Archive for November, 2012

Friday Funny – Twelve Days of Christmas – Genealogy Style

Posted by Jim Sanders on Friday, 30 November, 2012

You know the tune, now sing out load…

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me an ancestor in a family tree.

On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me 2 family bibles and an ancestor in a family tree.

On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me 3 pension files, 2 family bibles and an ancestor in a family tree.

On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me 4 birth records, 3 pension files, 2 family bibles and an ancestor in a family tree.

On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me 5 brick walls, 4 birth records, 3 pension files, 2 family bibles, and an ancestor in a family tree.

On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me 6 marriage records, 5 brick walls, 4 birth records, 3 pension files, 2 family bibles and an ancestor in a family tree.

On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me 7 newspaper clippings, 6 marriage records, 5 brick walls, 4 birth records, 3 pension files, 2 family bibles and an ancestor in a family tree.

On the eight day of Christmas my true love gave to me 8 census records, 7 newspaper clippings, 6 marriage records, 5 brick walls, 4 birth records, 3 pension files, 2 family bibles and an ancestor in a family tree.

On the ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me 9 letters written, 8 census records, 7 newspaper clippings, 6 marriage records, 5 brick walls, 4 birth records, 3 pension files, 2 family bibles and an ancestor in a family tree.

On the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me 10 old photos, 9 letters written, 8 census records, 7 newspaper clippings, 6 marriage records, 5 brick walls, 4 birth records, 3 pension files, 2 family bibles and an ancestor in a family tree.

On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me 11 death records, 10 old photos, 9 letters written, 8 census records, 7 newspaper clippings, 6 marriage records, 5 brick walls, 4 birth records, 3 pension files, 2 family bibles and an ancestor in a family tree.

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me 12 rolls of microfilm, 11 death records, 10 old photos, 9 letters written, 8 census records, 7 newspaper clippings, 6 marriage records, 5 brick walls, 4 birth records, 3 pension files, 2 family bibles and an ancestor in a family tree.

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Wordless Wednesday – Pat Fox – County Leitrim, Ireland

Posted by Jim Sanders on Wednesday, 28 November, 2012

This is the only known photo of my ancestor Pat Fox from County Leitrim, Ireland.

Pat Fox Ireland

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Travel Tuesday – Leaving the Old Country

Posted by Jim Sanders on Tuesday, 27 November, 2012

Here in the United States, all of our ancestors at one point or another traveled to this land of opportunity and ethnic diversity. Some may have come over on the Mayflower. Others perhaps came here during the early stages of this new nation. Still more perhaps came through Ellis Island or even later. What was their journey like?

Both of my maternal grandparents James Francis Fox and Margaret Nora Doyle came through Ellis Island. For those of you who aren’t aware www.ellisisland.org has most ship manifests available for free on it’s website. That is where I was able to obtain all of the following information about my grandparents.

  • James Fox set sail on the Cedric from Queenstown on May 14, 1911.
  • He arrived at Ellis Island on May 22 1911.
  • He was born in Ballinamore, Ireland.
  • He was 5/10″ tall with a fair complexion had brown hair and blue eyes.
  • He was traveling to she his sister at 163 High Street in New Britain, CT.
  • Margaret Doyle set sail on the Baltic from Queenstown on Oct 6, 1911.
  • She arrived at Ellis Island on Oct 13, 1911.
  • She was born in Carrickslavin, Ireland.
  • She was 5’4″ tall with blue eyes.
  • She was traveling to see her sister Kate Doyle at 22 Holy St in Bristol, CT.

There are more facts which can be obtained from the ships manifest on the Ellis Island website so search for your ancestors who may have come through Ellis Island today. To me these are just facts and figures but what was the journey on the ship like? There’s a great book called Ellis Island Interviews by Peter Morton Coan. It was published in 2004 by Barnes and Nobel Books.

Here are some very brief quotes from people who were interviewed who came through Ellis Island.

  • Page 88 “…the S.S Cedric. All five of us were in one room with two wooden bunk beds. There was no porthole. We traveled in third class….”
  • Page 112 “The S.S. Baltic was beautiful. I didn’t want to get off. I didn’t want to get off because I loved the blue waters….”

Reading interviews of some people who came on the same ship your ancestors came on gives to a glimpse at what their experience was when traveling to America.

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Immigration Collection

Motivation Monday – Preparing for the Holiday Gathering

Posted by Jim Sanders on Monday, 26 November, 2012

My family celebrates the Christmas Season by getting together on Christmas day, sharing a meal, playing cards and just spending time together. New Years Day is a time for gathering around the television and watching football. Whatever holiday your family celebrates provides a chance to hear stories about your ancestors.

Before the family get together this holiday season do some homework and prepare some questions to ask your older relatives. Check out our new category of blog posts called “Genealogy Interview Questions”. Over the next few weeks before Christmas we will add a number of posts which include some sample questions you can ask. Each post will provide a half dozen or more questions focusing in a particular aspect of your ancestors life. Use these questions or prepare some of your own and you’ll be sure to hear some interesting stories. If you have any additional questions on the day’s topic be sure to reply to this post to let other readers know.

This past Saturday our focus was the sports your ancestor played. On Sunday the questions focused on the Sunday meal. What areas of your ancestors life would you like to learn more about?

Here are some questions to ask your older relatives about their school days.

  • What schools did you go to?
  • Can you show me your high school yearbook? (See if you can get a digital copy)
  • What was your favorite subject? Why?
  • Who was your favorite teacher? Why?
  • Tell me about some of your friends from school.
  • Did your parents let you date or go to dances in high school?
  • If you did go to dances tell me about one you remember.

Try out these questions or think of some on your own. Make the question be opened ended where they can’t be answered with just a yes or no answer. This may prompt them to talk more about their school days.

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