Jun 28, 2013

An interesting find --

I'm at a genealogy conference in Sacramento, today and tomorrow.  After listening to one of the presentations, I upped my presence on My Heritage, and started searching some of the people in our family.  Here's something interesting I found -- I'm sure this is EDC's dad, Bill Ortman.  Unfortunately, the file came as a .pdf, so I can't reproduce it (it's not a .jpg). but here's what it says:

"Among the tid-bits we have picked up about some Saturday NBC programs is that Colonel Goodbody and Judge Gordon will dedicate the 9:30 AM food program to Georgia and will embarrass the Atlantans by revealing that they chew 50 carloads of sugar cane annually and that a boy soprano, Billy Ortman, will be heard on the Keys to Happiness program at 10:45 a.m."

This is from April 22, 1932.  Dad would have just turned seven.

I'm surprised, because I thought Dad was exclusively on CBS, but here he is on NBC.  Oh, by the way, this is from a San Antonio, Texas, newspaper!  More to come --

Jun 18, 2013

Can I have a drum roll, please?

23andme finally finished analyzing my DNA sample (the results have come in bit by bit), and gave me the ethnic/nationality composition.  This is the first one that makes sense to me:

Northern European
French and German 30.0%
British and Irish 13.1%
Scandinavian  11.1%
Finnish <0.1%
Nonspecific Northern European 38.0%

Eastern European 3.5%
Southern European
Balkan 0.4%
Nonspecific Southern European 0.1%

Nonspecific European  3.7%

This seems more reasonable, doesn't it, than the first one that said I was 38% British Isles or whatever?  I think they lump French and German together because the border has been fluid, and our Hug line is right on the border of France.  I don't know why there's such a large chunk of "Nonspecific Northern European," but I'll try to find out what's up with that.  It will be interesting to see how Chris's analysis matches up to this.

Jun 14, 2013

One more step back --

After I attended the German Genealogy conference last month, I was so excited that I ordered a microfilm from the big library in Salt Lake City -- this costs $8.99 for every film you order, and if you get no new information from it, well, say goodbye to your $8.99.  But I went ahead and ordered the "Kirchenbuch Katholische Kirche Wolfach" -- the church record book for the Catholic church in Wolfach, Germany.  I had tried asking for information from Wolfach on the email list of genealogists from Baden-Wuerttemberg, but got no response, so looking at the church records myself seemed like a good idea.  The Salt Lake City family history center sent the microfilm to my local family history center, housed in the local LDS temple.

I looked through twenty-five years of entries, searching for our 5th great-grandfather, Blasius (or Blasy) Hug.  Here's what I came up with:

from the Kirchenbuch Katholische Kirche, Wolfach, Germany

The line that is of interest to us is second from the bottom -- this is the baptismal record of our (EDC's) 5th great-grandfather, the ancestor of our dad and Grandma Ortman.  You might notice three things that make reading this entry difficult:  1) the general condition of the record book (the entry is from 1721) with that kind of blot over some of the writing; 2) the writing is in Latin, not German (though this is not a big obstacle); and -- the biggie -- 3) the entry is written in a script that looks to be impossible to read.  

But it is not impossible!  With a little outside help from a book I got on reading German script and from a lady who is very good at reading such things, the words have been puzzled out.  Here's what we're pretty sure it says:

Date:  3 February, 1721

Infant:  Franciscus Blasius  (or Franz Blasy)

Parents:  Antonius Hug(er) and Anna Maria Brischler(in)

Sponsors (=godparents):  Joannes Gr├╝nle, Felicitas Gebhardin, Frau Landschreiberin. 

In looking through 25 years of records, this is the only instance I can find of anyone with the name "Blasius," and the time frame is right, so I've gotta go with the idea that this is him.  (We're lucky his name wasn't Johannes, or I would have had to spend many more hours searching, because there are a million of those.)   So, new information, he had a first name of Franz, and his parents were Anton Hug and Anna Maria Brischler ("Brischlerin" is the feminine form of "Brischler".)  The lady who looked at it said the family name was Hu_er, so we're going with the idea that the missing letter is "g."  Gotta be, right?  There's no issue between "Hug" and "Huger," because spelling was pretty random in those days and almost every name has variants.

