Actually, this post is two weeks of my favorite finds.  I was MIA last week, sledding with my kids at White Sands National Monument.  So. Much. Fun.:)  I’ve been very busy with my genealogy these past couple of weeks – mostly working on my Swedish roots, but also delving a bit into my husband’s New York lines as well.

On to my favorite finds:

  • This evening’s edition of Geneabloggers Radio is all about African-American Resources.  I don’t have any African-American roots myself (at least not that I’ve found yet!) but it still sounds interesting to me.
  • Hitler, Hindenberg, & Homeland over at Collecting dead relatives…and live cousins! was a great read.  I love old letters.
  • I also enjoyed the post Generational Length at Irish Genealogy.  It’s amazing how different lines can have such drastically different generational lengths, putting your various sets of great-great-greats at such different time periods.
  • Fi.fa. Fo Fum!  was a very helpful post over at The Legal Genealogist.  Legal mumbo-jumbo is hard enough to understand without abbreviations.:)
  • Happy Birthday to Marian and her twin over at the other Climbing My Family Tree.  I just love the picture of them in the pram.
  • Cherie, why didn’t I get invited over to partake in the Fastnachts?  They look delicious!!:)  Head over to Have You Seen My Roots?  to get the recipe.
  • Here are a couple of blogs I started following this week: Picking Up Breadcrumbs and Throwaway map.
  • I’ve put my Flip Pal Scanner to good use, but have yet to try stitching anything together yet.  Karen over at Genealogy Frame of Mind shows an example of a document she put together.  The results are great!

And some pictures to share:

  • Marian - February 26, 2012 - 7:33 am

    Jen, thanks so much for the shout-out and bday greetings! Glad to see you’ve taken some time off for winter fun. Very little winter here in southern New England these days–and that’s a good thing :) Stay well!ReplyCancel

  • Judy G. Russell, CG - February 26, 2012 - 8:49 pm

    Thanks for the mention — and oh BOY do I love those pictures of your kids. The last one in particular is wonderful.ReplyCancel

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Thank you to my wonderful mother-in-law for sending a copy of this biography on my husband’s great-great grandfather, Peter Henry Weeks. The biography comes from the book entitled “Portrait and Biographical Record of Leavenworth Douglas and Franklin Counties Kansas” Chapman Publishing Company, Chicago, 1899, Pages 583-584.

I love how detailed the biography is – and all of the information it gives on Peter’s father, Samuel Weeks.  He moved around and switched jobs a lot, so it’s nice to see all of the dates and places listed out.  If only all of our relatives could have such thorough and informative biographies written about them.


Shortly after the close of the Civil War, in which he had borne arms for the government, Mr. Weeks came to Kansas and purchased the farm in Douglas County which he has since occupied. He has devoted himself assiduously to agricultural pursuits and has become known as one of the energetic, efficient farmers of Palmyra Township.  His landed possessions now aggregate two hundred and ten acres in Douglas County, one hundred and sixty in Logan County, this state, and four hundred and eighty in eastern Colorado. Of recent years he has given considerable attention to the breeding of Durham cattle, and it is his intention to use much of his land for ranching purposes. While in the army he saved $800, which, with money received by inheritance, formed the nucleus of his present property.

Mr. Weeks was born in Peekskill, N.Y., April 29, 1842. His father, Samuel, was born and reared in the same state, and in early life was clerk on a steamboat and also teacher of the officers’ children at West Point, but resigned the latter position in order to enter the ministry.  From 1848 to 1856 he was engaged as a Methodist Episcopal preacher in Indiana, after which he spent one year at Winterset, Iowa, thence went to Mount Ayr, Iowa, where he cultivated a farm and also carried on a general mercantile  store.  In the fall of 1865 he sold out there and moved to Pleasant Hill, Mo. , where he engaged  in merchandising for a year.  Next he settled in Baldwin,  Kans., where he was proprietor of a general store and also preached occasionally.  In 1875 he sold out here and returned to Jeffersonville, Ind., where he died at eighty-four years of age.  Politically he was a Republican. He was a son of Jesse Weeks, a farmer of New York, whose father, Thomas, was also a native of that state. The marriage of Samuel Weeks united him with Sarah Parks, who was born in New York and died in Baldwin, Kans., October 1, 1875, at sixty-five years of age.   She was connected with the Methodist Episcopal Church.   Of her three children, Mary is a widow and Lyman is a painter residing in Salida, Colo. The eldest of the family, our subject, was educated in public schools. In April, 1862, he enlisted in Company I, Fifth Missouri Cavalry, and was mustered in at St. Joe for three years. For a time he was stationed on the border and took part in skirmishes with the bushwhackers and with Quantrell’s men. He was mustered out at the end of fourteen months. August 22, 1863, he enlisted a second time, becoming a member of Company D, Eighth Iowa Cavalry, at Davenport. With his regiment he marched to Nashville, Tenn., and spent the winter in that city, going from there to Cleveland, the same state, and thence to the Atlanta campaign. During his service he had several narrow escapes but was never wounded nor taken prisoner. He was mustered out at Macon, Ga.,  in August 1865.

