Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Things I Don’t Care About in Genealogy

There are so many things to love about genealogy: the thrill of research, the fabulous social aspects and cousin connections, the OCD satisfaction to be found by filling in all the little boxes, the feeling of power and competence in mastering the neat genea-gadgets and genea-apps (OK, this one doesn’t apply to me), the educational and scholarly aspects, and the opportunity to indulge our artistic side in writing and scrapbooking.

But not everything associated with genealogy holds an interest for me. Here are 10 things I can list right off the bat that I don’t give a fig about.

1. Family crests. Really. Don’t need more junk around the house.

2. The One-World Super-Duper Ginormongous Family Tree. Yeah, I believe we’re all related somewhere down the line. And the OWSDGFT kind of proves it: all families have fights, and this thing causes all sorts of fights, so we must all be related, right? And who wants to have proof that they are related to PeeWee Herman, Sylvester Stallone, Adolph Hitler, and that jerk who cut in front of you on the highway the other day?

3. Being related to Charlemagne. He’s what - my 33rd great-grandfather? I probably have more genes in common with PeeWee Herman. Oh, wait.

4. Having a gazillion people in my family tree. Not only does my computer only have so much memory, I only have so much memory.

5. Having an Indian Princess among my ancestors. I’ll be satisfied with any ole run-of-the-mill Native American.

As close as I'll ever get to an Indian Princess

6. Being related to any living celebrities. See Number 2 above. It would just be my luck.... Besides, judging from old family pictures, we tend more toward the Marjorie Main model than the Katherine Hepburn model.

7. Being able to “jump the pond” with all my lines. Well, yeah, OK, a little interest, at least for a few lines. But really, I’m plenty busy just finding out what the heck my ancestors were up to in this country.

8.  Winning arguments.

“Oh, BTW, we aren’t related to Sir Christopher So-and-So. That genealogy is bogus.”

“But I found it on lots of online trees. It must be true.”

“The DNA evidence indicates that we aren’t related.”

“Oh, that DNA stuff is just pseudo-science.”

“But look at this guy here, his mother would only have been eight years old when he was born.”

“It has been known to happen. There was a case in India....”

Waste of breath/ink/time.

9. Having only ancestors who were morally impeccable and totally nice. It’s not that I have a preference for scoundrels and stinkers, it’s just that the scoundrels and stinkers left more records.

10. “Finishing my research.” Where’s the fun in that?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Surname Saturday: Louis Koehl and Catherine Reuss

Louis Julius Koehl
b. 22 Aug 1881, New York
& Catherine “Katie” Reuss
b. 1884, New York
m. 20 Apr 1904, Kings County, New York
|--Louis Koehl Jr.
|----b. 1 May 1905, New York
|--Peter Koehl
|----b. 1909, New York

This is the family of Louis Julius Koehl, the brother of my husband’s great-grandfather Henry “Harry” Koehl and the son of Julius Koehl and Josephine Lochner, and Catherine “Katie” Reuss.

Louis worked as a butcher and later as a carpenter. By the 1920 census the family was living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and on the 1930 census the family was shown living in Delaware County, Pennsylvania.

I would love to share information with anyone related to/researching this family; you can contact me at my e-mail address, which can be found by going to my profile page (there is a link to that page in the About Me section to the left).

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What I Learned Wednesday: Sometimes You Just Need to Clean House

Photo courtesy of morgueFile

What I learned this week has nothing to do with research because I didn’t do any research this week.

Only it does have something to do with research.

I have been “cleaning house” - throwing out trash and useless junk, giving away loads of stuff that we don’t need any more, and cleaning up (= rearranging, dusting, sweeping, scrubbing) the rest. From just the few projects and corners that I’ve tackled so far, it feels as though my mind is being reorganized as well.

And it feels good.

Stuff can be such a burden.

Not that all stuff is bad. I still love my books and CDs, for instance - especially when I can find them. Which I can now. The mind shift came in when I realized that I could put most of my CDs in one place: clothes go out of first set of drawers + stuff left from cleanup of second set of drawers goes in the empty spaces = the entire second chest of drawers left empty so that it can be used exclusively for CDs. (I would never have thought of using a chest of drawers to store CDs, but it works.)

