Friday, March 28, 2014

March ancestor: Anke "Anna" Margaretha Wessels/Wessenhoff Michels

This month's ancestor is from my mom's side. Anke Margaretha Wessels (or Wessenhoff) was born April 27, 1845 in Germany. I have she was born in Spekendorf, Germany, looking at a map that looks to be in northern Germany:

I have that she married Johann (John) Michels in Middels, Germany on August 27, 1864. It looks like now this is called Middels-Westerloog and is a ways south of Spekendorf.


John and Anna Michels had 8 children: Martin (1864), Charlotta (1867), Gerd (1870), John Harm (1875), Mary A. (1877), George Fredrich (1880), Anna (1883) and Minnie (1887). Minnie was the only one born in Nebraska; all the others were born in Germany. So the Michels family immigrated from Germany to the United States in 1886 (according to the 1920 and 1930 census for some of the children). They must have settled in Nebraska fairly quickly as Minnie Michels was born in Nebraska (probably Jefferson county) in March 1887. They lived in Jefferson County, Nebraska on a farm near Fairbury until about 1895. Then they moved with Martin and their younger children George, Anna and Minnie to Orleans, Harlan county, Nebraska. In the 1910 census John and Anna Michels were living in Harlan county, Nebraska with their oldest son Martin for whom I've never found a record of marriage. In 1910 John was listed as a retired farmer and Martin a farmer. Anna Michels passes away at her home from a complication due to the flu in Orleans, Harlan county, Nebraska on Saturday January 27, 1917. She was buried at Pleasant Hill Cemetery northwest of Fairbury, Jefferson county, Nebraska.


Now you may wonder how I "know" or think I know all this. I have found Anna Michels in the 1910 census (as mentioned above); I also have her death certificate and a gravestone photo (above). I also have scans of pages documented by a distant relative that lists the children, and they are found in later censuses. I thought I had her obituary but I need to double check. I have record of a death notice from the Fairbury Journal in 1917 so that may be the only obituary I have found. I would like to find their immigration records, what ship did they come on and what port did they enter. Most immigration information has been digitized so hopefully it won't be hard to find. I also would like to find this family in the 1900 census as some of them seem to be missing; most of them should be in Harlan county then.

I do have more information on their children. Please feel free to contact me if you are interested in more information.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Happy Birthday Girl Scouts

Okay, I know. I'm one day late. Yesterday was busy so I didn't get this blog post written then. Happy Birthday to the Girl Scouts. March is also Women's History month, so that's another good reason to blog about the Girl Scouts. Juliette "Daisy" Gordon Low assembled 12 girls as the first girl scout meeting on March 12, 1912. (credit to the Girl Scout site for this info) Now 102 years later we are still enjoying their cookies and girl scouts number over 3 million in this country.

Were you a girl scout (or boy scout)? I was. In fact I have a (bad) photo of me when I was in Girl Scouts, at a Girl Scout camp, eating.

UGG...Isn't that the worst? Awkward preteen years, eating and at camp.

So what I remember from Girl Scouts: It was a great time to meet friends and learn new skills. There were badges for different skills: camping, babysitting, cooking, etc. And yes, I sold cookies. But apparently not how they sell them now. I went door-to-door all over town, with my pamphlet with the pictures of the cookies in the cold (about February). People wrote down how many they wanted of each kind, their name and address. About a month later, the cookies arrived to the local cookie chairperson (one year this was my mom, so a truckload of cookies arrived at our house for the whole town). Each Girl Scout picked up her cookies from the cookie chairperson and delivered them and collected money to the people that ordered them. I remember them costing around $2 per box. My favorite were the sugar cookies, when they actually had SUGAR on them. They went to shortbread cookies with less sugar. My second favorite were the mint, thankfully they haven't changed that one. Did you know there is more than one cookie bakery for the Girl Scouts? There looks like two now, Little Brownie Bakers and another one.

I remember several Girl Scout camps; most of them my mom was also along for one reason or another. She helped with Girl Scouts for years when I was involved. We slept in a tent in our sleeping bags, used toilets that didn't flush, and had fun. It was a bit of "roughing it" for the early 1980's. Some Girl Scout retreats were held inside a big auditorium or gym on a weekend, and we'd sleep in sleeping bags on the floor. The adults would have cots instead of just the floor, which is good as if I am a Girl Scout sponsor when my daughter is old enough I will want the cot. There were less rules then; squeeze 5 girls on a bench seat in the back of the car, and no one mentioned it not being safe. If everyone fit, we went.

I truly believe Girl Scouts helped girls to learn important things like managing money, being responsible, as well as cooking, changing a diaper, sewing, crafts, etc. I hope they are continuing to teach these things that girls should learn.

Feel free to comment about your Girl Scout experience below. Perhaps there is something I forgot to mention.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Anna Marie (Olsen) Jorgensen

I'm trying to keep up with my 12 Ancestors this year, one per month. So this month of February I am focusing on my 2nd great-grandmother, Anna Marie (Olsen) Jorgensen.

