Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Your Zig-Zag Ancestral Line - A Challenge

I need to keep up on reading the blogs of other genealogists. It seems I'm always busy and never get a chance to sit down and read. I recently started reading several of the blogs I follow. I always enjoy Linda Stufflebean's "Saturday Night Genealogy Fun". The one titled "Your Zig-Zag Ancestor Lines" provides a new way to look at your family tree. She asks you to follow your family lines, zig-zagging from your father, to his mother, to her father, to his mother, to her father, to his mother, to her father, etc as far back as you can go.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Tom Doran and Cale Hall of Junction, Texas

In the book, The Mason County "Hoo Doo" War, 1874-1902, author David D. Johnson quotes a letter from Mason County dated February 27, 1877 written by Private H. B. Waddell noting that Kimble County was "a theifs stronghold." He continued:

"Old man Dublins may well be called the theifs hous. Black Burt the head man of the thieves...
A heavy set dark comp. [man] wants to kill every stranger that comes into the neighborhood fearing that he is a detective. Rich Doublin, Dell Doublin, Black Burt, Thos. Doran, Frank Burk, John Burleson Cale Hall $400 reward for him, Bill Deal, McGrue Allison, John McKiever and numerous others that I could name are in the county, the sheriff of the Co. is in full concert with them..."

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Clarifying the Different Types of Sources of Information

I'd be willing to bet that a good number of beginner genealogist and probably a surprising number of more experienced genealogists don't have a good grasp of the different types of sources of information. I know I never really thought of it before and prior to really thinking about it, I'm pretty sure I had a couple of these types confused. There are six categories you can put sources of information into. These are three sets of opposites. Any given source can be classified as one of each of these pairs so each source is actually in three of these categories, all at once.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Ancestry Snapshot - 1818

I came up with an idea of what to use as a basis for a blog post. I'm not sure if anyone has done this before so if they have, I'm not stealing the idea. It just came to me. What I'm going to do when I'm searching for a blog post is to select a year and document where every branch of my family tree is and what they are doing. As much as I know anyway. I believe the toughest part of this is to choose a year. For my first Ancestry Snapshot year, I'm selecting 200 years ago, 1818. Also, if you have a better name for this challenge, let me know.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Lee County, Iowa Obituaries

When I was in southeast Iowa in June, I spent an entire day at the Fort Madison public library genealogy room. While there, I printed out over 100 obituaries. I've been able to connect all except a few to my family tree. Here are the ones I found most important to my genealogy.

First, and most important, is the obituary of my great-grandmother, Mary Ann Kelly Doran.
I find it amazing that I haven't had obituaries for close relatives of mine and I don't realize it until I find them!

Monday, September 10, 2018

Protecting Physical Items From Disaster

In this post from 2015, I discussed backing up your digital files. Whenever someone offers me actual physical documents related to my genealogy, I typically reply that I'd like to scan in the documents and give them back to the original owner. I'd prefer to NOT hold on to physical documents. Why? Because I can back up digital files so I should NEVER lose all of my data. That happened to me once about a year after I got my first modern computer. Yes, I lost data but really, it was nothing important. Now, if I lost all of my data, I would lose most of my years of genealogy work. That's why I'm so adamant about having at least two copies of my data in two different physical locations. Why two locations? Because no matter how careful you are, disaster can happen. Your home could flood, catch fire or get hit by a tornado or hurricane, or earthquake, or whatever natural disaster can occur where you are located. That's the same reason I don't like holding on to original documents. If disaster hits, you don't have two of those original documents.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Biography of Leo Henry Miller

I barely knew my grandfather, Leo Miller. He passed away when I was in my single digits in age. My family traveled to the area he lived about once per year. During those visits we spent most of our time with my mother's family since we had many cousins around our age on that side of the family and only a few on my father's side. Since starting my genealogy hobby, I've slowly learned more about him and now feel I know a lot about his life, although there are many details still missing, such as details about his military service and the interactions that had to be tense regarding the home he lived in much of his adult life. Here's what I know.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Descendants of Nancy Doran Dunnigan

