Finding Your Ancestors in the Cemetery

To the average person cemeteries can represent a place to completely avoid, revere, find solace or perhaps a little of all that depending on the mood. But to a genealogist, a cemetery represents a place where significant family information can be discovered. For me, even before becoming a genealogist, graveyards were most definitely a place strongly associated with family. Possibly because my mom took my brother and I to cemeteries so much as children to visit relatives who had passed away. Later as a young woman, I gained an additional insight into graveyards after working with a land surveyor laying…

Continue Reading

The Adopted Genealogist

                        For most people, figuring out where you came from is just a matter of asking mom or dad or any other member of the family. Sure you might not get a full family tree back to the 1500s, but at least there’s a good chance you’ll get some idea of a starting point from which you can begin your genealogy research. But for many of us who were adopted, it’s not such a simple matter. However, adoption and the challenges it poses do not have to be reasons…

Continue Reading

Genealogy Resources: Family Search Website – Part 2

This article is a follow-up to my last post about the FamilySearch.org website and covers some of the remaining features offered by the site. First we’ll go through the Family Tree section of the site. You can get to this by clicking the “Family Tree” button on the home page. Doing so takes you to an interactive tree where you can begin adding your family. When you click the prompt in a box to add someone, FamilySearch offers you a template with space to fill in a name and life event such as birth, marriage, or death. You can also add the names of parents…

Continue Reading

Genealogy Resources: Family Search Website – Part 1

In an earlier post I brought FamilySearch as one site offering cloud-based family tree services to genealogists. But that is only one aspect of what FamilySearch offers. So in this article, I’m going to share a few of the other features and benefits you’ll find on the site. Then, the rest of the services will be discussed in the next post or two.  Before I begin, I will preface this information by saying FamilySearch has been in constant change over the last year or so as they roll out new services. Because of this, what you see below might change again at some…

Continue Reading

Another Census Infographic – the Census over Time

The Census Bureau recently released another infographic illustrating the census over time. For each decade it describes the changes in the way data was collected. You can click the image below to go to the Census Bureau page and pick up your own copy of this in pdf or txt form.   [Source: U.S. Census Bureau]  

Civil War Resources – The Battle of Gettysburg

    Today is the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg so I figured I would post a few resources genealogists can use for research or for family histories. Fold3 Civil War Website First, Fold3, an online site focusing on military records, hosts a separate website dedicated to the Civil War. It’s a great place for browsing photos, maps, and records from the Civil War and just learning more about its history. Unfortunately, if you are looking for resources to use in your own work, the copyright might prevent you from doing so. Although many of these documents appear to have come…

Continue Reading

Memorial Day Infographic from our Friends at the Census Bureau

As genealogists, our work in documenting our family’s military record is part of our commitment and contribution to memorializing their life’s dedication and service to our country. Because of this, I figured genealogists reading this blog might be interested in the following infographic created by the Census Bureau. It gives an interesting background to some of the statistics behind each war. And if you want to download a PDF of it for your own records, you can do so by clicking here: Download Census Bureau Memorial Day Infographic. For those of you who might just be getting started in discovering your…

Continue Reading

Poznan Databases and the Szwajkowski Family

I’ve been a big fan of the Poznan Marriage Database project for many years. Without it I would probably never have found ancestors who lived in Poznan area. The site definitely helped me figure out my great grandmother, Josephine Szwajkowski, was from the Kurnik area. I discovered this because I had her parent’s names from her marriage record: Joseph and Frances Kasperska Szwajkowski. So I put them into the Poznan Marriage Project site to see if I could find them, and I got the following result: As you can see, this shows Josephine’s parents, Joseph and Frances, married in Krerowo in…

Continue Reading

Finding Our Borowiaks in Poland

Fortunately with the help of the Poznan Marriage Project and microfilms from the Church of Latter Day Saints, I’ve finally been able to locate our Borowiak family in Poland. My husband’s great grandfather, Frank Borowiak (1858-1925) immigrated from there sometime between 1879 and 1884. But we never really knew where exactly in Poland he was from. Based on some earlier research, we found his family initially living in Lemont, Ill., then moving to Minnesota between 1893 and 1896. I think we even found the grave of his mother, Michalina Polcyn Borowiak although at the time, in 2004, we were not…

Continue Reading

The Illinois Bell Girls

In a previous post, I mentioned I discovered my mother had never graduated high school. She quit right after turning 16 and started working at Illinois Bell as a telephone operator. I am thinking she chose Illinois Bell because her Aunt Sophie worked there. (Unfortunately I was never really told what my Aunt did there other than serve as a union steward.) Anyway, in 1952, when my mom was 20 years old, she won the Illinois Bell Miss Voice contest for our area. It must have been a big deal for her because we heard stories about her experience many…

Continue Reading