Monday, February 22, 2016

World Thinking Day and My Scouting Life

You can sell a lot of cookies to hungry high schoolers!
Today February 22, 2016 is World Thinking Day celebrated by Scouts and Scouters around the world to commorate the joint birthday of Lord and Lady Baden Powell the founders of the Scouting movement.
My scouting life began with Brownies in second grade.  The meetings were held after school and I think in a school cafeteria.  In 4th grade I became a regular Girl Scout and wore the green dress with long sleeves.  If I remember correctly, badges earned were worn on the sleeve. In 7th grade I graduated to the Junior Scout level and the uniform changed to a green gaberdeen skirt and white blouse.  A badge sash, worn diagonally, displayed our badges and by then we had quite a collection.

I went to camp several summers and learned to cook over a camp fire, made a buddy burner using a tuna can, strip of corrugated cardboard coiled inside the can and coated in melted parafin.  A large can similar to a large juice or coffee can was placed over the tuna can as a cook top.  We learned to cook food in foil packets.  Digging a latrine was an adventure but most of us preferred to avoid using it.

Fast forward about 18 years and our son wanted to join Cub Scouts.  At the meeting the Cub Master said they really needed an assistant in order to admit new scouts.  So my husband volunteered as an assistant and I took on a den (group of 1st year Cubs).  The den meetings were held at our house and all of the boys could walk to and from the meetings.

At that time Girl Scouting was not available where we lived so some friends and I helped it get started.  After we were chartered, I took on a Brownie troop as well as theCub Den. My daughter wasn't really old enough to be official but she was a Brownie from kindergarden until 3rd grade. (maybe she was the first ever Daisy) My brownies did a lot of Cub Scout things since I felt the support and training was lots better at the Cub Scout side of the equation.  Pack-O-Fun anyone?

My kids stayed in Scouts for a long time.  My son became an Eagle Scout and my daughter styed in Girl Scouts into High School.  They went to day camps and resident camps, marched in paradesand sold Calendars, Cookies, and Popcorn. They learned to cook and sew and most of all we watched them become confident young adults.

Fast forward to 2005 when I began living with my daughter and her family at Fort Knox, Ky.  My daughter was a co-leader for her older daughter's Brownie troop.  She was also a helper for her son's Cub Scout den. I was quickly added as a helper and helped plan crafts and meetings.  There was a very strong Scouting community on the base and the Scouting Community even had a building to call their own for all the meetings.  There were even lockers to store supplies so that they didn't have to be taken back and forth all the time.

In 2008 our move to Texas involved, once again, finding a troop for one Boy Scout, one Brownie Girl Scout, and one Daisy Girl Scout.  As always there were never enough leaders so I went to the Daisy meetings, my daughter went to the Brownie meetings and also to the Boy Scout meetings.  Later the Girl Scout/Brownie meetings merged since there were several families with sisters at different levels and it was easier to have one meeting.  We continued to do all the traditional Scout stuff and there were program changes over the years but Scouting is still the same leader molder. My last camp out was in 2012 when we slept on the floor in a 1940s building  and the temp was 19 deg.  We kept the fire going all night long.

My grandson is an Eagle Scout and both of my granddaughters are working on their Gold Awards.

One of my brothers received his Eagle Scout Rank and his daughter is currently Scout Master for her 3 sons.

It is interesting that those of us who were Scouts and 2nd and 3rd generation Scouts.  As a former Scout leader, I understand why it is associated with National Margarita Day

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Cousin Bait Wins Again!

I have been working on re-doing my family tree as part of the 2016 Genealogy Do-Over and in the past week I entered the Baptism records of 29 children that were born between 1820 and 1834 in the tiny village of Oberselters, Hessen-Nassau, Germany.  The six families involved were Burbach (3 brothers) Muller ( I don't know yet if the Mullers were related) and  Pabst families.

Susanna Burbach had moved to Wurges after her marriage to Johann Georg Meurer and her children were Baptized in Wurges.  Susanna's daughter Anna Maria Meurer married Andreas Hassler and they remained in the area.

This week sent me an email that someone had posted a message on my account.  The message was from Patrik Hassler in Germany!  Patrik wrote that Susanna Burbach Meurer was his 3rd Great-grandmother and he still lived in the area.  He found my tree on and was looking for family in the United States.  My 2nd Great-grandfather Hubert was a brother of Susanna Burbach!! Another cousin found. Whoot!!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Serendipity Times Two - Unexpected Finds!

Things you find on the way to somewhere else!  I am taking the "Family History Writing Challenge" from Lynn Palermo and decided to write the story of my Great-Great-Grandmother Catherine Caspary and her decision to immigrate to the United States in 1856.

Catherine's story begins in 1851 in Villmar, Hessen-Nassau, Germany.  She is married to Georg Burbach and has a young son Adam.  How and why did this young couple decide to leave Germany and go to America and why Milwaukee, Wisconsin?  This is the basis of the story I am writing.

While researching their method of travel to America, I realized that I didn't know their port of departure.  What did I know?  I knew from Georg's naturalization papers that they arrived in New York in July of 1856 and Georg was born in 1824.  So I went to and selected the New York Passenger lists.  I entered the following criteria:  Name Georg; birth year 1824 +- 2yrs; place of birth Germany; arrival 1856.  I got only 26 returns!

There they were Georg and Catherine SUMBACH and their sons Hermann and Johann.  Traveling with them is Anna Caspari who is likely Catherine's sister and Anne Marie Becker.  They had sailed on the ship "Mary Ogden" from Le Havre, France.

Later I went to to see if there were any records for my Georg Burbach that would be of help with my story.  Imagine my surprise to see his name on a marriage record in New York state!  He is listed as the "father of the groom".  This is the record of the marriage of his second son John (Johann) to Steffonia Grumber in 1875 at Brooklyn, Kings, New York.  I knew about John and Stephanie's marriage since they and their children lived close to Georg and Catherine in Milwaukee.  I hadn't yet looked for their marriage other than the 1880, 1900, and 1910 census returns.  I am glad since I would have wasted a lot of time.   I had no reason to believe John had ever left Milwaukee after his arrival as a two year old in 1856.  The next mystrey to solve is why did he go to New York for a bride?
Job training, arranged marriage, they met in Milwaukee and her family moved to New York for work?  What do you think?

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Roots Tech 2016 and the Challenge issued

Today was the opening day of Roots Tech 2016 and I watched the opening keynote session.  The common theme for all the speakers was story telling.  The speakers were all inspiring and made me realize just how important the stories are to those living now.  All of the finalists in the Innovator's Summit are about capturing the stories verbally, through the written word, or in photos.

This month I have also entered the Family History Writers Challenge sponsored by Lynn Palermo.  I will write the story of my Great-great-grandparents Georg Burbach and Catherine Caspary.  Their story begins 1851 as a married couple with a young son.  It will include their journey from Villmar, Hessen-Nassau, Germany to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA.  I want to show their triumhs and sorrows.

As part of the Family History Writers Challenge, I will be attempting to include dialog and descriptive scenes in the story.  Part of the challenge is that I will need to make some assumptions about George and Catherine along with interweaving the facts of their lives.  This challenge lasts for a month so I hope to become comfortable with this type of writing.  If I succeed, I will develop other stories of my ancestors.