I don't have any big genealogical projects going on. So what do you work on at a time like this? You look for a piece of your family tree that isn't complete that you haven't beat your head against for months on end. Find some part of your family tree that you can make some progress on. In my case, when I started thinking about who I might be able to have a DNA test on to find connections on my Doran family tree, I realized a few things. First, my first cousin on my dad's side of the family helps me see who I'm related to on either my dad's mom's or dad's branches. The problem is that it doesn't help me see which branch they are on.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Grandma Panther's Diaries

During my last trip to Iowa, I was able to scan in three more volumes of my grandmother's diaries that my aunt has. I posted the scans online privately for my cousins to browse. One cousin made a comment, at least half joking, that he couldn't believe he had to click a link for each and every page, asking what it would cost to have it on paper.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

The Passing of Oskar Oberle - Mösbach Historian

I checked out the Mösbach, Ortenaukreis, Baden, Germany web page for the first time in a long time and discovered that the village historian, Oskar Oberle passed away January 26, 2018 at the age of 85. This makes me very sad. I very much wanted to meet him whenever I finally got to the home village of my great-grandfather, Alois Panther. Sadly, this will no longer be possible. Here is a translation of the write-up on Baden Online.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

DNA and Ethnic Origins

Many people are taking genealogical DNA tests these days. While that sounds great, the sad part is that many, and I would say most, aren't interested in connecting with their distant cousins to help find their genealogical information. Instead, as a result of the advertising Ancestry DNA puts out, they are only interested in their ethnicity. In my opinion, this ethnicity estimate is about the least valuable piece of information you get from your DNA test. Here is a demonstration of this.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Born on the 4th of July

While browsing the Warsaw, Illinois newspaper archive, I found another version of obituary for Thomas Doran, my great-great-great-grandfather and the eldest of my known Doran family, who lived out the final years of his life and died in Carthage, Illinois. I had previously found an article from December 1, 1875, stating that he was in poor health and was said to be over 100 years old.

Monday, June 25, 2018

More Diaries Scanned

During my latest trip to Iowa, I was able to scan in every page of three of my grandmother, Elizabeth Menke Panther's diaries. This is my mother's mother. These were from the years 1968, 1973 and 1977. Now that I'm home, I working on getting the pdfs created with these scans turned into jpg files and cropping them down to the individual pages. While cropping them, I'm scanning them for important events. I know I'm not catching all of them this time through. I'll look through them more thoroughly once I get them organized. Still, a couple of very important events leaped out at me from 1968. Add in the fact that this was 50 years ago and these take on greater significance.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Iowa Family History Trip

I took a drive to southeast Iowa this week to scan in few photos and see what else I could find. To say this trip was a success would be an understatement.
In this post, I showed a poor photocopy of an old German military photo that was handed down in a family of "in-laws" to the Panther family. I sat down with owner of this photo, my second cousin who is also a family genealogist, and two descendants of the Clementine Panther / Joseph Eibes line. The distant cousin whose house we met at is a sweet 85 year old woman who obviously has been having some worsening Alzheimer-like symptoms in the past couple of months. While she had to introduce me to her brother sitting at the table a half dozen times and ask my name another half dozen times, her enthusiasm was infectious.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Security Breach at MyHeritage

MyHeritage is alerting people in this blog post, to a security breach that occurred on their servers. They've tracked the date of the breach to October 26, 2017. If you opened an account since that date, there should not be a problem. If you opened an account on MyHeritage prior to this date, your email address and a hash of your password was found posted on a site not controlled by the company.

What does this mean? It means that someone got into MyHeritage's systems. How far they got is not clear. What they know is that the perpetrator got a hold of email addresses and hashes of passwords. A hash is a one-way encryption that is used to verify someone's credentials when they log onto a system. It is, theoretically, not possible to reverse this hash so the hacker would not have access to your plain text password.