use your eyeballs

I know this. But yet at work I made an error this last week because I didn’t ask to review something for myself so I could positively, irrefutably confirm. So, don’t be like GeekyTexan – know this AND do this.

Two recent examples. While working on Lesson 12 for NGS-HSC on passenger records, I had a database listing for my great-great-great grandmother from Germany but couldn’t seem to put my hands on the cool version…the know, the one you can barely read. Search after search, name variation after name variation, checking and double-checking that supposedly records for that port at that time existed. I just couldn’t give up. So I started browsing passenger list records. Reading them name by name. Score! I found my Reinhardt as Rhenchard. On the cool version…old timey handwriting and all. I spent waaaay too much time on it but I know you understand. Happened again this weekend. I knew that my Scrivner lived in a certain place because of other records but couldn’t find him on the 1830 census. As you and I know, there’s not many search criteria on that one (can’t search on tick marks). I started reviewing the county’s census page by page. Not the transcript but the cool version. I found my Scrivner as a Soubner (as transcribed). I personally think it has all the components of Scribner. But then I’m biased. So join me in saying no to shortcuts! Say no to good enough! Look at it with your own eyeballs!

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Amanuensis Monday: Memorable Events

John Newmark of the Transylvanian Dutch blog started a genealogy meme of Amanuensis Monday in February 2009. He defines amanuensis as a person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.

My maternal grandmother, Ruby REINHARDT, who married Rueben HENNEKE, kept a bride book. I’ve previously posted what she wrote about “Our First Meeting” and “Our Engagement” On the “Memorable Events” pages she had the following.

April 19, 1940 – Met at G. Gohmert’s.

Oct. 5, 1940 – First date.

Oct. 16, 1940 Became engaged.

March 19, 1941 – Engagement announced.

April 1, 1941 – Shower at Club House

April 5, 1941 – Wedding.

June 5, 1941 – First day away from home

June 18-27, 1941 – First trip together

Aug 18, 1941 – Plans for baby

In the interest of privacy, I’m not adding the last entry – the birth of my Uncle Bob!

Categories: Amanuensis Monday, Surname: HENNEKE, Surname: REINHARDT | Comments Off

Murder Suspect’s DNA Linked To Mayflower Kin

Check out this Boston News Story from WCVB Boston:

“… A DNA profile from the suspect was recently sent to a California outfit that specializes in forensic genealogy — and the analysis shows that he is distantly related to three passengers who arrived in what is now Plymouth, Mass., on the Mayflower in 1620….”

I had planned to ask my brother to participate in some DNA studies.  It looks like I may need to check on his criminal aspirations first!

Categories: misc. stuff | Comments Off

Surname Saturday – hangin’ ‘em all out

Whew, that was quite a holiday break I took!  You would think I went to some crazy, out of the way place in Wyoming, bought 14 books about genealogy/historical methods/editing, drank barium for a CT scan that was remarkably good, gave up carbs, crashed and burned because of lack of carbs, and cleaned my house from top to bottom just because.  You would be wrong!  Because I did NOT clean my house.  Random vacuuming is alllll I have the patience for.  And, yes, you can see (just slightly, really) kitty paw prints in the dust on my coffee table.

I was inspired by Jenna at Desperately Seeking Surnames who remarked that her surname page was a high traffic page. We all know one of the goals of blogging is as “cousin bait” (along with sharing the treasures and joys of our research and promulgating genealogical and historical research methods, blah blah blah).

So here’s a quick list done by hand.  It includes documentally-connected families and all of my current theoretically-connected families.  Before you think I have awesome information on, say, my family connections in Germany, think again.  Overseas research is like vacuuming.  I have enough awesome American ancestors that I can stay pleasantly busy with just those while avoiding household chores.

