Your Quick Tips, 20 August 2007

A Trip in Time
Would you like to make a trip around the area your ancestors came from, in the timeframe they lived there? If/when you learn where your ancestors came from you can take that imaginary trip. Over the years I have purchased antique Baedeker’s travel books. I’ve researched how my ancestors might have traveled to reach their point of departure from Europe, what kind of transportation was available in that timeframe, and plotted possible routes to determine which books I should purchase. My specific ancestors came from Germany. This led me to explore multiple countries.

In these travel books are maps of cities as well as of buildings that existed in the timeframe the book covers (e.g., churches, cathedrals, etc.). Many are available in English as well as the native language. Copies of a lot of these maps are being sold on the Internet. They take you day-by-day from point to point, with sights you would have seen along the way. I have been lost in my reading of these travel guides for hours at a time–it is the next best thing to being there.

Marge Clark Continue reading

The Year Was 1886

Haymarket Meeting Announcement (from LOC Photo Collection)The year was 1886 and Chicago, Illinois–at the time only fifty-three years old–had grown to become an important trade center. But as in other parts of the country, divisions between capitalists and labor coupled with economic instability to cause friction. Unions were pressing for an eight-hour workday.

On 3 May, following a national eight-hour walkout, violence broke out at a union rally, and clashes with police resulted in the deaths of two workers. Another outdoor meeting was planned for the following evening at the Haymarket on Randolph Street near Desplaines Street. The police and government officials were worried that the assembly would turn violent and as the meeting was winding down, police marched in and ordered the attendees to disperse.

A bomb was thrown into the gathered police, setting off a wave of gunfire in the panic that ensued. Seven policemen and at least four workers were killed in the Haymarket Riot, and more casualties would follow. Anarchists were rounded up and arrested. Eight men would be charged with conspiracy, although the actual bomb thrower was never discovered and it was never proven that the eight men had planned the bomb throwing. They were convicted on the grounds that their speeches and actions had incited the mob actions. Four of the men were hanged, another condemned to die committed suicide, one was given fifteen years in prison, and the other two–originally condemned to death–had their sentences commuted and were eventually pardoned in 1893. To learn more about the Haymarket Riot, the conditions that led to it, and the aftermath, visit the Chicago Historical Society’s online exhibition, The Dramas of Haymarket. Continue reading

Photo Corner

Joseph and Adeline Stoliker of Leeds County, Ontario, ca. 1900Contributed by Debbie Demeester
This is a picture of the granddaughters of Joseph and Adeline Stoliker of Leeds County, Ontario, ca. 1900. Bottom right is Blanche “Babe” Stoliker next to her sister Myrtle Ann Stoliker, both children of John and Elizabeth Reed Stoliker. Top left is Eva May Courtney, daughter of Joseph and Mina Stoliker Courtney. Top right is Florence Abigale Stoliker, daughter of Frank and Abigale Haynes Stoliker. Babe was my grandmother and her family eventually settled in Michigan.

Click on the images to enlarge them.

John Minor of Caroline County, VirginiaContributed by Steve Nazigian
This dashing young man is my great-grandfather John Minor who was living in Caroline County, Virginia, when he married my great-grandmother, Blanche H. Penney. Our family tradition describes him as a lumber mill boss who died in the forest while chopping wood after the revolver in his waistband accidentally discharged. Shortly afterwards, his only child, John Arthur Minor, my grandfather, was born in 1897.

Protecting Your Genealogy Data, by George G. Morgan

July 16th was not a good day. As a Florida resident, I’m accustomed to a lot of unusual weather. During the summer, hurricane season is always on people’s minds, and there is usually a strong downpour every afternoon around rush hour. More often than not, the rain is accompanied by strong lightning and thunder. After all, whether you know it or not, Florida is the “lightning capital of the world,” with more direct strikes per square mile than anywhere else. As a result, Floridians must be more attuned to protecting their homes, appliances, and electronic equipment than most people elsewhere. Still, we all need to be conscientious about protecting equipment and data.

You have invested hundreds or thousands of hours in researching your genealogy and entering data into your computerized database. It doesn’t make any difference which program you use–Family Tree Maker, Roots Magic, Legacy, The Master Genealogist, PAF, or another program. The data you have so carefully and lovingly entered into your computer database is vulnerable to destruction or corruption by any of a number of perils. Here are a few tips to help you protect your investment of time, money, and research. Continue reading

The Next Generation, by Maureen Taylor

child back library.bmpI was a weird kid. When I started researching my family at nine years old, none of my friends were interested in their family history. Given the choice of spending an afternoon with an elderly grandparent or out riding bikes, most of my pals chose to wheel around the neighborhood. Not me. My family once made a detour on vacation so that I could spend an afternoon at the New Hampshire Historical Society in Concord. Over the years I’ve met others bitten by the genealogy bug as a kid or teen, but most folks take up this hobby as adults.

I thought about my early days as a youthful genealogist this summer when a counselor at an educational organization in my county that finds internships for teens paired me up with Erin. Since I’m a freelance writer, the counselor thought Erin (who wants to be a journalist) and I should have a chat. During her interview I discovered that her favorite subject is history and that she’d written a short paper on her family origins. Lucky me! Continue reading

Tips from the Pros: Note the Location of Sources, from Michael John Neill

Tracking your research (the title of the book, page, publication date, publisher, etc.) has always been an integral part of research. However, sometimes there is more to it than that. The location of the reference is just as important.

While reviewing digital files I had saved to my flash drive while in Salt Lake City at the Family History Library, I realized that while I had the book title and page number, etc., I didn’t have the name and location of the database that allowed me to search that book in the first place.

I had located the digital images using online databases that allowed for full-text searches. I was in such a hurry to download the image and the book’s title, author, etc. that I neglected to track the larger database of which the book was a part.

Many scans of older books are now parts of larger digital collections. The name of the website or database provider is an integral part of the source. All scans are not created equally and tracking the provider would allow me to easily search the reference again if I realize there are names I overlooked in my initial searches. Don’t overlook this step in your source citations.

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Your Quick Tips, 13 August 2007

Cookbook.bmpTreasures in Cookbooks
Cookbooks published by churches sometimes contain a lot of information on the way of life, especially the older books that can be found at yard sales and flea markets.

One gem is “Lutheran Church Basement Women” published in 1992. In addition to recipes, descriptions of life and customs in Minnesota are included throughout the book. The section on “Dead Spreads” brings memories of the meal always served to everyone after a funeral. There is a three-page explanation of why in Minnesota the favorite dessert is called a “bar.” Another page demonstrates how to tie on an apron. A few other gems include cabbage and pineapple salad made with lemon gelatin, egg coffee, and watermelon pickles.

Mabel Loesch Continue reading