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Showing posts from July, 2015

Why I Love Genealogy, Reason #846

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Some of you who read my blog closely (are any of you out there?)  may have noticed that my previous post disappeared.  It was a grumpy post, in which I was grousing about Family Search and their new focus on the Family Tree.  I got some good responses that helped me sort out my thinking, and I decided that that particular post didn't need to stay on my otherwise usually upbeat blog, so I deleted it.

Today something happened that reminded me of why I love genealogy.  I had posted a similarly cranky topic on a facebook page, complaining about why no one ever responds to my messages on Ancestry and other sites.  (I guess I've been feeling pretty grumpy lately.) Many, many people responded, sharing their experiences both positive and negative, but among the many comments responding to my original post was one that said, "Elise, my husband's great-gram is ______ (1821-1902)."  The name was the same as my husband's, so I checked his side of the family tree and the …

An open letter to my parents, long gone --

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Dear Mom and Dad -- it's been a while since we were able to sit down and have a good talk -- Dad, almost 20 years; Mom, 26 years.  That's hard to believe.  I still miss you every day.

I'm a senior citizen now and an elder as far as the family goes.  I wanted to tell you that I've been into genealogy for about five years, and have found out a tremendous amount about our ancestors.  Dad, your father was estranged from his family -- did you know that your Uncle Joseph Benard was an adventurous sort, who managed a hotel in Texas, spent time in Mexico working for an oil company, and wound up in California?  Or that your grandfather Joseph Ortmann came from a farming family in Erkeln, Germany?

William J. Ortman's senior picture
Mom, guess what -- I have your Berneburg line traced back to Cuntz D'Alte Berneburg, who lived in 1470!  Did you know that your grandfather Maximilian came from a family in Silesia, where his father was a Master Weaver and also was a trumpeter?…

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun (on Sunday)

Every Saturday night, Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings sets out a fun task to get us thinking.  This week, the question is "What kind of genealogist are you?"  First, a little history:

I have always been interested in family history, even as a child.  I remembered things both of my grandmothers told me, and it's a good thing, too, because nothing was written down.  But even those little clues (remembering that my great-grandmother's name was Matilda Hug) have been very helpful to me as I've gotten into genealogy much later in life.

I remember sitting with a pile of old photographs, my Uncle Eric telling me who the people were and me writing that on the back.  Again, those little clues have been so helpful.  And then my Uncle Eric dictated family history to his wife, Hilda, who wrote it down, and gave everyone concerned a copy. I'm very grateful for that history now.

I kept the stories in my head for many, many years -- my father's father disowned, my great-g…

It's been a while!

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It sure has.  We've had a few challenges, including daughter having eye surgery, which was not fun and which took up a lot of time.  I've also been working on my e-book, making progress there, looking forward to having it done.  Here's a glimpse at the cover:


I think it's going to be useful to people, at least I hope it will.  It seems to me that all the Germany guides I've looked at are basically a list of websites and other resources, and while mine will include plenty of those things, it will also include notes on how to use them and cautionary tales and success stories from my own experiences.  I'm excited about it.
I'm also getting ready to go on the FGS Genealogy cruise at the end of August!  I'm taking my sister, and we're both excited.  She's not a genealogist, though she enjoys reading what I've researched, but maybe by the time the ship docks back in Seattle, we will have made one of her.  
I'll be checking in more often.  Some…