Arnecke TX, Germany
Brandes TX, Germany
Briggs NC; TN
Burnett TX; KY?
Bush AL; OK
Carter TX; AL; VA; NC; TN
Cox NC, TN, NJ
Dale VA; England
Davis TX: Gonzales county; TN
Fishbach VA; Germany
Fitzhugh VA
Forester TX: Gonzales and DeWitt counties; TN; VA
Frances TX; AL
Gohlke TX
Gooch NC; MS
Greenhill VA
Hager VA; Germany
Hall TX: Gonzales county
Henneke TX, Germany
Hudson TX: Gonzales county; NC
Hudson MS; AL
Ivey TX: Guadalupe county; MS; NC
Jeffers TX, SC
Johns VA
Lee TX; LA; AL; Ireland
Leigh TX: Wilson, DeWitt, Gonzales counties; MS; VA; AL
Linderman TX
McLeod TX; AL
Rabke TX
Rector TX; AL; TN; Germany
Reinhardt TX, Germany
Rowland VA
Sager TX, Germany
Scrivner TX; TN; NC
Shinault TX: Gonzales county; TN; VA
Shultz TX
Simmons TX
Thieme TX, Germany
Thornton VA; England
Webb TX: Guadalupe, Refugio, Gonzales counties
West TX: Gonzales county
Categories: Surname: GOHLKE, Surname: HENNEKE, Surname: LEE, Surname: LEIGH, Surname: RABKE, Surname: REINHARDT, Surname: SASSE, Surname: WEBB, Surnames | 2 Comments

Follow Friday: latest additions to the blogroll

The blogs I’ve added since my last Follow Friday post on August 12 (oopsie, it’s been awhile) are:

GenWriter by Julie Cahill Tarr – It’s a relatively new blog and the post that first caught my eye was 4 Resources for Writing Your Family History.

Leah’s Family Tree by Leah

The Demanding Genealogist by Barbara J. Mathews, CG – The blog started this month and is introduced with: “I sputter when I see bad genealogy. This blog will permit me to explore the sources of errors. Hopefully I can learn not to make them myself.” We can all learn from her exploration!

Olive Tree Genealogy Blog by Lorine McGinnis Schulze

Provenance by Judy Wilkenfeld – read her article on evidence and you’ll get a sense of her, her family, and her journey.

Tonia’s Roots by Tonia Kendrick - she’s sponsoring the 31 Weeks to a Better Genealogy Blog and is co-sponsor of the new US-REC Study Group along with Valerie Elkins of the Family Cherished blog. And many of our working techniques and systems are similar and that will always make me a fan!

Blood and Frogs: Jewish Genealogy and More – don’t let the name throw you off.  There’s something for everyone here!

Elyse’s Genealogy Blog – I’ve read her stuff, watched her videos, she just wasn’t in my Google Reader.

Family Archaeologist

For Your Family Story


From Helen V Smith’s Keyboard


CaseFile Clues by Michael John Neill which pairs nicely with his weekly how-to newsletter which “focuses on methods, sources, and analysis, while including citations in a clear, easy-to-follow and understand format.”

And power to him, check out the Paperless Genealogist. I like the concept but I invariably have too many hard copies for analysis purposes.  If someone would stop by and set me up with a second monitor, maybe I could handle it.

Woolgathering - yes, I knit, but this is not that kind of wool, it’s “assorted essays on life, both past and present.  To be updated as the spirit moves.”

Living Ancestors – a relatively new blog from another Christy.

Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog









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Amanuensis Monday: Our Engagement

John Newmark of the Transylvanian Dutch blog started a genealogy meme of Amanuensis Monday in February 2009. He defines amanuensis as a person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.

My maternal grandmother, Ruby REINHARDT, who married Rueben HENNEKE, kept a bride book. On the “Our Engagement” page she wrote the following.

Our third date, October 16, 1940, Rueben and I went to Yorktown to the “Little World’s Fair.” Idell went with us to meet her parents. After taking in the sights on the fairgrounds, Rueben and I went out to the car to watch the fireworks. While waiting we started wishing we were in different places. Both agreed it would be fun to be at Nigaria (sic) Falls on a honeymoon. Then thought it interesting if it’d be our honeymoon. On the way home, we decided to put “allour eggs in one basket” and go together steady. Our engagement met the approval of our parents and was publicly announced, March 19, 1941.

