Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Dorothy Jorgensen: a sad story of a young lady

Well I feel compelled to blog about this lady, who is a relative of mine. After you read this story, you will probably understand why. She is my first cousin, 2 times removed. So her grandfather is my 2nd great grandfather.

Dorothy Maxine Jorgensen was born in Nebraska to Rasmus K. Jorgensen and Frederica Anderson on September 3, 1919. In 1920 her family was living at 1816 5th Avenue in Kearney, Buffalo county, Nebraska. She had 4 older sisters and 1 older brother. Her father dies when she is a young girl, in 1924. In 1928 her mother Fredericka remarries to George Kroeger. I cannot find them in the 1930 census. Probably I'll find them after I post this.

At any rate, in 1938 Dorothy is living in San Francisco, California with her sister and near her mother and stepfather. She is engaged to be married at the age of 18. She is a beauty queen, being selected as the queen of the 8th annual fiesta of the Eureka Valley Citizen's Association.

On June 22, 1938 Dorothy is walking from her and her sister's house and is struck by a car, driven by Melvin Gaston. Police said it was a hit-and-run, and the driver was SO intoxicated he could scarcely stand or talk. (So what the heck was he doing driving a car?!) Miss Jorgensen was crossing an intersection when his car struck her; she was knocked 40 feet through the air. She was literally knocked out of her shoes, as they were found 25 feet from her unconscious body. The driver sped away, BUT there was a witness. Mr. K. A. Heime was driving the car behind Gaston's and saw the whole thing. He then followed Gaston, stopping briefly at a gas station to yell to an attendant to call the police. Gaston's car was parked in front of his house; Hieme identified him to police who took him into custody.

Miss Jorgensen was taken to Park Emergency Hospital where she suffered a fractured skull, internal injuries and other hurts. She died a few hours after she was admitted. The record of the funeral home shows her cause of death as shock and hemorrhage from following depressed fracture of the skull. She was buried at Cypress Lawn Memorial Park cemetery, in Colma, San Mateo county, California. You can see her Findagrave memorial here:

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=Jorgensen&GSfn=Dorothy&GSbyrel=all&GSdyrel=all&GSst=6&GScntry=4&GSob=n&GRid=87747734&df=all&


She left many to mourn her death: her fiance Harold Bush, her sister Judith (June?) Lewis with whom she lived, her mother Frederica (Anderson) Jorgensen Kroeger and stepfather George Kroeger, She also left a brother, Arnold Jorgensen, and 3 more sisters Alta, Aleta, and Gladys.

I found most of this story in the San Francisco Chronicle, Thursday June 23, 1938 page 5 which I found thanks to genealogybank.com. If I could I would thank Mr. K. A. Heime for his efforts to bring justice, and give a hearty talking-to to Mr. Gaston about the dangers of driving drunk.

Rest in peace Dorothy, and I hope justice was served.



Friday, March 20, 2015

Nebraska State Genealogy Conference

Warning: This may read like an advertisement.

Pack a bag, grab a pen and your tablet or smart phone, and join us in Grand Island, Nebraska on April 24-25, 2015 for a great genealogy conference! The Nebraska State Genealogical Society is hosting its annual conference featuring national speaker and author, George G. Morgan. George is from Aha Seminars, and you may have heard him on The Genealogy Guys Podcast.

George will give 3 presentations on Friday and 2 on Saturday. Topics include maps, newspapers, obituaries, the agricultural census schedules, and one more! We are honored and excited to have him.

Other presentations include a forum on genealogy programs, a forum on genealogy societies, and a presentation about how to engage the younger generation. Plus we have 3 evening activities planned, so attendees may choose one of the following: beginning genealogy, "Tools on the Farm" which will be an entertaining presentation given by Stuhr Museum staff, or a trip to the Edith Abbott library where attendees can see what holdings are offered and have some time to research or just talk and connect with other genealogists.

This should be a great conference in central Nebraska. So now I know you're wondering "How do I get registered?" Well you can go to our new and improved web site www.nsgs.org. At the left click on "Annual Conference" Then under that is listed the Conference Registration page. Want to join the Nebraska State Genealogy Society? You can do that at the same time!

Oh did I mention there will be door prizes and vendors?! We have some great door prizes lined up, including a free genealogy program, free access to a genealogy web site for a few months, a book, t-shirt, and more! Do I have to take all this home with me? Register now!

Disclaimer: I am the conference coordinator for this conference, and for the Nebraska State Genealogy Society. I am not being paid to put this on my blog, but because of my position, am using it. So by the same token, if you have questions, you know who to contact (me). So leave a comment or send me a message.


Sunday, March 15, 2015

Ancestor of the Month, February: Johann "John" Michels

We're over halfway through February, and it's my day off work so maybe I should work on my ancestor of the month. Happy Birthday to my ancestor Johann "John" Michels, as he was born in February. Okay well I started this post in February, but then I got distracted. So here it is middle of March, and I should finish it.

