Lucky me, I have German ancestors on both my maternal and paternal lines! I am currently researching the names SICK and SELL in Schleswig-Holstein, SCHNEIDER in Hessen and KUNDERS (Conard) in North Rhineland - Westphalia. I enjoy doing German research and trying to remember some of the high school German language that I took oh so long ago.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Guess What I'm Doing

Yep, cleaning out the files.  It's not very glamorous or fun, but I do feel productive.  I'm trying to make sure that all the pictures and documents that I have "hidden" away in file folders have actually been scanned.  (Yes, I will be using my handy Flip-Pal scanner!)  I pre-ordered the 2012 Family Tree Maker upgrade and when it arrives in mid-October, I should be ready to go.

I'm also trying to get rid of the hard copy printouts of census records.  All that paper takes up a lot of space and I want to find a more permanent storage area for the files.  Right now, my genealogy addiction has taken over part of the kitchen table and floor, part of the living room, and part of the bedroom.  It's not that I have a huge collection, it's more that I don't have one area big enough for all of it.  

I will dig myself out from behind all the paper to join my fellow GeneaBloggers for the radio show tomorrow night.  The show is called "Genealogists Bore Their Families - What You Can Do About It."  And as Thomas likes to say, "GeneaBloggers Radio is about the most fun you can have with your genealogy on a Friday night."

For now, back to the paperwork.....

Monday, September 12, 2011

I Did It!

After thinking about it for ages, I finally went to my first local genealogy society meeting - and joined!  I'm now a proud member of the Whatcom County Genealogy Society ( ).  We are located in the northwest corner of Washington State.

It seems like a nice group of folks and they were very welcoming. I am looking forward to monthly meetings and the chance to help others with research.

If nothing else, it will keep me off the streets one night a month :)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Found : Black Sheep

I recently found a black sheep in my family, courtesy of my niece.  I have found others who appear to be black sheep, but this one is the real deal!

***Beware parents whose children have cell phones.  You might just be turned into a sheep like my sister was!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Genealogy Generosity at Jamboree

The SCGS and GeneaBloggers crew really went out of their way!  These are the items that I had in goody bags - pretty cool stuff, eh?  Oh, and as I learned in the Blogger Summit II class, I need a disclaimer.  I received these items as free gifts.  I do use some of the products, and some I have yet to try.  Any opinions that I express later will be based solely on my experiences with services/products.  

Now with that out of the way....

I should mention that the Google for Genealogists CD was part of a 10 pack of webinars from Legacy Family Tree.  (It looks as if there is just one from my picture).

Thank you vendors and GeneaBloggers for the great stuff!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

JAMBOREE!!!! Yee haw

Can't believe that I am finally here!  And that I finally managed to get onto the internet at the Marriott.  (I'm still not sure how I did it!)

I've left the boys at home, but I have left Riko (our cat) in charge.  Hopefully the husband and son will mind the cat.

Tomorrow starts with a tour of the Southern California Genealogical Society library.  I'm so excited.  Apparently they have a great German and Cornish collection, and I can't wait to get a look at it.

I am going to try and blog everyday, alternating between this blog and the MySavages blog.

Think I've died and gone to genealogy heaven!  

Monday, May 30, 2011

"Women are soft and gentle, but they hit things"

So, I was looking through some of the stuff that my mom gave to me when she moved house.  Amongst the treasures was an old copy of Life magazine - early 1960's I think.  I found a funny advertisement for Midol and showed it to my husband.  So, being a Google fanatic, he found a link to some "horribly sexist" ads (yes that is actually in the website title).  

Here is one that hit (ooh, bad pun) home - not because I am a crazy woman driver, but because I have a son who will begin driving this summer.

By the way, I learned how to drive on a VW (not this one!) and I never crashed it!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Camera Shy

I absolutely hate to have my picture taken!  I'm the first one to volunteer to take the photo so I don't have to be in it.  They never seem to turn out well, and it's not just me.  It's a rare photo of me that has the family saying, "What a nice picture."   I have decided to re-consider, however, in light of the photographs I have of my ancestors.  I am so thankful that they took the time to have photos taken.  Granted, they don't always look too happy, but this was probably due to the amount of time they had to stay still.


I've decided that in this picture my great grandmother Emma Bertha Anna Sell and her brother, Otto Heinrich Sell are just plain fed up with the whole thing.  They look like two very unhappy kids!
Emma Bertha Anna is my great grandmother.  Otto Heinrich is my great grand uncle.
Bertha Friedericke Jacobine Sick Sell is my great, great grandmother
Christine Magdalena Johanna Steen Sick is my great, great, great grandmother
Otto Heinrich Friedrich Sick is my great, great, great grandfather.

