Monday, March 30, 2009

Probate File - Joseph Gresz

I received the will and probate file for my great-great-great grandfather, Joseph Gresz (Gress).  He died on 18 February 1899 after writing his will on 8 February 1899.  By the look of the signature he was quite sick.  I knew he died sometime before 1900, so with the death date I can now get a death certificate and hopefully find a tombstone.

He left a widow, Sophia and 5 children: Louisa, Carolyn, Jacob (my ancestor), John and Edward.  I now have married names for Louisa and Carrie.  The Edward was a surprise name, as he is mentioned as Eli on censuses, so I had assumed it was Elijah, but I need to look into this further.

He left $6000 in real property and $500 in personal property, which seems like quite a large amount to me in 1899.  Unfortunately, since the file is so old it does not break down what he owned.  All was left to his wife.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Cemetery Difficulties

I have been visiting a lot of cemeteries in Onondaga county, NY for ROAGK.  Some have been well kept up, but others are very sad to visit.  I went to one that was in awful shape.  It had been a private cemetery, but was recently taken over by the town it is in, after many years of discussion on what to do with it.  There are very old stones, from the early part of the nineteenth century, many of which have had the information eroded away.  The worst part is all the stones that have been broken or knocked down.  I wish I had more time and could go transcribe all these little cemeteries to save the information for others.  Hopefully someone in the Syracuse area will do this soon, before even more information is gone.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Cooper

This photo is a cooper (barrel-maker) from the Octoberfest Museum in Munich, taken by me January 2009.  I have two ancestors who were coopers by trade.
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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Saturday Night Fun - Your Paternal Grandmother's Patrilineal Line

Since I was at the symphony for Randy Seaver's Genea-Musings Saturday Night Fun, we'll have a little Sunday morning fun instead:-)

* What was your father's mother's maiden name?  Nuwer (She is still living)

* What was your father's mother's father's name? Albert Emil Nuwer, born 24 Mar 1906 in Alden, Erie, NY and died 24 Dec 1989 in Alden, Erie, NY.  Buried at St. John's Cemetery, Alden, Erie, NY.

* What is your father's mother's father's patrilineal line? That is, his father's father's father's ... back to the most distant male ancestor in that line?  My grandmother's brother has done a lot of research on this part of the family.  Here is the information I have from him, with much thanks:
- John George Nuwer, 1869 - 1948
- Henry Nuwer, 1845 - 1911
- Jean Nuber, 1819 - 1897
- Antoine Nuber, 1796 - 1857
- Franciscus Antone Nuber, 1760 -1818
- George Fancis Nuber, Unknown - Unknown
- John George Nuber, 1698 - Before 1748

* Can you identify male sibling(s) of your father's mother, and any living male descendants from those male sibling(s)?  
If so, you have a candidate to do a Y-DNA test on that patrilineal line. If not, you may have to find male siblings, and their descendants, of the next generation back, or even further. As mentioned earlier, my great-uncle is still alive.  I will have to email him to see if he is interested in DNA testing.

I got into Grad School and other stories...

It has been quite some time since I've posted an entry:-(  My boyfriend and I kept passing some illness back and forth for the past few weeks (the joys of living together).  We appear well again, so I'm back:-)

First, my exciting news that I got into grad school for my Masters in Library and Information Science (MLIS)!  I am quite excited, if a bit overwhelmed, by this news.  It is one of the best programs in the country and offers a lot of archival and special collections classes, which I am looking forward too.

I have been trying to catch up on all of my Random Acts of Genealogical Kindess (ROAGK) that I received while we had about 3 feet of snow here.  I love doing this for people, as I get to see new cemeteries, with really interesting stones.  It is also nicebecause my boyfriend goes with me, which in a large section makes finding the stone much faster.  I was telling a friend about it and she wants to start going too, as she thinks cemeteries are fascinating.

