29 March 2008

Quick reminder: Genealogy Cruise registration deadline is June 1st.

The Genealogy Cruise of a lifetime will be here before we know it. From October 25-November 1, 2008 join me and a lot of other excellent, fun, intelligent, caring, and sometimes downright hilarious speakers and registrants. This is a generous group of speakers who welcome your questions and conversation.

Why a June 1st deadline when the cruise isn't until the fall? Fly Away Travel needs to make deposits to Royal Caribbean and for some reason the cruise line wants to know who and how many are traveling! They don't do all the work for a specific cruise at the last moment. It is truly a logical explanation. June 1st will be here before we know it and all it takes is a $250 deposit to save your spot.

These are just some of the lecture topics: federal court records, Eastern European research, New England research, migrations, English parish records, making family history videos, spinsters and widows, and the Allen County Public Library. Add to this another 40 or so lectures.

For more details see Genealogy Cruises and also the previous blog Late Next Fall Join Me on a Genealogy Cruise.

If you are joining the cruise, drop me a line at PaulaStuartWarren@gmail.com and let me know why you are joining this group. Tell me who you are bringing with you (spouse, significant other, neighbor, sister, two friends from your genealogical society, or the whole dang family!). I will share the reasons with other blog readers and let them know what city, state or province you are from. It might help others to feel comfortable bringing along a non-genealogical buddy if others will be doing the same.

Register for NGS by Monday to save $$$

How much extra money do you want in your wallet to spend in the Exhibit Hall at the NGS Conference this May 14-17? If you register online today, tomorrow or on Monday, March 31st, you will save $35.00 off the conference cost after that date. You can also mail your registration if it is postmarked no later than March 31st.

It's an easy drive to Kansas City from many places. Some airlines are offering good prices. I just checked a couple of the discount travel websites and I could travel to Kansas City on the 13th and return on the 18th for as little as $275.00 total.

18 March 2008

When is the last time you checked . . .?

Today's electronic world of history, archives, and genealogy offers us many ways to learn about new offerings, finding aids, accessions, classes, indexes, and other things helpful in our family history searches.

When is the last time you checked an ancestral state's historical society or state archives website? (or of a county historical , genealogical society, regional archives, or local history collection, etc.?) Is there a periodical electronic newsletter you can sign up for? Is there a website section that lists recently acquired records or updated finding aids? Are there publications you should be reading regularly, both online and off?

The website of the U.S. National Archives includes a section listing acquisitions and record openings. The list for the 1st Quarter of 2008 includes these Minnesota connected records at the federal regional archives in Chicago:

Chicago—NARA's Great Lakes Region Contact archival operations, 773-948-9001.
Records of District Courts of the United States (Record Group 21)20 cubic feet Federal courts in Minnesota:Third Division of Minnesota, St. Paul Division. Naturalization Index, 1930–88; Declarations of Intention, 1969–87; Naturalization Petitions, 1970–91; Naturalization Transfer Petitions, 1970–92.Fourth Division of Minnesota, Minneapolis Division. Naturalization Index, 1930–88; Naturalization Index, 1989–92; Declarations of Intention, 1970–85; Naturalization Petitions, 1970–91; Naturalization Transfer Petitions, 1970–92; Correspondence Relating to Naturalization Transfer Petitions, 1977–85.Fifth Division of Minnesota, Duluth Division. Naturalization Index, 1927–92.Sixth Division of Minnesota, Fergus Falls Division. Naturalization Petitions, 1978–88.

The online lists go back to mid-2001. One place to find earlier lists is in Prologue, which is still published quarterly by the National Archives. Iif you subscribe by April 1st, the cost is only $20.00. If any of these records pertain to your family history, put a trip to Chicago on your spring or summer schedule.

17 March 2008

Researching Irish Ancestry

Want to learn more about your Irish ancestry?

  • The 2006 Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference in Boston had many lectures on Irish research. For downloads of 60 Irish related lectures, visit here. These lectures can be downloaded as packages or by single lecture.

  • The Irish Genealogical Society International offers a research library and classes. One Saturday a month, Irish assistance is offered in the library. Under the research tab, an extensive links section takes you to many websites for Irish research, culture, and history.

  • For many more Irish research, cultural, historical and travel links, use your favorite search engine to open up a world of information.

Happy St. Patrick's Day -- Yes, I am Irish

I may be a mutt as far as my ancestral origins, but the Irish far outweighs the others. My Irish blood is on on my maternal side. I know that some of my Irish lines may turn out to have some English -- but I need that trip to Ireland to work on that.

