Friday, January 29, 2016

The 10 Day Blog Makeover Challenge - The Last Day

Today is the last day and what have I done?  I selected a new color pallette for the blog after reviewing hundreds of color combinations.  I really had to think about the viewpoint I wanted the
blog to imply.  I think that I achieved the look I wanted except for the logo.  I haven't quite figured out how to add that. 

Here it is:

I also looked at fonts and changed a few and added some bolding.

Another challenge was to create a blog mission statement.  It was easy because the point of my blog is two-fold.  First to write about the things I learn and do while researching my ancestors and second as cousin bait.  The cousin bait really works as I have made contacts in Norway, Ireland, and Germany as well as Florida, Texas, and California through my blog.

I am also doing Thomas MacEntee's Genealogy Do-Over and DearMYRTLE's "Finally Getting Organized" challenges and will begin Lynn Palermo's Family History Writing challenge in February.  Let me know how you like the changes!  I am very open to suggestions.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016


Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- Two Degrees of Separation

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):

1)  Using your ancestral lines, how far back in time can you go with two degrees of separation?  That means "you knew an ancestor, who knew another ancestor."  When was that second ancestor born?

2)  Tell us about it in a blog post of your own, in a comment to this blog post, in a status line on Facebook or a stream post on Google+.

For my 2 degrees of separation I will start with my maternal grandparents:
 I (b 1942) knew my maternal grandmother Alice Fleming Connery(b 1872) who, in turn, did not know her grandfather John Hennesy ( b 1784) and her grandmother Mary O'Donnell (b 1790) as they both are recorded as having died in 1833. 

 My maternal grandfather Michael Connery (b 1861) probably also did not know his grandparents Patrick Connery (b 1784)and Ellen Drake (b 1800).  I don't know if Michael knew his maternal grandparents Patrick Leahy (b 1805) and Ellen McCarthy (b1807) since I have no death information for them.  

All of my maternal ancestors were born in County Limerick, Ireland.

On my paternal side, I knew my grandfather Adolph Hansen (b 1880) for only 4 short years before his death in 1946.  Adolph never met his paternal grandfather Martin Hansen (b 1829)since Adolph's father Adolf was illegitimate and never lived with his son.  Martin had been a soldier in Oslo and when his military service ended he returned to his village of birth to marry and raise a family.  Adolph's paternal grandmother Sophie Johannsdatter (b1829) raised her son Adolf in Oslo and was living with Adolph's brother Thorolf in the 1901 census so I believe it is very likely that Adolph knew her.

Adolph probably knew both of his maternal grandparents Daniel Kristensen (b 1817) and Karen Dorthea Christiansen (b 1833) since he lived with their daughter Magna when he first immigrated to Chicago.  He also worked for his uncle Oscar Daniels.

I  knew my Grandmother Henrietta Burbach (b 1888)  and she knew her maternal grandfather Philip Schmitz (b 1834)  but her maternal grandmother Elizabetha Kronenberger died in 1876 before Henrietta's birth.  

Henrietta also knew both her paternal grandparents Georg Burbach (b 1825) and Catharina Caspary (b 1825) since they all lived on the same street in Milwaukee and her father and grandfather worked together.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

The Genealogy Do Over 2016 - Sorting Saturday

I have signed up for Lynn Palermo's Family History Writing Challenge during February.  The concept is "One Month to a First Draft".  As I was trying to decide who to focus on, I thought that I would choose my Great-great-grandfather who emigrated from Germany to Wisconsin in 1856 with his wife and two small sons.  Then I had a second thought: what if I wrote about his wife and her feelings about leaving the village she was born in and traveling to a new world.  This will mean sorting through my files looking for items that will help me fill out the flesh for her story.  There will be some research as I have uncovered a new twist to her story while doing some preliminary research.  Can't wait to get started.

