Monday, February 23, 2015

FGS 2014 and FGS2015/Roots Tech Reflections

I've been home from Salt Lake City almost a week now.  While putting away the things of FGS2015/Roots Tech, I came across the schedule book from FGS 2014 which was the first FGS conference I attended.  I thought it might be interesting to compare my lecture choices for both to see if a pattern existed.

Gone to Texas
August 2014


For FGS 2014 I only attended two society session and one was about Society Projects with Thomas MacEntee.  This would cover things that our group could take on such as an indexing project. The second session was about "Marketing Your Society" with Marian Pierre-Louis and talked about ways to spark interest in your society.  The tracks these topics fell under were Society Projects and Outreach and Education respectively.

Over the next three days I attended five sessions dealing with Records, five sessions dealing with Methodology, one session on Research Strategies.  I also volunteered for 8 hours at the Welcome Desk and the Vendor Hall.  I did have time to visit the vendor hall and visit with both blogger friends and facebook friends.

Celebrating Families Across Generations
February 2015


For FGS2015 / Roots Tech  I was able to attend five sessions for Societies.  Topics included:  Communicating on a Shoestring Budget, Your Society Can't Afford to Do a Seminar? Here's How?, The Ethical Genealogist, Tips for Robust Society Websites, and Social Media for Societies: It's Not a Bandwagon, It's a Freight Train!  These sessions on Wednesday are all aimed at helping Society members help their groups grow and stay strong.

On Thursday FGS2015 began holding four sessions a day with six lectures per session.  At the same time Roots Tech began also holding four sessions a day with eighteen choices per time slot.  That is a total of twenty-four topic choices per session time!

Thursday I elected to attend Roots Tech offerings choosing to attend: Self-Publishing for Genealogists: Tips, Tricks, and Tools; Irish Records, Beyond the Obvious; What Can Public Libraries Offer Genealogists? and The Future of Genealogy - Indexed Obituaries.  These sessions fell under the tracks of Sharing, General, Find and Organize.  Actually except for the class on Self-Publishing, I would say they mostly fall into Records.

Friday morning I attended another Roots Tech class: Research Your Swedish Ancestors in Living Color Using ArkivDigital Online.  This is a program available at local Family History Centers but locally no one uses it or knows how to.  In the afternoon I went back to the FGS side of the convention center to attend:  German Genealogy on the Interner: Beyond the Basics; Doing History Eliminates the Mystery; Fraternal Orgnizations: Records and Resources; and Using Tax Records for Genealogical Problem Solving.

On Saturday I stayed on the FGS side again and attended "She Came From Nowhere: A Case Study Approach to Solving a Difficult Genealogical Problem; Beyond The Census: The Nonpopulation Schedules; Getting to Know Fold3; and Martha Benschura:  Enemy Alien.  At the close of the conferences I attended Dick Eastman's Dinner.  It was a great evening meeting and visiting with other genealogists.  Dick even had some door prizes and I was lucky enough to win a one year subscription to MyHeritags!

In looking back at the sessions attended in August and February I would say that most often my choices are records and methodology with occasional tools added!  I LOVE attending conferences!  What could be better?  Education, networking, and meeting old and new friends.  Bring it on!





Thursday, February 12, 2015

It has Been Five Years!! Five Years Since I Posted My First Blog!!

Happy Blogoversary to Me!  Five years ago Thomas MacEntee initiated a challange titled "Winter Games for Genealogists".   Something about it appealed to me, so I joined the fun.  Until that time I had been pretty much a solo genelogist.  I volunteered at the local Family History Center but didn't belong to any Societies or genealogy groups.  The Winter Games has changed all that.  I became a happy Geneablogger.  Reading other blogs gave me encouragement and inspiration.  The memes that Thomas publishes daily also helped me to select topics.

