Monday, November 6, 2017

Thinking of Gus - 11 Nov 1926 - 6 Nov 2016


It’s been a year since you left us to re-join your beloved Wanda and I wanted to learn more about you. I previously wrote about you here. I went back to the 1940 Census to see what I could learn about your family and life in Martins Ferry, Belmont, Ohio.

1940 US Census

According to the census, you lived with your parents Gus, variously called Augustinis, August,Gus,and Gustav, and Mary (Maria) in a rented house at 120 Clay St. in Martins Ferry. The monthly rent on the house was $11.00 per month. Since your father only worked for 14 weeks in 1939, earning an income of $168.00 ($2968.83 in today's dollars) we know that money was tight.

Your father came to the United States from Hungary in 1906 as a 15 year old with a 6th grade education. He initially lived with his brother in Pennsylvania.  By 1917, he was living and working in Ohio. As America went to war in 1917, your father enlisted in the army with the unfortunate result that he was determined to be an enemy alien since he did not yet have his naturalization papers.[i]

By 1920, he was naturalized citizen living in Martins Ferry.[ii] Your father spent the rest of his life in Martins Ferry where he worked in the coal mines to His faith was very important to him and he faithfully attended St Mary's church in Martins Ferry and every night said his evening prayers on his knees. A habit that you also practiced.

Mary Fendrick also came to the United States at about age 16 traveling with her sisters Elizabeth and Julia. On the ship, she was so sick she had to be hospitalized. On her arrival, she took a job in a private household to help her learn the language.

In 1924 Gus Gulyban and Mary Fendrick were married at St Mary’s Church in Martins Ferry.[iii] Following their marriage, Gus and Mary raised their family in Martins Ferry instilling their religious, patriotic and hard work values in their children.


From 1940 you attended Martins Ferry High School, graduating in 1944. That's your senior picture. In your Sophomore year you were a member of the stamp club, a hobby that would stay with you. In your Junior year you were a Hall Guard. 

You entered the US Navy shortly after your High School Graduation. You were stationed on both the USS Lindenwald and the USS Zebra. After the war was over, you settled in Chicago and began to work for A&T in downtown Chicago.  You met and married Wanda Ferguson in 1949. You also acquired two children, David and Patricia, who you would raise with love.

In 1952, your daughter, Susan, was born and you moved your family to Wheaton, IL. where you had built a home.

You and Wanda raised your family with the same values you were taught by your parents example. Hard work, prayer, and a healthy dose of patriotism were the keystones to a successful life.

You were generous, cheerful, hardworking, and honest. You loved music, cooking, stamp collecting, and people. The stamp collecting was a holdover from your membership in the high school stamp club. You embraced learning trying new challenges like doing crossword puzzles in ink and learning to make candles or stained glass. 

Your success in raising your family is a tribute to both you and your parents and I thank you for that. You are honored and missed.




[i] Ancestry.com images online; U S, Adjunct General Records 1631-1976; Ohio 1917-1918 p 6640 accessed 6 Nov 2017
[ii] “Ohio, County Naturalization Records, 1800-1977,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:MM9.1.1/K84B-YQW: accessed 13 May 2013, Gustav Gulyban, 1919.
[iii] West Virginia, Marriages, 1853-1970, index FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:MM9.1.1/F19S-HJM: accessed 13 May 2013), Gustav Gulyban and Mary Fendrick, 1924.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Not All Norwegians Used the Patronymic Naming System - His Father's Name was Martin not Hans

As is so often the case, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing! In my case, my knowledge caused me to make a serious error in my genealogy file. Since I posted my tree on ancestry.com, that error has been compounded when others either copied my tree or appended it to theirs.

While I found the error, and corrected it several years ago, I wanted explain my error with a written summary. This will be added to my tree on ancestry in the hope that others will see it and correct their information.

When I began searching for my great-grandfather's birth record in Norway, I was looking for Adolf Hansen. When I finally found the christening record, I discovered his name was actually Johannes Adolf Waldemar Hansen. The record was difficult to read in places and I do not read Norwegian. Since every one knows that the Norwegians use the Patronymic naming system, I assumed the 
father's name was Hans and so I entered Hans Hansen as the father of Johannes Adolf Waldemar Hansen.

