Monday, July 20, 2009

Taking some time for research...ahhhhhh

Recently I have had not one but two different opportunities to do some research on my Sommer family history. Last Thursday I was lucky enough to find some time to visit the Chicago Heights, IL, Family History Center. I had previously ordered some microfilm on Neckargemund, Germany church records. Thanks to one of my new found Sommer relatives I had a couple of names to work with and got busy. The first major obstacle I faced was the fact that the microfilm was in German, and I do not read or speak German. However, that did not prevent me from continuing my research. I brought with me a German-English and English-German dictionary and went to work. After about an hour I decided to simply look for the Sommer or Rusch names and would copy the page and have it translated later. Thanks to a couple of words I could translate, I believe I found the marriage record of Daniel Sommer and Christina Wittman from 1873. I was lucky enough to also find four of their children's baptismal/birth records from 1873 through 1880. The Rusch name was listed in several places so I copied those records as well, although I do not know if they are relevant to my family. After four hours I decided to call it quits. The film will remain at the Family History Center until the middle of August unless I extend it indefinitely, which most likely I will do. That way I can look at the film many more times. It was a great afternoon for sure.
Saturday, I went with the Friends of the Governors State Library Historical Society to the Newberry Library in Chicago, IL. I had been to the library before but was unable to do any personal research. This time was different! After another tour of the library, I went directly to the second floor where the genealogy research area is located. I went through almost twenty years of Chicago City Directories which were on microfilm. Once again, I met with some success. There are years when my Great Great Grandparents Charles and Katharine Ball were simply not listed anywhere. When they were listed their occupation was always listed as a "nurse." Confirmation of what I believed to be true! What I also discovered was that Charles and Katharine moved almost every year to a new home/apartment. Gosh, would I hate to move that often. Why did they move so often anyway? My next visit to the Newberry Library will be to research maps and attempt to plot the neighborhoods where they lived!
I've updated my family tree with my new found information and have given my German records to a friend to translate---at his convenience of course. So, as so often is the case, I have met with some genealogy success but once again, boy do I have more questions! The search continues......

1 comment:

Cheryl Fleming Palmer said...

Congrats on your research finds and getting the time to do some! :-)

The Family

The family. We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another's desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together. ~Erma Bombeck

Genealogy Pox, author unknown

WARNING: GENEALOGY POX IS VERY CONTAGIOUS!

SYMPTOMS: Continual complaint as to need for names, dates and places. Patient has a blank expressions, sometimes deaf to spouse and children. Has no taste for work of any kind, except feverishly looking through records at libraries and courthouses.
Has a compulsion to write letters. Swears at mailman when he doesn't leave mail. Frequents strange places such as cemeteries, ruins, and remote desolate country areas. Makes secret night calls and hides phone bills from spouse. Mumbles to self. Has strange, faraway look in eyes.

NO KNOWN CURE!

TREATMENT: Medication is useless. This disease is not fatal, but gets progressively worse. Patient should attend genealogy workshops, subscribe to genealogical magazines and be given a quiet corner in the house where he/she can be alone.

REMARKS: The unusual nature of this disease is that the sicker the patient gets, the more he or she enjoys it!