Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Genealogy Adventures - Certification: Beginning the Journey

 I haven’t posted often this year because I am spending this year preparing to submit a portfolio and apply for certification as a genealogist. For the past eleven years I have been writing about the various members of my ancestry as I uncover their stories. For Certification purposes, I must use my own work and there can be no critiquing or comments from others incorporated into the submitted work, so it has been difficult to continue to write about family and risk endangering my portfolio. I don't want to totally abandon the blog so I will make some sporadic posts unrelated to my portfolio.

 I think I began to consider certification as a possibility for me in 2019 when I took my first virtual class with the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG). 

That first class, Intermediate Foundations, met for three hours a week for ten weeks and I probably spent ten to fifteen a week doing the assignments. It covered the multiple types of records used by genealogists. Where to find them and how to use them. I was happy to learn that I could work at the intermediate level with ease and began to seriously consider certification.

In January of 2020 I went to Salt Lake City for a resident class “Introduction to Genetic Genealogy”. A solid week of classes with about thirty other DNA/Genealogy geeks.  It was an amazing experience and my article about my experiences was published in the Utah Genealogy Association magazine Crossroads.

(Next installment the Covid effect)

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

I’ve been Hanging From the Family Tree for 11 years!


Hanging From the Family Tree is 11! 

It’s my Blogiversary! Eleven years! When I began to blog about my genealogy adventures in 2010, it was never my expectation that I would continue this long.

Over time, I have written about my ancestors, my husband’s ancestors and genealogy related trips I have taken. I have set new goals at the end of each year and reviewed the past goals to see where I have met my goals or not.

This past year, I was not very successful with regular posting but I realized that my focus has been gradually changing. Lately I have become more concerned with the quality of my research than with the quantity of the research. Realizing this, I have been taking advantage of the plethora of online education that is currently available.

I am going to apply to become a Certified Genealogist. To that end my adventures in genealogy will take a different path for a while. I will “go on the clock” in June, which means that I will have one year after my application is accepted to submit a portfolio of very specific work products, not to exceed 150 pages, to the Board for Certification of Genealogists. I have been taking classes to that end for the past two years and am currently taking two additional classes.

I am also supplementing the class work by reading samples of the submissions of others. Right now I am beginning to determine the projects I will work on for my portfolio.

This year’s posts will probably be more about certification than family, but it is still genealogy!

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Year End 2020 - Onward to New Challenges


The end of this long year has finally arrived! Now is the time to review the goals I set for the year and set new goals for 2021.

I have finished to work to prove my daughter and son’s relationship to their Revolutionary War patriot. It was a long process, but I am proud that I was able to complete it.

Once again, I was part of Amy Johnson Crow’s “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks” project to encourage writing regularly. Sadly, my posts were even fewer than last year. I will still belong this year and hope to do better.

As the world changed in March, so did all our lives. Genealogy classes went online and soon we all learned Zoom so we could participate. My local genealogy group began holding their regular monthly meetings on Zoom. National genealogy institutes adapted their classes to Zoom and we could learn from home.

Since March, I have taken eight genealogy classes of various intensity. Some were week-long, held daily from 9 until 5, some were  three hours weekly for 7 to 10 weeks, one meets monthly for a one-year period. All were taught by highly qualified instructors with a firm grasp of the material.

In June I made the decision to become a certified genealogist. I set a timetable for my self and began to implement in. I resigned as program chair for my local genealogy group. I took two institute classes and two virtual classes with the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) and will attend two week-long sessions at SLIG in January. I will also be taking a session at SLIG academy in February that ends in April.

As part of my preparation for submitting my portfolio, I have asked members of my local genealogy group to give me their “brick walls” so I can practice doing Research Reports for clients. I am currently working on the second case of the four I have lined up.

My plan is to spend the time from June 2020 until June 2021 further educating my self and practicing writing client reports. I will also identify the lines for the case study and kinship determination proof. In June 2021 I will submit my application to the Board for Certification of Genealogists and officially “go on the clock”, which will give me until June of 2022 to submit my complete portfolio.

