Saturday, October 10, 2009

Saturday Night Fun - My Most Satisfying Research Moments

For this Saturday Night Fun, Randy has challenged other genealogists to come up with their most satisfying moments in genealogy research, and I've decided to post my best moments.

So, what are my most satisfying moments? Well, one of them happens to be when I was able to find the burial place of one my ancestors. I won't go into much more detail about the search because I have posted parts 1, 2, 3 and 4 on my cemetery blog, and I don't want to give away too much. I haven't written a post on the search in quite a while, but I do plan on eventually finishing the series. So, if you're interested in that story, I have at least part of it posted.

Other satisfying moments were connecting with cousins and non-relatives who were willing to share the information they had. I've not only made contact with cousins in the U. S., I have also connected with cousins in the U. K. and Argentina. As for non-relatives, a woman in Germany sent me information on my Kees ancestors, and if she had not kindly shared that information with me, I would probably be still struggling to uncover my Kees ancestors. I am eternally grateful that she shared that information with me.

So, those are a couple of satisfying moments that I could think of at the moment. I'm sure there are a few other moments in the past six years that I have spent so far in researching my ancestry, but I can't think of any other ones at the moment. If I do come up with a few more, I'll either update this post or I'll post the information in another post. Enjoy!

Here's Another Interesting Article ...

I just happened to notice that Turkey and Armenia have signed a diplomatic accord. It will be interesting to see what the developments will be ...

Friday, October 9, 2009

Apologies For the Missing Post ...

I'm sorry for the missing post. I started to post on an event that might have been too political for this blog, and I try to keep politics and genealogy as separate as I can. I deleted the post for that reason. So, I'm sorry about that ...

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Genealogy and History Thoughts Column 19 - My Thoughts on the New FTC Blogging Guidelines

I just learned about the new Federal Trade Commission regulations for blogs from Craig's post via Chris' post. To be honest, I don't believe it is the government's job to tell bloggers how they should write their posts. Yeah, bloggers should mention in their posts that they were asked to review a product for a company, but does the government really have to tell or require bloggers to do so?

I don't think so, and that's why I'm posting on this topic. I'm bothered by these new regulations because I feel like the government is treating bloggers as if they are children. As an adult, I resent being treated like a child by the government, and I think the regulations should have been givens for other bloggers way before the FTC created these regulations. Additionally, I wonder if these new regulations will create precedents for the FTC to publish new and possibly, more restrictive regulations in the future.

Why do I worry? Well, from time to time, I write brief book reviews of history and genealogy books that I have read, and I think I've mentioned whether or not I bought the book or had a connection to the author. Is the government going to tell me that I can't write book reviews or that I must put another disclaimer at the end of my book review? I think I make it clear that I've either bought these books or checked them out of the library. I'm not telling people to go out and buy the books. My whole purpose in posting the book reviews was to suggest books that might help other genealogists with their research. People don't have to buy the books; they can check them out from a library.

I was thinking of posting another three book reviews of books I read over the summer, but now I'm wondering if I should bother. Would it be better for me to stop posting my informal book reviews to protect myself? Or should I just continue to post book reviews? What do you think?

As always, you can leave comments on what you think.

Poll Results!

The poll is now closed, and the results are in! The question for this poll was, "Which article topic are you most interested in reading?" 3 people voted, and the results are:
  • Trippstadt, Germany Civil Death Records - 0 votes
  • World War One Ancestor - 2 votes
  • Irene Havens - 0 votes
  • Genealogy and History Thoughts Columns - 0 votes
  • New Civil War Pension File - 1 vote
  • Other topics in genealogy/history - 1 vote
From this poll, it appears that a few of my readers are interested in reading about my World War One ancestor, and I guess that will be one of the future articles I will work on. Of course, I do not know when I will get around to writing that article and possibly the other requested articles due to the fact that I am busy with school work. I will try to write at least one the articles, though, at some point. To those who voted, thank you for voting! Stay tuned for future articles ...


Monday, October 5, 2009


I just want to congratulate all the genealogy bloggers who made it onto the Family Tree Magazine's Top Genealogy Blogs list.

(I didn't make it into the list, but maybe I will next year.)

Genealogy and History Thoughts Column 18 - An Important Lesson: Never Assume ...

After looking at the title of this article, you're probably thinking, "Shouldn't that be given?" Probably, but my intention for this article is not to lecture others but write about how assumptions can cause problems in genealogy research. Why? Well, I made an assumption about a record, and I've just recently learned and realized that my assumption was wrong. So, by learning how I made a mistake, I'm hoping other genealogists will learn from my mistake.

