Sunday, December 31, 2017

Genealogy Goals - 2017 Reviewing - 2018 Setting

Last year I set some genealogy goals for myself, now it’s time to review them and see how I did.

I am still working on the Do-over and will continue in the coming years.  I want my tree to be as accurate as possible.  As I re-evaluate information I continue to find new information.  I will also continue to maintain my online trees as cousin bait.  Last year they provided contacts in both Norway and Germany. I am still working on the “Do Over” and will continue working on a different family each month. I have made a promise to my self to enter a source citation for each fact or person I add to the tree.
I will once again participate in the Family History Writing group sponsored by Lynn Palermo in February.  Last year I got off to a pretty good start, but found some additional research was needed to continue the story.  I have done the research and, so I will resurrect the story and hope to finish it and publish it here. Tis proved to be an epic fail as I did not participate this past year, but I probably won’t participate this year as I have decided to join the 52 ancestors in 52 weeks meme. I hope spreading the writing over the course of the year will work better for me.
On the DNA front, I am currently the manager of 5 kits and have had some minor success in connecting my brother and a known first cousin to another branch of my grandfather's family.  The most common recent ancestor was my grandfather's grandfather.  He was born in Norway in 1817.  I will be watching and re-watching DNA seminars this year and I now have Blaine Bettinger's book "Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy" so maybe this year I will become more comfortable with DNA analysis. I feel much more comfortable with DNA after concentrating on it this past year. When I went to Jamboree, I concentrated on taking in as many lectures on DNA as I could. I also watched all of the DNA webinars at Legacy Family Tree, and read Blaine Bettinger’s book. As a bonus, I did a cruise to Alaska and was able to hear Blaine present on DNA an additional five times. As a result, I have identified my son-in-law’s birth parents using both traditional genealogy and DNA. I have also found known branches of our family tree which we have lost contact with over time.
I am making tentative plans to go back to the Family History Library in April and the SCGS Jamboree in June.  My trip to Salt Lake was a wonderful adventure and as is typical, I made substantial progress on a brick wall on Saturday afternoon! (my last day) I hope to go to Jamboree for both its educational opportunities and fellowship.  I may also see my cousin while in California. I did return to Salt Lake City and the Family History Library in April. Once again, I was seeking the two mysterious Swedes in among my husbands ancestors. They are still elusive but, I have hopes that new clues and DNA will help to find their birthplaces. At Jamboree I did concentrate on DNA as I mentioned but I was also a wonderful feeling of fellowship and meeting old and new friends. I was lucky to spend an evening with both my cousin and her daughter in addition to another evening with a high school classmate. September brought with it a cruise to Alaska with the group from Heritage Books. We had great weather for late September and the group was very friendly with well planned activities. There were lectures covering many areas of genealogy and I came home re-inspired.
My greatest fail this year was with blogging.  Far from the weekly posts I had hoped to do, I only managed a total of nineteen blog posts.  I don’t know if I need different ideas or just more determination.  I guess I better figure it out. At Jamboree I did attend Michael John Neill’s presentation on blogging and got several great ideas, then Cindy Ingle further inspired me with tips on publishing to correct an error. Last year I posted 20 blog posts this year it will be 21, so while it is an improvement of one more post I want it to still be a bigger improvement. This will be the eighth year of my blog and I hope it is the best.
One last goal is to finally finish my daughter's application to join the DRA.  There is one loose end to connect in the 1810-1830-time period.  That will probably require land and tax records. Unfortunately, the DAR application was left behind In the excitement of DNA testing. I resolve to finish it this year.
So last year there were some successes and some misses. This year I also planned the programs for the monthly meetings of our local genealogy group and volunteered in the genealogy room of the library on most Sunday afternoons. When possible I also volunteer at the local Family History Center.

Bring on 2018!!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Donald G Hansen RIP 10 May 1910 - 28 Dec 1959

On Sunday night, December 27th, we all went to bed as usual. It had been a wonderful holiday weekend.  There were Christmas presents to open, a family dinner complete with mom’s good china and silver. The biggest hit of the weekend was probably the new pool table which resided in the basement. The basement that Dad had been converting from the typical Victorian cellar, complete with octopus furnace and coal bin to a rec room for all of us.

As was usual in our house, lights were out by 10:30 pm. Sometime after midnight, mom woke me up whispering “Donna, can you get up? I think Dad is having a heart attack.” As I went downstairs and into their bedroom, I could hear what sounded like very heavy snoring. Later I would learn that it was the last air escaping from his lungs. 

