Saturday, August 6, 2022

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Who Is a Mysterious Person in Your Family Tree?

Time for this week's Saturday Night Geneaogy Fun challenge from Randy Seaver!

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission:  Impossible! music here), is:

1.  Who is a mysterious person in the family tree you'd like to learn more about? [Thank you to Linda Stufflebean for suggesting topics!]

2.  Write your own blog post, or add your response as a comment to this blog post, in a Facebook Status post or note.

The most mysterious person in my family tree is still my paternal grandfather's biological father, about whom I know nothing, although I suspect his given name was Bertram.

My grandfather's birth was registered under his mother's maiden name of Armstrong because she was not married at the time he was born.  When he was 7 months old his mother married Cornelius Elmer Sellers, and from that point on he apparently used the last name of Sellers.  When he was 37 years old his mother filed an amended birth record for him, changing his name legally from Armstrong to Sellers and stating that his father was Elmer Sellers.

I proved through Y-DNA that he was not biologically a Sellers.  My cousin, the grandson of my grandfather's brother through a straight male line, and my father had totally different Y-DNA results, indicating they did not descend from the same man (certainly not within a genealogically relevant period of time).  (And there is no question that my father was my grandfather's son; they looked too much alike.)  My cousin matched several other Sellers men whose ancestor was the same German man, Hans Georg Soller.  My father has no matches to anyone with the last name of Sellers.

I was fortunate to meet my grandaunt, my grandfather's youngest sister, before she passed away.  She provided quite a bit of information about the family, including that my grandfather, whose given names were Bertram Lynn, was supposed to have been named after a close family friend.

Three years after Elmer Sellers died, my great-grandmother had another child (with no husband), whom she named Bertolet.  This is a little too much of a coincidence for me, particularly because the name Bertolet is pretty unusual (I'm not sure if it's unique).  Whether the same man was the father of my grandfather and of Bertolet is a separate question (my great-grandmother did not list Bertolet's father's name on the child's birth or death certificate), but I'm pretty sure that Grampa's father was named Bertram or something similar, because the name "Bert" certainly seemed to be meaningful to my great-grandmother.

My father has two Y-DNA matches at 111 markers (the most available for commercial consumer testing), both of whom have the last name of Mundy.  So my theory (still) is that my biological great-grandfather was probably a Mundy with the given name of Bertram or something similar.

With the help of one of my readers, I have a really good candidate, a Bertram Mundy who lived in northern New Jersey but who was some sort of traveling salesman.  It is quite plausible (to me, at least) that he might have traveled to the Philadelphia area, somehow met my great-grandmother (who lived in nearby Burlington County, New Jersey), and had a tryst of some type with her.  I'm still working on researching that theory and trying to prove or disprove it.

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Wordless Wednesday


Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Best or Important Image or Document Recently Found Online

And I'm still falling behind and trying to catch up.  So it's Wednedsay; who says I can't post my Saturday Night Genealogy Fun tonight?  At least I have a document to share!

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission:  Impossible! music here), is:

1.  What is the best or important image or document that you have recently found online? [Thank you to Linda Stufflebean for suggesting topics!]

2.  Write your own blog post, or add your response as a comment to this blog post or in a Facebook Status post or note.

I'm still noodling around with the 1950 census and finding stuff.  One page that I found has my father's two older paternal half-sisters:

They were living in Bridgeton, Cumberland County, New Jersey.  The census shows my aunt Dottie (Dorothy M.) married to Clarence N. Lore, with three children:  Albert L., Clarence G., and Joan.  Living with them is my aunt Mil (Mildred A.) Sellers.

This is an important find for a few reasons.  First is that my aunts, along with my father and his parents, were not enumerated in the 1940 census.  I have looked up, down, and sideways for them, and they're simply not there.  According to a list of addresses my grandfather compiled (possibly for a security clearance for work), they lived in three different places that year, so it's easy to understand how they could have been missed.

Second, the youngest child in the household, Joan (whom I was told was named JoAnn), did not live long past the 1950 census.  I don't have an exact date of death, but she died sometime around 1951–1952.  So I am thrilled to have her appear in a census.

Third, not only was my aunt Dottie one of the people who was "sampled" to give additional information (six people on every page), she was the one of the six who was asked even more questions!  She did not work during the year previous to the census; the last work she had was as a restaurant waitress; she had been married more than once; and she had borne three children.

