Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Making Sure my Son Knows Why I Bought This Book

Today I received a book in the mail that I ordered from Amazon last week. I love it when I get good mail like this! As much as I love having digital books to read on my ipad, I still love getting a new book, holding it, carrying it with me and reading it! The book I got today was "Hope Amid Hardship" by Linda S. Johnston. A few weeks ago I received an email from the author who notified me that she'd written this book that would be released August 6. She told me one of the people featured in the book was Julia Hardy Lovejoy. She had found a post on this blog that I'd done a year ago about Julia so she knew of my family connection and thought I'd be interested in reading the new book. She was right! 

At the time that I posted my original story about my connection to Julia I had prepared a pedigree chart that illustrated how I was connected to her. Sometimes those connections get pretty complicated, so I make my own charts that show me the connections. It's pictured here: 
Today I had a good idea....it happens once in awhile. I printed my post from March 2012, along with the chart and am going to keep those hard copies inside this book. Someday when my son goes through my possessions and starts discarding things, when he finds this book and sees the information I've added to it, he'll understand the special connection this book and the subject matter have to me.

I've purchased a few other books because ancestors or relatives were featured in them. My next project will be to add that "provenance" to those books so my son will know their significance in the future. I'm always looking ahead and trying to make things easier for him when he has to "dispose" of all my collections! 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

My Uncle Heinrich Margheim Story Gets Better!

In my previous post I explained how I discovered that my paternal grandfather had a brother who died at age 1 and how surprised I was to discover that fact just last week. When I visited my Dad in the nursing home this afternoon I brought up my story here on my blog and let him read it. His hearing is failing and it's difficult to carry on a lengthy conversation so I thought he'd absorb the information much better by reading it. Last Friday I visited him and asked if he knew about this brother Heinrich. He said he hadn't heard of him. But there are days when his memory is foggy...that was one of them. Today after he read my blog post, he turned to me and said "I know where he's buried. I've been there". And he was totally correct. He described the exact location of the Milberger Cemetery as it's listed on FindAGrave and as it's shown on the map. Down to the County line! He said as a boy each time his family drove by the cemetery, his mom would say "That's where Dad's baby brother is buried". Now isn't it something that I'm 65 years old and had NEVER heard about this baby boy? Dad told me Heinrich ("Henry") is buried quite near his mom and dad and does not have a grave marker.  

Dad also noted as he read the Church Register entry that had been transcribed by Janet Flickinger that his grandmother Maria Katherina Winter (geb Kunz) Margheim was "geborn Kunz" or born Kunz. Dad remembers enough of his German to understand that. I had to go to Google translate yesterday to find that out. He didn't seem as shocked as I was. I just always knew my great-grandmother was Katie Winter. Now we need to find out if Winter was a first husband and what happened to him!

The story gets even crazier. I mentioned in my previous post yesterday that I originally discovered Heinrich when I saw him listed as a child to this family on FamilySearch. The entry was made by a Lisa Hagner. After I wrote my blog post I wrote an email last night to Lisa Hagner so she'd know what I found on FindAGrave. She replied to me tonight that she thought it was awesome and was happy to have been able to help me. Then her closing line in her email says: "I am wondering what (geb Kunz) means ...as Kunz is my maiden name." Do you believe it? My son was visiting this afternoon as I read this email and I just gasped and shared this new development with him.

I said in my previous post that I now have new research to do on the Kunz line and tonight I got my first lead, from the same woman who put me onto this trail in the first place. My ancestors are really at work here to get this story straightened out. I fully expect to find someday that my great-grandma Mary Katherine Kunz Winter Margheim is related to this Lisa Hagner. I will keep you all posted! Who knows what I'll learn next? 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Uncle Heinrich Margheim, I Never Knew You

Last weekend my husband and I attended the Colorado Family History Expo in Colorado Springs. I ate up every word spoken in his classes by James Tanner, Genealogist in Mesa, Arizona and author of Genealogy's Star blog. James is a wonderful resource for keeping up on developments at the rapidly changing FamilySearch.org. While listening to one of James's presentations, I got the idea of gradually transferring all the data in my RootsMagic database into the Family Tree at FamilySearch.org. My purpose for this is to preserve it for my descendants, who I'm sure will not update or even open my database after I'm gone. But someone down the line in the future may find it on FamilySearch. I also have my family tree on Ancestry.com but one of these days I will probably delete it and manage only one online tree.   