And one of the spaces cleared in the CD move was a shelf that I really needed for storing my genealogy stuff. And that freed up floor space (yes, stuff was on the floor), which enabled me to see the bottom shelf, which was full of other genealogy stuff.

So now I can find all of my genealogy stuff.

But the benefits go beyond that: it is as though there is now starting to be more lift and less drag in my life. Less time will need to be spent on moving stuff, cleaning stuff, and putting stuff back. But even more important, some sort of mental fog seems to be lifting.

More time, fewer distractions, less chaos, more focus.

I’m not just cleaning house, I’m cleaning mind.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Surname Sunday: Philip Kern and Augusta Marie Koehl

Philip Kern
b. 7 Aug 1878, Germany
& Augusta Marie “Gussie” Koehl
b. Aug 1879, New York
m. 25 Apr 1905
|--Helen P. Kern
|----b. 1908, New York
|--Ruth A. Kern
|----b. 1916, New York

This is the family of Philip Kern and Augusta Marie “Gussie” Koehl, the sister of my husband’s great-grandfather Henry “Harry” Koehl and the daughter of Julius Koehl and Josephine Lochner. I believe that Philip was the brother of John Kern, who married Augusta’s sister Julia Koehl. Some time between 1920 and 1930 the family moved from Brooklyn, New York to Bergen County, New Jersey.

I would love to share information with anyone related to/researching this family; you can contact me at my e-mail address, which can be found by going to my profile page (there is a link to that page in the About Me section to the left).

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Putting on My Tinfoil Hat

Over at GeneaBloggers, Thomas MacEntee has correctly stated that genealogists are awfully cranky lately. He is right. We are.

He has also stated that we should take a big breath, pick our battles, and above all, be kind when we can. He is right. We should.


Dear Sirs and Madams at the Big Genealogy Companies:

August seems to have become the month of Big Changes in Genealogy. Unfortunately for you all, not everyone is on vacation right now, so some of us are complaining. I love my genealogy subscriptions and appreciate what you do, but I’m starting to become paranoid.

Dear Geni.com: I don’t have a subscription with Geni.com, so I have not been affected by the changes. But some of my friends have. That sucks.

Dear Ancestry.com: I have a Footnote.com subscription. I also have Pages on Footnote, and many of the Pages are about people who have no connection to the military. I also love the other content on Footnote.com, and I love what they were doing and planning to do with NARA. I made one of my most important “cousin connections” through Footnote. With the new focus, that probably won’t be happening any more on Fold3. That sucks. (And although I understand the patriotic significance of the new name, Fold3 is nevertheless kind of lame-sounding).

Yesterday I was feeling a lot of love for Ancestry because of the free access to the 1940 census thing. (Tinfoil hat on: That wouldn’t have been a deliberate move to soften us up for the Footnote-Fold3 switcheroo, would it? No, that's too devious, even for a mastermind.)

Dear Genealogy Bank: I like you the way you are. Please don’t change. That would suck.

Hoping that there is no such thing as the Genealogy Illuminati who get together to conspire to take over the Genea-World,

Yours truly,

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

What I Learned Wednesday: 17 August 2011

Because my Genealogy Organization Frenzy has turned into a Cleaning/Organizing/Giving Away/Throwing Out Frenzy, not much genealogy was done this week.  (Yeah, I know that’s a passive construction. I like the passive. That way I can avoid taking responsibility.)

But I did learn a bit about a few Brinlee families that I am currently working on; in particular, I found the information on the 1920 census for the Burk Frady Smith and Lillie Ann Brinlee Smith to be of interest:

1920 United States Federal Census, Phillips Town, Coal County, Oklahoma, ED 15, p. 5B, 16 Jan 1920

Line 71 17 19

Smith, Birt F. Head M W 44 M Yes Yes TN US US Miner Coal mine OA
........Lillia Ann Wife F W 38 M Yes Yes TX TX TX None
........Roy E. Son M W 21 W Yes Yes OK TX TN Coal mine Cager Em
........Claud T. Son M W 19 W Yes Yes OK TX TN Coal mine Greaser W
........Alta E. Dau F W 14 S Yes Yes Yes OK TX TX None
........Audry E. Dau F W 8 S Yes Yes Yes OK TX TN None
........Allen J. Son M W 6 S Yes Yes Yes ? US TN None

