Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Upcoming Events at the NEHGS!

I got an email from the New England Historic Genealogical Society the other day and they've got tons of really great stuff coming up!  I'm seriously jealous that I'm too far away to attend!  If you are lucky enough to be within driving distance of the society, head on over and take advantage of what are sure to be some great programs!  Not within driving distance?  They've got some great trips planned too!

So here it is right from NEHGS:

Make plans to start your genealogy with this great tour.  This program begins with a thirty-minute introductory lecture and will be followed by a tour of the NEHGS library and its vast holdings.

June 1, 2011 from 10:00am-11:00am
99-101 Newbury Street
Boston, MA 02116-3007

Dubbed as one of the society's most popular programs, "Come home to New England," is a fun-filled week of family history discovery and education.  This program features research, individual consultations, interesting lectures, group meals, and other exciting activities.

June 13, 2011 9:00am - June 18, 2011 5:00pm
99-101 Newbury Street
Boston, MA 02116-3007

Dr. Barbara B. Reitt will describe what she learned in a four-year search for truths long hidden by the family and what compelled her to respond to her late father's memoirs by researching and writing a biography of his grandmother.

June 22, 1011 6:00pm - 7:00pm
99-101 Newbury Street
Boston, MA 02116-3007

Please join NEHGS as we explore our Irish immigrant ancestors' native land, the rolling hills of Ireland.  We will discover spectacular scenery, and enjoy legendary Irish hospitality in internationally renowned hotels and restaurants and elegant private homes.

[OK...I'm seriously bummed that I'll be on vacation and can't do this.  I would take this trip in a heart-beat!  It sounds fabulous!]

July 5, 2011 5:00pm - July 15, 2011 5:00pm
Please email education@nehgs.org if you wish to be place on a waiting list for the event.

Join NEHGS as we explore the vast resources of the New York State Archives.  The weekend includes individual consultations, lectures, and a group dinner.

July 13, 2011 3:00pm - July 17, 2011 11:00am
Albany, New York

Discover the wealth of information available in London's repositories as NEHGS returns to London in 2011.  Participants will take part in two group dinners, consultations, and guided research tours through the Society of Genealogists (SOG) and the National Archives (UK).

September 25, 2011 3:00pm - October 2, 2011 12:00pm
London, United Kingdom

Like anything you see?  To learn more go to AmericanAncestors.org/Event.  You can register online or print the registration and mail it off to:

NEHGS, Education  & Tours
Attn: Joshua Taylor
99-101 Newbury Street
Boston, MA 02116-3007

If you have any questions you can call 2-888-296-3447 or email education@nehgs.org

Even if you can't go to the programs or on the trips, be sure to check out the great stuff on the American Ancestors website!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Tuesday's Tip - Inputting Data on the 1800 U.S. Census

1800 U.S. Federal Census

The next in the series of inputtable census forms!  This time the 2nd US Federal Census, a.k.a. the 1800 US Federal Census.  Again, I don't have tons of experience using the 1800 census since all of my known ancestors came over around potato-famine-time, or later.  A positive aspect with creating these forms (aside from the obvious, being able to actually input and save your data on a copy of the form) is that it forces me to become a bit more familiar with a resource that I have not really dealt with.  I'm still no where near being an expert, but a bit less of a novice!

Again, I've tried to keep the form as close to the original as possible.  Not entirely easy since the forms still varied slightly by region and by census taker.  Not all forms have the header at the top either, so using this form will at least help to remind you what each column is referring to!

The last column on the census varies from district to district, but refers to the total number of persons enumerated for that household.  For lack of a better term (and lack of a term given on the form) I've titled it simply "Totals".  You won't see this column on all census forms, but occasionally it pops up.

I love the fact the the US Census Bureau had information for the various Federal Censuses, and while they didn't give overwhelming details about the 1800 census on their page, they did give some important details:

So the administration of this census was more centralized under the direction of the Secretary of State as opposed to the 1790 census which was carried out under the direction of the U.S. Marshals of the various judicial districts.

Once again, I've locked the form, so you don't have to worry about inputting data into the header.  You'll only be able to input into the appropriate blank fields.  I'm still a novice with Google Docs (looking forward to Thomas MacEntee's webinar on Legacy Family Tree "Google Forms for Genealogists"  this Wednesday), so if you have any problems downloading the spreadsheet or encounter any other problems with it, please let me know and I'll do my best to fix it. 

When you click on the census in Google Docs to view it, for some odd reason (yet again) it appears to be 3 pages long and in landscape format.  It will be one page and in portrait when you download it.  I have no idea why this happens, I'm just happy that it seems to download correctly!

Next week, I hope to have the 1810 census ready to post, but Cub Scout Day Camp is all next week in the evenings so I'll have to play it by ear.  I may be forced to post somewhat less time-intensive posts!  We'll see!