In the days before 911, you dialed the operator to get to emergency services, I think it was the fire department that provided these services. I will never forget that they wanted to know who to send the bill to before they would contact the ambulance. The next call was to our family doctor, who came to the house immediately. Dr. Cahill was both a family friend and our physician and it was his unfortunate duty to pronounce my dad’s death. I am not sure, but I think he also called the undertaker for mom and meet with the emergency personnel.

Not all, but some of the other kids were awakened by the comings and goings. They mostly hung out on the stairs which were just outside of mom and dad’s bedroom. When the undertaker came to remove dad’s body, it was determined that mom would go to the funeral parlor later that day to make the arrangements for his wake and funeral. When the undertaker was ready to move the body, mom asked me to take the kids upstairs, so they wouldn’t need to watch that.

The funeral arrangements were made at the funeral home one ½ block from our house, which was fortunate since nobody, but dad was a driver then.
The little I remember of the wake, or visitation, was that I surprised at how many people knew my dad.  Of course, his mother and sister as well as my mother’s brothers and sisters were there but there were so many others. Sure, I knew he had friends but even some of his high school classmates came to honor him.

The people in our community were so generous and giving that I am sure we had donated food in half the freezers in town. The church was packed on the day of the funeral, complete with a large contingent of Adrian Dominican nuns. Leaving the church after the funeral, I saw them with their white habits and black veils and cloaks standing towards the rear of the church. My thought at the time was “They look like a herd of penguins”. Inappropriate I know, but such is the mind of a seventeen-year-old.

I have written this for my younger siblings because I know that they have different memories of this event that was such a major event in our lives. Dad’s death and our individual reactions to it, no doubt had large part in shaping the people we are today. Let me say that I couldn’t be prouder of each and every one of them and the outstanding people they are.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

fM Continues the Tradition of Blog Caroling

Silent Night Chapel
Oberndorf bei Salzburg, Austria
                                                                 (Wikipedia photo)

Here in Bloggerland, it has become a tradition to join footnoteMaven in the annual Blog Caroling event. One year I chose a new to me carol, "Mary Did You Know?" by the Plantronics. Both the song and group were relatively new to me so this year I decided to go back to my childhood. This year the song I chose is "Silent Night".

The version I chose is bilingual in nature which is one of the reasons that I picked it. "Silent Night" is probably one of the first Christmas Carols I learned and was originally written in German. Part of my heritage is German and I have always strongly identified with that heritage.Additionally my two granddaughters were born in Germany.
You can listen here 

Silent night, originally Stille nacht, heilige Nacht, is Christmas carol from Austria.Music: Franz Xaver Gruber Lyrics: Joseph Mohr

German lyrics[9]Young's English lyrics[10]
Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht,
Alles schläft; einsam wacht
Nur das traute hochheilige Paar.
Holder Knabe im lockigen Haar,
Schlaf in himmlischer Ruh!
Schlaf in himmlischer Ruh!

Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht,
Hirten erst kundgemacht
Durch der Engel Halleluja,
Tönt es laut von fern und nah:
Christ, der Retter ist da!
Christ, der Retter ist da!

Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht,
Gottes Sohn, o wie lacht
Lieb' aus deinem göttlichen Mund,
Da uns schlägt die rettende Stund'.
Christ, in deiner Geburt!
Christ, in deiner Geburt!
Silent night, holy night,
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon virgin mother and child.
Holy infant, so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace.

Silent night, holy night,
Shepherds quake at the sight;
Glories stream from heaven afar,
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!
Christ the Savior is born,
Christ the Savior is born!

Silent night, holy night,
Son of God, love's pure light;
Radiant beams from thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord, at thy birth,
Jesus, Lord, at thy birth.

lyrics Wikipedia                    
  1.  Evangelisches Gesangbuch, hymn no. 46Gotteslob, hymn no. 249 (was 145)
  2. Jump up^ "Silent Night, Holy Night"The United Methodist Hymnal, number 239, translated by John F. Young (stanzas 1–3) and anon. (stanza 4),

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Deck the Halls - 2012 Christmas GeneaMeme 2017 version


Do you have any special Xmas traditions in your family?  We have always gone to church on Christmas, sometimes to the Midnight Mass and sometimes on Christmas Day. Usually we observed the lighting of the Advent Wreath with its three purple candles and one pink candle. We didn’t have a chimney to hang our stockings on but each child was assigned a chair or place on the sofa to place their stocking on, that is where Santa would leave their gifts. We were allowed to open a gift on Christmas Eve and take it to bed with us. Usually pajamas from an Aunt and Uncle.

Is church attendance an important part of your Christmas celebrations and do you go the evening before or on Xmas Day?  We have always gone to church on Christmas, sometimes to the Midnight Mass and sometimes on Christmas Day. Much depended on the age of the children in the family. Recently, due to various church commitments such as altar servers and choir membership, the family has sometimes gone to separate services.

