Saturday, December 31, 2011

Geneabloggers - 2011 in Review.

This year I never formally set any genealogy goals for myself, so I will look back over what I have accomplished.

Blog - this year I published the same number of blog posts that I did in 2010. (88)

Indexing - I continued to index at both and

Education - I attended all of the webinars that I could and tried to keep up with new technology.

Volunteering - I volunteered at the local library and Family History Center weekly.

Teaching - I created and presented 3 powerpoint demos to help educate members of our local genealogy group.

Website - I created and maintained a website for our local genealogy group.

This past year I also attended Southern California Genealogy Jamboree and took a genealogy cruise.

I have also enjoyed the "cousin connections" I have made with fellow researchers in Ireland, Norway, Germany, and various parts of the United States.

image courtesy of

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - December 24 Christmas Eve

December 24 – Christmas Eve
How did you, your family or your ancestors spend Christmas Eve?

As a child Christmas Eve was spent quietly with perhaps a visit from an aunt and uncle. We were always at home and usually admonished to go to bed early so "Santa can come".

After I married, Christmas Eve was at my in-laws. There was always a ham dinner and presents were opened. Later we would all go to Midnight Mass and return to the in-laws for ham sandwiches and more holiday fun before heading home. When the children came, we skipped Midnight Mass and went home so we could have Christmas Morning at home. Christmas Eve dinner at my in-laws was always special with wine, candles and everything. One year my father-in-law was doing candle making as a hobby and on the table that Christmas Eve there was a star shaped candle at each place with each person's name on the candle. Those candles were brought out every Christmas for many years to mark the holiday.

I think that was also the year he gave each of his 3 "girls" a candle he made in an apothacary jar. When we took the lid off the jar we each got a birthstone and pearl ring! Since Dave's birthstone was the pearl, the ring has always held a special significance for me.

Even after Dave's parents and my mother both moved to Florida, trips for the holidays still meant Christmas Eve with the in-laws and Christmas afternoon with my family. That left Christmas morning at our house with the kids! It seemed the best of all possible worlds to us!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - December 22 - Christmas and Deceased Relatives

Christmas and Deceased Relatives

Our family didn't visit the cemetery during the holidays. In fact the only times I personally remember going to the cemetery was when there was actually a burial taking place. My dad died Dec 28,1959. I definitely remember being there then! Because of the date of his death, he is always remembered during the holidays.

My husband, Dave, died Oct 24, 2005. It wasn't during the holidays and he is buried at Arlington National Cemetery so we don't visit his grave during the holidays either. Dave loved Christmas and loved nutcrackers, wooden soldiers, and toy trains for Christmas. Today he is remembered in both my children's homes by the nutcrackers scattered about and the winter paintings by Hargrove that they display.

About 1995, when we were living in Florida, Dave built some life-size toy soldiers to guard our house during the holidays. They were on display when grandson Aidan, then 1 yr old, came to visit. When Aidan returned to Florida in March of that year, of course they had been put away, his first words when leaving the car were "where's the guys?'

The "guys" have traveled with me from Florida, to Kentucky, and now to Texas. They proudly display their Chicago heritage by flying Bear flags.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - December 20 Christmas Music

My association with Christmas music began very early. It began with the seasonal music I heard in church and progressed as parts of the pageants/shows I was involved with in school. Mother also had a recording on Fred Waring and His Pennsylvanians singing the Nutcracker Suite. I think this made perhaps the strongest impression on me. Although it is not currently played, in fact I don't think I've heard it in about 60 years, I still remember some of the words. For instance some of the words to "The Waltz of the Flowers" were "Come to the garden wall, come to the waltz of the flowers. Lilies lilting, Dahlias dancing, and Forget-me-nots remembering." I used to play the record and dance to incessantly. I recent did a google search for the music for my granddaughter be cause parts of the Nutcracker Suite were part of her Christmas band program. I finally found the lyrics and downloaded a mp3 recording. Here is the link for anyone who would like to here it

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - December 18 - Christmas Stockings

Christmas Stockings

Did you have one? Where did you hang it? What did you get in it?

As a child we always had stockings. I don't remember where we hung them except for the year dad bought a fake cardboard fireplace. Mostly I remember that we would put them in a chair or a bpart of the couch that was our designated present area. No gifts under the tree in our house! With 9 kids it would never fit. In our stockings we generally got a tangerine, some nuts in shells, holiday hard candies, and a candy cane. There may have been small gifts, but I don't remember them.

Later my children had stockings filled in much the same way but with the addition of small gifts. As they got bigger the stockings got bigger and so did the gifts. One year, a friend gave me a pattern for a stocking with a small pocket on one side and a "patched on" toe and heel. I made one for both my kids, my husband, and myself. They remained our stockings until my daughter got married and had a family. It was time for new stockings! This time the original pattern was embellished by adding a name to each stocking. The gifts change as the kids get older, but the fruit, nuts, and candy canes remain the same. They hang by a real fireplace today.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - December 17 Grab Bag A Tradition Begins

Grab Bag

Author’s choice. Please post from a topic that helps you remember Christmases past!

Re posted from December 2010

I didn't post a blog about Christmas gifts because, although it was a very special Christmas gift, it also began a tradition in our family.

My husband and I were expecting our first child in April. That year Aunt Kathy gave us a Christening gown for Christmas. It was a 4 piece set of embroidered white nylon consisting of a matching coat, dress, and bonnet with a plain slip. In our family infants are usually baptized within the first month of birth. Both of my children were baptized in that outfit. And a tradition was begun.

As time passed, each of my 17 nieces and nephews were baptized in the dress. As each child wore the dress, their name and date were embroidered on the slip. Pink for girls and blue for boys of course. When the next generation began the colors were changed to apricot/peach and mint green. My grandchildren didn't wear the dress since they had a dress made from their grandmother's and mother's wedding dresses. They did wear the slip so their names and dates have been added. I'm not sure which of my nieces or nephews has the dress right now but I'll send them a copy of this and see where it turns up.

UPDATE: The Christening Gown is in residence at my niece Holly's house and has been worn by her sons Liam, Declan, and Ian!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - December 16 - Christmas at School

December 16 - Christmas at School

Since we attended Catholic Schools, you would be correct in assuming that the story of Christ's birth played an important roll in Christmas celebrations. Christmas carols were sung in both English and Latin with German reserved for O Tannenbaum!

Mom had a wonderful carved wood button box. It had the domed lid of a true treasure chest. One year it was painted gold and multi-colored "gems" were glued to so it could serve as that held to gold offered to the baby Jesus by the three kings. Later it returned to being a button box but it stayed gold.

When I was in high school, the Christmas plays revolved around the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary. One memorable year I was chosen to portray the Angel Gabriel and announce to Mary the news of her pregnancy. O7r high school choir always sang the "Hallelujah Chorus". It remains one of my favorite pieces of Christmas Music to this day.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Dec 15, 2011 Holiday Happenings

The Holiday Happenings

Often times December to mid-January birthdays and anniversaries get over shadowed by the Christmas/Hanukkah/New Year holidays. So we’re going to shine a spotlight on those family members and ancestors this time around. Select one or more December to mid-January birthdays and/or anniversaries on your family tree. Write a short tribute to or memory of those birthday guys and gals and write a toast to the anniversary couples.

In my family, the month of December is absolutely littered with birthdays! There is my brother Tom on Dec 6, my sister Peggy on Dec 16, and my sister Alice on Jan 1. My Grandmother Alice was also born on Jan 1. My in-laws anniversary is Dec 2 and Dave and I had our marriage blessed in the Catholic Church on Dec 23.

Nieces and nephew Leslie, Nichole, Nicholas, Annie, Samantha, and Holly, share December birthdays as do great niece and nephews Grace, Josiah, Austin, and Benjamin. Perhaps the most unique celebration is the Dec 26 birthday of my Aunt Dorothy who shares her celebration with at least 2 if not 3 of her 5 daughters.

On a more somber note is the remembrance of my dad who died on Dec 28.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Dec14, 2011 Fruitcake Friend or Foe?

Fruit Cake – Friend or Foe?

Did you like fruitcake? Did your family receive fruitcakes? Have you ever re-gifted fruitcake? Have you ever devised creative uses for fruitcake?

