Category Archives: Genealogy

Kids and the Silly Things They Say

This weekend I dropped my youngest off at my cousin’s house to babysit. The girls are cute and lets face it, they crack me up. It’s saturday afternoon, St. Patrick’s Day, my daughter asks the oldest girl, she’s 8, how come she is not wearing any green. 8 year old replies, matter of fact, “I am NOT Irish!”

I chuckled and told her she was, we went back and forth many times and she refused to believe me. She finally asks her dad if it is true. He replies, how do I know. Terri should know. So, I explain to her that her grandma and Becca’s grandma are sisters and if Becca’s grandma is Irish, well then so is her grandma. She says ok and then proceeds to show me the dark green shorts she has on (we were sitting at a breakfast bar in the kitchen). She completely had my cracking up, because no matter what I told her as an adult, she refused to believe me.

Then she tells me she has to do a family tree for homework and it is due Monday. I offer to help her, well because I am the family genealogist and she politely tells me no, she does not need my help. So, I start telling her a few stories. Like, how I have one of our lines back to the Civil War. She asks when that was and I told her way back in the 1800’s. To which she replies, “is that when you were born?”

Excuse me, I laugh and tell her no that I was born in the 1970’s and she of course gasped and thought that was old. Kids are funny and they do not hold back on what they have to say. She made me giggle quite a bit on Saturday.

Oh, and I did get to help with the family tree on Sunday. I order some prints of family pictures and took the tree back to her great-great grandparents on one line. They needed to put together a poster board with either pictures of the family or their names.

I got a big laugh out of the instructions, the teacher had the tree flip-flopped with the woman on the right (the number 2 spot) and men on the left (the number 3 spot). I had her put her post together the correct way. Then I told her dad why I did it that way, he replied that he thought it looked wrong too and that was fine. I told him that if the teacher asks why it is backwards to make sure she knows that a genealogist sat and helped with the homework and made sure it was put together correctly.  The 8 year old cousin plans to hang her family tree in her room, once it is graded and returned. She was very thankful for the pictures I brought her and told me thank you many times. She also told me that I know lots about the family tree and that was cool.

Since we are discussing genealogy and teaching kids; if you, your school, scouts troop, home school group or anyone else you know are interested in teaching genealogy to children, please check out the new books that are being released this week by Jennifer Holik. You can find a listing of her books here.


It’s the Final Countdown

In just one week (and a day) many Geneabloggers will be descending on Fort Wayne, Indiana. We will be researching at the Allen County Public Library and having a get together at the home of fellow geneablogger Tina Lyons and her husband. We have a great list of people coming, some from Illinois, Ohio and Canada. Yes, you read that right Canada!

The Midwest Geneabloggers Facebook page has been listing the blogs of those attending, but I thought I  would put together a post here for everyone to read. That way, you will know who’s blog to read for updates on our weekend and to see if we get any research done. Plus, this will be a first time trip to ACPL for many, so I am sure there will be some posts about that as well.

Here is the list, in no particular order:

Tina Lyons of Genwish List

Jennifer Holik of Generations

Laura Cosgrove Lorenzana of The Last Leaf on This Branch

Stephanie Pitcher Fishman of Corn and Cotton Genealogy

Derek Davey of Genealogy – Northwest Ohio

Thomas MacEntee of Geneabloggers

Patricia Desmond Biallas of Genea Journeys

Linda Swisher of Round Tuit Genealogy

Diana Ritchie of Random Relatives

Jen Alford of Jen-Gens Family History

Susan Clark of Nolichucky Roots

Diana Biddle of Adventures in Brown County History & Genealogy

Kathryn Lake Hogan of Looking 4 Ancestors

Brenda Leyndyke of Journey to the Past

Shelley Bishop of A Sense of Family

Lisa Ellam of The Faces Of My Family

Lisa VonLanken of The Shy Genealogist

Karen Bennett of Karen’s Chatt

Margel Soderberg of 2338 W. Washington Blvd

I apologize if I missed anyone. If there is someone you know that is attending, please leave a comment so I can add them to our list.

That is a total of 20 bloggers all together. What a group. There are many bloggers listed that I have not met, yet. I cannot wait to meet each and every one of you. If you have spare time in the next week (because you are super organized and have a research plan completed already) take some time to stop by these blogs and introduce yourself. See if you have any common surnames or areas to research. Maybe we can break a brick wall down together.