Military Monday - Central Texas Casualties 2005

Faces of the departed - 2005

Roll Call
SSG George T Alexander
SPC Jeremy O Allmon
SGT Julia Atkins
SGT Christopher Babin
SPC Katrina Bell-Johnson
SPC Bradley Bergeron
CPT Orlando A Bonilla
SSG Stacey Brandon
SPC Adam Noel Brewer
SPC Jimmy D Buie
SPC Taylor J Burk
SPC Adrian J Butler
SFC Kurt Comeaux
2LT Matthew S Coutu
SGT Andrew J Derrick
SPC Michael Evana II
SPC Huey PL Fassbender
SGT Robin V Fell
SPC Aaron M Forbes
SPC Armand Frickey
CPL Steven Gill
SGT Lee M Godbolt
SFC Peter J Hahn
SPC Paul M Heltzel
SPC Robert T Hendrickson
PFC Timothy J Hines Jr
PVT Aaron M Hudson
CW2 Charles S Jones
SSG William F Manuel
SPC Joshua S Marcum
SPC Jeremy McHalffey
PVT Joshua M Morberg
SPC Warren A Murphy
SGT David J Murray
SSG Regilio E nelom
SGT Nicholas J Oliver
SPC Christopher Ramsey
SSG Jonathan E Reed
SSG William T Robbins
SSG Joseph E Rodriguez
SPC Lyle W Rymer II
SPC Lance S Sage
CW4 Richard M Salter
CW2 Isaias E Santos
SPC Bernard L Sembly
SGT Isiah J Sinclair
CPT Christopher J Sullivan
SGT Robert Sweeney III
SPC John O Tollefson
SPC Seth Trahan
SPC Javier Villanueva

 May our Soldiers come home soon.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Sunday' Obituary - Clarence Boegel


[handwritten - Jan 29, 1977]

"Clarence Boegel

Clarence R. Boegel, 71, who was employed by Line Material Co. at Barton for 15 years, died Saturday at Samaritan Home, West Bend, where he resided for 13 years.

He was born May 29, 1905, in rural Campbellsport, a son of the late John and Bertha Rosbeck Boegel. He never married.

Surviving are a brother, Roman of rural Campbellsport; and a sister, Mrs. Leona (Romand) Kuehl of rural Campbellsport.  A brother preceded him in death.

Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Miller's Funeral home, 215 Forest Ave., Kewaskum, and at 10:30 a.m. at St. Kilian Catholic Church at St. Kilian.  The Rev. Arthur Kulinski will officiate and burial will be in the parish cemetery.

Visitation will be after 4 p.m. today at the funeral home."

Clarence was my husband's great uncle.

Clippings were passed on to me by my mother-in-law, Dolores, Cayemberg nee Kuehl.  It is unknown which Wisconsin newspaper the clippings were from.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Monday, May 23, 2011

Tuesday's Tip - DANGER, Will Robinson!!!!!

I've never actually watched Lost In Space.  I guess that just shows how that phrase has worked it's way into our culture!  Anyway...

I was intending on posting the next census form this week, but I started messing about on Ancestry.com while waiting for an appointment and made some pretty good discoveries that I will be seeking to verify in the immediate future.  What discoveries, you may ask?  Well, after posting George Rosbeck's obituary yesterday, I figured that I'd try to locate his name on the passenger lists on Ancestry.com.  I do believe I found him and it wasn't terribly difficult.  The names are a good match as are the dates of birth.  Not having any other information yet to verify his parents or siblings, I will be digging deeper until I have conducted my "reasonably exhaustive search" (I loved learning all that stuff at the NGS conference!).

So what's my tip?  Well, after realizing that George and his parents arrived in 1857, I attempted to see if I could find them in the 1860 US Federal Census.  If they are my Rosbecks they hopefully found themselves a nice place in Wisconsin by then.  I couldn't find them.  I initially cursed the new Ancestry search, but then decided it would be more productive to adjust my search parameters.  After all I need to figure out how to use their new search since it's only a matter of time before they eventually take that "Old Search" button away!  So I stopped searching for an exact match with my "Geo* Rosb*" search and used the default settings.  It worked, but I was almost tempted to not click on the result.  Thank goodness my brain was working because this was what I found:

I guessed that the transcriber may have gotten the born in "Australia" bit wrong.  Since my husband's Rosbecks are from Germany (for lack of a better region at this point in my research...if you know the history of the region at all you'll understand what I mean!).   So once I pulled up the image it was exceedingly clear that George and his family were born in AUSTRIA not Australia. 

Excerpt of 1860 US Federal Census - for the city of Wayne, Washington County, WI - John Raseback household

Lesson #1 for today - Keep an open mind and expect errors in the indexes...we all make mistakes!