Information I have: Anna Marie Olsen was born in Fyn, Denmark 7 Feb 1842. I don't think I have any official record to prove this but this is what I have. She married Lars Jorgensen in Denmark 23 Feb 1871, and again I don't have a marriage record. Shortly after they were married, they immigrated to the United States from Denmark. I need to find an immigration record, but according to the 1880 census they immigrated about 1871. I'm not sure where they immigrated to, but in 1873 they had twin boys in Omaha, Nebraska. By 1878 they had moved to Kearney county, Nebraska becoming early settlers in the state. Anna became the mother of 6 boys, two of whom preceded her in death. Andre/Andrew Jorgensen died at about the age of 15, and Rasmus Jorgensen died at the age of 3. Not to be confused, shortly after the first little toddler Rasmus died, then they had another son and named him Rasmus. Rasmus K. Jorgensen lived to be an adult, married and had a few kids. So their 6 sons are Andre/Andrew Jorgensen, Jorgen Christian "Chris" Jorgensen, Rasmus Jorgensen, Ole P. Jorgensen, Rasmus K. Jorgensen, and Hans Samuel Jorgensen. I descend from their son "Chris".
Anna passed away in 1906 at about the age of 64 in Kearney county, Nebraska. She is buried in Fredricksburg Cemetery in Kearney county, Nebraska. The state of Nebraska did not locate a death certificate for her when I requested one, but she does have a gravestone.

So for sources, I have found her in the 1880 census and have a gravestone photo from the cemetery.
Sources I need to look for include the 1900 census, an obituary, and possible records in Denmark (birth or baptism and marriage). I would like to find a more definite date of death for her than just the year.
Anna Jorgensen's gravestone, 1842-1906 is very small under her name

Would like to know more about 2nd great-grandma Anna and her early life. I'm sure being a homesteader in Nebraska was not an easy life. Her husband farmed and was a pastor; he went on to marry 2 more women after she passed. I don't know who Anna's parents were either, as Danish records are not easy for me. 

Please contact me if you have additional information on this family. This is my dad's ancestor; my maiden name is Jorgensen. Thanks for reading. 

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Katie (Dacy) Regnier 1878-1949

Some people are doing 52 Ancestors, blogging about 1 ancestor per week for this year. Well that seemed like a bit much to me to jump right into, so I am trying 12 ancestors this year (one per month). Plus I didn't hear about the 52 Ancestors until January 10 so I was already a week or two behind. Anyway, one per month for this year 2014. Maybe next year I can do 2 per month, or one per week. We will see.

For January, I picked my great-grandmother Katie (Dacy) Regnier
This picture I have labeled Katie Dacy, Cornelius Dacy and Lucy Dacy. Lucy was her mother and Cornelius "Con" was her brother. So she would've been young in this photo as her parents died when she was young. I'm guessing this was taken around 1890, soon before her mother passed away.

This is what I know (have) on Katie. She was born Katherine Dacy to James and Lucy Bridget (Crahan) Dacy on 7 April 1878 supposedly in St. Louis, Missouri. I don't know much about her early life, other than they moved to Oklahoma at one point. Her father James supposedly worked on the railroad so I think they moved west quite a bit. She was the second youngest of about 7-9 children. Her father James died in 1891 in New Mexico, and her mother a year earlier in 1890. So she would've been 12-13 years old when her parents died. Family members say she was then taken into an orphanage until she was of age, and then her siblings arranged a homestead for her. She had an aunt who was possibly a nun, so I wonder if she was in an orphanage where her aunt worked. So I would like to know more about her early life, find some records that would support these stories.

Then in June 1903 she married Roy Regnier in Springfield, Colorado. I believe this is their wedding photo:

They lived near Springfield, Colorado for more than 20 years, until 1926, when they moved to Fairbury, Nebraska. They had nine children, 2 of whom died as infants, one who died as a teenager, and the other 6 lived many, many, many years. Most of those 6 lived well into their 90s, the youngest (Juanita Regnier) just passing away this month. The oldest of the 6 was Paul Regnier who lived to be 98 years old. She raised her family, and she passed away in 1949 in Fairbury, Nebraska. 

So reviewing what I have for documents about her, I have her obituary, death certificate, cemetery photo, and have found her in the following Federal censuses: 1920, 1930, 1940 and possibly 1900. I also have a few photos of her, the two I included here plus a family photo and a photo of about graduation age. So what I would like to find is her baptism certificate (as I don't think a birth certificate will exist), marriage license and any school or orphanage records. 

Killing 2 birds with one stone with this post, for #genchat we were supposed to review a document we have to see if we could find anything "new". So I am choosing to review Katie's obituary which I have read and transcribed previously. I'm not sure that I find anything "new", but it does help lead me to places to look for documents. The obituary says they were married in Springfield, Colorado so I need to look there for a marriage license. The obituary says she lived in Kenton, Oklahoma as a child so I should try there for school records. I could also try tracing her siblings, and working with a couple known Dacy relatives I have. 

Rest in peace great grandmother. Please contact me if you are related, or if you are able to help with finding those early documents. Thanks for reading. 

Friday, January 10, 2014

Why to join us on #genchat ???

