Saturday, January 29, 2011

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - The Date You Were Born

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

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

1) What day of the week were you born? Tell us how you found out.

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

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

4)  Put your responses in your own blog post, in a comment on this blog post, or in a status or comment on Facebook.
      1. I was born on a Tuesday, October 6, 1942. I found out at the ProGenealogists site under 
          free stuff.
          2. 5 things that happened in history on October 6 and were found at Networked Blogs/Brainy  History
             1979 Pope John Paul II is 1st Pope to visit White House
             1928 Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek becomes president of China
             1928 Josip Broz sentenced to 5 years in jail
             1927 "Jazz Singer," 1st movie with a sound track, premieres (New York City)
             1890 Mormon Church outlaws polygamy
          3 Famous people born on October 6 are:
              1963 Elisabeth Shue (actress)
             1930 Hafez al-Assad (president syria)
             1914 Thor Heyerdahl (explorer, author)
             1908 Carole Lombard (Jane Peters) (actress)
               1846 George Westinghouse (inventor, developer, founder)
              I found this info at

          Geneabloggers Surname Saturday - Burbach of Oberselters, Germany

          One of my genealogy goals for this year is to concentrate on one family line every month and clean up their file.  I wrote about the Burbachs on the first Saturday of January.  Today I will summarize what I have accomplished this month.

          I have established that 2 additional lines of the family migrated to Milwaukee, WI in the 1870s.  They remain to be explored fully.

          I have ordered several transcriptions from Milwaukee German Newspapers in  hopes of documenting cause of death, marriages, etc.  One thing I hope to get more details on is the drowning death of my grandmother's brother John at age 9.  I have only found one reference to it.  In the personal diary of a Milwaukee policeman.

          I will continue to check for possible duplicate people and enter source citations.  As information becomes available I will keep working on the Burbachs but with February it will be time to concentrate of the Fergusons.

          Friday, January 28, 2011

          52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Home 119 Virginia St

          Week 4: Home. Describe the house in which you grew up. Was it big or small? What made it unique? Is it still there today?

          This challenge runs from Saturday, January 22, 2011 through Friday, January 28, 2011.

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

          Above is a picture of my home while I was growing up.  The handwritten address and date were written by my dad.  I think this was the first step in the purchase of the house.  We moved into the 4 bedroom house around Christmas of 1948.  When we first moved in,  there were red velvet draperies hanging in the archways between the hall and the living room and the living room and dining room.  I thought it was huge.  There were 4 children.  As the new babies came along (5 more in all) the house evolved.  A downstairs den was converted into a 1st floor bedroom for mom and dad.  The front porch was screened and became a outside playpen.  There was a window in the living that could be used as a monitor.  

          There couldn't have been a better place to raise 9 children.  The house was one block from church, school, the library and park, and the train station (Mom didn't drive then).  There was even a college fairly close.  After Dad's death in 1959, Mom stayed in the house until she moved to Florida in 1971.

          Sadly the house was demolished several years ago to make room for condos.  Did I mention it was a block from the train station?

          Geneabloggers Funeral Card Friday - Wanda Bernice Gulyban

          Wanda Bernice Gulyban 10 Aug 1921 - 21 Jan 2011

          Wanda was born August 10, 1921 to Murl and Naomi (nee Sempsrott) Ferguson in Hunt City, Jasper, Illinois.  The family moved to Chicago by 1930 and retained their ties to Jasper County.

          Wanda married Harold Arthur Peterson in Chicago on June 1, 1938.  They had two children, David and Patricia.  She and Harold divorced in 1948.  Wanda married Gustav J Gulyban in Chicago on Dec 2, 1949.  They had a daughter Susan.

          Wanda loved knitting and ceramics which she did until arthritis made the use of her hands too painful.  Due to back problems caused by a car accident, Wanda took a disability retirement from Illinois Bell Telephone Co.

          In the 1980s, Wanda and Gus moved from Wheaton, IL to St Pete Beach, FL, followed by a move to Clearwater, FL.

          After a long illness Wanda died on Jan 21, 2011 in Clearwater, FL.

          She is survived by her husband Gus Gulyban and daughters Patricia Peterson Leithem Morgan (Gary) and Susan Gulyban Walter (Tom).  She is also survived by 7 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren.

