Before My Time is about the ancestry and extended family of my four grandparents: John Samuel Krentz (Indiana/North Dakota), Margreta Tjode Hedwig (Gertie) Buss (North Dakota), Rosmer Pettis Kerr (Pennsylvania/Michigan), and Evelyn Elvina Hauer (Michigan), and other topics in genealogy and family history.

Archives, Labels (tags), and other links appear at the bottom of the page.

Content at Before My Time is protected by copyright and may not be copied for publication elsewhere without permission. © T. K. Sand.

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Sunday, January 31, 2010

January Ruminations

Before My Time doesn't have an official blogiversary. It began before it began; i.e., I was blogging elsewhere when I wrote my first few family history posts. Toward the end of 2006, I was reviewing the blog where I'd posted them, and it occurred to me that I wanted to collect those posts in a topical blog of their own. I set up this blog and relocated my family history posts here, backdating them to their original dates.

At that point, I had neither seen nor heard of any other blogs with a focus on genealogy. It didn't take long, though, before I realized I couldn't possibly be the only one with this idea, and I looked around for others. If I remember correctly, Dana Huff's Our Family History was the first one I discovered. Her participation in the Carnival of Genealogy led me to Creative Gene, and from there I found myself part of a small community which, since then, has grown large enough to have considerable influence in the genealogy industry.

I've never been particularly 'groupish,' and I don't often participate in memes, carnivals, and such. But I'm enriched in many ways by my fellow genealogy bloggers--I learn, I am entertained, I am encouraged, I am stimulated, I am exposed to new ideas, old photographs, unusual methods, and varying opinions. That's certainly not an exhaustive list, but my point is probably made.

Before My Time is written essentially for an audience that doesn't quite exist--family members who don't read it, ancestors who are dead and don't care, descendants who haven't been born yet. I also write it for myself, as a way of working with the materials I've gathered, organizing my thoughts, and writing them down so I won't forget what I've figured out and what I'm still wondering about.

Nevertheless, the audience that actually does exist--largely my fellow bloggers of genealogy and family history--is a great and treasured stand-in for that other audience, and I'm glad to have the support of such a terrific group of friends.


January Accomplishments

Cheryl and I made Randy's Best of the Genea-Blogs list this week with the series In Search of the Schulte Line. I've already read most of his other picks for the week, and I am honored to be included in such excellent company! Thanks, Randy! And Cheryl, thanks for being half of The Superpower of Two!

Including this one, I've posted 13 times this month. That's twice my overall average (to compute, I included only months in which I had at least one post).

Most of this month's efforts were part of the Schulte series, for which Cheryl and I found a good number of new documents.

I labelled two dozen file folders and filled them with non-genealogy-related papers that were crowding the top of my desk. Now it's only genealogy papers that are crowding the top of my desk.

I finally got my family tree set up!

I decided what my photo book will be about--well, who--and that there will be plenty of text, and I started typing a chronology that includes lots of news articles from Chronicling America and Winona Newspaper Project.

And in the other column . . .

The New Year's Resolution? That baby went down in flames! I intended to do fact-checking and source-writing for one grandparent a day, but at this point I have exactly three grandparents finished, and those were done before the new year even began. I may have to separate the fact-checking from the source-entering, because despite Legacy's fabulous SourceWriter, it's still a job I obsess over, which makes it a time-consuming ordeal, which--well, I'm sure I don't have to tell anyone this tale. Everyone hates this job, right?

Friday, January 29, 2010

In Search of the Schulte Line, Part 10: We looked under every rock.

By Part 5 of In Search of the Schulte Line, the Bloodhound Cousins were on the trail looking for death records of Fred and Elizabeth Hebert. We couldn't find them in any of the likely Detroit graveyards, and we couldn't send for death certificates without a date of death. All we had was Evelyn Kerr's list of deceased friends and family, in which she noted that Elizabeth Hebert died in 1963.

