Sunday, January 14, 2018

#52 Ancestors - The Horse's Name is Dolly

This is a picture of my grandmother Alice Fleming Connery taken at St. Joseph’s Academy in Adrian, Michigan circa 1900. It  appears that she is standing on a bridge. The time frame can be determined by the fact that Alice’s brother Michael was then a priest, of the Detroit diocese, serving at St Joseph Academy.[i] On the same census image also appears the name of six-year old Mary Connery, Alice’s oldest daughter.  

As I look at this picture, I wonder what Alice’s thoughts were that day. Was she enjoying the beauty of the day, or was she looking back and wondering how she came to this place in her life?

It had been less than 10 years since Alice had traveled to the United States with her brother Michael, leaving her elderly parents behind in Ballylanders, County Limerick, Ireland. Michael took the young Alice to the home of their older sister Mary Walsh who lived in Port Huron, Michifan, where Mary’s daughters often mocked her old country ways and manner of dress. Alice must have longed for the freedom of her life in Ireland and the adventures she shared with her cousin Molly Hogan, but as the youngest child in the family it was determined that she should travel to the United States where her siblings could impose more supervision than their parents. Since Alice had nine siblings living in the United States, there was more than one place she could stay. As Alice traveled between her sister Mary’s home and the homes of her three brothers in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, she often stopped in Chicago and that is where she reconnected with Michael Connery, the young man who had captured her heart in Ireland.

On 28 June 1893, Alice, aged 21 years, became the Bride of Michael Connery at the Port Huron home of her sister Mary Walsh. The service was performed by the same brother, Michael, who had brought Alice to the United States.[ii]

Michael and Alice moved to Chicago, Illinois where they lived for the rest of their lives. By the time this picture happened Alice was the mother of four children, Mary, Kathleen, Alice, and Leo. This picture is taken either in the fall, when the young Mary first went to St Joseph’s or in June of 1900 when it was time to return home for the summer. So much had happened in the past ten years!

Or was Alice trying to see what the future might hold? The only thing we know for sure is that the horse is named “Dolly”.[iii]

[i] Year: 1900; Census Place: Adrian, Lenawee, Michigan; Roll: 725; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 0039; FHL microfilm: 1240725. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2004.Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1900. T623, 1854 rolls.
[ii] Marriage of Michael Connery and Alice Fleming; 27 June 1893; FHL film 2,342,497. Item 4 page 213; Michigan Marriages 1868-1925: ; Department of Vital Records, Lansing, Lansing, Michigan.
[iii] Sister Mary Phillip Ryan O.P., Amid the Alien Corn, paperback (Jones Wood Press: St Charles. Illinois, 1967), page 144.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 1: Adolf Johannes Waldemar Hansen

It really began “In the Year 2000”. That’s when I posted on a Norway message board looking for my Adolf Hansen. In my genealogy newness and knowing that the Norwegians used the Patronymic naming system, I was looking for a Hans who fathered Adolf Hansen. He was not to be found, but I did connect with a Norwegian author who was writing a biography of my Adolf Hansen in honor of his 150th Birthday. The book was to be published in 2002 in conjunction with a concert of his music. The author, Egil Gunderson and I corresponded for the next two years as I tried to find the parents of Adolf Hansen, Norwegian Composer and Music Instructor. I didn’t find all the answers in time for the publication of the book, but I have finally pieced his story together.

Adolf Hansen was born Johannes Adolf Waldemar Hansen on 11 October 1852 and christened at Aker, Akershus, Oslo, Norway on 26 December 1852.[i] He was the illegitimate son of Johanne Sophie Johannessen and Martin Hansen. Martin was 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 Johns. 

Martin never married Sophie (as she was called) and she raised her son on her own. The 1865 Norwegian census shows Sophie Johannesdatter living with Adolf in a house with 47 other people at Grønslanderet 2. She was born in 1829 and her occupation indicated she was a peddler of vegetables. Adolf was 13 years old.

In 1867, an impoverished Adolph joined the 2nd Brigade Band as a drummer, and at the same time, he also joined the Mollergadens Theater Orchestra as a clarinetist. Both were under the direction of Paolo Sperati. One day in 1868, Adolph showed Sperati 2 pieces he had composed. One was a march and the other was a galop. Sperati had both pieces performed and they were a hit.[ii]

From 1875, Adolph was employed by the Kristiania Theater Orchestra under the direction  of Johan Edvard Hennum. He remained there for ten years and was known for his performing abilities.

