My Genealogy Research/Writing Plan for 2011

This is exactly what I need – a plan of attack for the coming year.  I have quite a few projects that I want to tackle.  Here is a list of the major ones.

  1. DAR Membership: I think that I have finally gathered all of my needed documentation.  I now need to print out my information on the fancy paper, send my application in, and keep my fingers crossed that I get approved!!
  2. I plan on getting a month-long Genline membership and working on my Swedish roots for a while. The records here are great and I know that there are ancestors just waiting to be found!
  3. Get John Edwards’ Civil War Pension File.  I’ve just sent a letter to the VA and am hoping that I receive a response sometime in 2011!!  I may need to  call and remind them that I’m waiting. :)  It’s been about 8 years since I originally ordered it from the NARA and I WANT THAT PENSION!! I won’t take no for an answer.:)
  4. Find out what happened to Ella Jane Hattery (my 2nd great grandmother).  I need to do some serious research on her.  I am going to try tracking down some living relatives that might be able to answer some of my many questions about her very interesting life.
  5. Find out what part of Kentucky John Robertson was from.  I need to take the information I learned about researching common names and apply it to this problem.  Searching for John Robertson in Kentucky, before 1850 is going to be difficult, but I think that I can do it!
  6. Attend the NGS Conference in May and learn a lot of new things to help me in my research.
  7. Write out my children’s birth stories, before they end up being distant memories.:)
  8. Interview my parents about their early lives – and actually take notes or record them this time.
  9. Start researching my brother-in-law’s family in earnest.  I’m excited about doing some Italian research!
  10. Contact my Papa’s 2 living siblings.  See if they might have any old pictures or stories they are willing to share.
  11. Find out how to access the Leavenworth County, KS probate records and order/search for John C. Davidson’s will (and other Davidson family members also).
  12. Talk my husband into taking another genealogy-related trip somewhere.  Maybe back to Virginia?  New Jersey?  Missouri?  Iowa? I’m not sure where yet.   We’re moving to El Paso this summer and we’ve decided that we’re stopping in Maine on the drive over.  We are the only people I know that could possibly fit Maine into a trip from Georgia to Texas. The possibilities for genealogical stops are endless…:)
  13. Do a cemetery census of the Ulrich Cemetery in Douglas County, KS.  Take pictures of all of the stones and rubbings where necessary.
  14. And finally (and this is a huge one) get all of the info I have in my big Rubbermaid container actually entered into my computer program so that I don’t waste my precious time by searching for it again.

I think that is probably enough to keep me busy this year!

  • Shaz - December 18, 2010 - 9:09 am

    If you do a cemetery census in Kansas you could add all the info into the Find A Grave site! Pay something forward.ReplyCancel

  • Jen - December 18, 2010 - 3:11 pm

    Shaz- I will definitely add it!!!ReplyCancel

  • Greta Koehl - December 19, 2010 - 9:57 pm

    I’m with you on the genealogy trips. Gotta find a way to do another one next year. Hope to see you in Charleston!ReplyCancel

  • Amy Coffin - December 22, 2010 - 10:08 pm

    Sounds like some great plans. If there’s anything I can get for you at the Clayton Genealogy library, let me know: http://www.hpl.lib.tx.us/claytonReplyCancel

  • Lisa Wallen Logsdon - January 4, 2011 - 11:07 am

    I really like your #8. My parents are both gone now and I didn’t get nearly enough info from them. I wish I had more time with them and I wish I’d started genealogy in my 20s or 30s so I would have also been able to pump my grandparents! Good luck with your goals!ReplyCancel

  • Janice - January 4, 2011 - 8:24 pm

    Wow 8 years waiting for a document… thats a darn long line ahead of you! :) You weave a wonderful story.

    J at CHReplyCancel

  • M. Diane Rogers - January 6, 2011 - 2:36 pm

    Lots to do! For Swedish research, I also like ArkivDigital (AD Online)and joining DIS Sweden might be good for you too: http://disbyt.dis.se/dbyt_e_index.htmReplyCancel

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My life is laundry

I do more laundry than seems humanly possible.  As soon as I have gathered it all up, sorted it, run it through the washer and dryer, folded it, and put it away, every dirty laundry basket in the house is full again.  I’m not exaggerating!

