When Michael Coan’s website was first visited two years ago, he had posted 100,000 photographs of tombstones of Vermilion County for anyone to access. That number has now grown considerably and he even has about 400,000 photos still to be made available online.
The Nov. 27 posting at his site at http://www.vermilioncounty.info includes a list of the cemeteries completed in Vermilion and Champaign counties. It is mentioned that nothing has been posted for other Illinois or Indiana cemeteries, but he has photographed many there. (His earlier post includes his thanks to the staff at the Newport, Ind., Depot for allowing him to photograph the tombstones in cemeteries there.) There are also several comments from researchers interested in specific burials.
The reason for his photography project is simple. He wants to “help people in their genealogy research (and) since many older stones will crumble to the point that they can’t be read, having digital copies now will hopefully allow people to know what is on theses stones long after they are unreadable (either by time, weather, vandals, etc.).”
Coan has also been compiling internment lists.
His homepage provides links (from the list on the left side of the page) to books online, tips, and other “fun stuff.” His “tips” include directions for reading, cleaning and photographing tombstones. His “Illinois Links” should be bookmarked for future use.
It should be noted that the Illiana Genealogical & Historical Society has compiled internment lists from various sources of cemeteries in Vermilion County and surrounding counties in Illinois and Indiana. Visit the Illiana Genealogy Library, 215 W. North St., Danville, IL to check its files.
The winter hours (now through March 11) of the Illiana Genealogy Library (address above) are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday by appointment only. Phone 431-TREE. The library will be closed on Sundays. During the upcoming holiday, the library will be closed Dec. 22 to Jan. 2, reopening Jan. 3.
Cyndi Howells, world-known for her list of thousands of genealogical sites on the Internet at http://www.cyndislist.com, now has a Cyndi’s List Boutique with T-shirts, hats, mugs, glasses, pajamas, children’s clothes, a dog T-shirt, stadium blanket, journals, bumper sticker, mouse pad, magnet, and more at http://www.cafepress.com/CyndisList. Perhaps a note to Santa could include a request for one or more of her items. Every item advertises her website, but what better way to encourage others to become interested in this fascinating hobby?
Queries, as well as a general exchange of genealogical material that readers would like to share, will be printed in the column for free. Contact Joan Griffis by e-mailing JBGriffis@aol.com