Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sunday's Obituary - Ellen Osborne Pecht

These newspaper articles demonstrate that multiple sources often need to be checked to verify information. A person cannot die in two different places.

Mrs. Albert B. Pecht

Ellen Osborne Pecht, early day resident of Kansas died at her home in Hot Springs, S.D., March 23, 1933. Mr. and Mrs. Pecht and their family made their home for many years following their marriage, at Hardy, Neb., leaving there in 1907.

Source: Belleville Telescope, Belleville KS; April 6, 1933

Mrs. Eva Holmes received word Sunday of the death of her sister, Mrs. Ellen Pecht of Hot Springs, Wyo. Mrs. Pecht has been poorly for some time, and passed away Saturday. Her son, Jess left Sunday to return the body to Hardy for burial.

Source: Belleville Telescope, Belleville, Kansas, March 30, 1933

Albert Blair Pecht
Ellen Osborne Pecht
Rosemound Cemetery
Republic County, Kansas
south of Hardy, Nebraska

Relationship to me: wife of great grand uncle

Greater Omaha Genealogical Society Spring Conference: April 9 2011

The Greater Omaha Genealogical Society has finalized plans for the Spring conference to be held April 9, 2011.

Scheduled speakers are:

  • Mary Lyons-Barrett:History of Irish and Scots- Irish Immigration
  • Kevin Cassidy, Researching Your Irish Ancestors
  • Neil Greenhalgh and Sheila Laducci Using the New FamilySearch.Org Web Site
  • Tom Bassett, Identifying Family Treasures – he will tell you about any antique treasures you bring with you to the workshop.
Nebraska Methodist College
720 N 87th St
Omaha, NE

9:15 a.m. - 4:15 p.m.
Doors open at 8:15 a.m.

GOGS Members: $20
Non GOGS Members: $30
Pre-registration due March 31

Download a conference flyer.

Genealogy Events in Nebraska - March 2011

Here is a list of upcoming genealogy and history events in Nebraska. If you have something to add, please email me.

For the listing of all 2011 events, click here.

Date & Location
March 4, 2011
7:00 p.m.
LDS Family History Center
11027 Martha St
Omaha, Nebraska
GO-PAF User Group

March 8, 2011
7:15 p.m
Lower Level Theater
Dick Admin. Bldg.
Union College Campus
3800 So. 48th St.
Lincoln, Nebraska
If you're able to locate photos belonging to other family members and would like to safely copy them or have discovered some of your own genealogical records in need of TLC, join us for a presentation on copying, restoring and preserving photos and documents. Karen Keehr, Curator of the Visual and Audio Collections at the Nebraska State Historical Society will present practical advice for preserving, labeling and storing those treasured items.

March 8, 2011
7:00 pm – 9:00pm
LDS Family History Center
3000 Old Cheney Road
Lincoln, Nebraska
Beginning Genealogy – Organization

Free class

March 10, 2011
7:00 p.m.
Morton James Public Library
923 First Corso
Nebraska City, Nebraska
The society will host its Genealogy Workshop in both the media center and the genealogy reference room at the library. Assistance will be provided in the areas of "Researching Your Civil War Ancestors" and "Breaking Through Your Genealogy Brick Walls.”

March 15, 2011
7:00 pm – 9:00pm
LDS Family History Center
3000 Old Cheney Road
Lincoln, Nebraska
What is in the Family History Center

Free class

March 16, 2011
7:00 p.m.
Crown Pointe Retirement Center
2820 South 80th St
Omaha, Nebraska
Greater Omaha Genealogical Society: Irish Genealogy and Research
Presenter: Chuck Real

March 17, 2011
12:00 Noon
Nebraska History Museum
15th and P Sts
Lincoln, Nebraska
Nebraska State Historical Society Brown Bag Lecture Series: Mildred Brown and the Omaha Star
Presenter: Amy Forss

March 19, 2011
9:15 a.m. – Noon
Mormon Trail Center
3215 State Street Omaha, Nebraska
Greater Omaha Genealogical Society: Making Sense of the Census: Learn to use the essential records for US research (and many foreign countries), and how to put pieces together by using all of the censuses available.