I have also joined the Blog Makeover Challenge.  It's a short 10 day project led by Daniela Uslan of "Blogging on Your Own Terms".  My blog will begin it's sixth year in February and I thought a makeover was in order.  I won't be changing the name of it but I will be making cosmetic changes.  So far I have written a mission statement and currently I am sorting through color combinations to find the best representation for the blog.  When I first designed the blog it was enough to just have something that went with the title.  Now it is time to refine the look of my blog.

I realize that these are BSO's to distract me from the Genealogy Do-Over but I am doing them along with the Do-Over.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - My 2016 Genealogy Education Plans

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- Your 2016 Genealogy Education Plans

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

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

1) What are your genealogy education plans for 2016?  Local society meetings or seminars?  Regional or national conferences?  Weeklong institutes?  Genealogy cruises?  Podcasts?  YouTube Videos?  Webinars or Hangouts On Air?  Magazines?  Websites?  Blogs?

2)  How much time do you invest in Genealogy Education?  Why do you do it?

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

My genealogy education plans for 2016 are as follows:

I am participating in the 2016 Genealogy Do Over led by Thomas MacEntee and beginning a new family tree evaluating and entering all sources as I enter each individual.  As part of the Do Over, I am also evaluating genealogy programs to decide which one I will choose to replace Family Tree Maker since support will end on 1 Jan 2017.  I still have my original research there but will try not to refer to it during the Do Over.

I am also participating in Dear Myrtle's Finally Getting Organized mission for this year.  I will be re-organizing my paper files as I work on the Do Over.

I will be watching webinars from Legacy Family Tree, Illinois State Genealogy Society, Southern California Genealogy Society, and others as I find them.

I am not attending RootsTech 2016 but I will be watching the live streamed lectures.  I attended FGS/RootsTech 2015 and it was amazing!  Everyone should attend something like this once in their lifetime.

I attend our monthly meetings of the Schertz Cibolo Valley Area Genealogists group and am happy to present a topic when asked.

I am not going to the SCGS Jamboree this year, but will be going to Salt Lake City with a local genealogy group in June so I hope that in the first half of the year I will have learned enough to take full advantage of the opportunity and solve some brickwalls.

I have taken 4 genealogy cruises in the past six years and they are wonderful occasions to learn and explore and may do one this year but haven't signed up for one yet.

Oh yes!  I for got to mention that I will participate in the Family History Writing Challenge sponsored by Lynn Palermo, the Armchair Genealogist! 

All of these goals should keep me busy in 2016!!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Genealogy Do-Over Day 12 - What I Have Done

As I began the Do-Over, I determined that I would create new databases in two different programs.  In each program, I began with myself and added my parents and grandparents. As I added them to the databases I entered the sources I had to prove the information.

I had gathered birth, marriage, and death certificates for my parents and made a note of what I still needed to gather or request.  I don't have baptizmal certificates for either of my parents but I do know when and where they were baptized because it was noted in the book that their marriage was recorded in.
As I scan images, I want to be able to store them in a way that they will be accessible to both software programs.  After playing around with several ideas, my solution was to create a folder named "Genealogy Media"  inside will be individual family folders.  This will mean that I can scan to one place and access for both data bases.

I have established a workflow that I hope will halp me to work smarter not harder!  As I begin to work on a family I will first gather any documents that I have and scan them into a media folder.  As I enter facts for each individual they will be sourced and dosuments will be added to the record. The documents will then be filed in an appropriatly labeled file folder. After I have entered what I know I will begin also adding internet search results comptete with proper sources.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Your Ancestor Score for 2016


Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Your Ancestor Score for 2016

Hey ahnentafelists (new genea-word!) - It's Saturday Night!!!

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (and I hope more of you do than participated in the last several SNGF challenges), is to:

1)  Determine how complete your genealogy research is.  For background, read Crista Cowan's post Family History All Done? What’s Your Number? and Kris Stewart's What Is Your Genealogy "Score?"  For comparison purposes, keep the list to 10 or 11 generations with you as the first person.  

