Saturday, March 23, 2013

Saturday Night Genealogy - Surname Summary

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - How Many Surnames?

Calling all Genea-Musings Fans: 

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

Here is your assignment if you choose to play along (cue the Mission Impossible music, please!): 

1)  Go into your Genealogy Management Program (GMP; either software on your computer, or an online family tree) and figure out how to Count how many surnames you have in your family tree database.

2)  Tell us which GMP you're using and how you did this task.

3)  Tell us how many surnames are in your database and, if possible, which Surname has the most entries.  If this excites you, tell us which surnames are in the top 5!  Or 10!

4)  Write about it in your own blog post, in a comment to this blog post, in a status or comment on Facebook, or in Google Plus Stream post.

I used Family Tree Maker 2012 for this exercise,  I went to publish, Charts & Reports, Person Reports, and finally to Surname Report. 

My  surname count for my family history file is 857 surnames.  The top ten, along with their oldest and newest dates are:
Name                    Count                    Male                      Female                 Earliest                 Most Recent
Ferguson             132                         73                           59                           1641                       1946
Sempsrott           118                         71                           47                           1694                       1966
Meurer               110                         51                           59                           1786                       1946
Burbach              95                           41                           54                           1713                       1940
Hansen                84                           49                           35                           1829                       2008
Coan                   70                           45                           25                           1793                       1971      
Hassler               69                           46                           23                           1815                       1939
Wolf                   56                           32                           24                           1843                       1931
Brahm                 44                           21                           23                           1828                       1949
Fleming               44                           24                           20                           1846                       1932      
Peterson             39                           28                           11                           1851                       1989
Fuegerson          38                           18                           19                           1748                       1861  
Clearly the surnames of Ferguson and Fuegerson can be combined so the combination would be
Ferguson/           170                         91                           68                           1641                       1946

This would leave room for the twelfth entry to be:
Connery               37                           16                           20                           1826                       1943      

The total number in my file with the surmane Unknown is:
Unknown            31                           6                              25                           1690                       1895

Looking at the most recent dates shows that I definitely need more cousin contacts.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Geneabloggers Tuesday Tip - Using fold3

I wish I had started using fold3 sooner in my quest for family information.  Not only does it provide city directories, it also has military records and newspaper articles.

Using city directories, I have been able to determine not only where individuals lived but also their occupations.  When I trace someone through the years, I can plot their journey on a map and also see when a business was established.

Military records also contain quite a bit of biographical information.  Pension requests contain information not  readily available from other sources.  For instance I knew that my Ferguson family was from Charles Parish, York County, Virginia, but it was in John Ferguson's pension application that I found out that he was actually born twelve miles below Little York.  I also now know that Little York is also known as Yorktown further helping me understand the geography.  Knowing that the family spent the years 1811 to 1813 in Green County, Ohio will possibly help me unearth more information on the Fergusons.

Between using the old newspapers and city directories I was able to determine which of the two John Burbachs who died in Milwaukee, WI between 1892 and 1895 was the son of Herman and which was the son of John.  One of the boys was her brother who drowned in the Milwaukee River and the other was her cousin.  Newspaper articles helped me flesh out the story that began with a chance phrase I found when I googled the name "Burback" in HeritageQuest's old books area.  The phrase "Burbach's boy drowned today" appeared in the personal diary of a Milwaukee policeman,

Monday, March 18, 2013

Geneabloggers Military Monday – John Ferguson a Revolutionary Soldier

The top of the stone says "Revolutionary Soldier"

When I began researching our family, I knew that those who immigrated came to the United States in the 1850s through the 1890s.  I didn’t look for Revolutionary War soldiers or Civil War soldiers.  However in researching my husband’s Scottish ancestors, it became apparent that the Ferguson/Furgeson line came to the United States and was in Virginia as early as 1665 when Robert Ferguson married Mary in York, Virginia. Thus I began looking at the Revolutionary War records.

 John Ferguson was a member of the fourth generation of Fergusons born in the United States.  The family began their roots in Virginia and by 1770 John Ferguson had moved, with his family, to Stokes, North Carolina.

