Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Advent Calendar of of Christmas Tree

Hansens circa 1958

The Christmas Tree!  O Tannenbaum! 

 Growing up in the mid-west in the 1950's we had a live tree.  Dad always put the lights and ornaments on , after carefully checking each bulb.  In those days if one bulb went out, the whole string went out.  We, the kids, got to put on the tinsel.  It was the individual strands of tinsel that were to be hung separately.  I will admit that throwing the tinsel by the handful was much quicker.  Yes, we had a star on top of the tree!

re-posted from Dec 1, 2010

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Surname Saturday - Surname Spread the Connerys and More!

Map of County Limerick from
The Families of County Limerick by Michael C O'Laughlin

It was going to be a simple project, check the Catholic Parish Registers for my Grandfather’s baptismal records.  Found him:  Michael, son of Patrick Connery and Mary Leahy on 16 June 1861.  He was baptized in Kilfinane, County Limerick, Ireland and his Godparents were Michael Leahy and Helen Leahy.  They are most likely the brother and sister of Mary Leahy.  The custom of the day was that godparents were either a relative or a very close friend of the family.
After finding Michael’s record I realized that I needed to do the same for his siblings.  All ten of them!
While I was recording all of their information, it  became apparent how “surname spread” happens.  Each has two godparents.  In recording the baptismal  entries for Michael’s siblings I actually added 3 new surnames and found several siblings for eachof the parents.   The new names are Brigid Barrett, Joanna Howard, and Marie O’Donnell.  While I have no evidence, I strongly suspect that these women later married the man she was paired with for the Baptism.
Individuals I suspect are the siblings of Patrick Connery are Dionysius and Michael Connery.  Those I think may be siblings of Mary Leahy are Thomas, Johanna, Patrick, Michael, and Helen.

Helen was a sponsor on two occasions.   Thomas Hennessy does appear to be unrelated to the Connerys and Leahys but I am sure there is a connection.  Later Michael would marry Alice Fleming, a granddaughter of John Hennessy.  Sister Ellen married Michael Hayes and sister Catherine married Patrick Walsh.  Brides of the brothers add more surnames to the count.

Kilfinane, County Limerick; Diocese of Limerick
Baptisms and Marriages 1832 to Jul 1856,  microfilm 02429/03
Baptisms ans Marriages Aug 1856 to Mar 1859  microfilm 02429/04
Baptisms Mar 1859 to Mar 1880  microfilm 02429/05

Monday, September 14, 2015

Sometimes the Will is the Way

Ancestry.com recently posted a collection of Wills and Probate Records.  Last week I began to look for Wills for my ancestors and found the Wills of my Great-grandfather and Great-great- grandfather who died in Milwaukee, Wisconsin within a year of each other.  Interestingly one of the Wills was handwritten and the other was typewritten.

Herman Burbach (1852-1896) was my Great-grandfather and the son of Georg Burbach.  Herman arrived in Milwaukee with his parents and brother John in 1856.  The Will of Hermann Burbach was a simple one leaving all of his estate to his wife Eva Schmitz Burbach for her lifetime and upon her death to be divided equally by his children. There is a provision that if Eva were to marry again, the Estate would be held for the children.  There were actually two files for Hermann as there was a pending Real Estate deal between Hermann and his brother John to sell three properties to Herman Frey.  

Reading the Will, I learned that he owned properly, and had a beautiful signature.
Signature of Herman Burbach 1896
His Will also referenced each of his children by name and age omitting only his son John who had died in 1892.  Yet another form of documentation.  New information to me is the fact that Herman and his brother John were landowners in addition to running a successful butcher store and grocery.


Source Citation

Probate Packets, 1850-1910; Author: Wisconsin. County Court (Milwaukee County); Probate Place:Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Source Information

Ancestry.com. Wisconsin, Wills and Probate Records, 1800-1987 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc, 2015.
Original data: Wisconsin County, District and Probate Courts.   

Saturday, July 4, 2015

4th of July Memories

google images

I don't remember any special 4th of July festivities when I was growing up in the 1950's.  Elmhurst had a Memorial Day Parade every year which I duly marched in as a Brownie and Girl Scout, but I don't remember a 4th of July Parade.  I think at the time the various surrounding communities shared the parades.  Of course there were always the big city parades to attend.  Though I don't remember the parades, I do remember the fire works.  Sometimes we would go to the park and lay on the grass to watch the spectacle in the skies and sometimes dad would park along the side of the road for our viewing plaesure. Back at home there were sparklers and black cows (root beer floats) to end the day.

