Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year's Eve!

I just want to wish everyone a happy New Year's Eve! Enjoy!

Monday, December 29, 2008

An Award: The Proximidade Award


A few days ago I was awarded the Proximidade Award by Msteri, but I had not got around to posting the award. Anyhow, thank you Msteri for nominating me for the award!

So, what is the Proximidade Award? Here is some information on the award:

"These blogs invest and believe in PROXIMITY-nearness in space, time, and relationships! These blogs are exceedingly charming! These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends! They are not interested in prizes or self -aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."
And now, I am supposed to nominate eight other bloggers for this award, and the people I am nominating are:

Enjoy!

Friday, December 26, 2008

How Do I? Two Questions ...

I've been thinking about the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy lately, and I'm just wondering what I should do to improve it. Lately, I have been having difficulty getting enough submissions for each edition of the carnival. Does anyone know how I can increase the number of submissions for the carnival? Also, does anyone know how I can garner more attention for this carnival?

Any suggestions or advice is welcome and appreciated. Thanks!

More Cuyahoga County, Ohio Records - Orders Two and Three ...

Today I received some more records from the Cuyahoga County, Ohio archives that I ordered within the past week-in-a-half to two weeks ago. This happens to be the third time that I ordered records from this archives, and I thought I would talk a little about the records that I ordered in my last two requests. (I did not write about the second batch of records that I ordered when they came in because I was away at school. I did not write about the second batch when I first came home because I did not think about doing so until the other records came today. Plus, I hadn't had very much time to look at the other records until now.)

So, what records did I order in the second batch? Well, I ordered a marriage record, a naturalization record, and a probate file. Unfortunately, the archive was not able to find a probate file for my ancestor, so I was only received the naturalization record and the marriage record. The marriage and naturalization were the same person, my ancestor's youngest son. (As for the naturalization record, as I mentioned in a previous post, I received part of his naturalization record in an earlier request. That naturalization record turned out to be his declaration of intent, and this record I ordered turned out to be the paper that bestowed his citizenship upon him.)

The third batch consisted of five marriage records. Those marriage records were of my ancestor's brothers. Of course, a couple of those marriage records have left me with a few more unanswered questions. I will probably have to order more records to find the answers to my questions. I will let all of you know if I have my answers when I am able to do more research on that branch.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

14th Edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy - Christmas and Hanukkah Edition!

The fourteenth edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy is now here, and this edition is the Christmas/Hanukkah edition! Originally, I was supposed to post this edition on Tuesday, but I have been busy helping my family prepare for Christmas, so until now I have not had a chance to put this edition to together. For this carnival, we have articles from a couple of different countries, so please sit back and enjoy the carnival. Here are the articles:

First off, we have a few articles from Lisa of 100 Years in America. In Keeping Watch on Badnjak: Christmas Eve (Revisited), she shares Croatian traditions associated with Christmas Eve. In Not the Partridge, but the Falcon: a Little Hungarian Christmas History, she shares the origin of the word for Christmas in Hungarian and pre-Christian Hungarian traditions during the winter season. In Advent: "... the faith of our forefathers makes itself heard in our age ..." and As we approach the beautiful feast of Christmas, she defines the meaning of advent, and shares a list of posts on Croatian and Hungarian Christmas traditions that she wrote last year.
Last but not least, we have an article from Jessica of Jessica's Genejournal. In German Christmas Traditions That I'm Familiar With, she writes about two German Christmas traditions that she is familiar with.
Well, that ends this edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy. For the next edition, the topic will be on history books. Write about a history book that you have read or are reading that deals with the history of a Central or Eastern European country or the regions of Central and Eastern Europe. You do not have to have Central or Eastern European ancestors to participate in this edition. Submissions for the next edition will be due on January 23, and the edition will be posted on the 25th. You can submit your article here. Also, if you are interested in hosting a future edition of this carnival, please contact me at jess_history at yahoo dot com. Thanks! Enjoy!

Merry Christmas!

I just want to wish everyone a merry Christmas. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

14th Edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy Will Be Posted Today!

I will be posting the 14th edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy later on today. (It will probably be in the evening.) I have not yet finished my post for the carnival, and I have only received one other article for this carnival. If you have any articles that you would like to submit to the article, you still can submit them, either here or to my e-mail at jess_history at yahoo dot com. (Articles do not have to be recent posts, and could have been submitted to other carnivals as well.) Thanks.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Anyone Going to Still Submit an Article?

I was just wondering if anyone was going to submit an article to the 14th edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy? I will still accept submissions until 6 a.m. on the 223rd. You can either submit it through the blog carnival or you can e-mail it to me at: jess_history at yahoo dot com. Thanks!

Michigan's Old Soldiers' Home: Adam's File ...

As I mentioned Friday, I have finally obtained Adam Oswalt's Old Soldiers' Home record from the Grand Rapids Public Library. What was the Old Soldiers' Home, and where was it located? Did I get any questions answered? What did I learn?

As you can tell from its title, Michigan's Old Soldiers' Home was a convalescent home for elderly war veterans, and it was located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Although in 1908, at the time when my ancestor applied, I think the home was just north of the city. A few years ago I did look at a picture book from 1912 that my university owned, and the picture book mentioned that a train had to be taken to get to the home. I think the book also stated, or implied, that it was outside of the city, but I cannot recall off the top of my head. (The book was titled Michigan Soldiers' Home, and I think it was a book that visitors take back with them as souvenir.) The home also had its own cemetery, and there are war veterans buried in that cemetery. I am not sure if the original buildings are still on the property, but I do know that the home's name was changed to the Michigan Veteran's Home. Outside of that little information, I do not know anything else. There is a website that has some old pictures of the home, and you can read about the information it has here.

Anyhow, the file I obtained from Grand Rapids was a four page application Adam had submitted to the home. In the way of genealogical data, I did not learn much more than I already knew about Adam. There was a box for his religious beliefs, but he only listed that he was Protestant. Since that does not narrow down his faith anymore than I already knew, I am still stuck at square one when it comes to the church he attended. Outside of that, I get an answer as to when Adam arrived in Michigan for the first time. (He moved to Rockford, Illinois in the late-1880s and moved back to Michigan in the late-1890s.) In addition, I also found a little bit more of the medical condition my ancestor was in when he was applying to the home. From what is listed in the application and other documents, I think I can safely assume that Adam applied to the home based upon his medical situation. Plus, I also learned what the requirements were for admission to the Old Soldier's Home. Instead of just going into the details, I thought I would include the images of the application while I explained what I found out.




I believe this page is the first page of the application, but I am not too sure for sure. (At least this was the first page of the application on the microfilm.) This page primarily deals with a soldier's service, his martial status, age, religion, appearance, birthplace, etc. In short, this was information that I already knew about Adam from my previous research. Of course, if I had not done any research, this page would have been invaluable in trying to find his military records.





The next page deals with how long he was a resident in Michigan, and when he first lived in Michigan. I did not know when Adam moved to Michigan from Pennsylvania, and so I can now begin to start looking for proof to confirm this. Before I obtained this record, I knew he was living in Michigan by 1861 when he got married. I was unable to find him in the 1860 census, but I might be able to find him in the tax records of either Van Buren county or Saint Joseph county, if I look for their old records.



The third page of the application lists the medical problems my ancestor's suffered from, and gives me an idea as to why he applied to the home. Most of this information was new to me. This page is also the page that lists whether or not an applicant would be allowed to live in the home.


And last but not least, is the last page of the application. This page indicates when a veteran was admit ed to the home, and lists his application number. The page also lists the rules that govern how an inmate would live and who would allowed to live in the home. Applicants that received more than $12 a month from their pension were not supposed to be admitted, unless they were approved by the commander of the home. Since my ancestor was receiving about $15 a month from his pension, I suspect he was only allowed to live there due to his medical problems and he was one of those "special cases".

So, that is a little about the Old Soldiers' Home and what information you might expect to find in your ancestor's application. I realize that this is a long post, and I'm sorry for making it too long. I hope, though, that you found this post to be interesting and informative. Enjoy!

Happy Hanukkah!

