Thursday, January 31, 2013

Family History Writing Challenge

Tomorrow February 1st is the beginning of the Family History Writing Challenge.  I have signed up and pledged to write 250 to 300 words per day.  My plan is to write about various individuals in my family tree and intersperse these sketches with articles about the places they came from and some happenings from their era. I will use these articles on my blog and will not be using the Geneabloggers memes during February.
In writing about my ancestors, I will be doing a narrative with my some of my personal observations added.  I will use footnotes to document the facts.  When I can, I will include pictures or other illustrations with the articles.
To prepare for this challenge, I have added one word to my google calendar for each day of February, This word is either a name or a topic.  This will help me to meet the challenge since I have found that without a topic before me, I just don’t write. The idea is that I will be dwelling on tomorrow’s topic as soon as I finish writing today’s blog,
I have been blogging for almost three years and will probably revisit a few of the people but will try to write about them in a different way.
My genealogy research began almost 20 years ago and researching from the point of view of my grandchildren so I am also researching my son-in-law’s ancestors. Resources I will be using include my genealogy research, family photos where available, and personal memories, again where available. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tech Tuesday - Migrating Data

It has bothered me for a while that I had valuable audio information that I needed to preserve.  All of this information was currently on audio cassettes.  How many cassette players are still around?

First I downloaded Audacity and borrowed my grandson's boombox.  Since I am not a sound engineer, I wasn't sure what adjustments to make to clean up the sound.  Next I purchased a different software program but my Windows upgrade made it unusable before I got around to using it.

I spoke with band personnel in both the US Army Band and our local High School band but couldn't get any recommendations.  My dilemma increased.

This is what I wanted to preserve:  my parents recordings of family gatherings in the 1940s ( the voices of my parents, aunts, uncles and cousins.), a 2002 concert of my great-grandfathers music from Norway in honor of his 150th birthday, a letter from my mother and her sisters during their cruise in 1973, and my daughter Laura's senior concert on clarinet in 1989.

 Finally I went searching online for a company doing this work.  I found a company that appeared to meet my needs and checked out their reviews.  I e-mailed the company to be sure they could do what I needed.  When the answer was positive, I took a deep breath, boxed up my cassettes and sent them off!  It took longer than expected but I received my CDs back last week as promised along with the original cassettes.  I am thrilled with the results and will be making copies to share with my eight siblings and twenty one first cousins who will here their ancestors voices once again!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Surname Saturday - How is That Spelled?

As genealogists we all need to think outside the box.  We learn early on to consider alternate name spellings and ages.  Sometimes we need to be more creative than other times.

While researching my husband's maternal line Sempsrott I have needed to be even more creative than usual. Unique first names can really help ferret out those mis-spelled surnames.  I understand that a heavy German accent can cause misunderstandings in census records, but I think this name has had a record number of interpretations.

These are the variations I have found to date for the surname Sempsrott:  Semporste-Semporstt-Sempscote-Semmsrote-Simprod-Semporatt-Semprot-Seniprot-Semparote-Semparoto-Sempsrote-Sempirote-Simpsrott-Senpscott-Sempscott and Sampsroth.  There may be others that I haven't recorded as well as some I haven't found yet.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Treasure Chest Thursday - Unpacking

Last week I was unpacking a Rubbermaid tote that had served as my nightstand for the past five years.  It had been packed up seven years ago when I left Florida.  There were lots of memories in that tote.  Photo albums to be scanned, rosaries to be treasured, handkerchiefs, even a piece of my husband's military parachute that he had saved,

The little ashtray is  a souvenir of a trip to Ireland with my Aunt Ruth, Uncle Tom, and cousin Pat Connery when I was eight years old.  We traveled to England, Ireland, Switzerland and France.  Probably, the ashtray was a gift for my mother but I have had it for years.  It will be a paperclip holder on my office desk now. 

Another treasure that I unearthed was a framed copy of the program from the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.  Dave and I spent four wonderful days as the guests of 3M Corporation.  I won the trip where I worked.  We attended the opening cerermony,  ski jumping, a hockey game, and both bobsled and luge events.  3M had rented a country club for the use of their guests and there was a frozen pond on the property.  The clubhouse had a place to borrow ice skates so I was able to ice skate at the Olympics.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Semi-Random Research

Randy's suggestions for this week's entertainment are:
1)  We're going to do a little bit of Semi-Random Research tonight...

