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The Beginning

So, this is Dad and Mom. Ray is the son of Conrad Herrmann and Kate Bundock. He is the step-son of Edith Armstrong and Wally Hewitt. ...

Monday, March 12, 2018

Bjorkman and Mitchell Marriage Record

So, I found in a database Mom and Rocky's marriage record. Cool.

I noticed Uncle Rollie and Aunt Irene were witnesses. When Mom and Dad got married (the first time), Uncle Ivan and Aunt Mildred were their witnesses. 

I am still getting my files organized. It's been interesting, as I've been running across things I forgot I had stashed away. This was, actually, one of them. A quick download when time was short for researching, from about 6 months ago. It was one of those, "I'll put it here and deal with it later" kind of things. 
Even though that type of thing is frowned upon as a family researcher, it does happen. Those who do their own research can, often, find sufficient time to do it. So, it becomes quite common to quickly download and set aside a find.
As I find more and more of these types of  "set-asides", I'll post some of them. 

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Magdalena's Maiden Name - Martsch, Martch, or Mauch

My biggest brickwall in my pedigree is Grandma Lena. Other than after her marriage to Konrad/Conrad, I have found absolutely nothing prior to that time. I don't even know, for sure, her maiden name.
Aunt June told me that Grandpa's death certificate reported her maiden name as Martsch. 
Uncle Fred's marriage record to Pauline shows the name as Martch.
I have found nothing under either of these surnames. The closest I came to finding anything are passenger records and index records for a Magdalene/Magdalena Mauch. 
There is no way, at this point in time, of knowing anything until I find something definitive with the surname. Then, maybe, I can start filling in the blanks of my biggest brickwall.

Uncle Fred's marriage record to Pauline.
He records his mother's maiden name as Martch.

An Index record for Magdalena Mauch arriving in 1889 with
her 20 year old brother, Johann.

A different index record of the same Magdalena Mauch.

New York Passenger list for a Magdalena Mauch
arriving in 1889.

Indexed record for the same Magdalena Mauch

Passenger list from Hamburg

Indexed Record from Hamburg.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

The Powerful Tool in RootsMagic

This past year, RootsMagic Genealogy computer program began linking to Ancestry.com. Now, Family Tree Maker did this, also, and for a very short while (like, only a few months) I was using FTM. I had just bought the program, and began synching my trees.
However, I experienced a computer crash. I had a back up computer waiting on the sidelines, so I installed all of my programs, files, etc. (It pays to back up every six months). All of my programs worked just fine - except FTM. It would not acknowledge the activation key. So, I called FTM (which, at that time, was still owned by Ancestry.com. They have since sold it off). I was told that I would have to purchase the program AGAIN to get another activation key. In your dreams! I just bought it a few months ago. So, I began using my RootsMagic as my main gen program.
Now, the whole purpose of this is not that story. See, I have been researching for over 30 years. My tree is old - with thousands of people, records, photos - and mistakes.
As a young whippersnapper in internet genealogy, I got a tad too loose with the research. I was adding people left and right. And I was using the info from other trees without a thought that they could be in error. Over the years, I've learned many things.
So, lesson number one - don't use other people's trees. I can't say I've totally sworn off this, as I do view other's work if I hit a brick wall. But I analyze their work carefully. And I spend time looking down other avenues for possibilities. And I only do this as a very LAST resort. I'm still sorting out people from my tree, years later, from a tree that I stupidly took from and added to my own tree. And it was all WRONG.
Lesson two - review, review, review. I go over everything - a lot. Typo's are made, errors occur. We are not perfect. Are the dates right? Are the spouses correct? The descendants? The parents? The records? The photo's? Are there duplicates? Have I weeded out the foo foo?
Now, if you like foo foo, that's okay. It's your tree. For me, it's just clutter. What is foo foo? It's what I call photo's of cemeteries, maps (unless it has the name of the ancestor directly on it, such as the Sanborn maps), Coat of Arms, photo's that say, "End of Line", "Immigrant", "DNA Match", "Direct Line", "Female Ancestor", "Male Ancestor" - well, you get the point. It's all just clutter that has nothing to do with the person. And it's a pain when hundreds show up on the Ancestry hints.
I have limited myself to photo's of people and family, grave markers, records, and correspondence. I will save write-ups by researcher's if it has important family stories or info in them.
Okay, so I digressed a bit. The purpose of this post is to talk about RootsMagic's Tree Count. 
Tree Count? Isn't that just the number of trees I added to RM? 
Well, no. What you added to RM were databases. And within that database is your tree. If you have one or more people that are not connected or linked to you, you have multiple trees in your database. 
When I downloaded my Ancestry.com tree into RM using TreeShare (a great tool I am finding invaluable), I ran tree count. I had over 123 trees in my database. Three quarters were single persons not connected to anyone. I took care of them right away. I only merged two of these profiles into existing profiles. And only because they had information and/or records attached to them that was not included with the primary profile. Other than that, all were deleted. In RM as well as on Ancestry.com. I am now down to 39 trees of multiple profiles. 
There is one that I will not delete. I have known about it, having unlinked it from one of my branches when it was discovered that most researchers could not, for certain, say that the parents of one of my ancestor's was his true parentage. I keep it in hopes that, at some point in time, it can be proven. I will color-code it so that I know it does not belong, as of yet, to my original tree.
Tree Count is a powerful feature in helping to correct errors and keep a database healthy. I like RM, but even if I didn't, just that feature alone sells me on the program.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

How does Facebook help with Genealogy?