I have always enjoyed Fruitcake, probably because it was always served with cream cheese and a cup of hot tea by my Irish relatives. It only appears during the holidays and in my house anyway was considered a treat. One year my brother-in-law was employed by the Rainbow Baking Co. in Colorado, so my mother ordered about 8 fruitcakes for gifting family members.

When I was newly married and not working, I made gifts for family. A few times I made fruitcake for family members. We always liked it but you had to start in about October. Later I switched to Cinnamon Swirl Raisin bread.

My children were not fans of fruitcake and had one fruitcake that they sent back and forth for about 10 years. It finally died in Floridawhen it was left on the floor. It seems that at least the ants like fruitcake.

Originally posted Dec 2010

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Dec13, 2011 Holiday Travel

Holiday Travel

Did you or your ancestors travel anywhere for Christmas? How did you travel and who traveled with you? Do you remember any special trips?

Growing up, we were fortunate enough to live close to our relatives. In those days travel meant perhaps 30 minutes in the car, but mostly they came to visit us. My dad's family may have traveled from Chicago to Milwaukee for the holidays but that would have been about the extent of any travel.

After I married and had children, we traveled to both Elmhurst and Wheaton for the holidays. At the time we lived in Elburn and travel was limited to about 30 to 45 minutes. Hardly travel as it is measured today.

In 1976, with both sets of grandparents having moved to Florida, my husband and I loaded up the kids and car for a journey to Florida. We stopped in St Pete Beach to visit Dave's parents and spent Christmss Eve with them and on Christmas Dat attemped to leave for my mother's in Pompano Beach , on the east coast. Unfortunately our car refused to start. It was Christmas Day! We needed a new battery! After calling around, my husband and father-in-law found a gas station near the Interstate that was open and had a battery. Once it was purchased and installed we were on our way! We finally reached Pompano Beach in time for a late supper on Christmas with my mother and my sisters Peggy and Alice and brother Don who had moved to Florida with her. The highlight of the trip for my kids was swimming in both the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean in a single trip.

Later traveling for the holidays was limited to trips within Florida except for the year we went to Georgia to cut down a tree and bring it to Florida.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Dec 12, 2011 Charitable/Volunteer Work

Charitable/Volunteer Work

Did your family ever volunteer with a charity such as a soup kitchen, homeless or battered women’s shelter during the holidays? Or perhaps were your ancestors involved with church groups that assisted others during the holiday?

In the 1950s and 1960s most charity work was done by the church or organizations like the Red Cross, Salvation Army or Community Chest. People then seemed to have fewer expectations of charity and were much more reluctant to ask for help. We did always make monitery donations but I don't remember any personal committments.

In the 1970s, our church began offering the chance to sponsor a family for the holidays. They would list family A,B,C etc and list person number 1,2,3 and anyone could choose one. If you choose for instance family B number 4 your slip of paper might say boy age 8, shirt size 10 pants size 8 and toy trucks. It was your option to supply one or all of the items. In our church, I am proud to say that all of the people were taken. We also had a mitten tree to supply hats and mittens to the needy in our northern Illinois area. That was also very well supported.

Today the Angel Tree tradition continues with our church in Texas. My grandchildren happily forego a gift every year to provide a gift to someone more in need. This is how compassion is learned.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Dec 11, 2011 Other Traditions

Other Traditions

Did your family or friends also celebrate other traditions during the holidays such as Hanukkah or Kwanzaa? Did your immigrant ancestors have holiday traditions from their native country which they retained or perhaps abandoned?

We grew up celebrating the German tradition of observing the feast of St Nicholas. On December 5th we would leave our shoes either outside the front door or just inside the door. To our amazement in the morning there was an orange, some nuts, and a small toy inside the shoes. I'm sure that my brother Tom thought this was an extension of his birthday since his birthday was also December 6. This tradition continued with my children and down to my grandchildren. Last week our church did candy canes in the shoes of children in the religious education program. The children had lined their shoes up in the hall outside of their classrooms. Even the High School kids get into the act. When I did this for my children, I used to save the prizes from their cereal for St Nicholas Day.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Advent Calendar December 10. 2011 - Gifts


What were your favorite gifts, both to receive and to give? Are there specific gift-giving traditions among your family or ancestors?

Every year at Christmas we received new pajamas from Aunt Paul and Uncle Bill. It was the only gift we were allowed to open on Christmas Eve. Among the gifts I remember receiving on a regular basis were thw Life Saver Story Book, 10 rolls of Life Savers in a book shaped package. My favorite flavor was Butterscotch. I think that was from my Aunt Kathy. Someone, I can't remember who, gave each of us a silver dollar which was promptly confiscated by our parents so it wouldn't be spent on candy. I wonder what ever happened to those silver dollars?

Other gifts usually included a new book, socks, lotion, and maybe a diary or journal. The books are how I built my Nancy Drew collection!

Advent Calendar – December 8, 2011 Christmas Cookies

Christmas Cookies

Did your family or ancestors make Christmas Cookies? How did you help? Did you have a favorite cookie?

I don't remember making Christmas Cookies at home while growing up and I don't remember either of my grandmothers doing much baking although my grandmother Bockie made a wicked cherry pie when the cherries were harvested from the tree in our backyard.

The Christmas cookies I do remember as a child was large tin of Maurice Lennell cookies. There were multiple layers of an assortment of cookies all nestled in their little red paper cups.

The Maurice Lennell tradition continued in my marriage as my husband bought them every year from the Telephone Pioneers. The beautiful tins were saved year after year to emerge from storage to save the cookies I made at home. Every year we made the usual cutout cookies to decorate. We also made Rum Balls, my mother-in-law's favorite, and spritz cookies.

The annual cookie shipment of kolachkes from Ohio was eagerly awaited by my in-laws and also by my children and I. Grandma Mary sent her Hungarian cookies every year and they were filled with apricots, ground nutmeats, and poppyseed. Sadly the tradition was almost lost with her passing but my daughter was able to find a recipe almost as good and she also makes them every year.

In 2003 we went to Germany to visit our grandchildren for Christmas and began the tradition of building Gingerbread Houses. The very first one used a butter box as a base and graham crackers for the walls and roof. The most important part was the candy decorations. That tradition continues today even though the kids can do it without supervision.

We usually use Wilton kits and they actually eat the gingerbread. My daughter and the girls continue the traditions and add new cookied to the menu keeping both the old and the new. Yes we still have Maurice Lennell Cookies during the holidays.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Advent Calendar 2011 Dec 1 - The Christmas Tree

The Christmas Tree

Did you have a real tree or was it artificial? How big was the tree? Who decorated the tree? What types of Christmas trees did your ancestors have?

When I was growing up we always had a live tree. Dad would bring it home tied to the roof of the car. It was usually 5 or 6 feet tall. After patiently checking each and every bulb Dad would add the lights. As children we got to add ornaments according to our reach. No stools or chairs allowed! Tinsel was dad's domain, he would patiently hand it strand by strand. We, on the other hand would stand about 2 feet away and throw it at the tree to get finished. At some point in time we added bubble lights to our collection.
photo courtesy of

This are the children as we appeared in 1958, the year before dad died. Baby Donald,at age 16 months is not in the photo.

Hansen Family photo from the album of HansenMurrayConnery Heritage.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Krbec of Bohemia - Surname Saturday

In 1877 Jan Krbec and Barbora Sunka were married in Drazicicih Tabor Bohemia. Jan and Barbora immigrated to the United States in 1887, arriving in New York on the Elbe on May 21. Traveling with Jan and Barbora were their children, Frank age 5 and Marie age 10 months. They had traveled from Bohemia to Austria and boarded the ship in Bremen, Germany. Their plan was to remain in Chicago, Illinois. Their journey completed, Barbora and Ian spent their lives in Cicero, a suburb of Chicago, Illinois. Krbec is a relatively uncommon name and there were only about a half a dozen families with that surname in Cook County, Illinois at the time of the 1900 census.

Researching the Cook County birth and death records, provided the original village of birth for Ian Krbec. The church records are digitized online at Using the records I was able to find the christening record for Ian Krbec in Chrastany, Bohemia in 1852.