John married Hannah Barrow about 1770 in Stokes and they began their family with their first child Mary born in 1775.  In his pension application, dated  20th Oct, 1834, John states that he was drafted in Brunswick County, Virginia into the company of Captain Charles Lucas and that he and his company joined the troops under Col Grey Jenkins in Surry County. 

After five months of service he and the other volunteers serving under Col Phillips were discharged at Shrewsbury, North Carolina.  John Ferguson served a total of fourteen months in the Continental army in three different tours.  One tour he served as a sergeant and the other tours were served as a private.
In his deposition, John describes his birth in  York County, Virginia twelve miles below Little York.  He didn’t remember the year but he knows he was seventy nine last January.  (1834-79=1755)

Since the Revolutionary War he has lived in Green County, Ohio from 1811 to 1813 and then he moved to Union County, Indiana.  In 1831 John Ferguson moved to Boone County, Indiana, his current residence.
John couldn’t remember the names of any of his commanding officers above the rank of Colonel and had
no written documentation of his claims.  His advanced age had affected his memories.  There were
two witnesses to support the claim of John Ferguson and they were all residents of Sugar Creek
Township, Boone County, Indiana.  John B Miller and Abram Ultch were well regarded in the area and 
their testimony was believed.  A pension of $40.00 per year was awarded to John Ferguson on 3 Feb 1833.  

Bethany Deacons was John Ferguson’s second wife.  John Ferguson died 14 Feb 1843 and is buried
 in Boone County, Indiana.  In 1858, Bethany Ferguson applied for a widow’s pension.  They had married 
in Union County, Indiana 20 May, 1828 and had two children Jonathan (b 1830) and Bethany (b1831).

photo credit : find a grave  R & S Fine
Revolutionary War pension files : fold3

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Fearless Females - Religion

It is said that “the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world”.[i]  I think this is particularly true with families.  My German ancestors brought their Catholic faith with them and remained strong in their faith.  My grandmother Henrietta Burbach held her beliefs close to her heart.  Her Viking prince, Adolph Hansen was of the Lutheran religion.  Somehow she managed to have both her prince and her religion.  I don’t begin to understand it but on 30 October 1907 Henrietta and Adolph were married at a Nuptial Mass in Gesu Church in Milwaukee, WI.  This was very unusual since at that time the church did not allow non-catholics to approach the altar.  In fact mixed marriages were definitely not encouraged.
In 1908 Henrietta and Adolph are back in Milwaukee for the baptism of Henrietta’s nephew Herman Adolph at St Joseph parish on 4 April 1908.  They were the godparents of the baby who was named after his grandfather.  Again this was just not allowed by the church at that time.  According to church rules both godparents were required to be Catholic.  Adolph and Henrietta’s daughter Dorothy would be baptized in Chicago later in the year.
After his death in 1946, Adolph was buried in Mt Carmel Cemetery in Hillside, Illinois.  Again at the time only Catholics were buried in Catholic cemeteries. 
Was this the original “Don’t ask, don’t tell”?  Or was there another reason that these exceptions were made?  I have asked the Archdiocese of Milwaukee to check the records of Gesu Church to see if Adolph became a Catholic there in preparation for the wedding.  Another route would be to find Adolph’s address in Chicago in 1907 and see if he was baptized in a Chicago parish.
Will I find the answers?

[i] From a poem (1865) by William Ross Wallace

From a poem (1865) by William Ross Wallace

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Fearless Females - Sisters from Hungary

New York Passenger Lists
SS Aquatania sailing from Southampton
Arriving New York 9 Dec 1921

Lines 21, 22, 23 show the arrival of three sisters from Hungary.  Juliana 20, Mary 16, and Elizabeth 12, had traveled from Szabolcs Megye Nagy,  Apagy, Hungary to come to the new world.  It must have been a terrible crossing, the page shows that many people had been in the hospital, some even died.  Mary was one of those hospitalized, so ill that she refused to even think about another sea voyage ever again.  The ship log shows that they had been living with their brother Peter Fendrik in Apagy until their voyage to America.  It was very scary for the three girls who spoke no English.  They were going to Rayland, Ohio which may have been the home of their mother Elizabeth who came to America about 1914.  They hadn't seen their mother in seven years and now she was married with another child.

