This week my "armchair research" has definitely paid off.

Two weeks ago I wrote four letters to Pontiac, Livingston County, Ill., requesting information about my great-grandmother, Ida Jane (Hatt) Stevens Reilly (Reilley). Replies have been received from two of the letters, one to the Livingston County Manor and to the Pontiac Public Library.

The Livingston County Nursing Home was limited in their information and did not have anyone listed as next of kin. The date Ida was committed to the nursing home was given, her date of death and where she was born. On her death certificate they listed her place of birth as Clark County, Ind. The nursing home gave me her place of birth as Park County, Ind. Parke County, Ind., was Ida's place of birth, according to a supplement record taken at the time of her marriage to Leonard Stevens.

Pontiac Public Library genealogists provided six obituaries ? two for Ida, two for her husband, her brother-in-law and her husband's daughter by his first marriage. Jeremiah P. Reilly's obituary was a wealth of information.

His first wife was Miss May Frazier. She was killed in an automobile that she and her husband were riding in when a train struck it. My records listed Jeremiah's first wife as Nellie Rasor. Therefore, she was previously married to an unknown Frazier.?

Jeremiah's survivors were listed as his wife, Ida, and his brother, John W. Reilly. Jeremiah and Ida were married March 12, 1929, in Pontiac, Livingston County, Ill. This date was included in his obituary.

Jeremiah and May's only child, Marguerite, preceded her parents in death. She died of influenza at the age of 17. Marguerite's obituary listed as her survivors a half-brother, Herman Frazier, and a half-sister, Leona Frazier. This requires more research.

Two small obituaries were found for Ida, with the second one being more important. Her funeral was held at the Behrendt Funeral Home with Captain Elizabeth Yoder of the Salvation Army officiating. Burial was at the South Side Cemetery. Ida had died at the nursing home at 11:30 p.m. Sunday, after several months of illness.

Future research will include a request for a marriage record from the County Clerk of Livingston County. Was there a probate record for Jeremiah Reilly and, if so, who inherited his property?

A letter to the library to see if they will check their cemetery records for Cecil and Joseph Earl Stevens. Is there an obituary for these two brothers??

The research that can be accomplished by writing letters will save me time if I ever travel to Livingston County, Ill., for on-site research.

All pertinent information pertaining to each child will be entered into a genealogical software program. There will be a complete file at my finger tips by printing the group sheet for that child, with all notes and sources cited. The process takes time, but the advantage of having this information at hand is very useful to the researcher.

If you are planning to write a family newsletter for one of your families, you may be interested in a class being offered at the Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library. The class will teach you how to create a family newsletter.

The class, "Creating a Family Newsletter with Microsoft Word," will be from noon to 1:30 p.m. July 30 at 300 Park Ave. in Oklahoma City.

Librarian Phyllis Davidson will present samples, tips and motivation needed to help you get started. Class size is limited, therefore if you wish to attend you should call 606-3856 to register. Additional information about driving and parking can be found at

Cleveland County Genealogical Society

The Cleveland County Genealogical Society's 20th anual summer seminar, "The Law of the Land in Texas," is 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 30 at the Brand Center, 501 E. Main St., in Moore.

Guest speaker Martha Everman Jones, author of a weekly genealogy column for the Victoria Advocate and Treasurer of ISFHWE, will talk about State Lands and Federal Lands: What is the Difference?, Texas Land Records: How Can They Be Used?, Texas Courthouse Records: When Should They Be Used? and Finding Granny in Texas Courthouse Records.

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. Cost is $30.

For more information, write to the Cleveland County Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 6176, Norman OK 73070, e-mail ccgs //

When sending in queries or sharing information write to: Relatively Speaking, P.O. Drawer 1058, Norman OK 73070 or e-mail Darlene Shawn at djshawn

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