Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Genealogy Podcasts

Once I got serious at genealogical research, I realized that I wanted to hang out with people who were also interested in genealogy. I haven't listened to music on the radio regularly for a long time. I'd always end up listening to talk radio, sometimes struggling to find topics that I'm interested in. The solution? Genealogy podcasts! Given the large number of back episodes available, you can have your own personal genealogy radio station for months on end. You can subscribe to them through iTunes but what I did was just went to their web sites and downloaded the mp3 files to my laptop's hard drive, connected my phone and copied the files there. I then plugged my phone into the audio system of my car and listened to them like they were a radio station.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Possible Surname for Thomas Doran's Father

I've been trying to track down the name of my great-grandfather's father. Looking at my Family Tree DNA matches, I'm seeing a pretty large number of matches with one particular surname as an ancestral surname. This surname is Gallagher. One person that matches some of these Gallagher matches of mine has his only Irish ancestral origins in the Ardara area of Donegal.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

X-DNA Inheritance and What It Tells You

I felt I wasn't getting a lot of genealogical value from my DNA test. I was speaking with a distant cousin of mine and she reminded me to take a look at my xDNA matches. Taking a closer look at this does tell me quite a bit more about my matches and could help narrow down how some are related to me.

What is xDNA? xDNA is the other half of the chromosome pair that includes the yDNA that males receive from their father. Mothers always pass along half of their xDNA to all of their offspring. If their child is male, all of his xDNA came from his mother and all of his yDNA came from his father. If their child is female, the daughter will receive half of her xDNA from their mother and the other half from her father.

Monday, July 4, 2016

The Death of 17 Month Old T. Patrick Miller

In this article, I described my search for information regarding the death of T. Patrick Miller, son of Leo and Julia Doran Miller. I had tried searching through property records of their home to determine where and how he may have died. In the Bixenman family history book by Sister Catherine Seeman, it was said that he died at 2 years old by drowning in a pond on the property.

During my most recent trip to Fort Madison, Lee County, Iowa, I visited the genealogy department of the Fort Madison library. While there, I was able to track down his obituary. When I found the index card, I didn't know I had found it. This is because the obituary was for Thomas Patrick Miller. I had been looking for Anthony Patrick Miller. I figured it was worth a look at the obituary just to be sure.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Father's Day - yDNA Male Miller Ancestors

In honor of Father's Day, I'm posting my yDNA, which is my direct male line, my father's father's father's etc... showing my direct male Miller ancestors.

First Generation
 1. John Anthony Miller  "Jack" was born on 16 Jun 1929 in Fort Madison, Lee, Iowa. He died on 21 Jan 2000 in Columbus, Platte County, Nebraska. He was buried on 25 Jan 2000 in St. Bonaventure Catholic Cemetery in Columbus, Platte County, Nebraska. 
John Anthony Miller - First Communion - about 1936

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Panther Family Reunion Reminder

Don't forget! The Panther family reunion is coming up in a little over three weeks! If you're related to the Panther family, you're invited!

Here are the details:

When: Saturday, July 2, 2016. Start showing up at Noon. Food will be served at 4:00pm.
Where: Address: 2445 110th, West Point, IA 52656
GPS Coordinates: 40.8 -91.438 (That's 40.8 degrees North and 91.438 degrees West)
Google Maps: http://maps.google.com/maps?q=2445+110th.+West+Point%2C+IA+52656&ll=40.800962%2C-91.43731&spn=0.006846%2C0.013196&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-a&hnear=2445+110th+St%2C+West+Point%2C+Iowa+52656&gl=us&t=h&z=17

Map of the reunion location

Directions from West Point, Iowa:

Go north on 7th St which turns into 240th Ave/County Road X23
Drive approximately 5 miles
Turn right (east) on 110th Street
After about 0.7 miles, it will be on the left.

The current estimated attendance is at about 175 Panthers. We hope to see you there!


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

My Full Ancestral Tree

I realized that while I've been posting about all the various family surnames, I've never posted my entire tree. My links page contains a link to my Rootsweb database and you can browse my entire tree that way. Here are links to my ancestors in this database and screenshots showing my ancestry.

