Saturday, April 14, 2018

Miller Family History Book Published

I've just released my book containing my Miller family research. It's called "Johan Christian Müller, and the Liebrich Sisters - Their Descendants and Ancestors". I've made it available in both hardcover and paperback. While working on getting this book ready, I've also made my Panther family history book, "Moriz Panther and Elizabeth Birk - Their Descendants and Ancestors", available in paperback. I've ordered the mandatory review copy and once I've confirmed it looks good, I'll be making both of these books available on Amazon.com. If you decide to order either of these books, I ask that you please order them from my Lulu.com author spotlight since Amazon takes such a large cut in the profits. Not that I expect to earn a lot of money from these books. I don't. I just wanted to make them available on Amazon in case that is the only way someone finds the book, I want to be sure they can purchase it.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Family Tree Display

My seven year old grandson gave me an early Father's Day gift and it's pretty cool. His parents have allowed him to pick out his own gifts for his family and friends for a few years now. They have no input. It's completely up to him what he's going to buy. In this case, he scored a home run.

It is a copper wire on wood family tree display. It's made by Tapestree and comes in three different sizes:

Small - 19 frames for $34.95
Medium - 38 frames for $49.95
Large - 57 frames for $64.95

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Deceiving DNA Test Results

A new DNA match appeared for me the other day. I recognized the name as someone I already had in my database. He is my fourth cousin on my mother's side. He's also descended from my great-great-great-grandparents, Johan Herm Theodore Menke and Maria Catharina Schirren, from Schwagstorf, Osnabrück, Lower Saxony, Germany. Family Tree DNA estimated him to be my 2nd to 4th cousin, so the estimate lines up. I started looking at some of our common matches and since he's more closely related to my mother, I brought up their common matches. That's when I noticed. Family Tree DNA estimates that my mother and this fourth cousin of mine are 5th to distant cousins. How can this be? Unless he's related to me on my father's side, which would be a complete surprise, this doesn't make any sense.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Old German Military Portrait - An Amazing Identification

My cousin called me a couple of weeks ago saying he was in contact with someone descended from Ferdinand Panther and Amelia Traub. He said this man had some old photos I might be interested in getting a scan of. He texted me photos he took of a few of them with his phone.

I called the man, who lives in Mediapolis, Iowa, which is near Sperry and Dodgeville, where my Panther ancestors settled when they came to America. My cousin gave him a copy of my Panther family history book. Chatting with him, it ends up he is not blood-related to us. He is a descendant of the brother of the husband of a daughter of Ferdinand Panther.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Newly Discovered Granduncle

A distant cousin sent me the death announcement (found on Warsaw, Illinois newspapers online) for a granduncle I didn't know existed. He was the brother of my grandmother, Julia Doran Miller. Previously, I had found an indexed record, not an image, of the birth of a child of Thomas and Mary Ann Kelly Doran. In this indexed record found on Family Search, it didn't contain an exact birth date, a name, or even a gender for the baby. This baby was born in Bloomfield, Davis County, Iowa, in 1884.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Distant DNA Matches

I explained in a previous post that it's actually pretty unlikely that your DNA results will show a match with a given relative as close as fourth cousins. On the other end of the spectrum is that even though it's unlikely, you could match a small number of very distant relations. Here's an example I've come across recently.

I was looking for my recent DNA matches and I found someone that Family Tree DNA suggested was a fourth to distant cousin. This means we match a very small amount of DNA. Looking at his list of surnames, I saw a few that looked very familiar to me. They were surnames found among my great-grandfather, Aloys Panther's ancestors in and around Moesbach, Ortenaukreis, Baden, Germany.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Nebraska State Genealogy Society 2018 Spring Conference

The Nebraska State Genealogy Society 2018 Spring Conference will be taking place April 27 & 28, 2018 in Columbus, Platte County, Nebraska. You can register online here. The non-member cost is $109 for both days, including lunch or $60 for one day. Members get a $10 discount. If you become a member with your registration, the discount you get pays for half of your annual membership fee. You can count on me being there. I've already registered. Columbus is where I was born and raised and where my parents lived out the majority of their lives. In addition, it takes place the weekend of my mother's birthday. I'm sure it will be emotional for me, but you can bet I won't miss it.

The featured speaker is Judy G. Russell, "The Legal Genealogist".

Thursday, January 25, 2018

My 10 Favorite Blog Posts

In the five years since I started my genealogy blog, there have been more than 50,000 visitors to it. While I'm happy with this number, I hope people continue to find it and find it interesting and inspiring.

Some of my personal favorite blog posts are already included in the list of top ten visited posts. I'm not going to repeat those. I'm including only those of my favorites that do not appear in that list.

1. The Tom Doran Story - A Wild Character in the Wild West - My favorite blog post is the biography of Tom Doran, the outlaw of Junction, Texas. It is my firm belief that his story would make a great movie. It is my hope that I can make this happen some day.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Top 10 Blog Posts

In the five years I've had my genealogy blog, I've had over 50,000 visitors. While I'd love to be a super-popular writer, I'm pretty satisfied with how popular the blog has become. So, what posts are the most popular with my readers? Here they are.

1. German Church Record Basics - Part 1 - German Records - Coming in first place is my post about how to read German church records. It contains images of common words found in German church books and what they mean. I'm very happy that this has become the most popular post. This means that my blog is making a difference and really helping out people that need assistance.
 

Monday, January 1, 2018

Warsaw, Illinois Newspapers Online

I found a site, http://warsaw.advantage-preservation.com/, that has many Warsaw, Carthage County, Illinois newspapers online to browse and search. You might already know that I love old newspapers. Having the ability to browse and search the old newspapers of a small town my ancestors were from is a fantastic opportunity.

I hoped to find a large amount of information about the Hugh Kelly family, which is the only family of mine that actually lived in Warsaw but I found just a few mentions of him. What I found more of is news about that darn Doran family in neighboring Carthage. As is typical, you don't find much in the newspapers about modest, law-abiding people but you find much more about the trouble-makers.