This is not Mary's entire story.  It does not relate how she immediately went into service in a private home and learned English by immersion.  She married a coal miner and lived her live in Martins Ferry, Ohio raising three children and practicing her faith.  Although she was a small woman, she was four feet nine inches in height, Mary was a giant in the kitchen.  Mary's baking skills were legendary and were in high demand.  She baked for family and friends often donating to church dinners, and funeral luncheons.  

Mary Fendrik Gulyban was my father-in-law's mother.  From her I learned to make stuffed cabbage rolls. and her wonderful Hungarian Kolaches filled with apricots, nutmeats, and poppy seeds.  

Mary died in 1987 twenty two years after her husband.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Fearless Females - Heirlooms

My grandmother Mama Dear (Alice Fleming Connery) had a collection of plates that helped to decorate her dining room.  They were displayed in a built-in buffet and hutch that stood at the end of the dining room beyond the long dining table.  The hutch part had clear glass fronted cabinets.  The plate collection was kept inside the glass doors.  The only thing the plates had in common with each other was that they were all hand painted.  I was fortunate enough to receive these plates upon Mama Dear's death in 1962.  The collection graced my dining room in one home and the kitchen wall in another home.  It has now been shared with my daughter and my nieces.  Pictured below is one of my favorite plates that I have kept.  It is about ten inches across and is about two inches high.

I believe the very first plate in Mama Dear's collection was given to her as a wedding present as on the back of the plate there is an inscription with the date of 28 June 1893.  I suspect that it was a gift from her husband Popsy (MJ)  since there was a fairly large collection sharing the hutch with a collection of Irish Belleek pieces.  The Belleek is another tradition in my family as each of my sisters has a collection that was begun when my mother down-sized and gave each of us a piece.

Fearless Females - How They Met

Last month as part of Lynn  Palermo's Family History Writing Challenge, I wrote about my parents wedding.    As I was writing I realized that I had never asked them how they met.  So I asked relatives if they knew anything.  My brother Paul knew the answer.

Mom's parents left Chicago every year to spend the winter in Miami.  One of their recreations while in Miami  was going to the horse races.  At the races they met and became friends with Oscar Daniels.  Somehow the topic came up that MJ and Alice had a single daughter and Oscar suggested that their daughter Betty be introduced to his nephew Donald, who would be arriving in Miami shortly.  At the time Donald was working as an iron worker for Oscar's company.

Betty and Donald met in Miami and hit it off.  Donald asked if they could persue the friendship when they both returned to the Chicago area and Betty said yes.  Horses remained part of their relationship was attested to by the two pairs of riding boots in their bedroom closet when we were growing up as well as the honeymoon picture of them at Idle Hour Farms in Kentucky.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Family History Writing Challenge - Finis

For the month of February, I participated in the 2013 Family History Writing Challenge.  I did write every day and accomplished my mission.  I only pledged to write 250-300 words per day since I wanted to be sure I completed the challenge.  I actually wrote 13,619 words for an average of 486 words per day.

Participating in the challenge helped me find holes in my research.  As I wrote about a topic, there was a need to research for other information.  I also found new ways to use the census records.  I had never before explored the non-population census returns.  Using these helped me find out what crops were grown in southern Illinois in the 1850s-1880s.  When I found that they grew Irish or sweet potatoes, I understood that Irish potatoes referred to white potatoes and Indian corn has now evolved as a reference to corn.  Today when we think of Indian corn, the image of the tri-color corn sold as a fall decoration comes to mind.

There are still naturalization records to find as I realized when I wrote about Becoming Americans.  I did find one for my paternal great-grandfather Georg Burbach.  It gave me the month he and his family arrived in the United States and established the port of New York as the point of entry in July 1856.  Now for a visit to the Castle Gardens records.

My research is far from over but the Family History Writing Challenge helped my realize what areas need more attention.