Did/you or your children/grandchildren believe in Santa?  Yes! Each generation has believed in Santa, usually until about the age of 8. After that we knew better but kept the secret going for the sake of any littles.

Do you go caroling in your neighbourhood? As a child, sometimes we would gather friends to go caroling in the neighborhood and sometimes my Girl Scout troop would go caroling. As an adult, never.

What’s your favourite Christmas music?  All of it! There is really none that I don’t like. I used to watch the Christmas specials and do the Christmas cards.

What’s your favourite Christmas carol?  Currently it is “Mary Did You Know” but I like many others for various reasons.

Do you have a special Xmas movie/book you like to watch/read?  I always enjoy “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “Miracle on 34th Street” but I also like to watch anything with the littles. I love to share their excitement.

Does your family do individual gifts, gifts for littlies only, Secret Santa (aka Kris Kringle)?  Our gift giving has changed with the times as our family has changed. With 9 children in the family, we used to draw names and kept the tradition as marriages occurred. With the addition of littles, we would buy for each until they were in high school, then they were moved to the “grab bag”. We would set a dollar limit and it usually worked pretty well. There was a year or two that the gifts were to be homemade. That was fun!

Is your main Christmas meal indoors or outdoors, at home or away?  Growing up in Northern Illinois, our Christmas meal was always indoors and it stayed that way mostly when we lived in Florida and now in Texas. Except for the first year my husband and I lived in Florida. That year we decorated the lanini and ate poolside. Two of my sisters and a brother came for dinner with their families and we ate poolside.

 What do you eat as the main course for the Christmas meal?  I don’t remember a certain tradition, but it was always more on the formal side with the good china and silver. The meal could vary from turkey to ham to beef,  but there was always family and love. One year my husband and I invited both of our families to our house (about 25 people) for dinner. We had Roast Goose, Beef Wellington, and homemade Egg Nog among other dishes. I came down with pneumonia that night and it took my poor husband spent three days doing dishes and cleaning the kitchen.

Do you have a special recipe you use for Xmas?  We do Christmas cookies every year. Rum balls and Hungarian Kolaches are favorites.

Does Christmas pudding feature on the Xmas menu? Is it your recipe or one you inherited?  We don’t have Christmas pudding.

Do you have any other special Christmas foods? No really although brisket on the bar-b-que is becoming a tradition now that we live in Texas.

Do you give home-made food/craft for gifts at Christmas?  When I was first married I used to make bread and cookies as Christmas gifts and over time I have made other crafts as gifts, such as a patchwork pillow, monogramed beer glasses and once a clock.

Do you return to your family for Xmas or vice versa?  When we all lived in Northern Illinois, we would go back to our parents homes, spending time with both families. After Mom and my husbands parents moved to Florida, those of us still in the area would alternate hosting Christmas. Some of my siblings moved to Florida with my mother and they celebrate the holiday in much the same way, taking turns hosting.

Is your Christmas celebrated differently from your childhood ones? If yes, how does it differ?  Some things have changed over the years and others have remained the same. I live with my son-in-law and daughter now and their family. Church attendance is still the same but the overall feeling is much more casual. We still have a celebratory meal.

How do you celebrate Xmas with your friends? Lunch? Pre-Xmas outings? Drop-ins? I don’t celebrate with friends much anymore since we have moved to Texas. I do keep in touch with friends and relatives via Facebook.

Do you decorate your house with lights? A little or a lot?  We do string lights along the front of the house and on the shrubs out in front. The highlight of our decorations are the wooden soldiers my husband made twenty years ago. This year they will have new flags to fly!

Isy.your neighbourhood a “Xmas lights” tour venue?  Most people on our cul-de-sac do decorate but not to the standard of being on a Christmas lights tour.

Does your family attend Carols by Candlelight singalongs/concerts? Where?  We did for several years when my son-in-law was the choir director for our church, but not any more.

Have any of your Christmases been spent camping (unlikely for our northern-hemisphere friends)?  One year we took our camper to Florida and camped to spend Christmas with family. We had a very small tree in the camper.

Is Christmas spent at your home, with family or at a holiday venue? One year my husband took a cruise at Christmas time and didn’t decorate. Coming home was depressing. Other than that, Christmas is at home with family.

Do you have snow for Christmas where you live?  Since we live in south central Texas, we don’t expect snow for Christmas. We did have 2 – 3 inches about two weeks ago and it got everyone into the spirit.

Do you have a Christmas tree every year?  Yes, we have a tree every year, except for the year of the cruise.