To follow up on my new plan, I signed into FamilySearch Tuesday evening, August 6. I quickly began attaching Records to my ancestors, starting with my Margheim family, since I was born Mary Rebecca Margheim. I discovered that family members or changes had been submitted to Family Search by two different individuals besides me: (1) Lisa Hagner and (2) SchenemenCharleneRenee1.

Before I went to bed (who could sleep?) I sent an email to Lisa Hagner asking about her identity and relationship to 'my' Margheim family. I grew up knowing my grandfather John L. Margheim (1900-1978) very well and had heard mention of each of his brothers and sisters. 

To my amazement, as I checked my email from my ipad late Tuesday evening, August 6, after writing to Lisa H., I found a letter of inquiry from Charlene West-Scheneman. The same name I had just read two hours earlier at the Family Search site! This is the opening of Charlene's email: "Hello, I am working on my family tree in FamilySearch and found that some of the info I am needing was entered and completed by you." Now I could have written those same words to HER the same evening! 

I knew the George Jacob and Katie Margheim family who is shown in this family portrait:
My grandfather is the youngest, shown above in the front center. 

My heart nearly skipped a beat as I was reviewing the family members listed on FamilySearch because they included a Heinrich, born August 6, 1891, died June 8, 1892. That had to be wrong! I'd never heard of a Heinrich in this family, nor had I ever heard of a son dying as a one year old child. 

When I visited my Dad yesterday I asked him if he ever heard that Grandpa Margheim (his father) had an older brother who died as a one year old. He had not. The reply I got by email this morning from the Lisa who had listed this child in the family told me she got the information from two other public family trees on Ancestry.com.  

I didn't have time to follow up on that today as I was busy teaching a Family History lesson to teenagers at our church. But this evening that was my top priority. Before I went to the trees on Ancestry.com I did a Google search for Heinrich Margheim. Related links led me to FindAGrave where I found a listing for all of the Margheims in the Milberger (Kansas Cemetery). I can't tell you how surprised I was when I saw a listing for Heinrich "Henry" Margheim, born 1891, died 1892. This information is added to his memorial and is very significant: "Death Records for Milberger Lutheran Church
Janet Laubhan Flickinger
(transcribed by Janet Flickinger) has an entry that reads: Heinrich Margheim (sic, they used the German spelling), died June 8, 1892. Child of Jacob and Maria Kath. Winter (geb Kunz) Margheim. He was born Aug. 6, 1891."
So he was real. I digested this information as my husband and I fixed our dinner this evening. After eating, I went back to the paragraph from FindAGrave and re-read it carefully. I also finally added Heinrich to my database and entered the paragraph into the personal notes for Heinrich. 

Another surprise!!! "geb Kunz" was translated "born Kunz". Well, what do you know?! Does this tell me that my great-grandmother Mary Katherine Winter Margheim was born a Kunz? This story is just full of surprises. Does anyone else in the family know this? Can it really be true? It must be, as it was recorded in the church register at the time of her infant son's death. I'm employed as a Parish Administrator in the local Episcopal church and regularly make entries into the Parish Register. When death information is added, it is provided by family members. 

So now I have a lot more research to do on the Kunz family. That's going to have to wait for another day.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Family History Expos 10th Anniversary in Colorado Springs

Scenes from the Aug. 2-3 Family History Expo in Colorado Springs, CO
10th Anniversary Edition

After spending the month of July in the hospital recovering from major surgery, my husband Larry was happy to accompany me to the 10th Anniversary Edition of Holly Hansen's Family History Expo in Colorado Springs, CO last Friday and Saturday. And I was thrilled that he could join me in this our 5th FHExpo in as many years.

