Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Top Posts of 2014

With the end of the year, the beginning of the next and with many new readers, thanks to Geneabloggers, here is a rundown of my most popular posts of 2014.

1. The Family History Library in Salt Lake City - I started with an update on my brother's status after his serious fall and traumatic brain injury and just to bring everyone up to date, he is doing incredibly well and our entire family couldn't be happier with the outcome. We appreciate all the prayers and well wishes. The rest of the post is a tour of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. I never shared this post on Facebook or submitted it to any other bloggers or podcasts so it appears people are finding it on their own. I really hope it educates people enough to make the most of their first (and later) visit to the Family History Library.

2. (Tie) German Church Record Basics - Part 2 - Latin Records - Here's another post I never shared via any other medium so others must be discovering it on their own. It feels good to see that I have posts up that are likely helping others in their education and research. This post is a rundown of key words found in Latin Church records. I specified
German Church Records because they were found in the church books of a village in Germany but I believe the Latin records will be the same or at least similar in any country's Catholic churches.

2. (Tie) St. Patrick's Day - Hugh Kelly - This was the announcement of what I discovered about my great-great-grandfather, Hugh Kelly and his life in Northern Ireland, Scotland and his voyage to America. This was a huge discovery I made while in Salt Lake City last year.

3. Doran Probate and Property Records in Carthage, Illinois - This is a rundown of what I discovered in the probate records of "Old Tommy" Doran in Carthage, along with property sales records from Carthage. I speculated who I thought my great-grandfather's parents were. I have done more research since this post and discovered my assumptions were wrong. The people I thought were his parents were actually his grandparents. It gets a bit confusing when you have three Thomas Dorans in the same town!

4. yDNA Test Results for Miller/Müller Surname - This was the announcement of what I discovered in my yDNA test results from Family Tree DNA. Sadly, they found no close matches. The most interesting part is my yDNA haplogroup is something I never expected. It seems my great-grandfather's male ancestry originated in the Middle East, likely around Turkey. I'm still not sure what this means but it is definitely interesting.

5. Father's Day - 1940 Census - In this post, I detailed what I found about my father and my uncle (my mother's sister's husband) in the 1940 US Census. I took heresay and compared it to facts found in the census and imagined my father riding his bike to his best friend's house in 1940.

6. Examine Every Detail - Marriage of Hugh Kelly and Catherine Murphy - Here, I encouraged you to really read the details of a document that you don't believe provides much information. Even the tiniest bit of information, in this, the name officiator of my great-great-grandparent's wedding and I was able to deduce the village they were married in and the fact that it was an old log church.

7. Incarcerated in Iowa - An Historical Prison Project - This was the announcement of my cousin's project of scanning in over 11,000 glass plate negatives from the early days of the Iowa State Penetentiary in Fort Madison. I still wish I had more details about the project because I think it is fascinating.

8. Buying Family History Items on Ebay - Here I suggested readers to search Ebay for items that might be related to their family history. I showed images and links to a couple of items I purchased.

9. Menke and Related Families in Hanover, Germany - In this post, I showed images of church records showing the baptisms and marriages of my Menke ancestors in Hanover, Germany and showed images from a web page that can help you narrow down family names in Germany.

10. Those Darn Dorans - This post tells a couple of stories of my Doran family from Carthage, Hancock County, Illinois. They are definitely my black sheep family. An apparently illegitimate birth (in the 1850s!), a drunken brawl and an old west shootout. Quite the family!

Special Mention - Photo Mosaic of Your Ancestor - I'm adding this one because it is a recent post and in the old Top 40 Countdown terms, it was #14 "With a Bullet"! It's been a very popular post so far and I believe it will become one of the top posts on the blog. It provides a detailed step-by-step of how you can create a photomosiac of a photo of an ancestor using photos and documents of their ancestors and descendants.

I want to wish everyone a safe and Happy New Year!


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