25 April 2011

Mystery Monday - Bertha Schenk


I have another photo from the family album that I've been blessed to be the guardian of. Many of the photos have been identified, but several have not. This picture is labeled Bertha Schenk. Bertha was said to be the maid of honor, or some such important attendant, at the wedding of Henry Joseph Geiszler to Magdalena Hopppe on 3 Jul 1882 in Columbus, Franklin, Ohio.

Other than this information, that's all I have of her. Except that she has a son, of which I have a baby picture for. So... perhaps someone is looking for Bertha Schenk. Hopefully they can help me solve this mystery.

Mystery Monday is a daily blogging prompt from GeneaBloggers, the genealogy community's resource for blogging. It is used by many genealogy bloggers to help them tell stories of their ancestors.

23 April 2011

Surname Saturday - With a name like Brown

Oh yeah, Brown is a great family name to have. It's easy to spell, not like Geiszler, Zumstein, or Zanganazadeh. However, when it comes to genealogy... this surname is a bit of a problem. It's so common. Right now my Brown family line is stuck with Samuel Curtis Brown (1821-1900). Yep, it doesn't get anymore common than that.

I found this website Brown Family Crest and History. It suggests that the name is English or Scottish. The origin could be Norman and referring to someone with Brown hair or eyes as well as a person who wore a lot of brown. I love how the website says, "endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames." Woo-hoo! More difficulties in genealogy. Gotta love it.

The website goes on to detail numerous Browns who migrated to the United States starting as early as Edmund Brown, who arrived in New England in 1637. I'm not claiming any relation. As I said, with a last name like Brown, I could be related to anyone.

In due time, I'll figure out more about Samuel Curtis Brown of Balitmore, Maryland. For now, I'm just greatful to know as much as I do about him.

Surname Saturday is a daily blogging prompt from GeneaBloggers, the genealogy community's resource for blogging. It is used by many genealogy bloggers to help them tell stories of their ancestors.

20 April 2011

Wedding Wednesday - Robert and Clementina Zumstein


Victor married his childhood sweetheart Clementina Comfort, who at that time was teaching public school in Smithville Ont. Her engagement ring was said to have cost $100. They were married under a pear tree at the home of Alonzo Comfort.

This photo is such a treasure. I've posted before how I've had to have Patience and Courage in Genealogy. The above picture is an example of having patience and courage. Victor and Clementina are my father's grandparents. My grandma Helen Zumstein is their daughter. Grandma Helen had numerous pictures lining her home in Ohio of her ancestors. She loved sharing stories about these relatives. Unfortunately, I didn't share the interest when I was 7. Sadly, she had a stroke with resulting dementia when I was ready to pursue the family history.

It's a long and sad story, but suffice it to say, when Helen was in a nursing home, her family pictures seemed to have been lost to the times. Perhaps the state of Ohio has a collection of unclaimed family artifacts waiting to be discovered. Regardless, I never thought I'd have more than one picture of my great-grandparents.

In March, I called upon a niece of Helen's who lives in Ohio. Cousin Molly was insanely nice and the next day, she filled my inbox with 30+ pictures of Helen, her siblings, her nieces and nephews, as well as her parents and grandparents. Not only is this Wedding photo awesome and the couple so handsome, the picture is a priceless treasure for me because of the story in how I received a copy of it.

Wedding Wednesday is a daily blogging prompt from GeneaBloggers, the genealogy community's resource for blogging. It is used by many genealogy bloggers to help them tell stories of their ancestors.

18 April 2011

Mystery Monday - Basler


Who is this man? The name written under his photo is Basler. But it's hard to decide what's written in front of his name. This picture was found in a photo album held by the recently deceased Margie Geiszler Wasson. The album contains photos of Caroline Mack Geiszler Billman, Henry and Margie (nee Hoppe) Geiszler, and Conrad and Lizzie Grener.

Currently I don't have any established connections to this gentleman. I don't really know when this photograph was taken. It's possible that this man was a family friend or a Godfather. I do have one photo in this album that fits that bill. Sadly, the family members who would know why this picture is in the album have passed away.

So... this photo is open to the internet as a Family History mystery to be solved.

Mystery Monday is a daily blogging prompt from GeneaBloggers, the genealogy community's resource for blogging. It is used by many genealogy bloggers to help them tell stories of their ancestors.

16 April 2011

Surname Saturday - Gesizler Family

My family is a little branch of Geiszlers that lived in Columbus, Ohio. Most of them have died so getting past Joseph Geißler (1836-1863) is extremely difficult. Joseph was born in Baden, Germany and moved to the United States before 1850. He married his wife Caroline Mack in 1856 in Franklin county, Ohio. I'm thankful for him, but man is it hard to figure out his family relations across the ocean, or even in the US.

There are numerous Geiszlers who settled in North Dakota and Oregon that are very connected, at least in terms of genealogy. In the Geiszlers of America book, there are many listings of the ND and OR descendants but few from Ohio. Ugh. What makes matters worse is the name Geißler has so many different spellings throughout America (GEISS, GEISEL, GEISEN, GEISINGER and GEISSLER to name a few).

I came across Geiszler Coat of Arms / Geiszler Family Crest website. I don't really know if my family actually has a Family Crest. It's rumored they were apart of aristocracy when the former country of Prussia crumbled and fled. It's possible, but I can't figure it out.