The 1875 census shows Sophie Hansen, now 46, an unmarried seller of newspapers living at Grønslanderet 4 with Adolph who is listed as a musician. Band. As his talent became more evident, he was sent to Paris for additional studies and training. Adolph’s primary instrument was the clarinet, but he was also a proficient pianist as can be attested to by his many compositions.

On 12 Dec 1877, Adolf married Dorette Christensen in Grønland Parish[iii] and the couple moved into the military Garrison in Oslo where Adolf continued his work with the Norwegian Army Band. Dorette bore seven children, five of whom survived infancy, before her death on July 4, 1887.[iv]

Adolph was the conductor and director of the orchestra at the Tivoli, an amusement park, in Christiania from 1885 until he and his new family moved to Bergen in 1892.

Adolph joined the Brigade Band in Bergen and continued with his work composing musical pieces. Some of his music was used in theatrical performances featuring Nathalie. While their careers soared, the family grew with the addition of five children born to Adolph and Nathalie. Of the children born to Dorette and Adolph, four, Dagny, Artur, Adolph, and Sigurd, immigrated to the United States and one, Thorolf remained in Norway. Of the five children born to Nathalie and Adolph one, Lili came to the United States while Eilif, Elvind, Edit, Adolph remained in Norway.
It is known that Adolph visited the United States in of 1909 as there is a photo of him with his children Dagny and Adolph and their spouses.
Adolph died in Bergen, Norway on 24 Jan 1911 and was buried there on 31 Jan 1911. 

Today Adolph's music can still be heard on YouTube here

[i] SAO, Aker prestekontor kirkebøker, F/L0019: Parish register (official) no. 19, 1842-1852, p. 395
[ii] Details of the musical career of Adolph Hansen courtesy of Egil Gundersen, author of his biography, conveyed via email  27 Aug, 2002.
[iii] SAO, Grønland prestekontor Kirkebøker, F/Fa/L
005: Parish register (official) no. 5, 186880, p. 311    Quick link: accessed 23 Oct 2017
[iv] SAO, Garnison Church Church Books, F / Fa / L0012: Ministerial Book No. 12, 1880-1893, p. 238

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Genealogy Goals - 2017 Reviewing - 2018 Setting

Last year I set some genealogy goals for myself, now it’s time to review them and see how I did.

I am still working on the Do-over and will continue in the coming years.  I want my tree to be as accurate as possible.  As I re-evaluate information I continue to find new information.  I will also continue to maintain my online trees as cousin bait.  Last year they provided contacts in both Norway and Germany. I am still working on the “Do Over” and will continue working on a different family each month. I have made a promise to my self to enter a source citation for each fact or person I add to the tree.
I will once again participate in the Family History Writing group sponsored by Lynn Palermo in February.  Last year I got off to a pretty good start, but found some additional research was needed to continue the story.  I have done the research and, so I will resurrect the story and hope to finish it and publish it here. Tis proved to be an epic fail as I did not participate this past year, but I probably won’t participate this year as I have decided to join the 52 ancestors in 52 weeks meme. I hope spreading the writing over the course of the year will work better for me.
On the DNA front, I am currently the manager of 5 kits and have had some minor success in connecting my brother and a known first cousin to another branch of my grandfather's family.  The most common recent ancestor was my grandfather's grandfather.  He was born in Norway in 1817.  I will be watching and re-watching DNA seminars this year and I now have Blaine Bettinger's book "Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy" so maybe this year I will become more comfortable with DNA analysis. I feel much more comfortable with DNA after concentrating on it this past year. When I went to Jamboree, I concentrated on taking in as many lectures on DNA as I could. I also watched all of the DNA webinars at Legacy Family Tree, and read Blaine Bettinger’s book. As a bonus, I did a cruise to Alaska and was able to hear Blaine present on DNA an additional five times. As a result, I have identified my son-in-law’s birth parents using both traditional genealogy and DNA. I have also found known branches of our family tree which we have lost contact with over time.
I am making tentative plans to go back to the Family History Library in April and the SCGS Jamboree in June.  My trip to Salt Lake was a wonderful adventure and as is typical, I made substantial progress on a brick wall on Saturday afternoon! (my last day) I hope to go to Jamboree for both its educational opportunities and fellowship.  I may also see my cousin while in California. I did return to Salt Lake City and the Family History Library in April. Once again, I was seeking the two mysterious Swedes in among my husbands ancestors. They are still elusive but, I have hopes that new clues and DNA will help to find their birthplaces. At Jamboree I did concentrate on DNA as I mentioned but I was also a wonderful feeling of fellowship and meeting old and new friends. I was lucky to spend an evening with both my cousin and her daughter in addition to another evening with a high school classmate. September brought with it a cruise to Alaska with the group from Heritage Books. We had great weather for late September and the group was very friendly with well planned activities. There were lectures covering many areas of genealogy and I came home re-inspired.
My greatest fail this year was with blogging.  Far from the weekly posts I had hoped to do, I only managed a total of nineteen blog posts.  I don’t know if I need different ideas or just more determination.  I guess I better figure it out. At Jamboree I did attend Michael John Neill’s presentation on blogging and got several great ideas, then Cindy Ingle further inspired me with tips on publishing to correct an error. Last year I posted 20 blog posts this year it will be 21, so while it is an improvement of one more post I want it to still be a bigger improvement. This will be the eighth year of my blog and I hope it is the best.
One last goal is to finally finish my daughter's application to join the DRA.  There is one loose end to connect in the 1810-1830-time period.  That will probably require land and tax records. Unfortunately, the DAR application was left behind In the excitement of DNA testing. I resolve to finish it this year.
So last year there were some successes and some misses. This year I also planned the programs for the monthly meetings of our local genealogy group and volunteered in the genealogy room of the library on most Sunday afternoons. When possible I also volunteer at the local Family History Center.