She pasted the engagement annoucnement at the top of the page. It reads:

Mr. and Mrs. H.C. Reinhardt, announce the engagement and approaching marriage of their daughter, Ruby Lee, to Mr. Rueben Henneke of Cuero, son of Mr. Alfred Henneke. The wedding is to take place in the early spring at the Rabke Methodist Church.




Categories: Amanuensis Monday, Surname: HENNEKE, Surname: REINHARDT | Comments Off

Sentimental Sunday: 10, 2, and 4

I was at the local store the other day and grabbed a soda from the cooler. You know, the ones by the registers that just don’t really get them cold, cold but at least they’re liquid. This one was a special treat because it had some slushy ice in it. I proceeded to tell the very patient cashier about my grandfather. This is sooo not like me. Grocery store conversation can sufficiently be “just fine,” “plastic,” and “you too.”

My grandfather worked at Manford Grocery in Smiley, Texas. (At some point, my father bought it and renamed it Smiley Grocery and Market or SG&M and we had awesome barbeque every Saturday. But that’s another story.) After my grandparents “moved to town,” the store was within walking distance for when I visited (actually, it was within walking distance even when I wasn’t there). So if I was able to give PaPa a call before walking down to the store, he would slip a Coke into the freezer. A little coke-in-the-bottle, you know the ones (yes, I know those are Tab cans next to it; I promise the picture was taken this century):

By the time I got out of the house (with a grocery pickup list or after an extended discussion about what I wanted for supper) and to the store, PaPa was ready for our break. A frosty coke for both of us with the addition of a cigarette (for him) sitting at the old dinette at the back of the store by the nail bins and the meat market area.

Obviously, you can run out and get an “icee” or a “slurpee” and those are very satisfying. They even look refreshing (yes, I went to get this just so I’d have a picture for you):

But when was the last time you had one in a real glass bottle? It’s time for one! (Do yourself a favor, set a timer so it isn’t in the freezer too long!)

And if you don’t know what the “10, 2, and 4″ reference is about, do a quick Google. It’s actually a Dr Pepper reference.

Categories: Sentimental Sunday | Comments Off

Amanuensis Monday: Our First Meeting

John Newmark of the Transylvanian Dutch blog started a genealogy meme of Amanuensis Monday in February 2009. He defines amanuensis as a person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another. Here is my first contribution.

My maternal grandmother, Ruby REINHARDT, who married Rueben HENNEKE, kept a bride book.

The first entry for you is “Our First Meeting.”  In addition to what she wrote, she pasted a picture of herself and PaPa at the top of page.

We met at Geo. Gohmert’s (where Rueben was staying) on Sunday morning April 19, 1940. I went there to see Uncle George, but no one was at home, so I talked to Rueben a few minutes. On the night of Sept. 13th, we met again at a dance in Lindenau. There we became better acquainted and were together quite a bit during the evening. On Oct. 5, Idell had a date with Wilbert and I was to double date with them. After trying to get two others, we decided to ask Rueben to go. He said he would. We went to Yorktown, Weser, and then back to Cuero. The next nite, Oct. 6, we went to Lindenau and from the 20th of October until we were married we were together every Sunday night.

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Map it and call it a wrap

I’m on the tail end of Lesson 11 in the NGS-HSC. Since I haven’t made my repository trips required for some of the other lessons, I thought I’d get some of the “no visit” lessons out of the way. I have spent a huge amount of time on Lesson 11. There’s two assignments, one to analyze the migration of a family and one to analyze 100 people in a locale during one census and then another (though the lesson doesn’t say, I assumed two sequential census). I may have done this wrong in that I used two different families for the two assignments. I had one family that had significant movement during several generations that was perfect for the first assignment. For the second assignment, I’ve been struggling with the pre-Texas origins of a family so I thought that would be a perfect reason to analyze the neighbors to see if I can get better clues to their origins. We’ll see when it’s graded if I should have used the same families.