And fourth, this is another example of how you need to verify all that information that shows up on the census.  My aunt Dottie told two different stories about her marriage to Zeke (Clarence; no, I have no idea how the nickname Zeke came out of Clarence), and I have not yet been able to check on whether they were actually legally married (because if the person you are marrying hasn't gotten divorced, yours doesn't count as a legal marriage).  So the fact that the census says they were married might or might not be true.

Um, married more than once?  I've never heard that, either from my aunt or my cousins.  I don't know what she had in mind, but now I need to check around and see if she was married to someone before Zeke.

And three children?  Nope, she had borne four children by this time.  The one not accounted for was Raymond Lawrence Sellers, born September 23, 1945.  Dottie gave him up for adoption, I believe that same year.  I am still trying to find him.

So don't believe everything you read in the census.

Something else important about this discovery is that my cousin Albert is still alive.  I get to show him himself and his family in the 1950 census!

Sunday, July 17, 2022

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Your Plans to Travel for On-site Genealogy Research

I keep falling behind on my genealogy posts!  I have all these great plans, and they somehow don't materialize.  But I can always start again at catching up, as I am doing tonight with Randy Seaver's post for Saturday Night Genealogy Fun.

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission:  Impossible! music here), is:

1.  Do you have plans to travel to do on-site genealogy research?  [Thank you to Linda Stufflebean for suggesting topics!]

2.  Write your own blog post, or add your response as a comment to this blog post or in a Facebook Status post or note.

Here are my thoughts.

Let me start off by saying that I definitely don't believe I can do all my research online.  That means I have to look at doing on-site research myself or hiring someone else to do it.  And I really like doing my own research.

I have so much New Jersey research where I am sure that the archives will have information that is helpful; not everything has been filmed by the LDS Church.  So many of my family lines (my paternal grandmother's side of the family) were in New Jersey for centuries.  I still have to find my great-grandmother Amelia Gibson's parents and family, and my 4x-great-grandfather Joel Armstrong's parents (is he my connection to practicing Quakers?).  And I want to see the farm schedules from the census to learn more details about what my farming ancestors were doing.  It wouldn't be practical to hire someone for this research because there's so much to do, with one piece of information leading to another and another.  I need to find some time to go back east, stay at my sister's, and make daily trips to the state archives.

Notwithstanding how many records and indices Reclaim the Records has managed to get from New York City, there's still a lot more to see, and my mother's side of the family lived there for more than a century.  In some ways it might be more practical to hire someone who is more experienced with the repositories to do that research, but it would be far more enjoyable to do it myself.  I think I still have cousins in NYC; maybe I can sleep on a couch and make that my base of operations.

Those are my big chunks of research where there's a lot to be done.  I could do research in just about every state in this country because I have cousins everywhere, but most states have only a few relatives to research.

Do I have actual plans for any of this research?  No, not currently, but I could and I probably should.

Now, the Ukrainian research I would like to conduct on my mother's side, maybe that I don't want to do on site myself.  I think that's a good candidate for hiring a researcher to do it for me, at least for the immediate future.  The research in Moldova and Belarus also might be served better by hiring someone, rather than going in person.

Sunday, June 12, 2022

Loving Day

June 12 is called Loving Day in commemoration of the day in 1967 that the United States Supreme Court struck down the heinous laws against miscegenation that were in effect in yet sixteen of the states of this country, preventing people who loved each other from marrying strictly on the basis of the color of their skin not being the same.

The judge who ruled against the Lovings when they were living as a married couple in Virginia in 1958, causing them to take their case all the way to the Supreme Court, stated, "Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay, and red, and he placed them on separate continents.  And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages.  The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix."

Today for Loving Day I want to honor Yang Xianyi and Gladys Margaret Taylor, who married in 1941 in China but who might not have been able to marry in some of those sixteen U.S. states.  They remained married until Gladys died in 1999.

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: What Genealogy Search/Research Did You Do Last Week?

I'm very happy that Randy is now feeling healthy enough to resume posting on his blog, but I'm disappointed in myself that I didn't catch up with any additional old posts yet.  I'll just keep trying!  Here is this week's challenge:

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission:  Impossible! music here) is:

1.  What genealogy search/research did you do last week?  Did you have a research goal or plan?  Tell us about one or more search/research session.

2.  Write your own blog post or add your response as a comment to this blog post or in a Facebook Status post or note.

Aw, man!  Well, I didn't do much this week, but I did do a little research.