The surname, while listed as Raseback on the census is close enough to Rosbeck.  It is certainly possible that the name changed over time.  It is just as possible that the census taker wrote the name phonetically. Either way, the spelling difference isn't an enormous concern.

Now for Lesson #2.

I wanted to see what else I could find, so I went back and expanded my search to "all categories".  I was intrigued by the "Photos" section, but they were all private and the information didn't seem to match up very well, so I cringed and clicked on the "Family Trees" tab.  There were 147 trees.  The first few that I clicked on were submitted by people I had been in contact with.  I didn't explore them very far.  I just wanted to see if anyone had made the jump to having Anna and Johannes (John) as his parents and if they had, did they use more than the passenger list and census to make that jump.  I clicked on a few more trees and then came to one that was created by someone I did not recognize so I opened it up.

Yikes!  That's really all I could say at first.  This person had made the jump, but I was no longer really interested in looking at the sources, because of one huge, glaring error that s/he had not bothered to fix or annotate.  Can you see it?  I put some pretty arrows there in case you're feeling a bit tired today:

So daddy died about 11 years before his son was born?  According to this tree he did.  Father, Johan, died in 1841 and son, George, was born in 1852.  A medical miracle.  Particularly since daddy was on the passenger list in 1857.  What you can't see from the image above is that this person has daddy down as dying in 1841 in WISCONSIN.  Yep, that would be 16 years before the family arrived in America.  It could be a typo.  Either way, most genealogy programs will point out glaring errors like that.  Does that mean that all the other information on this tree is wrong?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  I mean this person had a few more generations back for my husband's Rosbeck line, and the surname Hassel is vaguely familiar.

So, Lesson #2 - family trees that are posted (on any site) are subject to errors.  Some are subtle.  Some are pretty big.  Does that mean we shouldn't use these trees?  Of course not!  They can be a great way to try to further your research and get through a brick wall or two, but you need to verify the validity of the specific bit of information you are looking for and conduct your own reasonably exhaustive search.  Any researcher worth anything won't mind you testing their conclusions.  After all, researching our genealogy and family history isn't about us being right.  It's about the facts being right.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Amanuensis Monday - George Rosbeck Obituary

George Rosbeck

George Rosbeck is my husband's Great-Great Grandfather.  This obituary was sent to me by a distant cousin of my husband's, Dennis Wondra.  It's great when you find family members that want to collaborate, and sharing copies of the originals is extra awesome!

Thanks, Dennis!

Kewaskum Statesman, 17SEP1927

After an illness of five weeks with dropsy, George Rosbeck, an esteemed and well known citizen of St. Kilian, died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. John Boegel at St. Kilian on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 1927.  Deceased had attained the age of 75 years, 5 months and 9 days.  He was born in Germany on April 3, 1852.  When still a young man he came to America with his parents and settled in the town of Wayne.  he was married to Margaret Thelen 50 years ago at St. Martin's church in Ashford.  He is survived by three sisters, Mrs. Wenzel Janous, Mrs. Joseph Wondra, and Mrs. John Petersick, Besides he leaves, his wife and the following children:  Frances (Mrs. Peter Steichen) of Milwaukee; Bertha (Mrs. John Boegel) of St. Kilian; Anna (Mrs. Wm. Pesch) of New Fane; John of Minnesota; Herman of Knowles; Martin, Adolf and Alfred of Milwaukee.  The funeral was held Friday at 10:00 a.m. with services in the St. Kilian Catholic church.  Rev. John B. Reichel officiated.  Burial was made in the adjoining cemetery."

George Rosbeck, St. Kilian Cemetery, WI

Thursday, May 19, 2011

NGS Conference in Review - Day 4

The one and only...Elizabeth Shown Mills!
Day 4...it had to happen eventually but I hated to see it arrive!  Of course a 4 day genealogy conference is very tiring, but we all were having so much fun!  The difference between the Opening and Closing Ceremonies was incredible.  It was packed that first day and at least half empty on that last day.  A shame too, because those special sessions are worth attending!

Jay Verkler the President and CEO of FamilySearch spoke to us.  He basically put out the same information that we Geneabloggers got at our dinner which you can read about here.  Seriously, though, if you haven't started helping to index the various projects that FamilySearch has, why not?  These are important.  They are trying to bring more and more records to you with the images.  This is so vital to our research.  To be able to see an image of the document we are using is a necessity!  You don't have to sign your life away to indexing.  Just do it.  One or two...or lots more!  You aren't making a promise to sit there and index all day every day, but one is better than none and it benefits us all.  Know a Scout that is looking for a project?  This is a great opportunity and it really benefits the research community.

