Friday, July 24, 2009

My German Ancestors and Their Summertime Experiences ...

For this edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern Europe, I'm supposed to write my ancestors' experiences with summers in America and Europe, and to be honest, I really do not know very much about what life was like for my ancestors in Europe or America. (Although when it comes to life in America, I can guess a little about what their summers might have been like.)

Most of my German ancestors settled in the Great Lakes area, primarily in Michigan and Ohio, and since I've grown up in the same region as they settled, I do know what summers are like for the area. Summers in Michigan tend to be hot (Temperatures can range from the 70s to 90s, and sometimes even higher.) and humid. This year the summer has been cooler than it usually is, but even so, I've still had to use the air conditioning because there have several days that were either humid, hot or both. Of course, my ancestors would not have had air conditioning, so they would have had to find other ways to stay cool. Although I'm not completely sure as what my ancestors might have done, I do know that a couple of my ancestors would leave Detroit, either to go to the cottage they owned or to a farm owned by other relatives. Of course, those probably were not the only things my ancestors did, but at the moment, I don't know what they might have done.

As for the weather in Europe, I do not believe I would be too far off to say that they might have had to make a little adjustment, but I cannot say for sure. I have been to Germany in the summer, and from what I remember, the weather was slightly warmer than what I was familiar. Although it was slightly warmer, I think the weather was quite comparable to the weather or the Great Lakes region, so I do not believe my ancestors would have been shocked by the weather in the summertime. As for the weather during wintertime, I think that is a completely different story.

Reminder: Submissions Are Due Today!

I just want to remind everyone that the submissions for this upcoming edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy are due today. You can read more about the topic here, and you can submit your articles here.

Also, I am still looking for hosts for these two months:
  • October
  • December

If you are interested in hosting either one of these months, please contact me at jess_history at yahoo dot com. Thanks!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Inter-Library Loan Book Has Come In!

Yesterday, the book I ordered through inter-library loan came into the local library, and I picked up the book later that day. I had ordered the book about a week-and-a-half ago, and so, obviously, I'm thrilled that it has arrived. The book I ordered was Revolution und Constitution -Die Brueder Cotta: Eine biographische Studie zum Zeitalter der Franzoesischen Revolution und des Vormaerz by Monika Neugebauer-Woelk (Berlin: Colloquium Verlag, 1989), and as you might be able to tell from the title, the book is a biography of Christoph Friedrich Cotta and his brother, Johann Friedrich Cotta, and their role in the French Revolution.

Obviously, I ordered the book because it was on my ancestor, Christoph Friedrich Cotta and because I believe the book will help me with my research into my Cotta ancestors. As you might have guessed the book is in German, so it'll probably take me awhile to read this book. Of course, I do not if I will have enough time to finish reading the book before I go back to school, but I can just order the book again through interlibrary loan again. Either way, reading this book should be a good way for me to practice my German. Stay tuned ...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Summer Reading Challenge Book Review 9

I have finished reading another book, and unlike the previous eight books, this history book was not on the reading list for my history classes. This book was one that I read for fun, and was a gift I received from my parents.

The book I read was Washington's Spies: The Story of America's First Spy Ring by Alexander Rose (New York: Bantnam Book, 2006). As you probably tell from the title of this book, the focus is on George Washington's attempts to create a spy ring to defeat the British during the American Revolution, and on how successful the ring was to gathering and sharing military intelligence with the Continental Army.

(October 15: I did enjoy reading the book, but I will not be adding any other thoughts to this book review as too much time has past since I finished reading the book. I just wanted to get this review posted as soon as possible. I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did.)

Family History Center Visit 13

Yesterday, I paid a visit to the local Family History Center, and I took a look at the microfilm that had arrived. That microfilm happened to be of civil marriage records from Gelnhausen, Germany, but unfortunately, I was unable to find the marriage record for my ancestors, Adolph Kees and Amelie Cotta. The problem was partially due to the fact that I had difficulty reading the handwriting and partly due to the fact that I was unfamiliar with this record type. (Up until this point in researching my German ancestors, I was only familiar with the civil records in Trippstadt, Germany which was a part of Bavaria in the time frame of my research. Gelnhausen was part of the country of Hessen-Nassau at that time, about early to mid-1800s. Thus, I was looking at the records for another country than I was used to, and so, I was unfamiliar with the records that I was researching.)

Of course, I thought that by ordering the civil records first, I might be able to find a record of my ancestors' marriage without having to look at the church records. (There was more than one microfilm of Protestant churches in the LDS catalogue, so I wasn't sure of which church to look at first.) Obviously, I was unsuccessful, so I'll have to order microfilms from the churches in Gelnhausen the next time. Of course, I'll have to wait until I'm on break from school because I will be going back to school soon. Hopefully, the other three microfilms will come in soon, especially the other German microfilm because I don't have much time left.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Family History Center Update

I called the local Family History Center, and I learned that one of the microfilms, the Gelnhausen, Germany marriage records, I ordered had arrived. Hopefully, I'll be able to visit the center soon, and look-up the marriage record for my Kees and Cotta ancestors.

As for the other microfilms, they haven't come in yet. Apparently, the microfilms have been backlogged, but I hope they come in soon because I won't have very much time left to do research before I go back to school.

Summer Reading Challenge Book Review 8

I have finished reading another book, and like the previous seven books posted, this book was on the reading list for my history class.

The book I read this time was Washington County: Politics and Community in Antebellum America by Paul Bourke and Donald De Bats (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995). As you probably could guess from the book's title, the book focuses on the politics and society in Washington County, Oregon before the Civil War.

(October 15, 2009: I had originally planned to post my opinion on this book, but due to the amount of time that has past, I have chosen to post this review without my thoughts.)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Submission Deadline Update

I just want to let everyone know that the deadline for this upcoming edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy has been extended until the 24th of July. Thanks!

Is Anyone Planning To Submit Articles?

I'm just wondering: Is anyone still planning to submit an article for the upcoming edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy? The submission deadline is supposed to be today, but you need more time, please let me or Thomas know. Thanks!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Summer Reading Challenge Book Review 7

Well, I have finished reading another book, and like the previous six books, the book I had to read was also on the reading list for my history class. This time, I read Reforming Men & Women: Gender in the Antebellum City by Bruce Dorsey (Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 2002).

This book deals with the history of gender ideology in the reform movements in the Antebellum North. The primary focus is on how white men defined their view of manliness against women, African Americans and European immigrants.

(Note from October 10: Since I waited too long to post this book review, I have decided to omit my opinion of the book so that I can post this review.)

76th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy Posted!

The 76th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy has been posted! You can read it here. The topic for the next edition will be on "As human beings, our very existence is proof of the survival skills, faith, or just plain luck our ancestors possessed in order to persevere through millenia of disasters: epidemics, wars, pestilences, famines, accidents, and acts of nature.For the next Carnival of Genealogy, tell about a disaster that one or more of your ancestors lived through: Did they survive a hurricane, flood, tornado, train wreck, sinking ship, plague, genocide, explosion, mine collapse, or some other terrible event? How did they survive? Research the details of the disaster and explain how it affected your ancestor (guilt, fear, faith, gratitude, etc.), your family's history, and even yourself! Tip: Check out GenDisasters and historical newspapers to get more details about the event. The deadline for submissions for the next edition is August 1 and it will be hosted by Miriam at AnceStories." Enjoy!