Sunday, June 28, 2015
Friday, June 26, 2015
My 3x great grandfather, Jean "John" Leininger, from Endenhoffr, Mietesheim, West Bas Rhin, Alsace, France (but sometimes Germany!) emigrated with his family in 1827 on the Canaris, a ship leaving Le Havre, France with an arrival in New York City on 30 Jun 1827. "According to an old note, they went 'by rail' to Buffalo, New York. From there they went by canal to Canton, or Stark Co., Ohio." 1
|c.1855 Map of New York & Erie Rail Road and Its Connections6|
I definitely prefer a 3 hour plane ride or even an 18 hour car commute where I have the option to stop and stretch whenever I feel like it.
4 Fourth Annual Review of the Commerce, Manufactures, and the Public and Private Improvements of Chicago, for the year 1855, with a full statement of her system of railroads: and a general synopsis of the business of the city, Copied from several articles published in the Daily Democratic Press (Chicago: Democratic Press Steam Printing House, 1856.), 49. [Hereinafter referred to as Annual Review for 1855.]
5Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 14 June 2015.
7 "Michigan Historical Collections." Google Books. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 June 2015.
9 "Trains Across the Continent." Google Books. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 June 2015.
Sunday, June 21, 2015
|Gramps and Me|
|I was the 5th in the family to use this bike|
Gramps was inventive. The man loved tools and could fix anything. He took an old vacuum cleaner and turned it into a handheld model to use to clean the carpeting on the stairs. I wish we still had it as it worked better than anything on the market today. He let me mess around with his tools and play store.
During the months when the ice cream shop was open, Gramps would take me for a Black Cow - a root beer float, every Friday. When I was really small he'd have to pick me up to put me on the stool and I remember how proud I was when I could climb up on my own.
Gramps had a wooden leg due to a steel mill accident. I don't know how he climbed a ladder to paint the eaves as the house was 2 stories! He never let his handicap get in the way of dancing which he was quite good at. Gramps was also nearly blind. He had cataracts that were inoperable for some reason and yet, he never complained.
Each Father's Day I bought the same gift for Gramps - a can of Skoal. I always used my allowance to make the purchase at Dickenson's Drug Store. Gramps would say it was the best gift he ever got.
Gramps passed away 45 years ago but the lessons he taught me are with me still.
Dad's and Grand Dad's make a tremendous impression on youth. Today, Dad's get beat up in the media as the butt of jokes. If you are lucky to have a wonderful father figure in your life make sure he's appreciated or remembered-he deserves it!
Thursday, June 18, 2015
My husband's family has been in the states for much longer than mine so it's not surprising that there are no stories remembering his ancestors journeys.
His great grandfather, Anders Gustaf "Gust" Jonasson emigrated in 1882 from Byarum, Sweden with his wife Thilda "Anna Matilda" and 6 children. The 8 of them packed all of their belongings into 3 trunks. The largest is shown below:
Now on the one hand, moving with so little is not such a bad thing. Not a lot of time was involved in packing, transporting and unpacking. Leaving behind cherished possessions along with family and friends, however, is a difficult concept for me to wrap my head around. I'm so glad I don't have to make that kind of move!
Sunday, June 14, 2015
We'd cook hotdogs on a small portable grill, accompanied by my grandmother's Croatian style potato salad (which is sort of like German potato salad using oil and vinegar instead of a mayonnaise base but it's served hot). My mom would bake a cake, frost it with white icing and decorate with blueberries and strawberries for the stripes and banana slices dipped in lemon for the stars.
I can't decide why Flag Day is so under celebrated. Maybe it's because it falls right after school has ended and people are on vacation. Or maybe because it's sandwiched in between Memorial Day and Independence Day. Perhaps it's because Father's Day is right around the corner. My best guess is because Flag Day is not an official federal holiday. Although Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Flag Day in 1916, Congress didn't approve it until 1949. Seriously, it took 33 years to approve this holiday.
I am going to continue to celebrate the day and our symbol of freedom. Here's a few links about our flag and the interesting genealogy of the people who are part of its history:
The Legend of Betsy Ross http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betsy_Ross
The Star Spangled Banner and Mary Young Pickersgill http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Young_Pickersgill
Driver's Old Glory http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/how-the-flag-came-to-be-called-old-glory-18396/?no-ist
For my readers in countries other than the U.S. - I challenge you to proudly wave your country's flag today and think about the values it represents. Happy Flag Day!
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
In this case, I would "Add Couple" 1 - Gustav and Lulu Mae Cook. Once added, the Wiki Tree changes to the following:
That wasn't very time consuming but here's where my problems begin.I have 19 facts for Gustav Samuelson on my Ancestry tree:
Familysearch has 4 citations:
Really, Familysearch only has 1 source - the Legacy user that imported the information cited for 4 events but did the user did not include where he/she found the evidence. Truly, I'm not impressed with Familysearch's sources for Gustaf. This is no improvement over the earlier trees that the site displayed. I equate this practice with only citing an Ancestry Family Tree that was unsourced to begin with. The citation is meaningless.
