Sunday, February 28, 2010

Winter Genealogy Games are over!

The Winter Genealogy Games have now ended and I have been reflecting on how much I have achieved.
To even enter the games I needed to create this blog. Next I created a flag to represent my heritage.

1 Go Back and cite your sources - I have been citing sources and earned a Bronze Medal.
2 Back-up Your Data -I have completed task C making a new DVD back-up of all my digital
media. I also have MOZY back-up my data daily and store it on their servers. That
qualifies for a gold.
3 Organize Your Research - I have individual files for each family line I am researching and I
also have digital folders for each family. A silver!
4 Expand your Knowledge - I learned how to create a blog and I played around with googlemaps.
I also created a WORDL using the names of the families I am researching. Another gold!
5 Write, Write, Write! - I wrote a summary of my blog and listed the names I am researching. I
also am participating in the 52 Weeks to Better Genealogy Challenge. One more gold!
6 Reach Out - I index regularly for both and I check message
boards to see it I can help with a request, and I have begun following several different
genealogy blogs. Gold again.

Summary: 1 Bronze, 1 Silver, and 4 Gold not bad for a newbie!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

52 Weeks to better Genealogy

The mission this week is to add five blogs to my favorites and read them daily. There are so many to choose from. I've picked the following five, but they will most likely lead me to many others.
My picks for this week are: ThinkGenealogy, DearMYRTLE, Everything's Relative, Genealogy Tip of the Day, West in New England. Keeping up with these, and the others that they lead me to, may become a full time job.
One of the medals I've been working on for the winter games has to do with up-dating my back-up system. To that end this week I moved all my back-up CDs to my hard drive and then moved all of it to a new DVD. I already back-up my genealogy files to a flash drive.
Since today is also Surname Saturday, I went back to my CONNERY surname and found some information that I did not have in my database. My grandfather Michael Joseph Connery came to the US on 30 Jul 1888. He was on the ship Alaska which sailed from Liverpool and Queensland. This information is available at the Castle Garden website. Using the Family Search record search website, I located the Michigan marriage record for Michael Connery and Alice Fleming. According to the record they were married 27 June 1893! We always observed their anniversary on 28 June. I fact 2 of their daughters and at least one granddaughter were married on the same date. This will take some additional detective work.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Follow Friday

As a new blogger, I am grateful to GeneaBloggers for suggesting the daily themes. I probably won't always stay on task as some of the stories I want to write won't bend to a theme. I have been subscribed to Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter ( for several years and follow both Randy ( Seaver and Thomas( MacEntee. They have led me to many interesting blogs and articles.

I also check message boards for the countries in which I am doing research. They often have success stories that suggest avenues of research. As an example: on a Swedish message board I learned that the "husforhorslangd", or Parish household inventory, gives a list of the entire family, including birth date. It also shows movement into, out of, and within the parish. I am currently researching my husbands gg-grandparents who immigrated from Sweden in the early 1870s.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Limerick, Ireland to Chicago, Illinois

Alice Fleming was born 1 Jan 1872, the youngest of 12 children born to Thomas Fleming and Mary Hennessy of Ballylanders, Limerick, Ireland. Since all of her siblings had immigrated to the United States, she had very little supervision from her aged parents. According to family legend someone in Ireland notified her brother in the States that Alice and her cousin, Mary Hogan were running wild about the countryside. Accordingly, it was decided that Alice should come to live with her sister Mary Fleming Walsh in Port Huron, Michigan. She came to the United States with her brother Michael Joseph Fleming about 1891. On 28 June 1893, Alice married Michael Joseph Connery, a merchant from Chicago, Illinois. Michael had immigrated from Limerick but had known Alice from his trips back to Ireland. Michael and Alice eventually had 11 children, the youngest of which was my mother Elizabeth Mary Connery Hansen. Alice's two daughters, Mary Elizabeth and Alice Josephine were sent to St Joseph Academy in Adrian, MI. Their uncle Michael was a priest at the school. This is a picture of Alice Fleming Connery taken at Adrian circa 1900.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Sledding at Wilder Park in Elmhurst, IL circa 1951.
Betty Hansen and the five oldest Hansens take to the hills.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Didn't post yesterday since I was busy indexing at the Family History Center. I regularly index for both and, so I am giving myself a gold medal in the reach out catagory of the Winter Games. I am also currently checking out old cd back-ups and moving them to a flash drive. With a flash drive my back-up can be anywhere.
Scanning photos and docs is a current and on-going project. Hopefully I will leave my stuff organized and digitized so it takes up very little space and will be less likely to be destroyed after my demise.
Not much genealogy today as Girl Scouts meets tonight and I need to prepare. Tonight the girls will decide how they want to "save our planet" and how to display the topic for World Thinking Day.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Swedish Fisherman

My husband, Dave, and his sister Pat, remembered going to an "Aunt's candy store as a child and being offered free candy" so I began to reconstruct the family story.

Olof Hansen (born 1824) left Sweden sometime before 1860. I know he was married and living in Michigan City, Indiana at the time of the 1860 census. He was married to Mary (Hepke?) and they had their first child Emilee. His occupation was fisherman and so described on many census forms.
By 1880 they lived in Chicago and had eight children. Olof served in the Union Army for three years with the Indiana Cavalry. How did this man become the father of the owner of a famous Chicago candy company? Where in Sweden did he come from? Why did he come? Who was Mary from Hanover (his wife)? the candy company, by the way was Mrs. Snyder's Candies and was family owned until the 1960's.

Still left to uncover: Olof's birthplaqce and immigration date, as well as the info for Mary/Maria Hepke (?) from Hanover, Germany.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Names and Places

Since I have committed to this blog I need to start with the names and places I have been researching. Since my approach to this whole project is through my grandchildren's eyes, I have included their father and his family as well. The countries and names I am researching are: Germany - Burbach, Coan, Hepke, Sigler, and Sempsrott; Norway - Hansen; Ireland - Connery, Fleming; Scotland - Ferguson; Hungary - Gulyban; Sweden - Nilsson, Peterson, and Hanson.

Along the way I met a Norwegian who was writing a biography of my great-grandfather, a Norwegian composer, a unknown cousin in Wisconsin whose grandfather was the brother of my grandmother, and found relatives of my husbands. I have been to cemeteries and courthouses. My hope is to use this blog to flesh out the facts and dates I have accumulated into some sort of narrative for the benefit of my grandchildren and those of my brothers and sisters.

Included in this narrative, in no particular order, will be tales of soldiers, farmers, musicians, fishermen, priests, nuns, teachers, and others. Many of the families are large so there are many stories to tell.

Along with my personal research, I volunteer at the local family history center 4 hours per week and often check the message boards to see if I can help someone with a querie. I have started scanning photos and documents and creating digital files which I will move to a flash drive. I already have my data base on a flashdrive. I did find, to my dismay, that scrapbooks do not move to a new version of Family Tree Maker, so I will create file folders by family name and store photos and docs there. They can always be retrieved to add to printed books but will not be lost with the next up-grade.

Saturday, February 13, 2010


My love affair with family history began with a family tree typed and mimeographed that my husband was given by his grandmother. It came to light in the early 1990s while he was cleaning out old paperwork. It had not been updated since the late 1940s and did not include his mother's second marriage or his youngest sister's birth. With an early version of Family Tree Maker (V3 maybe) I began a journey that is ongoing still.