I worked some more on finding people in the 1950 census, not for my own family, but for that of a friend.  He had remembered that a cousin had put together a short family history and finally dug it out.  Based on the mostly accurate information in it, I was able to find my friend's great-grandmother and her second husband in the 1930 and 1940 censuses and then the second husband as a widower in the 1950 census.  I discovered they were Germans from Russia, which I actually have a fair amount of experience researching.  Now I'm hunting for them in Canada in earlier records.

The other research I did was trying to figure out how a DNA cousin who showed up on Ancestry is connected to me.  I have a total failure there so far.  The surname doesn't appear anywhere in my family tree, and I can't find any connections yet.

Obviously I am far behind Randy in my accomplishments this week!

Saturday, May 28, 2022

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Your 1950 U.S. Census Finds

I visited to find out the theme for today's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun and discovered that meme host Randy Seaver is in the hospital anxiously awaiting open-heart surgery on Monday.  Not only is it a very survivable surgery these days, it was even decades ago, when my maternal grandfather had the procedure.  He had an excellent recovery and lived about another 20+ years after his surgery.  So I have faith that Randy will do the same.  And while he is unable to create new Saturday Night Genealogy Fun posts for us, I will go back and catch up on several that I missed when I was under the weather.  "Your 1950 U.S. Census Finds" is from April 5, 2022.

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission:  Impossible! music here), is:

1.  The 1950 United States census was released by the U.S. National Archives on Friday, 1 April 2022.  

2.  Did you make a list of your census targets and try to find them in the 1950 census?  How did your plans pay off — did you find everyone, or just some of them?

3.  Tell us about it in your own blog post, in a comment to this post, or in a Facebook post.  Be sure to leave a link with your answers in a comment.

Here's mine:

I did make a list of my many 1950 census targets (dozens of people), and I did try to find them within the first couple of days after the census was released online.  I struck out — I didn't find a single person.  I admit that I had not collected addresses, so I was relying on the rudimentary name index that was created by the National Archives.

But that was okay — I didn't expect to find them with the very basic name index, because most of the people I was looking for were in large cities, such as New York City (Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx), Los Angeles, and Chicago.  And even though I had been looking forward to the 1950 census release pretty much since the 1940 census was released, I had decided I wasn't in a hurry.  I waited a couple of weeks to see how the Ancestry AI indexing would go.

Well, actually I waited almost a month and then tried NARA again.  On April 26 I looked for the older sister of a friend of mine — and found her!  Granted, she had an extremely uncommon given name, and I knew she should be in Wyoming (not a lot of people!), so it wasn't as difficult as it could have been.

The next opportunity I had time to sit down and poke around was May 5.  The AI had been going gangbusters apparently, because searching on Ancestry I was able to find my maternal grandparents (with my mother and the older of my two uncles), my paternal grandparents (with my father), my father's paternal half-sisters, my boyfriend's mother and her mother (separate households), the friend herself (from the previous paragraph) in Wyoming, another friend's mother, and one friend himself, all within the space of an hour and a half.

Then I got distracted and didn't search again until May 16, when I found six somewhat distant cousins, siblings from one family.  Why did I look for them next?  I was actually searching for my great-great-grandfather's second wife (he missed the 1950 census by two years, having died in 1948).  His second wife was his niece; I have been told this kind of marraige was not uncommon among Jews in Eastern Europe, when the man was older and needed someone to take care of him.  It was in no way supposed to be a "romantic" marriage; the wife was more like a nurse.  I even have another marriage like that in my family.

Anyway, I remembered that Ethel had died in 1952 and decided I wanted to find her.  I couldn't, but it occurred to me that she might have been living with one of her children, so I started looking for all of them.  I found them — but not Ethel.  So she is missing so far.

Also missing is my (half) first cousin, who was my mother's best friend growing up in Miami.  She is my father's (half) niece, from his oldest half-sister, who was my paternal grandmother's first child.  My cousin was born in 1941, so she absolutely should be in the 1950 census.  I just looked and couldn't find her, her mother, or her stepfather (her mother married her third husband in 1946).  I don't know if this is a failure of the index or if my aunt and cousin were missed in the census.  Guess I need to call my cousin!

These images are my two most important finds in the 1950 census so far.  My father and all of his immediate family were completely missed in the 1940 census, so I really did want to find them in 1950.  I had been hoping to show the census to my father, but he died in 2019.