2)  Go to your family tree database of choice (you know, like RootsMagic, Reunion, Ancestry Member Tree), and determine who the very last person on your list of names is.

3)  What do you know about this person based on your research?  It's OK to do more if you need to - in fact, it's encouraged!

4)  How are you related to this person, and why is s/he in your family tree?

5)  Tell us about it in a blog post of your own, in a comment to this blogpost, or in a Facebook Status post or Google+ Stream post.

The last person on my name list is Mary Zotnorn who is person number 928 in my data base of 3132 individuals.  Mary was born about 1858 in Bohemia and her mother's name was Katharina.  That is all I knew about Mary except that she was one of my son-in-law's Great-great-grandmothers.  Since doing a little more research on her at today, I know a lot more about her.  Mary Kotorour (not Zotnorn) was born 26 May 1860 to Frantisek Kotorour and Katarina Kubat.  She married Jan (John F) Bozovsky 2 Sep 1877 in Chicago, Cook, Illinois.
In the 1900 census she is listed with husband John and children John, Mary, Rose, and Antonia.  Mary and John's daughter Rose married Frank Krbec in Chicago on 25 April 1904.  Rose and Frank had a son Frank Valentine who married Anna Angeline Franke Mann and in turn had a son John who with his wife Pamela Coan adopted Scott Allen.   Her widowed mother Katrina was also living in the household at the time of the 1900 census.  Mary died in Chicago on 18 Feb 1911 and is buried in St Adelbert's Cemetery.  I'm sure there is more to be found and corrected.

Mary is in my tree because my son-in-law is adopted and we are tracing his adoptive parents trees for the grandchildren.  Actually the grandchildren have visited the little village in the Czech Republic that their Krbec ancestors came from.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Randy Seaver's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun and here is the challenge!

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible! music) is to:

1)  Determine where your ancestral families were on 1 January 1913 - 100 years ago.

2)  List them, their family members, their birth years, and their residence location (as close as possible).  Do you have a photograph of their residence from about that time, and does the residence still exist?

3)  Tell us all about it in your own blog post, in a comment to this post, or in a Facebook Status or Google+ Stream post.

My maternal grandparents, Michael Connery (b 1861 in Kilfinnan, Limerick, Ireland) and Alice Fleming Connery (b 1872 in Ballylanders, Limerick, Ireland) were living at 4140 W Washington Blvd. in Chicago, Illinois.  Living at home with them at the time were their children Mary Elizabeth (20), Kathleen (18), Alice (14), Pauline (13),  Thomas (10), John (8), and Eleanor (4).  Son Leo had died in 1905 and my mother Elizabeth was not born until 1917.  All of their children were born in Chicago.  This is not their exact home but it is very similar and would be reversed.
4140 W Washington Blvd. Chicago, IL  (photo google maps)

600 N Lockwood Ave Chicago, Illinois  (photo google maps)

In 1913, my paternal grandparents were living at 600 N Lockwood in Chicago, Illinois.  Adolph Hansen (b 1880 in Oslo, Akershus, Norway) and Henrietta Burbach Hansen (b 1888 in Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin) lived with their children Dorothy Eva (b 1908 in Chicago) and Donald George ( b 1910 in Tooele, Utah.  Since they moved often for Adolph's work, I checked the City Directories to verify the address.  

My Great-grandparents Patrick Connery and Mary Hayes along with ThomasFleming and Mary Hennessy were  in Limerick, Ireland.  Eva Schmitz Burbach Meuller (b 1858  Milwaukee, WI), was living in Milwaukee, WI her husband Hermann Burbach (b 1852 in Villmar, Hesse, Germany) having died in Milwaukee in 1896.  Adolph Hansen's father, Adolf b 1852 in Oslo,Oslo, Norway. died in 1911 in Bergen, Norway.  His mother, Dorette Christiansen (b 1857 in Oslo, Oslo, Norway) died in Oslo in 1887.

The photos are representative of the area at the time but I believe both residences are long gone.  Even the house I grew up in existed in 1913 but is also gone now.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Midwest Winter

                                                         Winter in the Midwest!