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The books from Closson press came yesterday. Actually it was a hard cover book, a copied book and a cd. My fingers itched to dig in and see if I could swing open any closed doors.


I opened the Pennsylvania Births, Dauphin Count 1757 – 1825, the hard cover book, and flipped the pages to find Davis.  The entire book is set up alphabetically by last name. The entries are broke into first name, birth date, father’s name, mother’s name and a code for where the record was copied from. I found Davis, just not the ones that I knew to be related to me. Daniel Davis, according to my notes, was born in Middletown, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, on October 14, 1814. This information was taken from his obituary notice that his daughter-in-law had placed in the family bible. Daniel’s father was John Davis, born somewhere in Pennsylvania, and his mother’s name is still unknown to me, she was also born in Pennsylvania. The book doesn’t claim to be a complete list of all births; just my luck didn’t include the ones I needed.


Moving on to Births, Marriages and Deaths of Bedford and Somerset Counties, Pennsylvania 1852-1854, I flipped to the index in this copied soft cover book. A Davis family was there, just once again not the ones I needed. I looked for several other names without success and moved on to the cd. I’ll come back to these 2 resources later and thoroughly examine what they have to offer.


I popped the cd, Somerset County, Pennsylvania, W.P.A. Cemetery Readings – A Recompilation, into my laptop and upgraded my Acrobat viewer. Opening the document in Acrobat 4 instead of the required Acrobat 6 was proving to be a problem. The words were all mashed together and in some cases illegible. So much for shortcuts, follow the directions. It took a few minutes to load the 6 viewer from the included file on the cd. Once loaded my next challenge was to figure out how to make sense of the dozens of files on the cd. After a few fits and starts I realized that if you did a search on one of the index files, for instance cemetery listings by last name, then take the document code and page number you could find what you were looking for. The original pages have been scanned onto the cd and the searchable index makes looking things up a lot easier. Someone put some time into this.


The find lists by last name in no particular order. After going between my file and the find I did manage to correlate the information I had with what this new resource said. I found some death dates and complete birth dates that I had not had before. Not only did it give me the death dates but now I had the cemetery location to go with it. You could start to see whole families located in the same cemetery, rows apart. Wesley W Davis and his family were buried together. I found a comment next to their entry concerning Wesley’s father being buried in that same location and his name being Wesley. This could be a typo as Wesley’s father was Daniel. From other data I had found that Daniel had been buried in the Lutheran Cemetery in Somerset County. Searching for Lutheran Cemetery, I couldn’t locate it. The Union Cemetery where Wesley was buried has once been referred to as the Lutheran Cemetery. This could be something to look into.


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