Following Genabloggers on Facebook helped me feel as though I knew the different bloggers by name and I was encouraged by their generosity and friendliness.  It was with some trepeditation that I signed up for the Southern California Genealogy Society Jamboree in June of 2010.  Once there I felt more than welcome,  genealogists are very friendly and love to talk to others.  I have been back several times and plan to go again this June.

Going to Jamboree taught me that there was a lot of education out there and I needed to take advantage of it.  Since my first trip to Jamboree, I have also taken four genealogy cruises, joined the Southern California Gebealogy Society, and the Illinois State Genealogy Society.  I have also joined a local genealogy group, Schertz Cibolo Valley Area Genealogists and as part of that group I am a member of FGS.  I am currently at my second FGS conference and my first Roots Tech,  I will also be making my first visit to the Family History Library before I return home.

Lynn Palmero's writing family history series of prompts has also helped me with inspiration and challanges.  There are so many people out there I'm not going to try to name them all but each and every genealogist out there has helped me to become a better genealogist.  Thank you all!  It all began with the 2010 Winter Games.


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

FGS 2015 Day 1 - Society Day

Unfortunately I missed the thw opening session which featured Curt Witcher, Jen Baldwin and Deena Cotant.  I really hope it was recorded since the topic was "Successfully Embracing the Future"

The sessions I did attend were "Communicating on a Shoestring Budget: Cost Effective Solutions for Societies" with Deena Coutant, "Your Society Can't Afford to Do  Seminar/ Here's How! with Paula Stuart-Warren, " The Ethical Genealogist" with Judy G Russell,  "Tips for Robust Society Websites" with Cindy Ingle, and "Social Media for Societies: It's Not a Bandwagon, It's a Freight Train!" with Rory Cathcart.
I tried to attend sessions that were not recorded although several were but all  the sessions were excellent.  Without a doubt Judy  Russell's session had the heaviest attendance and I am sure that Thomas MacEntee and Lisa Louise Cooke's sessions were also heavily attended.

With 3 days to go I know this is only the beginning!fgFGS2015 #fgs2015

Saturday, February 7, 2015

FGS 2015 Getting Ready to Research and Learn




It's almost here!! Something I have yearned to do but doubted I ever would.  My upcoming adventure to FGS2015, Roots Tech 2015 AND a visit to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City!!

I have been getting ready for about a month.  I have looked at the syllabus for FGS2015 but have not made any final choices for classes yet.  With 25 or more sessions per day to choose from, how do I ever decide?  That is not even including the Roots Tech sessions that will be going on.  I am staying a week even though both FGS2015 and Roots Tech last only four days.  I have built in some research time in the Family History Library too.  Looks like I will get some extra time in the Library since in addition to being open on President's Day, they are open until 9 pm.  Here is where I will need some serious time management skills.

In preparing for the research portion of my adventure, Since I am part of the Great Genealogy Do Over, I have created two different research logs.  Early on I decided to limit my research to two different areas which have been pretty much my brick walls.  On my husband's Swedish line there are two men for whom I have been unable to establish a birth date of place of birth.  I have a reasonable expectation of some success because of a finding aid available at the Library.  Wish me luck!  My second area to be searched is Limerick County, Ireland.  I have town and village names and lots of surnames to look for.  Both of my mother's parents and as far as I know all of her her ancestors came from County Limerick.  Given the reported state of  Irish records, I am hoping that there are some genealogies of other books that will help me with finding out more about my Irish.

I will Connect with genealogy facebook friends, Explore the Family History Library, and Refresh myself with new knowledge and enthusiasm!


Thursday, January 29, 2015

Throw Back Thursday and Treasure Chest Thursday Meet



This picture was the treasure I received in my inbox when I checked e-mail while in Japan!  The photo is of the house in Oslo, Norway where my great-grandfather Adolf Hansen was born in 1852.  The name of the street is "grøndlandsleiret" and some of the buildings still exist today.

The e-mail also contained a biography of Adolf which appeared to come from an recording of his music. 