We were welcomed with hugs as we greeted dear friends that we've made from previous Expos. And we were delighted to attend classes by experts in the Family History world. Larry was limited in the time he could spend in classes and rested throughout most of the two days we were at the Hotel Elegante.

James Tanner opened the Expo with an enlightening Keynote Address in which he shared his Top Ten Techniques for research:

1. Use the tools available (tablets, smartphones, computers, etc)
2. Search for every ancestor, not just the ones we like
3. Move beyond user submitted trees and copying pedigrees
4. Do the math...do the dates and ages add up?
5. Look at the bigger picture; where and when did your ancestors live?
6. Look in newspapers and other sources.
7. Keep a record of all the places you look.
8. Cite your sources
9. Acquire new skills; attend conference, engage in socializing
10. Organize and share your results

I attended a class on the Flip-Pal scanner. I've used mine to scan thousands of photos, but always learn something new from the experts. I learned that I need to download the newer version of the software when I finish writing this blog post!

The third class I attended was given by Bradley Monson on effective Google searches. I was happy to know of a link he shared at www.googleguide.com.

Bradley Monson's wife Sharon presented a good class on the Top Ten Online Catches in which she exposed us to sites such as the National Archives, State Archives, County Record Inventories, College Libraries and others that are often overlooked by the casual researcher. Sharon is developing a new business that will offer ways for us to do smarter research. A book is forthcoming and this site will be "live" in October: http://gensearchandmore.com/

My favorite class session was given by James Tanner and was called "How to Ask for Help". Here are some of his tips:

1. Don't get overwhelmed
2. Prepare before you arrive
3. Once you arrive, be sure to ask for help. If the person you ask doesn't know, ask to be guided to someone who might know the answer. In a Library, not everyone knows everything!
4. Don't expect volunteers or staff to do your research for you. But it helps if you have a cheerful countenance.
5. Follow the advice of the person you ask.
6. If you ask for help, be ready to tell the whole story. Tell them where you've already looked. Know when and where: what time period and in what county or part of the county.
7. Don't give up!

James added a second part to his class in which he shared information with us about using local history books in our research, using online books, visiting libraries. My favorite quote from this session was "Libraries are like vacuum cleaners. They pick up a lot of stuff!"

James Tanner also presented to a packed audience a class on the Family Search Research Wiki. Following that class I attended another class given by Sharon Monson which informed us of the effectiveness of using the Family Search Catalog. And again I took in a class taught by James Tanner (if he was teaching a class, I was there!) on the FamilySearch Family Tree. I was happy to learn more about the structure of the Family Tree and how it is set up to eliminate duplicates as we "go on down the road".

It was great fun to meet Jen Baldwin, a fellow Colorado Genea-Blogger, who is a professional in the field. Even though I maintain about 6 or 7 blogs, I can always use a good dose of motivation and I got that from Jen's presentation!

The time we spent at the Family History Expo was so rewarding this year. We were ready for a weekend "get-away", a change of scenery from hospitals and nursing homes, time to visit with cousin Sharon Landers Koleber, fellow Canon City residents Becky Booher, Phyllis Pollard, Mickey Wells, and the Directors of our local FamilySearch Center Ken and Lureen Orchard and Expo friends Ruby Coleman, James Tanner, Holly Hansen and a Colorado Springs Vendor friend. Yes, we have to get out of town to have time to visit with the locals!

With an Early-Bird Registration fee of $59/person, this was the bargain of the year for us and anyone else interested in learning more about family history research or anyone just looking for a chance to talk to others about their family history. We're anxious for next year's conference and are grateful to Holly Hansen for giving us this wonderful opportunity to hone our skills and fellowship with like-minded family historians.