Saturday, July 12, 2008

A Possible Brick Wall Ancestor? Irene Havens - Part 1...

I've noticed that a few other genealogy bloggers have posted articles on their brick wall ancestors, and I thought I would post on one of my ancestors. Well, I'm not sure I can call this ancestor a brick wall ancestor, but at the moment, I haven't been able to do very much research on this ancestor. But here is a little of what I do know:

Irene was born somewhere in New York state sometime between 1840 and 1843. When I first started my research on her, I could only find her in the 1860 U. S. census before she married Peter Stout. (I know believe I have found her in the 1850 census, but I'll explain my speculations in a later post.) In the meantime, I'll continue with my research in another post.

Family History Center Visit 8

I just happened to get back from the local Family History Center about an hour or so ago. Unfortunately, I did not have very much luck today with my research. The two microfilms that came in a couple days ago were the Saddleworth, Yorkshire church records and the Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania microfilm. I first took a look at the English church records, but I was unable to find my ancestor's baptism in that church. It may be very possible that he was baptized at a different church. I'll have to look at other church records from the area.

With the second microfilm, I did not have any more success as when I looked at the microfilm, I discovered the film in the box was not what I wanted. Somehow, either I or the lady who rewrote the number on my slip got the number incorrect. I don't know if the Family History Center will exchange this film for the right one or not, but hopefully, I'll have more success when I do get that record.

So, as you can see, I had a terrible research day. I decided to order another microfilm for Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania, so I'm hoping that I'll have better luck when that microfilm comes.

A Few More Records Added to FamilySearch Lab's Record Search

I just happened to take a look at FamilySearch Lab's Record Search, and I noticed that images for the 1870 U. S. Census, Lima, Peru and another diocese in Spain have been added. You can see what was added here.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Two More Back-logged Articles Posted!

Today, I have finally posted two more articles that I had back-logged. As I promised earlier, I would post when the next edition of the Genealogy and History Thoughts Columns was posted, and today, I finally posted it. You can read the column here. The other article that I also posted today was a post dealing with the council minutes of towns, villages or cities. I thought I would just let everyone know about these posts. Enjoy reading them!

Week of July 6, 2008: More Genealogy and History Blogs Added!

Over this past week, I have added several genealogy and history blogs. The blogs added are:
  • RootsMagic Blog (I learned about this blog from Miriam's post.)
  • BackTrack (I learned about this blog from Chris' post.)
  • Chicago History
  • Tudor Blog (I learned about the two above blogs from Elizabeth's post.)
  • The 48th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry/Civil War Musings (This blog was posted on blogger's blog of note today.)

You can find these and other history blogs listed on the right side of the page, and you can find these and other genealogy blogs on the lower left side of this blog. Any suggestions for other history and genealogy blogs are welcome. Thanks!

14th Shades Of The Departed Guest Column Posted!

The 14th Shades of the Departed guest column has been posted! The author of this week's column is Cathi Basler, and you can read the column here. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Poll Results ... Again!

The poll is now closed, and the results are in! The question for this poll was, "Is the readability test correct?" Four people voted, and the results are:
  • Yes - 2 votes
  • No - 2 votes

To those who voted, thank you for voting!

Family History Center Update ...

I just received a phone call earlier today informing me that two of the microfilms I ordered came in today. One of the microfilms is for a record from Pennsylvania and the other microfilm, I don't know which one it is. (I was unable to make out which one it was from the answering machine.) Hopefully, I'll be able to go to the local Family History Center this Saturday. Stay tuned ...

I Paid A Visit to the State Archives and Library of Michigan Today ...

Yes, I went to the Library of Michigan and the State of Michigan Archives earlier today. I did not post anything to inform everyone that I was going there only because the visit was a bit unplanned. (I had planned to go to the Library on Friday, but my plans got changed. So, I ended up going today.) I went with my grandparents, and this time, we did not have to deal with road construction in Lansing. (When I visited before, in other years, there was always road construction that blocked the most direct route to get to the Michigan Historical Center, the building that houses the Library and archives.) Instead, I discovered that construction work is going on at the Michigan Historical Center.

