Nothing unusual about that. But I do have some news as a result. I heard from The American Civil War Homepage and am informed that later this month my webpage and I will be listed as their contact for descendants of Civil War soldiers who served in the 27th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. More than a thousand men served in the 27th and three-fourths of them survived the war, so after four or five generations the number of potential descendants of those survivors is now quite large if not yet astronomical. Needless to say, I don't really expect to hear from all of them.

I also heard from the managing editor of the Kewaskum Stateman, a small, family-owned, weekly newspaper that has been in business now for 109 years. I'm told that for a small fee they will be happy to track down an obituary from their archives which may help to resolve one of the enduring mysteries raised on my webpage, the meaning of my middle name. Ordinarily all of my genealogical research is done free of charge, but in this case I'll make an exception as I know what it is I'm looking for and they know how to find it. I don't belong to or to any of the other big genealogy sites that charge monthly or annual fees for membership. It may be that the paysites are well worth the expense, but I can't vouch for them personally as I've never joined any of them. My experience has been that an amazing amount of material is already freely available on the internet. One of the main purposes of my webpage is to demonstrate just how much information can be gleaned from close reading of only a few key, freely available documents.

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