The second part of the Closing Ceremony was with Senator Glenn F. McConnell giving us all a presentation on the H. L. Hunley.  A confederate submarine that was so ahead of it's time.  It sank for the last time after destroying the Union ship, the Housatonic, in February 1864.  At the height of its glory, the vessel and crew were lost.  They would be found over 100 years later in May 1995 and it would be another 9 years before the submarine was completely raised, conserved and the crew given a proper burial.  I didn't know anything about the Hunley before this presentation, but I can tell you that I was on the edge of my seat during Senator McConnell's presentation.  At the time I didn't know if the recovery was a success, failure, or even still in progress so I was hanging on his every word for the outcome!  He was riveting.  A proper story-teller! If you would like to learn more about the H. L. Hunley, it's recovery, crew, etc check out the Friends of the Hunley website!

9:30am - "Research Reports:  Meeting Standards" presented by Claire Bettag, CG, CGL - An excellent class by Ms. Bettag and well worth attending.  She covered the various types of research reports and where to find examples (about halfway down the page you will see the subject "Research Reports" and then links to some examples).  Not only did she talk about writing a good research report, she drove home the point that you need to include time to write these reports in your billable hours.  The report is as significant to a client as the documents you obtain (even though the client may not appreciate it's significance until that finished report is presented to them with the research!).  I really enjoyed hearing about reports especially since I haven't done any.  What was the juiciest bonus was being able to listen to Ms. Bettag talk about how she billed clients, what you need to make sure is itemized in the billing statement and why.  Honestly, that should be a class in and of itself!

11am - "Convincing Your Audience:  How to Construct a Proof Statement" presented by Barbara Vines Little, CG, FVGS - another great class!  Essentially there are 2 types of proof statements, 1) a proof summary, you've got documents to provide the proof, and 2) proof arguments, where you do not have documents showing direct proof of a relationship and you need to "argue" your research with documents that you used to come to the conclusion you arrived at.  Again, the BCG Standards Manual (affiliate link) is referenced  as well as the necessity to conduct a "reasonably exhaustive search".  These are recurring themes so if you don't have the Manual, you really need to check it out!  Essential element of information...make sure you resolve all conflicts that arose as you conducted your research.  If you haven't resolved each conflict, your argument will not hold water.  The conclusion you came to may be correct, but you will not have proven it without a resolution of conflict.

2:30pm - "Identity Crises:  Right Name, Wrong Man? Wrong Names, Right Man?" presented by Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG, FNGS, FUGA - Honestly, I did not take a ton of notes here, but it wasn't because I was drooling on my notebook (as was my fear in a previous lecture).  Elizabeth Shown Mills is the most exceptional speaker I have ever had the privilege to hear!  I was completely engrossed in her lecture and had to urge myself to break away and take notes!  The amount of knowledge she has is incredible.  She covered various reasons why people from all walks of life may have changed their names from assuming a loved one's name after their death, to names becoming truncated, to assuming a name after the region/land they lived on (which could end up changing if they moved!).  A riveting lecture, but these characters could certainly leave their descendants cursing their names for the changes and ensuing difficulties in tracking them!

4pm - "Debunking the Myths Surrounding the Military Personnel Records Center" presented by Patricia Walls Stamm, CG, CGL - turn away now unless you want brutal honesty!  If you were looking for the magic code to get the folks in St. Louis to respond to a request, you have not found the Holy Grail!  I (and I suspect many of the others that sat in on this lecture) hoped to find out why it seems that we only get back a form-letter response from the Military Personnel Records Center (MPRC) informing us of a fire or of a next-of-kin relationship that is needed (or both).  Well, I can at least let you know that as to the next-of-kin bit...if you are not the spouse, child (think direct line here, people), then you ain't getting the record.  That means my great uncle's record, (never married or had children) will not be sent to me...until (and thankfully there is an "until") 62 years after the discharge of the servicemember.  At 62 years the records go from the hand of the military to NARA and can be accessed (and for me it's been at least 62 years).  This doesn't help in regards to the fire though...  We were assured that the staff does their best to fully service all requests, but when receiving 500 new requests a day, they are back-logged and it can take 6 months or more before a request is fulfilled.  I can accept that, if they were actually taking time on my request!  Allow me to go off on a tangent....

Three weeks prior to attending the NGS conference I sent a request to MPRC in St. Louis requesting information on my great uncle, Thomas Brown's, service in the Army.  I found his record showing where and when he enlisted on Ancestry.com.  I not only filled out the appropriate SF180, but included a cover letter with additional details regarding my uncle.  I effectively included every detail of information I had on him with my submission.  One week before leaving for the conference I received a letter from MPRC.  Enclosed was a form-letter explaining to me the whole "next of kin" bullshit as well as the fire.  They enclosed another SF180 and asked that I fill it in with as much information as I had in order for them to see if any portion of his record survived the fire of 1973.  I was livid.  Had they looked at my original request  at all?!?!?!  I know they are busy and I'm certainly prepared to wait for a response, but don't send me crap to try to delay the search!  At least that was my interpretation...and they should take that interpretation, because the only other one I have is that they are grossly incompetent!