I just want to wish everyone a happy Hanukkah. I realize I'm a day late with my wishes, but I forgot to look and see when Hanukkah started. I am terribly sorry for that. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

German Christmas Traditions That I'm Familiar With

For this upcoming edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy, I am supposed to write about Christmas (or Hanukkah) traditions, and I decided to write about a couple of German Christmas traditions that I know. (At the moment, I am writing this off the top of my head, so if I make a mistake, please let me know. I will try to correct any mistakes as soon as I can.)

Outside of having a Christmas tree, the next Christmas tradition that I associate with Germany is the Advent Calender. An Advent Calender is a box that has twenty-five doors that contain little chocolate candies behind them. The twenty-five doors count up to the days until Christmas beginning with December 1st. In Germany, the family opens up one of the doors in the calender, each night up to Christmas, and reads the saying on the back of the door. (I first learned about Advent Calenders when I started studying German in school.)

Another German Christmas tradition that I am familiar with is the two day celebration of Christmas in Germany. Christmas is celebrated in Germany on Christmas Eve and Christmas, and on Christmas Eve, presents are opened. (I think Christmas day is celebrated more solemnly than Christmas Eve, but I've forgotten if that is the case.) Of course, celebrating Christmas over two days is probably similar to other European countries and not just unique to Germany.

So, those are two German Christmas traditions that I am familiar with, and even though I have only mentioned two, there are other Christmas traditions in Germany.

Reminder: Submissions Due Today!

I just want to remind everyone that submissions are due tonight for the upcoming edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy. The topic is on Christmas and Hanukkah traditions. You can submit your articles here. If you need more time or won't be able to submit your article by tonight, please let me know.

Also, if anyone is interested in hosting the January edition (or later) of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy, please contact me at: jess_history at yahoo dot com. Thanks!

Friday, December 19, 2008

My Genealogy and Blogging Resolutions For 2009

For this carnival, I am supposed to list my New Year's Resolutions for genealogy and blogging, and as you may remember, I created my first New Year's list last year. I posted my results for last year, and I did fairly well. So I'll now post two lists for resolutions. For my research, here are my resolutions for 2009, and hopefully, I'll do just as well in 2009 as 2008:
  1. Look up and print other probate records of ancestors who lived and died in Saint Joseph County, Michigan. As you may remember, this resolution was one of my resolutions from this year that I did not accomplish, so I am carrying this resolution over to this upcoming year.
  2. Order more microfilms of Trippstadt, Germany's civil records. I only ordered one microfilm from Trippstadt this year, and I hope to order a few more microfilms in this upcoming year.
  3. Order naturalization records for my German-Russian ancestor Anton and his siblings. I am hoping the naturalization records will list where he and his siblings were born, so that I can trace Anton and his family back to the Russian Empire.
  4. Obtain the Civil War Pension files for Benjamin and William Oswalt, and try to strengthen their relationship to my ancestor, Adam Oswalt.
  5. Find more information on my ancestor, Irene Havens. I am hoping to figure out who her parents are, and what her connection is to Rhoda and the Mandigo family.
  6. Find more information on my WWI veteran great-grandfather's family and ancestors. I do not know very much about his side of the family, and I hope to uncover more information on his family.
  7. Order birth, marriage and death records of ancestors from the United Kingdom. This resolution is the same from last year, and I hope to be able to continue doing research on all of my ancestors from the U. K.
  8. And last, but not least, I hope to make more connections and to find more ancestors and relatives. Of course, this was a resolution from this past year, but I hope to continue to be able to find more relatives and make some more connections.

So, those resolutions are my goals for doing genealogy research in this upcoming year. I did not mention any blogging resolutions in the list above because I am going to list them below. So, here are my blogging resolutions:

  1. Publish posts listed in the "Coming Soon" box in a timely manner. As some of you may have noticed, I have listed posts that I plan to post in the future but I do not always post those posts at the time that I say I will. I hope to improve on my timing in this upcoming year.
  2. Improve the writing quality of my posts. As always, I hope to write posts that are more eloquent and more professional, so I would appreciate it if you could give me feedback on how well I am writing my posts.

So, those are my two blogging goals. I have only made two because I am not sure what other goals I want to create. I did come up with a number of posts to publish for 2009 because I do not know how much time I will have to blog in the future, and in addition, I want to focus more on quality than on quantity.

So, as you can see, I have come up with some more goals for 2009. I hope I am able to accomplish as many of my goals for 2009 as I was able to for this year. As 2009 progresses, I will post updates on my progress every couple of months. Please stay tuned for this coming year, and enjoy the holidays!

My 2008 Resolutions - My Results

Over a year ago, I created my first resolution list, and over throughout this year, I updated everyone on my progress on completing my resolutions. So, here are my final results a year later:
  1. I hope to get a chance to go to the Grand Rapids Public Library this year. The main branch of the library has records of the Old Soldiers' Home where my ancestor spent the last two years of his life. I am hoping to find more information than I did at the state archive of Michigan. Results as of May: I have yet to visit the library and look up that record. (I have been to that library before, I just never thought to look up the record in the past.) I guess I can always send a letter requesting a copy of the records. I don't know if it will cost more to order it than to copy it myself, but it is an option. Results since I posted in May: I still have not visited the library or made a request for his papers. I'm still hoping that I might be able to get a chance to do so this year. Results as of now: I have finally obtained Adam's Old Soldiers' records from the Grand Rapids Library. I have briefly looked over the four pages, and I hope to post an article on those pages in the near future.
  2. Order more microfilms of probate records for Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania. Results as of May: I have not ordered any microfilms for Huntingdon County. Since I still have plenty of time, chances are that I will do so. Results since I posted in May: I did order two microfilms of Huntingdon County records this summer, but for one of the microfilms, I wrote down the wrong number. The other microfilm is of Orphan Court records for the county, and I am still waiting for that one to come. Results as of now: The microfilm finally came into the local Family History Center in mid-August, and my grandfather took a look at the microfilm as I mentioned earlier this year. I have just recently looked at the record my grandfather printed, and unfortunately, I was not able to gain any more information on the family of Benjamin Oswalt and his wife, Mary.
  3. Look up and print other probate records of ancestors who lived and died in Saint Joseph County, Michigan. Results as of May: I have not done this yet. Also, I can't seem to find the call numbers for those microfilms anymore on the familySearch website. I think I wrote down the call numbers, so I'll look and see if I can still make a request. Results since I posted in May: I still have not got around to looking up more probate records for Saint Joseph county, Michigan, and I have not looked for the film numbers I might have copied from the site. Results as of now: I have not ordered any film probate records or viewed any probate records for Saint Joseph County. I hope I will be able to do so in this upcoming year.
  4. Order birth, marriage and death records of ancestors from the United Kingdom. Results as of May: I have ordered a microfilm of baptismal records for the church that was closest to my ancestors' residence. Hopefully, I'll be able to find my ancestors and their siblings in these records. Results since I posted in May: I was able to able to find baptismal records for my ancestors and most of their siblings. I did also order another microfilm of church records, but I was not successful in finding a baptismal date for another ancestor. Results as of now: I did order a couple of microfilms this year, as I have indicated above, but I have not ordered any other microfilms since this summer.
  5. Order microfilms of Trippstadt, Germany's civil records. Results as of May: I have ordered one microfilm of death records for the time period that a known ancestor had died. Of course, I still plan to order some more microfilms, especially of birth records. Results since I posted in May: The microfilm of death records I ordered finally came in last week, but it turned out to be the wrong years for the person I was doing research on. Instead, I was able to find a death record for another of my ancestor's children. Results as of now: I have not been able to order any more microfilms of records from Trippstadt, Germany, and I hope I will be able to order more records next year.
  6. And last, but not least, I hope to make more connections and to find more ancestors and relatives. Results as of May: I have been contacted by two more distant cousins. I haven't yet been able to find more ancestors, but hopefully, I will have done so by the end of the year. Results since I posted in May: I did receive an e-mail from someone who was also researching a possible Householder ancestor, and I did send a response. Unfortunately, I have not heard back for that person since I sent my e-mail. Results as of now: I still have not heard back from a possible cousin. I also have found another person who might be connected to one of my branches, but I haven't been able to contact him yet. I hope to do so within the next few days.

