LINKHAUSEN (Germany>Norway)

Meaning/Pronunciation: Pronunciation: Link-how-zen Meaning: German for "Left House."

Origin: Apparently German, though I didn't know that until I looked up the name to find out the origin. Before that, I assumed it Norwegian, despite not sounding too Norwegian, because that was all I knew for this family.

Variations: Linchausen, which I also just saw today.

Relation to me: This is my mother's father's father's father's father's mother.

i: Linkhausen, Leonharde, 1809 – 1846, Norway; Johan Petter Bordevick, 7 sons, 4 daughters

ii: Linkhausen, Ditlev Anton, 1783 – 1845, Germany ?, Henrikke Oline Brunn, 1 daughter known

Looking for:
Well, I just found a tree that has more info on this branch, though I haven't had a chance to contact them properly yet, but if so, it will extend several more generations back for me, which is very exciting. I did not know that both sides of this family were basically from Germany, aside from Johan's mother. Should be interesting to see what I find about her side…

For those interested, the site I found is here.

IVARSEN (Denmark?)

Meaning/Pronunciation: Pronunciation: I-var-sen Meaning: Son of Ivar

Origin: Danish

Variations: In this case, -datter.

Relation to me: This is my father's mother's father's mother's mother's mother's maiden name.

i: Ivarsdatter, Katrine, ? – ?, Denmark?; Kresten Christensen, 1 daughter known

Looking for:
I would love more on Katrine and Kresten. I have some branches of this part of my tree well-mapped, but these two are one of the brick walls on my tree. I'd love to know who their parents were (her father's name was obviously Ivar, and his Christen or Kresten), how many kids they had…where they lived in Denmark (possibly Vejle or nearby, as that is where the main branch of this family is from), anything, really.

Visual Family Tree IV - Jones

Okay, so this still isn't fully together, but hopefully Shannon and I will manage to get some photos of my grandmother's childhood up soon so that I can finish this one. There are just so many great shots that I want to share.

[missing: Grandma and her siblings as children]

Ivor, Eliza, Daniel and Merle Jones

Gabriel and Selina Howells's 50th wedding anniversary:
Back: L-R: Jim Kay, Selina Cockrill (nee Howells), Esther Howells (nee Henderson), Ted Howells (behind Esther's shoulder), Mary Ellen Cockrill (behind and between Ted and Violet), Violet Cockrill, Winnie Kaye (nee Howells) (behind and between Violet and Cassie), Cassie Cockrill, Selina Cockrill (nee Howells) (behind and between Cassie and Eliza), Eliza Jones (nee Howells), Thomas Cockrill (behind Eliza and Catherine), Catherine Williams (nee Howells), Daniel Jones (behind Catherine)
Middle: L-R: Tommie Cockrill, Earl Howells (on Gabriel's lap), Gabriel Howells, Ivor Jones (on Selina's lap), Selina Howells (nee Roberts), Eddie Cockrill, Alan Williams
Front: L-R: Marguerite Kay, Merle Jones, Gwen Kay, Edwina Jones, Marjorie Jones

Hannah (nee Griffiths) and Benjamin Jones with their daughters May and Sophia

The Howells family while still in Wales
Back L-R: Selina, Selina Jane, Gabriel
Front L-R: Eliza (on Selina's lap), Winnafred, Hugh

Selina's parents Ellen (nee Pugh) and Hugh Roberts, with an unknown grandchild

Gabriel Howell's mother, Catherine (nee Jones) Howells

Open Thread Thursday – Running Multiple Genealogy Software Programs

Geneablogger's Open Thread Thursday this past week was:
· Which genealogy software program do you use and why?
· If you use more than one program, list them and tell us why you use more than one program.
· How do you “sync” multiple programs? Do you simply enter the data more than one time? Do you export data from one program and import into another?
· What do you think about the inter-changeability of data between genealogy software programs? Do you fear data loss if you export your data and import into a different program? What improvements would you like software makers to make?

I've used a number of different programs, but I'm only going to cover five plus one online tree, ignoring the ones I've tested or otherwise only used once, because otherwise I could go on for ages.

When I started in genealogy, I got myself a copy of Brother's Keeper. I didn't know much about genealogy software, but I figured starting with a free program was best. After a couple of years, I got a copy of Family Tree Maker (FTM), and since then, that has been my program of choice, though I'm no longer as happy with it as I was. I currently use Family Tree Maker 2006, and I doubt I will upgrade it again, though I might if I find the 2008 version. I also now use Family Tree Builder (FTB) and The Master Genealogist (TMG) (which I'm still learning), and I still have a copy of Legacy on my computer that I've used for a few months now.

