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

Carl Edward Mescher in WW2 Navy Muster Rolls

We can use the WW2 Navy Muster Rolls to follow our ancestors through their WW2 navy careers. While conducting my research, I saw two types of reports in the muster rolls: a full crew list submitted at the end of a quarter and a list of crew changes that was submitted at any time. Digital images are available on Ancestry and Fold3.

In the Ancestry.com collection, I found 30 entries for my husband’s great uncle, Carl Edward Mescher dated between 31 Oct 1940 and 1 Aug 1946. (1)

According to the 31 Oct 1940 muster roll (2), Carl Edward Mescher enlisted on 23 Jul 1940 in St. Louis. The report indicated that Carl was received onboard the USS Pennsylvania for duty on 12 Oct 1940 from the Naval Training Station (NTS), Great Lakes, Illinois. His service number was 3373442 and his initial rating was AS. Continue reading Carl Edward Mescher in WW2 Navy Muster Rolls

Digitization Highs and Lows

When reading about the “Family History Microfilm Discontinuation,” I had mixed thoughts. I loved the progress LDS has made on digitizing the microfilm in its collection, but I was concerned that the Polish records that I was concerned that these records may not be a priority.

Today, I took a moment to review the films for Pilzno and Konin Poland. The good news is that these films are 89% and 79% digitized, respectively. I was surprised and thrilled. I was already putting a research plan together in my head.

But, then I opened a link to the digitized images for one of the films, and was greeted with:

“To view these images you must do one of the following:
Access the site at a family history center.
Access the site at a Family Search affiliate library.”

I went through all the films and saw the same or similar messages. So while the images are available, they are not yet available on my home computer.

One group of records, Poland, Tarnow Roman Catholic Diocese Church Books, is available as an index of over 1 million records. So for a few of the Pilzno records, I can use the index as a starting point, but I will want to view the images to see what was indexed.

I am fortunate in that I have two locations near me where I should be able to view these images.

Take a Break

Stepping away from the details of work can give you a new perspective.
Yesterday, that moment of joy was watching the eclipse with family. My husband and I are lucky enough that he has family in southern Illinois, an area that experienced totality. Just the event itself inspired and awed me. Experiencing it with several generations made it even more special. We ate moon pies and sun chips. We had our official glasses, but made pinhole cameras from a shoebox and sheets of paper (used separately). We also expanded the light show with a colander and a mirror (also used separately). Continue reading Take a Break

Did Bryant Serve?

The questions raised in “Serving on the Home Front,” came when I was browsing draft registration cards. I browsed the draft cards looking for my Great Grandfather, Bryant Edward Hays. I had started thinking about him while I was reading a novel about a family that lived through the two world wars. Born in 1888 and married in 1916, I wondered whether he served.

He did register for both drafts:

The World War I Draft Registration Card lists Bryant Hays as married and engaged in farming for himself in Polo, Illinois. His card indicated that he had not served previously. He cites “wife & farming” as the reasons why he is claiming an exemption from the service. (1)

Based on the draft categories, marriage may have given Bryant a temporary deferment and farming may have given Bryant a temporary exemption. (2)

The World War II Draft Registration Card lists Bryant Hays as living in Milledgeville, Illinois. The card does not ask about prior service nor provide space to claim an exemption. He used the card that was intended for men born after 28 Apr 1877 and before 16 Feb 1897. (3)

His 1930 Census listed “No” in the column for whether a person is a veteran or not. While this is not absolute proof, it is a good indication that Bryant did not serve in the armed forces.(4)

I look forward to exploring the ways in which people served on the home front in WWI.

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References

(1) “World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918,” digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 2 Apr 2017) Card for Bryant Hays. Citing “World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918,” Washington, D.C.: NARA, M1509, Roll: 1614436.

(2) “Selective Service Act of 1917” Wikipedia/org (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selective_Service_Act_of_1917 : accessed 10 Apr 2017)

(3) “U.S. World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942, ” digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : 2 Apr 2017) Entry for Bryant Hays. Citing United States, Selective Service System. Selective Service Registration Cards, World War II: Fourth Registration. NARA Branch l, NAI Number: 623284; Record Group Number: 147.

(4) 1930 U.S. census, Ogle County, Illinois, population schedule, Buffalo Township, enumeration district (ED) 3, Sheet 1A (penned), Page 268 (stamped), dwelling 12, family 12, Bryant E Hays household; index and digital images, FamilySearch (http://www.familysearch.org : accessed 7 Jun 2017), citing NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 546.

 

#WW1 #Genealogy