Even when materials are online, they often require manual searching. The discovery of the picture of Blanche Markley in a composite of 1916 graduates of what was then called the Blessing Hospital Training School is a prime example.

It was fortunate that the school is even in operation currently. Today the former “training school” operates under the name of Blessing-Rieman College of Nursing & Health Sciences in Quincy, Illinois. The digital image of the class graduation picture was obtained in a digital collection of images published on the Illinois Digital Archives website (http://www.idaillinois.org) as “Blessing Health Professions-First 25 Years of History.” The collection is unindexed and Blanche’s picture was located only by manually searching the images armed with the year she completed her nurse’s training. That information was obtained in her Red Cross nursing file which was obtained online in Ancestry.com’s “U.S., American Red Cross Nurse Files, 1916-1959”.

Locating her image serves as a reminder that locating everything is simply not as easy as searching for a name in a database–even if the information is available online. I was fortunate that she was identified in the photograph.

The librarian at Blessing-Rieman graciously allowed me to use the illustration in a blog post. It does not hurt to ask permission to use images.

Markley died in 1980 in Phoenix, Arizona, after working in several hospitals for the Veteran’s Administration.

Blanche Markley (whose first name was actually Veta) is a first cousin of my paternal grandfather. Their mothers, Laura (Rampley) Markley (1870-1950) and Fannie (Rampley) Neill (1883-1965), were sisters and grew up in Walker Township, Hancock County, Illinois. Blanche was born in (or near) Stillwell, Hancock County, Illinois, in 1892.




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