My mother didn't appear in the 1940 census because she was born in November 1940.  She died in 1995, not even close to the release of the 1950 census.  But because she missed the 1940 census by just a few months, I am glad I found her in 1950.

And you know that age-old discussion of how accurate you should take the information in the census to be?  It's important to remember that it's second-hand information and you should always verify it, not only because the person talking to the census taker might have gotten some of the facts wrong accidentally, but also because sometimes people just didn't tell the truth.  The latter is the case with the reported marital status of my paternal grandparents, listed as Bertram L. and Ann Sellers.  My grandparents were never married, because my grandfather didn't divorce his first wife, whom he married in 1923, until 1952 or so, after he left my grandmother to run off with another woman.  That woman insisted on seeing his divorce papers to make sure she wasn't running around with a married man (as she told me, "I was a good Christian girl").  As far as I know, my grandmother was a good Christian girl also, but I've gotten the impression that my grandfather may have been a smooth talker.  (My grandmother knew she wasn't married to him, because she acknowledged that in a letter to a lawyer several years later.)

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: How Many Find a Grave Entries?

This week it seems that Randy Seaver and I got wildly different results from his Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenge.

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission:  Impossible! music here), is:
1.  How many entries are there on Find A Grave for your exact current surname and for the birth surnames of your grandparents?  What about your spouse's grandparents' birth surnames?

2.  Write about it in your own blog post, in a comment to this blog post, in a status or comment on Facebook, or in a Google Plus Stream post.

Okay, here's mine.

I also used the Find a Grave search page.  It isn't true that it shows only exact matches.  It uses what you type as "begins with."  So when I searched for "Sellar", which had 8,173 matching records, and then went to the last page (409), it ended with "Sullivan-Sellars" and "Trosper-Sellards."

I also did the searches that Randy posted.

They're just not quite what you would expect.

So the names I searched for and the results:

Sellers (my current and only surname):  33,656 names
Armstrong (my paternal grandfather's birth surname):  151,133 names
Gauntt (my paternal grandmother's birth surname):  1,107 names
Meckler (my maternal grandfather's birth surname):  413 names
Gordon (my maternal grandmother's birth surname):  139,183 names

And I have no spouse, so no spouse's grandparents' names to search for.

My paternal grandfather's name at birth was Armstrong because my great-grandmother was not married when she had him.  No father was listed on the birth certificate, merely the socially disapproving "OW" for "out of wedlock" on the line where the father's name would have appeared.  She married Mr. Sellers seven months later.  Mr. Sellers informally adopted my grandfather, and Grampa used the name Sellers for the rest of his life.  When my grandfather was 37, his mother had a formal amendment processed for his birth certificate, naming Mr. Sellers as his father.

Even though my maternal grandmother's birth surname was Gordon, that was not her father's birth name.  That was Gorodetsky, originally written in Cyrillic.  That has a grand total of 108 names in the Find a Grave database.

I don't know why Randy's results for Richmond stopped at 10,000.  When I searched, I got 34,347 names.

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: How Many Surnames in Your Family Tree Database?

We're looking at information in our family tree programs this week for Saturday Night Genealogy Fun!

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission:  Impossible! music here) is to:
1.  Go into your genealogy management program (GMP; either software on your computer or an online family tree) and figure out how to count how many surnames you have in your family tree database.

2.  Tell us which GMP you're using and how you did this task.

3.  Tell us how many surnames are in your database and, if possible, which surname has the most entries.  If this excites you, tell us which surnames are in the top 5!  Or 10!!  Or 20!!!

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

NOTE:  If you can't figure out how to do this in your GMP, use the Help button in your program and search for "count surnames", then follow directions.

Let's see how I do.

I am currently using Family Tree Maker 2019.  I couldn't figure out how to find the surnames easily, so I did look under Help.  "Count" got me nowhere.  "Surnames" led me to information about the "Surname Report", which "lists the total number of individuals with a specific surname, the number of males and females with that surname, and the earliest and most recent year a surname appears in your tree."

I remembered that reports are under the "Publish" menu.  It took me a couple of attempts to figure out which submenu the Surname Report fell under — "Person Reports."  I generated a report which was really short and discovered that for some reason the default was for surnames of extended family only.  When I clicked on "All Individuals" it generated a new report that is 51 pages long instead of merely half a page.  I then told it to sort by surname count:  "List the surnames by order of most occurrences in the tree file."