I first went to the Archives, as that was what was open at the time. (The hours for the Library and Archives have been greatly reduced, so I decided to go to the Archives first.) While I was at the Archives, I decided to try to look for one of the naturalization records of my ancestors, but I was unsuccessful. I then decided to look in the social statistics schedule of the 1880 census to see if I could find someone that I could not find in the population schedule, but again, I was unsuccessful. Before I left the Archives, I asked one of the archivists if he knew where the 1904 state census was, and I learned that it had not survived. The archivist told me that during World War Two, the state census records were thrown out to make room, and that the surviving state censuses held in the Library came from the counties that happened to keep copies of the state censuses for their counties. So, the state censuses held by the Library appear to be the only state censuses that survived.

After the Archives closed at 1 p. m., I went to the Library of Michigan (in the same building), as the library opened at 1 p. m. At the Library, I started to search for my ancestors in the 1884 state census for Bay county, but I did not have any luck. (I'll just have to try again.) I then looked in the 1894 state census for Bay county, and I found them. Included in the household of my ancestors was a man that I had been trying to connect to me ancestor, and I finally had a relationship listed between him and my ancestor. The only problem was that he was listed as a son to the head of the household, which was impossible as the head was only seven years older than that man. (I write more about this later.) I then decided to look for an obituary of an ancestor, and I was able to find her death notice. I continued to look through old newspapers, but I did find any other information that would help. I last decided to look through the NARA index for naturalizations to see if I could find my ancestor. I had to figure out the soundex code for my ancestor, as that was how they were indexed, but after I w s able to figure it out, I was able to find my ancestor's index card. After I found that record, I had to leave as the Library closed at 5 p. m. So, after researching for about five hours, I was only able to find a little bit of information. Hopefully, the next time I visit, I will have some more success in my research.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

New Poll Created!

I have created a new poll. The question for this poll is, "Is the readability test correct?" Your choices are:
  • Yes
  • No

You can only chose one answer, and you have less than 24 hours to vote. Enjoy!

A Possible Little-Known Record?

I happened to notice Harold's post about the Abrams Seminar at the Library of Michigan earlier today, and the mentioning township records made me think about a possible record source that genealogists could use. When I was interning at the Grand Rapids, Michigan city archives this past fall, I did some indexing of the early city minutes. I was mainly indexing the topics discussed at the meetings, but I did frequently index the names of petitioners who had presented petitions to the council as well. It maybe very possible that a genealogist might find his or her ancestor in the minutes of a city, village or township. Although you might not find the papers connected to the meeting, these minutes might give a genealogist some insight into the lives of his or her ancestors and life in the locality that that ancestor had lived in. I do not know for sure if these types of records are used at all in genealogical research, but I thought I would mention this in case these records were under-utilized by genealogists. Anyhow, it is just a suggestion that I thought I would share.

Ages and Ancestors ...

To be honest, I'm still not sure what exactly I should write about on the topic of age, but I think I'll just give some overviews of a few life milestones for some ancestors with the inclusion of their ages.

Ages At Marriage

One of the youngest age for an ancestor's spouse that I have seen at the time of marriage was 17 years of age, and the husband was nineteen at the time of the marriage. Of course, this was the first marriage for my ancestor, but it was not his last. I have already mentioned that this ancestor was married three times, and his first marriage obviously occurred at a young age. Outside of this marriage, I have noticed that most of my female ancestors started marrying at 18 or in their 20s, and that most of my male ancestors married in their 20s. In a few marriages, my female ancestor was a few years older than my male ancestor.
Ages At the Time of Family Tragedies
Instead of writing about the ages of my ancestors at the time of their deaths, I thought I would focus more on the ages of some ancestors at the time of a family tragedy. Of all the tragedies that could befall a family, I think the death of the mother had to be the most tragic for the children. Unfortunately, I have a few ancestors who lost their mothers at young ages. One of my ancestors was 12 when his mother died, and another female ancestor was about ten when she lost her mother. Another ancestor lost his mother probably at the age of 7 or 8 years old. Of course it is tragic for the children to their mothers at a young age, but this occurred three generations in a row. All but one of the fathers of the children above remarried, and in one case, the step-mother was cruel to her step-children. I realize that this is a depressing topic to mention, but the loss of a mother does have an effect upon the life of the family and the lives of the children.
Of course, these are just a couple of millstones in the lives of my ancestors, but these are the ones that stick out the most to me.

What's the Readability of this Blog?