Fast-forward to this month, January 2010, when I happened upon the Heberts' passport application. That was the stimulus that launched our research synergy once again and, moments after receiving it, Cheryl handily found what we'd just about given up hope of ever finding, the Heberts' death records. And it was no wonder we hadn't found them before. We were looking on the wrong continent!

Record of Elizabeth Hebert's death in Germany, page 1 of 4
(click to enlarge)

Elizabeth Hebert died February 16, 1963, age 86, at the St. Marien Hospital in Gelsenkirchen-Buer, Germany. The cause of her death was "myeloblast batch resulting from a chronic myeloid leukemia."

And just two weeks later:

Record of Fred Hebert's death in Germany, page 1 of 5
(click to enlarge)

Fred Hebert, age 91, died of "heart muscle defect, sclerosis, senile decay, and bronchitis" at St. Josefsheim, 5 Barbarastr., Gelsenkirchen-Buer.

Both Fred and Elizabeth were interred in the Hauptfriedhof at Gelsenkirchen-Buer, Field 9, WG, Stelle 26.

From these documents, we also learn a fourth passport number (B594629) for the Heberts. It was issued August 4, 1961, probably shortly before they left the U. S. for this final trip to Germany.

Another page indicates they were receiving social security, and gives Fred's number. Yet another page provides Elizabeth's birth date, 23 March 1876, and her maiden name, Schulte, although her parents' names are not given.

It appears the Heberts were living with a nephew, Hermann Koenig, at Hagenstrasse 29 in Gelsenkirchen-Buer. Hermann was probably a brother of Paul and Alfons Koenig. Also mentioned on Fred's record as other known relatives were Elizabeth's sisters, Maria Koenig (same address as Hermann) and Rosina Roeken (sic).

And as usual, these documents have not only answered questions but raised new ones also. Named on both death records are Mr. Charles Hebert and Mrs. Katherine Starauch, identified as son and daughter of the Heberts. My educated guess would be that Charles and Katherine were Fred's children from his first marriage. I haven't yet found any records pertaining to that marriage, so we leave that unanswered for now.

You can view or download a printable copy of all pages of Elizabeth Hebert's death report and Fred Hebert's death report at The Vertical File.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday: An Heirloom is Born!

You might think your "family tree" is something you get from your parents, and usually it is. The one pictured here, however, was a gift from my daughter. Seven or eight years ago, she gave me this whimsical tree, along with eleven photo-frame ornaments. At the time, I was living in a small apartment with no room to set it up--actually, since then, a series of four different apartments--until finally, a year ago, I moved back to my hometown where the depressed economy enabled me to buy a house I could afford.

Fortunately, my house is big enough to accommodate all my "stuff," including a spare bedroom where a number of family treasures began to make themselves comfortable. I started to think of it as a museum of sorts... the family archive... the ancestor room... well, let's just call it The Mausoleum.

I thought I'd wait a bit and see where things settled in and then I'd decide where to hang the tree, which would at long last have a place to be. As luck would have it, I was offered a chest of drawers which used to belong to my grandparents, Rosmer and Evelyn Kerr. The top of it is about elbow-high, the right height for standing the tree just below eye-level, the optimum place for viewing. I decided to use the stand, then, rather than hanging the tree on the wall.

I like the way the trim on the chest of drawers mimics the curls in the tree.

I spent a day or two making the photos to put in the frames--choosing which photos would work in which frames, editing and sizing them in Paint Shop Pro, cutting them out, and getting them into the frames--which, by the way, are simply elegant, and no two exactly alike.

I have to admit, I now visit The Mausoleum several times a day just to admire the awesome adorableness of my tree. It didn't take long to get a yen for more ornaments, so I got three last week and am awaiting delivery of four more this week. One of them gave me an idea which, if it works out, I'll show you in a future post.