Bring on 2018!!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Donald G Hansen RIP 10 May 1910 - 28 Dec 1959

On Sunday night, December 27th, we all went to bed as usual. It had been a wonderful holiday weekend.  There were Christmas presents to open, a family dinner complete with mom’s good china and silver. The biggest hit of the weekend was probably the new pool table which resided in the basement. The basement that Dad had been converting from the typical Victorian cellar, complete with octopus furnace and coal bin to a rec room for all of us.

As was usual in our house, lights were out by 10:30 pm. Sometime after midnight, mom woke me up whispering “Donna, can you get up? I think Dad is having a heart attack.” As I went downstairs and into their bedroom, I could hear what sounded like very heavy snoring. Later I would learn that it was the last air escaping from his lungs. 

In the days before 911, you dialed the operator to get to emergency services, I think it was the fire department that provided these services. I will never forget that they wanted to know who to send the bill to before they would contact the ambulance. The next call was to our family doctor, who came to the house immediately. Dr. Cahill was both a family friend and our physician and it was his unfortunate duty to pronounce my dad’s death. I am not sure, but I think he also called the undertaker for mom and meet with the emergency personnel.

Not all, but some of the other kids were awakened by the comings and goings. They mostly hung out on the stairs which were just outside of mom and dad’s bedroom. When the undertaker came to remove dad’s body, it was determined that mom would go to the funeral parlor later that day to make the arrangements for his wake and funeral. When the undertaker was ready to move the body, mom asked me to take the kids upstairs, so they wouldn’t need to watch that.

The funeral arrangements were made at the funeral home one ½ block from our house, which was fortunate since nobody, but dad was a driver then.
The little I remember of the wake, or visitation, was that I surprised at how many people knew my dad.  Of course, his mother and sister as well as my mother’s brothers and sisters were there but there were so many others. Sure, I knew he had friends but even some of his high school classmates came to honor him.

The people in our community were so generous and giving that I am sure we had donated food in half the freezers in town. The church was packed on the day of the funeral, complete with a large contingent of Adrian Dominican nuns. Leaving the church after the funeral, I saw them with their white habits and black veils and cloaks standing towards the rear of the church. My thought at the time was “They look like a herd of penguins”. Inappropriate I know, but such is the mind of a seventeen-year-old.

