Monday, January 1, 2018

Review of 2017

The first day of the year.... Our thoughts turn to reviewing the last year and planning for next year.

Genealogy wise I try to separate into 3 sections: personal, professional and volunteer. I admit I never put concrete goals down (on paper or computer) this year. Seriously I have a spreadsheet titled 2017 genealogy goals but it has these three titles on it and that's it. Blank! But I still made some progress.

1. I made progress on my DAR application. I got accepted into a chapter pending approval of my application. I filled out an application and got one more record. So I need to review what else I need to submit my application.
2. Thanks to a new genealogy friend, I made progress on my Danish line.
3. Thanks to two of my cousins for doing a DNA test which may have been helpful or at least interesting.

1. Mainly I spent quite a bit of time this fall contacting churches for digitization of their records and driving there for Arkiv Digital. This was a big project but mostly temporary  although there is a little left to do.
2. I applied for a scholarship for a genealogy training (SLIG, GRIP or DC). My first time applying so wish me luck.
3. I attended several of my APG meetings (mostly virtually), as well as a few genealogy Twitter chats (#genchat). I attended one conference (see below).
3. Also I had several clients this year and think I was successful in helping them. Also I  helped track down my boss's classmate so they could visit when heading that way, although maybe that was volunteer. Lol

1. I added a ton of photos and a good number of memorials on Findagrave, specifically over 2300 gravestone photos and over 500 memorials. That brings my totals to 9000 memorials and 16,830 photos.
2. I coordinated a large conference for NSGS with D. Joshua Taylor as featured speaker. It was a successful conference with our largest attendance ever, even if we didn't quite make a profit on it.
3. I updated the local cemetery directory, and tried to keep the county GenWeb site maintained.
4. I also made progress indexing marriages.

That's all I can think of for now. Hopefully 2018 is another productive genealogy year.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Pros and Cons on the "new" Findagrave

Any of you who know me well know that I am an AVID cemetery photographer, and probably know my favorite web site for this is Findagrave.
So how long do you think I've been a member?
Pretty much as long as I've been doing genealogy, over 15 years. That's a long time to use a web site, and I use it regularly. I have contributed an average of over 1000 photos per year, or 3 per day.
Then lately, they decided to TOTALLY change their site, and its design. Now there have been updates over the last 15 years, but generally their design has stayed the same. So it wasn't that hard to get used to those.
I didn't think I was "old dog" who couldn't learn new tricks but for some reason I have been resistant to try this out. Well in the last month or so, it pretty much looked like I didn't have a choice.

Also please refer to their statement here as to the changes:

1. Findagrave says it's better for phones and tablets.
   I rarely use it on my phone or tablet, but I agree it does work well on my phone. No need to zoom in to read the type which before was quite small.
2. It's faster.
I have found it loading quicker, hopefully this continues.
3. Easier to send edits
Instead of 5-7 choices to send edits, there is one page to make all the edits and then click save. No need to send relationship links in one edit, and then edits to dates in another. Do it all in one. Thanks Findagrave. I am liking this one.
4. More photos allowed.
This is a pro as sometimes a contributor would put 5 family photos on, not leaving any space for a gravestone photo or vice versa.
Now there is a limit per contributor

1. You have to accept edits one at a time. This is more time consuming than it used to be. Used to be able to set up to 25 edits to accept (or reject or ignore) and then process them.
2. You have to claim a photo request in order to report a problem on it. My questions is Why (did Findagrave do this)? It seems like an extra step that is unnecessary.

That's all I can think of for now. Feel free to leave a comment if you can think of other Pros or Cons to the new format. Please no other comments about Findagrave and specific people (like the complaint I often see about posting memorials RIGHT after someone dies). I'm just talking about the format changes.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Cousin's DNA

Ancestry DNA had a good sale a while back, so I asked a few of my cousins if they would take a DNA test. About 5 people agreed, but I was only paying for two. Not a whole lot of surprises by their DNA, but it's interesting. So I did a comparison:

Beth (my) DNA:
Jeremy DNA:
Tricia DNA:

Okay we are all three first cousins. Tricia's Mom, my Mom, and Jeremy's Dad are all siblings.
We are all 100% European, no surprise. Our top 4 are virtually all the same. However the percentages vary, which is to be expected. Percentages can even vary between siblings. Also even though we are ALL Scandinavian, there is no Scandinavian in our common heritage. Jeremy's Mom and my Dad have Danish ancestors, so pretty sure that's our Scandinavian. With Tricia's maiden name, her Dad surely has Swedish ancestors (or possibly Norwegian).
Our common countries should be Ireland, Germany, France and England. So the Europe West could be Germany and France. We all have Irish, and all close to the same percentage 17-23%. The Irish is from our great-grandmother (our grandmother's mother was pretty much 100% Irish). We also all have a tiny bit of Iberian Peninsula, which I'm thinking could be related to our French ancestors. I haven't found any Spanish or Portuguese, so maybe our French were further south.
Some things stand out. Jeremy is the only one with Finland/Northwest Russia which must be from his Mom. Maybe her Danes dabbled in Finland. Tricia is the only one with European Jewish which must be from her Dad's side. Tricia and I have Italy/Greece but not Jeremy, and I have not found any Italian or Greek ancestors yet, but notice my percentage is tiny.
Anyway, this was all very interesting to me. Feel free to leave any comments below or on social media.

Friday, May 19, 2017

May Ancestor: Harry Seggerman

Sorry to my faithful readers that it's been a while. I've just been busy.

Did my fellow genealogists know that NSGS (Nebraska State Genealogy Society) offers family recognition certificates? So if your family settled in Nebraska AT LEAST 100 years ago, you could apply for one of these! And in 2017 the certificates are special with the Nebraska 150 logo, and the 40th anniversary logo of NSGS. This year I hope to do that for 2 of my ancestors, one a pioneer family and one a century family. Go here for more information.

For my pioneer family, I plan to apply with Lars Jorgensen. I have already blogged about him here

For my century family, I plan to apply with Harry Seggerman.

Harry was born the 9th of October 1881 to Johann Heinrich (John Henry) and Mary (Junker) Seggerman in Minonk, Woodford County, Illinois. Harry was the sixth of nine children born to J. H. and Mary Seggerman. Some time between 1889 and 1894 the Seggerman family moved from Illinois to Jefferson County, Nebraska. Here is where the 1890 census would help determine that. I have evidence that their youngest daughter was born in 1889 in Illinois, and Mary passed away in 1894 in Jefferson County, Nebraska. So Harry spends much of his youth growing up in Illinois, and then around the age of 10 moves with his family to Nebraska.

On April 7, 1904 Harry marries Anna Michels in Jefferson County, Nebraska. This union is blessed with 3 children: Henry, and then twins Lester and Esther. Harry is a farmer in Jefferson County, Nebraska for his entire married life. Harry passes away February 18, 1942 at the age of 60 years and about 4 months in Fairbury, Jefferson County, Nebraska. He is laid to rest on February 20 in the cemetery where his father and several siblings are buried, the Pleasant Hill Cemetery just west of Fairbury. He is survived by his wife, 2 sons and one daughter, two brothers and three sisters.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Advertisement: NSGS Conference 2017

Readers beware,
This is basically a promotional post. I am the conference coordinator for NSGS.

Solve Family History Mysteries with
PBS Genealogy Roadshow’s D. Joshua Taylor

D. Joshua Taylor, president of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, will be the keynote speaker at the Nebraska State Genealogical Society (NSGS) conference April 28-29, 2017 at the Cornhusker Marriott Hotel, Lincoln, NE. 
Nationally and internationally known, Mr. Taylor has been featured on the PBS TV multi-season series Genealogy Roadshow.  He is past president of the Federation of Genealogical Societies.
In addition to Mr. Taylor, the two-day event also includes additional speakers and sessions for genealogists, historians, librarians, and archivists.  
“I am pleased to announce Mr. Taylor as our speaker for this event.  The conference will honor both the 150th anniversary of Nebraska statehood and the 40th anniversary of the NSGS.  Participants will discover many new ideas, research strategies and trends they can apply to their family history research,” said Rosalee Swartz, NSGS president.
Conference Highlights
·         Conference Sessions: A wide variety of genealogy-related lectures for all experience levels. Attendees will be able to learn tips for researching their ancestors, using the internet, DNA, Nebraska resources and more. Pre and Post Conference research activities available.
·         Vendor Exhibits: Includes genealogical products and genealogical organizations.
·         Single Day (Friday or Saturday Only) Registration with Luncheon: NSGS Members $60, Nonmembers $70.
·         2-Day Conference with two luncheons: NSGS Member $109, Nonmember $119.
·         Friday Evening Banquet and Program: Featuring Dr. Sara Crook, chair Nebraska Sesquicentennial Commission “Celebrating Nebraska’s Sesquicentennial” $30.
About the Nebraska State Genealogical Society (NSGS)
The Nebraska State Genealogical Society (NSGS) was founded 40 years ago in 1977.  It represents members across Nebraska and the country. NSGS connects the state-wide genealogical community through resources, programs, on-line links, and its quarterly publication Ancestree and newsletter NewBrassKey.
Learn More about NSGS, the 2017 Spring Conference and Stay Connected
·         Visit the conference web page at
·         Questions contact NSGS conference coordinator at or 402-764-2026.