March 19, 2011
1:30 p.m.
West Nebraska Family Research and History Center
1602 Avenue A
Scottsbluff, NE

March 22, 2011
7:00 pm – 9:00pm
LDS Family History Center
3000 Old Cheney Road
Lincoln, Nebraska
Communication in Genealogy

Free class

March 26, 2011
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Nebraska History Museum
15th and P Sts
Lincoln, Nebraska
Nebraska State Historical Society: Picture Perfect and Beyond! How to Care for and Identify Your Family Photographs

Morning session: Heirloom photograph types and preserving, organizing and digitizing; presented by Karen Keehr, NSHS Curator of Visual and Audio Collection.

Afternoon session: Identifying and dating photographs through historical fashion by Kay Cynova, Director of Interpretation, Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer.

Q & A: Attendees can bring up to three photographs for evaluation

Registration: Free, but seating is limited. You must register by phone 402.471.4785 or by 

March 28, 2011
7:00 p.m
Stromsburg Library
320 Central St
Stromsburg, Nebraska
Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak
Video conference via Skype

March 29, 2011
7:00 pm – 9:00pm
LDS Family History Center
3000 Old Cheney Road
Lincoln, Nebraska
Census Records

Free class

Saturday, February 26, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History - Week 9 - Sounds

This week's challenge: Describe any sounds that take you back to your childhood. These could be familiar songs, jingles, children playing, or something entirely different.

My initial thought about this week's challenge in 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History would have been to write about my lifelong love affair with the music of The Beatles. However, I opted for something that is a bit more closely related to the heritage of my family - the sound of the whistle of the railroad train.

Harry Bellinger and his locomotive
my great uncle
For the majority of my life, I've known the comforting sound of the whistle of the railroad train, noticed mostly at night, and in the distance. The sound of the whistle was never loud enough to wake me from my sleep, but as I lay awake during the night, I could hear the faint sound of the trains.

Growing up in Greenwood, Nebraska, our home was adjacent to the railroad tracks. There was a deep ditch that separated my life from that of the trains that clacked their way along the tracks.

The sound of the whistle always began in the distance, warning people on foot and in cars that it was approaching the crossing. There were no crossing arms, just the familiar white X indicating the crossing. As the train neared the crossing, the sound became louder, then as it traveled down the tracks, the sound again faded in the distance.

There was a different sound of the whistle, depending upon whether it was the Zephyr passenger train or one of the trains carrying coal. It became easy to distinguish the difference between the two.

Even after my family moved to Lincoln, we were in proximity to railroad tracks. The sounds became as natural to me as the chirping of the birds or the tinkling of a wind chime. The sound was just always there, in the background.

Many members of my family were contractors who built the first railroad lines through Nebraska and neighboring states. Mom's uncle, Harry Bellinger, was an engineer. So maybe my affinity for the sound of the train has something to do with my ancestry.

About 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History: Amy Coffin of We Tree Genealogy has created a third year of blogging prompts for genealogy bloggers.

What To Do With Skeletons in the Closet

Last evening's broadcast of the NBC hit genealogy show, Who Do You Think You Are, featured Kim Cattrall's search for her grandfather who had abandoned his family. He ran off and left three young daughters who grew up without ever knowing their father.

He then married another woman (without having gotten a divorce!) and began a new family with her.

Upon learning this information, and that she had living relatives, Cattrall chose not to follow-up and meet her grandfather's other family. Most of the people who were discussing the program on Twitter (#wdytya) last evening were in agreement that it was a very emotional episode.

What do you do with YOUR skeletons?

This brings me around to a question I would like to pose to readers of this blog.

What do YOU do with the skeletons in YOUR closet? Most of us have them. Mine include illegitimate children, kidnapping (if it's your own child, is it really kidnapping?), several suicides, and probably the worst of all, a third great-grandfather who killed his daughter and then committed suicide in 1851.

Last night's discussions on Twitter as well as on Geneablogger Radio brought out a lot of firmly held beliefs on what to do with this type of information when it is discovered in your family history research.

Points to consider:

  • Do you lay it on the line, share with family and publish your findings?
  • Do you keep it close to the vest and not share it?
  • Do you attempt to rewrite history? The genealogist who published a family history that included the ancestor who murdered his daughter changed the entire context of that story, making him out to be a hero who tried to save his daughter's life. Newspaper reports from the time were quite different.
  • Is there a "statute of limitations" on privacy? For example, if an incident occurred four or five generations back, do you treat the information differently?
When I began gathering information from living family members, a relative asked that I not include her first husband in her genealogy. I was rather astounded by the request, because how would I explain where her three children came from?

