Saturday, July 14, 2018

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: How Many Persons in Your Biggest Family Tree?

Tonight's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun topic makes me sad.

Here is your assignment, if you choose to play along (cue the Mission:  Impossible! music, please!):

(1) Look in your preferred genealogy management program (e.g., RootsMagic, Family Tree Maker, Ancestry Member Tree, etc.) and determine how many separate "trees" (or "bushes", or "twigs") you have.

(2) How many persons are in your biggest family tree in your collection?  What persons are in your biggest tree (e.g., your ancestors, a person's descendants, etc.).

(3) Share your answers in your own blog post, in a comment on this post, or on a Facebook post.

1.  Well, the reason that this topic makes me sad is that I am still in "genealogy management program" limbo.  I was told that my computer that crashed has a nonrecoverable hard drive.  I know I had added many, many more people to my Family Tree Maker database since the last time I saved the file off that computer.  So I can't access my preferred program (and at some point I will need to re-enter all the information that was lost).

I am still using Reunion as my interim program.  I have six separate files, each of which has only one tree.

2.  The biggest Reunion family tree file has a mere 9,052 individuals in it.  Those persons include my ancestors and collateral lines coming down to the present day, along with ancestors and collateral lines of my aunt, my half-sister, and my cousin, plus a few other people.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Ahnentafel Roulette

This week's challenge for Saturday Night Genealogy Fun gives, unfortunately, a predictable result at the beginning for almost everyone, but improves after that.

Here is your assignment if you choose to play along (cue the Mission:  Impossible! music, please!):

(1) What year was one of your great-grandparents born?  Divide this number by 100 and round the number off to a whole number. This is your "roulette number."

(2) Use your pedigree charts or your family tree genealogy software program to find the person with that number in your ancestral name list (some people call it an "ah
Your software will create this; use the "Ahnentafel List" option, or similar. Who is that person, and what is his/her vital information?

(3) Tell us three facts about the person in your ancestral name list with the "roulette number."

(4) Write about it in a blog post on your own blog, in a Facebook status or a Google Stream post, or as a comment on this blog post.

(5) NOTE:  If you do not have a person's name for your "roulette number" then "spin" the wheel again.  Pick someone else — a grandfather, a parent, a favorite aunt or cousin, yourself, or even one of your children!

1.  I think most people's great-grandparents will have been born in the 19th century; some will have great-grandparents born in the 20th century.  So that means the roulette number is limited to 18, 19, 20, or 21.  I suspsect most participants will end up with 19 as their result, and 20 will be second.

No matter which of my great-grandparents (whose birth years I know) I choose, the birth year is in the late 1800's (ranging from 1870 to 1892), which means dividing by 100 equals something between 18..7 to 18.92, which rounds up to 19.

2.  Number 19 produces the same result for me that it did for Randy, my paternal great-great-grandmother.  For me, that person is Sarah "Sally" Anne [Deacon] Lippincott.

• Sarah was born August 23, 1860 in Burlington County, New Jersey (probably in Moorestown or Springfield) to Abel A. Lippincott and Rachel R. Stackhouse.
• She married Joel Armstrong on October 5, 1878 in Burlington, Burlingotn County, New Jersey.
• I don't have a confirmed date of death for Sarah, but she died after 1904, because I have found her in the 1905 New Jersey state census.  Some family trees list her death about May 13, 1928, but with no documentation.

3.  Three facts about Sarah Anne (Lippincott) Armstrong:

• Sarah had three known children:  Rachel Anna, who married three times and had seven children; Stacy Biddie (a boy), who married a widow and fathered six children; and Laura May, my great-grandmother, who married at least twice, had about eight children with her first husband, and bore two children out of wedlock (including my grandfather).

• Sarah and Joel appear to have divorced prior to 1900.  Each of them was enumerated in the 1900 census and listed as widowed.

• I have a photograph purported to be of Sarah and Joel, but I'm not sure it's actually them.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: The Date Your Grandmother Was Born

Randy Seaver has a fun challenge for this week's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun!

Here is your assignment if you choose to play along (cue the Mission:  Impossible! music, please!):

(1) What day of the week was your grandmother born (either one)?  Tell us how you found out.

(2)  What event was a headline in the newspapers on that date?  Tell us how you found out.

(3) What has happened in recorded history on your grandmother's birth date (day and month)? Tell us how you found out and list five events.

(4) What famous people have been born on your grandmother's birth date?  Tell us how you found out and list five of them.

(5) Put your responses in your own blog post, in a comment on this blog post, or in a status or comment on Facebook.

