Monday, September 9, 2013

Creating a schedule

Now that my summer is pretty much over, I must go back to thinking about how I am going to spend my time. More importantly, how will I spend my time on genealogy?

I like to make little schedules in my mind, to help me stay focus and this way I won’t spend all my time playing Candy Crush. I want to expand my family tree, not necessarily advance to the next level in Candy Crush. Okay, I do play Candy Crush and yes I have been stuck on the same level for almost a month, so it is really easy to put that frustrating game aside and think about what I really want to do.
Last spring, I had a different schedule because I was working on a huge scanning project and working on an obituary project. These projects are done and now I can concentrate on the new tasks on hand. So how do I schedule my time? I first need to identify what I need to do. I received 7 photo albums from my sister who received them from my aunt and they don’t all have pictures, some are more like scrapbooks, so I have a new scanning project to do. So to stay on task, I will probably designate one day a week for this scanning project.

My scanning project will entail, not only scanning, but then naming, filing the scan into the proper folder, attaching the scan to my genealogy program and updating names and facts based on the scan.  I now realize this scanning project will take a while, so I like to designate Monday’s to my scanning project. I usually don’t schedule appointments for Monday because I have a habit of forgetting them over the weekend. It is wonderful that doctor’s offices call and remind me of appointments, but when they are closed on Fridays, they call on Thursday to remind me of an appointment that if four days away.  I get so busy on my weekends, which include Fridays because my husband doesn’t work Fridays, that on Monday I have totally forgotten that appointment. Lesson learned, try not to schedule appointments on Monday. With all that said, if I end up having a commitment on Monday, I can then push my scanning project to Tuesday.
Wednesdays I volunteer at the Genealogy Library and that is pretty much written in stone. I work my schedule around this day. The only time I don’t volunteer is when I am out of town on vacation. Currently I have only two Wednesday this fall that I know I will miss.

I also I try to schedule things only four days a week for genealogy, Monday through Thursday since my husband is off on Fridays. Fridays are my grocery shopping day and that takes up a couple of hours in the morning. I also try to clean my house on Fridays because my husband makes the chores go so much faster when he helps. A lot of time, he cleans the yard or garage and I do the house.
So looking at my schedule this leaves Tuesdays and Thursdays to actual genealogy research. I think this schedule looks really nice, not overwhelming. I will have time to squeeze in my Newsletter Editor duties during these days, I teach classes once in a while and this will also fit into my schedule nicely.

So today is Monday and I should start my scanning, but my computer room is a little messing and I think I will spend a little time getting some of this into shape. I will also spend a little time going through my emails too. Perhaps I will push back my scanning to Tuesday or Thursday when the desk is cleaned off and I have room to open the photo album and can easily remove items to scan, and then place them back.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Learning new things!

On Wednesday of this week, my genealogical library reopened, and since I am the Wednesday volunteer for the library, I was there! I decided to try something different, since we usually don’t get people showing up early in the library and our monthly meetings don’t start until October. I decided to show a Webinar in the morning. A lot of the Webinars from Legacy Family Tree are offered on Wednesdays but those are usually around 11 am Arizona time. I wanted something earlier and lucky for our library a member had donated 5 different Webinar CD’s. Since there would be four Wednesdays in September, I planned on showing four of the 5 Webinars. Unfortunately, I had to cancelled the last week viewing because I won’t be there and I wanted to make it easier for my replacement, I decided not to show one that week. If she wants to great, if not that is great too.

Anyway, the first Webinar that we viewed was about finding female ancestors. The nice thing about the CD’s is that they include a handout. The four page handout was basically an outline of the PowerPoint, but included links and it is a lot easier than trying to write all this down while viewing. For myself, I find if I can just sit and listen and glance at the handout I absorb so much more than if I am trying to writing stuff down. I just don’t absorb anything because I am busy trying to write everything down.
Another good thing about these free Webinars that Legacy offers is that they allow you to watch them the following week after the original airing for free. They do have additional viewings that are free all the time. Therefore, you can view the live viewing and be eligible for free prizes and then when the viewing is turned on free the following week, watch again and this time, pause to write notes.

Learning and relearning is a great way to become a better researcher in looking for your ancestors. I find that we get stuck doing the same stuff all the time and then wonder why we get the same results all the time. We are creatures of habit and we use what is familiar. I like learning and relearning new ways of doing things and trying them. Even if you only learn one new trick or method, it might be the thing you need to break through your brick wall.

Don’t forget that on YouTube there are a lot of cool videos too. What I like about YouTube is that they are usually shorter than the Webinars which are at least 1 hour long while the videos are as short as a couple minutes and maybe as long as 20 minutes. Try setting aside 20 minutes a week to find a video on learning something dealing with genealogy. Are we really too busy to find 20 minutes a week? You might think you are, but the next time you are waiting for your food on the stove or in the oven to finish cooking in 20 minutes, fill the time with watching a video!

Plus, a lot of genealogy websites have free learning tool too, even paid sites like offers free tutorials. I like those and the ones on But look around and you will be surprise at what you find! So when you get frustrated because you are not expanding your family, try expanding your knowledge!

Education is a continual process! Enjoy learning.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Pay it Forward

How  many of us pay it forward where genealogy is concerned? This past week and this coming week I have been volunteering my time updating the local genealogical library of the society that I belong to. Not only am I the editor of the Newsletter, administrator of the website and of their Facebook page and 2nd Vice President of the society but now I am updating the library foyer and two bathrooms.

I have been painting, reorganizing, tearing out carpet, stripping the glue that was used to hold down the carpet, laying new carpet tiles and floor tiles (since there was carpet in the bathrooms. I even swapped out the gold dated light fixtures. Plus since I am reorganizing the foyer, I am moving some items into the Library, therefore I am reorganizing some areas of the library.

