Friday, December 5, 2014

Big Moves

My wife and I are in the midst of selling our old home, moving items into storage, then buying a new home and finally moving our things into our new home. It's a long and stressful period but in the end, we hope to be more comfortable and happy. It makes me wonder about how my ancestors experienced moves they went through.

The first one that comes to mind is when Franz Josef Panther moved from Stadelhofen, Ortenaukreis, Baden, Germany to Mösbach. The move was only about four miles down the road, just a little further than our move. Our move is going to be made easier by asking family and friends to help and renting a good sized UHaul truck. Obviously, they didn't have UHaul trucks back in the late 18th century. I don't know anything of their details but I'd imagine they used one or more wagons and possibly several trips to move their household goods. I'd imagine it would be a similar experience to what we're going through.

The moves that Franz Josef's grandsons, Aloys and Ferdinand Panther went through were obviously much more grueling.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Penny Has Hope

This isn't related to genealogy but it is important to my family. My sister-in-law has started a new blog "Penny Has Hope". It is about the struggles of raising special needs children, in particular children with autism. Please take a look and share it with anyone you know that knows about this struggle or would like to learn.


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Photo Mosaic of Your Ancestor

What can you do with your genealogy information once you have it "completed"? Is there some creative way for you to display what you've learned? Of course, you know the answer to that is "Yes". There are all kinds of creative projects to display your family tree information. One way I like makes a great display for a wall or for a family reunion.
If I focus my attention on my great-grandparents, Alois Panther and Elizabeth Dunzinger, I have a massive amount of information on Alois' ancestors and they had a large number of children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren etc.
Find the photo you want to use as the final product. You can use any photo but it should have meaning to you because this is the overall picture you will be looking at when you look at your mosaic. I used this portrait of Alois and Lizzie.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Sadie Rose and Hubert Kelly Doran

A reader posted a comment asking about Hubert K. Doran so I thought I'd post what I have about him and his wife.

Hubert Kelly Doran was born 25 Jan 1887 in Missouri to Thomas and Mary Ann Kelly Doran. He was one of nine children, seven of whom lived to adulthood. His siblings were Kathryn (b. 13 Nov 1882 in Hancock County, Illinois), Maurice Michael (b. 10 Sep 1883 in Bloomfield, Davis County, Iowa), an unnamed child (b. 1884 in Bloomfield, Davis County, Iowa), Mamie E. (b.24 Mar 1889 in Fort Madison, Lee County, Iowa), Julia Cecelia (my grandmother) (b. 1 Mar 1891 in New Boston, Lee County, Iowa), Nellie Margaret (b. 29 Jan 1897 in Fort Madison, Lee County, Iowa), Leo (b. Apr 1899 and died 15 Aug 1900 in Lee County, Iowa) and Cecelia (b. 23 Jul 1901 in Fort Madison, Lee County, Iowa).

Friday, November 7, 2014

Veteran's Day - Free Military Records - Offer Has Expired is offering free military record searches in honor of Veteran's Day and the 100 year anniversary of World War I.

You can take advantage of the offer here: You'll need to create a free account if you don't already have one.

This offer runs through midnight Eastern Time, November 11, 2014.


Saturday, November 1, 2014

Family Tree DNA Walkthrough

I can imagine that some people might be hesitant to get a DNA test because they're not sure what they'd be getting. Here is a walkthrough of the Family Tree DNA results web site. The screenshots all have had other people's names and my actual DNA blurred out.

First is the initial screen after logon which shows you the options available.
The top link on the page is "Family Tree". Clicking here will bring you to the page where

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Those Darn Dorans

I believe I've just found my first true "Black Sheep" family in my family history and it definitely was not where I expected it. Here is the story of one of my Irish immigrant families, the Dorans.

Thomas Doran was born around 1775 in Ireland. His wife Catherine O'Hara, also known as Kitty, was born in Ireland in about 1798. Their children were also born in Ireland. They were Fanny (born 1826) Nancy (born 1830), Henry (born 1837), Thomas (born 1839), and Margaret (born 18??). The family emigrated from Ireland to America some time between 1839 and 1853. It appears they arrived in New York before moving to Pennsylvania, likely around Philadelphia.

Nancy became an unwed mother in 1853, while either in New York or Pennsylvania, with the birth of her son, Thomas, my great-grandfather. It is unknown who the father was. Some time between 1853 and 1860, the family moved to Carthage, Hancock County, Illinois.

A newspaper article speaking of the incident that occurred on Wednesday, July 22, 1868, says "The Doran family, living beyond the Wabash depot, was often in trouble and history tells that 'Granny' Doran had an establishment in her home." So far, we have not been able to deduce what kind of establishment the article was speaking about but I tend to believe she purveyed alcohol, likely whiskey.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Share Your Info and Ask Questions - Thomas Doran in Texas

Here's another example of how taking a little bit of information you've found and sharing it with others can reap huge rewards in more information.

A couple of years ago, during my last trip to Carthage, Hancock County, Illinois, I had stumbled upon records of service in the Civil War for a Thomas Doran who would have been born in about 1843. He was listed as a musician in the Illinois 16th US Infantry. I knew this couldn't be my great-grandfather as he wasn't born until about 1853. He was also too young to be his father.
These are not documentation per se. They are just database entries showing Thomas Doran's Civil War service.

These are not documentation per se. They are just database entries showing Thomas Doran's Civil War service.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Uploading Genealogy Information to Family Tree DNA

In my relatively short time working with Family Tree DNA, the biggest problem I'm running into is when my matches either don't have their ancestor family tree uploaded or it's set to not show all the pertinent information. If we have a match through our "paper" genealogy, I wouldn't know it because I can't see who their ancestors were. Most of my matches don't have a family tree posted whatsoever. For those that do have one posted, here's what I typically see when I view the family tree of one of my matches. Note that I've replaced all names with just the word "Name" so I'm not sharing anything they may not want to share.
See all of the people showing up as "Private"? This is likely because they didn't have a death date entered and the privacy settings are set to not show matches information regarding living people.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Upcoming Doran Research

There are a few irons in the fire in regards to my Doran research.

First, I've been contacted by another experienced researcher interested in the Doran line. It sounds like she lives in the Hancock County area and she will be doing a local cemetery search for any of the Dorans. It sounds like Old Tommy and Nancy Doran were buried in Warsaw. The Kelly family was buried in Sacred Heart cemetery and it appears there are many stones missing there. The Hancock County Historical Society's cemetery index was taken in the early 1970s. If any stones were missing or illegible, they weren't included in the index. It is likely the case that the Doran headstones just don't exist any longer and possibly never did exist. Regardless, I'm wishing her luck in tracking them down.