Using a combination of Czech and Illinois records, I should be able to construct a timeline for the Krbec family and determine if Ian was connected to any of the other Krbec families. The search should prove interesting and fruitful since I have also discovered which parish the Krbecs belonged to in Cicero. Thanks to those records are also digitized online.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Birthday Gus - Veteran's Day 2011

Gus Gulyban was born 11 Nove 1921 in Martin's Ferry, Ohio.  His parents were both immigrants from Hungary.  His father, August, was a coal miner who had immigrated in 1905 as a laborer, coming to the United States to seek his fortune.  His mother, Mary, traveled to the United States with her sisters, Elizabeth and Julia, to join their mother who had immigrated earlier.  Mary found work as a domestic servant, which helped her learn English.

Gus grew up on the banks of the Ohio River, but never learned to swim.  That was probably due to his mother's fear of water.  Nevertheless. he joined the U S Navy during WWII and served on the USS Zebra and on the Lindenwald from which he was discharged.  His brother John followed him into the Navy and remained in the Navy for 20 + years.

After leaving the Navy, Gus went to work for AT&T and settled in the Chicago, Illinois area where he married and raised a family.  After retiring from AT&T, Gus and his wife, Wanda, moved to FL where he lives today.

Happy Birthday Veteran Gus Gulyban!  One of many heros who served or are serving our country.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

N2A - Nook to Android Tech Tuesday

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that I was thinking of turning my Nook Color into an android tablet computer.  I was originally inspired by articles by Dick Eastman about the possibilities.  After doing some research, I decided to order a N2A card that could be inserted into the Nook and do the work for me.

The cards are available in 8, 16, and 32 gb sizes.  I ordered the 16GB size and prepared to wait patiently.  The card arrived in about 3 days and I followed the instructions and very soon I was holding a tablet computer in my hand.  I did have a few issues with downloading apps but they were quickly resolved by checking the N2A website tutorials.

The best thing about using this card it that when the card is removed, the Nook returns to its original state.  My new tablet does not have a camera but my phone does.  It cost me about $50.00 to turn my Nook Color into a tablet computer.  Today, I got an e-mail from Barnes & Nobel that the "new" Nook Color is a tablet already and sells for $249.00.  Go figure!  I got a tablet for about $300.00 and I'm happy with it.

I am currently beta testing Family Tree Maker for android and also have Families (android version of Legacy Family Tree) on my tablet and I love having my genealogy files with me anywhere.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Boarding School - a tradition? 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History Week 45

Week 45. High School. Describe your middle and/or high school. Was it a large or small student body? Is the school still in existence today? How has it changed since you went there? Amy Coffin of the We Tree blog ( has yet another successful series on her hands: 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History 

I went to a small private school for high school. The average class size was about 50 girls and was fairly evenly split between day students and boarders. I was a boarding student as were all the cousins that also attended the school.

It seems to have been a family tradition in my mother's family that boarding schools were the schools of choice. In the 1900 census, my mother's oldest sister appears in Michigan living at St Joseph's Academy in Adrian. Her family lived in Chicago and she was 6 years old. Her uncle was the school's chaplain which may explain why she was there at such a young age. The other girls in the family, along with their cousins, attended the same school until my mother made a break with tradition in 1928. My mother attended a more local version on the same school. At least it was in Illinois! Mom went to the school from 6th grade forward.  By the time my cousins and I went to high school, the school was a 4 year high school only.

Sadly, the school closed in the 1972. In 2005 an all school reunion was held in the Chicago area. I was lucky enough to attend the reunion and in addition to seeing former teachers and classmates even saw some of my mother's classmates. (class of 1935) They not only knew her, they remembered her.

After the reunion, my class had a class party on our own. It is amazing that we seem to pick up where we left off. We may lose touch with each other, but we are still close.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Surname Saturday - Surname Spread

It began with my husband and myself.  Two surnames, adding our parents expanded the count to four.  We're growing!

That is the point of genealogy isn't it?  Growing your tree branch by branch.  How does 2 names to 4 names grow to a total of 854 surnames?

My parents had 9 children, 8 of whom are married adding eight surnames to the count.  My dad had one sister who added yet another surname.  Her 8 children added more surnames.  My mother had 4 siblings who married adding 4 more surnames to the tally.

I am doing a collateral tree and the fact that many of our ancestors came from families of 10 or more children is a major factor in surname spread.  In the research I have done, religion, nationality, and culture do not seem to have had a bearing on family size.  Farmers or shopkeepers, country or city dwellers, religious or not, the propensity for large families seems to be the same.

My parents grandchildren number 21 and  17 are married and have contributed a total of 20 grandchildren at this point.  I don't see a shrinking of the family tree anytime soon!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Surname Saturday - Hennessys Where do They Come From and Why are They all Named Timothy.

My great grandmother (b about 1800) was a Hennessy from Ballylanders, Limerick, Ireland. Mary Hennessy was the daughter of John Hennessy and Mary Hayes. While attempting to track the ancestors of Mary Hennessy, I joined several cousins who were working to the same end. Some of them were the descendants of Mary Hennessy and some were the descendants of Mary Hennessy's sister Winifred.

We decided to pool our resources and see if we could determine who was who. In my experience, the Irish have a propensity to call everyone cousin, especially if the came from the same county and were acquainted with each other. Actually they probably were cousins when you think about it.

A Timothy Hennessy of Chicago had written a history of the Hennessy family of Counties Cork and Tipperary in 1954. This history began with birth, about 1700, of Timothy Hennessy in Dagan, County Cork.

As we combined our information, we were able to establish a 10 generation Hennessy Family Tree. It consists of 588 individuals and covers a span of 311 years. The family migrated from Cork and Limerick to Chicago, Houston, California, and Australia. There are 8 Timothys, 7 Thomas', 9 Michaels, and 7 James' and 8 Johns. 7 Marys and 5 Alices add to the confusion. Just to make it more difficult, about 1820 (+/- 10 years) Alice Hennessy (duaghter of John Hennessy and Mary Hayes) married Timothy Hennessy (son of Thomas Hennessy and Bridget Cleary).

Is the John Hennessy who married Mary Hayes an ancestor of Timothy Hennessy who married Alice Hayes? If not, where did he come from. This tree is not sourced and may never be due to the state of Irish records, but we do know the villages/parishes to look at for proof. What will we find.

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Tech Savvy Genealogists' Meme

The Tech Savvy Genealogists' Meme

I invite anyone with an interest in genealogy to participate. If you don't have a blog and wish to participate you can write them up on Google+ or post them as a note on Facebook. Or you can just create your own document to keep track of your own goals.

The list should be annotated in the following manner:
Things you have already done or found: bold face type - Since I can't bold, I will use **
Things you would like to do or find: italicize (colour optional)
Things you haven’t done or found and don’t care to: plain type
Feel free to add extra comments in brackets after each item

Which of these apply to you?
Own an Android or Windows tablet or an iPad - will try to adapt my nook color.
Use a tablet or iPad for genealogy related purposes - see above
** Have used Skype to for genealogy purposes - introduced a cousin to video calls.
** Have used a camera to capture images in a library/archives/ancestor's home
** Use a genealogy software program on your computer to manage your family tree
Have a Twitter account
Tweet daily
** Have a genealogy blog (!!!)
Have more than one genealogy blog
** Have lectured/presented to a genealogy group on a technology topic - creating a gedcom file and uploading/downloading.
Currently an active member of Genealogy Wise
** Have a Facebook Account - use it all the time
** Have connected with genealogists via Facebook - very educational!
Maintain a genealogy related Facebook Page
** Maintain a blog or website for a genealogy society - Schertz Cibolo Valley Area Genealogists
** Have submitted text corrections online to Ancestry, Trove or a similar site
Have registered a domain name - it's under consideration.
Post regularly to Google+ need to establish the habit!
** Have a blog listed on Geneabloggers - Thanks, Thomas MacEntee!
** Have transcribed/indexed records for FamilySearch or a similar project
Own a Flip-Pal or hand-held scanner - use my camera
Can code a webpage in .html - why? Then I could figure out how to bold on my blog!
** Own a smartphone - and now I'm spoiled
** Have a personal subscription to one or more paid genealogy databases
Use a digital voice recorder to record genealogy lectures - still use pen and paper
** Have contributed to a genealogy blog carnival
** Use Chrome as a Browser
** Have participated in a genealogy webinar - every one I can!
** Have taken a DNA test for genealogy purposes - Not personally but purchased them for my daughter and son-in-law.
** Have a personal genealogy website - thinking about it.
** Have found mention of an ancestor in an online newspaper archive
Have tweeted during a genealogy lecture
** Have scanned your hardcopy genealogy files - trying to scan all documents
** Use an RSS Reader to follow genealogy news and blogs
** Have uploaded a gedcom file to a site like Geni, MyHeritage or Ancestry - have trees at both Ancestry and MyHeritage can have made contacts from both trees.
Own a netbook - have a 12" laptop
** Use a computer/tablet/smartphone to take genealogy lecture notes - will try to use mt nook's note taking feature.
Have a profile on LinkedIn that mentions your genealogy habit
Have developed a genealogy software program, app or widget
** Have listened to a genealogy podcast online - and was an audience member
** Have downloaded genealogy podcasts for later listening
Backup your files to a portable hard drive - use a cloud storage option.
** Have a copy of your genealogy files stored offsite
** Know about Rootstech - wish I could go
** Have listened to a Blogtalk radio session about genealogy - and won a prize
** Use Dropbox, SugarSync or other service to save documents in the cloud - Google Docs and dropbox
** Schedule regular email backups - I use backupify.
Have contriibuted to the Familysearch Wiki
Have scanned and tagged your genealogy photographs - a planned project for the future.
Have published a genealogy book in an online/digital format