Before the foyer was a little clutter and wasn't very welcoming. It looked more like a thrift store than a library entrance. I plan on bringing a small reading area to the foyer, add some low bookshelves for the overflow of pamphlets and other reading material we have. A lot are located in the window sills and just make the library look a little messing. Now don't get me wrong, the library was doing good considering most of the members are quite elderly. Since I am not that old, turning 50 this week, I thought I could share my talents and skills.

I repainted the boards that the computers sit on and changed out some of the file cabinets that were holding up the boards. I moved the photocopy machine and some tall bookshelves so that I could move the one microfilm/microfiche reader to a back corner where it is a little darker and easier to view the screen.

I am hoping the other members will think the changes have improved the appearance of the library. I am even rehanging many of the pictures and plaques so the items are of importance actually get seen.
The main reason for all these updates is so that visitors to our library will want to join our little society. Since I volunteer one day at the library, I was hearing some people comments as they came into the library. They thought they were entering through a back door or through our office because it was so cluttered and unorganized.

So hopefully I can wrap everything up this week, take pictures for the newsletter and get back to my genealogy projects, such as scanning all the items I brought back from my visit to Wisconsin.

So I hope everyone "Pays it Forward" with genealogy this month and consider it a birthday present to me. 😆

Monday, July 22, 2013

My mother’s secret

My mother was adopted by her stepfather in June 1945 after her 18th birthday.  My mother was born in 1927 and her mother and stepfather were married in 1929. However, I was always told they were married in 1926.

According to a report dated 24 May 1945, my mother only knew of the adoption two or three days beforehand. I wonder what kind of emotions that my mother went through. She never mentioned that she knew about the adoption, but she hinted around it once to me.
When I was younger, she had mentioned that she had to appear before a judge to get a new birth certificate created. She stated that her birth certificate was destroyed in a fire. But now reading this report that I sent for, I realized she knew the whole time.  I wonder why she never told me this fact. I never met her father, he died many years before I was ever born and thus it would not really affect me.  It might have saved me many years of researching her “maiden” name, only to find out they are not blood related to me, they are legally related and that still means something.

The paperwork does not release the name of her father. However the following clues are found, he was 20 years old when my mother was born. He worked for a Lumber Company but doesn’t state the company name, but it also states that my mother’s grandfather worked for the Paine Lumber Company and the blank by her father’s employer matches the length for her grandfather’s employer. Perhaps this is how her parent’s met.
It also states that her mother lost all touch with him many years ago and once heard that he had married but she can’t be certain. She doesn’t know where he lives or if he is even still alive. But she never heard of his death either. He appeared normal mentally and seemed to be in good health. She does not know how far he went in school but he did not appear to be very well educated. He paid $250 for lying-in expenses (whatever that means) at the birth of my mother. He was Roman Catholic of Polish descent. He never wanted my mother at all and refused to have anything whatsoever to do with her. His parents also rejected the child.

I wonder how accurate the Polish descent is, since later it states that her mother’s father was of English descent when in fact he was of German descent.
I told my aunt, her only surviving sister (the youngest in the family). She stated that she knew this years before after her mother died, her other sister found my mother’s original birth certificate.  The question is where did this birth certificate disappear to? My aunt who has macular degeneration, stated she has many boxes of paperwork of her mother’s that was given to her by her sister, who was living with my grandmother at the time of her death. I told my aunt that I will be back next summer to organize her boxes. Her only two children are adopted and neither wants all this paperwork.  I pray that nothing happens to my aunt and I will be able to go through the boxes. She had some paperwork sorted, but not my mother’s birth certificate.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Naturalization Research

Monday, I went to Winnebago County, Wisconsin in search of my great-great-grandfather’s naturalization paperwork. To say the least, I was very disappointed. First of all, the courts don’t have anything; it was the University System that had the paperwork.

I drove to Oshkosh, found the Polk Library and then had to find a parking spot. The parking lot stated that you needed a parking permit. I walked the ½ block to the library; ask the person at the information desk, where I would get a parking permit. I was told it was the next street over. I was given a map, drove to where the visitor parking was and found that it was totally dug up and under construction. There was no parking in the street and thus I gave up and drove back to the library. I found 2 hour parking on the street and took it. I walked the ½ block back to the library, informed the person at the information desk that the parking lot is under construction and said that I just parked in the street because I didn’t think it would take more than 2 hours to find the paperwork.
I walked the three flights up the stairs, (boy am I out of shape). The research area was just off the stairs and I stumbled in, out of breath and signed in and filled out a form that I was there. I told the gal behind the counter what I was looking for and she directed me to the computers. She told me that they have a free lookup online, but I could not find it when I looked online earlier. I did a name search, found four hits and wrote them down.

These hits took me to the microfilm drawers and I was reminded how to use the microfilm reader (it has been a while), pulled my first hit which was just another index. I am not sure what the index was telling me. I looked up the next hit and found declaration for a man named William Gadow who arrived May of 1872, is 55 years of age as of 1900, which makes his date of birth about 1845. I printed out the find since I was told printing was free. YEAH! The next hit showed me another declaration for a Wm Gadow who was born in Germany on or about the year 1844, and that he emigrated to the US in 1873 and was dated 1886.
The fourth hit was for a declaration in Winnebago County and I was unable to find it on the microfilm roll.

The second hit is the one that closes matches my ancestor, since I have based on his death certificate that he was born, Aug 1844. But to be honest, how can I tell which one is my relative? The birth years are only one year apart and the arrival years too are only one year apart. Both forms where signed and their signatures are very different and unique. Therefore, I might need to find something with my ancestor’s signature on for me to determine which one is mine.
Therefore, it is important not to overlook paperwork that has your ancestor’s signature. It might be a letter or postcard he wrote to a love one or friend. How about a bill of lading for something he bought. I will have to look through my files, when I get back home and see if either one looks familiar.