Is your Christmas tree a live tree (potted/harvested) or an imitation?  At various times over the years, we have had both harvested and artificial trees. It depends on where we lived. In the South, the trees tend dry out quickly causing a fire hazard.

Do you have special Xmas tree decorations? Our tree decorations are a mix of new and old with musical instruments and toy soldiers as accents. My daughter and her entire family are musicians and my husband has a “thing” for toy soldiers and nutcrackers. We don’t put nutcrackers on the tree but they are everywhere else in the house. We also always have a manger scene in a place of honor.

Which is more important to your family, Christmas or Thanksgiving?  They are both very important to my family, but I would say that the religious connection to the holiday pushes Christmas to the top.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Thinking of Gus - 11 Nov 1926 - 6 Nov 2016

It’s been a year since you left us to re-join your beloved Wanda and I wanted to learn more about you. I previously wrote about you here. I went back to the 1940 Census to see what I could learn about your family and life in Martins Ferry, Belmont, Ohio.

1940 US Census

According to the census, you lived with your parents Gus, variously called Augustinis, August,Gus,and Gustav, and Mary (Maria) in a rented house at 120 Clay St. in Martins Ferry. The monthly rent on the house was $11.00 per month. Since your father only worked for 14 weeks in 1939, earning an income of $168.00 ($2968.83 in today's dollars) we know that money was tight.

Your father came to the United States from Hungary in 1906 as a 15 year old with a 6th grade education. He initially lived with his brother in Pennsylvania.  By 1917, he was living and working in Ohio. As America went to war in 1917, your father enlisted in the army with the unfortunate result that he was determined to be an enemy alien since he did not yet have his naturalization papers.[i]

By 1920, he was naturalized citizen living in Martins Ferry.[ii] Your father spent the rest of his life in Martins Ferry where he worked in the coal mines to His faith was very important to him and he faithfully attended St Mary's church in Martins Ferry and every night said his evening prayers on his knees. A habit that you also practiced.

Mary Fendrick also came to the United States at about age 16 traveling with her sisters Elizabeth and Julia. On the ship, she was so sick she had to be hospitalized. On her arrival, she took a job in a private household to help her learn the language.

In 1924 Gus Gulyban and Mary Fendrick were married at St Mary’s Church in Martins Ferry.[iii] Following their marriage, Gus and Mary raised their family in Martins Ferry instilling their religious, patriotic and hard work values in their children.

From 1940 you attended Martins Ferry High School, graduating in 1944. That's your senior picture. In your Sophomore year you were a member of the stamp club, a hobby that would stay with you. In your Junior year you were a Hall Guard. 

You entered the US Navy shortly after your High School Graduation. You were stationed on both the USS Lindenwald and the USS Zebra. After the war was over, you settled in Chicago and began to work for A&T in downtown Chicago.  You met and married Wanda Ferguson in 1949. You also acquired two children, David and Patricia, who you would raise with love.

In 1952, your daughter, Susan, was born and you moved your family to Wheaton, IL. where you had built a home.

You and Wanda raised your family with the same values you were taught by your parents example. Hard work, prayer, and a healthy dose of patriotism were the keystones to a successful life.

You were generous, cheerful, hardworking, and honest. You loved music, cooking, stamp collecting, and people. The stamp collecting was a holdover from your membership in the high school stamp club. You embraced learning trying new challenges like doing crossword puzzles in ink and learning to make candles or stained glass. 

Your success in raising your family is a tribute to both you and your parents and I thank you for that. You are honored and missed.

[i] images online; U S, Adjunct General Records 1631-1976; Ohio 1917-1918 p 6640 accessed 6 Nov 2017
[ii] “Ohio, County Naturalization Records, 1800-1977,” index and images, FamilySearch ( accessed 13 May 2013, Gustav Gulyban, 1919.
[iii] West Virginia, Marriages, 1853-1970, index FamilySearch ( accessed 13 May 2013), Gustav Gulyban and Mary Fendrick, 1924.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Not All Norwegians Used the Patronymic Naming System - His Father's Name was Martin not Hans

As is so often the case, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing! In my case, my knowledge caused me to make a serious error in my genealogy file. Since I posted my tree on, that error has been compounded when others either copied my tree or appended it to theirs.

While I found the error, and corrected it several years ago, I wanted explain my error with a written summary. This will be added to my tree on ancestry in the hope that others will see it and correct their information.

When I began searching for my great-grandfather's birth record in Norway, I was looking for Adolf Hansen. When I finally found the christening record, I discovered his name was actually Johannes Adolf Waldemar Hansen. The record was difficult to read in places and I do not read Norwegian. Since every one knows that the Norwegians use the Patronymic naming system, I assumed the 
father's name was Hans and so I entered Hans Hansen as the father of Johannes Adolf Waldemar Hansen.

