Saturday, April 4, 2009

So, What's My Area of Expertise?

I just happened to notice John's post on his area of genealogy expertise, and I thought I would also write about my area of expertise in genealogy as well.

So, what is my area of expertise? Although I am an amateur genealogist, I think I would have to say that my expertise is in Michigan genealogy as I have mainly researched in Michigan and with Michigan records and have ancestors who have resided in Michigan for over 150 years. Most of that research has focused on Saint Joseph county, but I have also researched records in the Library of Michigan, State Archives, Bay county, Saginaw county, and Detroit. In other words, I'm primarily familiar with records in Saint Joseph county, but that doesn't mean that my experience with Michigan records is limited to that county.

Of course, I have only been doing genealogy for the past six years, but I think I have enough experience and knowledge about Michigan records to advise or aid other genealogists who have research in Michigan. So, what do you think? Do you agree?

69th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy Posted!

The 69th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy has been posted! You can read it here. The topic for the next edition will be on "Uncle, Uncle! This edition is all about our uncles. Have you got a favorite or interesting uncle? Tell us about him! Maybe you had a older cousin, neighbor, or friend you called "uncle"... that works too! No uncles in your life? No problem. Write about any gentleman on your family tree who was an uncle to somebody." Enjoy!

Friday, April 3, 2009

34th Shades Of The Departed Guest Column Posted!

The 34th Shades of the Departed guest column has been posted! The author of this week's column is Donna McClure, and you can read it here. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

New Year's Resolutions: How Am I Doing?

As you might remember, I posted my New Year's resolutions for this year back in December, and I thought I would update everyone on how far I have progressed in completing my New Year's resolutions. So, here's how I've been doing so far:

  1. Look up and print other probate records of ancestors who lived and died in Saint Joseph County, Michigan. As of April 1st: I still have not had the chance to look up any more probate records, but I am still hoping to do so this year.
  2. Order more microfilms of Trippstadt, Germany's civil records. As of April 1st: I have ordered two microfilms of death records, and so far, only one has come into the Family History Center. I am still waiting for the second one, and after I have obtained all of the death records, I will be ordering birth and marriage records.
  3. Order naturalization records for my German-Russian ancestor Anton and his siblings. As of April 1st: I have not ordered any naturalization records, but I still hope to order some of these records.
  4. Obtain the Civil War Pension files for Benjamin and William Oswalt, and try to strengthen their relationship to my ancestor, Adam Oswalt. As of April 1st: I haven't ordered any more pensions files although I would like to do so.
  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. As of April 1st: A man named Jim, kindly looked up two newspaper notices for a couple of marriages in Rochester, New York and shared the information with me a few days after I posted my resolutions. Of course, I still need to do further research to figure out the exact relationship between my ancestor, the Mandigo family and Rhoda (Havens) Lang(e).
  6. Find more information on my WWI veteran great-grandfather's family and ancestors. As of April 1st: I am doing a little research on my great-grandfather's family, but I haven't finished looking at records in Scotland.
  7. Order birth, marriage and death records of ancestors from the United Kingdom. As of April 1st: I haven't ordered any vital records from the U.K., but I hope to order some microfilms of church records the next time I visit the Family History Center.
  8. I hope to make more connections and to find more ancestors and relatives. As of April 1st: I've contacted a man who had information on a branch of my British ancestors, and he kindly shared the information he with me. Outside of that, I haven't made any other connections.
  9. Publish posts listed in the "Coming Soon" box in a timely manner. As of April 1st: I am still working on this resolution, and I am still behind in publishing the posts I have listed.
  10. Improve the writing quality of my posts. As of April 1st: I am still working on this resolution as well.

So, as you can see, I still have several resolutions to complete, but since I still have several months to go, I should be able to accomplish a few more resolutions before the year ends. Enjoy!

Google Analytics Results For March 2009

March is over, and that means that it is time for another Google Analytics report! Here are the results for March 2009:

The top ten countries, in number of visits, are:
  1. United States - 572 visits
  2. Canada - 53 visits
  3. United Kingdom - 41 visits
  4. Netherlands - 13 visits
  5. Australia - 9 visits
  6. France - 4 visits
  7. Sweden - 2 visits
  8. Ireland - 2 visits
  9. New Zealand - 2 visits
  10. Germany - 2 visits

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

  1. Michigan - 111 visits
  2. Illinois - 50 visits
  3. Texas - 41 visits
  4. California - 40 visits
  5. New York - 35 visits
  6. Virginia - 26 visits
  7. Ohio - 24 visits
  8. Utah - 20 visits
  9. Florida - 18 visits
  10. Washington - 15 visits

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

  1. Hamburg - 32 visits
  2. Lansing - 32 visits
  3. Whitmore Lake - 19 visits
  4. Grand Rapids - 7 visits
  5. East Lansing - 3 visits
  6. Redford - 2 visits
  7. Troy - 2 visits
  8. Battle Creek - 1 visit
  9. Commerce Township - 1 visit
  10. Goodrich - 1 visit