I couln't find how many total surnames are in the report for All Individuals without counting manually, which is kind of annoying.  That doesn't seem to be one of the statistics that FTM provides.  My rough count is 4,868.

I can say that the report shows I have a total of 10,114 individuals in my database, of which 5,144 are male and 4,953 are female.  I added 5,144 and 4,953 and got 10,097, which is a difference of 17 people.  Since one of the variables is to limit the counts only to included individuals ("Only count surnames of individuals who are included in the report."), and that's turned on, I can't explain who these 17 people are.  Maybe they're people for whom I have some sort of information but haven't entered any name?  I would have thought I had way more than 17 people like that in my tree.

Instead of the top 10 or 20, I took a screenshot of my report showing surnames with at least 30 individuals in my database.

One of the names is "Unknown", with 42 occurrences.  I just looked in the database, and yes, I have 42 instances where I have entered "Unknown" as someone's name.

I was not surprised to see that the top three names are Gaunt, Sellers, and Gauntt.  Between them, Gaunt and Gauntt, which are spelling variants of the same name, total 841.  Gantt, much further down the list with 37, is another spelling variation.  That's my paternal grandmother's family, which I've done a fair amount of research on during the past couple of years.  Sellers is 574, not really a close second.

I was kind of surprised to see that the fourth-most common name was Allen, which had 143 individuals.  That's a branch of my Gaunt/Gauntt/Gantt line.

The highest number for a line on my mother's side of the family is Garfinkel, at 45.  That is not an ancestral line but a collateral one.  I have met several cousins from the Garfinkel branch of my family.  The highest number for an ancestral line is Gordon, at 44, but I don't think all of them are from my mother's family.  That family name was originally Gorodetsky, and immigrating family members changed it to Gordon after coming to the United States.  I believe I have some Gordons in my tree who are not connected to the Gorodetskys.

It is amusing to note that several surnames which are extended family have higher counts than the ones from my mother's family.  The most is Fuller, at 104.  The Fullers are one of my aunt's ancestral lines, going back to early upstate New York.

Unlike Randy, I see no need to retype the information that appears quite nicely in my graphic.

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Mother's Day 2022

For Mother's Day this year, here is my maternal line in photographs.  I have five generations.

My mother Myra with her three children:
me, my sister Stacy, and my brother Mark

My mother Myra, her mother Lily (my grandmother),
and *her* mother Sarah (my great-grandmother)

My great-great-grandmother Rose Dorothy on the left

And somewhere I have a photo of my great-great-grandmother with my great-grandmother.  I really need to find that.

Saturday, May 7, 2022

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: What Excites You about Genealogy Research?

Randy Seaver came up with a different approach to genealogy for this week's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun.

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission:  Impossible! music here) is:

1.  What excites you about genealogy research?  What part of performing genealogy and family history research really excites you — what keeps you coming back day after day?

2.  Write your own blog post, or add your response as a comment to this blog post or in a Facebook Status post or note.

These are my thoughts.

• I think the puzzle-solving aspect of research is what I enjoy the most.  I like figuring out how one person is related to another, where an immigrant came from, or just when someone was born.  I enjoy hunting for clues that will help give me an answer.  One of the reasons it is so exciting is that every family is unique; although there are many similarities between different families, every family's history is going to be different in some ways, so I am never reading the same story twice.

• I love connecting with relatives, even if they're distant.  It's fun to figure out exactly how I'm related to the cousins I communicate with and which family lines we have in common.  I sometimes have been disappointed when the cousin doesn't feel the same way, but most of the time the enthusiasm is mutual.

• Something else that's fun is finding new kinds of documents to help with family history.  I always tell people that I am obsessive and that I want to find every single piece of information out there, no matter how insignificant someone else might think it is.  Everything adds up to a fuller picture of the person and family I am researching.

I'm glad Randy enjoys writing up documentation, because I sure don't!  It's a necessary evil, but it definitely does not excite me.

Saturday, April 30, 2022

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: What Keeps You From Doing Genealogy?

I find this week's topic for Saturday Night Genealogy Fun somewhat ironic, because the main thing that has been keeping me from doing genealogy in general is pretty much the same thing that has been keeping me from posting on my blog, including for Saturday Night Genealogy Fun!

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission:  Impossible! music here), is:

1.  What keeps rou from doing genealogy?  What real-life activity do you have to do, or like to do, that takes time away from genealogy research?