As I continued my research, I found several hints that I should go back to that christening record and look at it again. The first hint was found in Adolf’s first marriage record. On 12 December 1877, Johannes Adolf Waldemar Hansen married Dorette Christensen in Grønland Parish, in Oslo, Norway.  Their marriage record[i] clearly states that Johannes Adolf Hansen’s father is Martin Hansen. Dorette’s father is Daniel Kristensen.

record of the marriage of Johannes Adolf Hansen marriage to Dorette Kristensen
The entry for Johannes and Dorette is the third from the bottom.   

record of the death of  Dorette Hansen
Dorette died[ii] on 4 July 1887 shortly after giving birth to her daughter, Aagot Dorette.  Aagot was the seventh child born to Adolph and Dorette during the ten years of their marriage.

record of the marriage of Adolf to Nathalie Egeburg

Johannes Adolf, as he was then known, married[iii] Nathalie Bull Egeberg at Garnison Menighet in Oslo on 2 Feb 1889. Once again, his father’s name was shown to be Martin Hansen.

Now that I had seen Martin listed twice as the father of Johannes Adolf Valdemar Hansen, it was time to revisit the birth record of Johannes Adolf Valdemar Hansen and see what new information could be learned.

birth record of Johannes Adolf Waldemar Hansen
Johannes Adolf Waldemar was born[iv] 11 October 1852 and christened at Aker, Akershus, Oslo, Norway on 26 December 1852. He was the illegitimate son of Johanne Sophie Johannessen and Martin Hansen. Martin appears to be in the military but I haven’t yet determined Johanne Sophie’s occupation.  Sponsors at the christening were Johanne Marie Johannessen, Martha Marie Andersdatter, Adolf Anderssen and Julius Johnssen.

[i] SAO, Grønland prestekontor Kirkebøker, F/Fa/L0005: Parish register (official) no. 5, 1869-1880, p. 311    Quick link: accessed 23 Oct 2017
[ii] SAO, Garnison Church Church Books, F / Fa / L0012: Ministerial Book No. 12, 1880-1893, p. 300
[iii] SAO, Garnison Church Church Books, F / Fa / L0012: Ministerial Book No. 12, 1880-1893, p. 238
[iv] SAO, Aker prestekontor kirkebøker, F/L0019: Parish register (official) no. 19, 1842-1852, p. 395

All images and records are located online at the Norwegian Digitalarkivet correct as of 26 Oct 2017

Thursday, October 19, 2017

“Throwback Thursday” and “Treasure Chest Thursday”! A 2for day

Photo courtesy of Joyce Vandeviere
used with permission

As I checked my facebook feed last night, I saw several photos posted by a friend of several of my high school classmates who are holding a mini reunion. One of the outings involved a trip to the Historical Society of the town where our high school was located. While there they were able to look at the Society’s collection of materials related to our Alma Mater.

As much as I enjoyed seeing my former classmates, I was very excited to see one of the photos which showed a typed copy of our “School Song”. Not only was it complete with both verses but right above it was the original “School Song” that was used until 1938 when the version that we had sung was composed. It gave me a huge thrill because my mother has graduated in 1935 from the same school! Now I knew the words to the song she had sung in high school.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Celebrating the 4th - Reflections

As I sit here tonight listening to "A Capitol Fourth", I have been reflecting on the 4th of July celebrations that have been part of my life.

As a child I don't remember there being quite as many big celebrations as there are now, although I certainly remember going to the East End Park in Elmhurst where we would spread a sheet or blanket on the grass and crane our necks skyward and respond to the fireworks with OOOhs and Ahhs. We may have had popcorn or an ice cream but I really don't remember.

As a young married, we usually celebrated the 4th with my husband's family since the town they lived in, Wheaton, had a parade on the 4th and Elmhurst didn't. It was an all day affair. beginning around eleven in the morning and extending until about midnight. The parade was a long one and went right past the front door. There were hot dogs, burgers, potato salad, sloppy joes, ambrosia salad. soda and beer according to taste. Food was served all day long and friends and family were welcomed. In the evening, the activity moved to the park about 3 blocks away where we spread blankets and tuned the portable radios to the stations playing patriotic music. Usually we visited with friends or played cards until it was time for the fireworks.The ground shuddered and sounds exploded with the force of the explosions. Kids cried or cheered according to their age and everyone oood and aahhd. We sang to the music on the radio because we all knew the words. At the end of the fireworks, everyone made there way out of the park and we walked back to my in-laws to claim the babies that they watched who were too small to go to the park.Sometimes we played cards for a while before packing up for the journey home.

