Thursday, April 29, 2010

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy - Challenge #17

Get out your family photos and label them. You’ve seen them a million tines because they’re YOUR photos, but what happens when they’re passed down to others? Will those people know the names of everyone in the pictures? Take some time and label your photos with pertinent information. If you’re working with old photos, take consideration with their age and condition. Devise an archival-friendly labeling system. For digital photos, you can use computer programs to tag the images with names or other identifying information. If that’s too confusing, you can at least save and/or re-name digital photos with details of your choosing. Don’t let another generation slip by without documenting your photos. Your ancestors will thank you.

Yet another week has gone by and another challenge from We Tree is underway.

From my first digital camera forward, say around 2002, I'm pretty happy with the state of my photos. As I downloaded photos, they were saved to a folder named for the event or place and dated. Not 100% of those photos have names associated with them, but I would say that 75% do.

Pre-digital camera days I can't claim I've done a very good job in the labeling category. Most packets that the photos are in, do have the event or place and date listed, but few photos have names actually on the photos. I have four copy paper sized boxes full of photo packets. The odds of me going through and labeling all of those is slim to none! Having said that, I do have photos from that time period that are in frames or scrapbooks and they are properly labeled.

As for the "old" photos, I had one box and two photo albums in my possession. Last fall I scanned in all of the photos, over 400 in all! I started by saving the scans into folders based on which family I thought they belonged to. A few of the photos had names, but most did not. I was able to recognize some in the photos and identify that way. For the most part, as far as the old photos go, less than 50% are labeled.

I've read about face recognition software for photographs. Maybe one day, this software will be common with all photo software and all photos will be identified automatically!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Peonies on Parade - 2

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy - Challenge 16

The challenge for Week 16 is to check out the online library catalog of a university. You may use one close to you, or one in the area of your research. Colleges and universities have wonderful archives, many of which are valuable to historical research. Browse around the library website and investigate the various archival collections. Make note of ones that may assist you in your own research.

I first accessed the resources of a university library in 2004. While searching the historical New York Times, through ProQuest Historical Newspapers available online, I found articles listing my grandfather as being on the track team for New York University around 1904-1906.

I began looking around the NYU website and the various libraries the university has. After finding this Collection: New York University Archives - This collection contains preservation copies of various New York University publications, primarily yearbooks, dating from the mid-1990s back to the first years of the University's history, I wrote to the reference desk asking for information on their yearbook collection.

One of the NYU librarians contacted me fairly quickly with news of photographs and other materials she had found. Sending in the required payment for copies and postage I awaited the arrival of my package. I received a copy of a yearbook page for the year of my grandfather's graduation as well as photos and information on the track team, eight pages in all.

My grandfather's bio is the bottom one on the page "Irish" Baudermann. Interesting as his mother and father were both born in Germany! I would also love to know more details on the girl who broke his heart!

This challenge has inspired me to go back to the NYU library and perform further research. As with other challenges in this series, a light bulb came on and I have a new avenue to explore!

Friday, April 23, 2010

How Does Your Garden Grow?

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The Blogger's Almanac, from The Family Curator, prompt for April 23 is: Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow? I will let my photos speak for themselves.

Peonies on Parade - 1

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This photo of a Peony bud was taken April 23, 2010. I have a total of four Peony plants on the south side of my house. I transplanted them from my front yard when I moved there nine years ago. I had never dealt with Peonies before and followed the directions for transplanting religiously. I must have done something right, because they not only bloom early, the blooms are huge. I will take a photo every day until they bloom and you can seem them in all their glory! This is a series of post I will create in honor of National Garden Month.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

52 Weeks To Better Genealogy - Challenge 15

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Return to the lost art of letter writing, that is Challenge 15. We are asked to write a letter asking for information from an institution, library or a person. I have written letters requesting information in the past. About 10 years ago, when I started my research, not every site had a link to an electronic request form. I sent letters to a couple of libraries, universities and to people.

My Baudermann line is small and concentrated in the Newark, New Jersey area. Early on I had very little information on my Grandfather Baudermann. My father and his brothers had no contact with their father after 1930, leaving me with no relatives names to contact. I went to, typed in Baudermann for Newark and got 11 matches. I sent letters to all 11. Just a short, one paragraph letter as I really had nothing to say other than I'm looking for the family of Joseph A.G. Baudermann. I received one reply saying she had no information on the family and good luck to me.

