Saturday, September 27, 2008

Note: Light Blogging ...

I just want to inform everyone that blogging will be light for this upcoming week, and possible for the next few months as well. I will be concentrating on school work, and I will not be able to post as much as I have been able to lately. I will still be posting the 12th edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy, although I do not know how many other upcoming carnivals that I will be able to participate in at this time. I just wanted to let everyone know.

Friday, September 26, 2008

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

I have been unable to find anyone who wants to host the October edition, I have decided that I will host the edition. (I got the inspiration for my topic from Lisa's topic for the 9th edition of the Carnival of Irish Heritage and Culture.) The topic for this upcoming edition will be 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. The deadline for submissions is October 29, and I will post the edition on October 31. You can submit your articles here.

Extra! Extra!: My Ancestors In The News ...

The topic for this upcoming edition of the Carnival of Genealogy is on finding ancestors in the newspapers. Have I found any of my ancestors listed in the local newspapers where my ancestors lived? Yes, but I wish my ancestors had appeared in those newspapers more than they actually did. In most cases, my ancestors were mentioned in the newspapers either when they got married or when they died. Only on a few occasions did my ancestors get mentioned in the news for something other than getting married or having passed away.

As I stated before, most of the times that my ancestors were mentioned in the newspapers was due to their dying. Usually, their deaths would be given maybe a line or two in a death notice section of the local paper. Very little information was given for these ancestors who died in the Nineteenth Century. For my ancestors who died in Detroit in the Twentieth Century, their deaths were listed under the death notice section (Obits were different, apparently.). Although these were not obituaries, these death notices listed the name of their spouse, the that they lived at address, their children, the time and date of the funeral, and and if there were any other relatives living besides the children. As for the death notices of other distant relatives, the listing of names of the decedent's survivors has helped me sort out who each person's children were, especially in the case of my ancestors, Anton and Caroline, and their relatives, where several of the survivors shared the same names. In short, these death notices provided much more detail than their Nineteenth Century counterparts.

Of course, that does not mean that those older death notices did not contain clues. In one death notice, an alternative cause of death was given that was completely different from the cause of death listed in his death registration. As you may remember, I wrote about my ancestor's remarriage to a woman young enough to pass for his daughter last year; however, I did not mention the cause of his death. Or at least the two different causes of death that I have. Jacob Detwiler's death registration lists that he died on 21 December 1879 from lung fever. (In a quick search done on the internet of archaic medical terms, I came upon this site, and it lists lung fever was a term for pneumonia.) The death notice in the local newspaper, however, gives his date of death as 22 December 1879 and states he died from complications due to a fall at his home the week before. So, now the question becomes, "Which one is correct?" The newspaper entry was published within a few days after his death since it mentioned the name of the minister who would be conducting the funeral service. As for the death register, one of the Librarians working in the genealogy section of the Library of Michigan told me that the deaths were collected once a year at that time, and when I looked back at the date the death record was entered, I realized it was entered about six months or so after the his death. So, it could easily be that the death registration is incorrect. Or the possibility could be that both the death notice and registration were correct. As for the date, Jacob could have passed away in the night, and that would explain why there are two death dates given. As for the cause of death, the only reasonable conclusion I can make - and I'm speculating about this - is that Jacob could have injured himself in an accident, and while he was trying to recover from his injuries, he could have very easily developed pneumonia. Jacob was in his sixties when he died, so it would not be to difficult to believe that an old, weakened man had died of pneumonia after being injured.Of course, I cannot say exactly for sure, if one could find that much from a death notice in most cases, but in my case, that has been been the most information that I have gotten out of a death notice.

Another way I have been able to determine when an ancestor has died is through the probate notices listed in the newspapers. Of course, the probate notice will not give me the date of an ancestor's death, but it will help me narrow done when he or she may have died. This notice will also list where this ancestor died, who was managing the estate, and when the noticed was first published. (There will be a date in the lower corner that gives when the notice was submitted or first printed in the paper.)

As for marriage notices, I have not been able to get any more information than the names of the couple who were married, who married them, when and where they were married, and the residences of the couple. At the most, the marriage will not take up much more space than a sentence with all of the information listed in that sentence. (Yes, you read that correctly. One sentence.) Of course, with the marriage notices there are usually more than just one marriage listed in that section. Sometimes the notice might list the father of the bride, but so far, I have not been that lucky. I have had to use other sources to determine the who parents of the couple were.