Later we took our kids to fireworks closer to home and as scouts and band members they were always involved in a parade. Still later we watched fireworks from our pool deck while listening to the radio. Our neighbors had a display worthy of a small town in the backyard and the next day the neighborhood smelled of sulfur.

I have celebrated the 4th on the beach in Florida and on several military bases over the years. Once even in Germany but one thing they all had in common was the sense of pride in our county and the strong sense that we were all together.

It warms my heart to see that my grandchildren have followed the same path. They have grown up on military bases and their dad was in the Army Band but they have also marched in the parades celebrating Independence Day as scouts and band members. Keep the traditions going.
 Long may we celebrate!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Father's Day 2017 - Documenting Dad

Since it is Father's Day and my brother so eloquently wrote about our dad here, I thought I would share some of the details of his life.

Donald George Hansen was born on May 14, 1910 in Tooele, Tooele, Utah. His birth certificate is here.  His birth certificate tells us that his was a full term baby and was the second of two births for his parents.  I had always heard that dad was a preemie and weighed only 2 pounds at birth. The birth certificate does not show a birth weight but does show that he was not premature.

Donald does not appear in the 1910 Federal Census because the Tooele census was taken in April that year.

Since dad was born in Utah, I began my search for his Baptism in Utah. The Diocese of Tooele had no record for a baptism for him. I knew where his older sister Dorothy had been baptised so I checked those records. Nothing. Where to look now? There are 372 Catholic parishes in the Archdiocese of Chicago. Then I remembered that the Catholic Church requires a copy of a baptismal record to get married in the Catholic Church.

I knew when and where my parents married so I wrote for a copy of their marriage record requesting that special attention be paid to all notations. It worked! The notation on the marriage record stated that Donald George Hansen son of Adolf Hansen and Henrietta Burbach was Baptized at Gesu Church in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on September 4, 1910. Sponsors were George Burbach (brother of Henrietta) and Anna Burbach, his wife. Gesu is the same church where Adolf and Henrietta were married in 1907. It is interesting that there is a notation added to his baptismal record about his marriage. The note gives name of bride, place and date of marriage.

FHL film 007856328 Baptisms, Gesu Catholic Church, Milwaukee, Wisconsin/
volumn 2 page 27, image 717.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

SCGS Jamboree 2017 - Sunday

Sunday is the last day of the Jamboree which ends at 3:00 with the Grand Prize Drawing. My Sunday began with a change of topics.  I had planned to listen to Duff Wilson present " Getting the Most Out of Family Tree Maker 2017" because it is a program I will be using often but on the way to pavilion 1, I literally changed my mind at the last minute and made a left turn into pavilion 2. There was Anna Swayne of Ancestry and her presentation "Putting Your DNA Matches to Work".   Anna demonstrated how to interpret the results page from the Ancestry DNA test and highlighted the importance of attaching a family tree to your DNA results. She also explained how to use the hints feature to see cousins with whom you have a shared ancestor. There is a built in notes area and a way to mark the matches that you have already reviewed. AncestryDNA also allows searching by surname/birth location which can help find patterns in addition to the shared matches tool.

From Anna's DNA lecture I went to one by Jim Brewster of Family Tree DNA. Jim's talk was on "The ABCs of Y-DNA . After a short history of the beginning of genetic genealogy, Jim explained STRs and SNPs which are on the Y chromosome and how haplogroups are determined by SNPs found on the Y chromosome. He also discussed the various Y tests and when they might be useful. There are lots of projects which use the Y DNA tests such as Surname, Haplogroup, and Geographic projects.

After lunch on the Quad, there were two more DNA classes on my horizon.

The first was"DNA, Your Research, and Legacy Family Tree" with Geoff Rasmussen of Legacy Family Tree. Legacy Family Tree has come out with a new version which includes helps for managing and recording DNA data. Legacy has DNA charts for male Y-DNA and female mtDNA which will help you determine who the carriers are. Geoff discussed his own DNA experiences with DNA testing and how it helped him topple a brick wall.  He also showed his method of recording who has tested using hashtags (#) another new feature of Legacy Family Tree. Unlimited #s can be created and added to your family file as a way of making and saving lists people etc.

The final session I attended on Sunday and of the Jamboree was once again with Jim Baker and dealt with "Autosomal DNA Test: So Good You Caan Hardly Believe It".  Jim explained the differences between the scoring of FTDNA, Ancestry DNA, and GEDmatch. The major features of each company were shown and the range of scores for expected relationships were discussed. He defined the scoring done by both FTDNA and Ancestry DNA. Jim finished his presentation with two case studies one of which was finding an ancestor in the 6th - 8th generation. Jim's charts helped to clarify the process.