What I did find on this website was more information about the fact that Geißler was a Scottish and German name. It referred to the occupation of goat-herding and a location. Plus, there's a famous Geißler...

Heinrich GEISSLER (1814-79) the German inventor, born in Saxony. He became a glass-blower and settled in Bonn in 1854. The GEISSLER tube, by which the passage of electricity through rarefied gases can be seen, and the GEISSLER mercury pump are among his inventions.

Pretty cool. Can't prove I'm related to him but I do have a Heinrich Geißler in my family line. So today, I sit wishing that my Geiszlers had more documentation about who they were.

Surname Saturday is a daily blogging prompt from GeneaBloggers, the genealogy community's resource for blogging. It is used by many genealogy bloggers to help them tell stories of their ancestors.

12 April 2011

Tech Tuesday: Help!?! I don't know what to do next on Ancestry.com

Okay,

I took the plunge at got a one-month membership to Ancestry.com. Now that I've found all the family trees that mention my family members and gone through all of the Hints. Now I'm overwhelemed on what to do next.

First, I don't understand how to sort through the families I have accepted as hints.

Second, I don't understand how to refine the search historical documents so that I don't have 400,000 records that aren't even CLOSE to the individual I'm attempting to search. I guess I don't understand why I have so many options when I select a family member from my tree and the search field are completed for me.

Any help in the reverse would be GREAT! Thanks!

Tech Tuesday is a daily blogging prompt from GeneaBloggers, the genealogy community's resource for blogging. It is used by many genealogy bloggers to help them tell stories of their ancestors.

11 April 2011

Mystery Monday - Who is Charles Gordon?

I broke down and purchased a one month subscription to Ancestry.com. I'm working crazy to make use of it and then remember to cancel it. I really have other projects to handle this year, so one month of intense record searching is about all I can spare. In the future, I'd consider having a yearly membership... but that's a big commitment when you're trying to get out of debt.

ANYWAY... two things I found. My mother and aunt have ancestry accounts. Go figure? Second, I found Charles Gordon (1755-1809). Turns out, he's hard to find in records because his name is Nathaniel Charles Gordon. Some records only have him as Nathaniel. I found 14 different family trees with Nathaniel on their branches. Then, when I added the name Nathaniel to the LDS Family Search website, I found all Charles' siblings listed, and his ancestors going back another 4 generations confirmed. Now, if only I can figure out how to download these generations from FamilySearch or Ancestry.com quickly, I'll be in business.

I probably need to add more information, but this is just to get me started sharing what I've found.

Mystery Monday is a daily blogging prompt from GeneaBloggers, the genealogy community's resource for blogging. It is used by many genealogy bloggers to help them tell stories of their ancestors.

10 April 2011

Thank You GenaBloggers

I found this great community called GenaBloggers. It is a great place for inspiration on what to share on my family history blog. I've found technical tips and genealogy tips as well. I have not been able to begin absorbing all the information as there are over 1,800 blogs on their blog roll. Wow!

Additionally, the community has been so welcoming already. I haven't even begun participating in the Daily Prompts and community members have reached out to me. I'm so excited. I hope as more people find me, they'll find them. Even if you receive moral support in your genealogy efforts alone, the community was worth the membership (it's not a paid membership, just in case your wondering).

So thank you to Thomas MacEntee for this awesome blog and all the work you do.

08 April 2011

Family Trees: Post at Ancestry.com

I have posted several family trees on Ancestry.com so others can see who is in my family tree.


Lewis Sherman Brown

http://trees.ancestry.com/tree/26398204/family

Lewis Sherman Brown, of Columbus, Ohio, and his ancestors including: Brown, Gordon, Tannehill, Fickle, Townsend, and Claybaugh

Harry and Lura Long Ancestral Tree
http://trees.ancestry.com/tree/26398887

Ancestral Family Tree of Harry Howard and Lura Maude Smith of Columbus, Ohio. Family names include: Long, Moore, Marvin, Young, Sherwood, Burr, Smith, and Ward

Geiszler and Zumstein Family Tree
http://trees.ancestry.com/tree/26399198

Ancestors of Robert Geiszler of Columbus Ohio. Includes family surnames: Geiszler, Zumstein, Comfort, Hoppe, Peak, Townley, and Mack

07 April 2011

Plans for Family History

I have a lot of family history. Much of it has been stored in boxes, rarely accessed, since 1977. In the 1990s, I put some of the information into Personal Ancestral File. I felt that was a huge leap forward. However, the people on the family tree still were not very real to me.

Recently, I've caught up on my living family's scrapbooks so I have turn some free time over to family history. As state in a my More Patience and Courage in Genealogy post, I have recently been blessed with MANY pictures and stories. I'm itching to do something with it all.

I have great plans for compiling things into scrapbooks and 'research' books to share with my kids and other family members. The stories and information can't stay stored in computers or research files. They have to be transformed into reader friendly formats. I don't want to wait until 'everything is perfect' before I 'publish' something. I plan on creating something 'temporary' since printing costs have become so cheap. I can afford to do an initial printing and share with family members. They'll know what I have and then be able to make corrections where necessary. Then, I can reprint the work and share it again.

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