For the map required for assignment 1, I started with Google Maps.  Select the My Places button, and then Create Map.

Name your map on the title line and add an optional description (note that Lesson 11 has a specific naming convention for your map) and then select the Save button.

I had a mix of generations who moved and generations that stayed in more or less the sample place (enough so that discrete flags for those families would simply be one on top of another). I used the mapping to show the large moves.  In the search box next to the Google logo, enter the first location.  Below, I show the result for Austin, Texas. If you notice on the left, a Save to Map link appears.

Click on that link. Select the correct map from the dropdown box and click on the Save button.

Keep going.

I didn’t have a lot of luck with the print functionality (in the upper right corner). I ended up doing a screen print and magnified it. Just thought I’d share the Google Map option since I spent a lot of time trying to find the best way to present this without having my assignment look like a 4th grader did it. Once the map is produced, you need to create a line for each generation’s travel.

As you try to determine what path they took, check out the Family Tree Magazine and their map of migration routes.  I also recommend spending some time with the American Migration Patterns website by Beverly Whitaker, MA.

Categories: Education, Migration and Settlement, NGS-HSC | Comments Off

The angle on NGS-HSC Lesson 9

I get night terrors about math. When I took my GMAT exam, I got a deck of flashcards for the multiplication tables. It was officially time to learn them. Approximately 20 years later than I should have learned them. I’m sorry Mr. Moehnke!

Then I took the Land, Lots of Land: Learning the Ins and Outs of Land Records with Kevin L. Meyers at Angelina College Genealogy Conference in Lufkin, Texas in 2010. Part of the class obviously included land platting because the list of supplies included a protractor and graph paper. No fear at that point, it was just school supply shopping. And what genealogist doesn’t like school, ahem, office supplies? The platting exercise there rapidly became a dim memory, like all my knowledge of math and math related “stuff.” My usual response, which has worked for me (but not so much for my mother) for the last 30+ years: “when will I ever need this?”.

I need it for Lesson 9 of the NGS-HSC. I’m not done with this lesson because I still need to make the time to visit the state repository for the second assignment. But, for now, I’ll share with you my recommendations about assignment 1 and using the dreaded protractor.

First of all, practice using the example in the lesson until you get it perfect. Really, really, really.

When you use your protractor (which I will occasionally call a compass just because, well, see the second paragraph), I have to say I like this one:

Fiskars 12-95400B Assorted Colors Swing Arm Protractor

rather than this one:

Fiskars 01-004305 Protractor Recycled 6-Inch base

Yes, they do the same thing but somehow I like it better. I don’t know.

There’s two rows of numbers on the straight edge, inches and centimeters. OK, I’m solid so far. The curved part also has two numbers. Basically the same 180 degrees starting at opposite ends. Choices?? You can Google anything, ya know. Some school (as in maybe middle school) website said to think about the angle to make sure you’re using the right row. Doh! So if it’s 28 degrees but the angle I’m trying to draw is obtuse, then I’m being obtuse and using the wrong row. Ahhh, math clarity. (No worries, I’ll explain. The acute angle is less than 90 degrees, 90 degrees being the angle that makes the corner of a box or an “L,” and obtuse is greater than 90 degrees.)

Draw away! The instructions say to label the North, South, West, and East edges of the graph paper. I also labeled the lines and the landmarks on each corners (e.g., trees, corners of others’ property) per the steps in Locating Your Roots (affiliate link) by Patricia Law Hatcher. Yes, there are ways to double-check your assignment with free online tools but you can do it! Don’t check the answer until you’ve made some good attempts!

So there’s my shameful math secret exposed for the entire world to see simply because I want you to succeed with Lesson 9.

Categories: Education, NGS-HSC | 2 Comments