          Wanda did not have a formal funeral service or an obituary published so this is my attempt to memorialize her.  She was my mother-in-law and will be missed.

          Saturday, January 22, 2011

          Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Do Some Random Research

          From Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings "Hey genealogy buffs - it's Saturday Night and time for more Genealogy Fun!  Play along with us and tell us about it.

          Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to follow Chris Staats' rules (from Freaky Friday: Random Research Reports)  for picking a random person's name and then doing some online research about that person.  Here are Chris's rules:

          1. Go to The Random Name Generator and click the red “Generate Name” button at the top of the screen

          2. Go to and enter your generated name in the search box on the main search page. [Randy's add:  If you don't have, go to and do it there - it's free.]

          3. From the results, your research target will be the first census result for your generated name.

          4. Using whatever online resources are at your disposal, see what else you can discover about your random person and write about it. It can be a formal report complete with footnotes, or just a “research story” about what you tried, problems you overcame, or success you had. Maybe you want to create a research plan for practice?

          5. Post about it on your blog or wherever you wish, and link here to tell Chris about it.  Tell Randy about it too as a comment here or a comment on Facebook or Twitter."

          The first name generated was Jeffrey Koch.  After I did a record search on, I scrolled through 150 returns without finding a census listing of any sort.  So I went back for another try.  This is supposed to be fun right?

          The second name generated was Ernest Eloy Neal.  I found Ernest, age 38, in the 1930 census living with his wife Minnie (38) and sons Willard (9) and Bernard (8) in District 21, Huntington, Cabell, West Virginia. They also had 3 boarders.  Ernest was a laborer in a bluing factory.  Ernest was born in West Virginia and his father was born in Indiana and his mother was born in West Virginia. 1

           In 1920 Earnest and Minnie were also living in Huntington, Cabell, West Virginia .  Earnest was a blacksmith with the railroad.  On this census his father was born in Ohio.2

          The 1910 and 1910 Virginia miracode census show an 18 year old Earnest Neal living in the household of Harlow Nuse in Norfolk, Virginia.  He was a house carpenter. 3

          From his WWI Draft Registration, we can learn that Earnest was born 6 September 1894 in Glenwood, West Virginia.  He was single, living in Huntington, and a Teamster who worked for Thomas Walker Construction.  His physical description lists him as tall with a medium build, blue eyes and light brown hair.4 

          In his WWII Draft Registration Ernest Eugene Neal is living in Moundsville, West Virginia.  His stated date and place of birth was 6 September 1894 in Mason County, West Virginia.  He was 5 ft 11 inches tall and weighed 165 pounds.  He had brown eyes, black hair, and a ruddy complexion.  The person who would always know his whereabouts was M E Ketchum, Warden of the West Virginia Penitentiary.  5

          The 1900 Census shows Ernest living with his parents Daniel M and Grace and 4 brothers living in Hannan, Mason County, West Virginia.  Daniel and Grace were both born in Ohio and Daniel was a farmer. 6

          Further searching will yield birth date and death date information on both Willard and Bernard through both military and social security death records.

          Searching on Willard Neal also provided the maiden name of his mother, Minnie Beckett. 

          This has been a fun, skill sharpening experiment.  I really like the challenge of the hunt!

          Source Citation: Year: 1930; Census Place: Huntington, Cabell, West Virginia; Roll: 2529; Page: 15A; Enumeration District: 31; Image: 664.0.

          Source Citation: Year: 1920;Census Place: Huntington Ward 7, Cabell, West Virginia; Roll: T625_1951; Page: 25A; Enumeration District: 44; Image: 596.

          Source Citation: Year: 1910; Census Place: Tanner Creek, Norfolk, Virginia; Roll: T624_1639; Page: 36A; Enumeration District: 73; Image: 74.

          Source Citation: Registration Location: Wayne County, West Virginia; Roll: 1992488; Draft Board: 2.

          Source Citation: National Archives and Records Administration (NARA);Washington, D.C.; State Headquarters: West Virginia; Microfilm Series: M1937; Microfilm Roll: 36.