The declaration I that have for William Gadow who arrived May of 1872 has two witnesses signatures and the names seem to be associated with another William Gadow  ( I have done brief research on another William Gadow) who lived in another part of Dodge County, Wisconsin where my Wilhelm/William Gadow lived; another reason to think that the second declaration may be for my person.
I was hoping there would be more information on my ancestor that I would have found in this paperwork. Such as his spouse’s name, or perhaps any children he may have had, since they all would have been given citizenship at the same time (automatically), since this was the practice during this time period. Perhaps there was more paperwork, but those files were nowhere to be found.

Friday, July 5, 2013

My first experience with

The other day I decided I wanted to use to publish my society’s newsletters. This year marks the 25th Volume of the newsletters. I am the new editor of the said newsletter. We do these newsletters electronically now; last year was the first full year trying the electronic version. The Society decided to go this route to save money on postage. I too like getting the newsletter electronically because I can save them into a folder for future reference.

This got me thinking about our old newsletters. In my society library, we have to large bank boxes with extra copies of the some of the newsletters. I asked the librarian who is also the society’s president, do we really need to keep all these old copies? She stated that some people want to look at the old copies. The boxes are not every issue, but we also have a file drawer full of past issues. I decided, I would scan these old issues and place them on one of the library’s computers (they can be copied to the other ones later). As I was scanning these old issues, I realized how far we have come electronically.
In the early years, the issues were done via typing, cutting, pasting and photocopying. I noticed many items were taped onto the master page and copies were made from this master. Thus, picture quality wasn’t the greatest. Also, the tape caused discoloration on some of the pages and no longer was holding anything in place. At that point, is when I decided I would scan these issues because in a few more years, it would only be worst. While scanning, I realized we were missing issues. Plus, the issues didn’t always have page numbers on them and thus, I don’t know if I scanned them in the correct order.

Over the next few months, every week on my volunteer day for the library, I would scan 1 to 2 years’ worth of issues.  I had to ask the prior editor for some of the final years newsletters, because I wasn’t receiving them electronically (they must have put my email address in wrong) and I had an almost complete set issues. In the early years it appears we are missing some issues, but since 1998, it appears we have every issue. Some of these issues would include supplement, bonus pages, and I wasn’t always consisted in placing them in the same spot. I would first put them in the middle of the newsletter. Then I would put them at the end. Finally I put them at the end of the year, as a supplemental issue. But I did manage to scan all the issues.
So with the issues on my flash drive, I decided last week to create a booklet with all the issues. I went into Lulu and it allows you to upload PDF’s. However, I ran across my first challenge of because it requires a FTP program to upload multiple files or I could just select each file individually and upload, which takes a lot of time.

I found a free FTP program and was able to select multiple files and upload them. But when I went to selected them for my project I hit a new snag, such as my PDF’s pages were not all the same size. Oops! I guess I wasn’t careful when scanning these newsletters and must have changed the size from page to page when I was cropping the pages.
So now I had to find a PDF program that could read my scans and make the pages all the same. I was able to download a free full functioning program and was able to combine all my PDFs into one big file. But when I saw it was 1011 pages long, (yikes) I decided I needed to divide these into smaller books. Lulu doesn’t really handle a book that big, (keep in mind that double pages would reduce this to 506 pages but still a big book. So once again, I selected some of my PDF’s and created a combined file but with less pages. I then had to figure out how to get the pages in the PDFs all the same size and was able to do that quickly.

I now found out that a file bigger than 300MB must be uploaded via a FTP program, and so back to the FTP program I went. I uploaded my four smaller files and started on my project again. Next snag was that my fonts were not embedded fonts. What? I was starting to get very frustrated at this point. So I went back to my PDF’s and read how to embed my fonts. I did this and also decided, I might want my own page numbers in these PDF’s and added those too!
Back to the FTP program and uploaded the files again! Started my project yet again and success! It read my PDF’s great. But wait, perhaps I need a table of contents. YIKES! So I went into WORD and created four separate; Table of Contents, going through each PDF and making sure I was referencing the correct page number. While doing this I found one of my pages was upside down and I had some duplicate pages. GEEZE!

Well, I read up on some more help and rotated the page and deleted the other pages. But wait! My page numbers are off now. I couldn’t change the footers on my finished PDF, NO WAY!. Anyway, I had to go back a few steps, and rotate the page again, delete the other pages again! I fixed the page sizes, embedded the fonts, added page numbers, uploaded the files both PDFs and WORD files, deleted my previous projects, started new projects and Finally I was done! I created these first four as black and white versions to keep the cost down, I did create four color versions and one complete version as a PDF download.
This took me about two-three days to get through all these steps. It was a little painful but a great learning opportunity. I always get a kick when people tell me they are amazed on how much I know and what I can get done. I try to tell them it wasn’t easy, that I had made a lot of mistakes along the way. That the project was a trial and error project, with lots of errors that tried my patients.  I don’t have these available for sale yet, because I need to get information from my society on their non-profit tax id number and then when sales are made, every three months, profits will be mailed via check to the society.