Fast forward to the 1960's and celebrating the holiday at my in-Laws.  My in-laws happened to live on Main St in Wheaton.  Wheaton had a huge parade every year and it just happened to go right past my in-laws front door. The 4th of July was an all day occasion at my inlaws.  Early in the morning the step-ladder would be set up at the end of the drive-way.  This would be m father-in-law's perch as he took photos of almost every entry in the parade. Next the lawn chairs would line-up across the front lawn to save places for expected guests. Sometimes there were playpens and strollers too!
google images
Friends, family, and friends of family were all included. This was a mlti generational event, involving grandparents and great-grandparentsas well as parents, babies and children of all ages.  The fridge in the basement was full of soda for the children and the beer was in a cooler in the driveway.  Hot dogs and hamburgers were kept warm on the Weber grill for snacking during the parade.  When the parade was over the party moved to the backyard for the picnic part of the day.  The food was the same every year:sloppy joes, potato salad, macaroni salad, various relishes, and for desert glorified rice or ambrosia salad and Always ice cold watermelon!! About 7 pm, those who wanted to watch the fireworks would pack up for the 3 block trek to the park.  The sidewalks and even the streets were full of people heading in the same directions,  At the park, blankets would be spread and strollers parked.  Portable radios would be tuned to the same station and decks of cards would come out to while away the time until the show began.  Then it was time for the "OOOOH"s and "AHHH"s.  After the show was over it was time to join the tidal wave of humanity heading back to Main St.At the house, those who chose not to go to the park had moved their chairs back to the front driveway so they could see the arial displays. The advantage here was that babies too young to appreciate fireworks could be safely left behind. I believe this continued until they moved to Florida in the early 1980s.
google images

When our children grew older and joined Scouts we both marched with them and watched from the sidelines as they participated in the parade in Elburn.  Between Scouting and the Kaneland Band our kids were in 4th of July parades until they graduated from high school. One year when we lived in Elburn, we and 2 neighbors bought the same album of patriotic songs and at a pre-appointed time opened all our windows and dropped the needle and full volume.  It certainly added a festive note to the day!

Often when we lived in Kaneville we would watch fireworks from our deck, while listening to the Boston Pops on the radio.

Living in Florida we celebrated sometimes at the beach and sometimes at home in the pool. Dave went back to being in parades with the Knights of Columbus.  One year we even watched the fireworks at the Naples Pier.

Dave and I were lucky enough to help celebrate the 4th on a military base in Germany.  That brought the meaning of the holiday home in a special way.

I have also celebrated the 4th of July in the mountains of Colorado after a hailstorm.

Now it has come full circle as my daughter and son-in-law watch their children help their communitiy celebrate the holiday as Scouts and Band members.

Off all the ways I have celebrated  the 4th of July, I think the "Wheaton Years" hold the strongest memories both because of their duration but also because of the memories of the family and friends associated with those years.  I know that borh of my kids asociate the "Wheaton Years" with the 4th of July.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Bright Shiny Objects - They Are Everywhere!!

image: navy83girl.deviantart.com

In late December, I committed to the Genealogy Do Over.  I had already begun a partial do-over by selecting a family line and reviewing every person an piece of paper for any missed or overlooked information,  at the same time creating source citations that were missing.  It is one of my failings, not creating source citations as I enter details.  Fortunately I have kept the order cards from the microfilms I have used for my research.

In January I entered the Do Over in earnest.  Enter BSO #1!
image: richardburn.com
 I had plans to attend FGS2015/RootsTech in February.  With a few extra days included for my first visit to the Family History Library, there was the need to plan to make the most effective use of my time at the Library.  I decided to concentrate on two of my husband's Swedish ancestors for whom I had no place of birth or accurate date of birth.  I created a research plan and timeline for both.  Another part of my plan was to check out the Library's holdings for Ireland, especially Counties Limerick and Cork.  These are the ancestral homes of my maternal grandparents.  While I was not very successful in my plan, I was successfully distracted from the Do Over for most of February and a good part of March.  I do not easily admit defeat in searching for clues.

After I returned from Salt Lake City, I went back to the Do Over and finished reviewing the original line I began working on in July 2014 and continued on to another line, following up on my Swedish research.  At RootsTech I attended a class on using the Arkiv Digital to find Swedish records.  To use this program you must first know the place where your ancestor lived.  This resource is free to use at the Family History Centers.  Having learned in class that the immigration records are part of the police records, I have been able to find the record of my husbands great-grandmother Caroline Nelsson leaving Sweden in 1871 to go to Boston, Massachusetts.  

In late March, I became aware of a free class offered online by Trinity University in Dublin, Ireland. It is a six week class titled: Irish Lives in War and Revolution: Exploring Ireland's History 1912-1923. Enter BSO #2!
image: disruptiveconversations.com
 The counties that my maternal grandparents came from in Ireland were heavily involved in the fight for freedom.  " learning the history solves the mystery" right.  How could I not follow that BSO?  While my grandparents were already in the United States at this time, they each had atleast one sibling still living and working in Ireland and they also traveled back to visit several times.  Knowing that they responded to the census question on "Place of Birth" with Irish Free State in 1940 leaves me with little doubt about their leanings.

As I continue the Do Over, I know I will be distracted at time by other BSOs like webinars, conferences, traveling, and life in general but I have resolved to keep returning back to the goals of the experience.  I will never finish in the 13 week cycle of even in a year, but I will accomplish quite a bit this year.

Oh, there is BSO #3 Jamboree in June!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Saturday Genealogy Fun - Which Date is the Correct Birth Date for Alice?