One of the most rewarding parts of being a RAOGK volunteer has been the people who work in the cemetery offices.  I always had good luck when trying to find my relatives in cemeteries, often because the workers there were so amazed at seeing such a young person interested in their family history.  This still works to my advantage...  At the most recent cemetery I went to, the woman in the office copied the lot book, the file cards and the obituaries she had for me to give to the requester.  She thought they would like to have them.  She was the most friendly and helpful person I have met in a long time and thought ROAGK was a wonderful idea.

In other news, I have a Geni website and through it my family is going crazy over our history.  They are obsessed with the site and the information I have found and are helping me find new relatives and identify photographs.  I even was found by a third-cousin on Ancestry who also had a Geni site and we have now merged them and are working on the tree together.  It is such a fabulous way to get people interested.  The site does have some downsides, in my opinion, but I am working on getting around them and all in all it seems great to get the family together.  The only complaint they have given me is that it takes away from their facebook time;-)

Enough updates for now, I'll be posting the research I have done recently in the next few days.

Monday, March 9, 2009

The wild tricycle ride

The word prompt for the 11th Edition of Smile For The Camera is brothers & sisters. Were they battling brothers, shy little sisters, or was it brother & sister against the world? Our ancestors often had only their siblings for company. Were they best friends or not? Show us that picture that you found with your family photographs or in your collection that shows your rendition of brothers & sisters. Bring them to the carnival and share.

My entry for this Smile for the Camera is not of an ancestor, but of my sister and I.  It is one of my favorite photos of us.  It is dated 1985, which makes me about 4 and my sister about 2.  When we were little our house had a basement and I would pull her round and round on her wagon which was attached to my tricycle.  Christina, my sister, loves telling people about this. According to her, she would sometimes tip over (my mother confirms this) and it was quite tramatic.  Her big question though, is who is stupider, my pulling her all around or her for always getting back in? 
For my 18th birthday, Chris gave me a collage of pictures of the two of us, which surrounded the following poem she had found (author unknown to me):

My sister shares a part of my that no one else shall ever see.
And when the days and miles divide us...
the bond we have shall live inside us.
Together sharing dreams, love and laughter~
My sister for always, my friend... forever after.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday - Caroline Izzo Casell

Caroline (Izzo) Casell, located in Buffalo Cemetery, Cheektowaga, NY.  Her husband, Marco, is located next to her.  He does not have a stone.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Celebrate Your Name Week

Janet the researcher mentioned that the first week in March is "Celebrate Your Name Week."

My first name is Amanda.  When I was younger, a man at church asked me if I knew what my name meant and told me it was "to be loved."  Recently, my boyfriend told me he found out that amanda is an actual word in Latin, a command really, meaning "must be loved."

According to Behind the Name the name Amanda was "Created in the 17th century by the playwright Colley Cibber, who based it on Latin amanda meaning "lovable, worthy of love". It came into regular use during the 19th century."

My middle name is Elizabeth.  It is a biblical name, which I received as it is my paternal grandmothers middle name.

I hope you will join in on Celebrate Your Name Week and share what your name means and whom you were named after, if applicable:-)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Data Backup Day!

It's the first day of the month, which means Data Backup Day for Genea-Bloggers.

I backup my entire computer on a weekly basis, more if I've been inputting a lot of information, onto my SimpleTech Signature Mini FS-U25/320H 320 GB USB 2.0 Portable Hard Drive (in Black Cherry).

I also email myself a copy of my main genealogy file, both as a Legacy file and as a gedcom.  I am hopeful Google documents will one day include gedcom's as a supported file, but not yet...

My worst fear would be to spend a whole day adding new information and then just having the files disappear or get corrupted.

Next on my to do list is to start backing up my blog as well.

Don't lose your all your hard work - join us for Data Backup Day!

Back to Basic: July

July went quick! GRIP  went virtual! I attended (most) of the sessions in Documentation and then continued my citation work with my ProGen a...