2)  Create a table similar to Crista's second table, and fill it in however you can (you could create an Ahnentafel (Ancestor Name) list and count the number in each generation, or use some other method).  Tell us how you calculated the numbers.

3)  Show us your table, and calculate your "Ancestral Score" - what is your percentage of known names to possible names (1,023 for 10 generations).

4)  For extra credit (or more SNGF), do more generations and add them to your chart.

5)  Post your table, and your "Ancestor Score," on your own blog, in a comment to this post, or in a Facebook Status post or Google+ Stream post.

My number is a measly 11.32%!  I really thought I was doing much better than that!

Possible People
No. Sum1
(sum 2/Sum1)
1           1
 1           1
2            3
 2           3
4            7
 4           7
1X Great -
8           15
 8          15
2X Great -
16         31
16         14
3X Great -
32         62
32         13
4X Great -
64       127
64         10
5X Great -
128     255
128          4
6X Great -
256     511
256          2
7X Great -
512   1023
512          0

I have documented 58 out of a possible 512 ancestors to the 9th generation.  My Irish ancestors have proven to be the most elusive.  It was all those fires you know!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Here's to Public Trees!

Many people have asked why is your tree on-line?  It is cousin bait.  As recently as last week I made several new connections.

Christiania, Norway 1814

My Hansen tree has found several connections over the years, the most recent being a descendant of my Grandfather Adolph's half-sister Edit Bull Hansen.  My Grandfather Adolph came to the United States with his sister Dagny and brother Artur shortly after his father's re-marriage and before Edit was born. Edit married Harald De Lange and had had five sons. This week I was contacted by Liv from Norway who has the De Lange family as part of her tree.  Previously I had connected with the De Lange family through my blog "Hanging from the Family Tree".  Anders De Lange was reading my blog to his Grandmother Edit and he emailed me with some questions.  Anders and I have kept in touch and he has provided me with some critical information.  He told me about two of my Grandfather's siblings of which I had no knowledge.  Einer Adolf was born in 1885 and Aagot Dorette was born in June 1887.  Aagot died in June 1887 and her mother died 4 July 1887.  Anders also sent me copies of the death notices of Aagot and Dorette from the Oslo newspapers and a picture of the house where my Great-Grandfather was born in 1852.

I currently have public trees at, , MyHeritage, and FamilySearch and they have all helped me make connections to branches of my tree.  All three sites will search in the background whether I am at my computer or not.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year! My 2016 Genealogy Goals

I have set myself lots of genealogy goals for this year and I hope that by writing about them and publishing them I will hold myself accountable.

The Genealogy Do-Over 2016 led by Thomas MacEntee is a year long-mission to hone genealogy skills and develop best practices in research.  It also includes evaluating sources, using research plans and logs.  I will be attempting to create a new family tree without using past research except for records that I had previously sent for.  This tree will also be done with a different software program.

Dear Myrtle(Pat Richley-Erickson) of the Organized Genealogist is also starting a year-long project this one on organizing.  She is providing monthly check lists.  She has evidently been doing this for several years but it is new to me.  

DNA is an exploding field in the genealogy world and this year I want to learn more about reading the test results.  I am currently managing 4 accounts and need to learn more about which matches I should concentrate on.  I will be watching for webinars on DNA and reading Segment-ology by Jim Bartlett in addition to reading Judy G Russell’s blogs.

Each February Lynn Palermo of the Family History Writing Studio sponsors a Family History Writing Challenge.  You pick your own topics and commit to a specific number of words to write per day. (Your choice)  You can do a series of essays or one long story, writing parts of it daily.

In June I will be going to Salt Lake City with some local genealogists for a week at the Family History Library.  To that end I will be watching Michael John Neill’s webinar on preparing for a trip to the Family History Library.All that being said I also plan to write a blog post at least twice a week.  Some days I may post about how I am doing with my goals, some days it will be about my family tree!

See you soon!