John Stoutimore

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I am researching Jacob Staude[n]mayer and progeny. Jacob and wife Dorothea Metzler arrived in Philadelphia on the Countess of Sussex in 1765. They spent about 15 years in Germantown, Pa., then moved to Shenandoah Co., Va., and on down the valley to Augusta, Rockingham, and Roanoke counties. Current surnames are: Stoutemyer, Stoutamyer, Stoutamyre, Stoutamoyer, Stoutamire, Stoutamore, Stoutimore.

Most obituaries that I post are from "Chronicling America Newspapers", a valuable free resource which doesn't get as much use as it should.

See for old Missouri newspapers. A few are also imaged at Chronicling America, but most are not, so this is another great free newspaper source.

Many states have their own source for digital newspapers which are often hard to find. Google "STATE historical newspapers" and ignore the many commercial sites. Texas:

Under 1% of old newspapers are available online. Many states have libraries of old newspapers on microfilm. Google "Missouri Historical Society newspapers on microfilm" for a list of their vast holdings.* Their library is on the M.U. campus in Columbia, Missouri, and the University Avenue Bed and Breakfast is a short walk away. I've stayed in several B&B's, and can attest that this one is supreme. I spent a week there reading old Missouri newspapers on microfilm. It was an ancestry geek's dream vacation. Don't expect to book a room at this B&B on an MU home-game weekend. *(Borrow their newspaper reels on inter-library loan through your local library for $15).

I format obits with the GIMP digital editing program. It is common among Linux users, but a Windows version is also available. It's free and comparable to PhotoShop. To format an obit, first save the newspaper banner separately. Then save the obit separately. Rotate them as necessary, and clean them up using "Enhance; Unsharp Mask" and "Colors; Brightness-Contrast". Use the "Crop" tool to clip off unneeded parts. Erase any remaining original column lines and ink blobs with the eraser tool. When the obit body is finished, use the text-tool to add the city and publication date above the obit. Save. Now drag the banner you've previously saved onto the obit. Use "Layer; scale" to size the banner to the obit. Then use the "Move" tool to position the banner. Right-click and select "Image; Flatten". Crop the entire image, and make a suitable border with "Filters; Decor; Add Border". Flatten; and save under a new XXXXX.jpg name. This is a short guideline. There are many other steps. (For example, if an obit is dark in one part but faint in another, you can select parts for color/contrast editing). My first obit took a full day. It was one column, the entire length of the newspaper. I saved it in pieces, then pasted the pieces together to make 3 columns.

Google "Missouri Digital Heritage death certificates" for free death certificates from 1910-1963. Missouri has some pre-1910 death records, but death reporting was then performed by counties. Compliance was voluntary and was often ignored.

Google "Missouri Digital Heritage Plat Maps" for old county plat maps. They are a big help in locating lost farm cemeteries. These county atlases have more than maps. Many have wonderful artwork of people, buildings and farms. Use GIMP, PhotoShop, or the like to edit the images.

Lost Cemeteries. Use old plat maps or land grant papers to find the Section-Township-Range where the cemetery was situated. Many county assessors allow online property searches where you can locate the current owner by searching on Section-Township-Range. Then use Google Maps in satellite view to search for likely places for the cemetery. If you're lucky, you may even see gravestones.

Many have ancestors who were in Virginia. Google "Virginia Chancery Index" for Virginia Chancery Court records. The records include many suits listing heirs. Due to spelling variances, use "Last Name Starts With" searches. First search Plaintiffs. On my surname, for example, I might search "Plaintiff -- Last Name Starts With" "Stout". This would omit "Stoudamire" and "Staudemyre" so it could be better to search "Stou" then "Stau". Obviously, when you broaden the search, you'll get more false hits. Then repeat this procedure for Defendants.

Permission is granted for any noncommercial use of any photograph or image that I've posted. If you have a better quality image than one I've posted, kindly advise me and I'll delete mine so you can post yours.


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