My daughter's gonna want to inherit this!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wednesday Matinee: How Records Were Made (1942)

In the 1950s, when I was little (but not too little), my mom occasionally let me look through her boxful of old 78 rpm records. My favorite among them was Baby, It's Cold Outside. These platters were almost 10" across, and stiff as... well, stiff as a platter. By the time I was old enough to buy records, technology had raced forward to 45 rpm singles (much smaller, but still one song on each side, like the 78s) with a much bigger hole in the middle. Don't ask me why! Capitalist plot to sell 45 rpm record players with a big fat spindle instead of the thin spindles already in use, I suppose, and also "adapters" made of metal, and soon plastic, to wedge into those big holes so you could play your 45s on your regular old record players, or on the new "hi-fi" record players you bought to play the new 33 rpm albums (bigger than the 78s, with about half a dozen songs on each side). Still called platters by some, they also picked up another vernacular name, vinyl, a reference to the new material they were made of, lighter and more flexible than the old 78s. Don't even get me started on 8-track tapes, and cassettes, and CDs, and iPods... it's amazing, when you think about it, the technology that's evolved just in my lifetime.

When I came upon this film, I had just found the 78 rpm recordings made by my auntie Marceline and my mom. Although the production of their records was nowhere near as elaborate, the process described in the film was nonetheless fascinating to me. I can only scratch my head and wonder who thinks these things up!

Run time: 18:58

Monday, January 25, 2010

In Search of the Schulte Line, Part 9: We've Come to Our Census

In December of 2006, I wrote a post about Fred and Elisabeth Hebert. At the time, I had no idea who Elisabeth was, nor did I realize, in pursuing the question of her identity, that I was actually in search of the Schulte line. All I really knew then was that she was an aunt of the brothers Paul and Alfons Koenig, who had immigrated to this country with the Hebert home as their stated destination.

In that post, I shared the 1930 census, in which Alfons Koenig was listed with the Heberts. I also shared a 1920 census, about which I was uncertain. The Heberts listed in 1920 didn't seem a perfect match to mine, and with no Koenig sharing their home, I had plenty of reason to question it. One thing I thought might help: to find Fred in the 1880 census with a brother named Frank. And that's almost what I did.

The family of Charles and Philomena Hebert
1881 census of Quebec, Canada
(click to enlarge)

I found him in the 1881 census with a brother named Francois. The marriage record of Fred to Elisabeth Schulte gives his parents' names, which makes me confident that I've found the right 10-year-old Fred Hebert (that name was at least as common in Canada as in the United States!). The births of Fred and two siblings in the U. S. nicely pins down a time-frame of the family's moves between the two countries. And the Canadian-born brother Francois is the right age to be the same brother Frank who was enumerated with Fred in the 1920 census in Detroit.

I'd searched for Fred in the 1910 census before, but due to the number of Fred Heberts I didn't find anything conclusive. There was a likely-looking one in Colorado, but that seemed a bit out of the way. For quite some time, it appeared to be an unanswerable mystery.

However, the record of Fred's marriage to Bertha Schultz gave me more information to work with. Fred and Bertha were both residents of Detroit according to their marriage document, which was dated January 14, 1911. Detroit, then, seemed like the logical place to look for Fred in the 1910 census. And in the marriage record--in both his marriage records, in fact--his name was given as Alfred, not Fred. So back to the census I went.

This time, I found a widower named Alfred Hebert, appropriately aged 39, boarding at 1207 Bellevue Avenue and working as a painter for an automobile company. His father's birthplace was listed as New York, which didn't jibe with either the 1920 census (Canada) or the 1930 census (Massachusetts), or for that matter, the 1881 census (Quebec). But never mind that! Because, just four doors down at 1181 Bellevue, the widow Bertha Schultz was listed. And she wasn't alone either--she had three children!

Alfred Hebert and neighbor Bertha Schultz
1910 census of Detroit, Michigan
(click to enlarge)

Bertha's son Harold was 6. She had an 8-year-old daughter whose name I'm not sure of--it looks like Lenora or Lenna to me. It was her oldest daughter Ella, age 13 in 1910, who assured me I'd found Bertha again in the 1900 census, this time with her previous husband William. Ella was listed also at age 3. Both Bertha and William had been born in Michigan, but their parents were all born in Germany. William was working as a paperhanger. They lived on Williams in Detroit.

