Sunday, January 27, 2019

January: Anna (Jorgensen) Dorman

Since my genealogy meeting got postponed, it's a good time to do a blog post. This one is not an ancestor, but is a relative. My paternal grandfather's sister, my great aunt, Anna (Jorgensen) Dorman.

Anna Marie Jorgensen was born June 23, 1905 at Minden (Kearney county), Nebraska to Jorgen Christian "Chris" and Inger Katrina "Katie" Jorgensen. She was the youngest of three siblings, and also the only one I met as she lived the longest of the three.

In 1907, the family moved to Sidney, Cheyenne county, Nebraska. Her father was farming. They remained there for a long time. The family is still in Cheyenne county, Nebraska in the 1920 census. A short time after that census, her older sister passed away. Martha Irene Jorgensen died March 9, 1920 at the age of 17 from influenza at their home in Cheyenne county. It must be hard to lose a sister when you are 14 years old.

Anna absorbed all the "book learning" she could in school. Anna kept herself busy working and writing the local gossip column. In the 1920s and1930s, from 1932 to 1940, she wrote the social news under the heading "Grand Prairie" for The Telegraph newspaper. She was paid 50 cents a week, and was supplied with paper, pencils, pens, envelopes and 3-cent stamps.

Anna got married a little later in life. At the age of 35, she married Clarence A. Dorman in Sidney, Cheyenne County, Nebraska. To this union three sons and one daughter were born. To my knowledge, two of the sons are deceased, David and Robert. One son and one daughter are still living.

They bought a farm northwest of Sidney, and not long after, oil was discovered on their property. They raised cattle and used the profits from the oil wells for a few additional conveniences.

On December 16, 1971 she lost her husband as he passed away at the hospital in Sidney, Nebraska.

Anna Dorman celebrated her 90th birthday in June 1995 at the Mountain Vista Health Center in Wheat Ridge, Colorado with many cards from her friends from Sidney. Shortly after, on August 11, 1995 she passed away in Wheat Ridge, Colorado.

I should have a few photos of Anna somewhere. For records on her, I used the census, newspapers online, gravestone photos and family notes. If/When I find more family photos, I will add them. For now this will have to do. Rest in peace Great-Aunt Anna (or should it be Grand-Aunt). Another post to debate that.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Genealogy Review of 2018

About one more week left in 2018 when I started this. I do these mostly for me, I admit. I like to keep track of the year, genealogy wise. So here is what I accomplished in 2018 and a little of what I'm looking forward to in 2019.

PERSONAL:
1. Laptop died in November, but luckily much of my genealogy is online so I lost some but not as much. If Ancestry is good for something, it's good for storing your tree online and knowing you can get your gedcom there. This reminded me of the need for backups, online or on separate drive.
2. Several Nebraska newspapers have gone online on Advantage Preservation, so I have spent a little time looking up myself and my paternal side.



VOLUNTEER:
1. Findagrave & BillionGraves: 9981 memorials and 21,075 photos; 2336 images and 2224 transcriptions. I basically just started contributing to BG this year, since June. Findagrave I have been on for 16 years, which is still over 1000 photos per year. This last year I added about 980 memorials and just over 4200 photos. I try to take photos in many states. This summer we are taking a vacation to a "new" state so hopefully I get a few moments to take a few photos in a cemetery.
2. NSGS: Organized a good conference with Judy Russell which was well attended and we made some money. Then I became president in the summer.
3. GenWeb: Well with the Rootsweb server problem, I moved my site. Right now it is actually on both sites/servers. This reminded me of the need for backups.
4. I also have done some indexing of marriages, which has been online on GenWeb and in print as part of NSGS quarterly publication.



PROFESSIONAL:
1. I helped a small number of clients (about 5) getting documents or researching.
2. I had my first out of state speaking engagement. Thanks to the Swedish Genealogical Society of Colorado for having me. I was supposed to speak at Homestead National Monument and got cancelled TWICE due to weather.
3. I attended around half of my APG meetings (mostly online) and a few Twitter genchats.

Next year I look forward to speaking 2-3 times all within the state. Also I look forward to learning more about DNA from Blaine Bettinger since he is coming to Nebraska for NSGS. Otherwise I am not sure what else 2019 will hold. Happy New Year! May all of you make progress on your genealogy goals.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Homesteaders and Land Owners

I'm long overdue for a blog post.
In April, yes two months ago, I spoke in Colorado to the Swedish Genealogy Society of Colorado about homesteaders. In doing so, I showed them one of my homesteaders and the many (over 20) pages of documents online in his homesteading file. They were surprised that you can find naturalization information in a homesteading record. That is because they had to prove their citizenship.