It’s to be expected though.  I have a potty-training toddler who has accidents.  She is also very strong-willed and HAS to change her clothes every time she spills a tiny bit of anything on them.  I have a 4-year old boy who likes to get dirty  and three other girls who like to change their clothes every few hours during the day – you have to have the right outfit on for each occasion, right?  Add towels and bedding to that and you get an idea of what I mean.  My life is laundry.

I try to remind myself that even though I’m doing enough laundry to clothe a small army, at least I have a brand new front-loading washer and dryer that clean and dry the clothes with a simple push of the button.

I can’t even begin to imagine doing our mound of laundry with something like this…

Or this:

Or one of these babies (although I’m sure they were quite the luxury of their time!):

Or one of these:

I’m starting to feel very thankful!

Now if only they would invent a machine to fold the laundry and put it away…

  • Cheryl Cayemberg - December 18, 2010 - 7:52 am

    Awesome post as usual! Loved it. I feel much better now about all my laundry. Agree on the folding machine!ReplyCancel

  • Cynthia Shenette - December 20, 2010 - 9:39 am

    These pictures make me cringe, and I only do laundry for three. When I was a kid a neighbor had one of those old washing machines with the ringer. Her’s was electric though. I was fascinated by the machine. She’d roll it out (It was on wheels.) and attach the hose to the faucet on an old soapstone sink. I remember you had to be really careful of the wriger, to make sure your fingers didn’t get caught in it. Scary. The “dryer” was the line off the back porch. We had one of those too.ReplyCancel

  • Cynthia Shenette - December 20, 2010 - 9:49 am

    Whoops, I meant WRINGER. Zeesh. I misspelled it twice, in two different ways. Impressive. Christmas on the brain.

    Anyway, thanks for the interesting post (and for making me appreciate my washer and dryer). Now it’s time to throw in another load.ReplyCancel

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Advent Calendar: Grab Bag of Pictures

As I was scanning slides last week, I found a few Christmas pictures amongst them. I thought I’d post them on this “grab bag” day.
I am going to totally embarrass myself here. Yes, this is me. I admit it. I have no idea why I’m wearing my brother’s GI Joe helmet and holding a gun – in front of the Christmas tree no less. Weird. I can honestly say that I don’t remember having this picture taken. It must be about 1985.

Here I am with by brother and our dog Nosey.  It looks like someone was trying to hide from the picture-taking.  It has to be my sister.   I’m sure that by brother is thrilled that I’m posting a picture of him in his underwear.:)

And here is my sister, decorating the tree.  Is is just me, or is that the widest Christmas tree you’ve ever seen?  I think that it’s wider than it is tall!  It looks like it’s taking up half the living room!


And here I am in front of a very little tree. I don’t remember this either. I wonder if it was on a table because my sister was probably at the age where she would pull everything down off of it.

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Friend of Friends Friday: Slaves of Cpt John Glass of VA

John Glass was my 4th great grandfather.  He died on 19 October 1840 in Franklin County, Virginia.

The following list of slaves was from the inventory of his estate.  I hope that this might prove to be helpful to someone in their research!  I will post the full inventory at a later date.

Here is a list of the slaves, transcribed so that it will show up in a search engine.

Negro Man Frank, aged about 45 years….300.00
Negro Man Jem, aged about 34 nearly blind…100.00
” Woman Louisa aged about 40 years…200.00
” Woman Annica aged about 45 years…175.00
Annica’s Child Milly 2 years old next May…100.00
Negro Boy Isaac about 20 years old…540.00
Negro Boy Harrison about 15 years old…450.00

Negro Woman Edy about 23 years old…400.00
” Boy Franklin about 12 years old…425.00
” Boy Kingston about 13 years old…400.00
” Boy Booker about 7 years old…200.00
” Girl Ann about 6 years old…200.00
” Girl Judith about 11 years old…425.00
” Girl Elvira about 6 years old…200.00
” Boy Wiley about 3 years old…200.00
” Girl Charlotte about 3 years old…150.00
” Boy Daniel about 21 years…550.00
” Boy Booker about 36 years…400.00

Is it just me, or does it seem like there is a very disproportionate number of small children?  I wonder why.