2.  Write your own blog post, or add your response as a comment to this blog post or in a Facebook Status post or note.

My thoughts on the subject:

The primary thing that has been keeping my from genealogy during the past three to four years or so is my health.  While I absolutely love living in the Portland area, having moved here from Oakland, California in 2017, I have had an unfortunate series of health events that have prevented me from doing everything I want and need to do.  Most of them are resolved now, and I am hoping that I will regain my strength and really be able to start catching up.

That said, the other activity that I love to do that sometimes might take away from genealogy voluntarily is spending time with my grandchildren and other family members.  One of the wonderful benefits of having moved here is that all five of my grandchildren are within easy driving distance.  I admit that I take every opportunity I can to visit them.

I do have a few favorite things to watch on television that take up about ten hours a week:  the nightly news and weather forecast, Chopped!, Name That Tune (notwithstanding the constant mugging from Jane), and The Masked Singer.  I actually watch much less TV now than I did in California.

And, like Randy, my body does need sleep every night, although I usually get about 6 hours.

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Honoring the Lost Members of My Family on Yom HaShoah

Yom HaShoah is the annual day of remembrance to commemorate the approximately 6 million Jewish victims of the Holocaust during World War II.  It falls on 27 Nisan on the Jewish calendar, which measures days from sunset to sunset.  This year on the Christian calendar it began at sunset on April 27 and will end at sunset on April 28.

The following is the list of my family members I have been told died in the Holocaust.  All of them are from the Mekler/Nowicki branch of my family and lived in what was Grodna gubernia in the Russian Empire (now in Belarus).  May their memory be for a blessing.

Beile Dubiner
Eliezer Dubiner
Herschel Dubiner
Moishe Dubiner
Sore (Mekler) Dubiner
Aidel Goldsztern
Golda Goldsztern
Josef Goldsztern
Pearl (Gorfinkel) Goldsztern
Tzvi Goldsztern
Esther Golubchik
Fagel Golubchik
Lazar Golubchik
Peshe (Mekler) Golubchik
Pinchus Golubchik
Yechail Golubchik
Mirka (Nowicki) Krimelewicz
— Krimelewicz
Beile Szocherman
Chanania Szocherman
Mobsza Eli Szocherman
Perel Szocherman
Raizl (Perlmutter) Szocherman
Zlate Szocherman

Auschwitz processing form for Mobsza Eli Szocherman, dated January 31, 1943.
He is presumed to have been killed at Auschwitz that day or the day after.

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Jill Ball's 2011 Ancestor Meme Revisited

It's hard to get back into the swing of things when your routine has been seriously disrupted.  So I didn't quite post for last week's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun, although I intended to.  But I'm gamely trying again this week, as Randy Seaver brings back a meme from 2011 for this week's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun (which we did a variation on in 2017).

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission:  Impossible! music here), is to:

1.  Participate in the Ancestors GeneaMeme created by Jill Ball on the Geniaus blog back in 2011!

2.  Write your own blog post, or add your response as a comment to this blog post or in a Facebook Status post or note.

The Rules:

The list should be annotated in the following manner:

Things you have already done or found:  bold face type
Things you would like to do or find:  italicize (colour optional)
Things you haven’t done or found and don’t care to:  plain type

You are encouraged to add extra comments after each item.

Okay, here are my answers.

The Meme
Which of these apply to you?

1.  Can name my 16 great-great-grandparents (I can also do this from memory)
2.  Can name more than 50 ancestors (yup)
3.  Have photographs or portraits of my 8 great-grandparents
4.  Have an ancestor who was married more than three times
5.  Have an ancestor who was a bigamist (so far)

6.  Met all four of my grandparents
7.  Met one or more of my great-grandparents (so I was told)
8.  Named a child after an ancestor
9.  Bear an ancestor's given name/s (but have the initials of two of my great-grandfathers)
10.  Have an ancestor from Great Britain or Ireland

11.  Have an ancestor from Asia
12.  Have an ancestor from continental Europe
13.  Have an ancestor from Africa (do I count what shows in my DNA?)
14.  Have an ancestor who was an agricultural labourer (many)
15.  Have an ancestor who had large land holdings

16.  Have an ancestor who was a holy man:  minister, priest, rabbi (ministers and rabbis!)
17.  Have an ancestor who was a midwife
18.  Have an ancestor who was an author (would be nice)
19.  Have an ancestor with the surname Smith, Murphy, or Jones (plenty of cousins, but no ancestors)
20.  Have an ancestor with the surname Wong, Kim, Suzuki, or Ng (I have some Wongs in extended family, but that's it0)

21.  Have an ancestor with a surname beginning with X
22.  Have an ancestor with a forename beginning with Z
23.  Have an ancestor born on 25 December
24.  Have an ancestor born on New Year's Day (whose New Year?)
25.  Have "blue blood" in your family lines (everyone with ancestors from Western Europe is descended from Charlemagne, right?)

