Difference Makers: Alonzo Sherman

By Diane Haddad Premium

Imagine 284 pounds of indexes. That’s how much the results of the Huron Shores Genealogical Society’s <rootsweb.ancestry.com/~miiosco2/huronpage.html> indexing project, if printed, would weigh.

The group tackles city directories, church records, tax rolls, the Tawas Herald, the Wurtsmith Warbler and much more, and makes their indexes available on a CD and free on Michigan Gen Web at <rootsweb.ancestry.com/~usgenweb/mi/iosco/3501hsgs.htm>. Members also fill researchers’ original-record requests for a small fee.

At the center of the project is Alonzo Sherman — the “glue that holds it together,” says Barbara Johnson, of Eden Prairie, Minn., who sent in his nomination.

The retired civil servant spends a full workweek in his Oscoda, Mich., hometown indexing, coordinating a dozen volunteers and managing the database. “It is gratifying to have our patrons mention they wish the other counties they do research in would have so much information,” says Sherman, who did most of his own family research before the Internet era.

He also creates the group’s newsletter and volunteers in the library, where Johnson encountered him.

“My visit was incredibly more productive because I had the privilege of meeting him,” she says. For improving records access, Sherman is this issue’s Difference Maker.
From the September 2008 Family Tree Magazine.