Adolf Hansen (1852-1911) had a background not unlike Svendsen’s. He grew up in straitened circumstances as the “illegitimate” son of “the unmarried discharged soldier Martin Hansen”, but had the will-power and energy to make a success of his life. When he was fifteen, he was accepted as a pupil by military musicians and received tuition in the clarinet and violin. Since there were no full-time employment possibilities for musicians in Norway at that time, most professional
musicians had to take on an assortment of different jobs. Hansen played in the Christiania Theatre Orchestra, and it is possible he also played in the Music Society Orchestra under Svendsen’s direction.

Fortune shone on him in 1880 when he was awarded a scholarship to study in Paris. Before he left Norway, the Brigade Music Corps arranged a composition evening to raise money for him. Some of his own works were played – mostly pieces for a military band, but also his string quartet – and he himself played the clarinet in a performance of Mozart’s clarinet quintet. On his return from France, Hansen was appointed kapellmeister for the Christiania Tivoli Orchestra, which consisted of 20 musicians who had to play two concerts a day. He thus held a position that corresponded to that of his more famous colleague Hans Christian Lumbye in Copenhagen’s Tivoli. Hansen composed melodious light music which was extremely popular in his day and which, when published in arrangements for piano, brought in good money. Many of his pieces have a girl’s name as their title – it seems he knew a few ploys to increase their sales and popularity! His music also often
reflected everyday life and events, as we shall see. He composed more than 300 works, and five of them are represented on this album.

Christianialiv: Musikalske tonebilleder (Christiania Life: musical tone pictures) was composed in 1888. It was originally scored for the piano, and is a real pot-pourri, with Hansen borrowing nine familiar tunes and placing them, in his own arrangements, between two galops. This is a form of programme music that was fairly popular in the second half of the 19th century. Christianialiv depicts a tour round some of the capital’s cultural and entertainment hotspots. The cover picture on the piano score (see p. 16 of this booklet) shows the people and buildings the traveller is going to see after arriving at the railway station. The music begins with a galop, written by Hansen himself, symbolising, of course, the train journey. From the square outside the station the itinerary
proceeeds up Karl Johan Street to the Studenterlunden park in the city centre, where the Brigade Music Corps plays a street march whose original score still lies in the band’s archives. Then follows supper at the Grand Hotel, accompanied by a serenade by I.P.Hansen. From there we move on to the old Christiania Theatre in Bankplassen, opposite today’s Engebret CafĂ©. Not unnaturally, one of Edvard Grieg’s melodies is heard here – the “Mannjevningen” march from Sigurd Jorsalfar. A galop from the 1880s takes the listener to the Tivoli Variety Theatre in the Tivoli Gardens at Klingenberg, where there was also a circus. A slow polka and the crack of a whip transport us into the circus ring and remind us of the dressage we can enjoy there. From the circus two well-known melodies lead us to a couple of Christiania’s most celebrated beer-halls,  the Centralhallen and Bazarhallen. Then it’s time for another theatre visit, and a gavotte ushers us into Victoria Theatre, before we end up dancing a waltz in Flora’s Dance Saloon at Klingenberg. The concluding railway galop makes it clear that we are ready to leave Christiania, after enjoying an eventful trip round some its attractions.

In May 1892 Adolf Hansen took over as director of the 4th Brigade Music Corps in Bergen. One of his first compositions there was the Serenade for Nina and Edvard Grieg’s silver wedding celebration. The serenade, which concludes with a trumpet fanfare in honour of the famous couple, was performed outside Trollhaugen, the Griegs’ home, in the morning of 11th June. In a letter to his editor in Peter’s publishing house in Leipzig, Grieg wrote: “The Brigade Music Corps played a work specially composed for this occasion – I shall never forget the effect this beautiful music had on me that wonderful quiet summer morning.”