As I continued my research, I found several hints that I should go back to that christening record and look at it again. The first hint was found in Adolf’s first marriage record. On 12 December 1877, Johannes Adolf Waldemar Hansen married Dorette Christensen in Grønland Parish, in Oslo, Norway.  Their marriage record[i] clearly states that Johannes Adolf Hansen’s father is Martin Hansen. Dorette’s father is Daniel Kristensen.

record of the marriage of Johannes Adolf Hansen marriage to Dorette Kristensen
The entry for Johannes and Dorette is the third from the bottom.   

record of the death of  Dorette Hansen
Dorette died[ii] on 4 July 1887 shortly after giving birth to her daughter, Aagot Dorette.  Aagot was the seventh child born to Adolph and Dorette during the ten years of their marriage.

record of the marriage of Adolf to Nathalie Egeburg









Johannes Adolf, as he was then known, married[iii] Nathalie Bull Egeberg at Garnison Menighet in Oslo on 2 Feb 1889. Once again, his father’s name was shown to be Martin Hansen.




Now that I had seen Martin listed twice as the father of Johannes Adolf Valdemar Hansen, it was time to revisit the birth record of Johannes Adolf Valdemar Hansen and see what new information could be learned.

birth record of Johannes Adolf Waldemar Hansen
Johannes Adolf Waldemar was born[iv] 11 October 1852 and christened at Aker, Akershus, Oslo, Norway on 26 December 1852. He was the illegitimate son of Johanne Sophie Johannessen and Martin Hansen. Martin appears to be in the military but I haven’t yet determined Johanne Sophie’s occupation.  Sponsors at the christening were Johanne Marie Johannessen, Martha Marie Andersdatter, Adolf Anderssen and Julius Johnssen.



[i] SAO, Grønland prestekontor Kirkebøker, F/Fa/L0005: Parish register (official) no. 5, 1869-1880, p. 311    Quick link: https://media.digitalarkivet.no/en/kb20060921030440 accessed 23 Oct 2017
[ii] SAO, Garnison Church Church Books, F / Fa / L0012: Ministerial Book No. 12, 1880-1893, p. 300
[iii] SAO, Garnison Church Church Books, F / Fa / L0012: Ministerial Book No. 12, 1880-1893, p. 238
[iv] SAO, Aker prestekontor kirkebøker, F/L0019: Parish register (official) no. 19, 1842-1852, p. 395

All images and records are located online at the Norwegian Digitalarkivet correct as of 26 Oct 2017

Thursday, October 19, 2017

“Throwback Thursday” and “Treasure Chest Thursday”! A 2for day

Photo courtesy of Joyce Vandeviere
used with permission


As I checked my facebook feed last night, I saw several photos posted by a friend of several of my high school classmates who are holding a mini reunion. One of the outings involved a trip to the Historical Society of the town where our high school was located. While there they were able to look at the Society’s collection of materials related to our Alma Mater.


As much as I enjoyed seeing my former classmates, I was very excited to see one of the photos which showed a typed copy of our “School Song”. Not only was it complete with both verses but right above it was the original “School Song” that was used until 1938 when the version that we had sung was composed. It gave me a huge thrill because my mother has graduated in 1935 from the same school! Now I knew the words to the song she had sung in high school.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Celebrating the 4th - Reflections



As I sit here tonight listening to "A Capitol Fourth", I have been reflecting on the 4th of July celebrations that have been part of my life.

As a child I don't remember there being quite as many big celebrations as there are now, although I certainly remember going to the East End Park in Elmhurst where we would spread a sheet or blanket on the grass and crane our necks skyward and respond to the fireworks with OOOhs and Ahhs. We may have had popcorn or an ice cream but I really don't remember.

As a young married, we usually celebrated the 4th with my husband's family since the town they lived in, Wheaton, had a parade on the 4th and Elmhurst didn't. It was an all day affair. beginning around eleven in the morning and extending until about midnight. The parade was a long one and went right past the front door. There were hot dogs, burgers, potato salad, sloppy joes, ambrosia salad. soda and beer according to taste. Food was served all day long and friends and family were welcomed. In the evening, the activity moved to the park about 3 blocks away where we spread blankets and tuned the portable radios to the stations playing patriotic music. Usually we visited with friends or played cards until it was time for the fireworks.The ground shuddered and sounds exploded with the force of the explosions. Kids cried or cheered according to their age and everyone oood and aahhd. We sang to the music on the radio because we all knew the words. At the end of the fireworks, everyone made there way out of the park and we walked back to my in-laws to claim the babies that they watched who were too small to go to the park.Sometimes we played cards for a while before packing up for the journey home.

Later we took our kids to fireworks closer to home and as scouts and band members they were always involved in a parade. Still later we watched fireworks from our pool deck while listening to the radio. Our neighbors had a display worthy of a small town in the backyard and the next day the neighborhood smelled of sulfur.