I just learned about this reading level test from Randy's post. So, here are my results:

Total sentences - 4330
Total words - 17855
Average words per Sentence - 4.12
Words with 1 Syllable - 8835
Words with 2 Syllables - 3758
Words with 3 Syllables - 2159
Words with 4 or more Syllables - 3103
Percentage of word with three or more syllables - 29.47%
Average Syllables per Word - 1.97
Gunning Fog Index - 13.44
Flesch Reading Ease - 35.68
Flesch-Kincaid Grade - 9.31

Hm ... . According to this test, a person reading this blog would have to a high school, or maybe a little bit of a college education in order to read it. Does this sound right? I didn't expect it to be that high. What do you think?

Oops! I Forgot ...

Yesterday, I wrote about my plan to attend the German ancestry web seminar and to write about my thoughts afterwards. Well, guess what? I completely forgot about it after I posted on it. I am terribly sorry if someone was looking forward to reading my thoughts on the seminar. Obviously, I had not intended to forget, but I got busy later on in the day. I realize this happens all the time, but I still want to apologize for my mistake. Sorry about that ...

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Looking For My German Ancestors: My Research Experiences Part 2

In my previous post, I wrote about how I first began researching for my German ancestors. This time, I thought I would go into a little bit more detail, and write about one of my German ancestors of whom I'll call Carl.

When I first started to do research on Carl, all I knew was his name, his occupation and the fact that he died before my grandma was born. (I also knew that he came from Germany, but I did not know where. In fact, I still do not know.) After searching for Carl and his family in the U. S. censuses and his marriage record, I started to look for when Carl came to America. From the 1900 census, I learned that Carl had gotten naturalized before 1900, and that he came to America about 1881. To see if I could find out where pre-1900 naturalizations were held, I did some searching on the Library of Michigan's website, and came across some naturalization indexes for naturalization held by the State Archives of Michigan. I searched the online index for Bay County, and found my ancestor. I also found another man, named Fred, with the same surname as my ancestor. (I suspect that there may be a connection between these two men, as the only people with this surname in Bay County are connected to my ancestors.) Unfortunately, the naturalization records for both men are only half of a sheet long, and neither lists where in Germany they came from.

The next thing that I tried to do was find out when Carl came to the U. S. On his naturalization record, he stated that he came to the U. S. in 1882, so I decided to look for him in passenger lists. So far, my search has not been successful. I still do not know when or where Carl entered the U. S., and I still do not know where in Germany he came from. In the next post, I'll discuss the possibility of a connection between Carl and Fred and more on my research on Carl.

German Genealogy Web Seminar Tonight ...

Yesterday, I received an e-mail to remind me that the ancestry web seminar for German genealogy is tonight at 8pm. I will post my thoughts after I've attended the seminar. Stay tuned ...

Just A Little Note ...

I'm sure you might have noticed that I have not posted that many posts in the past few days, and I thought I would explain why that is so. For the past few days, I have been having a little difficulty concentrating on writing posts. I have a few posts that are still in draft, and I'm having a slight writer's block in what I want to say. One of those posts is the Genealogy and History Thoughts Column 15, and that has been backlogged since the 28th of June. I'm hoping to get it done soon, and I'll post a note when I do get it posted. In the meantime, I have posted my thoughts on Ancestry's new home page, and you can read the article here. Stay tuned ...

FamilySearch Lab's Record Search Databases ...

I haven't noticed any new database additions to the record search in a while. Yesterday, though, I noticed that West Virginia deaths were updated. Oh well, I'm sure something new will be posted there soon ...

Monday, July 7, 2008

Another Interesting Article ...

I just happened to notice an interesting article on yahoo news. You can read the article here.

I realize it does not really have to do with genealogy or history, but I thought it was interesting, nevertheless.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Poll Results!

The poll is now closed and the results are in! The question for this poll was, "If you wanted to read posts on history, what topics you like to see? Six people voted, and the results are:
  • History of a locality - 2 votes
  • Historical Event - 0 votes
  • Historical Analysis - 1 vote
  • Historical Mysteries - 2 votes
  • Historical Controversies - 1 vote

I'll definitely have to do some research. To those who voted, thank you for voting. Enjoy!

Here's Another Interesting History Article ...

I just happened to notice this interesting article on a stone tablet and the early roots of Christianity. You can read the article here. Enjoy!