I definitely understand and respect privacy issues regarding living individuals; that isn't the point of this discussion.

But I am very interested in how other genealogists deal with the skeletons in your closet. This is an open discussion, so please leave your comments below.

Friday, February 25, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History - Week 8: Technology - Space Program

This week's challenge: Technology: What are some of the technological advances that happened during your childhood? What types of technology do you enjoy using today, and which do you avoid?

John Glenn
Mercury Astronaut
Former U.S. Senator, D-Ohio
1968, Wilber, Nebraska
There was no question about this week's selection for the technological advance of my childhood.

Space travel - it doesn't get more technologically advanced than that.

When I was a child in the late 1950s, I vividly remember when the Soviet Union launched Sputnik. I couldn't have told you the date from memory, but NASA says it was October 4, 1957. I remember standing in our yard, looking skyward, confident I would be able to see it pass overhead. I also tried to dig my way to China once, but gave up after I dug about four inches of dirt and decided I enjoyed life right where I was.

In his inaugural address in January, 1961 President John F. Kennedy challenged the United States to place a man on the moon in the next decade. That seemed like the thoughts of a wild dreamer at the time.

The space race began between the United States and the Soviet Union (It was called the USSR then). Monkeys were being tested in spacecrafts, but the first human being to enter space was Yuri Gagarin of the USSR. We followed the current events surrounding the space race in grade school. I knew the names of all seven of the astronauts selected for the Mercury space program: Alan Shepherd, Gus Grissom, John Glenn, Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, Wally Schirra, and Deke Slayton.

Shepherd became the first American in space and John Glenn was the first American to oribit the earth. His capsule was called Friendship 7. I read and re-read every article about the astronauts in Life magazine. Glenn's flight was in 1962. I took a huge risk by taking my transistor radio to school with an earphone so I could listen to the radio broadcast about his flight. I must have gotten away with it because I don't remember getting in trouble or having it taken away from me. John Glenn was my true American hero! In 1998, at the age of 77, he became the oldest person to fly in space.

I remember the tragedy when Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee died during a pre-launch test of the Apollo craft in 1967.

It was only two years later that the Apollo mission carrying Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins took off for the moon, fulfilling President Kennedy's dream. I remember watching the live coverage of the landing and the first walk on the moon during that hot July of 1969.

Aspects of the space program have been well portrayed in the film version of The Right Stuff and Apollo 13. There was even a sci-fi thriller that pondered that the space program could have been smoke and mirrors and produced in a television studio in Capricorn One. On a family history note, my third cousin, David Doyle, appeared in that film. 

Current Technology

For the second part of this week's challenge, what technology do I enjoy today and what do I avoid?

All who know me probably think of me as Lady GaGadget. Really. Over the years, I've had to have the latest and greatest in electronics, including stereos, boom boxes, Sony Walkman, VCRs, DVD players, DVD recorders, Sony Camcorder, you name it. Over time, I learned to not jump on the technology bandwagon as early as I had before. Now I tend to wait for the bugs to be worked out and the price to come down. I didn't buy my HDTV until about a year and a half ago.

My first computer purchase was in 1986, a Tandy T-1000. No hard drive. Didn't need one. Since then, I had one other desktop model, followed by four laptops and a netbook. I don't love computers. What I love is what they allow me to do.

My other recent techno gadgets would include two Creative Zen mp3 players (I'm not an Apple or iPod fan), and the Creative Zen which plays mp3 files, audio books, videos from YouTube and stores photos. I had the first generation Flip Video Camera even before Oprah featured it on her show. My current love affair is with the Flip-Pal mobile scanner. I ordered that last summer and was in the first round of early adopters to begin using this product from the company's first shipment. This scanner also has to compete with my Kindle E-reader for my attention. I'm definitely glad I waited for the price to go down on the Kindle, but now I'm waiting for Amazon to come out with a color version. I also make quite a bit of use of my Garmin GPS.

What do I avoid?