Thursday, September 15, 2011

From My Inbox - Treasure Chest Thursday

It appeared in my inbox on Thursday. An e-mail from my cousin's husband stating that the Library of Congress is putting the entire Victor catalog online. I can only presume that Victor refers to the RCA Victor recording company. What a find! He included a link to the website that listed 4 recordings by Nathalie Hansen.

Nathalie was my great-grandfather's second wife and an opera singer in Norway. It would seem, judging from the recording dates that she came to the United States on more than one occasion. I had known of a trip in 1915 to visit her daughter Lili who was living in New York but hadn't looked further. I can see that more research is in order. It appears that Nathalie was recording in New Your between Oct 1916 and Sept 1918. Here I always thought she was in Norway with her children.

Thanks for the treasure cousin Paul!

Try this link to listen to Nathalie sing.

photo courtesy of Victor Discography.
© 2008-2011 Regents of the University of California. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

11 September 2001 - My Experience

I was at work that Tuesday morning and got a phone call from my husband who had just returned home. He walked in the door and turned on the Today Show just as the first plane hit. He called me since he knew our office would have no knowledge of the event. At first everyone thought it was just a terrible accident. Then the second plane hit. Shock and horror were setting in rapidly. Stunned disbelief can best describe my emotions. Then the Pentagon was hit. I knew immediately that we were at war!

Since I worked at a moving and storage warehouse, most of our crews were out on deliveries. There were no radios other than the dispatch radio in the trucks. I got on the radio and told our crews what was happening and said "We are at war!"

That night after work, we watched the towers fall over and over again, along with everyone else in the country. All of us were looking for something, anything to explain what had happened.

All air travel was grounded. My husband and I were to have gone to Germany on September 12. I wasn't afraid to fly, but there were no planes flying for several days. Finally on Saturday the
, we were allowed to board a plane for Germany. By chance we had chosen to use a German Airline originally. We had to go to Tampa to get the plane. I don't think the smaller airports, like Ft Myers, had the desired security yet. Security was so tight in Tampa that the man in front of us set off the alarm by having a foil wrapped stick of gum in his pocket. The crew on our plane had been grounded in the States for the past week and I'm sure they were very anxious to get home.

We landed in Germany on Sept 16. The Frankfurt airport was well populated with armed soldiers watching everyone. Our granddaughter Brigid didn't wait for us to get there. She arrived on Sept 14, 2001. We almost made it in time!

photo: Copyright© ShutterPoint Stock Photography 2003 - 2011.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- Good Genealogy Luck?

When have you had a dose of good genealogy luck? What document or resource did you find just by happenstance or chance? By being in the right place at the right time? By finding a family history treasure in your family's attic or basement? By finding a helpful document or reference without even looking for it?

I have a family tree posted at and just having it out there has led to new found connections on 2 different occasions recently. Interestingly both connections have reached out from Norway.

The first was the descendant of an ancestor of my great-grandmother Dorette Christensen Hansen. Jon lives in Norway and is my 4th cousin once removed. I will visit Jon when I am in Norway next May.

In the second instance, I received an e-mail from the grandson of my great-grandfather's son with his second wife. I haven't quite figured that relationship yet. Bjorn was asking about his great-great-grandfather. I was able to provide Bjorn with the name and approximate birth year for his great-great-grandfather.

What did I do to find these connections? Absolutely nothing! I published a tree and let it sit there.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Lightening the Load - Tech Tuesday

As my genealogy horizons have expanded to include more traveling to more distant horizons, I have actively tried to reduce the weight of my load. For example, a flash drive is a lot lighter than a binder full of files. Last year I changed to a 12" laptop so I would have less to manage. I am still actively seeking ways to lighten my load.

Recently I read an article by Dick Eastman about turning an "iphone" into a scanner. It was very interesting but I don't have an "iphone". However, one of the comments was about the same type of program for droid phones. I have downloaded the Droid Scan Lite program to my phone and will be trying it out to see if it is a better choice than using the camera on my phone. It is free and added no extra weight to my phone.

Another recent change is my new nook color. I lost my previous nook and decided to replace it with the color version. That is reported to be able to be used the same way as a tablet. I can download and read PDF documents on the nook, but if I convert them to EPUB files, I can use the note taking capabilities of the nook. The program to convert PDF files to EPUB is a free download. I can access my google docs from the nook and log on to dropbox through the internet search capabilities. Further lightening my load through technology.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day - See How They Work

Listening to GenaBloggers Radio the other night I began thinking about the occupations of our ancestors. Taken overall, this encompasses a large part of the occupation spectrum. There have been farmers, soldiers, cattle drivers, grocers, butchers, saloon keepers, realtors, fishermen, sailors, musicians, furniture makers, cabinet makers, painters of Pullman Cars, policemen, bankers, lawyers, coal miners, a dentist, travel agents, iron workers, jewelers, funeral directors, writers, postmen, accountants, salesmen, insurance agents, landlords, priests, poets, and railroad workers. There were union workers and non-union workers, blue collar and white collar workers alike.

Some of our ancestors changed occupations and some stayed with their original path. A soldier/musician in Norway remained both a soldier and musician. A German farmer immigrated to the United Stated and went from a laborer to a cattle driver to owning a meat market. An Irishman progressed from bartender, to saloon owner, to owner of a bowling alley, to owner of a Real Estate company and landlord. Said Real Estate Agency also incorporated both an Insurance Agency and Travel Agency. Another immigrant became treasurer for a large ship builder and then part owner of a iron work construction company.

Not to be outdone the distaff side of the family provided teachers, librarians, secretaries, a founder of a candy company, Sisters, a Postmistress, sales clerks, a travel agent, and most of all mothers. Mothers who taught the values of their parents to their children. Mothers who kept the cultural ties that were passed down from the immigrants who worked so hard to provide a better life for their families.

Let's salute the workers who saw that their families survived

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Treasure Chest Thursday - The Dinner Bell

Everyone has heard the phrase "ring the dinner bell" but do you actually have one? The photo above is the dinner bell now being used by a third generation. It may have been used earlier, but I am not sure of it's past history. It is a brass bell 4 inches from top to bottom and 2 1/2 inches across. As you can see it is stamped "India". It may have been brought back as a souvenir by my aunt and uncle who traveled there.

My mother used it in the 1940s and 1950s to call everyone home from play for meals. With 9 kids in the family she would have had laryngitis if she had called for each one of us separately. Or called out, as she put it, the "Litany of the Saints". Besides Mom thought it rude to yell and disturb others.

As my children were growing up, their neighborhood was wide and far ranging. Somehow they always heard the bell when they could ingore other calls and sounds. The ring of the bell is melodious and distinctive. The fct that it usually meant food also helped. On rare occasions, the bell was used other than at mealtimes. It was always successful at calling kids home!

Today the dinner bell is used by my daughter's family to summon people to meals. It even penetrated closed bedroom doors on the second floor. When used on the front porch to call those out playing in the neighborhood, it is much less intrusive that yelling out names and messages. Even though everyone has a cell phone, ringing the bell is much easier than calling 4 or 5 phones and no one says "I didn't hear you!".