So my take away from this lecture was:

     -Researching in person is much more effective then sending in a request, but you still need to contact them, forever and a day in advance with your travel plans to ensure that there is a chance of a possibility of a maybe that they may find the records you are looking for in time for your visit. 

     -Make sure that you have the appropriate visitation pass to grace their site because if you've got a pass for NARA in DC (or any other branch throughout the U.S.) it doesn't work there.

     -If they tell you that they couldn't find the record you are searching for, wait a awhile and resubmit the request, and resubmit the request and resubmit the request, because eventually the fairies that stole the stash of surviving burned records and odd socks, drop them on someone's desk and you may be lucky enough to see a copy of the record (if you get the right person...apparently the fairies don't like them all).

     -The magic number is 62 years...then you can screw the next of kin crap and instead deal with the previously mentioned fairies.

One last tip that was given to us (and I just know you'll love this one) is to not inundate MPRC with requests.  Wait until one request is fulfilled before submitting another.  Yeah...OK...how long were you planning on living?  Me, personally, I don't have that kind of time!  I don't want to have to will my research on to my great grandkids!  I can understand not sending in 5 requests at once, but you've got to be drinking some wacky stuff if you think I'm going to wait for those staffers to fulfill a request before I start swimming through their river of bullshit again to submit another!

Tangent complete.

So not the best way to finish an absolutely incredible conference, but please walk away knowing that the conference was truly an excellent and repeatable experience!  If you haven't gone, you really need to start saving those pennies because it will be worth every one that you spend!

I'll be getting into reviewing some of the goodies I purchased and looked at as well as some of the booths I visited, in the next few days.  I survived today's PTA meeting, but have a Pack of wonderful little Cub Scouts that want their awards and advancements on Monday.  I'll get out the next post as soon as possible!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

NGS Conference In Review - Day 3

I swear!  Since returning home I have been inundated with general stupidity.  It's the end of the school year so it's time for the final award ceremony for Cub Scouts, a final PTA event, and then immediately after the kids get out of school...Cub Scout Day Camp.  I bet you'll never guess who's a key player in those.  Aaargh!

It looks like I just have to tread water until mid-June and then I may not feel like I'm sinking any longer.  Either way the conference did nothing but keep my motivation up to get out from under this volunteerism that keeps biting me in the behind.  So on that note, I'll continue with day 3 of the conference!

Jenn Woods, Alison Stacy, me and Ellie Woods (Jenn's daughter)
On Friday I spent the entire day between the BCG Skillbuilding track and the Methodology and Research classes, and I loved it!  I also got to meet Alison Stacy from Family Tree Magazine and the "Naked Cowboy's" dad (long story, which I will get to in another blog).  It was very excited to be able to finally meet the Family Tree Magazine staff.  I love the magazine, the podcasts, and it was great to be able to put faces with the names and voices! And, of course, I had to whip out the camera and ask for a Kodak moment!

8am - "Reporting the Facts:  Record as You Go" presented by Pamela Boyer Sayre, CG, CGL - a very big take-away from this class is that whether you are a genealogist doing your own research or a genealogist being paid to do someone else's, don't feel guilty about taking time to write your reports.  They are an essential part of your research and need to be completed in a timely manner (and "on the clock").  After all the reports are a very important part of what the client is getting!  The reports are going to help explain to your descendants what all these files you bothered saving actually say and how you came to your conclusions!  If you write as you conduct research the majority will be done apart from some tweaking.  The hardest part is to get in the habit of doing just that.  The class was more in depth than that and we were shown how to generate a Table of Contents, Index, Footnotes, etc to make our reports look more professional.  It may sound boring, but it wasn't and this class was excellent.

9:30am - "Helen F.M. Leary Distinguished Lecture - The Genealogical Proof Standard:  What It Is and What it Is Not" presented by Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS - If you've been following the other bloggers that attended the NGS conference, I'm certainly that you heard that Tom Jones' lectures are a cannot miss...that is 100% true!  If you ever get to hear him present, don't pass it up!  As I mentioned, I took a class on what a "reasonably exhaustive search" is and that theme does not go away in many of these classes.  It can't.  It's essential.  If you are just looking at an abstract or a transcript of a document, you need to stop and find that original (or the closest thing to the original as possible).  Abstracts and transcripts can be WRONG!  Human error.  Seriously, we type or blogs and by the time we get to the end there are mistakes.  Well, if someone is making an abstract/transcription, they are subject to the same human error.  If they are making a lot of them, how soon do you think it would take before you're going blind on paperwork?  Cite your sources (another element that is pounded into us and needs to be) and make sure that your work is clear, concise, and cited so that someone else can repeat it and hopefully agree with your conclusions.  The standards are laid out quite nicely in the BCG Standards Manual.  It really is an essential book even if you aren't considering certification.  It helps you make sure that you've done all you can and that the conclusions you are coming to are the best and most accurate they can be!