          Source Citation: Year: 1900; Census Place: Hannan, Mason, West Virginia; Roll: T623_1765; Page: 8B; Enumeration District: 57.

          Monday, January 17, 2011

          52 Weeks of Sharing Memories: A Genealogy Journal - Cooking

          This is Week 3 of our second set of 52 weeks of topics for readers (and me!) to start a genealogy journal. Please join us for Sharing Memories - A Genealogy Journey by Lorine MasseyOver the years I've learned that keeping a journal is not always easy. Yet it's important for future generations. If we want to preserve the past, our own memories will one day be as valuable as those of our great-grandmothers. Our descendants will be thrilled to find a journal chronicling our lives and the lives of our parents and grand-parents.

          This weeks' topic is Cooking. I have very strong memories of my mom's cooking. No doubt most of you do too, some may even remember grandma's cooking. I thought it would be fun to share those memories. 

          * What was your favourite food that your mom cooked?

          * Do you remember the smells in the kitchen?

          * Have you copied your mom or grandmother's recipes to save them?

          * Did you ever get to eat your Grandmother's food? 

          I'm not sure if I had any favorite foods that my mother cooked.  She was a pretty good cook.  I do remember that when we had meatloaf, mom always made two of them.  One with onions and one without!  With nine kids in the family, we undoubtedly needed two anyway.  Another thing we had frequently was "mock chicken legs".  This was cubes of meat, placed on wood skewers, dipped in seasoned flour and browned in a skillet.  The meat was specifically ordered from the butcher and came with the skewers.   The only thing I can remember not liking were the parsnips served every Thanksgiving, and only at Thanksgiving.  I remember the smells of onion sauteing, and bacon frying.  Who can forget the smell of fresh coffee perking?

          Recently I attempted to re-create my grandmother Bockie's version of Lapscus, a Norwegian stew.  I think I was successful since it tasted like I remembered.  Bockie also made a wicked cherry pie after we pitted the cherries from the tree in the backyard.  When I was in Boarding School, we were served a dessert called Prune Whip.  None of the girls would touch it even when the nuns said we would sit there until we ate it.  I didn't mind because that was another of the dishes my grandmother had made for us.

          The Swiss Steak and Porcupine Meatballs that I have taught my granddaughters are meals I had as a child.  The Sunday dinner that my grandchildren eat is the same one their mother ate while she was growing up.

          When I got married, I received several of my mother's recipe books.  They were about 9 x 12 and paper covered.  I think is was a series by Betty Crocker in the 1940s.  Lots of good recipes there.  

          Saturday, January 8, 2011

          Genabloggers - Surname Saturday Burbach and Associated Families

          As one of my genealogy goals for 2011, I plan to work on one family per month and clean up my files, find new information, and cite sources.  For January I am beginning with 

          BURBACH - Milwaukee, WI and Hesse Nassau, Germany
                                  (also Heer, Meurer, Probst and others)

          My Burbach line is from Oberselters, Hesse-Nassau, Germany.  The family lived in Oberselters as far back as 1732 and began the migration to the United States in the 1850s.   Church records show marriages into the Heer, Muerer, Probst, Kreppel, and Schwartz families among others.  The Burbachs from Oberselters were farmers and became grocers, butchers, farmers, and newsmen.
          Various branches of the family settled in Milwaukee, WI, St Louis, MO, and Harris County, Texas.

          As I persue this family, I often reflect on the courage it took to travel to a new country, learn a new language, and learn a new trade.  I am sure their faith gave them strength and comfort as they have retained it to this generation.  

          Tuesday, January 4, 2011

          Geneabloggers Tuesday Tips - Source Citation

          The tip I most often wish I had received and followed when I first began doing genealogy is to ALWAYS cite sources.  I can go back and recreate source citation but it is a real pain.

          As a beginner I was doing genealogy mostly as a hobby and curiosity. I knew where I had found my information.  I knew which census images I relied on.  I knew where my parents and grandparents married.   Now I am trying to take a more professional approach. It's time to go back and add all those sources.   It would have definitely been easier if I had cited sources in the beginning.  Searching is much more fun than writing up sources!