William and Bertha Schultz
1900 census of Detroit, Michigan
(click to enlarge)

William Schultz later worked as a painter. He and his family had moved to the Bellevue address by the time of his death, which occurred February 23, 1910, just two months before the 1910 census was taken. He died of locomotor ataxia at the age of 38. I found his death certificate at Seeking Michigan.

Death certificate of William Schultz

As usual, dear reader, our little treasure trove of documents answers some questions and raises others. I leave you to ponder the more obscure ones at your leisure. As for me, I find myself wondering where Bertha disappeared to. There were just two years between Fred's marriage to her and his marriage to Elisabeth Schulte. What happened there? I found no death record for Bertha at Seeking Michigan, so... divorce?

But that's a project for another day. We are in search of the Schulte--not Schultz--line. And we are all waiting on the edge of our seats for Part 10, aren't we? So we'll finish up today's post with one last thought: Cheryl (and anyone else interested, of course!), you'll find a printable PDF of today's Fred Hebert and Bertha Schulte documents at The Vertical File.

Update, 2 June 2015:  On 12 September 1911, eight months after they were married, Fred filed for divorce from Bertha on the grounds of extreme cruelty. The divorce was granted 7 January 1913.
[Source: Michigan, Divorce Records, 1897-1952 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2014. Original data: Michigan. Divorce records. Michigan Department of Community Health, Division for Vital Records and Health Statistics, Lansing, Michigan.]

Sunday, January 24, 2010

In Search of the Schulte Line, Part 8: The Superpower of Two

At the conclusion of Part 7 of this series, we were left lusting after two Hebert passports issued in 1936 and 1957. Since then, I've learned that the U.S. Department of State holds all passport applications from Apr. 1925 to the present, and because our Fred and Elizabeth Hebert were born more than 100 years ago, we could theoretically obtain those documents. That's the good news.

And now you are probably suspecting that there's bad news as well, which is true. Because I'd rather own Time than Stuff, I'm not willing to get a job to enhance my budget sufficiently to allow spending $60 a pop to get two passports I can't even use to go anywhere. Which, by the way, I also can't afford. So we'll have to let that go until the price comes down, while we move on to other equally exciting documents.

During the two-year interval between Parts 5 and 6 of In Search of the Schulte Line, the Bloodhound Cousins have been occupied with a lot of other things. Both Cheryl and I have moved to new addresses, and Cheryl has been kept very busy at work. But we've kept sniffing around for all things Schulte or Hebert.

In 2008, I had some amazing good luck using FamilySearch Record Search. Indexed under the names Alfred Hebert (not Fred or Frederick) and Elizabeth Tehulte (not Schulte!), I found this record of their marriage:

Alfred Hebert and Elizabeth Schulte,
married 8 February 1913 in Detroit,Wayne County, Michigan
(click to enlarge)

To find this record, I searched on the surname Hebert only. A search for "Fred Hebert" produced two records, but neither was correct. And of course, a search for Schulte would not have produced this record either since Elizabeth's surname is misindexed.

Fred and Elizabeth were married 8 February 1913. Fred was 41 and was employed as an inspector (of what?--no indication is given, but this was probably an industrial job). His father's name was Charles, and his mother is listed as Philomena Treyn. Elizabeth's parents are listed as Henry and Elizabeth (unfortunately, no maiden name was given for her).

According to this record, Fred Hebert had been married twice before. Although we hadn't found anything definitive, Cheryl and I had suspected Fred had a prior marriage, but we hadn't expected two. Cheryl promptly got us this record of his second marriage from Ancestry:

Alfred Hebert and Bertha Schultz,
married 14 January 1911 in Windsor, Essex County, Ontario
(click to enlarge)

And while she was at it, Cheryl found something else too, something we've been looking for since 2007 and are so excited to have. Her discovery came just before Randy Seaver's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun, the topic of which was, "What's Your Genealogical Superpower?" (Yes, I know that was two weeks ago. See how I am?) Cheryl and I have made amazing progress in researching our Schulte line since we began bouncing Schulte questions and documents back and forth--progress neither of us would have made working alone. Our genealogical superpower is The Superpower of Two, and once again the Bloodhound Cousins have fabulous documents to show for it.

