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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Success Team Update

For the past few months my Saturday morning routine has included a hot cup of coffee and a spicy genealogical chat with Jenny.

Jenny is vacationing, so (sigh) I'm on my own today. We worked hard on our lists last Saturday knowing we would have two weeks to complete them. These were my goals:

BLOG: Create one A Child Lost and one F.A.G. blog post. Catch up blog reading.

I chose my next Child Lost and put a rough draft together. I posted about my experience at Darien Cemetery here. And I've been diligently reading all the fun and interesting and educational blogs I follow. I am caught up! [on target]

LEARN: Review FGS classes and write rough draft questions. Read The Twitter Book by Tim O’ Reilly and Sarah Milstein.

Not only did I review the classes, I downloaded my syllabus and bound it for travel - yay me! I changed a class too, substituting Twitter for the 1940 census. I'll start writing the rough draft questions this weekend. I continue to read The Twitter Book in my "spare" time. It's a great read and has already changed the way I use Twitter. [on target]

ORGANIZE: Clean up the Mueller hanging file. Create checklists for each document type encountered.

Good gravy, what a mess! As you can see in the photo below, I sorted all the papers so I can work on like-items. I created a spreadsheet (are you laughing Jenny?) for the document types. [on target]

PRESERVE: Verify that all direct line ancestors appear on F.A.G. If photos exist, add them. Sponsor Daddy and Harold Mueller. Add the EASY photos from Darien Cemetery.

Hmm. I may have to pick up the pace on this task. I haven't checked for all my ancestors. [behind schedule] I sponsored my dad's memorial, but decided against sponsoring his dad's for the time being. [check] I'm about a quarter of the way through the photos from Darien Wisconsin. [behind schedule - eek]

RESEARCH: Look for Jacob’s confirmation record on the Swiss film at the FHC. Add specific genealogy searches to eBay.

Thursday evening I looked through the entire film hoping to find a birth, baptism, or confirmation record for Jacob. No luck. But, as you may recall, this was a long shot. My surname-related searches are now on eBay. [check]

That makes an un-terrific mix of "on target", "check" and "behind schedule". Maybe a B- for the week so far? I'd better quit chatting and get back to work!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Written in Stone

Some words last a lifetime. Others fade before the ink is dry. But when something is written in stone, we expect it to transend time; to be with us forever. That's why grave markers are made of stone. They are supposed to provide eternal remembrances of our loved ones.

On a recent road trip, Husband and I stopped at a pretty little cemetery in Darien Wisconsin. We took 94 headestone pictures. I was moved by the War of 1812 star below. There are pioneers and farmers and heroes buried here.
The condition of some of the headstones was troubling. This stone is almost completely under ground and so weathered it is illegible.
The marker above was the most sunken, but others follow close behind.

Some stones are sinking vertically, taking information they contain with them.
Those are signs of aging. But vandalism is also an issue in this cemetery as it is in so many others.
The top of the headstone below was broken off and lying face-down in the dirt. It was hidden under the branches I'm holding over to the right so Husband can take a picture of the part still standing. I'm so proud of the commitment he has made to Find A Grave.
Once we found the missing piece, we could see Abner Long was buried here. There are other Long family members in this cemetery too.
At least the broken pieces below are all present and standing.
This cemetery really is lovely. The grass is mowed, flowers are on several graves, caretakers are evident. But no one can stop the ravages of time. Lichen, wind, and rain wreak havoc on these beautiful old stones.  
Written in stone. Only temporarily.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Surname Saturday ~ August Marriages

Some ancestrally-significant weddings took place in August:

William Clarke and his wife Ella (nee Littrell)

My grandparents Frances Lois MANGELS and Harold Clarke MUELLER were married 22 Aug 1930 in Chicago Illinois.

My great grandparents (Harold's parents) Gertrude CLARKE and Alfred MUELLER were married 24 August 1907.

My second great grandparents (Gertrude's parents) William CLARKE and Mary Ella LITTRELL were also married 24 August, in 1882.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Those Old Photographs

First Grandchild's First Christmas

I know the little girl in this picture. I catch a glimpse of her every time I look in a mirror.

The hand in the upper right-hand corner belongs to my Grandpa John. I'm sure his unlit cigar is in his left hand; it always was. Makes me smile just remembering.

But who is the woman on the left? I'm pretty sure it's Judith, my great-grandfather's second wife.

Shall I assume I'm correct? There isn't anyone left to ask. Or should I mark the picture with "my guess is..."?

My family looks at me a little strange when I label my photos with:
  • the date of the event
  • a description of the occasion (so-and-so's birthday for example)
  • location in which the picture was taken (address-specific)
  • all participants' first and last names; and age when appropriate
  • all participants' relationships to one another
Okay, maybe that's excessive. But it sure would have been nice if someone had labeled this picture with more than "First Grandchild's First Christmas".

Monday, August 15, 2011

Swiss for Beginners

Next month I'll attend the "Beginning Swiss Research" workshop at the FGS conference in Springfield Illinois. I'm really looking forward to this program because I know nothing of my Swiss second great-grandfather's life before he immigrated to the US.