I have been using Facebook to help with my genealogy research for a number of years now. Sometimes it pans out, sometimes not.
Recently, I started a Closed Group for my Bjorkman research. I've had it going for a couple months now, but only have two other members. Most of the posts are from me. But, too me, it is still successful. I "met" one more family member that I didn't even know existed. That is success, in my opinion.
When I get this group going, I may also open closed group pages for other branches in the future. 

Link to the Bjorkman Group, which is linked to an open fb page to point the way to the Closed Group.

Bjorkman Family Research

I use a closed group page so that all family info can only be seen by its members. There is a question I developed for becoming a member to make sure it is for family only.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Organizing Computer Files

Bet you're wondering when I'm going to get back to blogging my research. I am, too. Between Hurricane Irma, the onset of winter, and my sleep hours turned around, I've been pretty lazy as of late. I am researching, just not doing much of it.
I have been organizing my genealogy computer files, though. I've tried several methods, but they didn't work out to well. I'd hunt and peck for the file I need, until frustration finally takes me to flckr where I have them backed up in the cloud. This results in the same file being on my computer several times over. So, I went to Facebook and found several groups for organizing genealogical files.
I chose what seems to be a favorite for most. 
In Pictures on my Windows 10, I have separated out the folders by surname of main branches - my parents, their parents, step-parents, my children's paternal line, and my husband. Each folder's title begins with the first two letters of the surname capitalized - ie, HE (Herrmann), BJ (Bjorkman), BU (Bundock), AR (Armstrong), etc. My brother's paternal line is organized with BJ. 
I am starting out with only the people on my pedigree chart for having individual files - so I have an individual file (so do my siblings), my parents (and their siblings), my grandparents (and their siblings, etc. The file name begins with the two letter code, surname, given name, middle initial, and birth and death years (if death year applies). Inside each folder are all files pertaining to that family group (parents, children, husbands, etc.). As I get more organized, collateral branches will be organized under the surname code they fall under.
What is nice about doing this under Pictures is that I can include any file extension I have. So, even if it's a document with a pdf or Word extension, it will appear in the folder. Prior to this method, I had all photos under Pictures, and all non-photo's under documents. Now they are all in one place.


This is a snip of my great-grandfather's folder. The title has the family code - BJ - his name with surname first, and his birth and death years.

Inside his folder are photo's, pdf's, Word Docs, etc.  All in one folder.

I find it easier to view all folders under Pictures in the list view. They are organized by alphabet (A's, B's, C's, etc). I like to have my genealogical folders first, so any folders not pertaining to the family History begin with XXX. This puts them at the end of the list.
When I download a file from the Net, it goes to my Download folder. It will either stay in the Download folder for further study, or be transferred to Pictures to be filed in the appropriate folder, being renamed if necessary. 
And renaming is necessary. Most files download from the Net under their own identification name - oftentimes with a long list of letters and numbers. I rename the file with the person it belongs to (last name first, first name last), followed by a short description of what the document or photo is about. Then it is placed in the appropriate folder.

I have a long way to go with this, as I did not do this when I began Internet researching. But I already see a big difference in finding what I need from what I have organized thus far. I, also, like the fact that it frees up my Documents, making it easier to find what I need that doesn't have to do with genealogy. 
A time saver, to be sure.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Some of My Scrapbook Pages

Computer Scrapbooking

I love computer scrapbooking. I enjoy creating the pages, putting photo's together, and "dressing" up the pages.
There are many expensive ways to scrapbook digitally - specialized programs that can lighten the bank account. If I could afford to buy them, I probably would buy them. But....
I'm financially limited. Big time. So, I use what I can. 
Years ago, I had bought Scrapbook Factory. A relatively basic program at an affordable cost. Recently, though, I downloaded the free version of  Scrapbook Flair. I use both of them.
Scrapbook Factory has more backgrounds, embellishments, etc., but is limited on writing. Scrapbook Flair, with paying more for them, is limited on backgrounds and embellishments, but is pretty free flowing on writing out family stories, bio's, etc.  
With Scrapbook Factory, I can add my own backgrounds and decorative doodads. With Scrapbook Flair, it is limited to what you purchase through their website. I guess there are pros and cons in anything.
Some rating websites say My Memories is the best program. I just can't afford 40 bucks for it, but it looks pretty good. If you want to get real pricey (and I've heard the program is pretty good), you can shell out 80 bucks for Artisan 5. 
Whatever program is used, digital scrapbooking is fun and, relatively, easy.