As you probably remember, I recently received a copy of the pension file for Benjamin Oswalt, and since the file came, I've taken a look at the records. I once believed that I could not find this Benjamin Oswalt in the censuses after the 1850 census, so, when I asked my grandfather to take a look at a probate record for our ancestor, Benjamin Oswalt, did not expect my grandfather to find a Benjamin Oswalt in the 1870 census (see below the paragraph). (The Benjamin Oswalt in the probate record died in 1861 in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania, and is the father of Adam Oswalt, according to Adam's death certificate.) This Benjamin was living in Kansas, and had been born in Michigan, and my grandfather, mentioned that he had found this census record will doing research for our ancestor. Of course, I took a look at the census record, and told my grandfather, that that Benjamin could not be connected to us because he was living in Kansas and was born in Michigan, despite the fact that he was the exact age as the Benjamin Oswalt I believe to be Adam's brother. Well, that is what I thought until Benjamin's pension file came ...

(Image taken from FamilySearch's Record Search)

When I looked at the pension file Benjamin's widow, Elizabeth, applied for, I noticed the names of the people who gave testimony on her behalf. I recognized some of the names, but there were a few names that I did not recognize. I already knew from previous research, that Elizabeth remarried, but when I looked at the Michigan death records and marriages that are online, I discovered that the one of the witnesses was probably the sister of Elizabeth's new husband. To try to confirm, my theory, I decided to look for Elizabeth's new husband and the witness in the census records. The search for Elizabeth's husband brought me back to the census image above. Lo and behold, Elizabeth's future husband was living next door to the Benjamin Oswalt I had earlier dismissed. Knowing that the future husband was from Saint Joseph County, Michigan, I realized that the fact that there was a Benjamin Oswalt living next door to him was probably not a coincidence since the Benjamin Oswalt I was looking for was from Saint Joseph County, Michigan. So, even though Benjamin's birthplace is listed as Michigan, I believe I have found the correct Benjamin Oswalt, and I believe it is possible that the census taker put the wrong information down.

So, what is the moral of the story? Well, almost ignored a census record and other possible leads into researching my Oswalt family. The census record indicates that Benjamin had some wealth, and it might be possible that he bought some land in Kansas. Of course, I won't know until I pursue this avenue, but I almost missed this opportunity because I believed it wasn't the right person. Just because a record doesn't necessarily fit all of your known facts about a person does not mean that it isn't your person. If you do write off a source, you might miss another possible lead. So, I guess it is better to have an open mind about possible sources when doing your own research. Now, I've just got to trace this new lead, and figure out why Benjamin was in Kansas about six months after his marriage. Please stay tuned for further posts on Benjamin.

And as always, please feel free to leave comments on you what you think about this article.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Late Saturday Night Fun: Childhood Memories ...

I'm late again in posting a response to the newest Saturday Night Fun, but since I wanted to participate, I'm going to post my response. For this challenge, Randy has challenged genealogy bloggers to post their most vivid childhood memory.

So, what is my most vivid childhood memory? Well, that is a tough one because I have so many vivid memories. I guess the best thing to do would to be list the earliest memory that I have.

My earliest memory is probably of being in a crib. I was standing up in my crib, so I had to have been at least old enough to stand on my own. (I was probably around a year old.) It was at night time because my room was dark, and I could see my parents' bedroom from the crib. My mom was standing in the doorway of her bedroom, and was ready to go to bed. She asked, "What are you doing up?" (She could see my room from looking out of her bedroom.) I just remember that she didn't look very happy, but that probably was due to being tired.

Of course, I don't remember anything else other than it was like a detailed snapshot of a moment. Most of my early memories consist of dream-like images, and thus, I almost feel as though I am recalling something like a dream except for the fact that these memories were too vivid to be dreams and were too life-like. (If that makes any sense.) I don't know why my earliest memories feel dream-like, but I guess that is how my brain preserved my earliest memories. Has anyone else experienced the same thing with their earliest memories?

81st Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy Posted!

The 81st edition of the Carnival of Genealogy has been posted! You can read it here. The topic for the next edition will be on:

"The guest host is Kathryn Doyle of the California Genealogical Society and Library blog, and the topic is:

What's your favorite genealogical society?
Do you belong to a society?
Tell us why! Or if not, why not?
Kathryn's COG will be the inaugural edition of the all-new GenSo Blog Carnival, which will focus strictly on genealogical societies and will begin in January 2010. She'll provide more details about the GenSo Carnival in her post, so stay tuned for more."