Thursday, August 26, 2010

Saw The French Start For Moscow

The genealogy how-to research books, guides and educational sessions at conferences advise us to learn about our ancestor's lives.  Put our ancestors into their proper context, to better understand their life.  Learn as much as we can about what was going on in their world at that time.

This is the death notice for my Great-Great Grandfather Wendelin Baudermann from February 8, 1900.  What an amazing picture this short paragraph paints of a young boy's life.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Monday, August 23, 2010

Social Media Can Help With Genealogical Research

We've all heard the skeptics "social media can't really help in serious genealogical research".  I like to call these people the "Snootie Patooties".  Last year a fellow Geneablogger used that term in one of her posts and I've basically stolen it from her because I like it so well.

I will admit that day in and day out social media alone is not going to be the source you use when trying to add another branch to your tree.  But, keep an open mind you Snoots, because you can make progress via social media simply by utilizing the reach this medium gives you.

Susan from Long Lost  is a Facebook friend who posted this:

"Status Update
By Susan
Historic Map Works - the Lincoln (NE) City Libraries recently added this feature from ProQuest. I found a 1905 map that shows land owned by my gg grandfather. Very Nice!"

I knew that my Great Grandmother, Mary Evingham, was a landowner in Amherst, Nebraska around 1910.  I asked Susan to do a look-up for me, which she so graciously agreed to do ;).   Within two hours of seeing her posting on Facebook, I had a map in my inbox.  Below is a snipit of the map and look who we have...Mary Evingham, my Great Grandmother!

I have the deeds where Mary bought and then sold the land and now I can actually see where it was.  Mary is listed as a widower on the deeds, so I still have no idea who Mr. Evingham was.  I posted previously about Mary, I wonder if this photo was taken in Amherst on this property?

Lesson learned:  don't count on Social Media, but never rule it out!

Friday, August 20, 2010

German Reserach 1 2 3

No, this is not a post claiming that German Research is as easy as 1, 2, 3. What this post is about is that researching our German ancestors is:

1.  Intimidating
2.  Confusing
3.  Scary

However, it is not an impossible task with the right information and knowing which research tools are available to you.

I spent last weekend at the MoSGA annual conference, listening to Roger Minert share his expertise in German Research. I was at the point in my research, on my father's line, that I felt I was ready to look at German records. I was unsure where to start as I was not familiar with what records are available and where I could find them. Roger's expertise was just what I needed for this undertaking. One of the sources available for German research, that Roger's presentation covered, is the Meyers Orts Gazetteer.

To make this overly simple, Meyers Orts is a finding aid for villages located in the German Empire between 1871 and 1918.  This gazetteer provides key information you need in order to request documents, such as which parish the village belongs to as well as what civil district.  This is a wonderfully, beautiful aid that is written in German Fraktur, a Gothic script.  While I enjoyed looking at it, reading it is another story and a challenge in itself.  Luckily, there are several guides to help you through this process.

Once I found the town I believed my Baudermann's came from, Klepsau, Baden, I was ready to begin the translation process.  Translating the information is actually a two-step process.  The listings are filled with abbreviations in order to conserve space.  First you must use a key to determine what the abbreviations stand for, then secondly translate the wording.  I spent some time trying to figure this out on my own, before I contacted someone who was familiar with German script and could help me out.

The details of the listing for Klepsau are as follows:

"Klepsau is a village in Baden.  The governmental district and military office are in Mosbach.  The district government office and lower court is in Borberg.  Post office is in Krautheim, 398 residents; postal & telegraph and train station in Mockmuhl-Dorzbach.  Civil records are also in Mockmuhl-Dorzbach.  Steuereinn has something to do with taxes or revenue; Catholic parish church is in Klepsau.  Occupations are wine growing, dairy and woven goods."

If anyone has any corrections or a better translation, please let me know.

Armed with this information, I know which parish I need to look to for church records.  If necessary, I can also request civil records from the proper location.  This is a lesson in continuing the education process then locating and reading the finding aids and research guides that are provided with record sets.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Monday, August 9, 2010

Midwest Expo Take 2 Combining Historical Research with Genealogical Research

In my initial follow up post to the Midwest Family History Expo, Reflections on the Midwest Family History Expo I stated "We can not truly know our ancestor unless we know how they lived, where they lived and what the world was like that they lived in."  This was the premise of Gena Philibert Ortega's session on Combining Historical Research with Genealogy.

Gena stressed the importance of researching the history of the area your ancestors lived in and to not limit this research to only the geography.  Use of historical time lines will most certainly help to put our ancestors into their proper context of what was happening in the world around them.  What about the social, religious and economic context?  We have to gain a complete understanding of the challenges faced in order to more fully understand why our ancestors made the choices they made.  This can lead to assumptions as to when, why and how they may have moved about the county, state or even the country.

