Saturday, May 19, 2007

A Reckless Rescuer of Records

Christine Zywocki has spent twenty years archiving monument transaction and burial records stored in a building in West Toledo, Ohio.

The records, some written in a loopy cursive and others by typewriter, give more than just a name and date of birth and death. Many include biographical information, handwritten correspondence from the deceased’s family members, and details and whereabouts of headstones the family bought.
The now-abandoned Lloyd Bros. Walker Co. building was looted by thieves last winter, and may be demolished with some 20,000 records still inside.
Mrs. Zywocki succeeded in rescuing a few thousand records from the building’s basement in early March and deposited them for safekeeping in a Toledo-Lucas County Public Library warehouse.

Her efforts to remove more were thwarted by city code enforcement officials, who quickly boarded up the building’s entrances and threatened her with arrest for trespassing.

“We can’t just let anybody walk in there and take whatever they want,” said City Law Director John Madigan. [Link]
Yes, better that these records be destroyed than to have them fall into the hands of a genealogical vigilante.

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