Here's mine:

1.  I chose my paternal grandmother, Anna Gauntt, who was born January 14, 1893, a Saturday, in Westhampton Township, Burlington County, New Jersey.  Her parents were Thomas Kirkland Gauntt and Jane Dunstan.

Method:  I confirmed Nana's birth date and place by finding her birth registration in Burlington County, New Jersey records.  I found the day by checking

2.  In the Los Angeles Herald of January 14, 1893, the first story on the front page was "Charges against Carnot / Enemies of the President [of France] Tell Ugly Stories", with a dateline of Paris.

Method:  I looked on Chronicling America for front pages of newspapers published on January 14, 1893.  I wanted to find one from New Jersey, but there weren't any, so I settled for a Los Angeles newspaper, because that's where I was born.

3.  Historical events that occurred on January 14:

• A.D. 1301:  Andrew III of Hungary died.

• A.D. 1539:  Spain annexed Cuba.

• A.D. 1784:  The Congress of the United States of America ratified the Treaty of Paris with Great Britain.

• A.D. 1907:  An earthquake in Kingston, Jamaica killed more than 1,000 people.

• A.D. 2004:  The national flag of the Republic of Georgia was restored to official use.

Method:  I looked up the date on Wikipedia.

4.  Famous people born on January 14:

• 83 B.C.:  Mark Antony, Roman general and politician.

• A.D. 1273:  Joan I of Navarre, queen regnant of Navarre and queen consort of France.

• A.D. 1741:  Benedict Arnold, American-British general and traitor.

• A.D. 1836:  Henri Fantin-Latour, French painter and lithographer.

• A.D. 1919:  Andy Rooney, American soldier, journalist, critic, and television personality.

Method:  I looked up the date on Wikipedia.

I didn't think Nana's birth date was as boring as Randy thinks his grandmother's was.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Ohio-bound in 2019

The Ohio Genealogical Society recently sent out contracts to the speakers chosen for its 2019 conference, "Building a Heritage", scheduled for May 1–4 in Mason, Ohio at the Great Wolf Lodge.  And I was the happy recipient of one of those contracts!  It will be a relatively Jewish conference for me, as the talks they selected are "Jewish Genealogy:  How Is This Research Different from All Other Research?" and "Online Resources for Jewish Genealogy."

I'm already looking forward to the conference.  Not only will I enjoy giving the presentations and learning from other speakers, I'm sure I'll get to visit some extended family members who live in the area.  Plus Mason isn't that far from Cincinnati, and a con man I am researching was from near there.  The last time I was in Cincinnati, I was able to find a lot of information about him, but I left some stones unturned at the time.

So watch out, Ohio!  I'll be seeing you next year!

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Who Is Your Second-most Recent Unknown Ancestor?

This week's Saturday Night Genealotgy Fun challenge is a rather logical extrapolation of a previous one.

Here is your assignment, if you choose to play along (cue the Mission:  Impossible! music, please!):

(1) Who is Your SMRUA — your Second Most Recent Unknown Ancestor?  The one that you don't have a name for, or any information.  The one completely unknown to you.  

(2) Have you looked at your research files for this unknown person recently?  Why don't you scan it again just to see if there's something you have missed? 

(3) What online or offline resources might you search that might help identify your SMRUA?  What about DNA matches?

(4) Tell us about him or her, and your answers to (2) and (3) above, in a blog post, in a comment to this post, or in a comment on Facebook or Google+. 

NOTE:  We've done Most Recent Unknown Ancestors before.  Feel free to work down your list to someone you haven't written about before.

Here's mine.

I have written previously about my Most Recent Unknown Ancestor, which is my paternal grandfather's biological father.  I have found two close Y-DNA matches to my father, which have led me to the hypothesis that my biological great-grandfather was a Mr. Mundy.

When I looked through my family tree, I was surprised to see that my second-most recent unknown ancestor is . . . Mr. Mundy's father, my great-great-grandfather!  Yes, even though I am Jewish on my mother's side, I have at least a given name for every one of my great-great-grandparents on that side, and I have complete names for most of them, as well as for everyone on my paternal grandmother's line.

Obviously, finding my great-great-grandfather's name is entirely dependent on identifying my great-grandfather first.  I guess this challenge is a hint that I really should get back to working on tracing those Mundy lines backward and then forward in time, so I can try to find some living Mundy descendants with whom to communicate.  Maybe I will be lucky enough to find one or more who have already done autosomal DNA testing, so I can try to confirm my hypothesis that Bertram Mundy was my grandfather's biological father.

Like I always say, hope springs eternal!