But before we get to that awesome find, let's take a look at the marriage record of Fred and his second wife, Bertha Schultz (with a "z"--Schultz, not Schulte--no relation).

You've got to love those Canadian marriage forms. They're so informative! (This is not the first one we've encountered in our search for Schulte documents.) From this record we learn that both Fred and his second wife Bertha had been widowed. Bertha, age 35 and a Lutheran, was the daughter of Albert Wagner and Henrietta Klidone. Fred was 39, a Roman Catholic, and his mother is listed here as Philomene Traylor. His father Charles was machinist, and Fred was working as a painter.

Fred and Bertha were both residing in Detroit, but went to Windsor to get married. The reason they gave was that they wished to avoid publicity. It appears they didn't even take friends along to be witnesses--the marriage was solemnized by W. H. Snelgrove, and both witnesses were also Snelgroves.

Although this document answered some questions, it raised others. And in so doing, it also led to yet another item we've been hunting for. We'll look at that in Part 9.

Don't worry, I haven't forgotten about Cheryl's fantastic find. We'll save it for Part 10, because it's worthy of double digits!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Tombstone of Emma Krintz McArthur

Bonnievale Cemetery - Baker, Montana
(click to enlarge any image in this post)

I started work on this post a month ago yesterday. It's been languishing in draft status, as my posts sometimes do, while I have been working on other things. This morning, an interesting turn of events has made it today's top priority. Here's what happened.

The Carnival of Genealogy, 88th Edition, was published yesterday at Creative Gene. I happened upon it early this morning, and clicked through to enjoy some posts with my morning coffee. The subject for this carnival was Volunteerism. At The Educated Genealogist, Sheri Fenley's post, Volunteerism or What I Do With My Free Time, included mention of several genealogy projects she's worked on. The last one listed was the San Francisco Mortuary Indexing Project. She provided a link to the Halsted Mortuary Records 1923-1974, which has been completed.

Knowing that my great-aunt Emma had died in San Francisco, where she was being treated for breast cancer, I clicked through to the Halsted records, and in less than a minute I had a new document in hand.

Halsted Mortuary record of Emma McArthur

During their time in San Francisco, Emma's husband Peter stayed at the Carlton Hotel (Room 702) on Sutter Street. Emma passed away at St. Francis Hospital on 11 April 1930. Peter purchased a casket from Halsted Mortuary and had Emma's body taken home to Baker, Montana the next morning by rail (Pacific Limited).

Gravestone of Emma Elizabeth McArthur

From The San Francisco Chronicle, Saturday, 12 April 1930 (p. 12, col. 7):
"McArthur. In this city, April 11, 1930, Emma E. McArthur, beloved wife of Peter McArthur, (Baker, Mont., papers please copy). Remains will be forwarded from the mortuary of Halsted & Co., 1123 Sutter st. near Polk, to Baker, Mont., for funeral services and interment."

Thursday, January 07, 2010

In Search of the Schulte Line, Part 7: A Boatload of Float Documents

Fred and Elisabeth Hebert on July 1921 passenger list
returning to the U.S. from Rotterdam, The Netherlands

(click to enlarge)

As you'll recall from Part 3 of this series, cousin Elizabeth Schulte was named on no less than four lists of passengers arriving in the U.S. from Germany, these being dated 1904, 1906, 1909, and 1911. Her disappearance from subsequent passenger lists was instrumental in leading the Bloodhound Cousins to the conclusion that Elizabeth Schulte had become Mrs. Fred Hebert at some point after 1911.

Cheryl had also found a passenger list which named Fred Hebert and Elizabeth Hebert arriving from European travels in July 1921. As we now know, that trip took place just a couple months after they'd submitted the passport application I found earlier this week. That passport, no. 146950, was noted on the passenger list. On the application, Fred had stated that they would be departing the U.S. on 30 April 1921 aboard the New Amsterdam, and that they intended to visit Holland, France and England. Fred turned 50 on March 28th of that year; the trip may have been in celebration of that milestone birthday. (Although this passenger list shows March 29th as the birthdate, the passport application says March 28th.)