Johann "John" Michels was born in Spekendorf, Germany on 3 February 1842. I have his parents as Marten Michels and Altjen Janssen Saathoff. Now I have not been to Germany (but I would LOVE to go), so I am not sure of this information. I have this information thanks to some distant cousins.
I don't know much more about his childhood, so the next information I have is his marriage.
On 27 August 1864 at the age of 22, he marries Anke Margaretha "Anna" Wessels in Middels, Germany. They become the parents of 8 children, 7 of them born in Germany.

In 1886 John and Anna and some of their children immigrate from Germany to the United States. In 1900 they are living in Harlan county, Nebraska indexed as Mitchell instead of Michels with 5 of their kids. In 1910 they are still in Harlan county, just living with one son Martin. In 1920 John is widowed as his wife passed in 1917, so he is living with his daughter and her family in Jefferson county, Nebraska. John then passes away February 3, 1925 in Fairbury, Jefferson county, Nebraska. He is laid to rest beside his wife in the Pleasant Hill Cemetery just northwest of Fairbury.

The one picture I have of him looks A LOT like my grandfather.

John Michels


This is my grandparents, Pamelia & Lester Seggerman. So you can compare Lester on the right, with his maternal grandfather above. I think they look quite a bit alike. How about you?

I have a cemetery photo for John Michels, and I have found him in the 1900, 1910 and 1920 censuses as I previously stated. Early information is hard for me to find since I live in the USA and that information would probably be found in Germany.



Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Facebook and other Technology Tips

Tuesday's Technology Tips
Although it kind of feels like Monday because we had a lot of snow so the kids around here didn't have school yesterday.
Do you get sick of people posting "following" on a Facebook post? Or so many people saying "thanks for adding me" giving the 1000 people in the group notifications. Yeah me too. So here are some tips for Facebook and maybe a few other tech tips.

1. You don't have to type "following" on a Facebook post you want to follow. There is a little arrow up at the top by the post, click on it, and select "turn on notifications".

2. By the same token, did you comment on something to be helpful but don't want to receive more notifications. Use that arrow to turn off notifications.

3. Did someone post an ad for UGG boots or sunglasses in your genealogy Facebook group? Use that same arrow to "report to admin". The admin should then remove the post, and maybe the spammer.

4. Is a web site down? You don't have to ask all your Facebook friends or Twitter friends. There's a web site for that!! It has such a clever name: http://www.isitdownrightnow.com/
That's right! Is It Down Right Now dot com will tell you if it's the site or just you.

5. Okay no easy tip for this one, just don't do it. I know you're being polite, but the other 1000 people in the group don't need a notification. Don't post "thanks for adding me." If you're going to do that, AT LEAST post something relevant to the group such as "I'm researching the Smith family from Cook county, Illinois." Of course that sort of post should go in a group for the Smith family or Cook county, Illinois, NOT in a group for organization, DNA, etc.

6. Which brings us to the next tip: PLEASE please please (yes I'm begging) stay on topic. Don't post a DNA question in organization; don't post a genealogy program question in a group for Illinois, etc. Make sure you are in the right group and post a relevant topic.

7. Did someone post a link you want to read but the phone just rang or you have to go to work and can't read it right now? Facebook added something to help. Find that little arrow again in the upper right corner, click "save name of article". Then it will be on the left under the ones that say "SAVED". The key is the next time you're bored on a Saturday night to go back and read them. Okay that never happens but just in case, now you know.

8. Also remember to check your "other" inbox folder in Facebook from time to time. Anyone who is not your friend may send you a message and it may end up there. So you might have been able to sell that box of junk you posted 45 times in the group, or your distant cousin may want to exchange photos! You get the idea.

Of course, Facebook may send out an update tomorrow and this may all be irrelevant but maybe, just maybe it will help someone at least for a day.
This post is meant to be helpful and not criticize anyone, so please take it that way. Thanks.


Sunday, January 25, 2015

January Ancestor: Charles Alexander Foster

This month is nearing an end, so I better get my blog on my ancestor done.
This month I am focusing on Charles Alexander Foster, my father's mother's father (my great-grandfather).

Charles Alexander Foster was born on December 14, 1875 in Manchester, Adams County, Ohio to Nathan M. and Mary M. Foster. In 1880 we find him in Adams county, Ohio in the census with his parents and siblings. The next time I can find him is in 1900 in the census, where he is listed as a servant living with the McIntosh family in Madison county, Nebraska. So why did he move from Ohio to Nebraska? And did he come by himself, and if so why? This I don't know (yet).

Then on February 22, 1904 Charles marries Edith Adel Hanks in Tilden, Madison county, Nebraska. They then become the parents of 4 daughters. The first two, Berniece and Mable are born in Tilden. Then some time between 1908-1910 the family moves to Sidney, Cheyenne county, Nebraska. Viola is born in 1910 in Nebraska; I am uncertain which county she is born. Then Genestia is born in 1912 in Sidney, Cheyenne county, Nebraska. On the 1910 census, the Charles Foster family is listed as living in Sidney, Cheyenne county, Nebraska. On September 12, 1918 Charles signs his World War I draft card, where he is listed as a farmer with dark hair and blue eyes from Sidney, Nebraska. The next 3 censuses 1920, 1930 and 1940 find Charles living in Sidney, Cheyenne County, Nebraska. Charles continues to be listed as a farmer in 1920, 1930 and 1940.

