Archive for April 8th, 2008

Hours: 8am to 5pm – 8hrs

Miles walked:  About 3 (in dressy shoes)

Tip: Don’t ever try to get away with only having a few hours of sleep on your first day of work. In a normal week I will make up the volunteer day away from my full-time job on Saturday but I will be going to a wedding this weekend. I was up until 3:30 am working on a project for my full-time job so that I won’t be behind at the end of the week.

The first order of the day on Wednesday was to get registered as a city of Jacksonville volunteer.  So I walked to the St. James Building to check in with the Volunteer division of the human resource center.  By the time I got back, the other volunteer, Brian, and the intern, Samantha, were at work.  After our introductions Joel informed us of our first introduction into real research. 

A local family is in need of finding their deceased mother’s grave marker.  Unfortunately, her marker could not be found in the cemetery’s directory nor in an earlier survey of the cemetery’s headstones.  The sad thing is that she passed away in the seventies and had a rubber headstone that probably deteriorated with the weather and sun.  So we were sent to the courthouse to find out if there was a deed for the burial plot.  We were told that the plot was bought only a few years prior to her death.  So the three of us headed to the court-house to search the grantor/grantee indexes.  We were unable to find anything to do with a burial plot under the deceased name, her husband’s name or the cemetery itself.

Next we tried to find her death certificate to confirm the year of her death.  We thought that maybe her family was unclear which year she died.  We thought that sounded a bit strange.  How can you forget the year a loved one passes away.  We couldn’t find her death certificate through ordinary online searched so we walked down to the library to look up obituary notices.  We were able to find her obit which gave us more information, specifically names of her children, funeral company and her church name.  We tried to call both the funeral home and her church, which, surprisingly enough still exist, but neither one had any other pertinent information on her burial plot.  That task was laid to rest for another day.

After lunch we got an introduction into how to record and file received publications.  Then Brian and I were sent to the Library to look up a woman who was once a renowned nurse at Shands Hospital.  In fact, her bio states that fellow nurses and physicians would call her Doctor.  We were there to verify her address in the Jacksonville city directory.  Of course we found her but I think I was getting a bit over zealous.  I started to write everything I could find such as her husband’s name, his occupation, her children’s names, their occupations etc.  I think all they needed was an address confirmation but oh well. 

Art Moderne Home (example)

Back at the office and ready for the office meeting.  Brian and I were there just to sit in and observe but I had a few moments of opinion diarrhea.  The meeting was to go brainstorm the preservation issue brought to the department by COAs (Certificates of Appropriateness) or by district violations.  One of the buildings was an Art Moderne house with jalousies windows that the owners were wanting to replace.  The staff members decided to let the historic commission rule on the window issue.  Of course I got a bit obnoxious with my suggestions after Joel thought one of my ideas was plausible.  I am really going to have to be more respectful of my lowly, volunteer position in the future.

In all, I think it was a great day.  I learned more about doing research in the court records and library archives.  I also feel as though my experience in an architectural office, past schooling and personal interests will provide the office with a degree of practical input.


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