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tech Tuesday - Oops It Happened Again!

Yesterday it happened again. I received an e-mail from someone who may be a distant relative. Yesterday I also received a snail mail from another distant cousin. Both of these connections are probably connected through the my great grandmother Mary Hennessy Fleming.

It has happened before! Both e-mail and message boards have very rewarding experiences for me. Through message boards (both surname and locality), I have made contacts in Germany, Norway, Ireland, and various areas of the United States with previously unknown people in my various lines. When I help people who want to begin their genealogy research, I always suggest that they use message boards in addition to the familiar search engines of and

Another way that technology has helped expand my research is the use of online trees at both and Both vehicles have yielded positive contacts that I might never have made in any other way.

I think it is awesome that people can use the computers at their local library for free to create and research their family history. The tree can be created at, or It is created online and stays there. It will be private unless the owner chooses otherwise and will be available on any computer with an internet connection.

Wow! What a time to be exploring your ancestry. What does the future hold in unlocking the secrets of the past?

Saturday, August 6, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Week 32: Dinner Time

Week 32: Dinner Time. On a typical childhood evening, who was around the dinner table? Was the meal served by one person, or was it a free-for-all? What is dinner time like in your family today?

This challenge runs from Saturday, August 6, 2011 through Friday, August 12, 2011.

Amy Coffin of the We Tree blog (​/) has yet another successful series on her hands: 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History

When I was growing up, we almost always had a family dinner. The exception was on Thursday nights when Dad worked until 9 pm. We sat at large table in the dining room and usually had a high chair next to Mom's place. We always said Grace before dinner and the food was served family style and passed around the table. We were allowed to serve ourselves and had to at least try everything. There might have been music in the background but never television.

When my children were growing up, we also had family dinners whenever possible. I also served family style and there was no television. We did enjoy candles on the table and soft music in the background. We talked about everyone's day and other topics of interest.

Today, I live with my daughter and her family. I am glad to note that they follow the same meal time practices. Dinner is a family event as often as practical and there is no TV, phones, or reading allowed at the table. Music and candles are part of the ritual as is the saying of Grace at every dinner. I feel proud that they are emulating the same practices they grew up with.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tech Tuesday - Google Docs Revisited

Recently I wrote about using Google Docs and its ability to follow me to any computer. I love that capability and also like the fact that I can allow others to edit any document I choose.

Another use for Google Docs is to create an interactive survey. I have created two different surveys recently for our genealogy group. You can chose to use multiple choice,text, and check boxes among others. Once you create your survey, you can allow others to edit or change the survey. The survey can be mass e-mailed to all members.

All the members need to do is click on their choices and click on submit at the end. Your respondent will receive a "Thank you for your submission" notice and their response will be entered into a spreadsheet that is created by the form. The spreadsheet format is time-stamped and easy to read. The first survey I sent out generated an almost 50% response rate. That's pretty awesome!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Military Monday - He was discharged!

Some time ago my father-in-law told me a story about his father enlisting in the Army in 1917. I seeking to document the story, I found the following information in "Ohio Military Men 1917-1918".

On October 3, 1917 Gus enlisted in the Army at Martin's Ferry, Belmont, Ohio. He went off to serve his adpoted country and had a formal photograph taken in his uniform. On December 14, 1917,Gus was discharged as an enemy alien. Gus immigrated from Hungary and the United States was at war with the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Later Gus did become a citizen and register for the draft in WWII. Both of his sons served with the US Navy. His youngest son, John, made a career for himself in the Navy.

Name: Gustav. Gulhban
Serial Number: No Serial Number
Race: W
Residence: Martins Ferry, O.
Enlistment Division: National Army
Enlistment Location: Martins Ferry, O.
Enlistment Date: 3 Oct 1917
Birth Place: Hungary
Birth Date / Age: 27 4/12 Years
Assigns Comment: 21 Co 158 Depot Brigade to Discharge Private Discharge 14 Dec 1917. Alien enemy.
Volume #: 7

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tech Tuesday - Playing in the cloud with google

Google likes to play in the cloud and is introducing me to a whole new way of doing things. I have attended several of the webinars on using Google by Lisa Louise Cooke and Thomas MacEntee. It is amazing all the things that google can help me do.

Google will sync my calendar with my cell phone. My google docs are available from any computer that I use. If I am at the library and log in to Google, all of my docs are there! No more forgotten files!

Today I worked in google forms and created a survey for our genealogy group. It can be e-mailed to members, filled out on line, and when returned the responses are automatically entered into a spread sheet! What could be easier? It even says "Thank You" when the form is returned. Once again all of this is stored in the cloud which allows you to give others permission to access the data. This could reduce the need for unnecessary meetings and phone calls. Collaboration at its best.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Shopping Saturday - Burbach Brothers

In 1856 George Burbach immigrated to the United States with his wife Catharina and sons Hermann and Johann (John)from Villmar, Hessen, Germany. They settled in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Establishing a timeline for the family, we find George and family living in the 9th Ward of Milwaukee where they apparently remained. Geord listed his occupation as a laborer in the 1860 census. By 1874 Johann (John) Burbach was a butcher at 1830 Walnut in Milwaukee. In 1875 his brother Hermann joined the shop and it was named Burbach Brothers. As late as 1920 John's son Robert was listed as the proprietor of a butcher shop. There still appears to be a Burbach's Market in Milwaukee, but more research will be needed to ascertain a connection.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Independence Day - Then and Now!

When I was growing up we had a different type of Independence Day. There were no sales and very little grilling. We did have fireworks and some areas had parades. I well remember laying on the ground and feeling the concessions of the fireworks exploding overhead. I can still smell the sulfur.

After I married, July 4th was spent with my husband's family and was an all day celebration. It began about 10 AM with getting to the house before the street was blocked for the parade. The parade didn't begin until 1 PM but it went right past the house and we had front row seats. All of our friends and their children were welcome. My father-in-law set up a step ladder for arial photography. There was food available all day long. Sloppy Joes, Burgers and Dogs on the grill, Potato Salad and Glorified Rice. Sodas and cold beer were at hand in coolers. More food when the parade was over. Then a short walk to the park with blankets and radios. As we waited for the fireworks to begin, the radios were tuned to the station that would sync their music to the show. After the show it was back to the house for cards while the kids slept. About midnight we would head for home after a very full day.

Later in life, we lived in a small rural community that did not have a local celebration. Some years we went to another town for fireworks. Some years we listened to the "Taste of Chicago" on the radio while sitting poolside on our deck. One year a neighbor had a backyard fireworks show. Every neighbor in the area had their hose handy for fire prevention.

In Florida we enjoyed fireworks from our lanai and one year from a beachfront location over the Gulf.

This year in Texas, we're back in parade mode. All three of the grands marched in the parade, as did the band mom. I was happy to anchor a lawn chair. Because of a burn ban there are no fireworks around here this year, so I guess it will be the Macy's Celebration.

Regardless of the format, the purpose remains. We are FREE and thank those who serve to keep us that way!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wedding Wednesday -A Legacy of Weddings

June 28, ????

This is a date permanently etched in our family's history.
Alice Fleming and Michael Connery were married June 28, 1893

Pauline Connery (daughter of Alice and Michael) and William F Ryan were married June 28, 1928

Elizabeth Mary Connery(daughter of Alice and Michael) and Donald Hansen were married June 28 1941 (my parents)

Alice Ryan (daughter of Pauline Connery) married George Sterling II June 28, 1951

William F Ryan II (son of Pauline Connery Ryan) and Barbara Brown were married June 28 1956

At least one more of my cousins also share this anniversary date. Who says the Irish aren't sentimental? Alice and Elizabeth wore the same dress.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Military Monday - Dan Hardie in the Spanish American War

Dan Hardie left his home in Ohio at a young age determined to travel to world seeking adventure. At the age of 20 he enlisted in the U S Army. He joined the 1st Texas regiment and was assigned to Company F also known as the Belknap Rifles. They were based in San Antonio, Texas. During the war, his unit served in Cuba. Below is a photo of the camp in Cuba. Camp Columbia was established in 1898 outside of Havanna.
(photo courtesy of Marilyn Silva)

After the war, Dan Hardie settled in Miami, Florida where he became both the Fire Chief and the Sheriff of Dade County. Still later, he managed a casino on South Beach and owned a boat marina in Miami, FL on the Miami River.

