"Our Loose Ends" Genealogy Column
by Lynna Kay Shuffield
Houston, Texas

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Printed in the Taylor Daily Press - 23 Nov 2000

"Ground Penetrating Radar and Unmarked Graves"

Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) is an excellent tool for locating unmarked burials as well as head and footstones that have fallen and are buried. Meg Watters, an Applications Specialist with Geophysical Survey Systems Inc. of North Salem, NH explained that their radar system is a non-invasive method for surveying subsurface features, i.e., unmarked graves.

The success of a GPR survey lies in the ground and soil properties and effective survey strategies. The radar is able to map the approximate depth and dimension of burial locations.

Ms. Watters continues by stating, “Sometimes, burials will stand out on the radar and other times, you are not able to detect burials even though they may be in the ground. When deciding to conduct a radar survey, consider: (1) soil properties (if high clay content or saline environment the radar will not work well based on the highly conductive nature of the material); (2) soil drainage, soil acidity, age of burial, type of burial (i.e., native American bundle burial, burial in a wooden coffin with metal nails, etc.); and, (3) probable decay of burial, modern land use and bioturbation (i.e., rodent population, treeroots etc.).”

Recently, GPR was able to map all the head and foot stones in a 1800s cemetery by using a three-dimensional (3-D) software to create plan views of the cemetery with the location of burials detected with radar overlain with the known location of head and footstones.

For more information visit Geophysical Survey Systems’ website at: http://www.archeologymapping.com or write to them at: 13 Klein Dr., North Salem, NH 03073.

"Distant Cousin"

Recently, while searching the internet, I found a new and interesting new website, DistantCousin.com located at http://www.distantcousin.com. This website provides genealogical indexes and resources for people who are new to family tree research as well as providing resources for the more experienced on-line genealogist.

The site features certain key databases and a large collection of links organized into several targeted categories. Access to the site including all databases continues to be free as the website recovers its costs from advertisers and affiliate partners. During October 2000, the website was visited by just more than 100,000 individuals.

The website includes sections for: Surname Resources, Ship Lists (Passenger Lists), State Links, Ethnic Links, New Jersey Records, and Military Records.

DistantCousin.com was founded by David Podmajersky and continues to be run the website in his home with help from his wife Cheryl and some other family members. David is a CPA and Assistant Vice President of State and Local Taxes for Primedia, Inc., a Fortune 500 publishing company.

"Time-Line"

OurTimeLines.com at: http://www.ourtimelines.com/ shows you how your life (or the life of your ancestors) fits into history. You can generate as many time-lines as you like. If you're into creating webpages, you can even take the time-lines we generate for you here and put them on your own pages - an unmatched personal touch everyone will enjoy. This on-line tool not only helps users of your genealogical efforts to know these people a lot better, it also helps you to better direct your research. Also, OurTimeLines helps to make it clear what historical events went on in your ancestor’s lifetime.

"Wise County Website Updates "

Wise County is located in northwestern Texas, about 40-miles south of the Oklahoma border. Decatur, the county seat and largest town, is 35-miles northwest of Fort Worth. The Wise County TXGenWeb site, located at: http://www.rootsweb.com/~txwise/wise2.htm and hosted by La Darla Walker Keith recently added on-line the indexes to 29 cemeteries. La Darla was assisted by volunteers, Sue Tackel and Wendy Dolphay who have done a tremendous job. Shortly, they will complete the on-line indexes for all of cemeteries in Wise County. The website has a built-in great search engine to assist with your research.

In this column, I will be glad to highlight and review any family history, genealogy, county history, or similar book, free of charge, if you donate a copy of the book or item. After it has been highlighted and reviewed, on a space available basis, it will be donated to the genealogy section of a library. You will receive an acknowledgment of the donation from the library. Mail item or book to me at the below address.

Lynna Kay Shuffield has written several books related to Texas genealogy and military history. She has spoken before numerous genealogy and veterans groups. Also, is a County Coordinator for the Texas GenWeb Project. Regretfully, she cannot help with individual genealogical research. Please visit the website for this column at: http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Academy/2670/ COLUMN-001.htm or if you have any questions, comments, suggestions for column topics, genealogy or historical society announcements, please contact her at: P. O. Box 16604, Houston, Texas 77222-6604 or e-mail: lksfriday@sbcglobal.net

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This webpage was last created on 20 Nov 2000 and was last revised on ________ 2000

Copyright © 1999, 2000 Lynna Kay Shuffield - All rights reserved.
P. O. Box 16604
Houston, Texas 77222-6604