Well, as you can see I have been able to accomplish at least four or five of my resolutions. I think I did pretty well this year, and I hope my next year will be just as successful as this year was.

Winter 2008 Edition of Michigan Genealogist Posted!

The Winter 2008 edition of the Michigan Genealogist has been posted! I learned about the posting from Miriam's post, and you can read the newsletter here.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy Submissions Due Sunday!

Submissions for the upcoming Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy are due Sunday. The topic for this edition will be on Christmas/Hanukkah traditions. You can submit your articles here.

62nd Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy Posted!

The 62nd edition of the Carnival of Genealogy has been posted! You can read it here. The topic for the next edition will be on "New Year's Resolutions! What plans do you have for your genealogy research next year? How about for your blogging? No groaning or whining now. Write 'em up and let us know! The deadline for submissions is January 1st, 2009." Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

An Interesting History Book On The November 5, 1605 Gunpowder Plot

I finally finished reading today a history book that I had been on and off for the past couple of years due to be busy with school. I read Faith and Treason: The Story of the Gunpowder Plot by Antonia Fraser.

As you can tell from the title, the book is on the plot to kill James I of Great Britain and members of Parliament, famously known as the "Gunpowder Plot." The book opens with Elizabeth I's death and the negotiations with James over ascending the crown of England. English Catholics believe that Jame's ascension to the throne would lead to more tolerance for those who practice Catholicism in England, and James gives hints that he might do so. After James has been on throne a short while, the Catholics realize he is not going to end the persecution of the Catholics, and a small group of Catholic extremists begin to plan to destroy James and Parliament.In addition to explaining how the Gunpowder came about and why a small group of young Catholic men decided to overthrow James, t he author also focuses on the aftermath of the plot and how the plot affected other English Catholics.

Although I read the book off-and-on, I still enjoyed reading the book, and I believe the author did an excellent job in bringing early-seventeenth century England to life. If you are interested in the history of the Elizabethan area and early-seventeenth century England, I would put this book on your list to read. I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did.

Does Anyone Know?

Does anyone know when the Michigan 1897 to 1920 deaths will be posted? I read in the latest Michigan Genealogist Newsletter that the death records were supposed to be posted in October, but of course, that never happened. Has anyone heard or know anything about the project? Thanks.

Who Are They?


As you probably can guess, the photograph above of the woman and baby is another mystery photograph for me. I have no idea who either of them are, although the baby almost looks like a doll to me. This photograph along the other mystery photographs I have posted for previous editions of the Smile For the Camera come from my great-aunt's photo album. Outside of that, I do not have any further information as my great-aunt did not write on the back of the card. I do not know if they are relatives or friends of my great-aunt. If anyone recognizes the people in the photograph please contact me at jess_history at yahoo dot com. Thanks.

Monday, December 15, 2008

December Edition of the History Carnival Posted!

I forgot to mention that the latest edition to of the History Carnival has been posted, so I am posting this late. You can read the edition here. Enjoy!

8th Edition of the Smile For The Camera Carnival Posted!

The eighth editon of the Smile For The Camera Carnival has been posted! You can read it here. The topic for the next post will be on:

Who Are You - I Really Want To Know? Show us that picture that you found
with your family collection or purchased, but have no idea who they might
be.Someone took the time to be photographed, someone took the time to send it to
a loved one, someone didn't take the time to identify the photograph. And you
really want to know who they are. Bring it to the carnival. Share! Maybe one of
our readers can help. Admission is free with every photograph!
Your
submission may include as many or as few words as you feel are necessary to
describe your treasured photograph. Those words may be in the form of an
expressive comment, a quote, a journal entry, a poem (your own or a favorite), a
scrapbook page, or a heartfelt article. The choice is yours!
Deadline for
submission is midnight (PT)10 January, 2009


Enjoy!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

My Three Wishes ...

Dear Genea-Santa,

Although there are many things that I wish that my ancestors had left behind for their descendants, here are three things I really wish I had:
  1. A photograph of my Civil War ancestor, Adam Oswalt - Although I wish I had pictures of all of my ancestors, I really wish I had a picture of Adam in his Civil War uniform. I have always wondered what he looked like, and have wondered what his experiences were during the Civil War.
  2. A memoir written by my grandfather of his service in World War Two and his early childhood. I never got a chance to ask him any questions about his service or his childhood, and thus, I do not very information on what he experienced.
  3. A diary kept by one of my ancestors. I just wish one of my ancestors had kept a diary so that I could get an idea of what his or her life was like during the period the diary was kept. As far as I know, no one kept a diary, although that could change in the future by doing further research.

So, those are three items I wish my ancestors had handed down in the family. It would definitely be nice if I could uncover or find just one of those wishes. (Of course, wish number two is likely never going to happen.)

Another Shipwreck Found in Lake Ontario

I just happened to look on Fox News, and learned that another shipwreck has been found in Lake Ontario. You can read more about it here. Enjoy!

Friday, December 12, 2008

A Christmas Song ...

FootnoteMaven has challenged other genea-bloggers to post one of their favorite Christmas carols. So, here are the words to another one of my favorite Christmas carols, and to be honest, I did not even know all of the words to this song until I posted them now:

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen:

God rest ye merry, gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay
Remember, Christ, our Saviour
Was born on Christmas day
To save us all from Satan's power
When we were gone astray
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

In Bethlehem, in Israel,
This blessed Babe was born
And laid within a manger
Upon this blessed morn
The which His Mother Mary
Did nothing take in scorn
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

From God our Heavenly Father
A blessed Angel came;
And unto certain Shepherds
Brought tidings of the same:
How that in Bethlehem was born
The Son of God by Name.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

"Fear not then," said the Angel,"
Let nothing you affright,
This day is born a Saviour
Of a pure Virgin bright,
To free all those who trust in Him
From Satan's power and might."
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

The shepherds at those tidings
Rejoiced much in mind,
And left their flocks a-feeding
In tempest, storm and wind:
And went to Bethlehem straightway
The Son of God to find.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

And when they came to Bethlehem
Where our dear Saviour lay,
They found Him in a manger,
Where oxen feed on hay;
His Mother Mary kneeling down,
Unto the Lord did pray.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

Now to the Lord sing praises,
All you within this place,
And with true love and brotherhood
Each other now embrace;
This holy tide of Christmas
All other doth deface.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy
Lyrics courtesy of http://www.carols.org.uk/god_rest_ye_merry_gentlemen.htm

And More On That Mystery Court Case ...

As you may remember, I posted a few weeks ago on a mysterious newspaper article that mentioned that one of my ancestor's brothers was found guilty of assaulting a woman. Well, I decided to see if I could uncover an additional information in the newspapers, but unfortunately, there weren't any other articles on the case. I did notice though, that this newspaper only published the results of the court cases that were heard by that court. (I checked the newspaper for the whole year of 1845.) Apparently, there were other assault and battery cases heard by the court, and the newspaper only bothered to print what the outcome of each case was. So, it looks like the article on my brother's ancestor was typical for that newspaper.

Although I was unable to find any further information on the court case, I did decide to do some other digging to see if I could get an idea as to what the fine would be in today's dollars. In a previous post, I used the historical conversions site to covert prices from the past into today's dollars, and I did that again for the court fine. I discovered that a dollar in 1845 would be worth about $28.58 in today's dollars. Add on top of that, a week's worth of wages was lost as well, and I guess the conviction was quite costly for my ancestor's brother.

Of course, I won't know the details until I am able to obtain a transcript of the court case. Has anyone ever obtained court cases like this before? If so, how much did it cost to obtain a copy of the court's records? Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I Can Finally Start to Breathe ...

I am finally finished with the semester! I finished my last paper much earlier today and turned it in. (I took my last final exams yesterday.) Now I can start to relax, and so I will be getting back to posting new posts. Of course, that will be after I finish packing and go home ...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

2nd Edition of the Canadian Genealogy Carnival Posted!

The second edition of the Canadian Genealogy Carnival has been posted! You can read the article here, and the topic for the next edition will be on:
"Around the Kitchen Table". Does your family have a favourite Canadian recipe? Or perhaps you have the recipe to your Canadian ancestor's favourite dish. Maybe you just like Canadian Maple syrup. Share with us your favourite Canadian recipe and/or food. Deadline is February 8, 2009. Please send your submissions to looking4ancestors@gmail.com

Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Does Anyone Want To Host A Carnival?