Friday, June 24, 2011

SCGS Jamboree 2011 - The Last Day

Sunday, after the 2 Breakfast meetings, there were a total of 4 one hour blocks of time to attend presentations.

My first choice was "Something WIKI This Way Comes" with Drew Smith. Drew discussed wikis and why we should consider adding to the entries if we do have additional information. Since a wiki is a collaborative endeavor, our additions can help with accuracy. For instance you might add a link to your society's web site on a local library, or government website.

Later, I moved on to Daniel Pottenberger's presentation on "FamilySearch 2011 and Beyond". Daniel explained the updated FamilySearch Website. He also discussed new filters, wiki pages, online research courses, and access to the Brigham Young Family History Archive.

After lunch at the infamous "Blogger Island", it was time to head out to the tent for Lisa Louise Cooke's live podcast of "Genealogy Gems". Lisa's first guest was a handwriting analyst and graphologist Paula Sassi. Paula did an analysis of a letter submitted by Heather Wilkinson Rojo. It was a letter written in the 1890s and Heather said that the analysis was very accurate for what is known about her ancestor. Later Bruce Buzbee of Roots Magic made an appearance and 2 audience members played a genealogy game for prizes. Lisa is a real pro and made it look easy. It seemed that everywhere I looked in the audience I saw GeneaBlogger members.

The final session I was able to attend was "Researching Your Chicago Ancestors From Afar" presented by Nancy E Low (aka SassyJane). Nancy had a plethora of online sites for researching and suggestions for little used methods of exploration. New to me were ideas like searching the Recorded of Deeds, and Building Permits. Checking for marriage records in Crown Point, Lake, Indiana was also mentioned as a research idea. Crown Point was the Gretna Green of the Midwest.

With the end of the last session at 3pm, people seemed to gather again at Blogger Island as people began saying good-bye and snapping last minute photos. It's over until next year.

Monday, June 20, 2011

SCGS Jamboree - Saturday

Saturday the breakfast meetings began at 7:30 AM. The one on "21st Century Marketing for Genealogy Societies" given by Thomas MacEntee was recorded and also broadcast live as a webinar. I had planned to catch it that way but had trouble accessing the wifi. I'll watch it at the SCGS website.

At 8:30 Janis Martin presented "Unclaimed Persons: Every Life is Worth Remembering". I have been a part of this group since it began 3 years ago. In fact, I blame them for my facebook addiction. Joining facebook was a requirement to participate in the group. I think this group serves a very worthwhile purpose and really enjoy participating.

"20th Century Public Records" with Tom Underhill was full of alternate ways to search for people. He mentioned some unusual sources such as property records, military unit sites, and e-Bay. Tom was very interesting and had a fun presentation.

Next was "Blogger Summit 2" a roundtable panel discussion featuring Dick Eastman, Joan Miller, Elyse Doerflinger, and Kathryn Doyle. Some of the topics discussed were affiliate marketing, finding your blog niche, copyrights, disclosures, and privacy policies. It was a spirited discussion moderated by Thomas MacEntee with lots of questions from the audience.

Lunch was a hot dog and soda purchased at the outside concession stand. I took it back to Blogger Island in the Exhibit Hall since there wasn't a chair to be had in any of the eating areas. Eventually there were some vacant chairs at the Island and some more Bloggers appeared with their lunches. Everyone compared their experiences and took lots of pictures. (Just search for Jamboree 2011 on facebook or google to find pictures).

After lunch, I attended Daniel Horowitz's "Family Tree Builder 5.0: What's New in the Next Generation of Genealogy Software. Daniel is connected with and explained how the software works to match cousins and resides in the "cloud". I actually recently had a connection to my great-grandmother's grandfather find my tree recently and make a match. He lives in Norway and I plan to meet him when I am in Norway next Spring.

My final Saturday session was with Kerry Bartels and was "The Many Facets of the National Archives Website". It was a 90 minute session with lots of info about a subject I know little about. It was extremely informative but I will still keep Kerry's syllabus handy as I explore the website.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Who is Your Most Recent Unknown Ancestor?

Hey geneaphiles, it's Saturday Night again - time for more Genealogy Fun!!

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to:

1) Determine who your most recent unknown ancestor is - the one that you don't even know his or her name.

2) Summarize what you know about his or her family, including resources that you have searched and the resources you should search but haven't searched yet.

3) Tell us about it in your own blog post, in a comment to this post, or in a status on Facebook.

My most recent unknown ancestor is the father of Leopold Peterson b 1851 in Sweden. Leopold came to the United States in 1870, landing in Massachusetts. According to the 1892 Chicago voters roll, Leopold applied for citizenship in Massachusetts and his oldest child was also listed as having been born in Massachusetts.

Going through the marriage records for 1873 did yield the correct record for Leopold Peterson who married Caroline Neilson in Boston on 11 Aug 1873. According to the marriage index Leopold's parents were Peter and Anne. How helpful! Using the Boston City Directory for 1873, I found the minister on the record Rev George S Noyes was at the Bethel Church on North Square in Boston. I have also looked for his parental information on his naturalization application but all it says is when he came here and that he came from Sweden.

I have also checked the Swedish records on FamilySearch and checked out the Norwegian Emmigration records on the Digitalarkivet. Next I will try to find out where the records of the Bethel Church might be housed in hopes that they are more complete. I hope they would yield the parents last names or at least the county in Sweden if not the actual parish. I am surprised that Leopold's origins are so elusive since Leopold is a relatively unique name in Sweden.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

SCGS Jamboree - Day 1 revisited

Last week I said that I would write in more detail about the Jamboree. On Friday morning the Marriott lobby was full of Geneabloggers meeting each other and renewing previous friendships. It was fun to meet our virtual friends in person and put the names to real faces. The Geneablogger Welcome Bag Team of Amy Coffin, Linda and George Lenertz, Thomas MacEntee, and Joan Miller assembled an awesome collection of goodies. The contributing vendors are: Ancient Faces,, Family Chart Masters, Family Roots Travel, FamilySearch, Family Tree Magazine, Family Tree DNA, GeneaBloggers, Genealogy Bank, Genealogy Gems Podcasts, Genealogical Publishing Company, Geni, Heritage Makers, Legacy Family Tree, Light Impressions, My Heritage, National Institute of Genealogical Studies, Maureen Taylor - The Photo Detective, Photos Made Perfect, Roots Magic, WikiTree, and World Vital Records. Whew! I love everything and will enjoy sharing it via the Genealogy Room at our library or as door prizes at our genealogy group monthly meetings. I parked all my stash in my room since it was too much to carry around in addition to my laptop and a 435 page syllabus.

At 1 pm the Jamboree officially opened with a First-Timer Orientation. I skipped that since I was there last year. On Thursday night I had picked the presentations I wanted to attend. A difficult chore since I could only choose 3 of the 30 sessions offered. I tried to select the presentations that were on topics that I was less familiar with.

Friday I attended Thomas MacEntee's session "They're Alive - Searching for Living People" because I felt it would help me with my work on Unclaimed Persons. Thomas discussed various search engines, some of which were new to me. He also talked about using social media and unlikely places such as court records and alumni associations.

My second session was with Drew Smith, of The Genealogy Guys Podcasts, on the topic of Understanding Copyright and Plagiarism. Drew's talk included what can and what cannot be copyrighted and well as what is considered in the public domain. In this era of "copy and paste" the distinction between permission to use and attribution is an important consideration.

The final session I attended on Friday was presented by Stephen Morse, PhD titled "From DNA to Genetic Genealogy: Everything You Wanted to Know but Were Afraid to Ask". Dr Morse is also the creator of the "One Step" site. He gave a very clear presentation covering chromosomes, DNA, genes and defined SNiP and STiR as well as marker and allele. I feel more comfortable with the subject now. This is a pretty new area of genealogy and we are beginning to recognize more inherited traits and medical conditions.

It was truly a mind boggling day and I can only hope that I absorbed all of the useful information that was presented. The day finished with a salad in my room while I decided which of the available 50 seminars I wanted to take. Boo! I could only pick 5!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Jamboree Day 3

2 sessions down and I'm about to go watch a podcast given by Lisa Louise Cooke. This morning Drew Smith spoke about Wickis and how to use and post on them. Later I attended a session on Family Search 2011 What's New?