First is the ancestry of my father, John Anthony Miller. I've recently made a breakthrough on his Miller line and you'll be hearing more about that in the coming weeks and months. For now, I've documented his Miller line back to his great-great-great-grandfather. This branch will be expanding soon.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Miller Brickwall Shattered

I was stumped. How in the world could I possibly find information about my Miller line? Here is everything I knew about them, taken from Sister Catherine Seemann's book "The Bixenman Family and Allied Families - Volume 1" - Page 285:
 The Millers original name was Mueller with two dots over the u, as they were Germans from Germany. Mary Ann Seemann McNamara gave the picture of the Mueller family, with the brothers and sisters of Charles, for inclusion in this book. Cecelia Baldwin also sent one so several families must have it. Anna Miller Seemann named the group but did not remember the name of one brother. They are listed here as they were on the back of the picture:
-Gottlieb (William) Mueller;
-Annie Mueller; married a Quinzer;
-unknown brother;
-Sophie Mueller; born around 1868; married a Schmalzl;
-Karl (Charles E.) Mueller (Miller); born October 7, 1852 in Germany; emmigrated in 1874; in 1889 married Philomena Bixenman (born April 27, 1870; died 1939); died October 31, 1923;
-Rika Mueller; married a Susenberger;

Thursday, April 28, 2016

I Say Miller, You Say Muller

I'm hot on the trail of relatives on my Miller line. Charles Miller, aka Karl Müller was my great-grandfather. Sister Catherine Seaman's Bixenman family history book lists his siblings as brother Gottlieb, who was partner with a man named George Quenzer in a clothes cleaning and dying business in New York City, Annie, who married a man named Frederick Quenzer, who was involved in a clothes cleaning and dying business in New York City, Sophia, who married a man named Joseph Schmalzl, who owned a clothes cleaning business in New York City and Rika (possibly Fredrika), who married a man whose last name was Susenberger. The name of one of the brothers is unknown. There were a few Quenzer brothers involved in clothes cleaning businesses in New York at the time.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Brandstetter Descendants

I stumbled upon a hand-drawn Brandstetter family tree. It shows the descendants of Christian Brandstetter on several branches down to the 1950s. You can find the full document here: http://www.renchen.de/kultur-stadtgeschichte/stammbaum-brandstetter/

You shouldn't just take a family tree that someone else put together without supporting documentation but I went ahead and put the tree into a database so I could browse through the tree. Here is a pdf showing all of the descendants of Christian Brandstetter down to the generation of my great-grandfather, Aloys Panther.

Monday, April 4, 2016

A Trick to Find Obituaries and Newspaper Articles

I thought of a simple trick to tweak a Google search in order to help you find newspaper articles and obituaries for people of relatively uncommon surnames and especially for those with surnames that are also common words.

The trick is to search for "Mr. Surname" or "Mrs. Surname", including the quotes. Let's say you're searching for someone with the last name of Swords. Doing a Google search for just the word Swords is going to find many pages regarding the bladed weapon.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Ancestry Lost RootsWeb Data

When I first started getting serious about genealogy research, I loved RootsWeb. It provided surname and location message boards, a place to post your family tree data for free and even provided a large amount of disk space available for genealogy-related web pages. Best of all, it was free!

Then Ancestry bought Rootsweb. They assured us that nothing would change in the way Rootsweb was run. I never noticed any problems but was always wary because I just have never trusted Ancestry to do the right thing. This is only my personal opinion. It is not based on anything that has gone on in the past. I just always thought their share holders were more important than doing the right thing.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Family Tree DNA and GEDMatch

I've used Family Tree DNA for all genetic testing I've had done or recommended. I also upload my data to GEDMatch to expand my search for genetic cousins. Now, it appears the two organizations are in a spat. It's become a he-said/she-said argument but neither has publicly stated what the problem is. All we know for certain is that Family Tree DNA says that data uploaded to GEDMatch compromises the privacy of Family Tree DNA customers. GEDMatch says that Family Tree DNA has threatened legal action. Family Tree DNA has said (sort of) that they didn't threaten legal action. GEDMatch says that Family Tree DNA demanded that uploads of FTDNA kits to GEDMatch be suspended. Family Tree DNA says that they were surprised that GEDMatch suspended the uploads unilaterally. However, in the same and other statements, Family Tree DNA says they requested that uploads be suspended. Based on the fact that Family Tree DNA has issued conflicting statements, I'm believing what GEDMatch is telling us.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The Doran Family - Facts and Speculation

Happy St. Patrick's Day 2016! In honor of St. Patrick's Day, I'm presenting the known facts and what I believe is true of one of my Irish ancestral families.

First Generation

    1.    Thomas Doran  was born about 1804 in Ireland. His naturalization papers state that he was originally from County Donegal, Ireland. Several of my genetic matches that have Donegal ancestors have their ancestors from near Ardara. I don't know if this is where the Dorans are from but it is a possibility.

Thomas married Catherine O'Hara . Catherine was born about 1804 in Ireland.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Emigrants Out of Germany in the Mid-1800s

What are the reasons people left Germany in the mid-1800s? I've always wondered and could never find the answer. When my cousin visited our great-grandfather's home village last year, a local reporter wrote an article about his visit. In addition, part of the article was about the mass emigration of people out of the Black Forest region in the 1850s. I found this extremely interesting. While it wouldn't explain my great-grandfather's reasons for leaving in 1872, it could explain his brother leaving in 1854. The article was written in German. This is a translation that my cousin had a friend do for him.