  • Renate - December 17, 2010 - 6:51 am

    This is an informative inventory. I think, at first glance, it does look like a lot of children, but when I looked at it more closely, I realized that, for the most part the children were just listed separately from the adults, but when I looked at it more critically, I saw that there were eight adults (20 and up) and and ten children, which makes sense, so I think it’s probably pretty normal.

    Also, interesting that he calls people in their 20′s and 30′s, “Boy”. (I know they called our men that in person, but I don’t often see them referred to that way in the inventories.)

    Thanks for posting this. Hopefully, just the right person will see it!

    RenateReplyCancel

  • Jen - December 17, 2010 - 9:55 am

    You’re right Renate. I guess it just looked like there were so many children, because they are listed all together.

    I thought it was interesting too that grown adults were listed as “Boy”.

    I really hope that someone is able to find their family on here!ReplyCancel

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Those Places Thursday: Herencia, Ciudad Real, Spain

My immigrant ancestor, Nicanor Gonzalo Sanchez-Tereso was born on 10 January 1791 in Herencia, Spain.  He married Anna Marie Weber in 1815 in Bad Kreuznach, Germany.  They had at least 7 children in between 1819 and 1833 while living in Germany. They immigrated to the US after the revolution and ended up settling in Keokuk county, IA.  Sadly, they both died a couple of years after arriving.

I decided that I wanted to learn a bit more about the town of Herencia, where the Sanchez-Tereso family lived for at least a couple of hundred years.  Nicanor’s ancestor, Juan Sanchez Tereso, was born there in 1620. (Related families that also lived in this area were: Gomez-Lobo, Lopez-Naranjo, Fernandez-Canadas, Martinez-Ojeda, Rodriguez-Polanco, Martinez-Oxeda, Garcia-Navas, Rodriguez Del Tembleque, Diaz De Ubeda, Martinez-Viveros and many more hyphenated names!)

Herencia is in the Province of Ciudad Real in the autonomous community of Castile-La Mancha, about 150 km south of Madrid. It has about 9,000 inhabitants.  Fairly small.


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I found a couple of websites for Herencia: www.herencia.net and www.herencia.es. The first seems to have more local news/events.  The second had information on history, a  map of the town,  and pictures.

I had to use Google Translate to figure out what the sites said.  I have taken Russian, German, and a little French, but Spanish is an absolute mystery to me.  The words were translated so that I could get the gist of it, but it just sounded awkward.  It’s much better than pulling out a dictionary though, isn’t it? I won’t complain.:)

What I could pick up from the translation was this: (Here is the direct link to the site.  They have old pictures, which are neat to look at, even if you don’t speak Spanish)

  1. Herencia is translated as “Heritage” or “Legacy” (according to Google Translate).  Now, isn’t that a cool name for a town?
  2. In 1239, after the Battle of Los Navas de Tolosa, the Kingdom of Castile began the repopulation of the Southern Plateau.  The town of Herencia is given its charter.  It has about 150 residents at this time.
  3. In 1568, a granary was built.
  4. They had vineyards and produced a lot of wine.
  5. In 1604, there is a population crisis because of poor harvests and typhoid epidemics.
  6. In 1786 there was an epidemic of malaria.  Life expectancy at this time period was about 50.
  7. In 1790, the first of the windmills was built.  By the early 1800′s, there were 11 windmills in/around Herencia.
  8. I love this translation: “In 1,798, the master of the alphabet, D. Alfonso García Rosel, teaches 90 children of all ages, including 12 of the poorest, who do not receive any money.”  I wonder if my Nicanor (who was born in 1791) may have been one of these children.
  9. In 1808, they record that there are only 3 remaining windmills. It says that this may be due to the destruction by French troops during the War for Independence.

I also found a site that has an album of pictures from the area.  Lots of windmills, reminiscent of Don Quixote. :)  Actually, the setting of Don Quixote is in this vicinity.  It was neat to see what the area looks like.  I would love to visit someday!!