Charles passes away February 27, 1951 at the age of 75 while in San Jose, Santa Clara county, California. I'm guessing he was there visiting or living with his daughter Genestia and her family. He was brought back to Sidney, Cheyenne county, Nebraska for burial. His wife passes away less than a month later, on March 21.

Along with the censuses I have found him in, and the draft card, I also have his marriage certificate, a photo of his gravestone, and his obituary. It would be good for me to look for some land records for him, since he was a farmer and owned land. I wonder if this land he owned prior to 1920 is still the land my uncle farms and my family owns. It would also be nice to find out more about the years between 1880 and 1900. The 1890 census burned so it isn't accessible, and unfortunately Ohio didn't take any state censuses. I don't find him in the Nebraska 1885 state census, and since he would've been only 10 years old, I don't think he would be in that census (away from his family). His parents did live in Illinois for a while, but Illinois did not have any state censuses after 1865.

Doing these blogs always make me realize how much I don't know and could still do on my ancestors. I may know their birth date, and birth place, but there are still parts missing to their stories. I don't think I have a photo of him either. It would be nice to find one of those, but I don't know which family member might have one or if they got thrown away (gasp!).

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Goals for 2015

Happy New Year! I can still say that right? It's not April yet. The temperature outside says I can say that until the temperature reaches my age. So it's time to set some goals for 2015, and try to have them measurable and realistic. There is some SMART acronym for goals, specific, measurable, assignable or achievable (well I'll go with achievable because they are all assigned to me), relevant or realistic and time related. Well these are all to be achieved within a calendar year, but some of them I chop up into smaller goals so I can better achieve them.
I like to divide my genealogy goals up in 3 categories: Personal, Professional and Volunteer

Professional:
1. Attend at least 20 sessions of #genchat this year on Twitter
     So do you #genchat? It's a chat session of genealogists usually on Friday evenings at 9 pm central. Find the schedule here: http://www.genealogygenchat.com/schedule.html

2. Do 2 webinars or videos for genealogy education

3. Plan a spectacular state conference, attend it and one other genealogy conference

4. Blog twice a month or 24 times a year
   Included in this is blogging about 1 ancestor per month or 12 per year, I put my list of ancestors in an Excel spreadsheet for easy reference. This year I intend to include a few of my husband's ancestors as well as mine.

5. Continue with a research project (for a client)

6. Continue scanning land records (for another client)

Volunteer:
1. Update the cemetery directory in May before Memorial day

2. Continue adding photos on Findagrave and taking more

3. Continue indexing marriage records and put online, do 3 surname letters

4. Continue regular (quarterly?) updates of my GenWeb site

Personal:
1. Do timelines for 12 ancestors

2. Continue regular (quarterly?) backups of data to external hard drive and cloud

3. Finish husband's Mayflower application

4. Do my DAR application and state pioneer award

5. Continue working on research as on Ancestry to do list (mark off two?)

What are your goals? Do you set them? Stay tuned to see how I do. I try to make quarterly goals to help me attain them, or monthly. Whew! Got it done within the first week of the new year. Happy 2015!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Review of 2014, did I meet my goals

Well it's the end of the year, time for goal reviewing and setting.

My professional goals:
1. Attend 20 sessions of #genchat
        I attended 22
2. Do 2 webinars or videos for genealogy education
        I can't remember that I did any so need to do better at this
3. Go to 2 genealogy conferences
        Done
4. Blog twice a month or 24 times a year, and blog about 12 ancestors this year
     I think this makes blog #25, and I did blog about 12 ancestors, done

My volunteer goals:
1. Finish cemetery directory by Memorial day
        Done on the Tuesday before Memorial day
2. Finish photographing one cemetery and add photos to another on Findagrave
        Done taking the photos in one, and made progress on the other
3. Start indexing marriage licenses and put online
         Done with surnames A, and they are online
4. Update my US GenWeb site
         I did some of this, so made progress

My personal goals:
1. Finish husband's Mayflower application
        Made progress, sent an email asking how I'm doing, and ready to order another record
2. Go to Family History Center to research
         No, didn't do this one, so maybe next year
3. Continue working on research
          Yes, did some so progress made
4. Continue regular backups
          Did some so progress made, not sure about the "regular" part
5. Do timelines for all my ancestors
            I did 2 in the year, so progress made, and I probably bit off more than I could chew in saying "all" my ancestors, I probably should've limited it to 12

So overall not too bad, especially considering I have 2 young children (one school age and a toddler), a husband, and a part time job. So I have to keep the house running too, maybe when I'm retirement age and my kids are adults I will be able to take on more.

With my goal setting, I feel it helps to separate them like this, put them in an Excel file where I can regularly look it up and keep track. Stay tuned in the next few days when I hope to blog about my 2015 goals. Happy New Year's Eve!