By following up on these assumptions, we may find our ancestors in places we didn't expect and had not researched before.  Farming families may have migrated during droughts, wide-spread sickness may explain why family members disappeared from the census, a new railway line may explain how your family was able to visit other family members and show up in records, unexpectedly, in another area.  All of these "life events" impacted our ancestors movements and without knowing what they faced we can not create a complete picture.

Gena provided a lengthy list of sources for performing historical research and I look forward to giving them a try.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Shades The Wedding Issue

Another spectacularly beautiful edition has been published. You won't want to miss it!

Midwest Expo Take 2 Research in the South

I stated in Reflections on the Midwest Family History Expo that I would be posting key points that I gained from the individual sessions I attended. Since then I have reviewed my notes, the syllabus and decided how I want to apply what I've learned. At the time of the Expo I was researching the Allen/Allan, Hart, Scott and Gaines lines in Clark, Jefferson and Oldham counties Kentucky. I was making progress but have so very far to go with these families. I believe my best route to take is to apply what I learned in the Expo sessions in my continued search for these families.

What better place to start Kentucky research that in a class given by Arlene H. Eakle titled What Is "The South," and Why is it Different? Arlene is an expert in Southern genealogical research and you may visit her Kentucky blog here.

I was realizing some success using the online census, online Kentucky birth and death records and online family tress (I use the trust but verify approach there) but I needed more. I need more details on my ancestor's lives to correctly put the families together. I found two county histories that contained stories about some of my Allen ancestors. While the names, dates and places matched up fairly well with what I knew, their occupations did not. More pieces were needed to answer my questions and give me the big picture. Arlene's presentation covered some of the record collections that are available to help further my knowledge of my ancestor's lives.

I am lucky, very lucky, to be a 30 minute drive from the Midwest Genealogy Center, which has an extensive record collection on microfilm, including several of the resources Arlene's session covered. I have three assignments to tackle once I visit the library: 1. Kentucky State censuses and tax rolls, 2. The Shane Collection and 3. The Draper Papers. I will begin with these resources and see where they take me. I have not worked with manuscript collections before, so that in itself will be a new challenge, but one I am excited to get started.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Missouri State Genealogical Association

Missouri State Genealogical Association

MoSGA’s 2010 Annual Conference

August 13 and 14, 2010
Capitol Plaza Hotel
Jefferson City, Missouri

Keynote Speaker
Roger Minert, Ph.D.

Roger P. Minert received his doctoral degree from Ohio State University in German language history and second language acquisition theory. He taught German language and history for ten years, and then became a professional family history researcher. Accredited by the Family History Library for research in Germany and Austria, he has more than 33,000 hours in research experience. In August 2003 he became an associate professor of family history at Brigham Young University. The author of more than 70 books and articles, he is currently directing the project “German Immigrants in American Church Records” and has completed the first of two volumes of a history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Germany during World War II.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Reflections on the Midwest Family History Expo

The first Midwest Family History Expo has come and gone...too quickly. The Expo truly was a whirlwind of activity, with 110 educational sessions to choose from and 22 exhibitors to visit, it couldn't have been anything else. I spent my days running from session to session, visiting the exhibit hall during breaks and getting to know the other Geneabloggers in attendance. Both days a small group of bloggers spent the evening together, over dinner, sharing our experiences and reflecting on our individual takeaways. The Expo provided an excellent opportunity for learning and networking for all.

The classes offered varied by country, heritage, technology and style. I did come away with a common theme from everyone of the speakers...focus. We must focus on our research if we truly want to be genealogists and not simply name collectors. We can not truly know our ancestor unless we know how they lived, where they lived and what the world was like that they lived in. Learning the geography, political climate and their economic situation helps us to see our ancestor's world more clearly. This fuller picture will provide more depth and dimension to our family free, which will be more rewarding that just looking at a list of names and dates on a chart.

I will be posting in the future some key points that I am the most excited about and plan to put into play in my research. Hopefully, I will also be posting about success I achieved as a result of implementing these new techniques.

On the networking front, I enjoyed meeting the other bloggers, some of the speakers and the Expo team.  All were wonderful to talk with, there were no strangers at the Expo.  Everyone had an instant connection and were very enthusiastic to answer questions and share their experiences.  I look forward to continuing our conversations on FaceBook, Twitter, our blogs and catching up at the Expo in 2011!

The variety of exhibitors to visit was good ranging from libraries and archives to software, books, scrapbooking and genealogy societies, there was something for everyone.  As a book lover and scrapbooker, you can guess which vendors I gravitated to.  My favorites were EchoRoad and Heritage Makers both have beautiful products and I just might have spent a few $$$ with them.

If an Expo is going to be within driving distance of your home, I highly recommend attending.  They are very affordable and you will more than get your money's worth.  The entire experience will help to further your search for the ancestors needed to fill your family tree.