After I was done with the newsletter project, I decided to do one more project for myself. Back in 1992 and 1993, my aunt and I created a family history book “The Hafenstein Family” and after I printed a master copy of the book and before I printed the index, my computer died and I lost the book. I manually created the index by going page by page through the book. After we took the master to the printer and had copies made, I placed all the pages into sheet protectors. Then in 2008, I took those pages out and ran about 50 pages through the new copier/printer/scanner we had at work and scanned all those pages and sent them to myself. Well, I took those scanned pages, combined them back into one document, embedded the fonts and uploaded it to Lulu. I created a book. This was so much easier once I knew what I was looking for. This book is for sale on Lulu and I purchased the first copy so that I can donate it to my Society’s Library. I am very interested in seeing how it comes out.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

using my iPAD as a Scanner

Yesterday, my sister came over with 6 binders of photos and 1 binder of notes. All this was given to her by our Maternal Aunt. One of the binders of photos was mostly of wedding invitations. My aunt was smart enough to label the relationship (if any) to the family. I knew I wanted copies (images) of these wedding invitations. My dilemma was that I was at my second home with only my laptop and iPAD.   

I already had downloaded a free app for my iPAD that was a scanner app. In fact I had downloaded two apps. I used each app to snap images of a few of the invitations and then compared how the images looked and how I was going to get the images to my laptop. I wanted these images as jpg. I find I can do more with a jpg than I can do with a pdf. (This is just me, you may be more knowledgeable using pdfs.)
I ended up using TinyScan , (there are many out there, so try some to find the one you like the best) because it uses a Wi-Fi Drive where I launch my computer’s web browser, enter the address shown on the iPAD and download my image or PDF file through my browser. I did run into a few glitches, such as it would get an error after a while if my iPad went into sleep mode. So I made sure that didn’t happen. Also, if I get an error trying to find the page, I would close down the app and then reenter the app and my browser would find the page again. I also, had to make sure after taking a snapshot of the page, that I would go back “home” or I would end up creating a multi-page document. Which will come in handy for other purposes, but not for this purpose.

TinyScan did allow you to crop the image; I could save as color, grayscale or black and white. I found grayscale looked nice and stuck with that.  After I saved each image into a working folder on my laptop, making sure I gave it a useful name such as Surname, Groom and Brides name (First Middle Last). I went into properties, details, and in the comments field, I wrote the relationship that my aunt wrote for each invitation. I am now going through each page again, and bringing up that relative in my genealogy software program. I am making sure that I have the marriage date and place entered, I create a source citation and attach the image to the source. I then link the source to other facts, such as the Brides and Grooms names and the Brides parent’s names (since this is usually given). By going through the actual binder, I am double checking that I didn't miss any.
In this binder, I did find one obituary and numerous graduation notices. I took an image of the obituary and inputted the information found in the record. I plan on noting the graduation date for those in this binder and I have found some smaller schools included fellow graduates, and I have found information on relatives on my father’s side. Graduations dates do help to determine birth dates when you don’t have them, so don’t overlook these often overlooked sources.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage

Today I was in the county courthouse for Dodge County, Wisconsin and was looking up my maiden name of CRINION. I decided to record all the entries found in the indexes for birth, marriages and deaths.

I started with the births and found 13 birth records. Then I looked up the death and found 8 records. Finally I looked up the Marriages and looked up via the males first and found 4 records. I noticed my great grandparents had two entries, one in 1895 and another in 1936. I wondered why there would be two marriage records. But anyway, I proceeded to record the marriages found based on females and found 13 lines.

After recording all the records listed in the indexes, I had to look up the marriage certificate dated 1936.

The certificate of marriage listed my great grandfather, David Crinion and my great grandmother, Amelia Crinion. The witnesses were my grandfather, Lawrence Crinion and his sister-in-law, Mrs. F W Crinion. My great grandfather was 72 years old and my great grandmother was 65 years old. It listed that they were both previously married to each other on Nov 6, 1895 and there were divorced on Nov 6, 1924. This marriage took place on October 5, 1936. This means they were divorced for 12 years.

This made me wonder if I ever found them in the 1930 census records. So I checked my genealogy software and sure enough I don't have the 1930 census record recorded for either of them.

I looked up David and found him listed as divorced in 1930 living as a border. I haven't been able to find my great grandmother in the 1930 census records yet. I have seen a city directory for 1931 that shows Amelia living in Racine, Wisconsin and I think it states she is a wid of David. This has me very interested, so my next step is to see if I can find their divorce records and see if I can get a copy or look at the file.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Research trip

It has been almost a month since I have posted anything, because it has been forever since I have done anything genealogy related. Well actually, on Father's Day I did give my niece some genealogy stuff on her ancestry and we set up a date to do some genealogy in July. I also hope to do a little research this Thursday and Friday (keep fingers crossed) and I might visit some courthouses.

It always seems when I make plans, something else comes up. But I have made a promise to myself that my house remodeling project will be placed on the back burner for those two days. I will need to look at my research project folder and my research notes that I have created to see what I want to do those two days.

What is my research project folder? Well, sometimes I find leads through records on Ancestry such as vital records indexes. It doesn't give me enough information for me to determine if this is my person or not, so I will print out a "printer friendly" version of the information, and I place it into my research folder. Then I will put a note in my genealogy software to-do-list and I will place it into a special category based on the county it will be found in. I then print out this to-do-list when I am ready to take my research on the road. I have even created to-do-list items for each respository, with the location, hours and phone number. This way I have that information handy to for me to type into my GPS to make it easier to find the building. My list has all the research that I want to do and the "printer friendly" sheets give me the paper that I will use to write my notes. Such as "not this family" or I can transcribe the information found on the record on the backside of the page. I can't always afford to buy copies of every vital record, I usually only purchase those for my direct ancestors but these sheets with the information that I transcribe becomes the next best thing.

I hope to find some wills or probate records for some ancestor's of mine. The indexes that I found stated that the records exists, so now I want to look at them for more informaiton.