 The other Serenade on this album was composed by Hansen for the young singer Nathalie Egeberg (1872-1931) whom he had married in 1889. She became one of the leading singers at Den Nationale Scene, Bergen’s theatre and opera house.  Hansen was a skilled violinist and played whenever he could in the Musikselskabet Harmonien (forerunner of today’s Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra), whose chief conductor in the years following 1893 was his friend Johan Halvorsen. This is possibly what inspired him in 1895 to compose his Romance for violin and piano, Op. 123. This work, which won huge popularity, was later arranged for B flat cornet and military band. The following year Hansen composed a work in rondo form which he called Bondebryllupet (Country Wedding).
First published in a version for piano, this work contained all the folk music elements people at that time expected in such a piece. It was given the Opus number 180, and if the numbering and order of his works are correct, Hansen managed to compose almost 60 works in 1895-96! This tells us how easily and quickly melodies flowed from his pen. Hansen was a much-loved personality in the musical life of Bergen. 

He died in 1911, five months before the death of his former teacher, Johan Svendsen.

Many thanks to cousin Anders De Lange for sharing this wonderful information about our mutual great-grandfather

Monday, January 19, 2015

#week2 Genealogy Do Over - Still Organizing and Planning

Burbach Research 1732 to Current

We are now into week 3 of the Genealogy Do-Over and I continue to resist doing actual research but I am still going through my Burbach (my dad's maternal line) and making note of missing facts and records while checking the citations for the facts I do have.

I am doing active research on the two brick walls I will try to solve while I am in Salt Lake City next month.  I will be looking for the birth place for Oloff Hanson and Leopold Peterson.  I want to do as much fact finding as I can before I make the trip so I don't waste time with unproductive searches.  Just now I thought of a search that was suggested for Leopold that I need to do for Oloff.  They are both from Sweden and settled in Chicago by following routes in very different time frames.

I have been working more with Evernote and used it's search capability to find a note I had made at the library.  I knew it referred looking in a certain newspaper but couldn't remember who I was going to look for or the year I needed to find.  Evernote found the note by just entering the name of the newspaper.

I purchased Family Tree Maker 2014 and after a few bumps in the road (caused by some nasty things living in my computer) it is up and running.

I already feel that I am beginning to become a better and more disciplined genealogist as I recognize the need for smart planning instead of falling into the rabbit hole.  I will admit to falling into the hole for a while yestersay.  I was at the library and decided to google the villages I hope to research in County Limerick, Ireland.  One on the towns was Lisnaverne.  Imagine my surprise to find a Find A Grave for the church cemetery!  Of course I had to look but there were only 37 graves.  They were all for the Hennessy family.  My grandmother's mother was Mary Hennessy!  And there were notes attached listing parents, spouses, and siblings!  I will be using Find A Grave much more often.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Genealogy Do-Over: The first week ends!



It's time to recount what I accomplished this first week of the Do-Over.  Since I am doing a modified Do-Over, my procedure will be different than others.

I will be making my first trip to Salt Lake City in February so I am also working on my research plan for the trip.  I have decided to check the Swedish records for two of the brick walls in my husband's paternal lines.  One is Oloff Hanson ( b 1824-1831) who came from Sweden in the 1850's and fought in the Civil War.  I would like to try to determine his place of birth and parents names.  Leopold Peterson is the second person I have decided to find in the Swedish records.  Leopold immigrated to Boston in 1870 and married there in 1873 before moving to Chicago before 1880.  These men are the respective 2nd great-grandfather and great-grandfathers of my husband.  In preparing for the research I have printed  a timeline and filled out a research plan of action.  The second research I would like to do in Salt Lake is to check-out the available films for counties Cork and Limerick in Ireland for my mother's parents families.  I will check the Family History Library Catalog for the films that I might want to see.  I do know parishes and townlands that I am interested in researching/

This week I have also developed a file naming convention which is similar to other that have been posted and explored Evernote.  In Evernote I have set up a notebook system and moved research notes into various surname notebooks.

Bring on Week 2!