Sunday, November 10, 2019

Veteran's Day - Leo Miller World War I Service

Just in time for Veteran's Day, I've found the first information about my grandfather, Leo Henry Miller's military service during World War I. I already the picture, medal and draft registration card but I've finally found a couple of real bits of detail.

Here is a picture of Leo around the time of his high school graduation, which was just a few years before the start of the war. His Great War Victory Medal was hung on his photo as shown here, in our home while I was growing up.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Family Heirlooms

Linda Stufflebean at Empty Branches on the Family Tree followed Randy Seaver's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun prompt of "What Family Heirlooms Did You Inherit or Obtain?" That's a great idea. I'll join in! Now that I've taken an inventory of my heirlooms, I can count myself lucky that I have so many nice items passed down in my family. My brothers and sisters have other items. My sister has my grandmother's baptismal certificate. My brother has my father's Navy uniform and other military items. A cousin has my grandmother's teapot cookie jar that her homemade cookies would wait approximately 10 seconds before being eaten by some of her grandchildren.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Mapping My Ancestral Origins

I know Ancestry has the "DNA Story", which maps the movement of your DNA through history, but to me it's pretty broad and general. I wanted to get a better visualization of where my ancestors originated, all in one or two images. I started thinking of where each branch of the family was from and I realized there were only two general areas of origin for my ancestors and really only a handful of specific areas. I wondered if a couple of maps could illustrate their origins. This makes a great challenge! Map all of your ancestral branches to the location you have as their origins.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

What Constitutes Proof? - Revisited

You may recall my post from 2014 titled What Constitutes Proof. This post has proven to be one of my most popular articles, even years later. In it, I described what I knew about my great-grandmother and what I discovered about what I believed was her family in the 1855 New York state census. There was no proof discovered but I had a lot of circumstantial evidence.

Following the Genealogical Proof Standard, I didn't believe I proved that Elizabeth Dunzinger's parents were Andrew and Fanny Dunzenger, found in New York City, along with Mary A. Dunzenger, who would be her sister, Victoria Seidlenar, who would be her grandmother and Adam Pacoke, who would be her uncle. I only had the one piece of evidence, along with an Andreas Dunzinger, of approximately the right age to be this Andrew, being born in Wemding, Bavaria, which is the town the newspaper article stated the families were from. I did, however, believe it was her family. I just didn't prove it.Given recent genealogical discoveries, I thought it was time to revisit the evidence and come to a solid conclusion. So, here is what I know about my great-grandmother, Elizabeth Dunzinger Panther, listed in the approximate order of when I discovered the evidence.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Theory About My yDNA Origins

I had a yDNA 37 marker test done with Family Tree DNA back in 2013 hoping to find a connection to my Miller family in Germany. Unfortunately, I only ended up with one match and that was a very distant match with a completely different surname from Spain. My yDNA haplogroup turned out to be J-M172, having nothing to do with any German haplogroup where my yDNA line is from. Family Tree DNA says of the origins of this haplogroup:

"...northern Middle East, west of the Zagros Mountains in Iran, to the Mediterranean Sea. It later spread throughout central Asia and south into India. J-M172 is tightly associated with the expansion of agriculture, which began about 10,000 years ago. As with other populations with Mediterranean ancestry, this lineage is found at substantial frequencies within Jewish populations.  J2 is also one of the main Haplogroups found among Arab populations."

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Dunzinger Marriage Record Found Along with Great-Great-Grandmother's Name

I finally found the marriage record for my great-great-grandparents. FindMyPast has the collection called New York Roman Catholic Parish Marriages and another called New York Roman Catholic Parish Baptisms. I searched for Dunzinger and the very first record that came up was the marriage record for my great-great-grandparents, Andreas and Anna Ziegelmuller Dunzinger in 1847. Previously, the only information we had about Andreas' wife was the 1855 New York State Census, which listed her as Fanny. It also listed a Victoria whose last name was transcribed as Seidlenar.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Johann Diedrich Menke's Death Record

