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!