At 3;00 the conference was over except for the Grand Prize drawing. The Exhibit Hall had closed at 2:00 and many attendees had been leaving so it was time to say "Good Bye" until next year.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

SCGS Jamboree 2017 - Saturday

Saturday morning I began the day with "Understanding DNA for Genealogy" by Jim Brewster of FamilyTree DNA.  It is a beginner level class on DNA and discussed the three basic types of DNA for genetic genealogy.  Jim explained about haplogroups and the various DNA tests and how and why they might be used.  He also mentioned the types of projects people can become involved in.

At 11:30 I joined Shannon Christmas for his talk on "How to Get More From Your DNA with  This was categorized as suitable for beginners through advanced.  GEDMatch is a "third party" DNA vendor. They don't actually do DNA testing but they do provide a place to upload raw DNA data from any of the testing companies so that you can compare with others who have tested with any other company. In other words I can compare my DNA test from 23andMe with those who have tested at Ancestry.comDNA and FamilyTree DNA.  More matches = more chances of finding cousins! Shannon explained the free utilities available at GEDMatch as well as Triangulation and Matching Segments.

Lunch in the Quad between the conference center and the tower of the hotel was very pleasant and it is always fun to talk about genealogy with others.  Making new friends and greeting old friends. No one is lonely at a genealogy conference unless they choose to be!

After lunch, I went to Drew Smith's "Your Ancestor's FAN Club: Using Cluster Research".  Drew pointed out that we can often find records to tell our ancestors' stories in looking at their friends, acquaintances and neighbors.  Since people often moved together, we can follow a group to see their story.  Did your ancestor marry the boy or girl next door? Who did they work with, go to church with or serve in the military with?  Many times, the stories of our ancestors are intertwined with theirs.

After Drew's class, I stayed in the same room to listen to Randy Whited discuss ""Technology Resources for Deciphering Foreign Language Records".  Randy talked about the tools we can employ to further our understanding of what a foreign language record is telling us. He mentioned the use of dictionaries and wikis for translation helps and also using both Microsoft Word and Google Translate.. Randy also talked about types of records to be found and how record layout might be a clue to understanding the meaning of the record.

Both Drew and Randy's lectures are part of the streaming video available to watch until July 10.

My last session of the day was Lisa Alzo's "Creating Family History ebooks: Your Blueprint for Success". Lisa talked about the Self-Publishing Process and the dos and don'ts. Lisa also showed us some of the online tools that can be used as part of the process.  The writing process was discussed and mind mapping was explained. Lisa's syllabus has a wonderful list of self-publishing toolkit items. Lisa's best and last advice was to Write, Write, Write! Make time every day to write>

After five presentations, it was time to meet my roommate for dinner at the Daily Grill and then put my feet up while my brain tried to absorb all the information it had been exposed to.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

SCGS Jamboree 2017 - Thursday and Friday

I arrived at the Marriott Hotel Convention Center in Burbank on Thursday afternoon just in time for the "No Host Social" and in time to meet my roommate before her last DNA session of the day. I was able to pick up my bag of stuff  so that Thursday evening I could look over the schedule of talks and try to decide which speakers I wanted to hear.

Friday morning was devoted to round table discussions of various topics including DNA, Societies. Professional Genealogists, and Genealogy Basics.  I went to the DNA roundtable discussions.  Tables were set up for the various DNA vendors as well as topics like Virginia/Carolinas, Scottish Genealogy and DNA and others.  Each table had a host who moderated the discussion and participants moved from table to table freely to explore their interests.  I spent time at the Virginia/Carolina table since one of my husband's lines began their migration to southern Illinois from Virginia through North Carolina.  Shannon Christmas was the extremely knowledgeable host and shared his knowledge graciously.

The afternoon sessions provided a wide variety of choices with 9 lectures per time period and four time periods with a 30 minute passing period. (Think high school change of class) The thirty minutes and necessary because the classes are held in the Hotel, Conference Center and two tented Pavilions just beyond the Conference center.

I only went to two of four classes offered Friday afternoon since I spent quite a bit of time in the Exhibit Hall. Most of that time was with Kathy Meade of ArkivDigital. She spent time with me working on a record I had found in the Swedish Church Records and was able to help interpret the place my subject had moved to. This may go a long way to solving one of my Swedish brick walls. I did attend Michael John Neill's "Generating Genealogy Blog Content" and have been re-inspired to keep writing my blog. With all of the changes in genealogy software, I went to hear Bruce Buzbee speak on "Roots Magic: Home Base for your Online Research" so I could learn what's new.

