Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Carnival of Genealogy - Every Family has One!

Every family has one.  A beloved eccentric. Our family's was beloved, generous, kind, loving, determined, and at times exasperating.  Our family had Aunt Kathy.  She was a single lady of Irish roots whose gentlemen friends finally accepted her refusal to marry when she was in her 60's.  Aunt Kathy did not drink alcohol but entered a contest on a cruise ship wearing a tiara fashioned of wine glasses.  She won the prize!

Aunt Kathy stored the family silver in a hall closet and labeled the box "trains".  She collected full sets on china on her trips to Europe and as her nieces prepared to marry they were offered their pick from her collection.  My personal china affords service for 12.

Kathleen once drove down a runway at,  the then under construction,  O' Hare Airport in an effort to deliver travel documents to a departing client.  Did I mention that she was a travel agent?

Aunt Kathy was always late for everything.  Maybe she just tried to do too much, I don't know.  She was late so often that my mother always told her that dinner would be 2 hours earlier than planned is hopes that she would be there when it was hot.  The entire family always teased that she would be late for her own funeral.

After her death in Florida, a memorial service was held for Aunt Kathy at a convent in the Chicago area.  As we sat in pews facing the center aisle, my uncle walked up to the altar about halfway through the service.  He was carrying a small container.  My cousin and I locked eyes across the aisle surpressing a serious attack of the giggles.  Aunt Kathy WAS late to her own funeral!

Genabloggers - Tombstone Tuesday - The Fergusons

Mound Cemetary, Jasper County, Illinois

John and Stella (Dolly) Ferguson were among the maternal great-grandparents
of my husband David Lee Peterson

Monday, November 29, 2010

Genabloggers Military Monday - Who served?

When I began doing genealogy, I knew from my ancestral background that there were probably no American military men in the background.  My immigrants were too recent.  But once I began researching my husband's family, I began to wonder about the soldiers I would find among his ancestors.

Dave's Ferguson line appears in York Co, Virginia as early as 1670.  Time and place alone would suggest that there would be some Revolutionary soldiers in the family.  Yesterday at the library, I picked up volume 2 of Genealogical Abstracts of Revolutionary War Pension Files.abstracted by Virgil D White.  On page 1234  the surname Ferguson appears.  Of the many Fergusons listed is John Ferguson, born 15 Jan 1755 in York, VA.  The abstract details the family's moves from Virginia to North Carolina, Ohio, and finally Boone Co, Indiana where John died in 1842.

There is more to learn as I begin to navigate the NARA files, but it will provide lots of details about John.s life as a Revolutionary soldier. 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday - Adolf's Music

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In my mail box today, I found this cover page of a piece of sheet music. It was a gift from my brother. The composer, Adolf Hansen was my Great-grandfather.  He lived in Norway from 1852 to 1911 and wrote the Norwegian Honor March.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Pullman Inc.

The Pullman Company was a major empoyer in Chicago, Illinois. They had their own stores and housing as well.
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Monday, November 15, 2010

52 Weeks To Better Genealogy – Challenge 46 Volunteering

52 Weeks To Better Genealogy – Challenge 46

Week 46: Assess your volunteer potential. The last two weeks’ challenges focused on volunteerism and local genealogy societies (which are also dependent on volunteers). Take a look at your skill set and determine what types of opportunities best suit you. Do you speak two languages? Maybe you can offer translation services. Do you only have free time after the kids are in bed? Perhaps an indexing project is best for you. Knowing your strengths can help shape your research process. If you take this challenge a step further and actually volunteer, give yourself a pat on the back. Bloggers are encouraged to assess and share their own skill sets, as well as any volunteer experiences they have.
This challenge runs from Saturday, November 13, 2010 through Friday, November 19, 2010.

I am not a driver so my volunteering possibilities are somewhat limited.  I do index on a regular basis for both ancestry.com and familysearch.org., I also volunteer one day (4 hrs) at a local Family History Center, and have begun to volunteer for 4 hrs in the genealogy room at the library.  I can teach indexing, help with several family tree software programs, and even help someone begin to blog.  I also watch several message boards in areas I am fairly comfortable with and try to offer help or look-ups for others.  I have also taught the Boy Scout Merit Badge and will probably do so again.  I have received lots of help and advice in the past and believe in paying it forward.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Genabloggers - Wordless Wednesday - Sister Act

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Sisters who became Sisters.
Mary Elizabeth and Alice Josephine Connery aka
Sister Michael Joseph and Sister Marie Camilla, O.P.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Geneaboggers Techno Tuesday - Organizing Research

Yesterday I was reading Dick Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter Plus Edition article "What is the Purpose of a Genealogy Program".  Dick discussed the issue of using the various software programs to evaluate evidence.  This was a very thought provoking article and prompted many comments.   

M. Hougland commented "Ben Sayer has developed a program, Lineascope, that makes analysis easier. All it takes is a free Google account. See http://www.lineascope.com/about  It is an evidence driven, web-based genealogy application."

I had to go to the website and check out the program.  All I can say is I wish I had this program when I first started my research.  The fact that the data resided on the web is a bonus since it will be available wherever I log on to a computer..  Whether I am at a Family History Center or a library my information is available.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Genabloggers - Church Record Sunday - Scandanavian Records

Copy of a Swedish Household Inventory from Quidinge, Varmland circa 1855.

I have both Norwegians and Swedes in my sights as I work on my genealogy.  As such I have found the Church records of both Norway and Sweden to be extremely valuable in my research.

Christening records indicate  the names, ages, and residences of the parents.  Godparents (usually relatives) are also listed.  Both birth date and Christening date are indicated.  Careful observation may yield even more information.  For instance I had noticed that in my Great-grandfather's Christening record his mother's name was written before his father's name.  On further checking it was determined that this indicated that his birth was illegitimate.  That is why I could never find a marriage record for his parents.

Marriage records show birth date, place of birth,  residence at time of marriage, parents names, witnesses, occupation, and when vaccinated. 

Other church records might include a household inventory, which like a census shows every member of the family.  It also includes year of birth, and where someone moved to if they left the family.

I have also found German and Hungarian records to be valuable and meticulous.  If only the Irish records hadn't all been held in thatch roofed cottages that burned!

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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Genabloggers Sports Saturday

Chicago YMCA Basketball (circa 1927)
My dad, Don Hansen (center) played on this team that went to the state level of competition.  While we always had a hoop, I'd have to say that none of his nine children played at this level.  I do have one brother that still plays recreational ball on a regular basis.