When I get home next week - i hope to write more about the sessions I attended in detail. Since Friday I have attended 12 hours on instruction on the various areas of genealogy. There was a total of 120 hours of presentations to choose from. Mind boggling and amazing!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Jamboree day 2

It's not even 8 AM and the lobby is full of genealogists blogging and checking their e-mail. I came down about 7:15 and was far from the first person here. Thomas MacEntee is speaking at one of the breakfast sessions and it is also being webcast for those not at the meeting.

Last night I selected the presentations I hope to attend today. It was difficult since there are 10 sessions in every time period. Today there is the opportunity to attend 5 sessions. The first one I'll attend is Janis Martin's talk about Unclaimed Persons. Then 2 more before the lunch break.

SCGS Jamboree - Day 1

Today the Jamboree started at one o'clock and offered 3 1 hour sessions. What an awesome choice of topics to pursue! I'm trying to pick topice I'm mot too familiar with, so I chose Copyright and Plagiary with Drew Smith and A DNA presentation by Stephen Morse. I think they were wise choices as I learned a lot. Another class I took was about finding living people. Thomas MacEntee had lots of good hints. I hope it will help me to locate "Unclaimed Persons".

The Geneablogger Radio show was well attended tonight! There were about 20 people watching Thomas try to do a radio broadcast. A great time was followed by the Ice Cream Social for Geneabloggers. I have pictures, but they say what happens in Burbank stays in Burbank!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Tech Tuesday - Educating Myself

Wow, what happened to the month of May? I just realized that I didn't do much blogging. I looked back at the month and realized that I had spent the month on webinars. What a wonderful source of education. I learned about creating web sites and have now set up 2 websites on There were 2 webinars for that.

I watched 2 webinars by Thomas Macentee about Google docs and forms. I now have new tools to play with on the websites and in other areas.

I learned more about storing photos from Maureen Taylor. Now I just need to put my knowledge into practice.

There are lots of free webinars out there you just need to look around. Some of my favorite places for locating webinars are,, Legacy Family Tree, and Roots Magic. The Southern California Genealogy Society is also sponsoring a series of webinars. Most webinars are archived by the host for later viewing if you are not available at the scheduled time. is a great place to find what is coming up and when. You can even add it to your google calendar.

Monday, June 6, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Books

Week 23. Books. What was your favorite book, or who was your favorite author from your childhood? What do you like to read now? Books or other formats? This challenge runs from Saturday, June 4, 2011 through Friday, June 10, 2011. Amy Coffin of the We Tree blog ( has yet another successful series on her hands: 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History

I have always been a reader. Our house was only a block from the library and I had a card from the time I was seven years old. I love to read almost anything, including cereal boxes (we couldn't bring books to the table) and telephone books. Once I looked through a Hungarian phone book to see if there was a family connection in Budapest.

As a child after graduating from Dick and Jane, I moved into the Bobbsey Twins followed by Judy Bolton and Nancy Drew mysteries. Cherry Ames (nursing) and Vicki Barr (stewardess) were career orientated series. I also read the Hardy Boys mystery series. Soon I graduated to Agatha Christie and other mystery authors.

I still love mysteries and read Robert B Parker, John Sandford, Mary Higgins Clark among others. I have always used the public library system still do. I am a very happy user of the digital library operated by our local library. I can check-out books from home to download to my computer and then read them on my nook. No more late fees!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Surname Saturday - Hansen of Asker, Akershus, Norway

My Hansen line is from Asker, Akershus, Norway. Asker was once the name of a farm which grew to become a town in the county of Akershus. Asker is the plural form of the word Ask which means Ash Tree. In 1948, Asker was incorporated into the city of Oslo. Geographically Asker is a coastal area but it also has hills and woods. It is also known as a gardening area as it is rural in nature. My great-grandfather was born at the Garnison Menigheten parish in Oslo, Akershus, Norway. He always referred to himself as coming from Asker, Akershus, Norway. According to the 1875 census Asker had a population of 9611 living on 1333 farms.
Asker within the county of Askershus

Askershus within Norway.
images courtesy of Wikipedia

Friday, June 3, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History - Week 19 Bedroom

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2011) that invite genealogists and others to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants. Week 19. Bedroom. Describe your childhood bedroom. What furniture did it contain? Were there curtains, wallpaper or paint? Was it messy or clean? Did you share a room with your siblings?

I grew up in an 8 room Victorian house in the Chicago suburbs. The house was built around the turn of the 20th century. There were 4 bedrooms on the second floor. The room I shared with my sister Suzy overlooked the backyard. The furniture was Black Walnut. There was a double bed with a large arched and carved headboard. There was also a hi-boy chest with doors that concealed the drawers. The bedroom set also included a dressing table with a three section movable mirror. The room had 2 closets. My sister and I shared one and the other was reserved for Mom and Dad's extra storage. Mom kept her formal wear and their riding boots and jodhpurs there. One side of that closet had built in drawers and a cabinet on top. Later Suzy and I moved into the smaller front bedroom when the 3 littler girls needed the bigger room. As compensation for losing the bigger room, we got new bedroom furniture. It was a cherry twin set with both a chest and dresser. We had a matching round table to put between the beds.

I do remember a set of tulip patterned quilts that we used as bedspreads for a while, but cannot recall wall colors or curtains. The bigger room did have a small window set very high into the wall and there we displayed our "Storybook Dolls". (out of the reach of little hands)

My daughter used parts of the Black Walnut bedroom set for several years until we moved to a more modern house and bought the kids new furniture. The furniture was passed on to another family.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Surname Saturday - Gulyban from Hungary

As I work my way through my surname list I have come to the name Gulyban and its various spellings. The Gulyban line I am researching originated in the county of Borsod, Hungary.
It is from Northeastern Hungary. Ellis Island records show 45 Gulyban arrivals between 1893 and 1923. There are many more when "creative" spelling is used for searching. The 1920 federal census lists 54 Gulybans born in Hungary. Again this does not include alternative spellings such as Gooban.

Wikipedia provides the following information: Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén (Hungarian pronunciation: [borʃod ɒbɒuːj zɛmpleːn]) is the name of an administrative county (comitatus or megye) in north-eastern Hungary (commonly called "Northern Hungary"), on the border with Slovakia. It shares borders with the Hungarian counties Nógrád, Heves, Hajdú-Bihar and Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg. The capital of Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén county is Miskolc. Of the seven statistical regions of Hungary it belongs to the region Northern Hungary. Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén is the second largest county of Hungary both by area (after Bács-Kiskun) and by population (after Pest County). 40% of the land is arable. Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén is one of the most geographically diverse areas of Hungary. It lies where the Northern Mountains meet the Great Hungarian Plain, thus the northern parts of the county are mountainous – with some of the highest peaks and deepest caves in the country –, the southern parts are flat.

Augustinus Gulyban, my immigrant, came to the United States in 1905 at the age of 15. As many others had, he went to stay with friends or relatives until he got his feet under him. He settled in eastern Ohio like many Hungarian immigrants and worked in the coal mines. Gus, as he was also known, enlisted in the US Army in 1917 only to be rejected 3 months later as an enemy alien. Gus was naturalized in 1918.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Weather

Week 18. Weather. Do you have any memorable weather memories from your childhood? How did your family cope and pass the time with adverse weather? When faced with bad weather in the present day, what do you do when you’re stuck at home? Amy Coffin of the We Tree blog ( has yet another successful series on her ha

nds: 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History.

Living in the Midwest has provided me with an abundance of weather memories as both a child and as an adult.

As a child, I remember sitting on our screened in front porch while Spring thunderstorms raged around me. It was a great time to curl up with a book. In the winter it was snow. We lived a block away from a park that had a hill for sledding and a rink for skating. We loved to go skating in the evenings. All the 7th and 8th graders went and practiced showing off for each other. I remember the large piles of snow left as the snow plows cleared the streets and parking lots. I remember the summer vacation at my aunt's cottage in northern Indiana when my parents hurriedly packed up the car and all of us children in the middle of the night to run from an approaching severe storm. (Hurricane or tornado not sure which) I remember the greenish yellow sky of tornado weather and waiting for the storm to come.