26.  Have a parent who was born in a country different from my country of birth
27.  Have a grandparent who was born in a country different from my country of birth
28.  Can trace a direct family line back to the 18th century
29.  Can trace a direct family line back to the 17th  century or earlier
30.  Have seen copies of the signatures of some of my great-grandparents

31.  Have ancestors who signed their marriage certificate with an X
32.  Have a grandparent or earlier ancestor who went to university
33.  Have an ancestor who was convicted of a criminal offence (I think so)
34.  Have an ancestor who was a victim of crime
35.  Have shared an ancestor's story online or in a magazine (oh heavens yes)

36.  Have published a family history online or in print
37.  Have visited an ancestor's home from the 19th or earlier centuries (in beautiful New Jersey)
38.  Still have an ancestor's home from the 19th or earlier centuries in the family (I believe so)
39.  Have a family bible from the 19th century
40.  Have a pre-19th century family bible

Saturday, April 9, 2022

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Four Things!

Well, I certainly haven't posted in a while!  My last post was January 15 for my blogiversary, and before that it was December 1.  I have nothing but my health to blame, but I've decided I need to start writing again anyway, and what better day to start than on my birthday?  I turned 60 today, and coincidentally Randy Seaver provided a theme for Saturday Night Genealogy Fun that works nicely with a birthday — writing about myself.  So let's get back in the blogging habit!

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission:  Impossible! music here), is:

1.  Let's have some genealogy fun tonight and answer some family-history-related questions with four responses (Four Things!).

2.  Share your answers with us in your own blog, in a Facebook or Instagram post, or in the comments on this blog post.  Please leave a link to anything you post elsewhere in a comment.

Okay, here are my answers.

Four Names I Go By
1.  Janice
2.  Jan-Jan (but only for my maternal grandmother)
3.  Bubbie
4.  Amanda Rycroft (Faire character)

Four Places I've Lived (Resided)
1.  Maroubra Junction, New South Wales, Australia
2.  Niceville, Florida
3.  Oakland, California
4.  Gresham, Oregon

Four Ancestral Places I Have Been
1.  Mount Holly, New Jersey
2.  Manhattan, New York
3.  Miami, Florida
4.  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Four Interesting Places I Have Been
1.  Athens, Greece
2.  San Sebastian, Spain
3.  Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
4.  Tallinn, Estonia

Four Favorite Ancestors
1.  Ann (Ridgway) Gaunt, 1710–1794
2.  Gershon Itzhak Novitsky, ~1858–1948
3.  Minnie Zelda (Nowicki) Meckler, ~1880–1936
4.  Moses Mulliner, 1741–1821

Four Favorite Genealogy Record Collections
1.  Historical newspapers
2.  Religious records (all, not just BMD!)
3.  Probate files
4.  Military pensions and service records

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Eleven Years of Blogging

Yup, that's right!  Today is my 11th blogiversary.  It almost slipped by me, because I have not been keeping up with my blog as well as I would like.  I keep trying to get healthy, and that just doesn't seem to be working.

I was surprised when I saw how many posts I managed to write last year:  265!  That's sorta kinda close to one post every other day, which I don't think I've accomplished before.  It was primarily due to picking up again on my project to write about every birth, marriage, and death that I have in my genealogy database.  And I hit that total even though the last date I documented was November 15, which is when those annoying health problems popped up again.

So now I'm behind on that again, behind on Saturday Night Genealogy Fun, even behind on my end-of-the-year thank yous and statistics.  On the other hand, I did finally write about my Revolutionary War ancestor Moses Mulliner, which I had been intending to do for several years.  I also described the detective work I did to track down my father's youngest half-sister, so I could give her several photos of herself and her mother.  But I have a lot of catching up to do when I get my energy back, which I fully intend to do soon.

Like I always say, hope springs eternal!