Motivation Monday: Week of March 12

Its late in the day and I wanted to update where I am so far this month. I have only moved forward a bit this week.

Research: I have not worked any further on my research plan for the ACPL. I did listed to Thomas MacEntee’s webinar, Navigating the 1940 Census, which set me out looking for where I will be able to find my family. I have noted on my set up of all my 2nd great-grandparent files where I should be looking for a few of the families.

Writing: have not really written anything since last week. Enough said!

Organization: If our weather stayed the same, I think I would be organized by now. I have not worked in my office because it is too cold there. Now that spring is here, I am slowly moving back into the office to take care of things.

However, I did receive an early birthday gift of an external hard drive. It started out with just asking some questions about updating my Mac Book Pro to the new OS Lion. Turns out that since my Mac is so old, it is not really worth it to do so. While discussing updating the memory on the computer as an option to change to Lion, I was told I would lose everything on my hard drive, 1000’s of pictures and all of my family records I have collected through the years. I think my heart stopped. Well, a very nice family member decided I needed to have an external hard drive right away and went and purchased it. I moved many of my files and a bit of the photo’s over that night. It feels great to be able to have things backed up and off the computer, in case something bad happens here. Plus, with moving things over to the hard drive, I have opened up 5GB of memory on my Mac already!

Education: I read 1.5 of the 2 chapters for ProGen already. Starting to formulate my plans for the homework.

Motivation Monday: March Goals – a wee bit late

I’m not sure how I got to Wednesday and did not post my goals for the month of March. To be honest, I thought that I had it finished and scheduled to post last week. Guess again! So, here it is Wednesday and I am putting together my goals for March.

Research: Finish putting together my research plan for the ACPL, notes are started on all of my great-great grandparents lines. Quite a few of the lines are from the Midwest (IL, IN and OH). I am hoping to find some new information on them.

Writing: Continue blogging. I wrote 10 posts for the month of February, to me that is not enough. Especially since 4 of those posts are my goals. I need to blog about substantial research and findings, at least one post per week.

Organization: Still need to get the last of my magazines into my book shelf and filed by the correct month/year. Then, I will work on cleaning up my family file folders.

Education: Continuing ProGen, I feel good about our first month. Assignment for this month is to read another 2 chapters and and assignment, an optional assignment and of course the discussion questions.

Tuesday’s Tip: Casting a Larger Net

For the past few months I have been researching my German line, the Jonas Family from Morton Grove, IL. In 1999 when I started researching my family, the information I had on this family was basic. What I knew, came off of birth or death certificates that I found among the papers that my maternal Grandmother had left behind, which now are housed with my father. When I started researching the family, the only thing I was able to do was find census records and add siblings to what I already new. That was it. Whoever I asked in the family had no further information, maybe a few family stories, but nothing that gave me clues to where the family was buried or anything else.

This past year, the records from Family Search has opened up so much information on this family for me. I found many birth, marriage and death records adding information to the families and watching them continue to grow and add new branches to their families.

But, here is what I want to share. As I was researching this family, I found the death record for Marie Jonas. Her place of burial was not so far from my house and it was a beautiful day, so I went straight to the cemetery to find her last resting place. Once I found hers, I found many other Jonas graves, none that matched my family. Since then, I have been trying to prove/disprove a family relation. To do this, I have been researching a second Jonas family from the Morton Grove area, that came here from the same part of Germany as my family.

Knowing that I still have not found one of the children of my Jonas family, I was really hoping that one of the extra Jonas’s that I found at the cemetery would turn out to be said child. Once I went back and analyzed all the data that I had collected on the second Jonas family, I was able to determine 100% that John Jonas (whom I thought would end up being the ‘missing’ child) belonged to the second Jonas family. I was happy to be able to place John with his family.

Though I have figured out where he belongs, that does not mean this family will not end up being related. I am still researching this. It pays to cast a larger net, research the families in the area with the same name. There is no guarantee that they will be related, but you may be able to learn something new about your family.

Motivation Monday: Week of February 27

It’s a bit late in the day, but I wanted to let you all know where I stand for the month. I have a terrible headache so this will be a quick post on what I need to finish in the next few days. Because, come next Monday I plan to be laying out the plans for March.

Research: I started looking into the Chicago Rail Co, I have a great-great uncle that died in an accident involving them and I would like to find a newspaper article giving me more details. So far, I have found nothing. The only records I have to go off of are the death certificate and the coroner’s inquest which reiterates the death record.

