09 June 2009

To step back......

in time and see the actual records that were hand written in beautiful cursive hand writing is the one experience an aspiring genealogist should never pass up.

I had a doctor's appointment today and when I was done I knew that I had enough time to go a few blocks down to the courthouse. The baby sitter was at the house with the kids, and I could have one of those moments I have dreamed about for so long.

I went in to the Kootenai county courthouse and asked were I would find the old archived records I was looking for. The nice gentleman directed me to the Records office down on the left. I went in and explained to the lady, that quickly stepped forward to help me, that I had been doing research on the Kootenai County Cemetery up on Seltice (aka Paupers Cemetery). I told her a little about it and what I was hoping to find out. She took me to the vault where all the old books were kept and thought for a minute, and then went back out and pulled out a file. In this file was a copy of the list and history compiled by Alfred E and Betty J Shane. Their records come from the old Cassidy Funeral home record books (I'm still trying to find where those records disappeared to). Anyway she just gave this to me. Then she took me back to the vault and began to explain the different collections of books and what I may find in them, which ones most likely would yield information I was search for, and which ones were for the year range I was looking for.

Then she pulled down the Grantee Deed Book for 1920-1940, and then left to let me began my search. Oh how to describe it. I ran my hand down the spin of it and felt the old well worn leather that has seen seventy years of hands. I carefully opened the cover to see tattered edges and appreciate it oh so much more. I selected "B" to start with. Why not? I've done research and written about both Rufus Beck and Paul Best. Let see what this little treasure can tell me about these two men. I pull back the first page with the "B" tab on it only to discover it was blank. Well that can't be. So I pull back the next page. Well of course there we go. As I slide my finger down the pages, looking at each and every surname, I can't help but admire this beautiful scrolled handwriting. With the occasional rough handwritten line. I bet there was one particular person who maintained the majority of the records listed in this book. They took pride in their work, and I loved seeing that.

Though I found no surname of Best I did however find several individuals buying deeds in the 1920's with the surname of Beck. I will dig further into these later and see if they are of any relation to Rufus.

I told myself that I had to leave there at 12:00 in order to have time to eat lunch and get to work. At 12:00 I thought....Oh just another page won't hurt.....then 12:05 .....just another .....I'll be okay ....then at 12:10 I finally had to say okay that's enough. I regrettably folded up the book and put it back on the self where she pulled it from.

As I went out the door she smiled and waved and I said "thanks. I'll come again when I can stay longer." I left there with such excitement and a big smile on my face. I'm sure that's why the lady outside the door looked at me strangely. She was probably thinking "what on earth would have her leaving a court house with a big goofy grin on her face." If only she knew the feeling a genealogist gets when.......... Oh heck why do a try to explain it. Only a genealogist would understand.

All the way home I'm thinking of how can I possibly get away for a little time with out the children to go through more of these records? Then it hit me. Heck I made a deal with the babysitter so that she could afford her college that I would at least pay her a minimum each week. Well I've been tacking on 1-4 hours extra each week to make that minimum. So as soon as I got home I asked her if she would mind actually watching the kids for those extra hours on Friday, now that I have Friday's off (work is really getting slow. It's scary really) so that I can go down to the court house and maybe even the library. It'll be easier on the kids, and I can go to places they aren't allowed for now. She was more than grateful that I always paid the extra, even if she didn't work it, that she answered "sure" in a heartbeat. So problem solved. I will now have a chance to spend more time in records and find more of the missing pieces.

Ok it's now midnight and I guess I should get some sleep. I just couldn't go to bed with so much pent up excitement, without sharing. I even shared it at work. I swear I watched one gals eyes glaze over.....oh well.


Gini said...

That is so awesome, I know exactly what you feel like and I go thru the same thing at work! Oh if I could be a fly on the wall when I am not there! Enjoy and I will be thinking about you and getting to see the beautiful handwriting and the feel of those old books.

Bill West said...

Aha, A Genealogical Happy Dance

And I know all about that glazed expression on folks faces when I
start talking genealogy! :)

Judith Richards Shubert said...

Don't we all! Good for you. I'm so glad you figured out a way to have more time to do this type of research. I just can't understand why EVERYONE doesn't get excited about it!