Keep your fingers crossed that all goes well and that my research trip will happen. So start planning your trip before times slips by. Or you will find yourself a month later and still no better off than you were today.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Presidental Kinship

This year, my genealogy society decided to have share sessions based on the theme of "Sharing our Genealogy Research". We wanted to share ideas on how to share our research with our families in a way that they would want it. I often think about what will happen to my research after I die. People might think they can donated to a local genealogy library, but even if they take it, what happens to it. Does it get stored in boxes, to never see the light of day again?

Therefore, I decided to share a portion of my research with my six half siblings. They are related to at least four past presidents. So I decided to do a quick chart on my computer that shows how they are related to these presidents. I did the chart in landscape mode and started with the common ancestor and went down to the presidents. I got lucky because they tie to the same couple. Three through the husband's family and one through the the wifes family. Plus since two of the presidents are the Bushes, it made it even easier. I used a fancy font and then placed the page into a see through frame. The kind that is two pieces of glass that has a frame around it. I think they turned out nice.

I will have to mail out three of the six but to my three siblings in Wisconsin, I will be hand delivering these to them. I hope they enjoy item and it will make a nice conversational piece for when their other family and friends come to visit.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Harriette E Neadry, Booth, Sponable

My great great grandmother, Harreitte E Neadry, has lived a very interesting life. The daughter of John W Nedry and Elizabeth Sponable. She is the oldest of 5 girls.

I have conflicting information on her birth date, from another's tree that I found on RootsWeb's WorldConnect, she was born Aug 1835.
From her death certificate I have her born 24 August 1836.

In 1850, she was living in Marengo, McHenry, Illionis, USA with her family and it states she was born in Ohio and was 15 years of age, which makes her birth 1835.

On 9 August 1851, she was married to Amos Booth who was at least 10 years her senior in West Point, Lee, Iowa. (taken from Amos's civil war pension file)

In the 1860 Census, she was living in Ripon, Fond du Lac Co, Wisconsin with her husband and two daughters, Martha Jane age 8 and Wilina Ellen age 6. It states she was born in Ohio and is age 25.

In the 1870 Census, she is still living in Ripon, Fond du Lac, Co, Wisconsin with her husband and and three children, Daughter Martha, age 18 and Marth's husband JD Owen age 29 and Marth's son FE age 1,  daughter WN age 16 and son Eddie age 1. She is listed as born in Ohio and is age 37.

In the 1880 Census, she as moved to Marengo, McHenry, Illinois and is boarding with the Avery family and her son Edwin, age 10 is living with her. Harriette is 46 years old listed as married and  born in Ohio. Her husband Amos is living in a Veterans Home in Milwaukee Wisconsin and is listed as 53, widowed and born in Canada.

On 18 Aug, 1890 while living in Marengo, McHenry Co, Illinois, Harriette applied for the Widows Pension of Amos Booth and claims he died in the Soldiers Home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She collected this pension until Amos filed for his disability pension on 15 Feb 1893.  On 1 Sept 1894 her Pension was cut-off because the soldier is still living.

On 23 Nov 1893 Harriette married her second cousin, John S Sponable, son of Andrew and Amada (Buckee) Sponable. She is listed as age 57 which makes her birth years as 1836. She was married in Grandville, Kent Co, Michigan. It states her birth place as Marengo, IL and lists that both parties were married once previously. Her parents are listed as John Neadry and Elizabeth Sponable.

on 27 Oct 1899, Amos Booth (Harriette's 1st husband) died in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

On 21 Nov 1899, Harriet reapplied for Widow's Pension. She swears in court that she has not remarried since the death of said Amos H Booth. (Well, I guess this is true, because she remarried before he died).

In the 1900 Census, she is living in Marengo, McHenry, Illinois. It listed her age as 64 with a birth date of Aug 1835 and being born in Ohio. She is listed as a widow who had 4 children and 3 are still living. Living with her is her sister, Louise Nedry age 57, arch 1845, M with 0 children and 0 still living. Also living with her are Frank Owen her son-in-law, age 30, born Dec 1869 and granddaughter Lilian Owen, age 10 born Aug 1889 and grandson Benjamin Booth age 5, born Sep 1895.

In appears in 1900 Census that her 2nd husband, John Sponable might be living in Georgetown, Ottawa, Michigan age 74, born Aug 1825 in NewYork, and he is listed as a Widowed.

On 10, May 1900, Harriette is still applying for her Widow's Pension again Amos Booth and her sisters, Electra M Brown (age 54) and Sarah A Lyons (age 77) swear "that Amos H & Harriet E Booth were never divorced from each other and that the said Harriet E Booth still remains the soliders lawful widow she having not remarried since his death.

On 7 April 1906, John S Sponable (Harriette's 2nd Husband) died in East Grand Rapids, Kent, Michigan. at the age of 80 years, 7 months, 30 days.

In the 1910 Census, she is living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with her son, Edwin, age 40 with his 2nd wife Alva age 40 who were married for 3 years and her grandson Benjamin age 14. She is listed as age 74 and a widow who had 4 children and 2 are still living.

On 2 March 1916, Harriette died in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Her funeral cost were as follows: Casket $75.00, Box $6.00, embalming $10.00, door badge $0.50, Conveyance $3.00 for $94.50 plus Physician's bill of $54.00 and undertaking of $28.50, transportation from Milwaukee (place of death) to Ripon, Wi (burial place) $4.98 for a grand total of $181.98.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

My Sponable Family History

I was searching my Sponable history because this is the branch of my family that has my DAR Patriot ancestor, Johannes Phillip Spanknable.

I created a facebook page for my Spanknable ancestor back in August 2012 after hearing about how one could use facebook as part of their genealogy. They had an example of using an ancestor as a facebook page and I thought I would do the same. About two weeks ago, I received my very first two likes!