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

  1. Celebrate Your Name Week - Day One - 46 views
  2. Library of Michigan and State Archives News: Possible Closure? - 45 views
  3. 31st Shades Of The Departed Guest Column Posted! - 42 views
  4. Are They Related? Another Mystery Photo ... - 30 views
  5. 68th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy Posted! - 28 views
  6. Tombstone Maker Website - 23 views
  7. 16th Edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy - 23 views
  8. I've Left Facebook ... - 21 views
  9. Forgot To Mention: 33rd Shades Of The Departed Guest Column Posted! - 19 views
  10. 32nd Shades Of The Departed Guest Column Posted! - 17 views

Well, that is it for this month's report. For all of those who read my blog, thank you for reading! Enjoy!

17th Edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy Posted!

The 17th edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy has been posted! (Thank you, Diane!) You can read it here. The topic for the next edition will be on Easter and Passover traditions. How are Easter and Passover celebrated in Central and Eastern European countries? Does you family have any traditions from Central or Eastern Europe? How did you ancestors celebrate Easter or Passover? You do not have to have Central or Eastern European ancestors to participate in this edition. Submissions are due April 20th, and the edition will be posted here on the 22nd. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

More Death Records Added to the Seeking Michigan Site!

I just happened to take a look at the Seeking Michigan site and discovered that more death records have been added. You can read more about the records added here. Anyhow, I'm off to see if I can find any more death records for people connected to my family. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Researching My Central and Eastern European Female Ancestors ...

As many of you probably know from reading my blog, I have several ancestors who came from Germany or were ethnic Germans from the Russian Empire, and for this upcoming edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy, I am supposed to write an article about my the resources I use for my research on a female ancestor from those regions in Europe. Instead of focusing on only one ancestor, I thought I would focus on a few of my German female ancestors, and write about the resources I have used or still need to use to trace them.

I have briefly written about my ancestor, Caroline, before, but I did not focus on the resources I have used or might use to research about her. I have not done as much research on her as I have on some of my other female ancestors, but the few sources that I have used have mostly been records created in the U. S. One of those sources happened to be a death notice that was published in a Detroit newspaper a few days after her death, and I have included the death notice below. (Note: I have blackened out the surnames of my ancestor and those of her daughters as a way to protect the identities of living family members.)

As you can see from the death notice, Caroline's surviving children are listed as well as her husband, and when I found this death notice, I was able to confirm relationships between her and other family members. Of course, this death notice was not the only source I used in doing my research on Caroline, and I was able to find her death certificate as well. Unfortunately, her parents were not listed on her death certificate, so I was unable to confirm my family's tradition about her maiden name. I also used the passenger manifest that had her and her three children (at the time) listed as a confirmation of when she entered America in and where she once lived. Unfortunately, her last residence was in Germany, so I'll have to do more research to determine where in Russia she was born. I am hoping that either her husband's naturalization papers or her marriage certificate will be able to answer some of my questions, but I have yet to obtain those records.

As for my other German female ancestors, I have a little more information on them due to the fact that my research into them has been easier than my research into Caroline has been. Emilia (Kees) Klippel is one of those ancestors that I have more information, but even then, I still do not have all the answers I wish I had. My first source of information on Emilia was a family tree that had been printed in the '30s or '40s, and that tree listed where she had married her husband. I used the information to order a microfilm of Trippstadt marriages, and I was able to find her marriage record. Besides finding her census record, I was able to use census records and a passenger manifest to trace her and her family movements in the U. S. Additionally, I used deeds to determine how long she and her family lived in Cleveland, Ohio, and I also used information from two books, provided to me by a woman over in Germany, to determine who her siblings were. Her brother's passport record also helped to confirm the relationship between the two. Besides those records, I also used city directories and her death record to determine where she lived and when she died. Unfortunately, I still have not been able to find the location of her burial, so I'll have to do some more research.

As for Emilia's mother, Amelia (Cotta) Kees, I am still doing research on her, but I have more information on her than I do on Caroline. Like Emilia, I also used the family tree as a resource to find information on Amelia, but I also used the two secondary sources to determine when Amelia married and who her children were. In addition, I used the death records of two of Amelia's sons and her death record to also determine when she died and who her children were. The death record for Amelia is below:

Amelia's death record lists her by her maiden name, and gives the names of her parents and husband. The record also gives her age and a possible birthplace. Thus, I have a few more leads as to where I should look for records, and hopefully, I will be able to do more research on her over this summer.

So, as you can see, I have used several different types of records to find information on my female ancestors. I just hope that I will be able to find more information on these three ancestors, and when I do find more information, I will let everyone know what I have found. Unti then, stay tuned ...