Cell phones! I have a love/hate relationship with cell phones. I like having it when I need to make a call, but for carrying on a real conversation? Nope. Don't like it. And I can't imagine me giving in to a Smartphone. I figure that I can wait 8 hours to read all of my junk email and do it on my computer. I loathe the idea of texting and hope my state Legislature will outlaw the use of cell phones and texting while driving.

Mostly, I hate ring-tones. More specifically, yours. :-) 

Related blog posts:

Sending my stuff to the technology graveyard

Flip-Pal review, Part 1

Flip-Pal review, Part 2

Using Kindle for Genealogy

Using Kindle for Genealogy Redux

About 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History: Amy Coffin of We Tree Genealogy has created a third year of blogging prompts for genealogy bloggers. The theme for 2011 is 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History. These are shared on the web site, hosted by Thomas MacEntee.

Follow Friday: Around the Blogosphere - February 25

Around the Blogosphere is back on schedule this week. Trimming down the number of genealogy blogs that I follow is making this a bit more manageable. For the great posts that I may have missed, be sure to read the "best of the blogs" from other genealogy bloggers at the bottom of this post.

Even though I mentioned it earlier today, I must repeat, with gratitude, the work of DearMyrtle (Pat Richley-Erickson) for setting up a blog and calendar that provides a listing of all genealogy themed webinars available online. This is located at GeneaWebinars. There are so many fantastic educational opportunities for genealogists of all experience levels that are now available online. It's wonderful to have a central location to find out about all of them! Last summer, I posted about Creating Your Own Genealogy Conference if you are not able to attend one in person. Now, with GeneaWebinars informing us when and where we can find sources of online learning, that is easier than ever! And guess what! I plan to join the Southern California Genealogical Society just to be able to access all of their great new online webinar resources! Learn more about the SCGS webinar series.

Now, on to my favorite blog posts from the past week:

My fellow Nebraskan, Ruby Coleman, always has something to share about furthering our genealogy education and various Nebraska resources. On her GenealogyLines blog, she also shares information about some of the many upcoming genealogy webinars.

Joan Miller of Luxegen Genealogy wrote a concise summary of Curt Wichter's address at the RootsTech conference.

If you didn't catch all of the posts about RootsTech, Renee Zamora has provided one stop shopping with her summary and links to posts about this conference.

One of my new favorite bloggers is Dan Curtis. Here are his picks of the week for Professional Personal Historians.

T.K. of Before My Time put together a collection of 1940 Census promotional films from YouTube.

Greta Koehl wrote a thought provoking piece about the democracy of genealogy. This is a must read. Make sure you read the comments also.

Be sure to check out footnoteMaven's tried and true technique for citing your sources while doing research and making copies at the library. She has some great ideas here! She also provides illustrations of how her technique works.

President's Day was this week and I enjoyed this look at how the Presidents of the United States are related to one another. Online sources tell me that I'm related to the Bushes, and FDR via my Mayflower ancestors. Along that line, Randy Seaver of Geneamusings has a LOT of Presidential blood flowing through his veins. Check out his list! How about YOU? Are you related to the President(s)? Please comment below if you're Presidential kin.

Alan Stewart of Grow Your Own Family Tree wrote about Ancestry adding the Dictionary of National Biography (UK) online.

The Nebraska State Historical Society has an amazing blog with great posts and illustrations. This week they announced that the ENTIRE Fall/Winter 2010 issue of Nebraska history magazine featuring African Americans in Nebraska is available free online. The magazine is available by downloading Adobe PDF files for each section. This is a ground-breaking issue of the magazine that blew me away when my print copy arrived several weeks ago.

If you are not reading James Tanner's Genealogy's Star blog, just what planet have you been on lately? Everyone needs to be following his work. Check out two of his posts from this week, Genealogy Inc. vs. Genealogists, Part 1 and Part 2.

Other recommended reading

Other bloggers also offer their recommendations and weekly highlights. Check their recommended reading lists:

Randy Seaver's Best of the Geneablogs on Geneamusings.

Greta's Follow Friday on Greta's Genealogy Blog.

Elizabeth O'Neal's Best Bytes on Little Bytes of Life.

Genealogy Webinars Making Your Head Spin?

