GOSHEN TOWNSHIP— Township residents will have a new resource for information concerning burials in three of the township’s cemeteries.
According to the township’s fiscal officer, Tom Knoedler, all information concerning individuals buried in Bunker Hill Cemetery on Middletown Road, East Goshen Cemetery on state Route 165 and Lumberton Cemetery at the state Route 534 and Western Reserve Road intersection will be catalogued on a new computer system.
Previously logged in a book in the maintenance garage, burial dates and lot sales were written in several different handwriting and often gave incomplete information as to the people concerned, leaving out birth and death dates and even names.
“Way back, women were recorded as Mrs. and the husband’s name,” Knoedler said. “She was a person and deserves to be known by more than Mrs.”
Since the book is approximately 30 or 40 years old, natural deterioration has also made the names hard to decipher, he added.
At the beginning of the year, Knoedler and Trustee Abe Bricker began to update the cemetery information using computer software from the State Auditor and used by most Ohio townships. Upon his hiring in February, Road Foreman Jim Stryffeler has also put in time and effort on the project.
With the software, Knoedler said the township can now keep accurate records on cemetery locations, burial lots, grave sites and those buried in the graves. The process allows for the cataloger to create the cemetery lot in the system, then record the lots already sold and finally to record the occupied graves, providing detailed information of the deceased.
“This software allows for much more information to be stored,” Knoedler said. “Anyone doing genealogy research will notice a significant change.”
After the project is complete, a link will be available at the the township’s Web site, www.goshentownship.com, providing the information for the public to view, Knoedler said.
“People will eventually be able to access the records online and not have to request it,” he said. “This just makes the information much more readily accessible.”
Despite the obvious benefit genealogists reap from the update, Knoedler said preserving information was the driving force behind the project, as damaged or lost deeds can easily be replaced.
“The main reason [for the update] is to get records up to date and get them automated so things can be copied easily,” he said. “We don’t want to chance losing all that historical data.”
Information being sought includes full name and sex of the deceased, maiden name (if applicable), date of birth, date of death, date of burial, cause of death, place of death and the funeral home that handled the service.
Anyone with detailed information on individuals buried in any of the cemeteries can contact Knoedler at 330-332-1235 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kevin Howell can be reached at email@example.com