As for the few other times that I have found my ancestors mentioned in the news, I really only have two examples. (Well, three if I count one of my ancestor's siblings.) In one of those cases, I found my ancestor listed in a newspaper report of those who had won prizes at the county fair (or festival). Apparently, my ancestor had entered one of his animals in one of the contests, and he won the first prize in the category of best 2-year old cow (at least from what I can remember off the top of my head). The article also listed the prize he won, and in his case, his prize was two dollars. (For the moment, I'm going to guess that a two dollar prize was a pretty good one in the 1860s.) Another time I found an ancestor's younger brother listed in the newspaper along with their uncle. This article was also published in the 1860s, and it listed the names of the men who had enlisted in a volunteer regiment, in this case, the 25th Michigan Volunteer Infantry. Of course, it was just a listing of the local men who had enlisted, but still, if I had not already found information on these two men's service in the Civil War, this newspaper article would have been a clue. As for my last example, this newspaper article deals with Civil War veterans, but it is much more intriguing for me. The article mentions the names of the members of the Rockford, Illinois delegation to elect the new president of the G. A. R. in 1894:
" ... The Rockford delegation, headed by Col. Lawler, consisted of the
following: G. S. Roper, C. C. Jones, J. H. Sherrett, W. D. McAffee, T. W. Cole,
G. A. Sealey, N. C. Burroughs, H. D. Potter, Jeff Abbott, J. T. Savage, W. D. E.
Andrus, David Sautell, C. F. Briggs, James Williams, M. J. Burroughs, B. F.
Butler, O. J. Cummings, Adam Oswalt, C. W. Butler, C. H. D. Noel, J. D. Norris,
... [and many others]" -Taken from the Chicago Daily, 10 September 1894, page 1.

For me, I find this piece of information intriguing because it was something I did not expect to find. I knew my ancestor, Adam, had lived in Rockford, Illinois from the late-1880s to the late-1890s from his Civil War pension file, but I did not know he participated in the G. A. R. (At least I could not find any records of his participation in any of the Michigan branches in the records held by the state archives of Michigan.) For me, this might be another way for me to find out more information on Adam. If anyone knows of any Rockford sources on the G. A. R. or newspapers about this delegation, please let me know. Thanks.

So, as you can see, I have found some information on my ancestors and possible hints for other areas to do research on my ancestors. Of course, I wish my ancestors had been mentioned more in the newspapers, but I guess what I have so far is pretty good.

24th Shades Of The Departed Guest Column Posted!

The 24th Shades of the Departed guest column has been posted! The author of this week's column is Kim O'Neil Screen, and you can read the column here. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

8th Edition of the Carnival of Irish Heritage and Culture Posted!

The eighth edition of the Carnival of Irish Heritage and Culture has been posted! You can read it here. The next edition will be hosted by Bill West, and the next topic will be on:

"Halloween (or Samhain as it was known among the ancient Celts) is approaching and what better time to tell us about your family’s Irish superstitions? Perhaps you have stories about strange coincidences and events that might have been passed down by your Irish relatives, or even know of some favorite legend or haunted place in Ireland. Share them with us in the next edition of the Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture."


New Poll!

I've created a new poll, and this time, I'm trying to find someone who would be willing to host the October edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy. Please let me know if you are interested. It will be given to the first person who offers to host the October edition. Thanks!

11th Edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy Posted!

The eleventh edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy has been posted! You can read it here. Thank you Steve for hosting this edition!

As for a topic and dates for the October edition, I do not have anything at the moment. If anyone is interested in hosting the October edition please contact me at: jess_history at yahoo dot com. I am allowing whoever hosts the editions to choose the topic for the carnival and dates for the submission deadline and posting of the carnival.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Speaking Of the Mississippi River Flood of 1927 ...

I could not help but notice the brief discussion on the Mississippi River Flood of 1927 that has occurred within the past day or so. Why? Well, one of the reasons is that this flood was talked about briefly in one of my classes a couple of weeks ago when the class was studying about floods. Plus, I read a book on the flood a couple years. But my interest was mostly sparked by a couple of blog posts. One of the two posts that I happened to notice was a post on West Carroll Parish, Louisiana. The other post was on The Ancestry Insider.

So, why am I writing this? I thought I would mention an excellent book on the 1927 Mississippi River Flood in case someone wanted to do some more reading on the flood. The book I read a couple years ago was Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How it Changed America by John M. Barry. (This is the same author who wrote The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague In History, another excellent book.) The first half gives background on the different attempts made to control the flooding of the Mississippi River prior to the 1927n flood, while the second half of the book is on the flood and its aftermath. The author also writes about how the flood changed the policies of flood management of the federal government, and how it affected the 1928 presidential election. In addition, he also writes about how the flood changed the demographics of northern cities like Chicago. If you are interested in the history of the Mississippi River Valley, I believe this one book you should read.

Genealogy and History Blogs Added in the Past Month or So ...

Over this past month or so, I have added several more genealogy and history blogs. Actually, it was more than several. I've added so many (at least it feels that way) that I can't remember all of the ones I added or where I found out about many of them. So here are some of the blogs I added:
  • Fermazin Family Genealogy
  • Milwaukee Germans
  • Civil War History
  • Edwardian Promenade
  • Frontier Battles
  • History's Mysteries
  • Jane Austin's World
  • Victorian Times
  • Eleanor Blog
  • From Axer to Ziegler
  • Genealogy Friends
  • Gray Roots Are Showing
  • Illinois Roots
  • iPentimento

There were a few other blogs that I added, but I can't remember now which ones they were. Anyhow, I learned about these blogs from a variety of sources. Some were from other history blogs and genealogy blogs. Unfortunately, I don't remember which ones they were at the moment. When I do remember, I will post an update.