I'm looking for people who would be willing to host a future edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy. Editions are held on a monthly basis, and at the moment, the editions from January 2009 to December 2009 are open for anyone who wants to host the edition on his or her blog. Hosts get to choose the topic of the edition, and the dates for the submission deadline and date the edition is published. If you are interested, please send me an e-mail at jess_history at yahoo dot com with "carnival host" in the subject line. Thanks.

Also, I just want to remind everyone that submissions for this month's edition are due on the 21st. You can read more about the topic here.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

67 Years Ago: A Day of Infamy

Sixty-seven years ago today Pearl Harbor was attacked, and on the next day, the United States entered the Second World War. (Obviously, I was not alive at the time the attack occurred, but some of my ancestors were. I wrote about where they were here.) I just felt that I just had to post something to commemorate that day.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

61st Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy Posted!

The 61st edition of the Carnival of Genealogy has been posted! You can read it here. The topic for the next edition will be on:

3 Wishes! This is your chance to write a letter to Genea-Santa*. Make a
list of 3 gifts you would like to receive this holiday season from 3 of your
ancestors. These have to be material things, not clues to your family history
(we're talking gifts here, not miracles!). Do you wish your great grandmother
had gifted you a cameo broach? Or maybe you'd like to have the family bible from
great great grandpa Joe? How about a baby doll that once belonged to your dear
Aunt Sarah? This is a fantasy so you can dream up gift items. They don't have to
be actual items that you know your ancestors owned. However, they do have to be
historically accurate to the time period in which your ancestor lived. Do your
research. No asking for a new computer from your great grand aunt! Genea-Santa
wouldn't like that ;-) The deadline for submissions is December 15th.


Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Another Database Added to FamilySearch Lab's Record Search

I just happened to notice that another database has been added to FamilySearch Lab's Record Search. The new database consists of Catholic Church records from the Diocese of Toledo in Ohio. I just thought I would let everyone know. Have fun searching for ancestors! Enjoy!

Found Something On Another One Of My Branches ...

Or at least I believe I have found something on my Russian-German ancestral branch that settled in Detroit. What did I find? Well, I happened to come across a website for Woodmere Cemetery in Detroit through the Detroit and Wayne County Online Death Records website, and I found a three burials listed on the website's cemetery transcriptions (that have been posted so far) that are connected to my Russian-German ancestral family. (I know they are connected because the surname I am researching is a rare surname in the United States.) Now I just have to obtain the death certificates for these three people, and figure out where exactly in the family they connect. (Although I have an idea of where they fit in the puzzle, I cannot make a complete connection without looking at the death records first.) So, needless to say, I will be chasing down a couple new leads on this family over the Christmas break. If you have any ancestors who died in Detroit, I hope the above websites help you in your research. Enjoy!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Google Analytics For November 2008

Well, November has ended, and that means that it is time for another Google Analytics report. So, here are the results for November:

The top ten countries, in number of visits, are:
  1. United States - 517 visits
  2. United Kingdom - 34 visits
  3. Canada - 15 visits
  4. Poland - 8 visits
  5. Australia - 8 visits
  6. Germany - 4 visits
  7. Netherlands - 4 visits
  8. Israel - 4 visits
  9. Spain - 3 visits
  10. Thailand - 2 visits

The top ten states in the United States, in number of visits, are:

  1. Michigan - 101 visits
  2. California - 62 visits
  3. Illinois - 60 visits
  4. Texas - 39 visits
  5. Ohio - 29 visits
  6. New York - 24 visits
  7. Wisconsin - 15 visits
  8. Virginia - 15 visits
  9. New Jersey - 13 visits
  10. Pennsylvania - 13 visits

The top ten places in Michigan, in number of visits, are:

  1. Allendale - 54 visits
  2. Kent County - 19 visits
  3. Oak Park - 4 visits
  4. Redford - 4 visits
  5. Southfield - 3 visits
  6. Huntington Woods - 2 visits
  7. Livonia - 2 visits
  8. Roscommon - 1 visit
  9. Genesee - 1 visit
  10. St. Joseph - 1 visit

The top ten articles, in number of views, are:

  1. I Found My Great-Grandpa's WW1 Service Records! - 29 views
  2. Eight Things About Me ... - 27 views
  3. Tombstone Maker Website - 24 views
  4. Who's That Baby? - 24 views
  5. 59th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy Posted! - 15 views
  6. Fall 2008 Edition of Michigan Genealogist Newsletter Is Available! - 15 views
  7. 28th Shades Of The Departed Guest Column Posted! - 11 views
  8. 12th Edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy - 9 views
  9. A Brothers Grimm Fairy Tale That Goes Well With Halloween ... - 9 views
  10. Check Out Elizabeth's Post For This Upcoming Edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy! - 9 views

Well, that is it for November's statistics, and I cannot believe it is December already! Anyhow, to those who read this blog, I just want to say, "Thank you for reading!"

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Where I've Been ...

As you may have noticed, I did not post very much over this past week. This is primarily due to the fact that I have been busy working on a paper over the Thanksgiving break. Of course, I did celebrate Thanksgiving with my family, but outside of the holiday, I have spent my time doing schoolwork. So, that is why I did not post on the 13th edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy on the day that it was posted.

Of course, I still have a couple of weeks of school left, so I will be busy, and therefore, blogging will be light until mid-December or so. I hope to do a little blogging, but I do not know how much I will be able to post until after I get out of school. Anyway, I thought I would let everyone know.

Another Database Added to FamilySearch Lab's Record Search

I just happened to notice earlier today that FamilySearch Lab's Record Search has added Cook County, Illinois marriage records from 1871-1920 on their site. If you have any ancestors living in Cook County, I wish you luck in finding records. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

13th Edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy Posted!

The 13th edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy has been posted! You can read the article here. The topic for the next edition is on Christmas Traditions of Central and Eastern Europe. (Hanukkah traditions will also be accepted. I forgot to mention this when I gave Elizabeth the topic for the next edition.) You do not have to have Central or Eastern European ancestry. You can submit articles on a tradition that you have read or learned about as well. The deadline for the submissions will be December 21, and the edition will be posted here on the 23rd. You can submit your article here.

Also, if you are interested in hosting a future edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy, you can read more about it here.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I just want to wish everyone a happy and safe Thanksgiving! Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Here's An Interesting Article: Another Shipwreck Found ...

I just happened to notice this article on yahoo, and I thought I would share the link to the article. Apparently, a shipwreck of a slave ship has been found in the Caribbean. (This article caught my interest because one of my history classes deals with slavery and emancipation in Latin America.)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

10th Edition of the Carnival of Irish Heritage and Culture Posted!

The tenth edition of the Carnival of Irish Heritage and Culture has been posted! You can read the edition here. The topic for the next edition is on: "My key to Ireland. This edition will be dedicated to the stories of genealogists tracing their Irish family trees." You can find out more information here.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Eight Things About Me ...

I've been tagged by both Apple and Tex for the "8 things about me" meme. The rules for this meme are:
  1. Each player starts with eight random fact/habits about themselves.
  2. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
  3. A the end of your blog post, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their name.
  4. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged and to read your blog.

I do not believe I have participated in this meme before, so here are eight facts about me:

  1. Besides doing genealogy, I also like to read (Something you have probably figured out by now.), write stories, draw, paint, knit, crochet and play the piano.
  2. I also love to learn about other cultures, countries, religions and languages.
  3. I have studied German for almost five years. I had two years in high school, and almost three years in college.
  4. After I finish my bachelor's degree, I plan on continuing onto graduate school, and hopefully, I will eventually obtain a PhD in history. (It looks like I will be in school for a long time.)
  5. I also like to play computer games, and my favorite computer game at the moment is Age of Empires 3. (It's not exactly a historically accurate game, but the historical theme and strategy are what interests me the most about this game.)
  6. I hope to write a book someday and have it published.
  7. The historical topics and eras that I am interested in span from the Middle Ages to the present. (Yes, I realize I have a broad interest in history.)
  8. I would like to travel the world some day.