11am - "Kinship Determination:  Are They Really My Ancestors?" presented by Kay Haviland Freilich, CG, CGL - I'm so glad this class wasn't given after lunch or someone would have had to douse me with water to wake me up.  I felt like I was back in the Army and felt like I should probably stand up and move to the back of the room so as to not fall asleep.  I didn't do it, but staying awake was hard.  To sum up...I took absolutely no notes in this class.  I was afraid I would drool on my notebook...

2:30pm - "Speaking from the Grave: Exploring Probate Files" presented by Sharon Tate Moody, CG - Confession time.  I never ordered a probate file.  I naively figured that since my ancestors were fairly poor that it wouldn't be worth my time.  Yes...I'm a dumbass!  It never even crossed my mind that if I ordered my 3rd great grandfather's probate file that it might name his siblings in America (that I believe, but cannot confirm, lived in Pittsburgh) or their children.  It has the potential of revealing so much information when you think that you are at a dead end.  The motivation I felt leaving this class is almost indescribable!  Just keep in mind that even if your ancestors died intestate (without a will), if they had property (and I'm not just talking about land) it had to be taken care of.  That's not to say that everyone had a probate file, but you will most likely found that in more cases than not, there is one, so why not check!  Ms. Moody recommends a legal dictionary/source book to use when researching and the older the better!  Remember, we care about those old outdated definitions and how things used to be done.  Also, when looking at an ancestor's probate, make sure you understand what the laws of the time and region were regarding inheritance.  It may explain some odd things you come across in the packet!

4pm - "Building Better Citations" presented by Alison Hare, CG - I know...classes on citations probably excite you about as much as writing citations, but that doesn't mean that we can ignore them.  It's important that we learn to do them, do them as we research, and do them right!  Footnotes are preferable because if someone is reading your research they should be able to check the citation at the bottom of the page and not be continuously flipping to the back.  It was noted that endnotes are fine for citing your own family's research.  Naturally, Evidence Explained (affiliate link) was mentioned as the source to have. If you don't own a copy, why don't you?  Elisabeth Shown Mills has put together an excellent guide that will show you how to cite almost every possible resource we as genealogists would come across.  Ms. Hare makes some excellent points including the fact that the more you cite, the easier it will become.  Yes, you will have to check the book until you get used to citations, but they will come to you eventually and "click".  You will understand how they flow and be able to write them out like a pro with practice.  In the meantime, don't be afraid to make mistakes!

Friday the 13th was actually a pretty good day at NGS!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

NGS Conference - In Review - Day 2

The Exhibit Hall - Oh the things you'll see!

Day 2 began with a pretty big challenge.  There was a 2 session long class on BCG Certification and while I really wanted to go there were other classes that I wanted to go to as well.  Since I was going to many of the other BCG Skill-Building classes I didn't choose this one.

8am - "A Professional Researcher's Tips and Tricks to the Family History Library Catalog" presented by Daniel S. Poffenberger, AG - The new search is about 1/3 to 1/2 complete, but the hope is that full implementation will happen in 3-4 months.  FamilySearch assures everyone that the old search will not be taken away until the new search is as good or better.  Bottom line with many of the tips and tricks:  don't just search under one of the search topics.  Try using as little information as possible and then add more to narrow the search down if you get too many hits.  Also the developers want your feedback!  They really are looking to get this right, so make sure you provide feedback if you see something you like or if there is something that doesn't seem to work right.  How often do you hear that!?!

9:30am - "Researching Eighteenth-Century Germans" presented by John T. Humphrey, CG - I was disappointed in this class.  It's not that John Humphrey wasn't a good speaker.  He was fine.  The title of his lecture was not.  The assumption I made was that I would be hearing about researching in Germany.  It wasn't.  I could have found something salvageable if maybe he spoke about 18th century Germans in the United States...not so much.  So what was the class about.  Pretty much researching your 18th German ancestors that either were in Pennsylvania or started out there.  There were the occasional references to Germans moving elsewhere, but that was it.  Not even an acknowledgement that they may have come to the country to go straight for another state, oh I don't know, maybe...WISCONSIN!  I don't know that the syllabus stated that the subject would be so narrow, but I will be checking once I finally get back home tomorrow and unpack it.  Bottom line...never assume...

11am - "German Territories and Maps:  You Can't Do Research Without Them" presented by F. Warren Bittner, CG - OH MY GOODNESS!!!!  He more than made up for the 9:30 class!  I could not believe the things he found!  A floor plan for an ancestor's house.  Some great dirt on an ancestor too that had to fight for 10 years before he was permitted to marry the woman he loved (and three kids illegitimate in the meantime).  There are more than just vital and church records to researching in Germany.  Remember that there were many and varied agencies/authorities that generated records and you need to check them!  Even more important...you need to know where the city/village is located in Germany and where it was during the time you are researching.  If you remember even a little of your German history, you'll remember that it's borders were more fluid than the faucet in the bathroom. 