Elizabeth Hebert on the June 1936 passenger list
returning to the U.S. from Bremen
(click to enlarge)

On our next passenger list, it appears Elizabeth was traveling alone under a new passport, no. 256333, issued 20 February 1936. She'd been to Germany, and left Bremen on the S.S. Bremen on June 23rd of that year and arrived at New York June 29th.

Cheryl and I wondered why Fred was not traveling with her. We considered that he may have died, as he would have been 65 years of age in 1936. However, although we searched, we were unable to find any death records from the likely Detroit cemeteries, and had no way of ordering a death certificate without knowing a date. We also searched in the available city directories. We did find him listed in some editions subsequent to 1936, but we felt that wasn't conclusive either way. His name appeared on my grandmother's list of deceased family and friends, but she hadn't noted a date.

As luck would have it, only minutes after I'd found the 1921 passport application, I found yet another ship manifest naming the Heberts:

Fred and Elizabeth Hebert on the June 1957 passenger list
sailing first class to the U.S. from Bremerhaven, Germany
(click to enlarge)

Both Elizabeth and Fred had traveled to Germany under yet another passport, no. 444492, and had arrived back in the U.S. on 17 June, 1957. Still alive and kickin', Fred had turned 86 years old that year.

Oh, how I'd love to see those other two passport photos!


You'll find a spreadsheet detailing all known Schulte family passenger arrival lists at The Vertical File.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

In Search of the Schulte Line, Part 6: Got the picture?

Readers who followed the 2007 series In Search of the Schulte Line have doubtless been holding their collective breath in anticipation of the Bloodhound Cousins' next exciting revelation. Let us all now exhale a big happy group sigh over this very cool item we never expected to find: a photograph of Fred Hebert and his wife Lizzie Schulte! That it also bears Fred's signature is an added bonus.

And never mind that it's not an actual photo, but rather a digitization of a reproduction of a photo, and consequently of less than stellar quality. It's the only photo of Fred that we've seen, and we're tickled pink to know what he looked like.

How delightful that Lizzie is in the picture too! We've seen her before (on the porch with our great-great grandfather Joseph Meyer Schulte in Part 3 of this series), but Cheryl and I are quite happy to see our first cousin, three times removed, in this portrait with her husband.

And as if that alone were not enough, this picture came to us as part of the Heberts' 1921 passport application, which I happened to find when I was poking around in Ancestry Library Edition earlier this week. Use the link in the previous sentence to view or download a PDF of the application. It's very informative, and includes a deposition attesting to Fred's U.S. citizenship signed by Cheryl's great-grandfather, Rudolph Schulte.

I was so excited to find such a great document that I had to email it to Cheryl immediately, right from the library.

And, of course, that's not the end of the story.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Today is January 5th, 1949 . . .

On the occasion of their third wedding anniversary, my mother made a 78 rpm record for my father. Although the sound quality is very poor, you will be able to hear her voice, and--oh, my!--she sounds so young!

After a short intro, I recognized the lines of a poem. I was able to find several versions of it online, which enabled me to create the following transcription despite the fact that you can barely hear some of the words as she reads them.
Today is January 5th, 1949.
Just three short years ago we were married,
and now we have Linda to share our happiness
and make our anniversary even more complete.
For you, darling, I have a special message:

I love you not only for what you are,
but for what I am when I am with you.
I love you not only for what you are making of yourself,
but for what you are making of me.
I love you for that part of me that you bring out.

I love you for putting your hand into my heaped-up heart
and passing over all the foolish and frivolous and weak things
you could not help dimly seeing there,
and for drawing out into the light all the beautiful and radiant qualities
that no one else had looked quite deep enough to find.

I love you for ignoring the possibility of the fool in me,
and for laying hold of the possibility for good.
I love you for closing your ears to the discords in me,
and for adding to the harmony in me by reverent listening.