Here's a picture of the old part of St. Laurentius church in Wolfach -- this part of the church has been there since the 1400's, which would make it exactly where Blasy was baptized.  Imagine them standing there -- amazing.

The "old choir" in St. Laurentius church, Wolfach, Germany

I googled "Blasius," because I was curious about this unusual name.  "Blasius" (Latin, or Blasy in German) is the same as the French name "Blaise," and people with that name are named for St. Blaise, and here's his story, from Wikipedia:

Blaise, who had studied philosophy in his youth, was a doctor in Sebaste in Armenia, the city of his birth, who exercised his art with miraculous ability, good-will, and piety. When the bishop of the city died, he was chosen to succeed him, with the acclamation of all the people. His holiness was manifest through many miracles: from all around, people came to him to find cures for their spirit and their body; even wild animals came in herds to receive his blessing. In 316, Agricola, the governor of Cappadocia and of Lesser Armenia, having arrived in Sebastia at the order of the emperor Licinius to kill the Christians, arrested the bishop. As he was being led to prison, a mother set her only son, choking to death of a fish-bone, at his feet, and the child was cured straight away. Regardless, the governor, unable to make Blaise renounce his faith, beat him with a stick, ripped his flesh with iron combs, and beheaded him.

Neat, huh?   And what delighted me most was finding out that St. Blaise's feast day is February 3rd . . . the exact day that Franz Blasy was baptized!  That's why he has that particular name!  This is what I love about genealogy -- that little moment when there's a "click," and you suddenly understand something about the thoughts and motivations of people who lived almost 300 years ago.

So I will leave you for today, with a picture of St. Blaise, who is the patron saint of people with throat problems and of wild animals.  He looks pretty nice:

Jun 11, 2013

New DNA Results

I got my results from 23andme about a week ago, and while the results are not quite finished, there's a wealth of information to digest.  It comes in several areas:  1) Health information; 2) matches with other members, and 3) a bit about nationalities, though that part isn't finished yet.

I didn't know whether I really wanted to do the health part, but now I'm glad I did.  There were only a couple of big surprises -- I guess I didn't need to do a DNA test to know that I have a somewhat elevated risk of heart disease or Type 2 diabetes, but a couple of things caused me concern.  I have to pay attention to my eyesight, because I'm at risk for macular degeneration, and it turns out I'm a carrier for one serious condition -- doesn't affect me, but I'll be talking to a couple of you about it.  But it's good to know these things, so you can actually do something about them.  I was worried about Alzheimer's, which you can't do anything about, but in fact I have a reduced risk for that -- yay!  Guess that Grandma Sophie and Uncle Eric living to a ripe old age with all their faculties intact counts for something.

I've already gotten in touch with a couple of people that our genetics says we are absolutely related to, although in a distant way; I heard from a nice woman named Karen who says we are absolutely related to her and her two sons.  I think, though, that I haven't gotten anywhere near enough in terms of finding our mutual ancestor -- it's probably some time in the 1600's, so I have to go back farther than I have.  A couple of other people are possibilities -- again, 3rd+ cousins, not the 2nd cousins (from siblings of Great-grandpa William J. Ortman Sr.) I'm hoping to find.

And the countries of origin is a pretty big surprise.  Where my first DNA test had a large part coming from the British Isles, this one is quite different:







Czech Republic

This is where I'm supposed to match the gene sequences with people in those countries.  I have an idea of the progression, from the U4's back in Siberia, so I'll do another post on that soon.  Guatemala??

So Romania!!  Is it the land of Hotel Transylvania

Or a more peaceful place?

Who knows?

Jun 7, 2013

Back in Business

Okay!  It's been a while, but now that I'm 1) finished with school, 2) done with the watercolor workshop that I went to all this week, and 3) have our new dog Hugo pretty much settled in, I can turn my attention back to the genealogy research that has been calling my name for the past few months.  I'll just give you some hints about things I'll be writing about in the near future.  But first things first, here's Hugo:

Hugo the Great

Isn't he adorable?  Okay, so here are some of the things I'll be writing about:

My recent DNA results
More U4 news, including some about dogs
New relatives discovered through DNA matching
Chris's results, soon, I hope
The family history expo I'm going to in a couple of weeks
and much, much more!

So stick around!  Lots of fun to come.

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