2:30pm - What Exactly is a 'Reasonably Exhaustive Search'?" presented by Laura Murphy DeGrazia, CG - a very good lecture that certainly showed me that I may need to dig deeper in some of my ancestors or risk linking wrong people to my tree.  You need to check all potentially relevant sources (and as close to the original source document as possible) and resolve any conflicts that arise in that search.  You need to use a wide variety of sources (not just vital records, census records, etc) and you also need to consider the reliability of each source.  Want to know more?  I did.  I grabbed the BCG's "Standards Manual" as soon as I could get to the exhibit hall!

4pm - "In the Wilderness and On the Battlefields With Your Civil War Ancestor" presented by Sharon Tate Moody, CG - I wasn't going to go to this lecture, but the others scheduled for this slot either seemed to basic or to regionally specific, so I tagged along with Jenn Woods to this class.  If nothing else, I'm a student of history.  Jenn finds it incredible that I don't have any direct line ancestors that served in the Civil War.  I agree with her on that, but I haven't found them yet.  I promised I would perform my "reasonably exhaustive search" on that when I got back home.  The class was excellent.  Sharon Tate Moody did an excellent job illustrating how attitudes and circumstances changed as the war progressed.  She urged that we look into the unit our ancestors were assigned to in order to put some "meat on the bones" and see what battles they fought in and what life was like for them in those units.  It certainly brings those ancestors to life.  Oh where, oh where are my Civil War ancestors! 

That's Day 2 minus any purchases I got in the exhibit hall.  I'll be arriving home Monday afternoon and hopefully the Cub Scout party won't prevent me from blogging tomorrow night, but no promises.  I will get Day 3 out to everyone as soon as possible!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Sunday's Obituary - Patrick Wallace Cayemberg Jr


Patrick Wallace Cayemberg Jr.
Born July 23, 1933, Red River, Wisconsin
Died May 15, 2010, Green Bay, Wisconsin

Today I begin my drive home to Killeen, Texas from the NGS conference in Charleston, South Carolina. One year ago today, my husband, sons and I began a drive from Killeen to Green Bay, Wisconsin to celebrate my mother and father-in-law's 50th wedding anniversary.  We hadn't made it past Dallas when we got the call that dad had died.  It was completely unexpected and devastating to the whole family.  What was supposed to be a joyous celebration turned into what would be a series of indescribably sad days.

I have a wonderful mother, step-father, and sisters and I added to that wonderful family an extraordinary set of in-laws that I love terribly.  Losing my father-in-law was like losing a father and his absence is felt every single day.  I know he watches over all of us and is able to see his family's accomplishments and his grandchildren's milestones.  I can find some small solace in the fact that dad died the day after their 50th anniversary (the party we were traveling up for was to be the following weekend) and that dad passed while doing something he loved...volunteering.

So today, this post is in your memory, dad.  You went on ahead of us to prepare the way.  Until that day when you welcome each of us home...we love you.

"Patrick W. Cayemberg, 76, Green Bay resident, passed away unexpectedly, Saturday, May 15, 2010 while volunteering at the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon. He was born July 23, 1933 in Red River, Wisconsin to the late Patrick and Laura (Laurent) Cayemberg. Patrick was a graduate of Green Bay East High School, class of 1951. He served his country as a member of the U.S. Army from 1954 to 1956, earning a Commendation as Specialist 3.

On May 14, 1960 he married Dolores (Lorie) Kuehl, with whom they had just celebrated 50 years of marriage. Pat “Big Daddy” worked for Schneider Transport as a truck driver for over 30 years. He enjoyed baking cookies, camping, country music festivals, making chicken booyah, gardening and wintering in Arizona. He loved Monday night dinners with the family, spending time with his grandchildren, volunteer work and going to the Friday night fish fry. Pat was an active member of the Knights of Columbus, SS. Peter and Paul Parish, the Teamsters Local 75 and the American Legion.

Survivors include his wife Dolores; four daughters: Cindy (Michael) Kolb, and Kent; Bonnie Cayemberg and Max Herrscher; Lori Ann (Joseph) Frisbie, Sam and Jackson; Karen (Bruce) Butterfield, Erik (Kristina), Vincent, and Delaney, all of Green Bay; one son, Richard (Cheryl) Cayemberg, Benjamin and Daniel, Killeen, TX. He is also survived by three brothers: Roland, Green Bay; Darold, Vulcan, MI; Glen (Sarah), Union Grove, WI; four sisters-in-law, Lorraine Ryan, Eden, WI; Alice Wood, Eden, WI; Helen Beisbier, Kewaskum, WI; Marge (Joe) Konkel, Wind Lake, WI; and many other nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.