And now, I am supposed to tag eight other people. The eight people I am tagging are:

So, that is eight things about me that you now know. I hope you find them interesting. Enjoy!

Submissions for this Edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy Are Due Today!

Submissions for this upcoming edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy are due today! The topic for this edition is on, "What research resources are you thankful for?" You do not have to have Central or Eastern European ancestry to participate, and you can submit your article here. Thanks!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Geography Awareness Week: Going To the Continent of Africa

In honor of Geography Awareness Week, I have decided to do another post on geography quizzes of a country. I have already done posts on Germany, England, Scotland, Wales and Michigan, but for this post, instead of focusing on one country, I have decided to focus on the continent of Africa.

So, how much do you know about Africa, and how well do you think you know your information? Here are some quizzes on Africa:

Countries of Africa

Rivers of Africa

Largest Cities, By Population, of Africa

Capitals of Africa

Geographical Features of Africa

More Physical Geography of Africa

I hope you enjoy these quizzes, and learn something new. Please do not feel bad if you do not do well on these quizzes because I also did not do very well when I tried them myself. Enjoy!

30th Shades Of The Departed Guest Column Posted!

The 30th Shades of the Departed guest column has been posted. The author of this week's column is Apple, and you can read the article here. Enjoy!

Geography Awareness Week: Going To Michigan

For today's post focusing on geography, I have decided to post on the state of Michigan. (Of course, I'll probably do another post on the geography of another place, but at the moment, I have not decided on the number of places I will do today.) Michigan, as many of you know, is my home state. So, how much do you know about Michigan?

Here are some quizzes on Michigan:

Counties of Michigan

Cities of Michigan

I hope you have fun with these quizzes. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Geography Awareness Week: Going To Wales

Since I have already done posts on the geography of England and Scotland, I will now do a post on Wales' geography.

Here are a couple of quizzes on the geography of Wales:

Counties of Wales

Wales' Geography

I hope you have fun with these quizzes, and I hope you have learned something new about the geography of the British Isles. I know I did. Enjoy!

Geography Awareness Week: Going To Scotland

As I promised in my post on England, I am also going to do posts on the geography of Scotland and Wales. For this post, I will only focus on Scotland.

So, here are a some quizzes for Scotland:

Cities of Scotland

Areas of Scotland

Islands of Scotland

I hope you have fun with these games. Enjoy!

Geography Awareness Week: Going To England

Yesterday, I did a geography post on Germany due to the fact that this week is Geography Awareness Week, and for today, I have decided to continue do posts on the geography of other countries. For today's post, I have decided to visit England. (I will also cover Scotland and Wales as well, but in other posts. Lisa has already done on a post on Ireland, so I won't repeat a country she has done.)

So, here are a few quizzes for England:

Cities in England

Counties of England

I hope you have fun with these two quizzes and the ones for Germany. And I hope you do better on these quizzes than I did. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Geography Awareness Week: Going To Germany

For the past few days, Lisa at 100 Years in America has been publishing articles in honor of Geography Awareness Week, and so far she has done posts on Croatia, Hungary, and Austria-Hungary. As a result, I have been inspired from these posts do a post myself on the country of Germany.

The official German name of Germany is Bundesrepublik Deutschland. Before 1871, Germany did not exist as country, and as you may know, Germany's borders as of now are go back to when Germany was reunited in 1990.

So, do you think you know a lot about Germany? Here are a couple of quizzes on Germany that you can try:

Cities of Germany

Germany's Bundesländer

Rivers of Germany

I hope you have fun with these quizzes. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Check Out Elizabeth's Post For This Upcoming Edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy!

Earlier today, Elizabeth posted a reminder for this upcoming edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy. In addition, she created a beautiful image that reflects the theme of this upcoming edition. Click here to see it. Enjoy!

Monday, November 17, 2008

60th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy Posted!

The 60th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy has been posted! You can read the article here. The topic for the next edition will be on:
"Traditions! Dictionary.com defines 'tradition' as, 'the handing down of statements, beliefs, legends, customs, information, etc., from generation to generation, esp. by word of mouth or by practice.' Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Hanukkah are right around the corner and are typically rich with tradition. Other religious and family traditions go on throughout the year. What traditions were passed on to you from an earlier generation? Do you keep those traditions? What tradition(s) will you or have you passed on to a younger generation? Do you think they will keep it up? Do you care if they do? Hat tip to Wendy for this idea. She wrote about traditions a while back and inspired me to make it a holiday edition of the COG!Write about your traditions and submit your blog article to the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy using our carnival submission form. The deadline for submissions is December 1st. Please use a descriptive phrase in the title of any articles you plan to submit and/or write a brief description/introduction to your articles in the "comment" box of the blogcarnival submission form. This will give readers an idea of what you've written about and hopefully interest them in clicking on your link. Thank you!"

Enjoy!

Do You Want To Be A Carnival Host In 2009?

I'm starting to look for people who would be willing to host an edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy in 2009. (I will be hosting December's edition.) At the moment, all 12 of the months are open, and those who host an edition get to choose the topic for that edition. And he or she will also get to choose the due dates for submission and posting of the edition. If you are interested in hosting a carnival, please e-mail me at jess_history at yahoo dot com. Thanks!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Couple Of Resources I'm Thankful For ...

For this upcoming edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy, I am supposed to write about resources in my research that I am thankful for having. So, what records am I thankful for?

Well, when it comes to researching my German ancestors from one of my grandmother's maternal lines, I am especially thankful that a family tree was done on my Cotta ancestors. This tree, of course, shows how I am descended from the Cottas up to my great-grandma. Since it is showing the descendants of the Cotta family, this tree is a secondary source, and as such, I still have to verify the information on the tree. (Which is a good thing I do as I have already found some incorrect dates on the tree.)

I am also thankful that a woman from Germany kindly helped me (and still does) with my research on another branch of my German ancestors. I would not have been able to get as far as quickly as I have without her help.

And above all, I am thankful that I can still ask relatives about what they remember of our German ancestors, especially of our German ancestors from Russia. So, what resources are you thankful for?

7th Edition Of The Smile For The Camera Carnival Posted!

The seventh edition of the Smile for the Camera Carnival has been posted! You can read it here. The topic for the next edition will be on "Stocking Stuffer. Show us that picture that would make a great Stocking Stuffer and tell us whose stocking you'd stuff. Share!" Enjoy!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy Submission Reminder

I just want to remind everyone that you have about a week left to submit your article to this upcoming edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy. The topic for this edition is on, "What research resources are you thankful for?" You can submit your entry here.

Ancestry Has Added Some Croatian Records ...

I just happened to take a look at Ancestry.com's recently added databases and noticed that some vital records for Croatia have been added. You look here, at their updated list. I hope you are successful in finding your ancestors. Enjoy!

A Mini-Mystery at the Moment ...

Several weeks ago, I decided to browse through the Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania newspapers that are online again, and this time, I happened to notice an article that I had missed in past searches. Of course, I did not mention this discovery at the time because I was extremely busy with schoolwork, but as you can imagine, this brief article has generated some questions in my mind.

So, what was this article? Well, the article happened to be on court cases that had reached verdicts by the point of the article's printing, and it listed whether or not the defendants in the cases had been found guilty or not. Well, in that list, my ancestor's brother, John Oswalt, happened to be found guilty along with another man of assault and battery of a woman. Unfortunately, the article does not mention any of the facts of the case, but it does list the punishment the men received:

"Com'th vs. Henry Harker and John Oswalt. Indictment for assault and battery on Elizabeth Kyler. Verdict, guilty. Sentence of the Court, that Henry Harker pay a fine of $1.00 and be imprisoned in jail 24 hours - John Oswalt pay a fine of $1.00 and be imprisoned in jail one week, pay costs, &c. ... August 23, 1845."
- Taken from "Proceedings of the Courts of Quarter Sessions and Common Pleas," in the Huntingdon Journal, 27 August 1845, page 2.

To be honest, I wasn't expecting to find this article, but either way, I'm curious as to what the circumstances of the case were. Obviously, I want to obtain the transcript of the case so that I can answer that question, but I also want to obtain that file to see if it might shed any light on the daily life of my Oswalt ancestors. For all I know, there might be some important details on my ancestors and their families, and since I know that some of my Oswalt ancestors were illiterate, this might be one of the few sources that I'll find on my ancestors. Since I'm still up at school, I won't have time to get this court case right away, but I hope to get the file as soon as I get a chance.