At the moment, FTM is still my main program, though I'm working with TMG in hopes that it will become my major program. I've been entering everything into the program from scratch using all the paper copies of my documents, since I was quite lax with citations in FTM, and since the stuff in FTM has become quite a mess from merging multiple files together over the years. At the moment, when I test out a program, I use the gedcom from FTM to transfer in what I have about my family, though I am hoping that in the future, I will used the one from TMG.

FTB I use mostly as a search engine, with a gedcom pulled from FTM at the moment, though I do occasionally (if I'm searching for someone specific) update information to get better results. I'd love to see a major overhaul of this program, as I think it's the best of the three (not including BK and Legacy, which is basically a FTM clone aside from reports), but doesn't have the functionality of either. I think if the program improves, it could well become my main program—to the point where I might be willing to pay for it.

For my online tree, I use Geni, though after the first entry, the site is very slow and clunky. I like that people can be connected to events regardless if they're primaries to the event or just witnesses, and would love a software that would allow the same. I've not paid for the site, so I can't be sure if entry gets any easier with a paid account (though I don't believe it does), so I tend to go through spurts of adding people by hand, which is time-consuming, and therefore I tend to put it off more than I should.

I think compatibility is not a huge issue, as gedcoms are pretty good at storing the basic information, though I'm not sure as far as citations go yet (see above), and if you have added any custom fields, that can cause issues as well.

My biggest issue with software is how clunky citations still are, and how "Western" (ie US-oriented) the programs are. I know that's partially because I live in the US, and that's where I'm buying my software, but it seems to me there are plenty of people in the US who have Scandinavian family, and/or other ancestral groups where naming practices are very different from in the US (ie, the Scandinavian patronymic system).

Most programs still seem stuck in the 90's, but maybe that's just me expecting too much from them yet. I'm glad most come with an online component these days, but I'd like to see a more user-friendly system in place. I'd like to see a system that asks you questions and fills in the fields for you. I know when I started, I didn't even know where to put a lot of the information I had, and because of that, I'm still learning new things every day. I'd even love it to ask questions when you add a new branch to your tree that might guide you in your search, and would set up that branch with the basic appropriate information, instead of having to thumb through tons of "possible" citations for baptisms and christenings for my Jewish family. I'd also like to see a way of recording events that include all the people at the event, not just two – weddings being a prime example of this.

I think software needs a major overhaul to be updated to today's genealogist. There are so many different types of families out there—the software itself should be able to understand this and compensate for it, so that we don't have to deal with all these nuances ourselves.

Brick Walls--a different listing

I found a great post by Barbara in Life from the Roots about her top ten brick walls, and really liked the format, so I thought I'd do a similar list of my own, though I ended up with twelve. These are my great-great or great-great-great grandparents. Any help would be hugely appreciated on all of these, especially if you have the same (or a similar) surname in your own charts.

Leon SENEFT (Need more about him, his children, his parents)
Born before 1870, possibly in Galicia, Eastern Europe
Died between 1919-1922
Married Mindel HILINGER before 1883
Had 5 known children, 3 sons, 2 daughters: Alex, Annie, Jennie, Jack and ?, all born in Galicia, I believe
Emmigrated to England before WWI, lived in London through the war

Mindel HILINGER (Need more about her, her children, her parents)
Born before 1870, possibly in Galicia, Eastern Europe
Died before 1922
Married Leon SENEFT before 1883
Had 5 known children, 3 sons, 2 daughters: Alex, Annie, Jennie, Jack and ?, all born in Galicia, I believe
Emmigrated to England before WWI, lived in London through the war

Benzion KRESCH (Need more about him, his children, his parents)
Born before 1875, likely in Czudek, Galicia
Died before 1919
Married Fiege Golda REICH before 1892
Had at least two children, 2 daughters, Dora and Minna, and possibly a son as well, all born in Galicia, I believe
Was a Rabbi and teacher in Galicia

Feige Golda REICH (Need more about her, her children, her parents)
Born before 1875, likely in Czudek, Galicia
Died about1929, I believe in Frankfurt, Germany
Married Benzion KRESCH before 1892
Had at least two children, 2 daughters, Dora and Minna, and possibly a son as well, all born in Galicia, I believe

Henrikke RONESS (Or as I have also found Pauline Henrikke Hendricsdatter RONÆS) (need anything about her parents)
Born 24 June 1830 in Trondheim, Sor Trondelag, Norway
Died 1892 in Henningsvær, Nordland, Norway
Married Johan Petter Bordevick on 27 September 1860 in Vaagan Parish, Nordland, Norway, his second (I believe) wife
Had four children with him: 3 daughters, 1 son: Ida Amalie, Leonharde Marie, Anna Magdalena, and Petter Magnus Roness