          One of my goals this year is to go back and cite sources and enter them into my computer program.  In fact yesterday, I entered  source citation into 3 different genealogy programs to see which program had to best source citation framework for my use.  After I have decided which template I like best, I will enter all my sources that way and then import the file into the other programs.

          Sunday, January 2, 2011

          Geneabloggers 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History - Week 1 New Year's Traditions

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

          Week 1: New Year’s. Did your family have any New Year’s traditions? How was the New Year celebrated during your childhood? Have you kept these traditions in the present day?

          My sister was born on New Year's Day as was my Grandmother, so I guess you could say that Birthday Parties were our family tradition.  I still wish my sister a Happy Birthday on New Year's but distance precludes the party.

          In my own family, we usually had finger foods and chips and dips during the Bowl Games.  It was usually a low key day without any real structure.

          My daughter's family has a tradition of doing chocolate fondue for dessert on New Year's Night.  according to the kids, it is not subject to change!

          Saturday, January 1, 2011

          Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - My Best 2010 Genealogy Adventure

          Saturday Night Genealogy Fun!  A challenge posed by Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings.

          1)  Decide which of your (many?) genealogy research adventures was your "very best" (your definition). 

          2)  Tell us about it in a blog post of your own, in a comment to this blog post, or in a Status report or comment on Facebook.  

          It started last March with a call from my nephew's wife.  Her father (Tony) was told in December that he had been given away at birth.  Tony was fighting a recurrence of cancer and wanted to try to find his birth father.  He had always felt that something was missing from his life.  There was little information to start with.  His father's family was from the San Antonio, TX area and entered the country from Mexico at Eagle Pass, TX.  The family name was Benevidas and Tony's father was named Ismael.  While Benevidas is fairly common, fortunately Ismael is rather unique.  

          Using genealogy methodology, I did a search on  I found an obituary that mentioned Ismael as the brother of the deceased Erasmo.  Erasmo and Ismael's father was also named Erasmo.  I found the Erasmo Benevidas family in Cibolo, TX in the 1930 census.  

          Using I located some of the survivors of Erasmo Benevidas.  Armed with names, addresses, and phone numbers, Tony's daughter began making phone calls.  Within two days she had located Tony's two half brothers.  Unfortunately, Tony's father had died but the brothers were aware of his existance.  In May the three brothers had a meeting and couldn't believe the family resemblance.

          While maybe not true genealogy,  this was a very gratifying use of my genealogy skills.

          Geneabloggers Surname Saturday

          Happy New Year Everyone!!

          As the new year begins so do my genealogy resolutions.  One of my resolutions was to concentrate on one surname per month.  I plan to make sure sources are cited, add photos and documents, delete duplicate individuals and facts, and continue new research.

          To that end I thought I would alphabetize the primary surnames along with any associated surnames.  Just for fun I am color-coding them and including the area of research.  My surnames will be in red and my husband's surnames will be in blue.

          BURBACH - Milwaukee, WI and Hesse Nassau, Germany
                                  (also Heer, Meurer, Probst and others)
          CONNERY - Chicago, IL, and Kilfinnane, Limerick, Ireland
                                 (also Leahy, Ryan. Dawson, Hayes, and Mc Carthy)
          FERGUSON - Jasper County, IL Decature, IN, Stokes, NC, 
                                   York, VA, and Scotland)
                                  (also Chapman, Stuart, and Whitmarsh)
          FLEMING  - Chicago, IL Eau Claire, WI, Port Huron, MI, and 
                                 Ballylanders, Limerick, Ireland
                                 (also Hennessy, Hogan and Walsh)
          GIBNEY     - Chicago, IL, Green County, Ohio and
                                 La Porte County, IN, Sweden, and Germany
                                 (also Hale, Hanson, and Hepke)
          HANSEN   -  Chicago, IL and Aker, Akershus Norway
                                 (also Pedersen, Daniels, Christiansen, Johnsen
                                  Tripp, Dvorak, Riis)
          PETERSON - Chicago, IL and Sweden
                                 (also Britton and Neilson
          SEMPSROTT - Jasper County, IL OH, and Berlin, Germany
                                 (Steinfort of Ohio and Germany)

          It would certainly appear that I will be busy this year since this is only one of my genealogy goals for this year.  Next Dec 31st I will review this post and see what I have accomplished.