And just when I was beginning to think my ancestors were getting boring, I'm thrown another curve ball ...

Friday, November 14, 2008

29th Shades Of The Departed Guest Column Posted!

The 29th Shades of the Departed guest column has been posted! The author of this week's column is Denise Levenick, and you can read the article here. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

90 Years Ago Today ...

It is hard for me to believe that World War One ended ninety years ago today. I think for most people my age, World War One is a part of the distant past, yet when I think about the war, I realize that it has been less than a century since it ended. If my grandfather, who was born before World War One ended, was alive today, he would be ninety years old. As I mentioned before, his father, my great-grandfather, served in the British Army in that war, and since I'm only a couple of generations away from my ancestor who served in World War One, I feel a bit emotionally connected to the war. What I mean is that, World War One is just more than another war in history because I had an ancestor who served in that war, and as a result, I sometimes wonder what he experienced and went through during his experience. In short, I'm interested in the war because of my great-grandfather's service, and because I do not know what his wartime experiences were like.
Of course, until this past week, I did not know very much about his service. What I did know was that he had been in France, as the occupation listed on his marriage certificate was "a soldier in France," and from my grandfather's birth certificate, I was able to find his military service number. The certificate also stated that he was in the motor mechanics. In addition, my grandma showed me some of photos of my great-grandfather in his uniform. Outside of those pieces of information, however, I had no idea what regiment he served in nor when he entered the service. As I was trying to figure out if I could obtain my great-grandfather's service records, I learned that a large portion of the records were destroyed during the Blitz in World War. Since the information I read indicated that most records for soldiers did not survive, I believed my chances of obtaining records would be quite slim. Of course, I did not give trying to find out what I could, though. At one point, I joined a yahoo group on World War One, and inquired if anyone could tell what regiment my great-grandfather was in by looking at a photo of him in his uniform. One man suggested that it appeared as though he might have been a member of the Army Service Corps, but he couldn't tell for sure because the buckle on my great-grandfather's hat was not detailed enough to make a conclusion.

Then over this past summer, I learned that ancestry had posted the images of the Service Medal cards that listed the types of medals a British serviceman had earned during World War One. By using my great-grandfather's service number, I was able to find his card, and I discovered that he did serve in the Army Service Corps. Unfortunately, I was unable to narrow down the exact regiment from that card, and I was at a loss again. That is, until Ancestry made their British World War One Service Records available for free viewing. Only then was I able to get a better idea of the regiment my great-grandfather was able to serve in. So, what have I learned about my great-grandfather's service? Well, from what I have been able to read so far, I have learned that:
  • My great-grandfather was living in Luton, Befordshire, England at the time he signed up for service. Before I found his records, I did not know where he had signed up. I wasn't sure if it was Glasgow, Scotland ,where he was born, Luton or some other place in the United Kingdom. (I'll explain why in another post as this post is getting too long.)
  • My great-grandfather's brother was living around Manchester, Lancashire, England at the time my ancestor signed up. Plus, I was able to confirm one of the names of my great-grandfather's siblings.
  • My great-grandfather was promoted twice.
  • My great-grandfather did serve in the Motor Transport unit of the Army Service Corps.
  • His point of disembarkation was at Rouen, France.
  • My great-grandparents' marriage, and the birth of my grandfather, were recorded in his service records as well.
  • My great-grandfather's place of employment and occupation before he entered the service.

Of course, there is also other information in his records, such as when he went on leave, but I don't know how to interpret the information. I don't understand all of the codes listed, and I can barely make out some of the handwriting. The records show signs of having been damaged by fire, and some of the handwriting appears to have faded. Hopefully, I will be able to make out some of the information someday, but at the moment, I do not have the time since I am in school.

As for searching the service records, I would advise that you look before and after the images linked to by ancestry. If I had not looked at images previous to the two pages ancestry had linked to, I would have missed most of the information in his records. Ancestry had only linked to the pages that had been updated to include information on my great -grandparents' marriage and the birth of my grandfather. Therefore, I would not have found the letter from his employer nor the information on his service in his records.

And last, but not least, here is a photograph of what I believe to be my great-grandfather's regiment:


The photograph was printed on a postcard in both French and English. (The back side was blank other than the postcard format.) Since there was French on the back, I suspect the picture was taken in France. Could it have been taken in Rouen? Of course, one cannot see the faces of the soldiers in the picture too well, but last year my grandma did get the picture blown up to see if we could find my great-grandfather in the picture. We believe he is one of the soldiers sitting, and that he happened to be the one smiling in the picture. Of course, when I look at this picture and think about how deadly World War One was, I wonder how many of those men survived the war. Since I only know the name of my great-grandfather, I have no idea who the other men are. Maybe someday I will find out, but until then, those men will be a mystery to me.

To Those Who Served and Are Serving ...

I just want to thank all those out there who have served, and all of those who are serving today, from the bottom of my heart on this Veteran's Day.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Who's That Baby?


For the seventh edition of the Smile For the Camera Carnival, I thought I would post another mystery photograph. As you can see, there is a baby sitting on the bush with a bottle. I do not know who this baby is, nor do I know where or when this picture was taken. I have no idea if this baby is a relative or if this baby is the child of one of my great-aunt's friends. All I know is that this photograph was in my great-aunt's photo album that is in my grandmother's possession. If anyone has any idea who this baby is please, e-mail me at: jess_history at yahoo dot com. Thanks!

Snowing or Sleeting?

I just happened to take a look out of the window in my room, and it appears as though it might be snowing, or at least possibly a snow-sleet mix. For the past couple of days, it has been rainy and windy, and now it looks like the temperature has dropped. (It had been in the forties for the past couple of days, and now it is about 36 degrees Fahrenheit.) Of course the ground is mostly still too warm for it to collect on the grass, but a little bit of snow has begun to gather on the roof and parts of the pavement outside. Oh, yeah. It is almost time for me to start wearing my winter coat ...

Friday, November 7, 2008

I Found My Great-Grandpa's WWI Service Records!

Yes, you read that correctly. I finally found my great-grandfather's World War One service records, and I wasn't expecting to look for his records, as I figured they hadn't survived the destruction caused by the Blitz in World War Two.

I couldn't find them before in Ancestry's British World War One records, but I happened to visit the site earlier today. There, I discovered that Ancestry had updated the service records and were making the available for free viewing. So, I decided to look, and I found his records. As you can imagine, I'm quite thrilled and excited! In addition, I also happened to notice that the other British World War One records are also available for a free viewing as well. I'm not sure why the records are now free, but it might have to do with this story about about a family receiving a World War medal for their ancestor. Either way, I do not know how long those records will remain free, so if you have a British ancestor or an ancestor who served in the British army during World War One, you might still want to check and see if your ancestor's records had survived or not. I hope you are as successful as I was. Enjoy!

28th Shades Of The Departed Guest Column Posted!

The 28th Shades of the Departed guest column has been posted! The author of this week's column is Rebecca Fenning, and you can read the article here. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Added A Ratings Section To My Posts!

I've added a section to my posts where you, my readers, can choose or select how well you believe I wrote my posts. Your choices are: excellent, good, fair, poor or terrible. Although I have not yet seen the options show up on my other posts, I'm hoping that is only because it was announced today. Anyhow, I would really appreciate any feedback on how well you believe my posts were written. Thanks.

(On a side note, this blog will probably be pretty quite for a week. I will be busy with schoolwork, and I do not plan on posting very many posts, if any, until next Thursday.)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

59th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy Posted!

The 59th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy has been posted! You can read it here. The topic for the next edition will be on:

Alzheimer's Disease. November is Alzheimer's Awareness Month and it's a
good time to reflect on the impact that Alzheimer's Disease (dementia) has had
on your family history. An estimated 5 million people in the U.S. are living
with Alzheimer's Disease. A new case is diagnosed every 72 seconds. Undoubtedly
someone you know will or has some form of this debilitating dementia.
Alzheimer's robs people of their memories and all that they could have passed on
in the way of family history. What does that mean to you? If you are fortunate
enough to have not been effected by Alzheimer's Disease in your family, perhaps
you will share the impact of another serious medical condition that has impacted
your family. How have you gone about researching your family's medical history?
The deadline for submissions is November 15th.