I could add the sources I found plus the 18 photos and the several additional records that I've scanned and uploaded to my Ancestry tree to the Familysearch Wiki but that takes quite a bit of time.I feel like I'm duplicating what I've already accomplished by re-entering the citations from Ancestry to Familysearch. Instead, I would prefer to spend my time further building my tree.
Way too much to have to add! Way too time consuming!
So I thought maybe I would just add 1 photo to Wiki and keep the lines simple by just adding my direct line (no collaterals - no sibs!). Last evening I added my maternal grandparents, Ivan "John" and Mary Violet Kos Koss. I compared sources from ancestry to familysearch and added the difference. Then, I selected ONE photo for my mother, grandmother and grandfather and uploaded to Familysearch. This is what the photos looked like:
|Dorothy Koss Leininger|
|Mary Violet Kos Koss|
|Ivan "John" Kos Koss|
There's nothing wrong with these 3 photos and I did agree that the site would first approve them before posting but its been a day and they're still not displayed. At this rate, it would take me YEARS before I had my tree on Familysearch and it wouldn't even be my complete tree.
I understand that the LDS Church has an agreement with Ancestry.com and to quote an old commercial, membership has its privileges, but there needs to be an expedient alternative for genealogists, such as uploading an existing tree to the Familysearch site.
Sunday, June 7, 2015
I didn’t sign up at the time to be a part of the members who could check out the changes. Last week I received the following email:
It’s the new LifeStory that turns the facts in your ancestor’s life into a narrative timeline, like a biography.
It’s Historical Insights that let you walk a mile (or two) in your ancestor’s shoes.
It’s a new media gallery that puts all your records and pictures in one place.
It’s a streamlined design that’s easier to use—on your desktop or mobile devices.
It’s your family story, reinvented.
Can the new Ancestry really do all that? See for yourself. All the research and information you have now will be on the new Ancestry.”
Matching records to the timeline is also beneficial and if used correctly, may even give the site more validity as critics frequently express their frustration over unsourced or poorly sourced (citing a tree that originally cited a different tree). I wish there was a way to fix all my poorly cited sources from my baby stage of genealogy. For example, I sourced ALOT of my Leininger, Long and Harbaugh families from various family history texts. I made the source name as "Text" and not the actual book's name because several versions of Ancestry ago, citations weren't as easy to add. I would like a way to quickly change the word "Text" to the correct title.
I hope the tech team can quickly fix the glitches. I also hope that Ancestry can be expediently acquired by a group who cares about genealogy so that it can continue to operate, grow and provide the services that we're paying for at a reasonable price.
Wednesday, June 3, 2015
I got home late from work that night and was preparing for all day field trips with my students for the next two days so I didn't take a look at the photos. I assumed they were going to go directly to Picassa. I know, I know, never assume in genealogy; someday I will get that lesson down. Three days after I had taken the photos I was holding my Kindle, purse, clipboards, travel mug, beach towel, and while getting out of the car, the Kindle slipped out of it's sleeve and hit the garage floor. I noticed several hours later the Kindle screen was cracked. I also learned that my photos hadn't been sent to Picassa because I had signed on to my Kindle with a different email address that Picassa didn't recognize. I was able to keep rotating the device until I had the pics emailed from one address to another but it was a major pain in the neck after a long hot tiring day (and kudos to Amazon staff who were so nice about helping me save the photos AND sending me out a replacement Kindle 2 days later!) Well, by now I was no longer feeling secure about by ability to future proof my records.
I guess it's a miracle we find any documents today given all the things that can cause destruction. I'm hoping I'm wrong about the upcoming hurricane season and I'm hoping my work will be preserved.
The only solutions I can come up with is to make sure that our work is shared as much as possible and that both electronic and hard copies are made. I am making a point of saving my Ancestry tree to Legacy monthly and a copy is kept on my hard drive and in Dropbox. I have tried the Wiki Tree on Familysearch.org but I have some concerns about relying on it. First, its a Wiki and anyone can change what you input. That could be a positive if someone is correcting an incorrect entry but it can also be disastrous if someone is deleting your correct information. Second, maybe it's me but I have a difficult time maneuvering on the site's tree. Third, I have a large tree and don't have time to input or click and select from the site's choices to build. I spoke with a tech person when I was at the Family History Library in March and there is no option to upload a gedcom, old PAF or any other genealogical management program. So, Familysearch.org is not a viable alternative for me.
And now there's the Ancestry rumors circulating again. I'm not overly concerned with their upcoming auction but one never knows what a new buyer will do. I never thought PAF would go away or Rootsweb would not have continued to grow.
I do absolutely love Ancestry's new format (though I hate the drab background colors) that permits turning your ancestor's timeline into a story. I've noticed some minor glitches but the edit feature allowed me to make corrections quickly and easily. I'm thinking of taking the stories and printing a family book for an additional safeguard against losing data. A hard copy could even be donated to a library or historical society even further insuring your hard work isn't lost.
My last fail safe method to preserving our family tree is to further motivate family members who have shown an interest in genealogy as I would like them to continue on with the work that I began when I can no longer do so.
I'd appreciate hearing any preservation ideas you may have!