Sunday, February 28, 2010

DuPage County Genealogical Society 35th Annual Conference...a blast!

Yesterday I had the privilege of attending the 35th Annual Genealogy Conference sponsored by the DuPage County Genealogical Society. What a blast! I had mentioned the upcoming conference at the New Lenox Public Library's Genealogy Club to several of the members and they were able to make it. Plus a couple of friends from the Tinley Moraine Genealogists also attended.
I wish I could have participated in more lectures because they had great speakers. Dr. John Philip Colletta, genealogist, lecturer, educator, and author of a number of great genealogy books, including his newest publication; Only a Few Bones was my favorite presenter. I was lucky enough to sit in on three of his programs; Discovering Your Ancestors' World Through Maps and Gazetteers, Passenger Arrival Records: Advanced Problem Solving and Discovering the Real Stories of Your Immigrant Ancestors. From start to finish, all three programs were presented in Dr. Colletta's humorous and extremely knowledgeable style. I also attended a program by Elissa Scalise Powell, another terrific researcher, genealogist, educator and lecturer. That program was titled The Research Cycle-Don't Pedal Backwards and was quite enjoyable as well.
So, my day was perfect, attending a genealogy conference, meeting new friends, and gaining more genealogical research insight. I was able to talk to my genealogy peers about GENEALOGY all day. No one got tired of listening to each other, sharing ideas, discussing our brickwalls, and suggesting new directions in our quest to discover our family history!
Wow, I can't wait for the next conference....

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

2nd Grade, Wordless Wednesday

Arlene Guinee, 2nd grade
2nd row, 1st person on the left!
Photo privately owned by P. Taylor

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Third Annual iGene Awards, Best of the Best

The topic for this 90th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy is the iGene Awards, Best of the Best, (thank you Jasia). Time for the Academy of Genealogy and Family History to honor what we feel are our own best blog posts of 2009 in the following five areas. So, here it goes....

Best Picture of 2009 would have to be one on my first blog posts of 2009 and is one of my favorites. It is a three generation picture of my grandfather Steve, my father Norb and myself when I was about one year old. It is the only picture I have of the three of us together.

Best Screen Play of 2009, How to be a Mean Mom. What a name for a screen play huh? Well, if I had to choose actors to star in this movie I would pick Katherine Hepburn to play my mother for she portrayed women in a real down to earth fashion. I always loved
Ms. Hepburn and so did my mom. To play my part I would choose Sandra Bullock or Reese Witherspoon (I can dream can't I?), especially after watching Sandra in the movie the Blindside--and I loved Reese in the movie Walk the Line. Go ladies!

Best Documentary of 2009 would be one of the first blog posts about my Sommer/Rusch relatives from Germany. It is really an ongoing series about my German relatives from Neckargemund, Neckarsteinach, and Cleebronn Germany. I have been so fortunate to discover so many of my family records that are available from the Family History Library.

Best Biography of 2009, well, it's not really a biography but it certainly is a story. My uncle shared several stories from his youth of my great grandparents Bert and Eva Hanaway. I had never heard those stories before and my uncle told them in such a manner that I thought I was there with him. It was a great afternoon for sharing family history.

Best Comedy of 2009 is an easy one. It HAS to be the picture of my grandmother Lucy getting a big smooch (yuck!) from a camel while vacationing in Greece! I can just hear my grandmother laughing out loud when I look at this picture.

So, there they are...the five blog posts that I think are some of my best of 2009. Take a moment and visit some of them and share with me your comments please!

DuPage County Genealogical Society Annual Conference

The DuPage County Genealogical Society is having their 35th annual conference on February 27, 2010. For anyone living in the Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, or Indiana areas this is another wonderful opportunity to meet some terrific fellow genealogists and acquire some great information.
The scheduled speakers include; Jeffrey A. Bockman, Genealogical Lecturer and author, John Philip Colletta, author, lecturer and faculty member at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, Kathy Meade, U.S. representative for Genline AB and volunteer at the Swedish American Museum in Chicago, and finally Elissa Scalise Powell, certified genealogist, teacher and researcher. There will also be quite a few vendors and exhibitors at this conference.
Have a free Saturday with nothing to do? Make a date and plan on attending this great genealogy conference. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday....burrrrrrr

Ice on Lake Michigan

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Photo privately owned by P. Taylor

Monday, February 8, 2010

Smile for the Camera! Día de San Valentín

This card is from my oldest daughter Sharon. I believe she made it for me her first year in high school (about 1994)for a Spanish assignment! I have been given many hand made cards (my FAVORITE) from my children over the years. This is the only one I have in Spanish.
Her handwriting is so pretty!

Gracias querida hija!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

I'm so excited!!!

Magenheim Castle
Cleebronn, Germany
The joy of microfilm records....
I have a number of reels of microfilm on Neckargemuend, Germany on permanent loan from the Family History Center in the Chicago Heights Family History Library. The church records of those reels of microfilm are invaluable. I have found births, baptismal, marriage, and death records on many, many of my Sommer and Rusch ancestors.
In December, 2009, I discovered that my 4th Great Grandfather Johann Michael Sommer married in Neckargemuend, Germany, however, he was a resident of Cleebronn, Germany.
That information lead me to a new location to investigate. I was keeping my fingers crossed that there would be some information available so I could continue my family research. Lucky for me there is!
Below is the 1795 marriage record of Johann Michael Sommer and Anna Margaretha Schmidt that lead me to Cleebronn, Germany.
The translation reads as follows:
On the 28th of April, the unmarried, prospective local citizen and baker Johann Michael Sommer, born in Cleebronn in Wurttemburg's greater district of Brackenheim, and Anna Margaretha, unmarried legitimate daughter left behind by the deceased local citizen and master butcher Johann Valentin Schmidt, were married here in the church after posting three banns and receipt of the Dismissorial.

One description of Dismissorial is: written permission to get married by another Reverend in another community.

This translation was completed by N. Grossman, a professional German researcher/translator, December of 2009.

So, last Thursday I reviewed the first of two reels of film on Cleebronn, Germany that I had requested. I must have copied twenty some records in about 2 1/2 hours of work. Plus, there is so much more on this particular reel of film. From a marriage proclamation in Cleebronn on Johann Michael's first marriage, I believe I discovered the name of his mother and father. There are also at least nine possible sibling baptismal records, several death records, which may include Michael's grandparents. That information would take my research back to my 6th great grandparents! Oh how I wish there were photographs!

The records I discovered have been scanned and sent to N. Grossman. I cannot wait to go back to the FHC and continue my research and hopefully, find even more connections and ancestors!

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


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.


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!