I love you because you are helping me
to make of the structure of my life not a tavern, but a temple;
and out of the words of my every day, not a reproach, but a song.

I love you because you have done
more than any creed could have done to make me good,
and more than any fate could have done to make me happy.

You have done all this just by being yourself
and I love you very much.
This poem is said to have been written by Roy Croft. I tried to find out more about him, but no one seems to know for sure who he is or was. Research librarian Ted Nesbitt discusses Roy Croft at

Interestingly, Wikipedia has an article entitled Roycroft, about the Roycroft community and movement of the late 19th and early 20th century. Having read that and Nesbitt's comments, I have my own little speculation on the subject. I think "Roy Croft" may have been either a pen name of Elbert Hubbard or a misunderstood attribution to his "Roycroft Press" publishing company. But you probably ought not to quote me on that! I'm just sayin'! And I don't have time to research it myself. Dear reader, you are welcome to do so at will and report back!

Monday, January 04, 2010

Guess who I found at my local library!

Yeah, I know that's grammatically incorrect, but if I'd titled this "Guess whom I found..." you wouldn't even want to read it, would you?

Amy (We Tree) has created a new list of weekly prompts for GeneaBloggers for 2010. In this, the first of 52 Weeks to Better Genealogy, we're encouraged to visit the library to see what materials are available there to assist our research. As I was planning to go soon anyway, the prompt gave me the extra motivation I needed to get out the door and do it.

I had three goals for today's visit:
  1. I hope to participate in a few more GeneaBlogger activities this year. As a rule, I am a self-proclaimed meme-slacker and marcher to a different drum. Having attention deficit disorder makes it difficult enough to stay on my path without being distracted by other ideas. But I want to make more use of those group activities which will not only help me accomplish what I'm working on at the moment, but also help to build and harness the group energy that comes from such activities. Today, mission accomplished!
  2. I wanted to learn how to use the membership databases that my library provides access to: Footnote, Heritage Quest, ProQuest, and Ancestry Library Edition. Mount Clemens Public Library has a really nice genealogy room with lots of resources. The Macomb County Genealogy Group meets at this library, and I had attended the November meeting when a presentation showed how to use Footnote. I had tried some searches at home, but I was very glad that a genealogy room volunteer was available today to walk me through the procedure for accessing the database on my own laptop via the library's wireless, and other Footnote fine points I'd forgotten since the presentation. Again, mission accomplished!
  3. Almost two years ago, I posted some pictures of a burned building that I'd found among my grandparents' things. I'd been able to identify them as the Wadsworth Factory which burned August 1, 1919, based on a photo at John Davis' website, Detroit Engine Works. John and I corresponded at that time, and I was pleased to hear from him a few days ago. He wrote to let me know his research has continued and he's updated his website with additional information about the fire. All along, I had assumed he lived here in the Detroit area, but he's actually in Florida. Now that I'm living here in Michigan, and knowing that my library received The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press on micofilm when our county library closed, I hoped I might find some news articles about the Wadsworth fire to send him. Unfortunately, in this goal I was thwarted to some extent. The oldest microfilmed Detroit newspapers in this library date back only as far as 1939. However, my very well-informed genealogy room volunteer told me that older Free Press archives are available from ProQuest, which she showed me how to use. This will surely be of use to me in the future. And I did find some Wadsworth articles, although judging from the excellent body of information on John's website, I don't think my finds will be adding anything new to his research. So, while this mission was not accomplished, I did learn something useful about another library resource available to me.
On today's list of goals, there was no mention at all of any particular research to accomplish, other than to gain access to records I already knew were on Footnote. Once that was done, I decided to poke around on Ancestry for a bit, since I don't have it at home. I hadn't planned a list of things to look for, so I just typed in a few of the usual surnames. As luck would have it, I found something so cool that it deserves a proper post of its own. For now, all you get is a hint:

Part 6 of a series featuring the Bloodhound Cousins continues soon at Before My Time!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Going forward? You have to back up!