In the next few days, I will go through all the information I have been analyzing to make sure I have everything I need to put together a research plan for the ACPL.

Education: I completed the first assignment for ProGen 13 and want to reread the reading homework and go through the questions we will be going over on Sunday. Also, need to go and comment on everyones homework.

Writing: I completed three posts last week and have nothing ready for this week. I need to really push myself on this. I have taken on a new project that I am not ready to share yet that will probably be taking up a lot of my time. So, I need to really focus on this.

Organization: I spent time last week going through genealogy, personal and work files. I pulled out more genealogy magazines and quarterly’s that I need to file on my book shelf. I also reorganized my work files. I plan to work on my genealogy files in next month or two.

Finding Our Ancestors Has Made it to Facebook

Yes, you read that correctly! This week we have started a facebook page to discuss all things genealogy (of course), a bit of history (because it goes with our genealogy) and whatever else comes up. I hope you will take a few minutes to go and like the page. The link is also located on the left side of this blog so you will always be able to find it.

Thanks for reading and following along on all we do.

Motivation Monday: Week of February 20

Since I did not really take time to plan out this post, I am just going to give an update on what I did complete this last week.

Research – Nothing really added this week, though I did through a picture of an obituary I had up on Twitter yesterday which I was needing some assistance with finding out about a company that was names in it. I received answer right away and need to do some more digging on this person. There will be a blog post in the future.

Writing – last week I was organized enough that I had 3 blog posts up and ready to go for the week. Not so much for this week. This is obviously going to be a work in progress for me.

Organization – I actually started cleaning up my desk and made a few decisions how I am going to handle all the paperwork that I have. Spent part of today at Staples getting some of the supplies I will need to do all of this. Woo hoo! I feel like I am making some progress. I actually went through 2 rather large piles of old papers and junk email that I had sitting in a bin waiting for me to take the time to decide if it was something I needed to file for the future. The good news is that I have a 30 lb garbage bag 1/2 full of crap that I can get rid of. Bad news is now I have some filing to do. Ughh. That will probably be a goal for March.

Education – I wrote my mission statement for my upcoming genealogy business and posted that for ProGen. I still need to finish my citations assignment. I want to reread the chapters that were assigned and be prepared to chat about everything on Sunday. Next Sunday will be super busy since that is also my Irish Genealogy Meeting at the Irish American Heritage Center.

Wedding Wednesday: Kerr – Hilton Union

Transcription to be posted on a later date.

Tuesday’s Tips: Social Media

Social Media is a scary adventure for some. When I first took the plunge into joining a social media website (which was facebook), it was meant to be a quick one. My goal was to find a friend that I had lost contact with. She was about 1 years younger than me and she was way into social media, which I never understood. To be frank, it scared the heck out of me. Anyhow, we had been neighbors and had both gone our own way. I wanted to check in and see how she was doing and I knew that I would be able to find her on facebook. So, I signed up with the intention of deleting that account once I made contact and had a good email address and phone # for this friend.

Best intentions never end up how we think. Before I could find this friend, a different friend found me and it went from there. Then, it was out-of-state family, oh yeah, my high school friends and lets not forget grammar school. One by one, I added more friends and knew I would never be able to delete the account. Oh yeah, I found my friend as well!

Then, I started blogging and found many genea friends that way. Facebook then got way to confusing and my family did not understand all of my genealogy related posts and I was getting way too many comments on how weird some of the stuff I was posting is. So, I decided to make a second account. I deleted all my family off of the first account and created a page directly for them, problem solved – no more comments on my weird obsession of genealogy and cemetery visits.

Then, I joined Twitter. I did not really understand it or like it either. So, I never used it. When I went to Jamboree last June, Caroline and I discussed Twitter at length and she did a great job explaining the idea behind it. She is the Twitter Queen! So, I got over my fear and started tweeting, I found some great friends there and have actually met a few in person.

So, why do you ask in Social Media my Tuesday’s Tip? Well, let me tell you. If you have a question, any question, about any subject in any area, you can tweet (on Twitter) it out there and hopefully get a reply rather quickly. To get more replies, put it on Facebook as well and see what replies you get there. Sometimes, the best advice is just a friend away, you just do not know which friend is going to have the answer. Don’t miss out on a great way to work together with other genealogists and find the answers together.

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