At the end of the day, I was ready to meet a high school classmate for dinner and a visit.  We only get together when I am in California so it was a real treat.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Finding Church Records - a Family Search Catalog Discovery!

Recently I discovered a short-cut to finding parish records in the Family Search Catalog.  I was looking for the Church records for my mother's family, in Chicago during the 1890-1925 time frame.

In the search form for the Family Search Catalog, under place, I entered "Illinois, Cook, Chicago" and saw a list of records held for Chicago, selecting "Church Records" I saw that there are about 370 Catholic Parishes listed. 

 These parishes are in no particular order and it can be very tedious scrolling through that many  pages while reading the name of each church to avoid missing the one you are looking for.  While scrolling today, I noticed the author field. It was consistent and as follows: Catholic Church, St. Mel..."  So I tried using the author field for my search and it works!  Using only the author field, you get a list of all Catholic Churches in the Family History Library catalog and where they are located. 

 If you fill in the place field as well you get a specific parish.

I guess I learned something else!  There is only one St. Mel parish in the United States!  I hope this saves you some search time.  It appears to work for all Catholic Church records in the Family Search Catalog.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Memories of Mays Past

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Today is like many of the May 14ths of my childhood.  It is both Mother's Day and my dad's birthday.  Many of these combination May celebrations were also shared with a First Communion celebration. As each of the nine children in our family passed through the second grade, they made their First Communion.  In addition two of my brothers were born during the month of May. All of these events occurred during the first two weeks of May. Truly a period of celebrations!

I don't remember the exact celebrations but they undoubtedly involved cake and, in the case of birthdays, candles. Gifts were secondary to the occasion and of more sentimental than monetary significance.
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For Mother's Day we would go to Woolworth 5 & 10 store with whatever we had saved from our allowance and pick out a gift for mom.  Dime store jewelry and cologne were favorites. Those gifts were treasured as were the school crafted cards and gifts.

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First Communion gifts were usually a small missal and rosary set, black for boys and white for girls given by the parents. Grandparents and aunts and uncles might give a medal or other remembrance. This was in addition to the expense of a white dress and veil with new white shoes for girls and suits, ties and dress shoes for the boys.

I don't remember adults gifting each other for birthdays and holidays, and I am sure that our gifts for the birthdays of our parents were handmade cards and other small tokens of love.
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Saturday, April 15, 2017

Easter Memories from the 1950s

Easter Sunday meant the celebration of the Risen Lord.  It meant attending church on Sunday morning.  A church with all the statues either replaced in their position or unshrouded from their purple coverings.  It was a day of joy and celebration with flowers decorating the altar in abundance. We prepared for Easter during the six weeks of Lent by making sacrifices and attending additional church services.  There were meatless Fridays, days of fasting, and personal sacrifices.  No candy for six weeks or attending daily Mass were popular personal sacrifices.

Good Friday was commemorated by abstaining from meat, fasting between meals and observing silence between the hours of noon and three o'clock. Then most businesses closed at noon or at least observed the practice of silence.  Many spent those hours in a church on their knees.  If you were at home, silence meant exactly that.  No talking and no radio.

Easter Sunday was a time to wear new spring clothes to celebrate Christ rising from the dead and His return to the world,  It is also a time of rebirth in the world of nature. Baby  animals are born, flowers bloom and trees leaf. This is the reason for some of the traditions that we observe.

In our house, Easter eve meant that it was time to decorate the hats that the girls would wear to church the next day.  Earlier in the week, each of the girls was allowed to choose one of our straw hats to wear with her Easter dress.  Then we would go to the local "dime" store and pick out a flower spray and ribbon to trim our hat.  The decorating was done on Saturday night when Mom would use a needle and thread to attach the flowers and ribbons to the hats. With five daughters this was never a small project, and it was long before glue guns. After the hats were ready, it was time to fill the Easter Baskets with candy treats and small gifts. Sometimes they included new lace trimmed ankle socks or new white gloves. Sometimes the boys got new socks or ties. It probably depended on who needed what to complete their outfit.

On Sunday morning we would walk the block to church as a family,  We were quite a sight in our Easter finery.  All of the boys in suits or jackets with white shirts and ties.  The girls in pastel dresses with flowered and beribboned hats and Mom with the corsage that Dad had purchased for her on her left shoulder. Dad was very proud when the eleven of us would arrive at church and fill an entire pew!

I don't remember the holiday menu but there was definitely a holiday dinner, sometimes including anunts and uncles.  Easter Baskets included outside toys.such as kites, glider planes, jump ropes, and jacks.  It was Spring and time to celebrate the great outdoors!