Monday, July 18, 2016

Monday Musings: Gravestone NOT always right

Happy Monday all. Another slow day at work, so I went to the library to use the microfilm to find a couple obituaries for a client. Low and behold, I find a funny article with the following title:

"Died in 1950" Sign Shocks Visitors to Wisconsin Cemetery

Okay so you're reading this thinking why is "died in 1950" so shocking? Well it helps to know the DATE of the article. I found this in my local Nebraska newspaper dated 21 November 1946 !! 
So apparently this man wanted to predict his death. So how well did he do?

Coming home, I check Findagrave and find this:

The contributor has noted the stone says 1950, but the cemetery records have 1958. I have sent corrections to this contributor.

Apparently Mr. John Aplin had quite the sense of humor, and he was right about one thing: "There probably won't be anyone to take care of it when I die, so I might just as well do it myself". 
So genealogists if you have a relative who thinks like John "It doesn't make any difference if it's a few years one way or the other", then you better make sure you have two or more sources for every event. With relatives like him, you'll need them! 

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

More on DNA

Genealogists are using DNA tests even more to find family and ethnicity. There are basically 3 big DNA testing companies; if there are others, I can't remember them. Ancestry (autosomal only), FamilyTreeDNA and 23AndMe are the three.
I have done an autosomal DNA test on and have blogged about those results here:
Now I have uploaded my raw DNA to FamilyTreeDNA and received their results.
Also I have ordered a maternal DNA test and am now waiting for those to be processed.

How does Ancestry compare to FamilyTreeDNA? Similar but not the same.

Ancestry DNA


Both agree I'm 100% European. Both agree I'm strongly Scandinavian. 
The percent of Scandinavian differ: Ancestry says 48% and FamilyTree says 60%. 
The percent of British Isles is the same: 27%. Ancestry just broke it up into Great Britian and Ireland. Therefore the other European results are different to balance out the Scandinavian difference. 

You might refer to my first blog post, but tracing my ancestors back doesn't agree with this. Denmark is my only Scandinavian, and it SHOULD be closer to 1/4 or 25%. I thought I was close to 50% German, and that hardly shows at all. 

I have research this a little and probably need to more, but what I've read seems like people moved and DNA carries down a bit differently, so there are some reasons for this. 
I also think these companies are working on refining their analysis of DNA with more results and improvements in the science. 

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Ancestor of a month: Edith A. Hanks Foster

Well time does fly by. So lately I sit down to TRY to blog about an ancestor, and then I think, I have pictures of them, where are they? So then an hour goes by as I look for the pictures and scan them if needed, and then back to my mommy duties and my blog doesn't get written.
So yes, I didn't put what month this ancestor is for because well, I'm SO much behind. In my spreadsheet, I have her down as my April ancestor, and yes it's the beginning of June.

Edith Adel Hanks was born December 31, 1875 in Beaver Dam, Dodge county, Wisconsin to Charles William "Carl" Hanks and Martha E. Fields.
By the 1880 census when Edith was 4, they are living in Madison County, Nebraska. They moved when she was 4 years old and her family took a homestead south of Tilden. Her father farmed, and she grew up with 1 brother and 3 sisters.
In 1892, her older sister Mable dies before she turns 20.
In 1900, the family is still living in Madison County, Nebraska.
On February 22, 1904 she marries Charles Alexander Foster in Tilden, Madison County, Nebraska. Charles was about 2 weeks older than Edith.
To this union four daughters were born: Berniece in June 1905, Mable in May 1908, Viola in April 1910 and Genestia in November 1912.
The first two daughters were born in Tilden, but in 1909 the family moves to Sidney, Cheyenne County, Nebraska where the last two daughters are born. They lived 3 miles south of Sidney until 1948 when they moved to a home on Osage Street in town.
Charles farmed for quite a while, and their daughters went to school. Mable and Viola became teachers and graduated as the top two in their class.
Edith Foster was a faithful member of the Methodist church for many years; she also was a charter member of the Helping Hand Club of the South Divide.
Then a rough time comes to the family in February and March 1951. Charles dies February 27, then her son-in-law dies about 2 weeks later, and then Edith passes away suddenly at her home Wednesday March 21, 1951. Services were held March 24, 1951 at First Methodist Church in Sidney with burial in Greenwood Cemetery.