Now, admittedly the census-taker has scrambled several things - he has mixed up the birth states for the parents and is totally confused by the information on Allen, but the marriage status for the two oldest sons, if true, is heart-wrenching: Roy, 21, and Claud, age 19, are both listed as widowers. It seems like a bit too much of a coincidence, especially for men this young, and yet - the Great Influenza Epidemic had been raging for well over a year, and was especially devastating to people of this age. So it could be true. I’ll have to do more research to find out.  (I would also like to know what those notations are in the "Year of immigration..." column.)

The other thing I learned this week?

I’m glad that the only online trees I have are on Ancestry. A few weeks ago I posted a question about sites for online trees; Geni.com was among those that I was considering using. I think I’ll try doing my own website instead.

There have been many perceptive and even some humorous posts about this development. I loved Dear Myrtle’s wry summary of Geni.com’s logic(al fallacies) in “Official Response from Geni.com.”

Sunday, August 14, 2011

SNGF: True Confessions About Genea-Assets

Pipsqueak helps me sort papers and folders

I think that I was reading Randy Seaver’s mind this weekend.

Randy's assignment was:

1)  Think about this:  Is all of your genealogical material, which you've gathered over the years, well organized?  Do you have papers, certificates, photographs and other ephemera squirreled away somewhere in your genealogy cave center?  Do you have forgotten digital files, including documents, photographs and notes hiding in your computer file folders?  It's Saturday night, do you know where ALL of your family history information is?

2)  Give yourself a grade (from A to F) on how well you've done with your filing of tangible and digital genealogical assets (two grades, one for each).  Brag about your organizational prowess if you deserve it - you can be a good example to the rest of us.  Bemoan your situation if your files are like mine.

3)  Look through your tangible or digital genea-assets and find something you've "lost," forgotten or overlooked that might add to your knowledge about one or more families.  Tell us what you found, how will it help you, and will you commit to analyze it, source it, and use it?

Why do I think I was reading Randy’s mind?

Saturday I was going to do some research. I went up to my home office, aka “Genealogy Central,” to start work. The item I needed was under a pile. That pile included some genealogy folders. And on top of the box next to desk were more genealogy folders. I realized that some of these items should go into the folders in the box.

So I took all of the stuff downstairs to the family room, where there is plenty of space to spread out, to sort and file.

Three hours later, the materials were all sorted and filed.

This is why I am giving myself a “B” for organization of hard-copy assets and not a “C”. I must have somehow sensed that Randy’s task this weekend had something to do with organization.

A couple of weeks ago, I did some preliminary organization by consolidating some binders and hanging files into portable file boxes (each box contains materials for a particular line where I have done a lot of research: Brinlee, Moore, etc.):

The materials for most of the rest of the family lines I am researching are kept in binders:

Families for which I have only done preliminary research are kept in hanging files, along with materials on genealogical societies, genealogy publications, and so forth.

So there is a system and I can pretty much find what I need at this point. Still, there are a few odd file boxes and binders that are not organized by family: the items I obtained from my research trip to Greenville, SC still have a separate box (there are materials on three different family lines in that box), there is a file box containing documents that were too large to fit in binders or the shorter file boxes that I use, and I still have a binder full of “miscellaneous” genealogy notes.

For digital files, I would also give myself a “B”. Most of the sub-folders in my Genealogy folder are organized by family name, with sub-sub folders divided into individual generations, and sub-sub-sub folders for digital copies of vital records, newspaper articles, write-ups, correspondence, etc. The remaining folders are subject-based and have a number at the beginning of the file name so that they precede the family names: 1Forms, 2Research trips, 3To Do Lists, 4Resources, and so forth.