Well since then, I thought I should look up ALL my possible ancestors who might have homesteaded or otherwise owned land.
Some sources for homesteading and land records include the following:
1. glorecords.blm.gov (This stands for the General Land Office records at the Bureau of Land Management)
2. Fold3.com (subscription)
3. Ancestry.com (subscription)
4. NARA
5. FamilySearch.org and Family History centers
6. Homestead National Monument in Beatrice, NE
7. University of Nebraska at Lincoln libraries (8 of them on two campuses)

Okay so I started looking up my ancestors.
On my mom's side I tried the Seggermans: The only Seggerman who homesteaded is not MY ancestor but a cousin of some sort: Henry Seggerman who homesteaded in Montana in 1919.

On my dad's side I have the following:
1. Lars Jorgensen in Kearney County, Nebraska: He was my example for my presentation, a pioneer settling in 1885 and then getting more land in 1890. He is the one I found over 20 pages on Ancestry of his homestead record.
2. Jesse Fields in Madison County, Nebraska: His record is from 1879-1884. As a Civil War veteran, he paid less than $20 for his 160 acres of land.
3. Charles William Hanks in Madison County, Nebraska: He is the son-in-law to Jesse Fields. His record is from 1886. He paid less than $10 but only had 40 acres.
4. Emeline Mary Nelson in 1891 in Frontier County, Nebraska for 160 acres. I'm nearly certain this has to be my ancestor. She was a single mother who came over from Denmark, so she had to do something to support them.

So now my mom's side:
1. Felix Regnier in Baca County, Colorado in 1906. Along with Felix, several of his 10 children also owned land in Baca County, Colorado: my great-grandfather Roy, along with his siblings Carrie, Iva (Ivy) and Louis. Carrie and Iva (Ivy) were single women their entire lives, so I am sure Felix thought he should try to provide for them. I heard there was a town in Baca County called Regnier, Colorado, and there is some proof to that here: https://history.denverlibrary.org/sites/history/files/Place_Names_of_Colorado.pdf on page 510 (although you may need to go to 525 on the site).
2. John B. Regnier in Washington County, Ohio in 1825: So this was pre-homesteading days and John B. Regnier was actually deceased by 1825 so it was his heirs, or as the document says "heirs at law" who owned this piece of land.
3. Levi Barber in Washington County, Ohio in 1832: Also pre-homesteading days, and this is a joint record, so I'm not really sure if Levi owned this land or if he was representing someone. He was along with Seth and Andrew Fisher, and the document states "Levi Barber, (absignee?) of Andrew Fisher". That word is hard to read, but later on the document acts like the land is "to have and to hold" by Seth Fisher and Levi Barber. Don't you love the language there? Not sure how you "hold" the land, but it sounds like they married it.
4. Katie C. (Dacy) Regnier in 1905 in Cimarron County, Oklahoma: This document is great because if I didn't already know, it gives her maiden name and her middle initial. I did know her maiden name, but not her middle initial. Her parents passed when she was pretty young, so my guess is an older sibling or someone set up this homestead for her. There were several woman homesteaders back in the day, although it was less common.

Part of Katie (Dacy) Regnier's homestead document

There are many books on homesteaders if this interests you. Message me if you would like some recommendations, or you can do a search. Who knows? You might find a book about one of your relatives. 

Friday, March 30, 2018

1888 Stromsburg book

Last fall I helped digitize church records. So this got me thinking about more digitizing. A discussion on Facebook led to noting a few books in the library that are irreplaceable. No, they're not your Danielle Steel or Stephen King collection. It's those OLD local history books. Copyright lasts for approximately 70 years, so anything before that should be in the public domain. So I took pictures of this book. I was going to post it on GenWeb but Rootsweb is down and I haven't gotten around to moving it. Someone suggested my blog, so here are the photos of that book. I apologize for blurriness on one picture. I must have moved. I did scan this one too. Just takes a bit more time to put those on. I should work on my digitization, maybe get a better camera and a tripod to avoid some of this.

STROMSBURG, NEBRASKA Advantages and Needs
Published by the committee of John D. Haskell, Chairman; A. Coleman; P. T. Buckley; Lewis Headstrom and Alex Scott.






























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.

Personal:
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.

Professional:
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

Volunteer:
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: https://www.facebook.com/FindAGrave/posts/10155934120708680

Pros:
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


Cons:
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.