Here is another photo of Christine Magdalena Johanna Steen Sick with Otto Heinrich Friedrich Sick.  My goodness, the woman had big hands!  
So it is time to get over being camera shy.  I vow to have more pictures taken with me in them (I'll just put little disclaimers like, "I don't really look like this" all over them.  That would certainly be helpful for the descendants!)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

I Just Gave Myself a Dope Slap

Great Grandma, Emma Bertha Anna Sell, was born in Pocatello, Idaho in 1885, but she was baptized in the basilica at Altenkrempe, Neustadt-in-Holstein, Schleswig-Holstein on September 4, 1892. (See my previous post, March 9th "Was Sagt Das?...")

I found a copy of a postcard of the church that my Great Great Grandma, Bertha Friederike Jacobine (Sick) Sell, had addressed to a neighbor in Idaho.  She told the neighbor that this was the church where the children were baptized.  How nice, I thought.  I even have a picture of the church where Great Grandma was baptized, along with a pleasant little note from Great Great Grandma to the neighbor.

But in looking at this postcard, I noticed a date on the front of the postcard - 1907.  Emma returned to the States with her mother and brother in November 1892. I started to doubt everything I thought I knew.

I turned the copy over and there is no postal service cancellation showing the date it was mailed.  I couldn't reconcile the date of the baptism with the date printed on the front of the  postcard...until I did another check of the shipping records and found Emma's mom returning to the States, again, on December 2, 1907!  So, she bought the postcard on a different trip.  No problem; I get that.  But no postmark? That was still a mystery.

Here comes the dope slap. How could I have a copy of a postcard mailed to my great great grandma's neighbor?  She obviously never mailed it!  That's how it remained in our family's collection.

All of this made me curious about what the church looks like today. I found these photos on-line.

What did I learn from this?  Slow down and think about it!  

Friday, March 25, 2011

My Mystery Man

The elusive “Mr. Werntz.” He is my third great grandfather and I’m beginning to think he doesn’t want to be found.
Here’s the family overview:

Sarah “Sallie” Buffington (Werntz?) Tallman had a son with my mystery man.  This child, James Oliver Werntz was born September 7, 1853.  I have no actual record of a marriage between Sarah Buffington and Mr. Werntz.

James Oliver Werntz married Agnes Henderson Campbell in Pennsylvania, probably in 1872.  

James and Agnes had a daughter, Jennie Olive Werntz, born February 11, 1873 in Pennsylvania (possibly Pottsville).

Jennie Olive Werntz married Henry Snyder January 31, 1895 in Denver, Arapahoe County, Colorado.

Their children were Grace, Wilma, Dorothy and William.  Dorothy was my grandmother.

In this photo - back row -Jennie Olive Werntz Snyder.  Front row (left to right) - James Oliver Werntz, Grace Snyder and unidentified woman.  She could be James' wife, Agnes Campbell Werntz.

Here’s the census overview:

1860 (only 7 years after James' birth) – Sarah Buffington is living with her husband Mattias Tallman.  Living with them is James, age 7 and Henry, age 2.  There are in Wiconisco Twp., Dauphin County, Pennsylvania.

1870 – James Werntz is living with Samuel Buffington (Sarah’s brother), age 16, occupation, driving teams.  Samuel is a manufacturer of porter and ale.  They are in Gratz, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania.

1880 – James is married to Agnes and living in Mt. Carroll, Illinois.  His occupation is “keeps billiard hall.”  The Mattias and Sarah (Buffington) Tallman family has also moved to this area in Illinois.

I have census records up until James Oliver’s death on June 13, 1926 in Rupert, Idaho.

Here’s my tale of woe:

I cannot prove that Sarah Buffington and Mr. Werntz were ever married.  In Buffington family history records, James Oliver’s dad is always referred to as Mr. Werntz.  I assume he was recognized as a member of the family, but Sarah was fairly young when she had him (15 or 16).  Sarah also had a cousin close in age and living nearby named Oliver.  Maybe she was a young widow?  Maybe they weren’t married?

But….at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, I found the record at the right. (Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania Archives; authors Phillip A. Rice and Jean A. Dellock)  

J.A. Werntz married a Miss Buffinger of Kratztown, Pennsylvania on September 11, 1853 - a year before my James Oliver was born.

In my research I found out that Kratztown was a name used for Gratz.  The surname Buffinger also comes up when doing surname searches on Buffington.  With my limited German language skills, I can hear how these translations could happen.