As if my own resolutions for 2010 were not enough, I've been bombarded lately by outside additions to my list. For example:
The truth is, I hadn't backed up my computer since August 2008. Why? I got scared off. Here's what happened:

I had automatic back-ups scheduled, but at some point my 160 GB external hard drive seemed to be filling up... with weekly full back-ups! ...even though I had set it to back up changed files only. When I tried dragging some of the excess to the Trash, it appeared to me that the files on my computer drive, not the external drive, were being deleted. In panic, I pulled the plug, literally, on that whole operation. At that point I turned off the automatic back-ups and gave up the whole scary and perplexing process!

When I read that Amy's freshly repaired laptop was returned to her with a new--and blank--hard drive in it, I must say I squirmed in my comfy desk chair a bit. There but for fortune...! My own computer was mailed off to Dell for repairs earlier this year. By dumb luck, I had asked enough questions of the phone tech ahead of time. I told him I was concerned about the lack of security for my data, and he replied that they didn't need the hard drive in order to repair the problems I was having. He directed me in removing the hard drive from my laptop. It was a matter of a couple screws, as I recall. The hardest part was figuring out where to put the drive and the screws so I'd be able to find them when the computer came back.

Now, in the light of what happened to Amy, I consider this a key piece of advice for myself and anyone else who is sending a computer off for repairs:
  • Before your laptop goes anywhere for repairs, ask if you can REMOVE YOUR HARD DRIVE and send the computer without it!
You'll be protecting your data, and probably saving a bit of shipping cost besides.

So, what am I doing at this very moment? Yep, I'm creating a back-up. At least I think I am. The computer says I am. But I'm not sure how this can actually be accomplished, considering the amount of data that needs to be backed up, and the amount of empty space on my external drive. Even as a practitioner of fuzzy math, I am pretty sure you can't park a Winnebago in a one-car garage.

I guess we'll find out.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Saturday Matinee: Fargo 1893-2009

You don't have to have family ties to Fargo to be amazed by this creative and simply spectacular 6-minute video by Dan Francis. Actually, you'll probably want to see it more than once. Dan has integrated old photos with present-day photos taken from the same vantage points. The result is fascinating! So deserving of the big screen... readers, this is why I have no sidebar! Enjoy!

Blog Archive


Our Family in Books: A Bibliography

  • My Ancestors in Books (a library of resources and notes pertaining to Reverend Samuel Stone, Major General Robert Sedgwick, Elder John Crandall, and other early Americans in the forest where my family tree was grown)
  • The Zahnisers: A History of the Family in America by Kate M. Zahniser and Charles Reed Zahniser (Mercer, Pa. 1906)
  • History of St. James Lutheran Church [full title: A little of this and a little of that in the 141 year (1861-2002) History of St. James Lutheran Church, Reynolds Indiana] by Harold B. Dodge, published at Reynolds, Indiana, 2002; 170 pages.
  • Lisbon, North Dakota 1880-2005 Quasuicentennial, published at Lisbon, North Dakota in 2005; 391 pages.
  • The Paschen and Redd Families of Cass County, Indiana by Alfred Paschen, c. 2005 (Gateway Press, Inc., Baltimore, MD); 322 pages.
  • Sheldon Community History: Sheldon Centennial 1881-1981, published at Sheldon, North Dakota in 1981; 376 pages.
  • Sheldon, North Dakota 1881-2006 - 125th Anniversary: The Queen of the Prairie, published at Sheldon, North Dakota in 2006; 498 pages.
  • A Standard History of White County, Indiana, written under the supervision of W.H. Hamelle, c. 1915 (The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago and New York).
  • The Roots of Coventry, Connecticut by Betty Brook Messier and Janet Sutherland Aronson, c. 1987 (Coventry 275th Anniversary Committee, Coventry, CT); 206 pages.
  • "Elder John Crandall of Rhode Island and His Descendants" by John Cortland Crandall; New Woodstock, New York, 1949; 797 pages.
  • "The Descendants of Robert Burdick of Rhode Island." Nellie (Willard) Johnson, Pd.B.: H & L Creations, LLC.

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