The main problem with my digital files is that I have digital files on two different computers (there was a third I used for a while, but I believe I have transferred all of those files to my MacBook Pro). I can access the files on my desktop computer through the Time Machine, but there is a lot of duplication and enough differences in organization between the desktop files and the laptop files that it can be confusing. Transcription projects, collections of newspaper articles, etc. can sometimes be hard to find. And I still need to put my photographs from both computers onto the Time Machine.  So maybe that's a B-.

Bookmarks should also be included in digital organization. Not great - two different browsers + 3 computers = Chaos. This probably brings my digital grade down to a C+. However, I have been working on consolidating everything into a Genealogy Toolbox and have also been using Diigo.

One thing I found while reorganizing was a set of articles from doing a search on “Koehl” on GenealogyBank; the Koehls in these articles were not people I recognized as belonging to my husband’s Koehl family, but could be related, so I filed them under the “Leads” section of the Koehl family binder. The source information has already been written on them.

What has been my big advantage in organizing my files?

I’ve only been doing genealogy for six years.

If I can accumulate this much stuff in six years, what will my files look like in 20 years?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Surname Saturday: Frederick William Tönjes and Magdalena “Lena” Koehl

Frederick William A. Tönjes
  b. 24 Jun 1879, Bremen, Germany
& Magdalena M. “Lena” Koehl
  b. 1876, New York
  d. Apr 1969
  m. 14 Nov 1900, Kings County, New York
|--Adelina Tönjes
|----b. 10 Sep 1901
|----d. 31 Jan 1902, Kings County, New York
|--Josephine Tönjes
|----b. 23 Aug 1903, New York
|----d. May 1975, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California
|---& Thomas
|--Ernst Tönjes
|----b. 16 Nov 1908, New York
|----d. 20 Aug 1990, Orange County, California
|---& Rowena Booraem
|----b. 15 Nov 1910, New York
|----d. 8 Sep 1991, Orange County, California
|--Hermine A. Tönjes
|----b. 3 May 1911, Brooklyn, Kings County, New York
|----d. 3 Oct 2004, Lebanon, Lebanon County, Pennsylvania
|---& Elmer H. Booraem
|----b. 13 Nov 1902, New York
|----d. 20 Sep 1991
This is the family of Frederick William A. Tönjes and Magdalena “Lena” Koehl, the sister of my husband’s great-grandfather Henry “Harry” Koehl and the daughter of Julius Koehl and Josephine Lochner.  
Based on a passport application I found on Ancestry, Josephine Tönjes appears to have made a trip with her aunt and uncle Josephine Koehl Glashoff and Peter Glashoff to Germany in 1923.
I would love to share information with anyone related to/researching this family; you can contact me at my e-mail address, which can be found by going to my profile page (there is a link to that page in the About Me section to the left).

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Other Guest in Our Garden

I posted "The Summer of Pies" the day before this guest, a cooper hawk, showed up on Second Apple Tree, so I did not include her (him?). For some reason, when she showed up, the other guests left (except for a lone chickadee on a feeder, who must have calculated that he was not worth her attention).

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Voyages Not Taken, Circuitous Routes, and the Meaning of “Gibbous”

Last Friday was a straightforward Happy Dance Day, but the path I took from that point - or actually, the path that took me - was, to say the least, indirect.

The mailman brought me the death certificates for two of my husband’s great-great grandparents, Benedetto Davi and Maria Terzo. I was surprised at their prompt arrival only a little more than a week after I had mailed off the requests. The difference from the last time I had sent off to New York City Department of Records and Information for death certificates was that this time I had the dates of death and the certificate numbers (thanks to The Italian Genealogical Group website).

Both deaths had occurred in 1934, which meant the death certificates contained a decent amount of information about the deceased; this included the names of the parents of the deceased, except for the name of Benedetto’s mother - unfortunately, Maria had provided her own maiden name instead of her mother-in-law’s maiden name.

Benedetto’s father's name was given as Joseph (= Giuseppe) Davi. I have learned that you should always check to see (1) whether the parents of an immigrant also came over to this country and (2) whether an older relative’s name appears in later generations (i.e., among Benedetto’s siblings or children). So I started to look for a Giuseppe Davi in census and immigration records.