My maternal grandfather, Maurice Michael Hanley (100% Irish), was born 1893 in Winona, Minnesota to Michael Hanley and Johanna Welch. Michael was born in Ireland (county history says Tipperary) around 1840, came to Hamilton, Ontario,Canada in the 1840s where his parents supposedly died. He and his brother Martin ended up in Winona, Minnesota. There is supposed to be a sister Mary, but I have not found evidence of her to date.

Grandpa Mike's (Maurice Michael) mother was Johanna Walsh, born 1859 in County Kerry (Welch/Walsh, Fitzgerald and Bowler). Johanna followed several other family members to Winona County. Others were in Boston. I have a picture of the old family homestead in Kerry (Catholic parish of Ballyferriter) that was in the family until recently. That was a treasured gift from cousins who were born and raised in Ireland. Johanna Walsh was Michael Hanley's second wife. His first wife was Margaret Carney/Kearney who died in 1888 in Winona.

Some of the Walsh/Welch's remained in Winona but after Michael died in 1905 in Winona, his widow Johanna eventually moved to St. Paul with her children to be with other relatives. Maurice Michael met and married my Grandmother Gertrude Catherine Cook. Grandma Gert's father was John Thomas Cook and her mother was Violet Dow/Daoust (born 1875 in Montreal to a French-Canadian father and a mother who had English, German, and Irish blood.)

The Cooks are from the civil parish of Dromcolliher, Catholic parish Drumcollagher, County Limerick, Ireland where some children of James Cook and Mary Green were baptized. Their son Andrew, born 1842, came to Faribault, Minnesota. Andrew was followed by my great great grandfather, James Cook (born 1837) and wife Catherine (Kate) Moriarity. James and Catherine settled in Faribault with Kate's mother Ellen (Nellie). Eventually James and Kate and children moved to St. Paul. My great grandaunt used to tell us about connections to County Cork.

The bottom line is that I am almost 1/2 Irish. My youngest three grandchildren add a large dose of Irish blood from their Dad. Dougherty is just a bit Irish!

14 March 2008

Minnesota Genealogical Society Spring Conference March 29th

I received this reminder from the Minnesota Genealogical Society. MGS meetings are always enlightening.

"The Minnesota Genealogical Society Spring Conference will be held March 29, 2008 at the Rochester Community and Technical College in Rochester, Minnesota. The conference offers educational seminars and exhibits to help family historians and genealogists expand their research skills.Registration begins at 8 a.m. Three multi-track sessions are scheduled from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Rochester Community and Technical College. The Minnesota Genealogical Society, in association with the Olmsted County Genealogical Society, is sponsor of the event.The program features presentations by three board-certified genealogists and experts in Southeast Minnesota family history.

Rosalie Schack, CG, of Owatonna will speak on Minnesota cemetery research. Sandy Thalmann of Rochester will give tips on researching ancestors in Southeast Minnesota. Joanne Sher will speak on researching female ancestors and how to get around genealogical brick walls. Jay Fonkert, CG, will lecture on using maps and geographic information in family history. Other featured topics include genealogy resources of the Minnesota Historical Society and lessons for genealogists wanting to make best use of their personal computers.Registration is $25 for MGS and OCGS members, and $30 for others. A box lunch is available for $10.

Registration is available online at the MGS website or at the door the day of the event."

11 March 2008

BBC "Who Do You Think You Are" to NBC

Reuters News Service reported today that the NBC television network has purchased the U.S. rights to the "Who Do You Think You Are?" series that has been a hit on BBC for the last four years. The BBC version involved tracing the family trees of celebrities and the ratings were fantastic.

In the U.S., the PBS show, "African-American Lives," hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., traced the ancestors of some well-known African Americans through research and DNA. This 4-hour series was fascinating and I smiled a lot while watching it and seeing the looks of awe, wonderment, pride and some shock, too, on the faces of those featured. The end result was that a lot of them understood how much the past has shaped them today.

For many years, whenever I see an obituary of some singer or actor that has mention of upper Midwest roots, I do some research to just see where that person fit into the history of the upper Midwest. It has been interesting to see what the ancestral towns are and what the rest of the family was doing in times past.