·         Twitter: @NebrStGenealogy and Facebook group: Nebraska State Genealogical Society

Monday, January 2, 2017

Review of 2016

Well a bit late, but the holidays are busy as usual.
Time to review my goals from 2016:

1. I attended about 14 sessions of genchat this year. (pretty much met goal, which was 16)
2. Do 2 webinars or videos, I did one
3. Go to 2 genealogy conferences, I went to one (didn't find another close by that interested me)
4. Blog twice a month or 24 times
   I blogged 9 times, and have 2 drafts in progress, so close to half
5. Work on projects for clients
    Progress made

1. Update the local cemetery directory
    Done in May before Memorial day
2. Continue adding photos on Findagrave for cemeteries
    This one wasn't very measurable but I finished the ones I wanted to do, plus did others
3. Continue indexing marriage records and put online
    Made progress, got through some quick letters (Q, U, V) and helped do a little with FamilySearch indexing.
4. Continue quarterly updates of my GenWeb site
   I did some updates, particularly when I added the above marriage records, but probably not quarterly

1. Do timelines for 12 ancestors
   Not even sure if I got one done
2. Continue regular quarterly backups
  I did a backup in the 3rd quarter, so need to do this more
3. Finish husband's Mayflower application
  Progress made, but need to do more
4. Do my DAR application
  Progress made, working on getting records so I can submit soon
5. Continue working on my research To Do List
   This is also not very measurable but some progress was made.

I seem to be much better at the first two categories than the last. Always putting others first, I guess. But I've been focusing on my own for the first 10 years or so, so these last 4 1/2 I can focus on others.
I don't think I did too bad, but always room for improvement. Well I have things to carry over for next year....well this year now. I also need new ideas, so if you have different goals than mine, let me know. It's always good to share ideas.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

November Ancestor: Jane Kirkpatrick Foster

This month I am writing about one of my ancestors from my dad's side, Jane P. Kirkpatrick Foster, my 3rd great-grandmother.
Jane was born May 19, 1824 in Decatur, Brown County, Ohio to John Kirkpatrick and Margaret Campbell. She was the 8th of 11 children. One of the 11 died as an infant and another passed away as a young adult. Still I am sure I should have many cousins from this line.
As far as I can tell, Jane spent her whole life in Brown county and Adams county, Ohio. They are located in southern Ohio, next to the Ohio river and the state of Kentucky.
She was married in 1847 in Ohio (probably Adams or Brown county) to William Foster. I have yet to find a record for this, so it could've been in Kentucky also. They don't appear in the indexes for either state at this point.
They settle in Adams county, Ohio and become the parents of 7 children: Hiram Irving Foster (born 1848), Nathan Miller Foster (1850), Mary Margaret Foster (1853), Elizabeth Louisa Foster (1857), Alexander Douglas Foster (1860), Martha Ann Foster (1862) and Sarah E. Foster (1864). She continues to raise her family in Adams County, Ohio at least until the 1880s. Jane loses her husband to death in 1893, so then presumably goes to live with a daughter. As I find her in the 1900 census living in Adams County with Andrew and Sarah E. Hile. Sarah is (of course) her youngest daughter.
Then on May 31, 1903 Jane passes away at the age of 79 in Adams County, Ohio.
Jane is buried with her husband William Foster in Hopewell Cemetery in Adams County, Ohio.

Thanks to Findagrave contributor Beverly Lovejoy for this photo. 

I have a bit more I need to do on these two. I have found them in all the US Federal censuses from 1850-1880, and I have found her in 1900. Then we have the gravestone photo, and that is all the documentation I have found. There should be a marriage license, but it could take several inquiries to find it. There may be death records, so I should inquire for those too. But there is only so much money for genealogy, and so much time, so sometimes some ancestors get put on the back burner.