1902 manifest

This yielded an interesting hit: a ship manifest dated 10 September 1902 with a Maria Terzo and four children traveling from Palermo to New York City - and their names were all crossed out. This of course indicates that for some reason they did not make the trip. And I do have a ship manifest for the trip they did eventually make on 24 August 1903. I hadn’t found this 1902 manifest from searches for Maria Terzo, because her name had not been indexed correctly, and I stopped looking after I found the 1903 manifest (which corresponded to the year of immigration that appears for her on the census records).

1903 manifest

But there was one striking difference between the family information on the two manifests: the 1903 manifest shows only three children. Giuseppe is not there. And a glance back at the 1902 manifest revealed a comment in the “Deformed or Crippled/Nature and Cause” column: “gibbous.” Well, I know what a gibbous moon is. According to Webster’s II New College Dictionary, gibbous also means “having a hump, humpbacked.”

Was Giuseppe too ill to travel? Did he die before the 1903 voyage? His health was reported as “good” in the “Condition of health” column. Or was his deformity a possible bar to getting through the health inspection upon arrival in the United States? Perhaps the trip was cancelled for another reason? Was he left behind with relatives?

Sometimes you search for one thing and find something else.  And that something else leads to more questions.

Three Years Old: Where Do We Go

from here?

Image courtesy of basictextures.com

Last year at this time I reflected on how the benefits of blogging had far exceeded the expectations I had when I began blogging: it has been and continues to be a great way to get in touch with other researchers, make my research available to family members, benefit from other genealogy bloggers who comment and share their experience, and simply have fun.

But for a couple of months I have been thinking about ways to refocus my research, which mostly means doing more research. Some of the extra time will come out of my blogging time. I do not intend to blog less or to stop writing some posts just for enjoyment (SNGF, selected memes, “spouting off” (= reflecting, ranting, recollecting)), but I would like to write more posts focused on research.

The main casualty will probably be my Follow Friday posts (even though I enjoy writing them), since they take a lot of time; the past few weeks, which have been characterized by a much better balance between blogging and research, have confirmed that this is a better approach. Still, I’ll probably write a few Follow Fridays from time to time; it’s hard to resist when there is so much good genea-blog reading out there.  (And you can always check out "Greta K.'s Starred Items" at the lower left to see what I recommend - I resolve to be more consistent in using it when I read blogs).

And, to repeat what I said for my second blogoversary post, I would like to thank all my readers, commenters, and fellow genealogy bloggers who make every day an adventure in reading and learning.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Memory Monday: The Summer of Pies

Once upon a time, a long time ago, we had a house. It was an old house, but we had only just bought it, so to us it was new. We still live in that house.

The house had a yard. This was B.A. - Before the Addition - so the yard was of a decent size, though not large. As we saw it, it was ready to be turned into a veritable Garden of Eden and be filled with vegetables, flowers, and fruit. Our horticultural ambitions knew no limit.

In addition to carving out and building some raised beds, we planted a few fruit trees. Well, it was a few at first. But early success made us (overly) confident, and we started to add. One apple tree became two, then a peach tree joined them, then two cherry trees took up posts on either side of a vegetable bed, and finally a stick posing as a pear tree was planted to fill a small patch of unused land. By that time there was already a flourishing raspberry patch as well as a small boysenberry patch and a couple of blueberry bushes.

Our yard at the beginning of summer: 
A cherry tree is at the left, next to boysenberry vines; the peach tree is at the right

Our yard at the end of the summer: 
Next to the peach tree you can see the newly planted pear tree, 
covered in netting as protection against the Great Cicada Invasion

Much to our surprise, the trees (well, all but the pear tree) started to bear fruit pretty quickly. The cherries were the first to ripen, first a few, then many more, and had to be checked each day. The peaches followed, and they were delicious. My husband thought he was in heaven when the Empire applies were ready to pick.

We reveled in the joy of being able to go out into the yard, pick a piece of fruit, and eat it the same day.

But we could not keep up with the trees. Soon there was more than we - and our friends and coworkers - could eat.

Time to start baking pies.

Fresh pies at first. But soon we - and our friends and coworkers - could not keep up with the pies, either.

