Sunday, July 26, 2009



July 20-26, 2009 Updates have been posted to Surnames, Domestic Resources and Foreign Resources

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

On Vacation!

Taking a road trip to Cody Wyoming! Will be back Sunday hopefully with some great photos to share!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Organize My Thoughts

Last week was a week full of new information, ideas and research tools! Jumping into the blogosphere has been exciting, time-consuming, challenging but most of all fun! I am so impressed with the amount of information that is available on blogs! Additionally, the quality of the podcasts I listen to is top-notch.

I now have a great reference checklist for organizing my documents (thank you Dear Mrytle), organizing my hard drive (thank you Lisa Louise Cooke) and a fantastic flowchart (courtesy Mark Tucker @ Think Genealogy) to prove my pedigree. I know how to add GPS coordinates to my photographs (Ken Weber via Genealogy Gems Premium Podcast) and can begin using a location based genealogy technique to coordinate my search (Bernie Gracy via GGems Premium).

With all the wonderful tools I have to get organized and begin finding my elusive ancestors I should have smooth sailing, that is until I have to cite the sources once I begin achieving results. Again, I have another tool at my disposal! I'm using Legacy Family Tree and SourceWriter is my hero!! SourceWriter provides the formatting for me in order to take the guesswork out of what information I need to provide for a complete source. Thank you Legacy!

What is my next step? The next step may be the biggest...organizing my thoughts!! Who has a blog or podcast that covers that one?? I have so many things I want to accomplish so many lines I want to research, so many blogs to read, so many tweets to tweet, newsletters to read, societies to join, conferences to attend and libraries to visit. Wow, I'm tired just from typing all of that. Then there is that one nagging item that must be taken care of first, it's called my JOB!

More than a matter of organization, this is going to take time management (Geneabloggers has a post about that) and dedication on my part to stay on task. The results will be worth it and that's what this is all about anyway. I don't want someone to hand me my pedigree, the hunt is part of the fun!

I'll be taking a weeks break for a vacation and that should clear my cluttered thoughts and I will be ready to start fresh! I am looking forward to a more organized research path when I return!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Conference Buzz!

In the past week I have listened to two podcasts that shared their experience at the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree. There have been blog posts, tweets and Facebook entries on this same subject. The unanimous consensus is the Jamboree was a huge hit!! There were great speakers, an exhibit hall packed with vendors and a conference full of strangers that left as friends. Attendees were energized and ready to attack their brick walls with newly learned research strategies.

I attended the NGS Annual Conference in 2008. I had a full schedule everyday trying to attend as many sessions as possible. It was a great experience, I met people from all over the country and found some great conference-only deals in the exhibit hall! The one-on-one interaction with other attendees and speakers was my favorite part. I gained valuable insight on how to approach some conflicting documents that had stopped me in my tracks on one family line.

Could I have achieved the same educational value on the Internet? Possibly. There are webinars, You Tube videos, Facebook groups and many online genealogy communities. I could have read an ebook or watched a video on tips for research in public libraries. My research challenges could have been posted on any number of online forums and I would have received many quality answers. What I couldn't get was the energy a traditional conference generates. When you are at a conference with several hundred other people who have the same passion for genealogy as you do there is a buzz and it energizes you. There is a high level of excitement that provides new fuel to your desire to find that elusive census record or ship’s passenger list. You can’t get that same level of excitement through the Internet. Once you have attended one conference you will want to attend more to maintain that energy level.

In August, I will attend the Missouri State Genealogical Society’s Annual Conference in Jefferson City. I can’t wait to get my conference buzz!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday - Merys & Brimson

James Timothy Merys b Jun 1833 London England d Jan 1 1904 Lawrence, KS
Sarah Maria Brimson b Jan 3 1838 London England d Jun 15 1908 Lawrence, KS

Oak Hill Cemetery, Lawrence, Douglas, Kansas USA

Monday, July 13, 2009

Monday Madness - driving ME mad!

I've yet to find an ancestor who was thought to be mad. I do have several ancestors that are going to drive ME mad! Joseph A.G. Baudermann, my grandfather, is one of those!

I never met Joseph, he died 4 years before I was born and in addition to that my father only saw his dad one time in his adult life, about 1942. Joseph was born in Newark, NJ, and graduated from New York University in 1908 with a degree in engineering. He was an exceptional athlete on the NYU track team as a distance runner as well as a member of the Irish-American Athletic Club. After his graduation Joseph began working for the New Jersey Transit Authority, he seemed to be set for a successful life.

At some point before 1916 Joseph quit/lost his job and made a trip to California. On the return trip he met and married Una Jerlene Dorothy Evingham. She was born in Illinois, but living in Nebraska at the time. They moved to Newark where they had 3 boys, the youngest being my father. Joseph never maintained a regular job after that, all his education was for naught.

Sometime between 1920 and 1930 Una left Joseph, took the boys and moved to Texas. I found Una and the 3 boys in Wheeler, TX, in the 1930 census, working on a farm. Una had changed her name to Viola Vanderman and the boys were now using that name also. The story Una/Viola told is that Joseph was very mean to them and that is why they left.

I recently found a second cousin on the Baudermann side that had a much different story about Joseph. Una/Viola left with the boys while Joseph was at work. Joseph searched and searched for them but was unable to locate them and was heartbroken. During WW II through the American Red Cross, Joseph finally found his sons and met them about 1942. After that one meeting there was no other contact. My cousin knew Joseph her whole life, loved him and had great memories of spending holidays with him.

I don't know that the true story will ever be known, none of those family members are living, there is no one to ask. How believable is either side of the story? How many women in the 1920's would pack up with three children and move halfway across the country unless they had a very good reason?

This is one of those "why didn't I ask" situations most family historian face.

New Genealogy and History Data updated

All GHLL updates for the week are posted.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Social networking for genealogy

Blog - check
Twitter - check
Facebook - check
Genealogy Wise - going to set up my account right now!

For those of you that are unfamiliar with Genealogy Wise, it is a new social networking site for those interested in genealogy. To put it simply, it's the Facebook of genealogy. This service was just recently launched and has already had a great response.

If you had been checking my Facebook page for new ancestor photos, you may have to redirect to my Genealogy Wise site now. Although I do anticipate adding many photos, documents and stories to this blog, so bookmark it!!

Branching Out - July Issue

Branching Out Genealogy Newsletter

Domestic Resources Updated on GHLL


New Hampshire
New Jersey

Surname Resources Updated on GHLL

Surnames Updated:


Inaugural Post!

Hello, and welcome to Desperately Seeking Surnames!

I've spent the last 9 years researching my family history. At times I have become desperate as I waited for a response from a library, courthouse or other researcher. But I have not been deterred and continue on with my search.

The amount of information that has become available online since I started genealogy research in 2001 is nothing short of amazing! The increasing number of online databases and images has certainly helped me. What I am now finding to be even more amazing is the explosion in genealogy users of social media. Messages boards and mailing lists are being left behind, we now have Facebook, Twitter and BLOGS! I will admit I am the first to adopt any new type of technology when it comes to making my research more convenient. I will also admit that I have become overwhelmed with the amount of information that is now being fed to me via my Twitter and Google Reader accounts. It is my hope that with this blog I will be able to bring some organization and direction to my research. I need to get serious with my research plan and start making some progress on some of my lines.

In addition to my research progress, I will also be posting updates and additions to the Genealogy & History Library Links website. This website has a wealth of domestic and international information. GHLL has been a great help to me and I hope you will find the site just as useful.

Thanks for reading!