Saturday, December 1, 2007

First Edition of the Advent Meme Posted!

The first edition of the Advent Meme has been posted at Thomas' blog. You can read the entry here. Enjoy!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Advent 4: Christmas Cards

Like everyone else, my family receives and mails out Christmas cards every year. Personally, I like Christmas cards, and I enjoy looking at all of the different and unique styles. Usually, we display the cards that we get. When we lived at our old house, we taped the cards to the door of the foyer closet. We still display our cards at our new home, but we tape them onto the spindles of the staircase in the kitchen. (It looks a lot better than how I wrote it, honestly.)

Of course, almost all of the Christmas cards are addressed to the whole family. Usually, the only Christmas cards that my brother and I would get addressed to each of us would be cards from our grandparents. I say usually because from the age of eight until I was in high school, I used to receive a Christmas card from the family of the then Governor of Michigan. How did I get on his mailing list? Well, when I was in the third grade, the Governor Engler's wife gave birth to three daughters, and I wrote a little letter congratulating the Governor and his wife after reading about it in the newspaper. I received a card back from the Governor's family. My little letter probably wasn't read, but for an eight year old, getting a card back in response meant a lot. (I don't remember that if I also received a Christmas card that year because the daughters, if I remember correctly, were born in the middle of November. Either way, it doesn't matter.)

I may be old-fashioned, but I love sending and receiving Christmas cards. And if I had any time, I would rather write letters than to send e-mails. (But that is for another post.)

Advent Meme 3: Christmas Food

I don't believe my family has any special Christmas dinner dishes. In the past, we have usually had either turkey or prime rib or both for Christmas dinner. The meals vary depending upon who is hosting the family's Christmas get-together. Either my parents, grandparents or my uncle and aunt host the party at their home, and those not hosting, usually bring a side dish or dessert, even though the main meal is made by the host family.

On Christmas morning, before my brother and I open our presents or have breakfast, we have to take our two dogs out. For the past couple of years, my mom has made a special French toast for breakfast, and it is delicious. Other than that, I don't believe my family has any unique dishes for Christmas.

Researching German Ancestors

Although I have German ancestors, I haven't done a lot of research into my German ancestors, when it comes to German records. So far, I have only been able to trace a couple of branches back to their town or village of origin. Before I go any further, I must state that a family tree had been done previously on one of the families. I am still going through and reconfirming the information since I don't have the original researcher's notes, and I do not know what records he used. I must also mention that in going through the data, I have come across errors, especially when it comes upon information on people who lived in the United States. The errors are exactly why I am going over the information, and the arrangement of the branches make determining relationships very difficult. The tree is completely in German, and even though that is not a major problem for me, there are German words that I have come across that I can't find in my German dictionaries.

So, what have I done to confirm or disprove the information on the tree? I have used obituaries, passport applications, passenger ship lists, marriage records and death certificates. Of course, this isn't an exhaustive list, but as I am still working on determining where most of my German ancestors came from, I'm still looking for more records.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

More Genealogy Blogs Added!

I have just added two more genealogy blogs. The blogs added are:
  • Destination: Austin Family
  • Where am I from?

You can find these and other blogs on the lower left side of the page. Any suggestions for other genealogy or history blogs are welcome.

Advent Meme 2: My Family's Ornaments

I believe that most of my family's Christmas tree ornaments were either bought by my parents or given to my family as gifts. The majority of ornaments that are put on our tree, I remember, were put on the tree as long as I have been alive. Of the ornaments that are on the tree, I remember when they were bought or given as gifts. Many of the Christmas ornaments that were bought were from places that my family had visited on vacations. Of course, there are also the Christmas ornaments that my brother and I made when we were both in elementary school.
There are a couple of ornaments that I treasure because they were made by my great-grandmothers. Neither of my great-grandmothers are still alive, so these ornaments that were made to them are precious to me because they are one of the last links to my ancestors. All of the rest of the ornaments are commercial-made. My family has never strung popcorn and cranberries on our tree probably because it would have been too messy. Instead, we string Christmas tree lights around the tree.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Colors of My Flag ...

Earlier today, Jasia posted an article about the flag she made. You can read her article here. Here is my flag:

As you can see, the three flags are the flags of my heritage.

Some Other Interesting Articles ...

Over the past the two weeks or so, I've noticed that several interesting blog articles have been posted. I have already written about interesting Thanksgiving posts here. Some of the articles that I've noticed are:

These articles are ones that I thought were interesting. If I have missed any interesting article, please let me know. Enjoy!

Monday, November 26, 2007

New Poll Created!

I've just added a new poll to this blog. The question for this poll is, "Where in Scandinavia are your ancestors from?" Your choices are:
  • Norway
  • Sweden
  • Finland
  • Denmark
  • Iceland

You can choose more than one answer for this poll. The poll will close in about two weeks. Enjoy!

Reminder and Other Things ...

I just want to remind everyone that articles for the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy will be due on November 30. The topic for this carnival is a carousel. I have already received articles for the carnival, but I just want to let everyone know when articles are due for the upcoming carnival. You can read more about the carnival here.

On another note, I will not be posting very many articles this week primarily because I am busy with school work.

Poll Results

The poll is now closed, and the results are in. The question for this poll was, "Where in Eastern Europe are your ancestors from?" Four people voted, and the results are:
  • Poland - 2 votes
  • Russia - 3 votes
  • Lithuania - 0 votes
  • Estonia - 0 votes
  • Latvia - 0 votes
  • Ukraine -1 vote

To those who voted, thank you for voting. At least two or three more polls will be posted in the future, so keep an eye out for them. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

An Advent Meme: My Family's Christmas Tree

Within the past couple of weeks, Jasia and Thomas have come up with a Christmas meme, and I have decided to participate. There are supposed to be about 24 entries, and the first entry for December 1 is on Christmas trees memories and traditions.

For as long as I can remember, my parents have always had an artificial Christmas tree. My grandparents, on the other hand, have always had a real Christmas tree. Either way, the trees that my family had have been around six or seven feet tall - probably the average height for a Christmas tree. Of course, the trees couldn't be any taller than that because the height of the ceilings in the houses my parents and grandparents used to live in were probably no higher than eight feet. In short, the ceilings were pretty low. (I have to estimate the heights here because I do not remember what the height of the ceilings were of the house I used to live in. I'm just recalling this from my memory, so the height could be incorrect.)

When I was a young child, my parents mainly decorated the tree. If my brother or I did any decorating, it was in helping hang ornaments on the tree. As my brother and I got older, we participated more in helping put the tree together and decorating the tree. By the time I was a teenager, my brother and I probably did most of the decorating of the tree, and putting the tree together. (Our dad would still help in putting the tree together, as my brother and I were still not tall enough to put the top on.) One year, I believe, if I remember correctly, I put up the tree all by myself, and I also strung all of the lights on the Christmas tree. Everyone else ended up putting ornaments on the tree the next day. Since I have gone to college, I haven't helped as much in putting up the tree because I have been busy with school work. I didn't put help with the tree this year primarily because I had school work that I had to do.

Some Interesting Thanksgiving Posts ...

Even though I haven't posted very many articles on Thanksgiving and it is now after Thanksgiving, I still want to mention some articles on Thanksgiving that I thought were interesting. The articles are:

I realize that is not a large list of articles. I have been very busy lately with school work, and these were the articles that I noticed the most. If I have missed any other articles, please feel free to let me know. Thanks. Enjoy!