I have written this for my younger siblings because I know that they have different memories of this event that was such a major event in our lives. Dad’s death and our individual reactions to it, no doubt had large part in shaping the people we are today. Let me say that I couldn’t be prouder of each and every one of them and the outstanding people they are.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

fM Continues the Tradition of Blog Caroling

Silent Night Chapel
Oberndorf bei Salzburg, Austria
                                                                 (Wikipedia photo)

Here in Bloggerland, it has become a tradition to join footnoteMaven in the annual Blog Caroling event. One year I chose a new to me carol, "Mary Did You Know?" by the Plantronics. Both the song and group were relatively new to me so this year I decided to go back to my childhood. This year the song I chose is "Silent Night".

The version I chose is bilingual in nature which is one of the reasons that I picked it. "Silent Night" is probably one of the first Christmas Carols I learned and was originally written in German. Part of my heritage is German and I have always strongly identified with that heritage.Additionally my two granddaughters were born in Germany.
You can listen here 

Silent night, originally Stille nacht, heilige Nacht, is Christmas carol from Austria.Music: Franz Xaver Gruber Lyrics: Joseph Mohr

German lyrics[9]Young's English lyrics[10]
Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht,
Alles schläft; einsam wacht
Nur das traute hochheilige Paar.
Holder Knabe im lockigen Haar,
Schlaf in himmlischer Ruh!
Schlaf in himmlischer Ruh!

Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht,
Hirten erst kundgemacht
Durch der Engel Halleluja,
Tönt es laut von fern und nah:
Christ, der Retter ist da!
Christ, der Retter ist da!

Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht,
Gottes Sohn, o wie lacht
Lieb' aus deinem göttlichen Mund,
Da uns schlägt die rettende Stund'.
Christ, in deiner Geburt!
Christ, in deiner Geburt!
Silent night, holy night,
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon virgin mother and child.
Holy infant, so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace.

Silent night, holy night,
Shepherds quake at the sight;
Glories stream from heaven afar,
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!
Christ the Savior is born,
Christ the Savior is born!

Silent night, holy night,
Son of God, love's pure light;
Radiant beams from thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord, at thy birth,
Jesus, Lord, at thy birth.

lyrics Wikipedia                    
  1.  Evangelisches Gesangbuch, hymn no. 46Gotteslob, hymn no. 249 (was 145)
  2. Jump up^ "Silent Night, Holy Night"The United Methodist Hymnal, number 239, translated by John F. Young (stanzas 1–3) and anon. (stanza 4),

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Deck the Halls - 2012 Christmas GeneaMeme 2017 version


Do you have any special Xmas traditions in your family?  We have always gone to church on Christmas, sometimes to the Midnight Mass and sometimes on Christmas Day. Usually we observed the lighting of the Advent Wreath with its three purple candles and one pink candle. We didn’t have a chimney to hang our stockings on but each child was assigned a chair or place on the sofa to place their stocking on, that is where Santa would leave their gifts. We were allowed to open a gift on Christmas Eve and take it to bed with us. Usually pajamas from an Aunt and Uncle.

Is church attendance an important part of your Christmas celebrations and do you go the evening before or on Xmas Day?  We have always gone to church on Christmas, sometimes to the Midnight Mass and sometimes on Christmas Day. Much depended on the age of the children in the family. Recently, due to various church commitments such as altar servers and choir membership, the family has sometimes gone to separate services.

Did/you or your children/grandchildren believe in Santa?  Yes! Each generation has believed in Santa, usually until about the age of 8. After that we knew better but kept the secret going for the sake of any littles.

Do you go caroling in your neighbourhood? As a child, sometimes we would gather friends to go caroling in the neighborhood and sometimes my Girl Scout troop would go caroling. As an adult, never.

What’s your favourite Christmas music?  All of it! There is really none that I don’t like. I used to watch the Christmas specials and do the Christmas cards.

What’s your favourite Christmas carol?  Currently it is “Mary Did You Know” but I like many others for various reasons.

Do you have a special Xmas movie/book you like to watch/read?  I always enjoy “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “Miracle on 34th Street” but I also like to watch anything with the littles. I love to share their excitement.

Does your family do individual gifts, gifts for littlies only, Secret Santa (aka Kris Kringle)?  Our gift giving has changed with the times as our family has changed. With 9 children in the family, we used to draw names and kept the tradition as marriages occurred. With the addition of littles, we would buy for each until they were in high school, then they were moved to the “grab bag”. We would set a dollar limit and it usually worked pretty well. There was a year or two that the gifts were to be homemade. That was fun!