1st Edition of the Canadian Genealogy Carnival Posted!

The first edition of the Canadian Genealogy Carnival has been posted! You can read the edition here. The topic for the next edition is:
"My Famous Canadian Ancestor". Was your ancestor a famous Canadian hockey player, actor or politician? Tell us about famous Canadians in your family. Don't have a famous Canadian ancestor in your family tree? Not to worry; choose a famous Canadian you admire and share why you would like to have this person as your ancestor.
Deadline for submissions is December 7, 2008."


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I've Been Tagged Again! Well, Not Exactly ...

A couple days ago, I noticed through Technorati's list of blogs, that had linked to my blog or a post, that Gray Roots Are Showing tagged me for the I Love Your Blog Award. As you may remember, I did participate in this meme before, except that, technically speaking, I really wasn't tagged at that time. Well, now I am officially tagged, and I just want to say thank you to Gray Roots for tagging me.

So, here are the rules again:
  1. Give this award to seven other blogs (with links).
  2. Let the bloggers you chose know that you have picked them.
  3. Link back to the person who gave you this award.

So, who will I pick this time? This time, I think I'll give this award to genealogy blogs are that are not as well known. So, here are my choices:

Well, those are my seven choices (again). Enjoy!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

My German Ancestors: Naming Patterns and Odd Names ...

Even though I know I have German ancestors, I still have several that I did not know much about when it comes to parents and siblings. With some ancestors, I can make a guess as to naming patterns, but with others I cannot.

One thing that I have noticed with some of my German ancestors is that they had a middle name or more than one given name. I forget now where I read this, but this was supposedly typical of German immigrants to the United States and possibly in Germany. (My memory is failing me on this one.) And then, on top of that, they might either go by one of those names in other documents. Now, I realize this does not sound so bad, but on top of this, I discovered that I had ancestors who had three or more given names. And to make matters worse, one of those ancestors apparently was known by either one or two of his given names. (At least that is how it appears to me at the moment.) Of course, with this ancestor, he apparently stuck with using the last two of his given names, but his children apparently did not follow that custom. It appears that they just chose to go by their first given name. Again, this is only what I have noticed for the German ancestors that I have done some research on. It could be that this one family is an oddity, but I guess I should not rely too much on generalizations.

As for names, many of my German ancestors and their siblings appear to have names that were commonly used in Germany. Of course, some of those names I might find odd, but then, that is probably because I live in American culture and not German culture. And then, there are my German ancestors who came from the Russian Empire, of whom I cannot make too many generalizations only because I know more about their lives and families in the United States. As for odd given names of my German ancestors, I think I'll start with my Russian-German ancestors.

As you may remember, I wrote about Anton and Caroline, my German ancestors from the Russian Empire. Anton and Caroline, along with Anton's siblings that came to the U. S., had several children. Among the names that they chose in common with Anton's siblings' children were August, Emma, Anna, Bertha, John, and Arthur. Anton was the only one among his brothers that did not name a son after him (as far as I know). Out of the above names mentioned, the ones I find unusual are August, Anton and Arthur. August and Anton only seem unusual to me because I live in an area where those names are uncommon. I realize Arthur is not unusual name, but since this family came from the Russian Empire, it is not a name that I would expect people from that area to give to their child. (Of course, I should state that the children given this name were born in the United States, so this might be a case of the families wanting or trying to assimilate into the American culture.)

As for my other German ancestors, most of the names given to their children are names that I would expect to find in a German culture. Of course, I have not yet researched all of my German ancestors, so this situation could easily change.

I Should Play That Instrument? I Don't Think So ...

I first noticed this quiz when I saw that Lori had taken this quiz yesterday, and today, I noticed that Terry had also taken the quiz. So, I figured I might as well take the quiz, and here are my results:

You Should Play the Harp

You are a sensitive soul, with a great admiration for beauty.

You definitely have what it takes to make beautiful music, but most instruments are too harsh for you.

You are subtle, shy, and even a bit spoiled. You're very picky about most aspects of your life.

It's just your style to play an eccentric, hard to transport instrument like the harp that few people consider.

Overall, you have the relaxed demeanor of a leisurely upper class person, and your music would reflect that.

Your calm yet soulful harp playing would be sure to help people forget their troubles for a while.

Your dominant personality characteristic: your zen-ness

Your secondary personality characteristic: your quiet independence

I should play the harp, or so this quiz says. Yeah right. I like playing the piano, and I prefer to keep it that way. (He, he.) I guess this just goes to show you that you can't always take these fun quizzes too seriously.