Enjoy!

Don't Forget To Vote Today!

Election Day is today for those of us who live in the United States. I just want to remind everyone to not forget to vote today. (As a side note, I did not forget to vote. I've voted by absentee ballot a few weeks ago, so I'm all set.) Enjoy the day!

Monday, November 3, 2008

A Mystery Woman: My Ancestor's Third Wife ...

I happened to be looking at Chris's blog not too long ago, and I couldn't help but notice a post he had on a book. Why? Well, for one, the book is set in Michigan, and since I'm a Michigander, I can't help but notice articles on anything that has to do with Michigan. In addition, the surname, Sparling, caught my eye. Sparling just might happen to be the maiden name of my ancestor's third wife.

On my ancestor's death certificate, his wife's name was given as Lora Sparling. Of course, this is the only record I have so far that lists what her maiden name was. I have yet to find his marriage to Lora (or Lore as her name has been spelled in a couple of census records). In fact, I hardly know anything about her, and most of that information portrays her in a negative way. Thus, you can say she is a mystery to me. So, here is what I know about her:
  • 1920 and 1930 censuses suggest she might have been born in Ohio around 1880. I have not been able to find her in any censuses prior to the 1920 census. (And of course, I have to keep in mind that the information on the census could be incorrect.)
  • In 1920, she was married to my ancestor, John Oswalt, and they were living in Osceola county, Michigan.
  • In 1930, she and John were living in Douglas, Allegan county, Michigan. This census also suggests that her marriage to John was her only marriage at that time, and that she married John when she was 37. From the censuses, a possible marriage year might be 1917. (John's second wife died in 1915 in Kalamazoo county, Michigan and between then and the 1920 census, I do not know where the family was living.)
  • She was literally like the wicked step-mother one reads about in fairy tales. She hated children, and thus, she and John never had any children. John had children from a previous marriage, and she made her step-children's lives a living hell. (They would eventually run away from home once they became teenagers.)
  • After 1930, I do not know where John and Lora lived, or for how long they continued to live together. John apparently wanted to live in Gladwin county, and Lora refused. (This is according to family stories.) Around 1936, John became ill with pneumonia. Lora contacted his children (who now had families of their own), and told them to take care of their father. John's children cared for him, and decided to take turns letting him live in their homes for six months out of the year. (John would continue to go back and forth between his children's homes until he died in 1940.)
  • After John fell ill, his children did not keep in contact with their step-mother, and as a result, no one in our family knows what happened to her.

Most of the information above came from family stories that my grandfather told me. Outside of the census records, and the death records for John and his second wife, I do not have any other information. I do not have a record of when John remarried, and I am little unsure as to where I should look. My first instinct is to look for a marriage record in Michigan because that is the state in which John and Lora resided. Obviously, if I knew where John and his family were living in the five years between 1915 and 1920, I might be able to figure out where John and Lora married. I do know that the marriage was not recorded in Saint Joseph county as I have checked the marriage records. Of course, if I could find Lora in the censuses prior to 1920, I might be able to possibly come up with another county to look for a marriage record. The FamilySearch database does not appear to have a marriage record for John and Lora, but there is the possibility that database is not complete yet.

In addition, I am a little curious as to what happen to Lora, only if it is to find out when she died. I would like to be able to wrap up that lose end in my research on my ancestor. If anyone has any suggestions as to where I should look for a marriage or what I can do to determine what happened to Lora, please leave me a comment. Any suggestions are appreciated. Thanks!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

LIght Blogging Ahead!

Yes, I realize I said that I would not be blogging as much a couple of weeks ago, but I just want to remind everyone that if I do not post as much in the coming weeks it will be due to not having as much time. I am starting to enter the last part of the semester at my school, so I'll be busy writing papers, and therefore, I won't have as much time. I'm guessing that I will not have as much time until after Christmas to do a normal amount of blogging. So, this blog might be a bit quiet for a while. I just want to let everyone know.

Fall 2008 Edition of Michigan Genealogist Newsletter Is Available!

The fall 2008 edition of the Michigan Genealogist newsletter is now available on the Library of Michigan's website. You can read the newsletter here.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Google Analytics Statistics For October 2008

Yes, another month has gone by already, and that means that it is time for the monthly report on this blog. So, here are the results for this past October:

The top ten countries, in number of visits, are:
  1. United States - 634 visits
  2. United Kingdom - 25 visits
  3. Canada - 21 visits
  4. Australia - 5 visits
  5. Germany - 4 visits
  6. Jamaica - 3 visits
  7. Poland - 3 visits
  8. New Zealand - 3 visits
  9. Philippines - 2 visits
  10. Thailand - 2 visits

The top ten states, in number of visits, are:

  1. Michigan - 154 visits
  2. California - 71 visits
  3. Illinois - 58 visits
  4. Texas - 48 visits
  5. Pennsylvania - 44 visits
  6. (not listed) - 35 visits
  7. Ohio - 31 visits
  8. New York - 18 visits
  9. Oregon - 16 visits
  10. Utah - 15 visits

The top ten cities (or towns) in Michigan, in number of visits, are:

  1. Kent County - 110 visits
  2. Redford - 12 visits
  3. Oak Park - 9 visits
  4. Grand Rapids - 4 visits
  5. Garden City - 3 visits
  6. Roscommon - 2 visits
  7. Clawson - 2 visits
  8. Center Line - 1 visit
  9. Huntingdon Woods - visit
  10. Jackson - 1 visit

The top ten posts, in number of views, are:

  1. Tombstone Maker Website - 27 views
  2. Close Encounter With the Supernatural? ... - 24 views
  3. Google Analytics Statistics For September 2008 - 18 views
  4. Another Meme I've Been Tagged to Participate in ... - 17 views
  5. Announcing My New Genealogy Blog! - 16 views
  6. Getting To Know Me, Getting To Know Jessica's Genejournal - 15 views
  7. Things Handed Down: Traits and Characteristics - 14 views

Well, that is it for October's results. I can't believe it is November already! To the readers of this blog, thank you for visiting and for reading!

Friday, October 31, 2008

12th Edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy

The twelfth edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy is finally here! This edition happens to be the Halloween edition, and as such, the topic for this edition was on folklore, myths, legends, ghost stories or stories from Central and Eastern Europe. Unfortunately, this edition is smaller than others in the past, but here are the submissions:

First off, we have an article from Jessica Oswalt of Jessica's Genejournal. In A Brothers Grimm Fairy Tale That Goes Well With Halloween ..., she writes about a fairy tale (and of other fairy tales similar to it) that fits more with Halloween than it does with a person's stereotype of the typical fairy tale.

Well, that is it for this edition. The next edition will be hosted by Elizabeth O'Neal of Little Bytes of Life, and the topic for this edition is will be on "What resources are you thankful for in your Central/Eastern European genealogical research?" as a topic, in honor of Thanksgiving. A "resource" could be a web site, book, family member, or anything that has helped with one's research." Submissions are due on November 23, and the edition will be published on Thanksgiving, November 27. You can submit your articles here.

(Anyhow, on a side note, I just realized that I did not create a facebook notice for this carnival, and that is probably why the turnout for this submission was poor. If anyone has any other suggestions for ways that I can increase the number of submissions or suggestions for topics please e-mail me at: jess_history at yahoo dot com. Also, if anyone is interested in hosting future editions of this carnival, please contact me at the e-mail above. Thanks!)

Question?

Is anyone still planning to submit an article to the 12th edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy? If so, please either e-mail me with a link at jess_history at yahoo dot com, or leave a link to your submission in the comments section for this post. Thanks!

27th Shades Of The Departed Guest Column Posted!

The 27th Shades of the Departed guest column has been posted! The author of this week's column is Midge Frazel, and you can read the article here. Enjoy!

Happy Halloween!

I just want to wish everyone a happy and safe Halloween! Enjoy!

9th Edition of the Carnival of Irish Heritage and Culture Posted!