With the topic of webinars on the agenda for tonight's Geneablogger Radio show, I'm certain that Thomas MacEntee will be talking about the new blog and webinar calendar, GeneaWebinars. There are so many opportunities for online genealogy webinars these days. Among some of the best are from Legacy Family Tree. Now the Southern California Genealogical Society has announced that many of the sessions from the upcoming Jamboree will be available in the webinar format so those of us who don't attend the conference can make use  of the genealogy education experience.

My head spins from the idea of trying to keep up with all of these opportunities for classrooms in your home! I emailed Thomas MacEntee earlier this week and asked if Geneabloggers could provide a master calendar of all of these events. Well, he told me that DeartMyrtle (Pat Richley-Erickson) was already on top of such a project. GeneaWebinars showed up with a Facebook page yesterday. And this morning, the GeneaWebinars blog is now officially launched!

Who Do You Think You Are - Kim Cattrall

It's Friday! And that means another episode of the hit NBC genealogy show, Who Do You Think You Are (WDYTYA).

Tonight's episode features Kim Cattrall in a search for the grandfather who abandoned his family. This episode first aired in the BBC version of the series. Watch a preview here. The show airs at 8:00 p.m. EST and 7:00 p.m. Central.

You can chat along with the first airing of the show on Twitter using the hashtag #wdytya. If you live in the Mountain and Pacific time zones and don't want any spoilers, I suggest you avoid Twitter and Facebook until the show airs in your area! The tweeters get pretty excited during the online viewing party.

Live Viewing Party on Twitter

Last week, Rosie O'Donnell live tweeted throughout the broadcast, although she was not using the #wdytya hashtag. If you don't quite have the hang of Twitter (I have a love/hate relationship with the little blue bird), I recommend the free software, TweetDeck. It makes keeping track of multiple "conversations" much easier. This software also provides several shortcuts for replying, responding to and re-tweeting messages as well as providing a one-click method for inserting those hashtags.

Here's where you can find me on Twitter.

Geneablogger Radio

Then you will definitely want to stick around for the fourth episode of Geneablogger Radio, hosted by the chief geneablogger, Thomas MacEntee. Topics for this call-in web-based radio show will be tonight's episode of WDYTYA, webinars, genealogy news and some door prizes as Thomas divests himself of some of the conference swag he picked up at the Roots Tech conference last weekend. You can listen to the radio show and join the chat room by following this link. If you happen to miss the show, you can listen to a repeat performance later by following the same link.

See you tonight!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Follow Friday (on Sunday): Around the Blogosphere - February 20, 2011

Sometimes, other duties interfere with doing genealogy, blogging and reading all of the great posts written by other bloggers. This was one of those weeks.

There were so many great blog posts being written about last weekend's Roots Tech conference, that it took a while to skim through everything in my Google Reader to pick out my choices for the best blog posts of the week.

Here they are, better late than never.

Why Roots Tech is the Bees Knees by Amy Coffin of We Tree Genealogy

Roots Tech Update 7 by Amy Coffin of We Tree Genealogy

Roots Tech Update 6, yep, you guessed it, Amy Coffin of We Tree Genealogy

I enjoyed this post by John of the Transylvania Dutch blog because it really hadn't occurred to me that federal tax returns could be a source of information for genealogists. 

If you're like me and getting sick and tired of 25 different bloggers posting the same genealogy-related press release on their blogs, help is on the way. Joan Miller of Luxegen Genealogy explains the new site, Genea-Press which should provide some relief from an over-filled RSS Reader.

Also from Joan Miller is this report from Roots Tech.

Bill West of West in New England provided one of the better reviews of the Rosie O'Donnell episode of Who Do You Think You Are.

I'm still laughing over You Go Genealogy Girl #2 Cheri Hopkins' tie in of her Hogg family with Boss Hogg of the Dukes of Hazard. It reminded me of the time I was walking around a corner in Nashville and ran smack into John Schneider.

I'm sure there were some other good posts this week, but I missed some of them because the author only syndicates the first few lines for the RSS feed; or there were too many affiliate advertisements and widgets on the blog that I didn't have the patience to wait around for the page to load; or the font size and color used on the blog couldn't be read on the dark background used on the blog. Sorry for the mini-rant, but with more than 700 posts back logged in my Google Reader this week, it's time to say adieu to several of the blogs I've been following. Adieu.