They both seems to be connected to one of Johannes grandsons, Fox Sponable. However, I do not have a Fox Sponable in my file. Okay, that is not unusual, since I was concentrating on my direct lineage and I do put children of my direct lines but not always grandchildren or later lines unless I connect with someone.

During my search to figure out where Fox fits into the picture I came across a marriage index record for my 3rd great grandmother, Harriet Elizabeth Nedry. What made this find so strange is that it was a marriage between her and John S Sponable. Harriet's mother is Elizabeth Sponable the granddaughter of Johannes through his son John Sponable and Elizabeth Lighthall.

The index stated that the marriage occurred between 1892 and 1896. I have Harriet living in Marengo, McHenry, IL in both 1880 and 1900. I also find the index under both her maiden name of Harriett E Neadry and her married name of Harriett E Booth. And both indexes reference groom of John S Sponable.

I know that Harriet's (first husband) Amos Booth was living in a Veterans home by 1880. I also know that she collected from Amos' Civil War Pension as a Widow when in fact he was still living. It wasn't until he filed for disability against the Pension that they cut off Harriet and awarded Amos. Then when Amos died in 1899, Harriet reapplied and was award his Pension once again. In those papers it states that Harriet never remarried.

Therefore, I could not help myself, I had to send $10.00 out to Kent County Clerk's Office in Grand Rapids, Michigan and request the marriage certificate. I also found a death index showing that John S Sponable died 7 April 1906 and thus I requested that record too. Now the hard part, waiting for my treasurers to arrive via snail mail.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Ole and Clara (Peterson) Sunde

As I was going through old files and making sure that I had them cited in my database, I came across several obituaries for the children of Ole and Clara (Peterson) Sunde.

They had 12 children... (1) Herbert (2) Alama Sunde Pulver, (3) Ann Sunde Hartley, (4) Mertle "Billie" Sunde Glahn, (5) Norman Sunde, (6) Clarence Sunde, (7) Chester Sunde, (8) Walter Sunde, (9) Temon Sunde, (10) Josephine Sunde Bahr, (11) Loura Sunde Bonnett and (12) Viola Normanda Sunde Kirley. These are not necessarily listed in order of birth.

I had copies of Clarence, Josephine and Walter's Obituaries. I had these file under my Kirley surname since I first spotted Viola as a surviving sibling. But as I looked over the other siblings names, I noticed the surname of Bahr and it looked familiar. So I turned on my Family Tree Maker and using the name index, I typed in the surname of Sunde to see what I would find. I found Viola, Josephine and Walter along with Ole. However, I didn't have Josephine tied to Ole. So I checked out how the Bahr name fit into my tree.

I found that Josephine's husband, Warren is the son of Herman and Neva (Kuehn) Bahr. Neva is the granddaughter of John Thielke and Johanna Sophia Fredreca Wilhelmina Buss. John and Wilhelmina are my 2nd great grandparents.  Which is on my mother's father's family.

Walter's obituary showed that he was married to Lorene Bahr the sister of Warren Bahr husband of Josephine who is the sister of Walter. So I have yet another pair of siblings marrying another family siblings.

Viola who married a John Bernard Kirley who is the great grandson of Edward and Rose (Kirley) McMahon and they are my 3rd great grandparents. Which is on my father's father's side.

When all was said and done, I figured I need to file these obituaries in different location than just the Kirley side of the family. Therefore, the two Sunde/Bahr marriages are going into my Thielke surname folder and Clarence will go into the Kirley side of the family. While looking for some more information, I found that Viola has passed away as of Aug 17, 2011. Even though this is a sad event, she lived a long life of 98 years and left many Kirley descendants (3 children, nine grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren) all named and I just need to figure out where they all fit into the big picture of things.

I learned that it is important to re-look at our records. Names of people that I might not have known when I first looked at the record may mean something to me years later after my tree grows a little. I am also thankful for computers, because I don't believe I would have found the family ties as easy.

Good luck in your research!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Goals Review

I was reading an email that talked about the goals we made ourselves back in January. Do you recall the goals you made?

Well my goals are to work on the paper stack beneath my desk. I have put a big dent into those papers, and I am not done, but I have been scanning, recording and filing. I found some lost treasures and organized others by creating new family group folders. I must admit, looking at my file folders is a lot easier these days, I can quickly identify what I am looking at.

I reported a while ago that I finished the scanning project I was doing for my genealogy society library because I found a family member to give the donated research papers to. Oh what a happy day to see these papers end up with a family member and not be hiding on the shelves of the library. I have been looking at some other boxes and I see another project I want to do. Smaller project and turn this one into a book! Someone ask, how I can be sure of the accuracy. I can't, but I will have a disclaimer stating, this is the research work of the researcher and I have not verified anything.

I have been working on an obituary project for the genealogy society and I am 75 percent done with the 2008 obituaries that were assigned me. I hope to be done before May! Yeah!

I am also preparing for my trek back to Wisconsin for 2 months and want to make sure my genealogy goals while I am there are clearly defined. I have started a folder and will make sure it includes everything I want to research. Plus I will be helping my niece start her genealogy research and have a binder started to get her on the right foot.

I love setting goals and re-examining them every couple of months. This way we know if we are staying on track or letting them fall to the wayside. Plus as we accomplish one goal, we can see if we want to create new goals.

Look at your goals and see how you are doing!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Researchers donated work find their way home!

I have been working on preserving a researcher's notes that were donated to the genealogy society that I belong to. I was scanning the files, page by page and trying to put them into some sort of order.

Well on Monday I came across a letter from the researchers niece and decided to see if I could find her online. I typed in her name and the last state she was living in, which is Wisconsin. Based on the letter, she was working with her aunt doing research. Therefore when I found a link to her name as a submitter to find-a-grave, and the graves were in Wisconsin, I decided to send her an email.