Returning home our subject remained there for a short time, then came to Kansas and settled in Douglas County, with the subsequent development of which he has been identified. He is a member of Seth Kelley Post No. 410, G.A.R. , at Vinland, also belongs to Palmyra Lodge No. 23 A.F. & A.M. , of Baldwin. His family are connected with the Methodist Church, and he is in sympathy with and contributes to, its maintenance, but is not identified with the congregation. By his marriage to Miss Julia Snyder , of Utica, Ind. , he had eight children, namely: Elizabeth, wife of H.E. Craig; Emma, who married Frank White and died at twenty-seven years; Mrs. Frances Williams; Floyd, who has charge of his father’s stock ranch in Colorado; Birdie, who died at five years; Homer, Alice, and Lyman, at home.


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I have used Find a Grave a few times to get pictures of my ancestors’ gravestones and have been so grateful for the kindness of other genealogists out there.

I thought that I should pay it forward and volunteer to take some pics for other people also.

What I didn’t think about was the fact that I live in a city, not a rural area.  And there are a lot of people buried here.

After a few weeks on the list, I think that there are at least 40 requests in one cemetery alone.  It’s overwhelming.  It happens to be a large cemetery – too large for me to just wander around looking for random names.

I am still going to try to help at least a few of the people who have asked.  I will carve out a few hours of time and stop by the cemetery office to see if they have a listing and a map.  It’s going to be quite the job though!!!

Are you a Find a Grave volunteer?  Do you get many requests?


  • Cherie Cayemberg - February 21, 2012 - 5:13 am

    In the bigger cemeteries I always look for the office. They should be willing to help you especially if you let them know that you’re doing this so relatives that are too far away to visit in person can then visit virtually. Good luck, Jen!ReplyCancel

  • Carol - February 21, 2012 - 8:25 am

    You may not be the only volunteer getting these requests. You do not have to claim the requests until you are ready, therefore removing the panic from your horizon. You do not have to register as a volunteer with a specific zip code to be a volunteer, you can still claim requests from that specific cemetery. Some cemetery offices are more “cooperative” than others, some take huge offence if they hear you are working to put these photos online, that is just a heads up for you. I have even heard of some offices charging outrageous amounts of $$ to look up a record, like $25.00 and up EACH record. Proceed cautiously and have fun.ReplyCancel

    • Jen - February 21, 2012 - 3:15 pm

      Carol, I had never heard of cemeteries charging – that’s crazy!! I tried the cemetery office once and it was closed (when the hours clearly stated it was open). I’ll have to try again another day. I do realize that other volunteers are probably getting these requests, but I don’t think that anyone is filling them (I see some from 3 years ago on there that haven’t been filled yet). I’m not giving up yet!! :)ReplyCancel

  • Randall Dickerson - February 21, 2012 - 10:10 pm

    I’m a Find-A-Grave volunteer also. I’ve filled a few requests and have noticed larger numbers of requests coming in for certain cemeteries.

    What I am planning to do is a “photo-survey” of several cemeteries. I’ll start on one row of stones and walk the row, photographing each stone in sequence. I think that doing a section of the cemetery at a time, I can photograph the entire cemetery in a few visits.

    Then, when a request comes in, I’ll look through the photos to see if I have a match and post it. Maybe in time I can post all the photos on find-a-grave.

