Posts

Valentine Gift Idea - a Family Tree Poster

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Valentine's is around the corner and here's a quick gift idea for family - a poster of your family tree.  I discovered that Geneanet has some free templates that make awesome (inexpensive) gifts.  I did this last minute before Christmas and the results were beautiful.
If you have a Geneanet tree you can follow the instructions below.  If not, first you need to create an account at https://en.geneanet.org/  Although they have a premium service, which is a nice option, you don't have to pay to become a member and upload a tree.
Download wherever you've saved your family tree and then upload to Geneanet on the ribbon under Family Tree - Import/Export a Family Tree.  Depending on the size of your tree, this may take a few minutes. Once your tree is uploaded, open up the individual (or yourself) that you want to start as the base of your chart.  Then click on Charts & Lists - Ancestry - Printable Family Tree.  There are several templates from which you can select.  I c…

A Winning Genealogy Formula

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Happy New Year!  I took a few weeks off from blogging and am delighted to be back.  My blogging break, however, didn't include a break from genealogy so in the next few weeks I'll be writing about my recent discoveries, insights and well, dumb luck, which I'll explain below.
I have always loved the holidays and it seems every year I get a genealogy gift from the universe.  This year, I got an extra special one.
I'm not talking about the unexpected adorable t-shirt my sister-in-law bought me that says "Genealogist because Freakin Miracle Worker is not a Job Title" or the archival pens I found in my stocking (thanks, hubby).  It's those Santa gifts that I cherish because they come when I least expect it and make me scratch my head trying to figure out how in the world they even came about.
Trying to bring logic to the situation, I came up with a formula  P1 + P2 = P3 whereas P1 is persistence, P2 is patience and together they equal P3 which is prosperity. …

Interesting News on Lifespan

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I read 2 articles this week (Thanks to the NEGHS Newsletter) that at first look appeared to be unrelated but as I processed the information, realized that they were indeed related.  The first, Life span has little to do with genes, analysis of large ancestry database shows by Sharon Begley clearly surprised me.  Not having a medical background, I assumed, wrongly it appears, that genes were a much stronger indicator to longevity.  The article is also interesting in that the data analyzed most likely included my people and yours, if you are an Ancestry.com member.  I have no problem with my tree info being shared for research purposes but if you do, and you didn't take the time to read the disclaimers when you were signing up, you need to be aware that your information is being used by third parties.
The second article, She was like a second mother': the German woman who saved our Jewish family history by Simon Finch drove home to me how fortunate my family has been in leaving…

Using an Index to Find What I Didn't Know Existed

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Genealogist purists do not like using indexes.  I 'm glad I'm not a purist as I recently found an interesting record by accident while using an index.

Monthly, I get an email from Familysearch.org with updates about the site.  I always check out the section that lists the newly available online records. I find this especially important since the organization has stopped mailing microfilm to be viewed locally and a trip to Salt Lake City doesn't seem to be in my immediate future so I need to keep checking to see when records of interest to me are available online.

One of the new links was to Ohio Wills and Estates to 1850:  An Index  by Carol Willsey Bell.  I have many Ohio settlers from the early 1800's and I wanted to use the index to make sure I didn't overlook a probate record.

I understand the danger of simply citing an index as there might have been an error in recording the information.  Personally, I view indexes like Ancestry hints.  I might get lucky and …

In Honor of Veteran's Day

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Today, the world remembers the end of World War I.  Although no veterans or civilians are with us to recall the atrocities, the record of their experiences lives on through letters, diaries and recordings.  I am in possession of a collection of letters and wanted to mark the 100th anniversary today by sharing one with you.
With the United States Congress declaring war on Germany on April 6, 1917, 2.8 million American men were soon to be drafted to serve in what was then called “The Great War.”Hoosier born George Bryant Harbaugh, a 22-year-old Deputy Sheriff with the Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railway in Gary, Lake County, Indiana, was sent to Camp Taylor, Kentucky for basic training.Army Private George left behind his sweetheart, Elsie Wilhelmina Johnson, a 21-year-old Mother’s Helper living in Miller, (now Gary), Indiana.
Elsie saved every letter and postcard received from George.Only 3 letters from Elsie to George survive. The following is a scan and transcript of the letter detaili…

Haunted Rose Cemetery

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I actually planned on writing about an awesome find by using an index that happened to me while I was researching last weekend but an event just occurred that I must get out of my mind.

On this beautiful cool fall morning, a World War 1 Centennial Commemoration service was scheduled at Rose Cemetery in Tarpon Springs, Florida.  I typically don't attend these types of ceremonies because my schedule doesn't allow it but I got an email message from a neighborhood list that I'm a member of Thursday afternoon apologizing for the late notice and something just made me want to go.  I'm not sure if it was because it was an Eagle Scout dedication for installation of a memorial stone and flag pole that piqued my interest since my children had achieved both Eagle and Gold Award in the past.  Earning those recognitions are a major accomplishment for a busy teen and I well remember all the work that was involved.  I've been working on a book about my husband's grandfather …

A Creepy Weird Family Story

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Every October I like to blog about a family story passed down to me that I consider spooky.  The odd thing about the story I'm about to tell is that I can find NO DOCUMENTATION to support the facts.  Zero - Nada - Zilch!  Since this occurred in my lifetime I find the lack of proof frustrating and a little strange.  You'll see why at the end of the tale.

I come from a large extended family on my maternal side.  My grandmother, Mary Kos Koss, was the family matriarch who loved to entertain which greatly contributed to people keeping in close contact with each other.  After her death on 5 Jun 1985, the relatives, for the most part, lost touch with each other.  I witnessed the retelling of this story in the presence of my mother and grandmother from the individual it happened to and they are all now deceased. One of my aunts also had knowledge of  the event, along with two of my cousins.  My aunt is deceased and I have lost touch with my two cousins. 

Here's what I recall...