I don’t do canning, so I started to put the pie fillings in Tupperware containers and freeze them. Soon we had to buy more Tupperware containers. Each container could hold enough filling to make one deep-dish pie plus another regular-sized pie or several tarts.

Weekends were filled with picking fruit, cooking and freezing fruit, and making pie crusts. Cherries in particular took hours and hours of work.

At some point we lost the battle to keep up with the peach tree. Fruit became overly ripe, fell, rotted. Cicadas, having gotten drunk on the rotting fruit, would dive-bomb us. Peach clean-up was not a pleasant chore.

Finally fruit production started to abate. We felt like the Sorcerer’s Apprentice after the Sorcerer arrives. Even so, we had a freezer filled with 12 Tupperware containers - peach, apple, and cherry pie fillings and even an entire container of raspberry pie filling.

We ate pies up through Thanksgiving. They were delicious, so the effort seemed almost worth it.

The next summer, the worm appeared in the apple. Well, not in the apple exactly. It appeared in the peaches. And the cherries. And it was not actually a worm, it was the caterpillar of the codling moth. I was not going to make pies with worms in them, and without going all out, it is difficult to completely prevent infestation, so this seriously reduced pie production. But we still had to get rid of the fruit.

Within a few years, the peach and pear trees and blueberry bushes were sacrificed when we built the addition to our house. The cherry trees became weaker and less productive and eventually died.

The apple trees endured. We even had our deck built with a cut-off corner so that we did not have to get rid of the First Apple Tree. But I started to cast a critical eye on the second apple tree - it was in the middle of the remaining yard, taking up space and sunlight, and did not bear as profusely or reliably as the first apple tree.

“I think we need to cut the second apple tree down.” My husband, the great Pitier of Plants and Trees, was horrified. So we did nothing for another couple of years.

Then one day I came home to find that he had had the apple tree, or at least all of it but the bottom part of the trunk, cut down.

But it was not the second apple tree. It was the First. I went into shock. My husband explained that the branches the First Apple Tree extended too far over the deck and kept scratching up against the house, and we would always have to be cutting it back.

The idea of cutting down the second apple tree did not die right away; after the addition, yard space was at a premium, and by this time a silver maple had made sunny yard space even rarer. And the shade seemed to affect the quality of the apples borne by the second apple tree: they went from apples you could eat fresh to apples you could only use in pies to misshapen little things that were good for nothing except squirrel and insect food.

A few years ago, we decided to add bird feeders to our back yard. The first two we fastened onto the deck railing. But we wanted more. Over time we added a finch feeder, suet feeders, and a peanut feeder - and we put all of them on the Second Apple Tree.

For whatever stayed our hands from cutting down the Second Apple Tree, I am grateful. The birds love it. Those who are not at the feeders often use it as a waiting area. As our cats will tell you, it’s the best show in town.

First Apple Tree
(now serving as a squirrel and bird perch)

Second Apple Tree with bird feeders

Some guests:

Downy woodpecker


Yellow finch

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Surname Saturday: Paul Haas and Frances Koehl

Paul Haas
b. 29 Jan 1876, New York
d. 22 May 1946
& Frances Koehl
b. 8 Feb 1874, New York
d. 1966
|--Herbert Haas
|----d. 1903
|--Viola Haas
|----b. 7 Apr 1905, Kings County, New York
|--Paul J. Haas
|----b. 1910
|----d. 30 Nov 1911
|--Franklyn J. Haas
|----b. 4 May 1913, New York
|----d. 22 Dec 1999, Bloomingburg, Sullivan County, New York
|--& Myrtle Stowbridge
|----b. 30 Jul 1911, Brooklyn, Kings County, New York
|----d. 28 Sep 1959, New City, Rockland County, New York

This is the family of Paul Haas and Frances Koehl, the sister of my husband’s great-grandfather Henry “Harry” Koehl and the daughter of Julius Koehl and Josephine Lochner. Paul and Frances are buried in the Koehl family plot in Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York.

I would love to share information with anyone related to/researching this family; you can contact me at my e-mail address, which can be found by going to my profile page (there is a link to that page in the About Me section to the left).