The ninth edition of the Carnival of Irish Heritage and Culture has been posted! You can read the edition here. The topic for the next edition is "Irish culture is loved worldwide. It is no secret that the love of Ireland is not exclusive to those with Irish blood running through their veins.For this edition of the Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture, Small-leaved Shamrock invites you (whether you have Irish heritage or not) to share what you most love about Ireland and the Irish people."

(I do not know when the entries for the next edition are due, but when I find out, I will update the post.) Enjoy!

Update at 7:12 a. m.: Information on the upcoming edition can be found here, at the new blog for the Carnival of Irish Heritage and Culture.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A New Poll Created!

I have created another poll, and it will close within the next eight hours. For this poll, I am asking, "Is anyone submitting an article to the 12th edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy?" I have already submitted my article, but other than my article, I have not received any other submissions.

If you need more time, or need me to extend the deadline, please let me know. Thanks!

A Brothers Grimm Fairy Tale That Goes Well With Halloween ...

At first, I was not too sure about what I should write about for this edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy, but then I decided to write a little about one of the Grimm's fairy tales that I felt fits very well with the Halloween season. I am not trying to pick on the Germans, but when I was thinking of something to write about that fit the folklore topic and Halloween, I remembered that there were a couple stories that would would work. Of course, I should state that this fairy tale is not a typically fairy tale that most of us think of when we think of fairy tales. This tale is creepy, and as such, I think parents should read over the story first before they let their children read it.

So, what is the tale? The tale is called "Fitcher's Bird," and it is a story about a murderous sorcerer and a young woman. You can read a English-translation version here. It is probably too disturbing of a story for young children, but there are a few stories in the Grimm's fairy tales that are similar to that one. Another story that is similar is "The Robber Bridegroom." Of course, there are also less disturbing fairy tales in the Grimm Brothers' collection, and if you would like to read some of the other stories, there are more here.

So, how do I know about these stories? Well, I own a book that has the complete collection of all of the Grimm Brothers' fairy tales in English, and I came across these stories when I was reading them. To be honest, before I got that book, I did not know that fairy tales could be that gruesome. Of course, I do not know much about other folklore or fairy tales from other countries in Central and Eastern Europe. Do other countries have stories that would fit with the Halloween season? If so, are there any books or sites that I could look into to read some of these stories? Thanks.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Note About the Submission Deadline for the 12th Edition

I just realized that I forgot to mention that today was the deadline for submissions for the next edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy. In addition, the blog carnival site appears to still be down, so I do not know if anyone has tried to submit any articles. (I have not received any submissions at all for the carnival, and I do not know if this has been the case, or not.) So, I've decided to extend the deadline, and submissions will now be due on Friday the 31st by 8 a.m. PST. I will still post the edition on the 31st, but it will not be until later on in the evening. Please send me an e-mail with a link to your article at jess_history at yahoo dot com. Thanks!

Some New Databases ...

Within the past couple of days, some new databases have been added to Ancestry.com and FamilySearch Lab's Record Search. The new databases added to Ancestry are of Jewish records from Central and Eastern Europe, and you can read more about them here.

As for FamilySearch Lab's Record Search, I just happened to notice earlier today that militia records for Vermont during the Civil War and Louisiana War of 1812 Pensions were added to the site. You can access the site here. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Note About Tombstone Tuesday ...

I just want to let everyone know that I have decided to mostly participate in Tombstone Tuesdays on my other blog, The Rural Michigan Cemeteries Graveyard Rabbit. I won't stop complete participation on this blog, but I think if I will only post photographs of tombstones that are in urban areas or outside of Michigan. (I'm trying to strike a balance between these two blogs.) Anyhow, this week, I will not be posting on a Tombstone Tuesday on this blog; however, I did post a Tombstone Tuesday on my other blog. You can view that entry here.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

This Michigan Weather ...

The weather in Michigan for this weekend has been lousy. It has been raining off and on this weekend, and it has been windy. (Well, at least for the west coast of Michigan.) And today, in addition to raining, it also hailed this evening. (And cold and really windy too.) Supposedly, the west coast of Michigan is to get snow tomorrow. Oh joy. I guess I'll just have to see how the weather turns out tomorrow ...

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy Submissions Are Due Wednesday!

I just want to remind everyone that Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy submissions are due Wednesday. (If you need an extra day, please let me know.) The topic for this edition is on folklore, legends, ghost stories, myths, etc, and the edition will be posted on Halloween. Enjoy!

Now, if I could just get my submission done ...

Friday, October 24, 2008

26th Shades Of The Departed Guest Column Posted!

The 26th Shades of the Departed guest column has been posted! The author of this week's column is Melissa Strobel, and you can read it here. Enjoy!

Blog Changes and Other News ...

I'm playing check-up for the past few days as I realize I have forgotten to mention a few things. First off, I have added a Coming Soon paragraph to the left side of the blog, just above the Genealogy and History Thoughts section. I plan to use the paragraph to list topics for future posts. I do not know if anyone noticed, but I created that section earlier this week. Hopefully, I will get to some of the posts that I want to write for this month and in the future.

I also noticed a few days ago on the Rochester Area Research Aides blog that there was a post on an index of names in old Rochester newspapers recently posted on the Monroe county, New York library website. The indexes are split up into groups of numbers and into two time periods. The first time period is from 1818 to 1850, and the second period is from 1851 to 1897. Since my Havens ancestors were in Rochester, New York around 1850, I decided to take a look at the indexes, and I found a couple things that might help me in my research. (I'll post on those index findings in a future post.)

In addition to forgetting to mention the items above, I forgot to mention that FamilySearch Lab's Record Search has added a couple more databases to their site. They added civil vital records for Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and a census for Buenos Aires, Argentina last week. In addition, the site has been adding more names to the 1850, 1860 and 1870 U.S. censuses over the past few days.

Finally! I've gotten around to posting this news!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Just A Quick Reminder!

I just want to remind everyone that entries for the 12th edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy are due in a week from today (on October 29). The topic for this edition is on "folklore, myths, legends, and ghost stories. Since this edition will be posted around Halloween, I thought that this would be a good time to have a carnival on area folklore, myths, legends, ghost stories, traditions or festivals of the countries in Central and Eastern Europe. The submissions do not necessarily have to be a part of your family tradition; it could be a submission on a historical event or it could just have been a part of the culture of your ancestor." You can submit your article here.

The Truth About The "Close Encounters" Stories ...

As I promised at the end of my post for the 58th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy, I am now announcing the truth about whether or not these two stories were true or fiction, but before I do, I am going to post the results for the poll I created in relation to that post.

For the poll, I asked, "What Do You Think About the Stories in the 'Close Encounters ...' post? Four people voted in my poll, and the results are:
  • Story One is true but the second one is false - 1 vote
  • Story Two is true but the first one is false - 1 vote
  • Both are true - 2 votes
  • Neither are true - 0 votes

Of course, I should also mention that five other people left comments at the end of that post, and those five believed the stories were true.

Well, guess what? I apparently can't fool you. Both of the stories are true. For the first story my great-grandfather really did die three days before my mother and her family found out. Of course, this is according to what my mother told me, and from the way she told me, it sounds as though my grandma had a dream about him around the time he died, which was three days before they learned about his death. As for the lapse in time, my great-grandfather lived in the United Kingdom, and when something did happen, my mother's family was usually the last to hear about it because family members over in the U.K. would have been the ones taking care of the arrangements. Of course, by the time my mother's relatives in the U.K. had a chance to contact my mother's family, three days had gone by. (As strange as this might sound.)

As for the second story, I did start shaking in the car as my grandpa drove out of the cemetery. To this day, I still do not know what was the cause of the shaking. We visited the cemetery in late July, so there wasn't any reason for me to start shaking. Of course, unless I was reacting to the air conditioning in the car, but I do not recall it being an extremely hot or humid day. The other possibility that I can think of is that it was an unconscious reaction to being in the cemetery. I did write in a post last year that I do not like visiting cemeteries, and it could be that my dislike of being in cemeteries resulted in me shaking. (Well, I think cemeteries are creepy.) Of course, those are the two most likely possibilities, and I don't think I want to think about any other possibilities ...

Before I forget, I just want to say thank you to those who voted, read my post, and left comments on the post. Thank you for doing so.