    I’ve also found a way to automatically match my handheld GPS with the digital camera to mark the location of each photo.ReplyCancel

    • Jen - February 22, 2012 - 12:29 am

      Randall – good idea!! I might just do that. I think it might take me less time to just walk along and take pictures than the searching through the whole cemetery for one or two at a time.ReplyCancel

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One of my genealogy goals for this year was to write out the birth stories of each of my five children.  This is no small feat since the past 12 years of child-rearing and homeschooling has turned my memory to mush.  The details of my memories are fading a bit and I want to make sure that I get them written down for my kids.  I know that they will enjoy hearing about it later.

Katie is my second child, and my second daughter.  I’m starting with her story, because her birthday happens to be in February and that’s when I’m writing this.

I found out I was pregnant with Kate while we were living in Copperas Cove, Texas and my husband was stationed at nearby Fort Hood.  We were living in the first house that we actually owned.  It wasn’t huge, but it was big enough for our small family and it had a huge yard with peach, pear, and fig trees – which produced tons of wonderful fruit.

We weren’t “trying” to get pregnant, but we weren’t not trying either.:)  At the time, our first daughter, Ellie,  was 2 years old.

I actually found out I was pregnant on Father’s Day 2001 – and as a present, I wrapped up my positive test for my husband.  He was clueless at first – wondering what on earth I had just given him.  I wish I had taken a video of his reaction, because he was so perplexed.  I could tell that he didn’t want to hurt my feelings, but he really didn’t know what it was. It finally hit him though and of course he was excited. I think that was a pretty good Father’s Day present, don’ t you?

My pregnancy with Kate was fairly easy.  No complications, other than the fact that she blocked off the circulation to my left leg.  She was worth it though.:)

My husband’s parents came down to help out.  We figured that if they were staying with us, then whenever I went into labor we could just leave for the hospital and not worry about childcare for Ellie.  Kate didn’t come when she was supposed to though.  We waited and waited and waited some more.  Andy’s parents had to return to Kansas without seeing the baby.:(

I had gone pretty quick with my first child (I was at the hospital for about 2 hours) and so I knew that I shouldn’t hesitate to leave for the hospital.  That, paired with the fact that a friend had recently told me about someone who had just had her child in the bathroom at home  made me hyper-sensitive about getting to the hospital on time.  I always had a fear that I was going to give birth on the side of the road in the car.  Thankfully, that never happened!

I started having contractions at night (don’t ask me why but that happened with all of my kids!).  They were pretty close together, so I decided I’d wake my husband up and start getting ready to go to the hospital.  We dropped our daughter off with a friend and drove straight there.

I felt sick in the parking lot and ended up losing my dinner.  I felt much better after that though and was actually able to walk inside to the desk.  I told them I thought I was in labor and they kind of laughed like it was going to be a while.

They ushered me into an exam room and I put on one of those horrible gowns.  So embarrassing, but at this point in time I didn’t really care much.

My husband was desperate for some caffeine and so he decided to go in search of coffee while I was being examined by the doctor.

I was a bit shocked when the nurse told me that I was already 10 cm, the baby was crowning,  and  they didn’t have any time to take me to the delivery room.  Everyone started scrambling around me.  They converted the bed, went in search of the doctor and my husband, and brought in all of the necessary things.

It all happened so fast!  I didn’t have anytime to worry or even think.

Thankfully, my husband was only grabbing a cup of coffee at the nurse’s station.  I don’t think he would have made it in time had he gone downstairs to the cafeteria.  He was just as shocked as I was when he walked in and the baby was crowning.

My water didn’t break until a couple of  minutes before Kate was born.

They told me not to push, and I didn’t.  She was coming out on her own.  They actually had me COUGH a few times.  I’m not exaggerating.   I coughed and her head came out, I coughed again and she was born.  A healthy, beautiful 9 pound baby.  It was amazing.

And do you know the wonderful thing about having a baby that quickly?  The recovery time is so much shorter than normal.  I didn’t have a long exhausting labor where I felt like I was going to collapse and sleep for days.  I was up and walking around right away.

And here is a picture of Katie taken this weekend, blowing out the candles on her 10th birthday. It’s hard to believe that 10 years have gone by since she was born.