Disclaimer: I was asked to give a little testimonial about #genchat which is two Fridays a month at 9 pm Central on Twitter. Find the schedule at Conference Keeper http://www.conferencekeeper.net/genchat-2014.html
I am receiving NO monetary rewards for this, or any gifts of any sort. Probably just receiving some virtual love and thanks.

Reasons to join us for #genchat:

1. EDUCATION: Learn tips about genealogy, from web sites to sources, writing tips, etc. And sometimes just get reminded about stuff you knew but forgot. Like using Family History Centers, and the BCG Standards were just two topics I learned about from #genchat.

2. FUN: We are a fun bunch of guys and gals. We have a virtual bartender @leprchaunrabbit who serves up virtual drinks. We laugh at funny genealogy things. We have great hosts @confkeep and @ancestryjourney and sometimes guest hosts.

3. MEET NEW FRIENDS: I can't tell you how many wonderful genealogy friends I have met through #genchat. It's nice to have virtual genealogy friends who understand how excited you are when you find a new ancestor, or find that the library and cemetery are RIGHT NEXT to each other. Sometimes other people just don't understand us.

4. TIME: Can you spare an hour? It lasts usually just an hour, and you can stop at any time. If you miss a chat, it is published on Storify usually the next day. Some of us hang around after to chat more.

5. NO DRESS CODE: You can come in your pajamas! As long as we aren't video chatting, wear what you want.

Remember to follow the people mentioned above on Twitter, and follow me @SparrowBeth73

So I think that's it. Come join us for #genchat on Fridays to learn more and have fun with your genealogy friends. Remember to check the schedule above! See you tonight!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Genealogy goals for 2014

Can you believe it is 2014? I can't. Had trouble typing the right year.
So it is time to make goals for a new year.

PERSONAL GOALS
1. Finish husband's Mayflower application.
2. Go to Family History Center to research.
3. Continue working on my lines as noted in my Ancestry.com notes
4. Continue doing regular backups.

PROFESSIONAL GOALS
1. Continue attending #genchat on Twitter. I learn and get reminded of so much during these times.
2. Do one webinar or video for genealogy education.
3. Go to 2 genealogy conferences, Nebraska state and one other.
4. Blog twice a month or 24 times for the year.

VOLUNTEER GOALS
1. Finish cemetery directory at local cemetery where i am on the board by March having up at cemetery by April 15 (weather permitting).
2. Finish photographing Shelby cemeteries and possibly start another. Finish adding photos online on Findagrave to Osceola cemetery.
3. Start indexing marriages in Polk county and put online.
4. Update and maintain Polk county GenWeb web site.

That's all for me. Stay tuned to see how i do.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Pilgrims and the Mayflower

Have you heard that Pilgrims wore buckles on their hats and wore black and white clothing?
Not true.
Have you heard they ate the same thing for Thanksgiving that we do?
Not true.
Have you heard ALL the people on the Mayflower were Puritans or Quakers and quite religious?
Not true, most but not all were.

I am the descendant of 11 Mayflower passengers from 6 distinct families. My husband descends from 1 Mayflower passenger (a different one than mine). I have studied some of my Mayflower ancestors and what they endured. I am thankful for their trials as it was not easy. So I am going to focus on one of the more famous, Myles Standish.

I have to say it was funny how I found out I was a descendant of Myles Standish. One Sunday afternoon, I was browsing the internet researching my family, and I came on this family tree that just kept going back. So I printed out some information and then it was time for my genealogy meeting. We all share what we had found, and I said I just found a lot of ancestors going back on this tree. My friend was looking and said "You descend from MYLES STANDISH!" I said "yes, so what?" I had NO CLUE who he was. She did know who he was. Later I found out he is in the DICTIONARY! That shocked me, as surely only famous people are in the dictionary.

Myles Standish was captain of the Mayflower. He and his wife Rose came over with the group, although Rose did not live long after the boat arrived. Rose died in the first winter after they arrived. A couple years later, when another ship was arriving, a woman named Barbara was on board and she married Captain Myles Standish.
Myles was in charge of the explorations for the colony. He often was in charge of getting supplies, hunting for food, and relations with the Indians. Captain Myles not only served the colony in the capacity of military captain; he also took an active role in the government itself. He served as assistant to the governor, treasurer and served in all the councils where war was involved.
I do not think Myles was involved in the religion of the Pilgrims, although he wasn't opposed to it either. Myles was close to their church and community, and he was hired as he was cheaper than John Smith and more sympathetic to their religious views than the experienced Captain Smith.
Myles and Barbara Standish had several children. His wife and 4 sons were left to mourn his death, and a daughter and daughter-in-law preceded him in death.

Thanks to Captain Myles and all the Pilgrims of the Mayflower for their hard life so that we may enjoy Thanksgiving each year!
If you wish to know more about the Pilgrims and the Mayflower, I recommend Caleb H. Johnson's work "The Mayflower and her Passengers" as well as his web site. Also The Mayflower Society prints books that list the descendants of each passenger through about 5 generations. I have the Myles Standish volume.
Hopefully I can focus on another passenger later this month.