Robert James PARK (need more about him and his parents)
Born 24 June 1852, Ireland (possible locations—Belfast/Antrim, Dublin, or Ballymena)
Died 6 October 1930, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Parents listed as John PARK and ? DUNLOP
Married Elizabeth CURRAN abt 1883 in either Ireland or Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US
Had at least nine children, 2 who died in infancy, 2 sons, 5 daughters: Robert, Elizabeth, Mary, Rhoda, Margaret, George, and Florence, all born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Emigrated from Ireland to Philadelphia abt 1883, then from Philadelphia to Ireland after 1903, then from Belfast to Vancouver in 1914

Thomas CURRAN (need more about him, his parents, and his kids)
Born before 1845 in Ireland (Belfast?)
No death date at this time
Married Jane "Jennie" BLAIR bef 1861
They had at least 3 daughters, and possibly 1 more daughter and 3 sons, possibly more: Elizabeth, Sarah and Rhoda are certain, also possibly Anna (may be Elizabeth's middle or first name), John, Thomas, Joseph, all born in Antrim, Ireland

Jane "Jennie" BLAIR (need more about her, her parents, and her kids)
Born before 1845 in Ireland (Belfast?)
No death date at this time
Married Thomas CURRAN bef 1861
They had at least 3 daughters, and possibly 1 more daughter and 3 sons, possibly more: Elizabeth, Sarah and Rhoda are certain, also possibly Anna (may be Elizabeth's middle or first name), John, Thomas, Joseph, all born in Antrim, Ireland

Bejamin JONES (need more about his parents)
Born 24 December 1865, Caio, Wales
Died before 1915
Married Hannah GRIFFITHS before 1882
Had 6 children, 4 sons and 2 daughters: Daniel, David, Joseph, Jack, William, May and Sophia, all born in Southern Wales (Merthur Tydful, I believe)

Hannah GRIFFITHS (need more about her parents)
Born February 1863, Newcastle Emlyn, South Wales
Died about 1933, Merthur Tydful, Wales
Married Benjamin JONES before 1882
Had 6 children, 4 sons and 2 daughters: Daniel, David, Joseph, Jack, William, May and Sophia, all born in Southern Wales (Merthur Tydful, I believe)

Hugh ROBERTS (need more about him, his parents, any other children)
Born before 1830, possibly in Northern Wales
No death information
Married Ellen PUGH (or possibly GRIFFITHS) before 1845
Only 1 child known, daughter Selina

Ellen PUGH (or possibly GRIFFITHS) (need more about her, her parents, any other children)
Born before 1830, possibly in Northern Wales
No death information
Married Hugh ROBERTS before 1845
Only 1 child known, daughter Selina

MATISEN (Denmark)

Meaning/Pronunciation: Pronunciation: Ma-ti-sen Meaning: Child of Matis or child of Matias

Origin: Danish.

Variations: Mathiasen, and in this case, Matisdatter or Mathiasdatter.

Relation to me: This is my father's mother's father's father's mother's mother's maiden name.

i: Matisdatter, Mette, 1804 – 1889, Vejle, Denmark; Jens Christian Pedersen, 4 daughters, 5 sons

ii: Frandsen, Mathias, 1765 – 1827, Thyregod, Denmark; Kristen Poulsdatter, 1 son, 2 daughters

iii: Mathiasen, Frants, ? - ?, Denmark?; Abalone Mortensdatter, 1 known son

iv: Frandsen, Mathias, 1706 – 1796, Thyregod, Denmark; Anne Christensdatter, 1 known son

v: Jacobsen, Frantz, 1680 – 1761, Vester Sejrup, Denmark; Maren Mathiasdatter, 1 known son

vi: Frandsen, Jacob, ? - ?, Denmark?, ?, 1 known son

vii: Jacobsen, Frantz, abt 1610 - ?, Denmark?, 1 known son

Looking for:
Most of this branch came from a connection I made to a Danish cousin who had more of the family tree written out than I did. As this goes back a good long way, I'm not too concerned with firming this one up just yet, but it is cool that I can possibly trace it back so far. I'd love more about these families, if anyone had information, though.

Musing on Family:

While I was up at my Aunt's cabin last week, the first part of this came to me, so I thought I'd post it today, since I didn't have time last week. I've also added some musings that came to me after watching Yentl the other night, and my own personal take on "name collection."