Actually there are still a few things I don't know about Jacob K Mueller's life after he immigrated, but I digress.

By the 1880 census, Jacob Mueller and Elisabeth Schmitt were married and had a baby of their own. Otto (on line 3) is Elisabeth's son from a previous marriage.

When Jacob died in 1910, his daughter Alma provided the information that appears on his death certificate. What a treasure trove this document turned out to be! Notice the names she gave for Jacob's parents?

I looked for J Mueller and Anna Wigdri (and variations thereof) on FamilySearch and found this marriage record on film # 0995182. They are the third couple listed under the C three-quarters down on the right-hand page.

There is a very slim chance this couple is Jacob's parents, (wouldn't it be incredible if they were?), but I ordered the film anyway.

My hope is that, having seen a Swiss marriage record, I'll understand more during the FGS class.

In the meantime, I wonder what the letters and the headings over each group of names mean...

UPDATE: Many thanks to Wolf on the Swiss Rootweb list:

Promulgirt (announced) / copulirt (married) / year

A. Ehen zwischen Bürgern und Bürgerinnen der Evang. Gemeinde Steckborn
(Marriages of [male and female] citizens of the reformed community of

B. Ehen hiesiger Bürger mit auswärtigen Töchtern  (Marriages of citizens
from here with daughters from outside - i.e. not citizens of Steckborn)

C. Ehen auswärtiger Bürger mit hiesigen Töchtern  (Marriages of citizens
from outside with daughters from here)

D. Ehen auswärtiger Bürger mit auswärtigen Bürgerinnen  (Marriages of [male
and female] citizens from outside)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Surname Saturday ~ August Birthdays

Happy August birthday to my wonderful husband, my little sister, my beautiful granddaughter, my uncle Bob, my cousin Bill, my cousin in-law Michael, my grand uncle Bud, my first cousin once-removed Faith, my first cousin twice-removed Courtney, my third cousin once-removed in-law Cindy, and my fourth cousins once-removed Spencer and Taylor.

My August-born ancestors are also in my thoughts:

Helen Irene ADAMS born 04 Aug 1919 married William Howard TOLF in Chicago Illinois. Their daughter is one of my favorite genealogists.

Lyman John CLARKE was born 01 Aug 1893 in Chicago Illinois and his aunt Zora E CLARKE was born in Washington County Maryland 19 Aug 1857. Their unique names help in the search for Clark/e ancestors and descendants.

My 4th great-grandmother Elizabeth GROSSE was born in Virming, Moselle, Lorraine, France 07 Aug 1781. She married François SCHMITT in 1804.

Although not yet documented other than the photo below, Christina GURY born 15 Aug 1821 in Altroff, Moselle, Lorraine, France became a nun. Her brother Jean Louis GURY was born 26 Aug 1819 also in Altroff.

Axel Fabian LANDSTROM was born in Norra Unnaryd, Jonkopings, Sweden 10 Aug 1874, the youngest of seven children who immigrated to Chicago Illinois with their parents Johan Peter LANDSTROM and Lisa Katarina PETERSDOTTER. Axel's older brother Carl Werner LANDSTROM was born 17 Aug 1863.

John Alfred LUND was born 13 Aug 1879 in Sweden. His wife Hannah Christina TOLF and her sister Ella Jubelina TOLF 21 Aug 1886 were born in the Swedish community of Batavia Illinois.

My grandfather Harold Clarke MUELLER was born 07 Aug 1908 in Chicago Illinois. He married Frances Lois MANGELS 22 Aug 1930.

Following the Swedish naming tradition, Jöns PERSSON born 23 Aug 1829 in Bjäresjö, Malmöhus, Sweden had a daughter named Bengta JÖNSDÖTTER. In America she would be known as Betty Johnson. Jöns' daughter created this priceless family treasure:

After my 3rd great-grandmother Margaret Jane SHARTZER died in 1867, Julia PETERS born 25 Aug 1827 married the widowed Charles W LITTRELL. She helped raise his children John Henry LITTRELL and Mary Ella LITTRELL.

Oscar F THOMPSON born in Chicago Illinois 12 Aug 1883 was the first American born child of Norwegian immigrant Peter THOMPSON and his Swedish immigrant wife Maria Fredrika PETERSDOTTER.

My 4th great-grandfather blacksmith Carl Jonas TOLF was born in Svenarum, Jönköping, Sweden 25 Aug 1795. He died at 38 leaving wife Maja Lisa LIDSTROM with seven small children, among them my 3rd great-grandfather Carl TOLF. Carl immigrated to Batavia Illinois in 1878. His August-born grandsons include Frank M TOLF 29 Aug 1884 and Leroy Harrison TOLF 10 Aug 1888. Owen Henry TOLF, a great-grandson, was born 03 Aug 1914.

On 21 Aug 1891 Swedish immigrants Carl Johan YOUNGBERG and Frida Katrina TOLF had their second child Myrtle Alvira YOUNGBERG. Myrtle's brother Lawrence Charles YOUNGBERG is one of the family mysteries I enjoy solving.