When we started our Documenting Morrison County Deaths project back in 1997, I outlined the project into three phases, as follows:
A) Preliminary planning
B) Index obituaries
C) Identify cemeteries and burial places in Morrison County
A) Acquire copies of Morrison County death records through 1908 from the Morrison County Courthouse
B) Index burials
C) Gather cemetery information from cemetery associations, churches, townships, and private individuals.
D) Collect copies of personal papers and photos related to deaths.
A) Compile data collected. – The staff will organize information gathered from the above-named sources and enter it onto a computer database.
B) Update death information as needed.
Documenting Morrison County Deaths is now in its second decade. It’s the project that refuses to die. (Ironic, eh?)
After we and our volunteers had been at it for a number of years, I wasn’t sure we would ever get the cemetery data we had collected into digital form (Phase III). In 1997, computers in the home were not as ubiquitous as they are now. Our volunteers didn’t all have the same computer programs we were using at the museum. High-speed internet and online applications were nowhere near where they are today in terms of accessibility.
Not so many years later, that has all changed and some of our volunteers have moved us into the digitization of our burial indexes with breathtaking speed and determination. One such volunteer is Carl Hoffstedt, who has been indexing some cemeteries and reindexing and updating others. Using our files and doing a considerable amount of legwork, Carl has been creating his indexes in digital form and providing us the digital files, as well as two hard copies of each cemetery he completes. He has also uploaded his cemetery indexes to Dalby Database. (Our online cemetery list indicates which indexes are on Dalby Database and how to access them.)
Carl is continuing the digitization of his burial indexes by posting them on Find a Grave, another popular online cemetery indexing tool. To date, he has posted data from the following cemeteries on Find a Grave:
Bethany Swedish Lutheran Cemetery (posted as Bethany Lutheran Church Cemetery
Lutheran Cemetery (in Scandia Valley)
Mission Covenant Cemetery
Scandia Valley Cemeteries
What Carl has done represents a tremendous amount of work and we are extremely grateful to him for the time he has invested.
[Update – 2/2/2011: Carl has entered data for the Darling Lutheran Cemetery on Find a Grave.]
[Update – 2/11/2011: Another of our Documenting Morrison County Deaths volunteers has uploaded cemetery data to Find a Grave. Sherry Duevel has entered the index for Riverside Cemetery in Royalton, Minnesota. She has also added some info for St. John’s Lutheran Church Cemetery in Dixville and for Union Cemetery (aka “Dixville Cemetery). Thanks, Sherry!]
[Update – 2/22/2011: Arlin Super has uploaded data from Sacred Heart Cemetery (both the east and south sections) in Flensburg, MN, to Find a Grave. To find the eastern portion, search for Sacred Heart Old. Thanks for your work, Arlin!]