"If you can't get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance"
-George Bernard Shaw

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Two things have happened reccently in my genealogical life that have really had a hard blow to me.

This first is that yesterday, Michigan Governer, Jennifer Granholm, signed an executive order to close the Library of Michigan. The order closes the libraries doors as of Oct 1, 2009. It also gives the libraries collections the opportunity to be aquired by other agencies and if not....they are going to be destroyed! The Library of Michigan houses Michigan's state genealogical collection. The genealogy collection has been a valuable tool for many Michigan genealogists and it is a tragdey that this valuble asset will be lost. Worst of all, the collection holds rare one-of-a-kind books and records that if destroyed they will be forever. I literally cried when I heard this news.
The executive order can be viewed at:

The second thing that happened, came about today. I frequently use the website www.findagrave.com to request photos of headstones of family and potential family members. A couple days ago I requested photos for around 8 or 9 Fitzgeralds that are in Iowa near where one of my GGGrandfather's brother moved to. When I opened the links from my email to the memorials I found that the lady who volunteered to take the photos used chalk on the stone because they "are difficult to read". When I confronted her (via email) about using something she admitted it was chalk and told me that "it only damages Limestone stones". This is not true! Also this practice is completely against Find-A-Grave's policies. I ultimately asked her not to do any more of my photo requests because I cannot condone this behavior. It made my stomach knot up when I saw this.
Remember that never to use anything but plain water and a soft brush on a headstone. Chalk, cornstarch, baby powder, shaving cream....all damages headstones in different ways. All types of stones, not just limestone. We want these stones to be around for a long time.

May your research lead to your ancestors.
Happy Hunting.


  1. Regarding disappointment number one - Noooooo! This is horrible news. Have any of the universities shown any interest in acquiring these collections? This is a terrible precedent.

  2. I read that the MSU Museum was discussing taking over the collections. See this press release:


  3. That is really scary about shutting down libraries and destroying archives. I would say this news is more than just disappointing - it is horrifying to me. Greta, I hope your use of the word precedent isn't precogitive.

  4. Alanna, being from Lenawee County, down in the SE corner of the state, I am also very concerned about this Library of Michigan mess. I wrote about it in my blog here:


    I have a number of links for others to follow so they can read and make their own decisions on this mess.

  5. Carol,
    (Completely off topic here), but I've always wondered weher Lenawee County was. I was just reviewing my comments today and saw yours here.
    I live in Leelanau County (which is the pinkie finger of the mitt so to speak) and I frequently get requests for Lenawee County through Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness.

    Thanks for your thoughts!