Is your main Christmas meal indoors or outdoors, at home or away?  Growing up in Northern Illinois, our Christmas meal was always indoors and it stayed that way mostly when we lived in Florida and now in Texas. Except for the first year my husband and I lived in Florida. That year we decorated the lanini and ate poolside. Two of my sisters and a brother came for dinner with their families and we ate poolside.

 What do you eat as the main course for the Christmas meal?  I don’t remember a certain tradition, but it was always more on the formal side with the good china and silver. The meal could vary from turkey to ham to beef,  but there was always family and love. One year my husband and I invited both of our families to our house (about 25 people) for dinner. We had Roast Goose, Beef Wellington, and homemade Egg Nog among other dishes. I came down with pneumonia that night and it took my poor husband spent three days doing dishes and cleaning the kitchen.

Do you have a special recipe you use for Xmas?  We do Christmas cookies every year. Rum balls and Hungarian Kolaches are favorites.

Does Christmas pudding feature on the Xmas menu? Is it your recipe or one you inherited?  We don’t have Christmas pudding.

Do you have any other special Christmas foods? No really although brisket on the bar-b-que is becoming a tradition now that we live in Texas.

Do you give home-made food/craft for gifts at Christmas?  When I was first married I used to make bread and cookies as Christmas gifts and over time I have made other crafts as gifts, such as a patchwork pillow, monogramed beer glasses and once a clock.

Do you return to your family for Xmas or vice versa?  When we all lived in Northern Illinois, we would go back to our parents homes, spending time with both families. After Mom and my husbands parents moved to Florida, those of us still in the area would alternate hosting Christmas. Some of my siblings moved to Florida with my mother and they celebrate the holiday in much the same way, taking turns hosting.

Is your Christmas celebrated differently from your childhood ones? If yes, how does it differ?  Some things have changed over the years and others have remained the same. I live with my son-in-law and daughter now and their family. Church attendance is still the same but the overall feeling is much more casual. We still have a celebratory meal.

How do you celebrate Xmas with your friends? Lunch? Pre-Xmas outings? Drop-ins? I don’t celebrate with friends much anymore since we have moved to Texas. I do keep in touch with friends and relatives via Facebook.

Do you decorate your house with lights? A little or a lot?  We do string lights along the front of the house and on the shrubs out in front. The highlight of our decorations are the wooden soldiers my husband made twenty years ago. This year they will have new flags to fly!

Isy.your neighbourhood a “Xmas lights” tour venue?  Most people on our cul-de-sac do decorate but not to the standard of being on a Christmas lights tour.

Does your family attend Carols by Candlelight singalongs/concerts? Where?  We did for several years when my son-in-law was the choir director for our church, but not any more.

Have any of your Christmases been spent camping (unlikely for our northern-hemisphere friends)?  One year we took our camper to Florida and camped to spend Christmas with family. We had a very small tree in the camper.

Is Christmas spent at your home, with family or at a holiday venue? One year my husband took a cruise at Christmas time and didn’t decorate. Coming home was depressing. Other than that, Christmas is at home with family.

Do you have snow for Christmas where you live?  Since we live in south central Texas, we don’t expect snow for Christmas. We did have 2 – 3 inches about two weeks ago and it got everyone into the spirit.

Do you have a Christmas tree every year?  Yes, we have a tree every year, except for the year of the cruise.

Is your Christmas tree a live tree (potted/harvested) or an imitation?  At various times over the years, we have had both harvested and artificial trees. It depends on where we lived. In the South, the trees tend dry out quickly causing a fire hazard.

Do you have special Xmas tree decorations? Our tree decorations are a mix of new and old with musical instruments and toy soldiers as accents. My daughter and her entire family are musicians and my husband has a “thing” for toy soldiers and nutcrackers. We don’t put nutcrackers on the tree but they are everywhere else in the house. We also always have a manger scene in a place of honor.

Which is more important to your family, Christmas or Thanksgiving?  They are both very important to my family, but I would say that the religious connection to the holiday pushes Christmas to the top.

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] 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 ( accessed 13 May 2013, Gustav Gulyban, 1919.
[iii] West Virginia, Marriages, 1853-1970, index FamilySearch ( accessed 13 May 2013), Gustav Gulyban and Mary Fendrick, 1924.