A while back, I worked for a while for Timothy White on some projects. Timothy was a long time editor of Billboard and had previous connections with the Associated Press, Crawdaddy, and Rolling Stone Magazine. The project included the Midwestern roots of the Beach Boys that was published in his 1994 The Nearest Far Away Place: Brian Wilson, The Beach Boys, and the Southern California Experience. The aim was to show the how the family background had an impact on the Beach Boys, both their music and lives. Other colleagues of mine did work on similar projects for Mr. White before his sudden death in 2002.

Another project I helped on was related to the roots of the late poet, John Berryman. The aim was to show how much his ancestry and its ups and downs affected his poetry, which was often dark. As genealogists we know how it helps us to understand the who and what that has preceded us. It often gives us insight into how our grandmother or father acted, or why there was a rift in the family. I think it is wonderful that some authors really want to understand the person or persons they are writing about. The ancestral background is abundant in public records.

08 March 2008

Minnesota Clubmaker of the Year

Club as in golf. What does that have to do with genealogy? When it involves my nephew, Tim! I have two amazing nephews and an amazing niece. All are accomplished adults now and as I sit and talk with them, I have those memories of them as little kids running around.

Tim was just named Minnesota Clubmaker of the Year by the Golf Clubmakers Association which represents the U.S. and Canada. Tim owns 19th Hole Club Repair in So. St. Paul, Minnesota. Tim learned his craft in Arizona -- there are schools for learning the various technical and business aspects of the golf industry. Hmmm -- maybe I should add golf schools to my lecture on school records!

I imagine that some of you are saying Golf? Minnesota? This state is known for its world-class golf courses. People from all over travel to Minnesota in the spring, summer, and fall to resorts with golf courses. We are a vacation destination state with those 10,000+ lakes. Even smaller towns have well-known golf courses here.

Just in case you or someone you know is a golf enthusiast, check out the premier issue of Tee Times Minnesota Golf & Living. Tim is covered on page 15. If you ever visit their store, be sure to say hi to the lady behind the desk -- that is usually my sister, Linda.

Congratulations Tim!

06 March 2008

Kansas City Here I Come: NGS Conference

In the 1950s I used to visit my late aunt's in-laws. Jeannie's husband, Jerry, lost his life during the Korean War. His parents, the Muellers, lived in Buckman, Minnesota. The joys of old fashioned living included the outhouse and the water pump. I thought pumping the water was exciting. As we drove to Buckman from St. Paul we used to listen to the radio and I vividly remember singing along to the song "Kansas City" which was first made popular by Fats Domino.

The full lyrics of the song are here. Not all the words apply to me but "I'm goin' to Kansas City. Kansas City Here I Come" applies to the National Genealogical Society Conference being held there this May 14-17th. NGS recently added another hotel. The program has some very interesting sessions. Check it out here. This is a very drivable location for Midwesterners. The most important item to tell you about right now is that early registration discounts are gone after March 31st. Book your hotel room today and be sure to register soon to save money. Then you can use that money in the Exhibit Hall!

02 March 2008

The passing of a special friend

I knew it was coming soon -- but when the call came that told me about the passing of a friend, Chuck Knuthson, it still hit hard. Chuck passed on last Wednesday, February 27th, in Roseville, California after a tough struggle with colon cancer that had spread.

Those of you who met or worked with Chuck in genealogy will agree with my comments on this special ray of hope for our world. A smile that brightened a room, a helping hand when you needed one, a voice of reason in meetings, a volunteer extraordinaire, and he treated genealogists as friends, not just colleagues. He worked for me on occasion and his genealogical work and reports were above and beyond wonderful. He made some great break-throughs in a couple of cases. His police work background brought an extra to the research process. On one client project, he was able to help me understand a rather graphic coroner's report and help with the assessment of whether there was any chance it was a murder rather than a suicide. How many of us know someone who could help with that! He said there was no doubt it was a suicide. On another he located a 500 page probate file for me.

At genealogical conferences, and every year at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, he was the right arm to many of us as we set up our computers and projectors. How did he know to be there if a glitch happened? The Federation of Genealogical Societies has lost a great board member, but he made sure that those now handling the jobs he did were well-suited to the job.

I met his wife, also a Paula, several years ago and one night we ate dinner out in California. One of his granddaughters joined us. Imagine this 4 year old trying to figure out two Grandma Paula's sitting at the table! The love and special bond that Paula and Chuck shared was so evident that it made the rest of us smile.

For those of you who never met Chuck, I am sorry you won't have that opportunity. His obituary appeared in the Sacrmento Bee newspaper last week. Click here to read it and don't neglect the guest book - the messages on there will tell you so much more about him and what he meant to us.