|Photo by Ben Gallagher|
I'm going on my first research trip!
Well, it's not exactly a research trip but I will be able to sneak in the better part of two days in DeWitt County, Illinois to look for dead people in cemeteries, libraries, historical societies, and who knows where else.
During a road trip next month, we'll stop for a few days in DeWitt County which is where several generations of my family lived. In fact, Rebecca Waller was married here to William Warren McAboy and gave birth to my great grandmother, Mabel McAboy, in Clinton, Illinois. I've been able to identify the final resting place for many of the McAboys and Wallers and am anxious to get to the cemeteries to find their graves (the photo volunteers on findagrave in this part of the country haven't been too responsive). I also think that my 3rd great grandfather, Emery Waller, and maybe his father, Solomon Waller, might be buried here.
I'm looking for suggestions as to what I need to do to plan my trip.
What preparation should I do before I go? Who do I need to call before I arrive on their doorstep? I have purchased the book Courthouse Research for Family Historians by Christine Rose - just need to actually open it and start reading ;-)
What should I take with me? How should I organize it? I'll have my little netbook with me and maybe some hard copies of specific people I want to research but what else?
Do I need a portable scanner? I've looked at the flip-pal mobile scanner and a wand type scanner from Costco. What do you have? What do you like about it or not like about it? Since my time will be limited and I'm technologically challenged, I'd like something easy to use that will provide me with a clear scan. Or do I even need this?
How do I "find" my ancestors who might be buried there? Where do I start? I've been in touch with the DeWitt County Historical Society but they were unable to find my people. Do I just show up at the courthouse and start going through records from the time frame they died? In one case, I don't even know exactly when he died.
I've already done some pre-planning but I'd love any and all advice from the experts out there. Let's hear it!