WWI Research Ideas

Last week, I had the pleasure of listening to Janis Minor Forte discuss records generated by the WWI selective service registration process. The DuPage County Genealogical Society hosted her talk, “Even Gangsters Had To Register: WWI Draft Cards and the Selective Service Records They Produced.”

I never knew that so many documents were created beyond the draft registration cards. The big questions is whether they were kept by an ancestor’s home county. Continue reading WWI Research Ideas

#wednesdaywisdom with NARA’s Virtual Genealogy Fair

Today’s a great day to access genealogy instructional videos through NARA’s virtual genealogy fair.

Visit https://www.archives.gov/calendar/genealogy-fair to view the agenda or go straight to their YouTube channel to watch the current session live. https://www.youtube.com/user/usnationalarchives

If you can’t join the sessions live, the recordings to this year’s sessions will be available through the YouTube channel.

If you can’t get enough information, check out the recordings from previous five years of Virtual Genealogy Fairs.

#genfair2018 #genealogy #WenesdayWisdom

Connecting Through DNA

A fellow Family Tree DNA member emailed me asking about an Andrew Sass that may have arrived with his known relative with the surname Nowak. For my convenience and to protect his privacy, I’ll use the initials SW to indicate this contact.

SW had tested with his sister and I had submitted a test for my mother. Both of us are exploring our Polish heritage. Family Tree DNA is predicting that we are 3rd to 5th cousins. SW asked whether Andrew Sass and Louise Sass could have been siblings. It is possible.

In my previous research using Polish church records on Family History Center microfilm, I found the church baptism index for Louise. I unfortunately have not found the actual baptism register that the index listed.

I made note of the other Sass entries in the index, including an Andreas Sas, baptized 17 Aug 1894, and 7 other Sas babies baptized between 1880 and 1896.

My research plan into whether Louise Sass, who was baptized 22 Jun 1889 and emigrated 27 Apr 1907, is related to Andrew Sas, as described by SW, and whether this Andrew Sass is the same person as the Andreas Sas who was baptized on 17 Aug 1894 includes researching Chicago and Polish church records available as protected digital images at FamilySearch affiliated libraries.

Specifically, I’ll search:
o St. Barbara Catholic Church, Chicago, IL.
o St. Mary of Perpetual Help, Chicago, IL
o Zwiernik, Pilzno Parish in the Tarnow, Poland collection

I just need to find the time for a field trip to a Family Search affiliated library. I like the Fountaindale Public Library in Bolingbrook, IL. The building design allows in a lot of natural light, they provide large tables, and have consistently strong Wi-Fi.

So, thank you DNA for the connection.

#DNADay #Genealogy #familyhistory #geneticgenealogy

Don’t miss RootsTech Live Streaming

Brew some coffee. Charge your device. Flip to a clean notebook page. Test that your pen has ink.

RootsTech will be live streaming 19 session over 4 days, February 28 to March 3.

Lucky me. I thought RootsTech was early in February. I thought I had missed it as I repeatedly shoveled my Midwestern snow covered driveway.

I didn’t miss a second.

RootsTech 2018 is at the begining of March instead of February.

Check out their schedule and set aside time for your favorite topics. https://www.rootstech.org/live-stream-schedule

I’m looking forward to the DNA sessions and hearing Scott Hamilton speak. I’ve been impressed by him even since watching his amazing footwork on Olympic ice.

We ARE Identical!

Whether my sister and I are identical or fraternal came into question this past Christmas. I’m not sure how we got to the topic, but remember saying, “we’re identical,” my mom disagreeing, and one of my cousins loving the hullabaloo.

We quickly called my sister over and debated the question for a bit longer. My mother said she never tested us to check whether we were identical or fraternal.

Look at us as age 5. Continue reading We ARE Identical!

Unboxing Prize Package from Shop the Hound

“Congratulations you’re the winner of the December Edition of The DNA Angel Project sponsored by Shop the Hound. Which was an assortment of tools that could help you in your DNA journey.” ~ Ellen Thompson-Jennings from Shop the Hound

I was surprised when I received her message and very excited when the shipping box arrived. I unboxed the prizes this weekend

  • 8GB USB Audio Player Recorder
  • “DNA & Genetic Genealogy: An Introduction” by Diahan Southard (@DNAdiahan)
  • 3 quick reference guides from the Your DNA Guide series also by Diahan Southard, Genealogy Gems Publications
    • “Gedmatch: A Next Step for Your Autosomal DNA Test.”
    • “Next Steps: Working with Your autosomal DNA matches”
    • “Organizing Your DNA Macthes: A Companion Guide”
  • “The Shared cM Project – Version 3.0” (August 2017) by Blaine T. Bettinger, The Genetic Genealogist (@blaine_5)
  • And, a blank journal for all my notes

Thank you, Ellen. I love the prize package. #HoundontheHunt

Holiday Conversations

The holidays are a great time to catch up with family. You can share the research you’ve done and listen to the family stories that put the research in context.

Scan and share old photos.
You can show how family members and the holiday celebration has changed over the years. You can share photos of family members that everyone hasn’t seen in years.

This year I scanned slides my father had gotten from his father. Since my parents never had a slide projector, we never saw these images growing up. I used an adapter that we had for our older Epson scanner. Continue reading Holiday Conversations

Norbert Felix Walczak: A South Side Son Rises to Naval Commander

While sorting through photos that my mother had brought home when her mother died, I found a frame holding photos of one of my mom’s cousins, Norbert F Walczak and the ship he commanded, the USS Zellars. (1)

Besides my grandfather and David’s great uncle Carl, Norb is another relative whose service I waished to recognize this Veterans Day weekend. Continue reading Norbert Felix Walczak: A South Side Son Rises to Naval Commander

Herb Hays: From the Farm to the Pacific

It started with a photograph. The image behind the blog title includes my father and his parents. (1) Dad is in a miniature version of Herb’s navy uniform; and, I wanted to find out more.

Using a combination of interview, newspapers, and muster rolls, I pieced the story together that took Herb from the farm in Ogle County to the Harbor of Japan in the final months of WW2.

Herb Hays, my paternal grandfather, enlisted in the Navy on 9 May 1944 at Chicago, Illinois. (2) My grandmother said that he enlisted in the Navy rather than wait to get drafted in the army because he didn’t want to sleep in a foxhole. (3) Continue reading Herb Hays: From the Farm to the Pacific