I slowly educated myself on research tactics and began making headway on my Grandfather. When searching family trees on last year I found a tree with a Baudermann in it. Immediately I contacted the tree owner and started my wait for a reply. The reply came quickly and contained the name and address of a woman I should write to for possible information. My letter this time was two paragraphs as I did have a little more to back up my query.

Two weeks later I received a three page letter, an obituary for my Grandfather, a letter regarding the estate of my Grandfather's cousin and most importantly a photograph of Joseph A.G. Baudermann. The letter is from Joan, the Granddaughter of my Grandfather's half-sister, and she was a goldmine of information. She was such a sweet lady to provide all this information and she states in her letter that she is 78 and only does "snail-mail", how cute is that? I was thrilled to receive the information and I immediately picked up the phone and called her. I was able to fill in a few more details and I truly enjoyed our conversation.

The information Joan gave me, the stories she told of my Grandfather's life and the fact that she called him "Uncle Joe" really brought the family to life. But what absolutely floored me was the photograph. It was like looking at a photo of my Dad. I posted the photograph onto Facebook and asked "who is this"? My family members replied "Dad" or from my nieces "Grandpa". The resemblance is truly uncanny. To say they were surprised when I revealed his identity is putting it lightly.

Joan's letter is beautiful in the physical sense as well as with the imagery she used to tell my Grandfather's story. Would I have been happy to receive this via email? Of course I would, but now I have something that is much richer and means so much more to me.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Old Leather Comes to Mind

The memories of baseball, seems like everyone has them, either as a player, a parent, a fan or as a true, die-hard fan. Summertime on the patio listening to the game, that's an image that so often comes to mind. Little League games where the parents took the game so seriously and the kids were just out there having fun, that memory comes to mind. Going to a major league game, not just to see your team but also a player on the opposing team that is larger than life, times like those comes to mind. Popcorn, peanuts and hot dogs, face painting and waving pennants comes to mind. Thoughts of little boys going to bed with their Dad's old glove, dreaming of the day they too will step on the field, breathing in that wonderful smell of old leather...comes to mind.

The photo is of my husband's Little League catcher's mask and glove, approximately 36 years old.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Plaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay Ball!

My baseball days are over as a parent. My son, Cody, graduated from high school in May 2009. He came a long way from Little League to Varsity! The photo is a scan of a scrapbook page from Cody's graduation album.

He looks pretty good as a pitcher don't you agree? *lol* Well there is a funny story behind that...he never pitched until his senior year, he is not a pitcher! Cody played 2ND base in Little League then in high school played outfield. Before the season began in 2009, three of our senior players were out with injuries for at least the first half of the season. What's even worse...all three were pitchers! I'm not sure if the coach asked for volunteers or if Cody volunteered himself. Long story short is that at the opening game of his senior year my son stepped on the mound to pitch his first game ever as starting pitcher!

To say he was a little nervous was an understatement. To say I was a little nervous was an understatement for sure! I can't imagine what the coach was feeling! He held his own for a couple of innings, I don't remember the stats (I'm sure he wants to forget his stats!) but he took one for the team which is what it's all about!

I do miss the baseball games and looking through photos for this post brought back some great memories!

Tombstone Tuesday

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Monday, April 12, 2010

Madness Monday - Ancestor Approved Award

What does Madness Monday have to do with my receiving the Ancestor Approved award? It's pure madness that I received the award from five awesome Geneabloggers, that's what!

It's a real moral booster to receive an award from others that you have great respect for.

Thank you goes out to:

Karen @ Ancestor Soup
Sharon @ Kindred Footprints
Mavis @ Georgia Black Crackers
Karen @ Genealogy Frame of Mind
Denise @ The Family Curator

All are wonderful bloggers who were also recipients of this award.

The Ancestor Approved Award asks that the recipient list ten things you have learned about any of your ancestors that has surprised, humbled, or enlightened you and pass the award along to ten other bloggers who you feel are doing their ancestors proud.

I have been surprised, humbled and enlightened about all of my ancestors. I knew so little to start with, each and every find has been very interesting.