What is family?
Family just is. We accept, as children, the names adults give our family members without question: "Uncle Ted," "Auntie Bess," "Nanny." Children don't think to question beyond that name. Why should they? The person is just family, and that's enough for us to understand. At some point, we begin to understand these people's connection to our family, and to us. Auntie Bessie is mother's mother's sister. Nanny is father's maternal grandmother. And soon, we have people sorted into more specific family groups in our head.

If we're lucky, most or all of these people survive long enough for us to ask them questions about more distant family—particularly those we never met because they died before we were born. Unfortunately, most of us don't start our search until we've lost someone. Often even because we've lost someone. Or it doesn't seem relevant to us until we're parents, or even grandparents. And by then, much of that knowledge is just gone. Not the paper-trail, but the stories that really tell us what kind of a person great-grandfather Michael was, or how Auntie Mildred took in a family during the war to keep them from starving.

Still, even when you think it's too late…it's never too late to try. Sometimes there's an alternate means of getting that story. Less is lost than you might think. So long as you keep asking.

The ghosts of our ancestors
I watched Yentl for the first time Tuesday night. Now that I'm more aware of where my Jewish family came from, I've been seeking things like Fiddler on the Roof and Yentl out to learn a small bit more about that life. Granted, it's a Hollywood version, but it still gives me more than I have at the moment.

And I couldn't help but think about my great-great grandparents while I watched. For most of my life, I knew nothing about Grumpy's side of the family. Only a vague knowledge that he had siblings (one brother and four sisters, I later learned). When I got the family tree, I learned not only my great-grandparents' names (which I had never heard before), but also their parent's names. Alex and Dora, and Alex's parents Leon and Mindel, and Dora's parents Benzion and Fiege.

Before this year, I only had a vague knowledge that they were from Germany, but a place that is no longer considered Germany, in or near Poland. I know so much more, now. About Galicia. About the Ashkanazi people…because they were more Ashkanazi than "German." Especially to other Germans.

Even more, as I watched the movie, I began to get this image of Benzion (who I have been told was a Rabbi, and likely a teacher, given that was what Rabbis did) having always been watching me from wherever he is. I wonder what he thinks of what happened to his children, and his descendants. About how many of his relations died at the hands of "fellow" Germans for being Jewish. About how we left the country for the US. About how my family in particular hasn't practiced since Grumpy left Germany as a child, even though his sisters have. I wonder what he would think of me, his Athiest great-great granddaughter, who has only been to synagogue a few times in her life. Who has a degree in English and doesn't know more than a few words of German, and less of Hebrew.

I'd like to think that he'd be proud that we're all doing as well as we are. That we don't have to struggle day to day, and that most of his descendants are so well-learned. I'd like to think that he's glad I know a little more now about who he is, and where they came from. And most of all, I hope he's proud of me. Of us. I hope he's looking down on all of us and smiling.

On being a name-collector
For clarification before I begin, for those who don't know the term: Name-collecting is a term used in the genealogy community for the practice of pulling names from someone else's family tree without contacting that person, or citing them as a source.

I haven't weighed in on this topic for a few reasons:
One, because I feel I have been one in the past, and am trying to mend my ways;
Two, because I have never just added names to my program without good reason (I've always tried to match up at least three points of data between what I have and what I've found before I assume a match), and have tried to contact the source of that information and/or record it in my program;
Three, because I always have an issue with people being upset because other people have the same line in their tree (yes, I know that's not entirely what people are upset over, but that's often the way it comes off sounding);
and Four because few people outside my family even read this blog.

Then I had a thought today that I though might add a bit to the discussion. When I started as the family genealogist, everyone on the trees I was given were just names to me, aside from the ones that I knew personally. For me, the names are where everything begins. They always have been. Without those names, I would not have known where to start. If you have a name, you have a lot. Granted, it's not the only thing, but it's the place all of us are told to start: "go to your family and ask them about their parents, their grandparents…" What is that, but a directive to find those names first? The locations and dates are secondary. And having those names makes the search that follows that much easier.

The problem is, most (very) amateur genealogists aren't told what the next step is. They don't understand that the names are only the first step, and that you need to solidify the link from that person to the person that proceeded them. Through stories. Through places and dates. Through real, physical paperwork that shows that person existed, and their link to the generations before and after them.

Chastising them won't help them to learn that. It's only likely to make them back off. And unlikely to make them change their ways. If they think that when they reach out to someone, that they will either get silence or chastisement…they're going to be less likely to do so, not more.