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Julius Koehl Address Study

Below is a list of addresses given for Julius Koehl in Brooklyn, New York from 1870, when I was first able to find any mention of him (on the 1870 census), to 1907, when he died. I have also listed his place of birth for all instances when it was mentioned. Early reports are very general, but Julius’ death certificate cites Meisenheim as his place of birth (the informant was probably his oldest daughter Josephine Koehl Glashoff), and that location was also given by daughter Magdalena Koehl Tonjes on the 1920 census as her father’s place of birth. The addresses are consistent; from 1870 to 1880 it was 12 Union Street, and from 1892 to 1907 it was 125 15th Street. The street view image from Google Maps shows the building currently located at a nearby address for 125 15th Street.

The next set of images show the locations of the residences of Julius Koehl’s eight surviving children at the time of his death in 1907. The first image shows the list of children with addresses from the probate papers; the second and third are the map and list I created for “My Places” on Google Maps. It looks very much like there are only six place markers, but in the Borough Park area (where my husband grew up) two markers are obscured by a third one: oldest sibling Josephine Glashoff, my husband’s great-grandfather Harry Koehl, and Magdalena Tonjes all lived within a block or two from one another. The northernmost two addresses belong to Julia and Augusta Kern, who probably married brothers.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

My Genealogy Obsessions

Last weekend was a very busy one for me and I missed out on Randy Seaver’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun, “Signs You Have GOCD,” inspired by Michael John Neill’s post “10 Signs You Have Genealogy OCD” at Rootdig.com (also see Randy’s “SNGF ‘Genealogy OCD’ Compendium”). This subject is so up my alley. And I missed it.

But it did get me to thinking about things I really am obsessive about in my genealogy research:

1. The Moore Family. All of them. All of Samuel Moore’s descendants. All of the Moores who show up in Greenville, South Carolina who may in some way connected to these Moores. All the stories. Every scrap of material - besides Greenville and Anderson Counties in South Carolina and Dallas and Baylor Counties in Texas, I have to go to Henry County, Georgia (Bud Mathis Moore and Freeman Manson Moore were there at one point, plus an Andrew Moore who looks kinda promising...), plus DeKalb County, Georgia and Cleburne County, Alabama (Freeman’s son William S. Moore was in those counties, and we know so little about him), plus Izard County, Arkansas (Preston E. Moore was there in 1870, and he is a Topic of Special Obsession (TSO)).... And please, please - Samuel Moore’s wife (wives?) and parents? No piece of information is too insignificant, no courthouse is too remote. I will get the information on these people.

2. My #1 Brick Wall, Susan Elizabeth Smith Bonner Brinlee. Looking for a Smith in Tennessee is like looking for a needle in a haystack. But I Will Do It.

3. “Reverse orphans.” I described this phenomenon when I hosted the “85th Editions of the Carnival of Genealogy: Orphans and Orphans” and was surprised to find out how many other researchers also get involved in researching these people with no direct descendants. And although Preston Moore is apparently not a reverse orphan, he’s still a Moore, so I am still obsessed with him.

4. Visiting and researching in all the states that my ancestors have lived in, which covers all of the South and border states (except for Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi), Vermont, and Illinois as well as a good part of the mid-Atlantic states.

5. Learning everything there is to know about the Elisha Lewis-Rosannah Dalrymple family and the Elisha Berry Lewis-Martha Poole family.

6. Finding all of my husband’s ancestors back to the first immigrants (his ancestors arrived here between the 1850s and 1910s, so I am hoping this is feasible). And, as usual, this includes all of the collateral lines.

7. Using some clues from DNA results to find the parents of brothers Hiram Brinlee Sr. and George Brinlee.

8. Finding George Floyd’s parents: was his father William Floyd (as several of us think) or James Floyd (as written by the grandson of George's younger brother Ransom to my great-grandfather Charles Augustus Floyd)?

9. Finding out how my great-great grandmother Emily Tarrant fits into the Greenville, South Carolina Tarrant families.

10. There is no #10 right now. But I have a feeling that research will lead me to another one - you know, the next brick wall. One that really intrigues me. One whose story I absolutely MUST know.