  • Cherie Cayemberg - February 19, 2012 - 11:24 pm

    I always loved hearing this story, Jen. You undoubtedly make tons of ladies jealous when you say you coughed and birthed your second daughter. Just another reason for me to envy you :)ReplyCancel

  • Eileen Fallin - February 20, 2012 - 2:27 am

    Of course I love this story, I am glad you are starting to get these written down. The photo this leads off with, that exuberant baby face, is so beautiful – even then she was wanting to express her creative thoughts. So easily brought into this world! I love that Andy had NO clue as to what the test stick was, it must have been so sweet to see him bewildered over the gadget in his hands. I look forward to the other stories, Jen.ReplyCancel

  • Debbie - February 20, 2012 - 9:20 am

    What a wonderful story! I’m so looking forward to all your other birth stories!ReplyCancel

  • Renate - February 20, 2012 - 7:17 pm

    What a great idea! I think I’m going to put that on my to-do list. My girls are 23 and almost thirty, and they’ve heard their birth stories a thousand times, but what a great idea to put them into written history! :)


  • Susan D - February 21, 2012 - 1:52 am

    What a lovely idea and a great tribute for your daughter to treasure. I think you will have started a trend and many of us will want to copy you.ReplyCancel

  • Sierra - February 23, 2012 - 8:53 am

    Thank you so much for sharing! I went and wrote down the birth stories for both of my kids after reading your post. It was a great inspiration!ReplyCancel

    • Jen - February 23, 2012 - 7:34 pm

      Sierra, I’m so glad!!ReplyCancel

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Family stories had been told that my great-great grandmother Christina Bergman (Kristina Katarina Söderlund) was hit by a car and killed, but that is all I knew.  I knew nothing of the circumstances or her injuries or even when it happened.

I did a simple search at today and I’ve unearthed some great news articles about her death from the Seattle Daily Times.

A little background information first.  Christina was born 26 May 1852 in Ösaren, Valbo, Gävleborg, Sweden.  I have very little information about her childhood, but I know that she was born out of wedlock.  Her mother was married when Christina was about 11 years old and I”m not sure if she married Christina’s father, or someone else.  So many things to research!

Anyway, Christina married Lars Larsson Bergman in 1871, but her husband died of something alcohol-related just one month before their seventh child (my great-grandfather) was born.  She ended up immigrating to Seattle, WA one year after her bachelor son, David Bergman moved there.  They lived together in the Ballard neighborhood.

And on to the articles…

The first article I found was dated March 10, 1924.  She must have been in horrible pain and it breaks my heart that she lay in the hospital for several hours before she was identified – without any family around.  It doesn’t mention whether she was conscious or not, but with a fractured skull, I’m not sure.

Another little mention on March 11th.  There seem to have been quite a few car accidents reported.And also from March 11th, this article gives some more information on the accident.  She was hit by a 17-yr-old Ballard High School student, Fred Schultheis.  He was arrested and held in city jail over night.  He apparently didn’t have a driving permit.The coroner ordered an inquest.  My great-great grandmother was crossing the street on a Saturday night to attend a church function.  He said that he saw her before he hit her, but couldn’t stop his car in time to avoid the accident.He was found to be responsible for her death, by reason of gross negligence.  Some of the witnesses testified that the car kept going over 75 feet after she had been hit.  He wasn’t going over 20 miles per hour though (this was 1924).Despite the fact that he was found to be responsible, no charges were brought against him.  He was a minor and even though he was a negligent driver and didn’t have a license, there was no testimony to indicate that he was driving at an excessive rate of speed and Christina was crossing the street between intersections when she was hit.  Fred was driving the car without the authority of his father – and I bet he got in more trouble from him than he did with the law!! {this articled dated March 14, 1924}

I didn’t find an obituary for Christina Bergman, but I did find this Card of Thanks, dated March 20, 1924.

So now I know that my great-great grandma did in fact get hit by a car. I hope that the boy learned his lesson, but wasn’t haunted by the accident the rest of his life.  That would be a hard thing to live with.

This last article, the Card of Thanks, left me a little mystery – which may have been nothing but a typo.  The three children of Christina Bergman’s who were living in Seattle (that I know of) were Kerstin Elisabet (Mrs. Peterson), David Bergman (a bachelor), and my great-grandfather, Lars Julius Bergman.  My question is – who the heck is Talino?  That doesn’t sound very Swedish to me!  Maybe they just simply wrote the wrong name?

  • Heather Roelker - February 23, 2012 - 8:36 pm

    I was thinking as I read this that living with what he did would be the worst punishment of all. Hopefully he was able to get over it.ReplyCancel

    • Jen - February 24, 2012 - 2:32 pm

      I agree Heather! It must have been an awful thing to have had to live with for the rest of his life. I hope that he was able to get past it.ReplyCancel

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