Hey, I just planned not one but two years of genealogy! Now to get cracking.

Thursday, September 3, 2020

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 36 Labor


Week 10 of 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - "The Nickel That Grew Up" *

Women shoppers at Mrs. Snyder's Candy shop
South Michigan Ave 1927
credit Pintrest
Did someone have an unusual job? Ora Hanson Snyder did!  Ora created a business to support her family. I've told her story before but it bears repeating. Not only did Ora create a successful business, she employed several members of her extended family.

My husband and his sister often reminisced about visiting their grandmother and going to a candy store where they could eat candy for free. In exploring this memory, I found that the store was owned by their great-aunt who founded the store that would become a Chicago institution.

Aurora Henrietta Hanson was the seventh child born to Oloff Hanson and Mary Hepke. She was born in Michigan City, LaPorte, Indiana 12 Mar 1876.[i] She was baptized in the Lutheran church there and shortly after her birth the family moved to Chicago, Cook, Illinois. Perhaps her father, Oloff, a fisherman, felt that the larger city would provide a better market for his daily catch.

Aurora’s mother died in 1881 due to childbirth. [ii] Her large family was left to cope with the loss. Aurora was only five at the time, but her older sister Lizbet married two years later and may have taken Aurora with her until her marriage in 1894 to William Allen Snyder.[iii]

The 1900 census shows Ora (Aurora) and William living with their daughter Edith and his parents George and Mary on Ellis Ave in Chicago where William is working as a bookkeeper.

The Atlantic, Chocolate Dipped: The Popularity of Custom Candy in 1940s Chicago

In 1909, with only a cup of sugar and an egg white, using only five cents worth of ingredients, Ora began making candies in her kitchen to sell to the school children after school. This was necessary to support her family after her husband became too ill to work. At a friend’s suggestion she took her candies to downtown Chicago where they were much sought after.[iv]

By 1920 the Snyders were the owners of a confectionary factory according to the census and by 1925 she owned 8 stores and in 1931 she was elected the first continued woman president of Associated Retail Confectioners of the United States.[v]

Ora Snyder continued to watch her business grow and by the time of her death in 1948 she owned 16 shops, one of which was a 7-story building. In the 1960s Mrs. Snyder’s Candies and its 15 stores was purchased by Fannie Mae Candies there by ending an era.

Ora was a strong woman who found a way to support her family and created a business using her skills and determination to succeed. "I can't make all the candy in the world, so I just make the best of it." [vi]

* The Green Book Magazine, Volumes 21-22, pages 87-88,Story-Press association, 1919, from     the University of Michigan, Digitized Oct 22, 2009 Google Books

[i] U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA Operations, Inc., 2012.
[ii] Cook County, Illinois, Deaths Index, 1878-1922 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011.
[iii] Cook County, Illinois, Marriages Index, 1871-1920 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011.
[iv]   The Atlantic, Chocolate Dipped: The Popularity of Custom Candy in 1940s Chicago
[v] Ibid 
[vi] The Green Book Magazine, Volumes 21-22, pages 87-88,Story-Press association, 1919, from     the University of Michigan, Digitized Oct 22, 2009 Google Books

Saturday, June 27, 2020

A Fine Day for a Wedding no Matter the Year!

Wedding Wednesday -A Legacy of Weddings

June 28, ????

This is a date permanently etched in our family's history.
Alice Fleming and Michael Connery were married June 28, 1893

Pauline Connery (daughter of Alice and Michael) and William F Ryan were married June 28, 1928

Elizabeth Mary Connery(daughter of Alice and Michael) and Donald Hansen were married June 28 1941 (my parents)

Alice Ryan (daughter of Pauline Connery) married George Sterling II June 28, 1951

William F Ryan II (son of Pauline Connery Ryan) and Barbara Brown were married June 28 1956

At least one more of my cousins also share this anniversary date. Who says the Irish aren't sentimental? Alice and Elizabeth wore the same dress.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 21 - Tombstone

Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed 17 June 2020), memorial page for Addie Ferguson (unknown–24 Sep 1902), Find a Grave Memorial no. 16051129, citing Mound Cemetery, Hunt City, Jasper County, Illinois, USA ; Maintained by Bonnie Woods Martin (contributor 46826275) .