As an adult and young mother, I remember the Blizzard of 1967. My husband got stuck on the way home from work and did not get home for 3 days. From that day forward I learned to be prepared for any eventuality. I also remember the tornado outbreak on Palm Sunday in 1965. There was the year we had an ice storm over New Year's and has a house full of people. Luckily we could walk to the little general store for supplies. We played lots of games over those 3 days.

When we retired and moved to Florida, we were greeted by Hurricane Andrew and my exit from Florida was marked by Hurricane Wilma.

Yes, I have seen some weather over the years and have learned to be patient and wait it out. Given time, it does change!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Techno Tuesday - Capturing Microfilm Images

In the Family History Center I use on a regular basis, the only film reader with a printer no longer works. With the advent of digitized images, these readers and their printers may never be repaired. Although and are working hard to digitize all records, there are still many occasions when we will need to resort to the old fashioned microfilm. Without a working printer, how can I take home a copy of the image I need?

In the FHC I volunteer at, we recommend taking a photo with your phone or digital camera. While not perfect at least you have a copy of the image. A couple of years ago, I heard that placing a sheet of pale yellow or pale blue paper over the image would reduce the glare. It works ok but the paper is a little too opaque. I had also heard that cellophane serves the same purpose. Last week I stopped at the Dollar Tree store and picked up a roll of cellophane used to wrap Easter baskets. I didn't find any yellow but I did find a light green roll. I cut a single layer to fit a standard page protector. Placing the cellophane and sheet protector over the image, I have tested the proceedure. I got a satisfactory image. I have found that the cellophane reduces the glare from the projector and turning off the flash helps. This should also help with the micro fiche readers. Time to check out the 1/2 price after Easter sales for cellophane.

Sharing Memories (Week 17): Easter

It's Week 17 of our Sharing Memories - A Genealogy Journey Follow along each Sunday as we write and share our memories of childhood. Your descendants will be thankful that you did! Write here as a comment, or on your own blog, or in a private journal, but please write! This series is proposed by Lorine McGinnis Schulze of Olive Tree Genealogy

Easter at growing up in the Chicago area was a mixed bag of weather! Would it be sunny and nice or snowy and ugly? Or somewhere in between? A certainty was Mass on Easter Sunday. Easter Sunday Mass was the culmination of a religion orientated weekend. The Friday before Easter (Good Friday) was a day of penance. There was either church from noon to 3PM or total silence at home for those three hours. Good Friday was a meatless day with no snacking allowed.

Mom would change the ribbons and flowers on 5 straw hats to go with whatever dress each girl was wearing. The boys had a least a dress shirt and tie. Sometimes a jacket if they fit into one on hand.

My Dad's greatest pleasure was to march his whole family down the main street of town to the church and fill an entire pew at church. He was so proud of his family! Unfortunately we were between the ages of 17 and 2 when he died. The traditions continued though thanks to Mom's perserverance.

We always had Easter baskets to find. Lots of candy and spring toys. Toys like paddle balls, jacks, kites, and sometimes roller skates. I don't remember coloring eggs, but I'll bet we did.

Our favorite Aunt Kathy's birthday was near Easter so that was always part of the celebration. I don't remember what was for dinner it might have been leg of lamb. I do remember there was always company. I didn't know it then but the company was family. People whose relationship I didn't know have turned out to be cousins of my Mom and Dad's. It is funny how many of the people of my childhood have turned out to be members of my family tree.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Military Monday - An Irishman in Cuba

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Captain Joseph Fleming Walsh,
Company 7, 33rd Michigan Volunteers, 1897

The 33rd and 34th Regiments arrived in Cuba via the “Paris” and “Harvard” transport ships. They were assigned to General Duffield’s brigade, famous for defeating the Spaniards at Santiago.
While they did not participate in the San Juan Hill fighting, they were engaged in the attack at Aguadores.
Three men of the 33rd died of wounds, but yellow fever broke out in the camp at Siboney and 50 men died.

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Captain Walsh contracted Yellow Fever but survived. Hi is said to have lost so much weight that his sisters did not recognize him.

Photos and military information courtesy of Geraldine Walsh of CA

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Treasure Chest Thursday - From my In-Box

Nathalie Egberg Hansen 
circa 1815 
(from the victor library page)

This web link and photo appeared in my in-box on Monday afternoon as part of an e-mail from my cousin Pat's husband.  He was looking for some old records and came upon this list of the recordings of Nathalie Hansen.  Nathalie was the second wife of my great grandfather Adolf Hansen a Norwegian composer and musician.  Adolf died in 1911 and Nathalie began her recording career.

What a treasure to find on a Monday!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tech Tuesday - Creating Web Sites

I have found out that Google will allow you to create a website that will be hosted on Google at no charge. Once you have a google account, just go to more, sites and create a website. If you use blogger it's really easy. You can build from scratch or use one of the many templates available. Many of the same widgets and tools are used. Some of the graphic capabilities are limited but you can work around those limitations. I have created pages in a word processor and pasted them into the website. The website can be fully public, invitation only or a combination with certain pages password protected. I think it's a great way to develop a web presence. So far I have created one for the local genealogy group and one for our Girl Scout troop.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Surname Saturday - Flemings of County Limerick Ireland

The surname Fleming, with it's variants Flemon, Flemming, Flemmyng, Flemminge, originally came from Flanders. The Flemings arrived in Ireland at different times and may have descended from different families of the name in Flanders. In the 17th Century Fleming was a principle name in Limerick. In 1659 there were 12 Flemings listed in the Barony of Costlea. This information is from the book "Families of County Limerick Ireland by Michael C. O'Laughlin, president, IGF.

My Flemings came from Ballylanders which is indeed in the Barony of Costlea. Thomas Fleming and Mary Hennessy married in Ballylanders, Co Limerick about 1845. Of their 10 children that survived to adulthood, all emigrated to the United States. One, Patt, returned to Ireland claiming, according to family stories, that one had to work too hard in the United States. Patt Fleming opened to grocery and spirits shop in Dublin on his return to Ireland. Of those who remained in the all settled in the Midwest. Today their descendants range from coast to coast.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Military Monday - Civil War Soldiers - Fergusons of Willow Hill, IL

We all have ancestors who have served in the military. Military Monday is a place to post their images, stories and records of their service in various branches of the military. Military Monday is an ongoing series by Cindy at Everything’s Relative – Researching Your Family History.

About 1848 the Ferguson family, having migrated from Virginia to South Carolina and then to Ohio and Indiana, settled in Jasper County, Illinois. Jeremiah Ferguson began buying land in Willow Hill, Jasper, Illinois as did his father and brothers. Between 1848 and 1852 there were 14 recorded land purchases within the Ferguson family.

During the Civil War, at least 2 of Jeremiah Ferguson's sons served in the Union Army. William A Ferguson age 18 enlisted at Olney, Illinois. He served as a private in Company B of the 155th Illinois Infantry from 7 Feb 1965 to 4 Sep 1865. He was mustered out at Murfreesboro, TN. His brother Hiram volunteered on 26 Oct 1863 and mustered out on 27 Oct 1865 in Springfield, IL. Since the records show that Hiram joined Company L of the 5th Illinois Calvary in Black River, Mississippi, it would appear that he had already been in the Army.

A total of 57 volunteers from Willow Hill served in the Civil War so there are many more collateral ancestors who were Civil War Soldiers.

The State of Illinois has a super searchable Civil War Soldiers data base at Illinois Civil War Muster and Descriptive Rolls Database

Monday, April 4, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy - Week 14 Spring

Week 14. Spring. What was spring like where and when you grew up? Describe not only the climate, but how the season influenced your activities, food choices, etc. Thank you to Amy over at We Tree for sponsoring this event.

Spring meant milder weather, the scent of lilacs, and the return of robins. In northern Illinois, we never planted before mid-May, since we could have snow and or frost that late. But come mid-May my dad would declare "Sit in the Mud Day" and we could start planting. Little did I realize he was really referring to "17 Mai" the Norwegian Independence Day. Our backyard was a true treasure in the spring. We had lilac bushes, a cherry tree, a pear tree, and a rhubarb patch. We also had tiger lilys that returned every year.

Spring also meant roller skates, bikes, jump rope, and playing jacks on the sidewalk. Hopscotch, Red Rover, Mother May I, and Red Light, Green Light were popular games.