Showing posts from February, 2013

A long-lost relative!

One thing I've hoped to find through this research are our long-lost relatives on the Ortman side.  If you remember, Great-grandpa William John Ortman Sr. (of CDE) was the youngest of nine children of Joseph and Anna Ortmann.  When he married our grandmother, because he was Catholic and she was Lutheran, they disowned him and he never had contact with any of his eight brothers and sisters again.  So, as you can imagine, we have many great-aunts and uncles, cousins second and third, that we have never, ever heard of.

Well, we have uncovered a relative.  I won't name him, to preserve his privacy, except to call him B.  His grandmother, Mary Theresa Ortmann, was the second oldest sister of our great-grandfather, William John.  He has posted a picture of her, which I'll include here:

I don't have a picture of Great-grandpa when he was young, unfortunately, but I'll try to find one of him so we can put them side-by-side and see if they look alike.
I'm excited to hav…

The DNA mystery --

Hey, everybody -- I've been slacking off here, what with the beginning of school and so on.  After two weeks of teaching, I finally have a little space to breathe, especially since I'm sitting here with a cold, and I can't possibly do schoolwork when I don't feel well, right??

Last September, I ordered a DNA kit from, sent them a sample (had to spit in a tube until it filled up to the line), and on November 5, received the results.  We OrtBerns are all German, right?  We think so, right?  Here are the birth places I've found:

Looks pretty German, right?  That one over in Poland is where I think Joseph Ortmann (great-grandpa to EDC) was born, in what was called Prussia or Pomerania when it was part of Germany, but I don't know the town, so I can't be sure.

Well, the DNA results I got from were rather surprising, because here's how they say it breaks down:

Huh?  No Western European at all!  We are mostly from the British Isles, t…

Random Monday

Since school started last Monday, I haven't been able to post much, so I thought I'd do a "Random Monday," in which I share a few things I find interesting or meaningful.

First up is an essay that my D wrote when he was five -- he was in a Montessori school and had to write an essay every weekend.  Can you read this one?

His teacher encouraged him to use "invented spelling," which is why the spelling is a bit eccentric.  Hope that he still remembers it, now that he has a motorcycle!  If you can't read it, let me know in the comments and I'll translate.

Here's a beautiful picture of a Christmas tree that I received from Z2 (you know who you are!).  I love it -- look at the beautiful ornaments, and how the artist shows all the branches of the Christmas tree.  Thank you for sending it to me!  Send more, please!

Remember cootie catchers?  Do you still remember how to make them?  Do kids make them any more?  We used to tell our fortunes with them.   …