In the fall of 2004, my husband and I made a trip to the area of Southern Illinois where his ancestors had farmed since the 1850s. Jasper County, Illinois home to places named Willow Hill, Liberty, and Hunt City. One of the places we went to was Mound Cemetery where his maternal grandparents are buried.

As we wandered the cemetery looking for their graves, we came upon one which yielded information we never expected to find, My husband’s great-grandmother, Addie Chapman Ferguson, died on 24 Sep 1902, just four days shy of her twenty-fourth birthday. She was survived by her husband John and children Edna, 6 and Murl 4. This information was well known but her tombstone revealed the births and deaths of two other children, Clifford and Raymond, each having lived only four months.Because these babies were born and died between the census years, there would be no record to tell us of their existence.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks– Week 24 – Handed Down

One of the many things handed down to me by my parents is the Guest Log.
The Guest Log was a wedding gift to my parents. It was one of the many gifts which traveled with them on the honeymoon trip to Lookout Mountain on the way to their new home in Atlanta, GA.  I know they moved back to Chicago sometime in 1942 since I was born in October of that year. 
photo-Donna Hansen Peterson 2020
The Guest Log is about eight and a half inches wide and eleven inches high. Its covers are made of wood and there are two small copper hinges on the front. The binding is a strip of leather laced through four holes in the covers. The pages have become brittle with age and some have cracked. It was first used by my parents in February of 1943. The original entries are:

Name                                           Address                                            Date
A H Hansen                           Oak Park, ILL                                  2/23/’43
   Remarks  Thanks for a nice dinner
Henrietta Hansen             
  Remarks  Spent a pleasant evening
Dorothy H Murray              Oak Park, ILL                                    2/23/43
  Remarks  Will remember this evening a long time
Robert J Murray                 Oak Park, ILL
  Remarks  The first visit of many more to come 
(I hope)my dad’s parents, sister, and brother-in-law)
Jayne Hansen                  
  Remarks  This is one of the best evenings I’ve ever spent – no fooling
Daniel J Hansen
Remarks  A fine evening with one regret, we missed dinner
(dad’s first cousin and his wife)
Dick Purtell                        Oak Park, ILL                                     3/13/43
  Remarks  I like to be with you both for old time’s sake.
(an olf friend and beau of mom’s sister Kathleen)
Pauline Ryan
  Remarks  The roast beef was perfect tonight.
Peggy Ryan                      4319 Monroe St.                                    4/2/43
  Remarks  I enjoy each Sunday Morning with y’all
(mom’s sister and niece)
Popsy Connery              4140 Washington Bl                                 4/14/43
  Remarks  I enjoyed the lunch and I had a very pleasant afternoon. I
Love Betty and Don’s apt.
Mama Connery 
  Remarks  The lunch was very good and enjoyed being here and seeing you.
(mom’s parents)
Grant B Munger             Cedar Rapids, Ia                               Aug 22, 1943
  Remarks  Had one glorious time
Mabel E Munger            Cedar Rapids, Ia      
  Remarks  Enjoyed every minute.
Dorothy Munger           USNAS Glenview, IL                         Aug 22, 1943
  Remarks  It seems like old times being with Donald, Betty, Mr and Mrs Hansen,
It’s been a treat seeing your beautiful apartment.
(their daughter Grace was a college friend of dad’s sister)

photo - Donna Hansen Peterson 2020
The entries of my parents friends and family  ended in August of 1943.

After it came into my possession, my husband and I used it on several occasions (when we remembered to!) and it has since been “handed down” to my son.