Here is a translation of what the Herencia.es site had to say about the relation of Don Quixote to the area:

If the heirs of Cervantes had to collect intellectual property rights for the use of the names mentioned in Don Quixote, his would be one of the largest fortunes. In Legacy there is no corner that does not contain any reference to Cervantes’s fiction, from the stamp of their handmade cheeses, until the inevitable street and Plaza Cervantes. The very name of the people is in itself a valuable legacy.It is best to walk to the Plaza of Spain, where is the Church of the Immaculate Conception, then visit the Church of Our Lady of Mercy and walk the streets, that have a certain symmetry, with white as dominant color of the cityscape.. At the time of rest and food it is essential the presence of cheese Inheritance of universal popularity. Surely there will be no better place to buy a manchego cheese and taste

The most exciting thing that I found is a bit of information on the church where my ancestors attended: the Church of the Immaculate Conception.  The church that is currently standing was built in the 18th century, which means that it is the same one that Nicanor and his family attended.

I have added visiting this place as number 153 on my life list. :)

Other questions I have about this area are: How was it affected by the Napoleonic Wars?  This is the time period that Nicanor (later known as Nicholas)  was living there.  He would have been 16 when the Peninsular War started and 23 when it ended. Was he a soldier?  Would he have gone to Germany as a soldier? Did he move there after the war, looking for a new life? He married in 1815 in Germany, after the wars ended.

I really know very little about this time period/place.  I think that I only briefly studied it in high school and obviously didn’t retain anything. Everything I know about the Napoleonic Era was learned from watching BBC movies and reading Jane Austen novels.:)Not a complete education, for sure.

Luckily, we will be studying Napoleon and the world in his time this January in our homeschool.  Hopefully I will learn something too!  I have a wonderful book entitled Historical Atlas of the Napoleonic Era. It has so many wonderful maps and paintings in it. I highly recommend it if you are looking for a book on this time period. I’m obviously not an expert though.

I looked at the map of Spain in the chapter titled “The Spanish Ulcer”, and there was definitely chaos all around where the Sanchez-Tereso’s were living. Even if they didn’t fight in the wars, they had to be affected by the things going on around them. Another thing I need to research is Nicanor’s siblings. Other than their birth and baptismal dates, I know absolutely nothing about them. Did they stay in Spain or did they move also?

I wonder if there are records of soldiers for this time period.  Hmm. Things to think about.  Any suggestions on where to look for further information? Does anyone know of any good books (in English) that give a good overview on daily life during this time period in Spain? Anyone want to speculate on why Nicanor moved to Germany?

  • Heather Wilkinson Rojo - December 16, 2010 - 10:24 am

    Dear Jen, I have been to Herencia, and seen the windmills! My husband’s family is from just north of Madrid and we have done some research in his village, and also some research here before we went. Here are some useful things you can do on the internet:
    1. Try the new Familysearch.org for records in Herencia and the villages your ancestors came from. We were able to find lots on line, scanned images. It will be in Spanish, but if you can pick out the baptism, deaths, marriages they are all formulaic and are easy to transcribe. All parishes followed the same “formula” for listing these. They name parents and grandparents, too!
    2. Try http://pares.mcu.es/ which is the National Archives of Spain. Under the advanced search “busqueda avandaza” you can enter the surname and the name of the village, and see what comes up. Not too usefull for common names, like Garcia, but you never know.
    3. Write to the parish priest (even if you have to write in English). He might know a descendant of a common ancestor still living in the village. This worked for us.

    Your worries about the Napoleonic Wars are valid concerns. In my husband’s paternal village of Sinovas, in the province of Burgos, there are no surviving records from earlier than about 1810 or so. But the records after that date name parents, grandparents, so you can get back to the early 1700s this way.

    Good luck, Buenas Suerte, contact me if you need helpReplyCancel

  • Jen - December 17, 2010 - 12:03 am

    Heather,
    Thank you so much for your comment.
    How exciting that you got to do research in Spain! I have to admit that I’m jealous. :)

    I was lucky in that another distantly related cousin handed me a research report (done years ago by a professional) with all of the births and baptisms back to the early 1600′s on most of my Spanish lines. I did notice that the records are now available on the Familysearch.org site, but I haven’t attempted tackling that project yet. I know that if I did this, I could probably fill in a lot of my blanks on deaths and such!

    Thanks for the website for the Spanish Archives. I think that I will give that a try tonight and see if anything comes up.

    That is so amazing that you were able to find relatives still there! Did you get to meet them?ReplyCancel

  • Alex - January 30, 2011 - 3:24 pm

    Nice blog post, Jen! I’ve mentioned it in my own post today (http://wing-ops.blogspot.com/2011/01/challenge-for-you.html )ReplyCancel

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