Thursday, July 7, 2016

Something new at the Guild of One-Name Studies: FamilySearch Initiative.

For Marie
      Late last night, I uploaded my small One Name Study up to the Guild of One-Name Studies section of FamilySearch. It was really neat to see this happen as I felt ready to “let go” of my study and share it all. I already have a member website sponsored by the Guild running in the TNG software that publishes the study.

In July, the Guild of One-Name Studies announced another arrangement to help preserve the One Name Studies run by their members so they created the Guild of One-Name Studies Trees category in the GENEALOGIES section of FamilySearch.

Since joining the GOONS1, I have learned so much about research. I loved the courses I took to learn how to do it. I love the quarterly GOONS Journal that comes in the mail. I love how it’s a non-competitive, happy community of researchers who like to share their experiences and techniques with anyone who has the interest.

Coincidentally, the person who helped me upload my gedcom last night to FamilySearch was Marie Byatt2. What is interesting about Marie is that years ago when I was exploring different websites to post some genealogy, I came upon her Pepler One Name Study on Tribal Pages. Now, years later, with Marie's help at the FamilySearch & Guild of One-Name Studies Initiative, I am preserving my own study for the future.


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

FINDING Barbara Stumpf’s Zell

I have been able to connect all but one of my German lines back to their ancestral village. My fourth great - grandmother, Barbara Stumpf of “Zell”[1],  married Augustus Weppner, circa 1817, in either “Zell, Bavaria” or Pfeddersheim. They immigrated to Buffalo, New York in 1834[2] following the birth of the last German-born child in Pfeddersheim[3] . When I started to look for their marriage record, this German line became more challenging than my Millers because there are quite a few “Zells” in Germany. I put that research aside until last month.
Barbara Stumpf Weppner Grave Marker. United German & French Cemetery, Cheektowaga, Erie, NY
This morning, I came upon this blog post by Sonja. By the way, if you do German research, Sonja’s blog is a treasure trove. Sonja announced a website that combines the Meyers Orts und Verkehrs Lexikon for searching capabilities in Germany and Poland. I have to say this is an amazing mapping tool! In the old genealogy days, I could only access the Meyers Ort on microfilm at my Family History library. Then I thought it was really cool beans when it could be accessed at Ancestry (in card catalog, search under “Meyers Orts- und Verkehrs-Lexikon des Deutschen Reichs” or “Meyers Gazetteer of the German Empire”).
The MEYERSGAZ site is amazing. It toggles historical maps with the modern maps which will keep me happy for many years to come as I finger walk old maps to solve research dilemmas. It also claims to not “worry about diacritics when searching”. The Ecclesiastical listings show the nearest parishes or synagogues with mileage added. Remember that our ancestors hitched a ride in a wagon or walked to religious rituals so this feature would be really helpful in selecting the microfilms one needs to order.
Hope you will enjoy as much as I do, and thanks, Sonja !

[1] Weppner Family Announcement for ARNOLD WEPPNER Memorial (dated Sept. 5 1900) (n.p: Name: Name: Copy of Original; n.d). Private family archive.
[2] New York Passenger Lists 1820-1957. Year: 1834; Arrival: , ; Microfilm serial: M237; Microfilm roll: M237_24; Line: 19; List number: 696
[3] IGI (Vol. 5, Germany). Batch.#C966491 , Source #0949593

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Epidemics in genealogy

Pandemics and epidemics are a reality of research that cannot be avoided when doing genealogy. When I started genealogy at the age of 17, I was photographing cemetery stones when I landed on one marker‘s inscriptions where the father and his children died all in one day. I wrote about it here.
The other day, I was looking for a particular death record in Csötörtök, Pozsony, Hungary. I am in the years between 1865-1867 and see a cholera breakout.
Pgs. 197-198. Catholic Church Record: Csötörtök, Pozsony, Hungary. Now called Štvrtok na Ostrove, Slovákia
CholeraChurch Record Csötörtök, Pozsony, Hungary1866Pgs. 197-198. Catholic Church Record: Csötörtök, Pozsony, Hungary. Now called Štvrtok na Ostrove, Slovákia

The cause of every death recorded on this page was cholera. Sometimes pages like this one goes on throughout a a length of time in months. By the way, this is a really good pandemic history timeline for references to locations of Cholera outbreaks in the Asia and Europe at this link about Eastern Europe plagues.

sources: Wikipedia: Epidemics

GENEANET: Why I use Geneanet.

For the uninitiated, Geneanet has some nice genealogical tools. I have been a free subscriber to Geneanet for over ten years and it never lets me down. I gravitated over to Geneanet because I discovered that many international researchers share their research online there.

My favorite thing is the Geneanet Email Alerts I receive in my emails. Once in awhile, I receive a listing, in an email format, of all my surnames ( with locations ) that were recently uploaded to Geneanet.

Here is a screenshot of the type of email I receive. It’s a pleasant company to sign up on because I never get any other emails (read: promotions) except my Geneanet Email Alerts.
As you can see from my own listings, I localized my preferences quite narrowly to the actual villages. On one of my surname listings, I did not list an ancestral village but I want to see where that surname pops up worldwide.

When you sign up, there are no limits to the quantity of surnames. Not depicted in this image in the Geneanet email alerts are my other surnames and that is simply because nothing has popped up for them yet. Occasionally, I get one of my surnames where the place of origins is unknown, lo and behold, I learn something and discovered a new connection!
I constructed a very small tree up in Geneanet but one does not have to do that at all. One can also upload a gedcom if they please. Geneanet family trees are displayed in the Sosa-Stradonitz Method. The set-up is very easy for English-speaking members.
I really do not know anything else about the company as I only use the Geneanet Email alerts. They apparently have a subscription service for Premium members, a genealogical community, plus more.
If you would like to sign up to only receive the Geneanet Email alerts, you can create a free account at

Once signed in, scroll down to the panel titled Geneanet Email Alert >> click on the title which will bring you to a page like this one.
The locations for your surnames can be selected by Country, Region/State. State/County/Subdivision and Place in a dropdown menu box. You can also set a date range; I don’t set a date range myself so I can cast a bigger net. I also put in a couple variations of the spelling of certain surnames to catch variants in a localized area.

One neat little thing that amuses me every time I sign into my account is the NAME DAY calendar so Happy Name Day to everyone called Celeste, Celestina, Celestine, Celesta.