I have celebrated the 4th on the beach in Florida and on several military bases over the years. Once even in Germany but one thing they all had in common was the sense of pride in our county and the strong sense that we were all together.

It warms my heart to see that my grandchildren have followed the same path. They have grown up on military bases and their dad was in the Army Band but they have also marched in the parades celebrating Independence Day as scouts and band members. Keep the traditions going.
 Long may we celebrate!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Father's Day 2017 - Documenting Dad

Since it is Father's Day and my brother so eloquently wrote about our dad here, I thought I would share some of the details of his life.

Donald George Hansen was born on May 14, 1910 in Tooele, Tooele, Utah. His birth certificate is here.  His birth certificate tells us that his was a full term baby and was the second of two births for his parents.  I had always heard that dad was a preemie and weighed only 2 pounds at birth. The birth certificate does not show a birth weight but does show that he was not premature.

Donald does not appear in the 1910 Federal Census because the Tooele census was taken in April that year.

Since dad was born in Utah, I began my search for his Baptism in Utah. The Diocese of Tooele had no record for a baptism for him. I knew where his older sister Dorothy had been baptised so I checked those records. Nothing. Where to look now? There are 372 Catholic parishes in the Archdiocese of Chicago. Then I remembered that the Catholic Church requires a copy of a baptismal record to get married in the Catholic Church.

I knew when and where my parents married so I wrote for a copy of their marriage record requesting that special attention be paid to all notations. It worked! The notation on the marriage record stated that Donald George Hansen son of Adolf Hansen and Henrietta Burbach was Baptized at Gesu Church in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on September 4, 1910. Sponsors were George Burbach (brother of Henrietta) and Anna Burbach, his wife. Gesu is the same church where Adolf and Henrietta were married in 1907. It is interesting that there is a notation added to his baptismal record about his marriage. The note gives name of bride, place and date of marriage.


FHL film 007856328 Baptisms, Gesu Catholic Church, Milwaukee, Wisconsin/
volumn 2 page 27, image 717.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

SCGS Jamboree 2017 - Sunday

Sunday is the last day of the Jamboree which ends at 3:00 with the Grand Prize Drawing. My Sunday began with a change of topics.  I had planned to listen to Duff Wilson present " Getting the Most Out of Family Tree Maker 2017" because it is a program I will be using often but on the way to pavilion 1, I literally changed my mind at the last minute and made a left turn into pavilion 2. There was Anna Swayne of Ancestry and her presentation "Putting Your DNA Matches to Work".   Anna demonstrated how to interpret the results page from the Ancestry DNA test and highlighted the importance of attaching a family tree to your DNA results. She also explained how to use the hints feature to see cousins with whom you have a shared ancestor. There is a built in notes area and a way to mark the matches that you have already reviewed. AncestryDNA also allows searching by surname/birth location which can help find patterns in addition to the shared matches tool.

From Anna's DNA lecture I went to one by Jim Brewster of Family Tree DNA. Jim's talk was on "The ABCs of Y-DNA . After a short history of the beginning of genetic genealogy, Jim explained STRs and SNPs which are on the Y chromosome and how haplogroups are determined by SNPs found on the Y chromosome. He also discussed the various Y tests and when they might be useful. There are lots of projects which use the Y DNA tests such as Surname, Haplogroup, and Geographic projects.

After lunch on the Quad, there were two more DNA classes on my horizon.

The first was"DNA, Your Research, and Legacy Family Tree" with Geoff Rasmussen of Legacy Family Tree. Legacy Family Tree has come out with a new version which includes helps for managing and recording DNA data. Legacy has DNA charts for male Y-DNA and female mtDNA which will help you determine who the carriers are. Geoff discussed his own DNA experiences with DNA testing and how it helped him topple a brick wall.  He also showed his method of recording who has tested using hashtags (#) another new feature of Legacy Family Tree. Unlimited #s can be created and added to your family file as a way of making and saving lists people etc.

The final session I attended on Sunday and of the Jamboree was once again with Jim Baker and dealt with "Autosomal DNA Test: So Good You Caan Hardly Believe It".  Jim explained the differences between the scoring of FTDNA, Ancestry DNA, and GEDmatch. The major features of each company were shown and the range of scores for expected relationships were discussed. He defined the scoring done by both FTDNA and Ancestry DNA. Jim finished his presentation with two case studies one of which was finding an ancestor in the 6th - 8th generation. Jim's charts helped to clarify the process.

At 3;00 the conference was over except for the Grand Prize drawing. The Exhibit Hall had closed at 2:00 and many attendees had been leaving so it was time to say "Good Bye" until next year.