1. I was enlightened that my Grandfather Baudermann graduated from NYU in 1908
2. I was also surprised to find he was a long-distance runner on the NYU track team as well
as the Irish-American Athletic Club's team (he was German!)
3. I am humbled by the fact my Grandmother Emery moved herself and three small children from
New Jersey to Texas in the late 1920's all by herself.
4. I was surprised that my Great Grandfather Allen had three and maybe four wives!
5. I was surprised that my Great Grandfather Baudermann had 15 children from two wives!!
6. I was enlightened about the keeping of family secrets upon discovering the circumstances of
my Great Great Grandfather Mery's manner of death.
7. I am humbled by the causes of death of many of my ancestors by diseases that are so commonly
treatable now.
8. I was enlightened to find my Grandfather Baudermann was a musician and song writer.
9. I was surprised to find that my father's family was Catholic.
10. I was surprised to find more of my ancestors were tradesman or worked for the railroad
rather than working as farmers.

This list will grow longer as more information is uncovered. It is interesting how we honestly feel these emotions concerning those we have never met, which is one of the more interesting aspects of genealogy.

Choosing other bloggers to pass an award along to is always a challenge. Obviously, I feel those that nominated me are more than worthy but I won't limit it to just ten.  I am nominating any and every genealogy blog I follow!

Friday, April 9, 2010

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy - Challenge 14

Week 14: Use a different search engine for your online genealogy research. Google is quite popular, but other search engines may provide different results. Try Yahoo! Search (, Bing (, (, Dogpile (, and even Clusty ( Pick an unusual surname and search it in different engines. Make note of the top 10 page returns for each.

This challenge most definitely IS a challenge. I am a Google lover through and through! I use Google to search, for my email, for my blog, for my reader...I think you get the picture here. However, in the true spirit of a Geneablogger I will give the others *shudder* a try. The test will be as suggested, pick an unusual surname and search for it. My Dad's family is the Baudermanns and they are few and far between in the US as well as in Germany. I will see if any of these search engines can give me something new *come on Google, don't let me down now*. I will use Baudermann as my search phrase and view the first ten pages of results from each site.

1. Yahoo: Nothing new, a lot of sites in German, my blog showed up three times as well as some of my queries on message boards.

2. Bing: No new information, Bing did return more sites in German than Yahoo did. I did like the fact that Bing's translation service put the English and German versions side by site.

3. Ask: Sadly, no new information to report. Ask did return some Historical NY Times articles, which I already had, but Yahoo and Bing did not in the first ten pages.

4. Dogpile: Dogpile is the compilation of Goole, Bing, Yahoo and Ask but only returned three pages of results, none of which were new.

5. Clusty: Clusty is a new search engine to me, I've not used this before so I'm hoping for positive results. I like the fact that related search results come back clustered together, that's a new approach. Clusty is also the first to return some of my very own tweets containing the Baudermann name. While Clusty does not appear to have any new information for me, I did spend more time with it simply because it's arrangement of the information caught my attention. I must also admit, I looked past the first ten pages of results.

I liked this challenge, as designed, I traveled off the beaten path in search of information.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Happy Birthday To ME!!

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Looks as if I liked to climb things from the beginning. I must have been born with my desire to climb my family tree!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy - Challenge 13

Week 13: Make an appointment with Cyndi’s List. All beginning genealogy publications include a link to Cyndi’s List because it is the ultimate guide for family history links. If you’ve never used Cyndi’s List, take the time to look around. If you’re familiar with the site, look again. Take the time to browse with detail. Don’t try to research your own family’s history, just move through the site and get a feel of all it has to offer. If you have a genealogy blog, share with your readers a new website you discovered through Cyndi’s List.

If you don't have Cyndi's List on your favorites list, you should. Where else can you find over 270,000 links to genealogy related websites in one place? Yes, some links may lead to dead ends because a site has been moved or is no longer functioning, but most links do work and you will love what you find.

Something else to keep in mind if you do run into a bad link, the site is "Cyndi's List" and it is Cyndi who takes care of things. So if a link is bad, or if you submit your link and it takes a little while to get it posted, remember that this is one person doing us all a HUGE service!

Cyndi's List will not only direct you to research data, you will also find research instruction, services and volunteers. There are links to help you with source citation, form analysis and descriptions. Don't think of the list as only a group of links to find data, there is so much more. Thanks Cyndi!