In addition to his parents, Patrick and Laura Cayemberg, he was preceded in death by his father and mother-in-law, Romand and Leona Kuehl; brother, Wayne Cayemberg; sisters-in-law, Shirley Cayemberg, and Patsy Cayemberg; brothers-in-law, Vincent Ryan, Richard List, Donald Wood, and Alois Beisbier, great niece, Brittany Cayemberg and great nephew Jake Stanke.

Friends may call at the Proko-Wall Funeral Home, 1630 E. Mason St., on Tuesday (TODAY) from 4 to 7 p. m. Knights of Columbus Rosary Service 6:30 p.m. Parish wake service 7 p.m. Visitation will continue on Wednesday at SS. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, corner of University Ave and Baird St., after 9:30 a.m. until the time of service. Mass of Christian Burial 10:30 a.m. at the church with Msgr. Roy Klister officiating. Entombment will take place at Nicolet Memorial Gardens. Online condolences may be sent to Patrick’s family at www.prokowall.com. In lieu of other expressions of sympathy, a memorial fund is being established. The family would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the volunteers, medical personnel, first responders and the ER staff at St. Vincent Hospital for their care and consideration.

Roll on Big Daddy, Roll on…"

NGS Conference - In Review - Day 1

So the conference is now over and it's time to prepare for the drive back to Killeen, TX.  A bit bummed that I couldn't post every evening, but with Blogger crashing and then acting a bit wonky yesterday I didn't want to risk it.  It doesn't appear that everything is back to 100% (I'm still noticing little things here and there), but I'll try to get this blog out and hope it doesn't fly off into the ether....

Opening Day (11MAY2011) - Already posted about the awesome opening session so I'll touch on the classes I took...and I will be honest about them!

    11am - "Chasing the Poor and Landless in Ireland" presented by David E. Rencher, AG, CG, FIGRS, FUGA - There is absolutely nothing I can say to do this class justice.  It was one of my favorites.  Bottom line, there ARE most likely records on many of your Irish ancestors, you just need to look in the right place!  Workhouses, poor houses, outrage (crime) papers, etc...all those things generated records!  Don't just look for Vital Records.  David E. Rencher is an excellent presenter and if you can hear him speak, take advantage of it!

     2:30pm - "Search for Ancestors in Passenger Arrival Records" presented by Julie Miller, CG - A good class for beginners, but that doesn't mean that I didn't walk away with a nice refresher.  I think we sometimes need to be reminded of the various ways to search different record groups, i.e. - search for just the first name (in case the surname is spelled differently).  Other tips?  Don't stop with the index...find the original or as close to the original as possible.  This was actually a pretty big theme in most classes.  Also, make sure you copy the entire passenger list.  There could be other relatives that aren't listed right next to them or even on the same page!

     4pm - "Solving Genealogical Problems by Isolating Errors in Records" presented by Henry B. Hoff, CG, FASG - a very good class.  Touched on issues that I was familiar with or had guessed were reasons behind differences in records, but he explained the "whys" and that really helps.  Some points - remember how the words were used at the time, i.e. - just because they called someone brother doesn't mean they weren't a half-brother, step-brother.  Also, calling people by relationships that simply did not apply.  We still do this today (I know I'm guilty of it).  Both of my grandparents passed away before I was born.  There was a sweet widow, Hazel Blum, that lived next door and we called her Nana.  When my first son was born we referred to some close Army friends as "Aunt Jaime" and "Uncle Rusty", but there was no relation.  My mom went through the same thing and while she knew that her "Aunt" wasn't a relation, it made things very confusing when I first started the family research!

That was Day 1.  I'd love to talk more about each class, but we really aren't supposed to share too much.  When I start putting some of the things I learned to use, I will be posting about them to be sure.  At least I can share that way!

I've seen people tweeting about being frustrated by the lack of tweets.  So on the off-chance any of them pop on over, I'll explain...Some fellow Geneabloggers and I attempted to tweet and were actually successful in the Performance Center, but as soon as you got near a classroom (or even in many hallways) it was like we hit a dead zone. The result was that with our fully charged phones on, continually attempting to search for Internet and phone signal, the batteries were dead or almost dead by 5pm.  A few of us did try hopping outside to tweet in between classes, but there were simply some classes that if you didn't get to, you were likely to not get a seat!

What made things worse was the Social Media Policy that went out.  We were under the impression that social media was being encouraged, but before each class we were told to turn off (not silence) our phones.  Not that it mattered too much since we had no signal to tweet, but if we had this could have been a bigger issue.  People really need to embrace this whole crazy social media "fad".  It's not going away people.  Get with the program or get left behind.

OK, enough griping :)  It was a wonderful day and there were no classes that made me want to nap!

More tomorrow...there is still so much more to tell!