I asked if she was the niece of the researcher I was working on. I explained how we received these three large boxes of files and what I was doing. Since I am originally from Wisconsin and plan on driving back this summer, I offered to give her these files, if she was the niece and still lives in Wisconsin.

The next morning there was an email waiting waiting for me and she was very excited. She was the niece and this was her favorite aunt who happened to help spark her interest in genealogy. She was very excited to get pictures. All she knew about her aunts work was that it was donated to a library and she didn't know where. She even called her mother who was brought to tears. Her mother is the youngest of the large family and did not have many pictures. I am hoping there are pictures of her family. I know there are pictures of the researchers husband's side.

I am excited that I can stop my scanning, and make a copy of what I scanned and give her the copy.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Ancestry Guest Account

Last week as I was teaching my beginning genealogy classes, I always tell my students that they should exhaust their free options before paying for subscriptions to paid sites.

One of my students asked, how do I do that without putting in my credit card information? A very good question. like any other business wants to make money, so on their home page they offer a 14 day free trial or a subscribe button. But what if you don't have a credit card and thus can't sign up for the 14 day free trial because of this.

I decided to explore Ancestry's help and see if I could find any information on free guest account. I first had to sign out of my subscription. Then I click the link “Get Help”. Here I was greeted with a nicely laid out screen with a spot on the top to type in my question and below several boxes with suggested Help Topics. I decided to click on the boxed for Accounts and Billing. This was followed by being presented with topic choices and I clicked Subscription Help. The box to the right of the topics displayed many related articles. The first being Ancestry Guest Registration seemed to be just what I was looking for. After selecting that option and entire article came up with several hot links within the text. It explained that Guest Accounts are necessary to view the free databases and all that a guest has to submit is their name and email.

So I proceeded to enter a valid name and email (for my daughter) and it instantly created an account and displayed the user name and password on the screen.  Plus I was already signed as said user. The username and password were not exactly choices I would have selected, so I decided to see if I could change one or both. I clicked the down arrow next to my username that was displayed on the right top of the screen and selected “My Account”. Here I was given the option to upgrade my account as an Annual, semi-annual or monthly membership for either just the US or World Membership. However on the right hand side of the screen was an option to “Update your username and password”. I followed that link and it give me suggestions on usernames on the top of the screen and a place to key in a new password on the bottom of the screen. After saving the change I was on my way to using Ancestry as a guest with an easy to remember login and password.

As I always say to my students, use your free options fully before paying for subscriptions to paid sites. Plus, just because you can’t see the results fully of your hits to paid sites, if you find enough hits, you could always visit a public library that might have Ancestry’s Library Edition. Again, this isn’t everything, but after you exhaust many of those options then you may want to subscribe to one of Ancestry’s paid subscriptions. I have decided to trace as many branches of my tree as I can in the US first and then I will subscribe to the World Subscription at that time and try to take my tree back to the native countries.  

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Organize your Computer Files

How is your genealogy computer files organized? Doesn’t it seem as we start to save stuff to your computer, we give it a name; we let whatever program we are using to pick the place where to save our files. Before we know it, are computer files are a mess and we can’t find anything.

There was a time, years ago when we were limited on the names we could give files. We had to use abbreviations, and you didn’t know at first glance what the file contained. However, we don’t have those limitations anymore, but I still see people giving short meaningless names to files.
So stop and decide how you would like to see your genealogy computer files. Don’t worry about how much time it will take to move all your existing files, just stop and dream what would be your perfect layout. Now how easy will it be to backup your genealogy files quickly and easily. Do you need to rethink your perfect layout?

I have some suggestions, such as create a genealogy folder within your documents folder. This in itself will make backing up easier. Next, think about how you have your paper files. Do you sort by surname or by document type? If you sort by surname, then create a subfolder within your genealogy folder for each main surname you research.  Then under each surname have document type folders, such as pictures, and records you keep for each family.
My brain fights this logical method and thus I created document subfolders under the genealogy folder, and then with-in each document subfolder, I would create surname subfolders if needed. This way, all my Census records are kept together, while all my pictures are kept together. I do have to search and find all the records for one surname if I want to copy and share with a family member. However, I haven’t had many of these requests to change my file system.

Someone asked me what type of records. I create a vital records subfolder and under that folder, I create separate folders for birth, marriage, divorce and death records. Under pictures, I create folders for Individual, Marriage and Group (multiple people in the picture). I create a newspaper folder with subfolders for obituaries, marriage notices, birth announcements, social articles (those short little blurbs that state when your ancestors leave or have out of town visitors.)
Now think about your file naming patterns. How will you save pictures? I like to start with a person’s last name then their first name and maybe a description such as Smith, John _ HS graduation for John’s high school graduation picture. For a marriage picture, I might do, Smith, John and Jane Doe 1882. The year they were married is added at the end. Finally for Census records, I have subfolders for each census year and I label them as: US1850_Wisconsin_Dodge_Beaver Dam_p13B while for a state census it would be: WI1885_Dodge_Beaver_p4A. This way within the proper folder, the files are sorted by state, then county then by town and finally by page. I am able to quickly find my census records that are referenced in my files if I want to relook at the page.

So if you decide to redo your files, then set up the all the folders you think you will need. Then starting today, every new thing you save, put it into the proper new folder.  Also, slowly start moving your existing files to the proper folders. Don’t try to move all of them on the first day. You might want to create a “working” subfolder under the Genealogy folder if you find some files that need to be moved but you are not exactly sure where in the Genealogy layout it should go. You can easily move them later when you examine each file individually, but in the meantime, they will be included in your genealogy backup since they are in your genealogy folder.
Start dreaming and get control over your genealogy folders.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

More Purging

As I was scanning large groups of papers for my genealogy society project, I decided to continue my purging of my files.

