Kinsearching September 12, 2010




Marleta Childs
P. O. Box 6825
LUBBOCK, TX 79493-6825

     On 25 September 2010, the Texas Czech Genealogical Society (TCGS) will host an event called “Czech Roots and Fruitful Memories” at the Caldwell Civic/Visitor Center in Caldwell, Texas. Featured speakers will be Patrick Janis, Hanka Vernon, Aditi Worcester, Scott Brookshire, Merrill Adamcik, and John Tomecek. Topics will concern ways to perform online Opava archive research in vital statistics records, special foods for special Czech occasions, how to create video biographies, the year 1900, the importance of preserving veteran stories, and the history of Czechs in the Lone Star State.

     Individuals attending will also enjoy doing research in the organization’s “Bookroom,” viewing a Christmas tree displaying more than fifty legend and symbolic Christmas ornaments, participating in a live auction, and eating a Texas-style Czech Christmas Eve luncheon (included in the registration fee). If postmarked on or before 15 September, the registration fee will be $20 per person. After that date, the fee will be $25. Checks may be sent to Bennie Stasny, 8402 Shenandoah Drive, Austin, TX 78753. Bennie can also be reached by phone (512-836-8084) or e-mail ( for further information. Complete details about the event are available on the TCGS website at

     The fast-changing pace of technology now affects most, if not all, aspects of our lives, including genealogical research. Although the innovations are sometimes seen as drawbacks, they often open up possibilities never before imagined. One source of family information greatly affected and improved is tombstone inscriptions. Instead of just transcribing the data, individuals can take pictures of each tombstone and easily shared them. As a result, Clearfield Company has released its first DVD, CEMETERIES OF CARTER COUNTY, TENNESSEE: AN INDEX by Dianne M. Snyder.

     The electronic equivalent of a 700-page volume, Snyder’s work contains two sections: pictorial and written word. The full-color photographs of all tombstones examined are arranged alphabetically by surname and thereunder by name of the cemetery. The index, the “genealogical heart” of the material, is arranged alphabetically by the name of the cemetery and then by decedent; it concludes with an alphabetical listing of all names found on the stones. At the end of each cemetery transcription, Snyder places a “Notes” section. While the contents vary from burial ground to burial ground, some of the information furnishes details about the author’s ancestors; this evidence was used for her acceptance into several prominent hereditary organizations.

     Additional features on the DVD include Snyder’s explanation of the virtues of finding aids, such as the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) database of grave removals and the U. S. Geological Survey’s Geographic Names Information System, for locating burial grounds in Carter County. She provides driving directions to each cemetery and points out that more details about recently deceased individuals may be obtained from the Social Security Death Index.

     Although Snyder examined the majority of graveyards in the county, she did not survey huge burial grounds like Happy Valley Memorial Park. She does, however, supply phone numbers for cemeteries that will respond to queries by researchers.

     In addition to furnishing information for present-day researchers, the DVD-version of tombstone inscriptions acts as a permanent record for head stones that may not be readable or even exist in years to come. Needless to say, CEMETERIES OF CARTER COUNTY, TENNESSEE: AN INDEX is a massive accomplishment that paves the way for more works to use this format.

     This electronic cemetery book is formatted for the Adobe Acrobat reader. The software, 6.0 or later, must be installed in order to view the contents. In order to download the free software, go to the Adobe website at

     To the DVD's price of $39.99, buyers should add the cost for postage and handling charges. For U. S. postal mail, the cost is $5.50 for one DVD and $2.50 for each additional copy; for FedEx ground service, the cost is $7.50 for one copy and $2.50 for each additional DVD. As item order 8580, it may be purchased by check, money order, MasterCard, or Visa from Clearfield Company, 3600 Clipper Mill Rd., Suite 260, Baltimore, Maryland 21211-1953. For phone orders, call toll free 1-800-296-6687; fax 1-410-752-8492; website

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