Edith & Charles Foster about 1950

Along with these photos, I have Edith's obituary, marriage license, census records, and funeral card. Edith is my paternal great-grandmother.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Husband's Five Generation Place of Birth

These Five Generation Place of Birth charts are kind of neat. I did my husband's, and I ONLY needed 4 colors!! I also never left the USA!

Not very colorful I guess. 

Friday, March 25, 2016

Five Generation Places of Birth

I'm not sure who started this, but genealogists have been posting colorful five generation charts of the places of birth of themselves and their ancestors.
Since this was a quick project, I did mine and here it is:

So I bleed Nebraska red because I'm a fourth generation Nebraskan! GO BIG RED!

Friday, January 29, 2016

January Ancestor: Alfred Jorgensen

My January ancestor is my grandfather Alfred Jorgensen. I never met this grandfather of mine.

He was born Lars Alfred Jorgensen on 10 May 1899 in Minden, Kearney county, Nebraska to Jorgen Christian "Chris" and Inger Katrina "Katie" (Nelson) Jorgensen. They stayed there in Kearney county for a few years. By 1910 they moved to Cheyenne County, Nebraska farming near Sidney.
He was the oldest child, having 2 younger sisters. One of his sisters, Martha Jorgensen died in 1920 at about 18 years of age. His other sister was my great aunt, Anna, and she lived the longest of the three to the age of 90 years old. So Anna was the only one of the three that I met in person.

Alfred grew up helping on the family farm. He married Mable L. Foster on 6 March 1935 in Sidney, Cheyenne County, Nebraska.

This photo of their marriage license, wedding rings and wedding photo hangs in my house.

Alfred and Mable were the parents of 3 boys: my father (who is deceased) and my two uncles (who are still living). Alfred was a farmer, farming for years until his death. He passed away in Denver, Colorado on March 10, 1951 at the age of 51. I realize I don't know much else about this grandfather. I should ask my uncles or look for an obituary.

For documentation about this grandfather, I have a marriage license, federal census for 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930 and 1940, and a cemetery photo. My mother has a death certificate which eventually I will get after a while. I should take a trip to Sidney (which isn't that far for me, across the state) for genealogy and visit several graves in person and look up an obituary and land records. I also have a few photos of him, the wedding one, one as a child with his family, a baby photo, and the one that I remember Grandma always having standing on her dresser.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Year in Review 2015

Happy New Year! Well it's a good time to take a look at what I have done, and make plans for what more I need to do in genealogy. I ALWAYS bite off more than I can chew, meaning I always plan for more than I can get done. But I also make progress, which is the main thing.
I have found putting my goals in 3 categories is helpful: professional goals, personal goals and volunteer goals. It seems as though my personal goals are always the least done and the last done. Putting others before myself, but I did spend many years, at least 5, tracing my own genealogy most of the time, so perhaps it's just time to give back.

1. Attend at least 20 sessions of #genchat this year.
            I think I attended about 17 so I did well.
2. Do 2 webinars or videos for genealogy education
           I did one, so half.
3. Go to 2 genealogy conferences this year.
            I did go to two, one 2-day state conference and a 1-day.
4. Blog twice a month or 24 times in a year.
            Well I think I can count a blog that was about me on geneabloggers where I had to answer questions. I mean I mostly wrote it. So adding that one gets me to 18 posts for a year. Close again. I would've made it to 20 after completing my December ancestor and this post (which should be a December one).
5. Continue family research and scanning for clients.
            I made progress on both of these, but I for sure have more scanning to do and may have more research on that project.

1. Update the cemetery directory
            I did this in May, and further added a correction in August.
2. Continue adding photos in Findagrave and taking photos in county cemeteries.
            Progress made, added photos for about 4 blocks of gravestones. Nearly done photographing another.
3. Continue scanning marriage index, and transcribing it and put online.
             Scanned several more letters, and nearly have surname B finished transcribing.
4. Continue regular updates of GenWeb site.
             I think I updated it once, so failed on this one.

1. Do timelines for 12 ancestors (the ones I write about monthly)
            I think I did 2 so I need to do better here too.
2. Continue regular/quarterly backups
             I did a couple backups to my external hard drive and a little to Dropbox. I am thinking of looking for another source for backups, that would go automatically.
3. Finish husband's Mayflower application and do DAR application for me.
            Not sure I made any progress here, none that I can recall or marked down.
4. Continue working on my Ancestry To Do list.
            Progress made. I need to improve this goal as it is general and not real easy to measure.

I think that's about it. So next to think about 2016, what comes next.