What we need to do, as genealogists, is to explain that that is only the first step of so many. And that those connections need to be made with real people and with paper that proves those connections, not just with names on a webpage.

These ancestors don't belong to just one person. They belong to many. And if we can't share that information, then why are we doing this at all? Yes, credit is good, but knowledge is better—and yelling and anger never gained anyone knowledge. All it does is scare others off.

HANSEN (Denmark) – Part III

Meaning/Pronunciation: Pronunciation: Hans-son/Hans/sen. Meaning: Patrynomic name meaning “Son of Hans,” or Johannes, which is the Danish form of John.

Origin: Danish

Variations: In this case, the name is actually Hansdatter, but that is the feminine form of the same name. As for others, there are enough forms of this name that everyone knows a large number—Hanson, Hansson, Jones, Johnson, etc… I’ve actually got this name in several spots on my tree—both the Bordewick spouses and the Hansen spouses have variations on the name, and will be covered on their own.

Relation to me: This is my father's mother's father's father's father's mother's maiden name.

i: Hansdatter, Ane Marie, 1797 – 1876, Denmark?; Knud Knudsen, 1 son known

Looking for:
Another dead-end line. I know that her father's first name would likely be Hans given her surname, and she was probably Danish, given her name, but beyond her son and marriage, I know absolutely nothing else about Ane Marie or her family. Any information would be more than welcome.

PUGH (Wales)

Meaning/Pronunciation: Pronunciation: Pew (as in the church seat) Meaning: a shortened, modernized form of Ap Hugh, meaning son of Hugh.

Origin: Wales

Variations: Ap Hugh, obviously. Hughes as well, as an alternate modern form of the name.

Relation to me: This is my matralinial direct line—my mother's mother's mother's mother's mother's maiden name

i: Pugh, Ellen, ? – ?, Wales?; Hugh Roberts, 1 daughter known

Looking for:
Before a few months ago, this would have been entitled Griffiths (2), as I'd always had her listed as Ellen Griffiths due to what my grandmother told me. However, in looking up Ellen's daughter's death certificate, I found that she was listed as Ellen Pugh. So Pugh it is, until I learn better.

While the surname is Welsh, I can only assume that she was born in Wales, as I have no information beyond the fact that she married Hugh Roberts, and that they had one daughter, Selina Roberts nee Howells, in 1845.

I'm hoping to find more soon, but as of this moment, that's all I have on this line, so any help would be appreciated. :)

Grandmother, aka…

When I was born, I was the first grandkid on both sides, and in two cases, the first great-grandkid. So I was lucky enough to have not four, but seven 'grandparents' growing up. But it led to a bit of confusion on my part. So many grandparents. Luckily, all my grandmothers (which I had four of) had different names for "grandma," so that made it easier to tell them apart.

When I was born, my dad's mother decided that she didn't want to be "grandma Hillinger," so she chose to become "Nana," and has been ever since. Which made mom's mother simply "grandma" instead of "grandma Bordewick." Much easier for a child to remember.

On my mom's side, both of her grandmothers were still alive, and already had their own version of the term Grandmother for me to use: my grandfather's mother's name was "granny," and my grandmother's mother's name was "Nain" (a Northern Welsh term meaning "grandmother").

It makes it a little easier when tracing back in my family tree. Unfortunately, it only goes so far, because those names tend to fade out of use once the person they were used for is gone. I do know that my grandfather's mother went by "bubbe," which is the Yiddish term for grandmother, and that my grandmother's paternal grandmother went by Gu (pronounced "gee," the Southern Welsh term for grandmother), but beyond that, they all devolve into "grandma" or "grandpa" ___.

Still, I find it amazingly cool, just how many terms my extended family managed to use for a simple word like that. But then, when you're finding a name for someone who symbolizes the love for a family, it's not surprising how personal some of those names can get.

Nana (and me)

Grandma (and me)

Granny (and me)

Nain (and me)

Bubbe (with her first grandchild, I believe)

Gu (with her husband and their two daughters, May and Sophia)

About this blog

This blog is maintained by two sisters who have had a life long interest in geneology.
Mika writes here mostly about our family (Hansen, Hillinger, Bordewick, Park, etc), and her search for more information.
Shannon mostly uses this space as a place to make the many stories written about and by her husband's family (Holly, Walker, Walpole, etc) available to the rest of the family, present and future.

Our blog is named Oh Spusch! mostly because Shannon is bad at naming things. The first post I put up includes a story about the time Walker's great grandfather took his whole family out to see a play and the littlest kept saying "Oh! Spusch!" No one ever figured out what she meant by that.