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- The Date Your Grandmother Was Born

It's Saturday Night, 
time for more Genealogy Fun!!

For this week's mission (should you decide to accept it), I challenge you to:
1)  What day of the week was your Grandmother born (either one)? Tell us how you found out.

2)  What event was a headline in the newspapers on that date?  Tell us how you found out.

3) What has happened in recorded history on your Grandmother's birth date (day and month)? Tell us how you found out, and list five events.

4)  What famous people have been born on your Grandmother's birth date?  Tell us how you found out, and list five of them.

5)  Put your responses in your own blog post, in a comment on this blog post, or in a status or comment on Facebook.

Because it is St Patrick's Day, I have chosen to begin with my Irish Grandmother Alice Fleming Connery,  According to family tradition, Alice was born to Thomas and Mary Hennessy Fleming on 1 January 1872 in Ballylanders, Co Limerick, Ireland.  Although Irish Civil Registration provides this information:

Alace Fleming
Ireland Births and Baptisms
Name:Alace Fleming
Birth Date:31 Dec 1871
Birthplace:Limerick, Ireland
Father's Name:Thomas Fleming
Mother's Name:Mary Hennessy
Indexing Project (Batch) Number: C01237-8 , System Origin: Ireland-EASy , GS Film number:255846 , Reference ID: v 4-2 p 993 *
I cannot at this time determine which is the correct date although I suspect that the actual birth was 31 Dec 1871 with a baptism date of 1 Jan 1871.  Perhaps this summer when the Catholic Church records for Ireland are released the actual date can be determined.  For this project I will use both dates.  
Alice was born either on Sunday 31 Dec 1871 or on Monday 1 Jan 1872.  To determine this I used a google search for the phrase "calender January 1872"

These were the headlines in the New York Times on 31 Dec 1871 and below are the headings from the Chicago Tribune for 1 Jan .1872.

For this information I accessed my newspapers.com account.

Monday, February 23, 2015

FGS 2014 and FGS2015/Roots Tech Reflections

I've been home from Salt Lake City almost a week now.  While putting away the things of FGS2015/Roots Tech, I came across the schedule book from FGS 2014 which was the first FGS conference I attended.  I thought it might be interesting to compare my lecture choices for both to see if a pattern existed.

Gone to Texas
August 2014

For FGS 2014 I only attended two society session and one was about Society Projects with Thomas MacEntee.  This would cover things that our group could take on such as an indexing project. The second session was about "Marketing Your Society" with Marian Pierre-Louis and talked about ways to spark interest in your society.  The tracks these topics fell under were Society Projects and Outreach and Education respectively.

Over the next three days I attended five sessions dealing with Records, five sessions dealing with Methodology, one session on Research Strategies.  I also volunteered for 8 hours at the Welcome Desk and the Vendor Hall.  I did have time to visit the vendor hall and visit with both blogger friends and facebook friends.

Celebrating Families Across Generations
February 2015

For FGS2015 / Roots Tech  I was able to attend five sessions for Societies.  Topics included:  Communicating on a Shoestring Budget, Your Society Can't Afford to Do a Seminar? Here's How?, The Ethical Genealogist, Tips for Robust Society Websites, and Social Media for Societies: It's Not a Bandwagon, It's a Freight Train!  These sessions on Wednesday are all aimed at helping Society members help their groups grow and stay strong.

On Thursday FGS2015 began holding four sessions a day with six lectures per session.  At the same time Roots Tech began also holding four sessions a day with eighteen choices per time slot.  That is a total of twenty-four topic choices per session time!

Thursday I elected to attend Roots Tech offerings choosing to attend: Self-Publishing for Genealogists: Tips, Tricks, and Tools; Irish Records, Beyond the Obvious; What Can Public Libraries Offer Genealogists? and The Future of Genealogy - Indexed Obituaries.  These sessions fell under the tracks of Sharing, General, Find and Organize.  Actually except for the class on Self-Publishing, I would say they mostly fall into Records.

Friday morning I attended another Roots Tech class: Research Your Swedish Ancestors in Living Color Using ArkivDigital Online.  This is a program available at local Family History Centers but locally no one uses it or knows how to.  In the afternoon I went back to the FGS side of the convention center to attend:  German Genealogy on the Interner: Beyond the Basics; Doing History Eliminates the Mystery; Fraternal Orgnizations: Records and Resources; and Using Tax Records for Genealogical Problem Solving.

On Saturday I stayed on the FGS side again and attended "She Came From Nowhere: A Case Study Approach to Solving a Difficult Genealogical Problem; Beyond The Census: The Nonpopulation Schedules; Getting to Know Fold3; and Martha Benschura:  Enemy Alien.  At the close of the conferences I attended Dick Eastman's Dinner.  It was a great evening meeting and visiting with other genealogists.  Dick even had some door prizes and I was lucky enough to win a one year subscription to MyHeritags!

In looking back at the sessions attended in August and February I would say that most often my choices are records and methodology with occasional tools added!  I LOVE attending conferences!  What could be better?  Education, networking, and meeting old and new friends.  Bring it on!