It’s intriguing, frustrating, challenging and crazy-making!  But, it’s genealogy and I am resolved to find my Mystery Man!  He can’t hide forever.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

One Lovely Blog Award and My Nominations

Heather Kuhn Roelker of  nominated my blog for the One Lovely Blog award.  What a surprise that was – I wasn’t sure anyone but me actually read it.  Seriously, I have received some lovely feedback from fellow bloggers and family members.  Once again, I must thank Thomas MacEntee and Lisa Louise Cooke for their promotion of blogging as a family history tool. It’s awesome!  And a big thanks to Heather, too! 

So, I did a little research, and my job is now to:

1.       Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who granted the aware and their blog link.
2.       Pass the award on to 15 other blogs that you've newly discovered.
          (See below – not all “newly” discovered, but some of my favorites)
3.       Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award. 

The blogs listed above are not in any particular order.  I enjoy reading them all, and lots of others as well.  Many of these blogs have been nominated before for this award – but for people new to the genealogy blog scene, check them out.

Thanks again Heather!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

You Say Kunders, I Say Conard (and Cunraeds and Cunnard and Conrad!)

Yes, these are all versions of the same name in my Grandma Savage's (Marion Rowe Beagles) line.  The Kunders family came from Krefeld, North Rhineland-Westphalia, Germany.

Krefeld is located in between Duisburg and Düsseldorf on the map above - about a 30 minute drive to the northwest of Düsseldorf.

The Kunders were some of the original settlers in Germantown, Pennsylvania.  A book I found at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City called, "The Strassburger Genealogy" (FHL #896630) says the following:

"On June 11, 1683, Penn [William Penn] conveyed to Govert Remke, Lenart Arets, and Jacob Van Bebber, all of Crefeld, one thousand acres of land each, and they together with Telner, Streypers and Sipman constituted the original Crefeld purchasers.  Their purpose was colonization, and not speculation...Before long thirteen families, comprising thirty-three persons, nearly all of whom were relatives, made preparations to depart for the new world.  They were Lenart Arets, Abraham Op den Graeff, Dirck Op den Graeff, Herman Op den Graeff, William Streypers, Thones Kunders [emphasis added], Renier Tyson, Jan Siemens, Jan Lensen, Peter Keurlis, Johannes Bleikers, Jan Lucken, and Abraham Tunes."

So as not to overwhelm you all with the details (I do have some!) here is a very brief outline on my Kunders connection - 

Thones Kunders m. Elin Tyson
Cunraed Cunraeds m. Anne Klinken
Anthony Cunred m. Sarah Hatfield
John Conard m. Elizabeth Potts
Nathan Conard m. Hannah Butcher
Anna Conard m. Enoch George Selby
Cynthia Anne Selby m. David Marion Price
Mary Elizabeth "Bessie" Price m. Noah David Beagles
Marion Rowe Beagles m. Nephi Waldo Savage
David Savage m. Suzanne 
Cindy Savage (me) m. Martyn Harris

Those of you who follow my other blog will recognize that Savage surname!  I wasn't sure whether to include the Kunders line in that blog or this one, so I decided to go with the geographical connection to Germany.

Whew!  Another post completed.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

"We all had to wear masks"

From my Grandma's (Dorothy May Snyder) notes:

"While we lived there [Pocatello, Idaho] the Spanish Influenza epidemic came.  School was closed & we all had to wear masks.   My sister Wilma who was secretly married while we lived there was pregnant.  So in the fall of 1918 her husband Frank Ball took her & me up to his ranch out of Inkom thinking she wouldn't get the flu.  The Armistice was signed in Nov. while we were there & Wilma got sick so we came home in a great big wagon.  Wilma was sick & chilling all the way & when we got home she had the flu.  Her baby was born but she [Wilma] died.  Then mother kept the baby, a boy, but he only lived 6 weeks."

I wish that I had the opportunity to ask my Grandma about my great aunt Wilma.  A secret marriage?  Since she was married to Frank Ball, Jr., on March 30th, 1918 and the little one was born November 21, 1918, I suspect Wilma may have known she was pregnant.

Wilma Snyder Ball was buried on November 25, 1918 in Mountain View Cemetery in Pocatello.  Her baby son, Henry Frank Ball, was buried on March 10, 1919 in the same plot. 

I found Frank Ball, Jr., (Wilma’s husband) in the 1920 Pocatello census with his family.  He was only 23 years old and listed as a widower.  How sad that must have been.

Grace and Wilma Snyder
It is too bad that I did not have the chance to ask Grandma Dorothy more about Wilma and the baby, as well as the impact of the Spanish flu in Pocatello. 

Grace holding sister Dorothy; Wilma holding kitten

FYI - There is a really terrific book by John M. Barry, called "The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History." I highly recommend it to anyone who had a family member affected by the flu. It is a good read even if you don't know of anyone directly impacted.