I came across some files that were actually useful. My grandmother had a scrapbook of newspaper clippings, birth announcement cards, wedding invitations and even funeral cards. Years ago, I had photocopied each of these pages, so I could have a copy of her scrapbook. Then I proceeded to cut out the articles (from my copy) and started to sort them by family name. I came across a group for my maternal grandmother’s maiden name. I had forgotten that I had these. I was excited because when I had started putting these names into my database, I didn’t always source where I found this information. Now I have something to record and I can proceed to scan the items, and then file them into the proper folder.

In the last few years, I have started to create a computer record of my paper records. This is easy with census records, since they are found online and with my subscription, I can easily save these to my computer. I also like the idea of scanning vital records, because then I don’t have to keep touching the copies that I have. I can just bring up the scan image and review the item. Plus I can attach the copy of the source to my citation within my genealogy program.

I felt extremely productive today, because I was working on two projects at the same time, my huge scanning project and my own purging project. Multi-tasking is great!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Out with the old!

I started a project for my local genealogical society library of scanning and preserving the research of someone's donated works. It entails 3 large boxes of papers and pictures. Someone has already started going through the collection and was organizing the pictures. I decided that the papers could be scanned and then tossed and thus save room at the library.

This project made me reflect on my own research. What would happen to my work when I die? Would it end up in boxes to sit on a shelf at a library or worst in the trash? So I decided to look at all the stacks of paper I have collected. When I moved to Arizona in 1999, I decided to take my research up one notch. I started sourcing my work and started a new file system. In this new file system, only those items that I have sourced are allowed in this file. So what about all the other stacks?

If I haven't taken the time to source them; how important are they? Well some more so than others, but if someone was going to get this collection, do I want them to try to read my dead mind and figure out what's important and what is not? So I have a huge file collection of papers back from 1992 when I use to belong to Prodigy. Does anyone remember Prodigy? It was a dedicated, closed network that predates the World Wide Web. AOL was another such network. Both of these networks did open up to the World Wide Web, but the services they offered on their closed network was only available to their members. They had a genealogy community on Prodigy and I would check out their surname message board and print out messages with surnames that I was researching. Now looking at these pages that are neatly filed by surname, I must re-evaluate how valuable are these. Well lets look at one.

I have a date, time and who the  message was from and who the message was to and the subject of the message and the body of the message. However, if I do find a connection, how would I make contact to either the sender or receiver? All I have is their name and their Prodigy user id. Not much help is this? So this is where I am starting. I will verify that I am only throwing away all these pages of useless messages. Yes I could turn all this into scrap paper, but I don't want to take a chance and have these pages find their way accidently back into my research, so the trash is the safest place for now.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year

As the first day of the New Year comes to a close, I was thinking of what I want to do in the upcoming year for my genealogy. I don't want to call these resolutions, but rather goals, perhaps even research goals.

I have several goals, some that involve my research and some involve projects that I have started for my genealogy society.

My first goal is to spend at least 1 day a week doing my own genealogy. I need to put on the calendar my own research. It could mean, just cleaning up my files, or reading up on genealogy to futher my research or actually doing new research. But making sure that I spend one day, and Monday is a good day on my research.

2. To spend at least 1 day a week on my genealogy society obituary project. This is a two part project. One part is separating the individual obituaries from the group scan image. Then creating an index that can be updated to the Genealogy website for sharing. The other part is to create an index on all the obituaries, not just the one's assigned to me to separate. I can get quite a few done in a few hours, so if I spend half my time on the first part of this and the rest on the second part will be great. Most likely Tuesday will be devoted to this goal.

3. To volunteer at my local genealogical society library. I find that sharing what I know, whether it is direct genealogy skills as in researching and finding or my computer knowledge such as scanning, printing, saving, copying, pasting, etc... is very rewarding. I have volunteered my Wednesdays for this goal.

4. Not to over extend myself where all these genealogy project are concerned. I am a newly elected 2nd VP for my genealogical society. I also volunteered to do the newsletter (with the help of others, but I will be the one to actually compile the newsletter.) I would like to have a monthly meeting to gather others to do articles, or talk about subjects for the newsletter. So I see this taking 1-4 hours a month. The newsletter only comes out four times a year. I also volunteered to be the society webmaster which doesn't involve alot of work, just maintaining it. I don't think this will involve more than about an hour or two a month (at the most). Plus I can't forget to do my blog. Of course this can be done any day that I do something interesting for genealogy.

5. To work on a very huge project which is to scan and preserve the research of a desceased family historian whose work was donated to our library. Most likely 4 and 5 will have to share Thursdays. If I am not doing 4 then I will try to work on 5.

Oh I almost forgot that I volunteer to help with the share sessions that are being held twice a month on Tuesday's mornings. So my 2nd goal might not get done those weeks. Or atleast not as much. However, I could work on this goal during the evenings when I am only watching TV.

So I plan on doing genealogy about four days a week, I leave Friday, Saturday and Sunday for my hubby, since these are the days he is off of work. So if he is working, then perhaps I can squeeze in more time, but then again, I do need to clean the house and do laundry once a while. Also, my day is usually only from 7am until about 2pm, which is 6-7 hours, depending on how long eating lunch takes. Plus, once School is out for the summer, all bets are off. I need to be available for my youngest daughter who is 15 and my granddaughter who is 5.

So what are your research goals for the year? They don't have to be so involved as mine. Perhaps you need to set aside one day a month to do your research, or how about one weekend a month. Get a calendar for the year and block out time on your calendar for your research.

Happy New Year!