I've heard the family stories about the Menke family's voyage to America since I was a child. The story is that my great-grandfather was a young boy when he came to America with his parents and his father died on the voyage and was buried at sea. I had never found anything to document this. I only had the fact that I found my great-grandfather's baptismal record and his parent's marriage record in Germany, and the fact that his mother remarried in Iowa. I posted a photo of my great-grandfather on Instagram, taken on his 90th birthday, noting that the photo was taken in 1954.
Johan Anton "August" Menke on his 90th birthday. He came to America when he was six years old.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

John Anthony Miller Delayed Birth Certificate

You may remember, in this post, I mentioned that I found the birth certificates for the brothers and sisters of my parents but, for some reason I could not find the birth certificates for my mom and dad. I did a search on Ancestry and saw an entry for my dad, John Anthony Miller in the Iowa Delayed Birth Certificates collection. I took a look and there it was. I find several interesting things on this certificate. You'll note that I blurred out information about a living individual and about the address we lived at at the time.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Genealogy Podcasts Revisited

A while back, I posted a list of podcasts I listened to. Since then, I've expanded my list and have found several that I really like. Here is my updated list of podcasts. I have not listened to the entire history of all of these but I am slowly making my way through them. Here is my list of podcasts in order of my preference.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

The Handwritten Will of Benedict Bixenmann

After receiving a copy of the Bixenman Family History books written by Sister Catherine Seemann around 2005, I took a trip to the town my great-great-grandfather, Benedict Bixenmann, took his family to in 1869, Wien, Chariton County, Missouri. I was able to obtain a copy of the St. Mary of the Angels church history book and had a visit with a distant cousin, which turned into an impromptu family reunion when a few other distant cousins joined our table at the restaurant.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Ancestry Brings Back RootsWeb WorldConnect, Sort Of

I noticed when I went to RootsWeb to view my WorldConnect tree, which I use as a quick way to look up my information when I'm not at home, I noticed that there is a new link on the Family Trees page. It says "The new Worldconnect Beta is available!"

Well over a year ago, when Ancestry discovered the security breach in RootsWeb, they took down RootsWeb completely and have been slowly bringing things back online. Way.....Too....Slowly.... This shouldn't have taken more than a few weeks at worst. Regardless, last year, they brought the old WorldConnect family trees back but they could not be changed. Any changes since the security breach would have to wait. They have now given us the ability to upload new GEDCOM files to our family trees.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Memorial Day - WWII Draft Registration Cards and Fold3 are currently offering free access to military records through Memorial Day, May 27, 2019. Definitely go see if you can find military records for the soldiers and sailors in your family tree! I did a quick search on Fold3 and found the World War II draft registration cards for a lot of my Panther relations. These are full color scans, front and back, of the original cards my relatives filled out, including notes written on them later. These include those of typical military service and draft age, along with the "Old Man" draft registrations of those who were born between 1887 and 1897. Here are a few I found.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Old New York City Photos

I was listening to old Extreme Genes podcasts from 2015 recently and in one episode, Fischer interviewed the man responsible for putting together the web sites and I have no connection to San Francisco, so did not interest me but definitely got my attention. This is a collection of old photographs from as far back as the beginnings of photography to as recent as the year 2000. The majority of the photos are from the 1920-1930 range. The photos are mapped out according to their location on a map of New York City.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

DNA Web Site of My Dreams (*does not yet exist)

I am a tech geek but my normal environment is system configuration and security. I can install and configure systems, make a given system work and can suggest configuration changes that will help secure it. I am not a developer. When it comes to writing code, I can do html (web) and basic scripting. I cannot develop a full program or web page. While I can't write a program, I do understand what goes into it and can estimate the difficulty of implementing a given feature. Hearing about the updates to various DNA testing company tools, it made me think, "This is a good update. This should help. But why can't they do...." and I started listing off various things that I would think should be relatively easy to accomplish. Then I thought, why not put it in a blog post and maybe a developer at one of these testing companies might read it and start working on some of these wish list features. I will include a few features that already exist but they don't exist on every service so I'm going to include them. So here we go!

Monday, April 1, 2019

Iowa Birth Certificates 1921-1942

Family Search updated their collection of Iowa birth certificates for the years 1921-1942. When I saw that, I definitely had to see what I could find. I found a large number of Menke birth certificates but since they are more distantly related to me, I'll skip posting them here, relying only on my closer relations. First up is my father's first cousin, Bernard Hellrung. His mother was my great-grandfather, Thomas Doran's daughter.