Genealogical Year in Review 2012

Another year past, and a few things to show for it. I haven't been writing here as much because I've been a bit scattered this year. Too many things, not nearly enough done. But I have found some fun tidbits here and there, and switched to a new software program for my genealogy.

Changes in the family
Not as many this year (that I'm aware of) as last, but two big changes. One in the immediate family, and one in the extended family.

My grandmother died this year. The last of her generation on that side. All of that generation left are only on the other side of my family now. We had a nice service for her, and many of the extended family came down, including my grandfather's cousin, whom I had not seen in some years. He enjoyed seeing the book on the Bordewicks my sister and I put together, and complemented us on it. I did up a pair of slideshows for the memorial. One for the service itself, which was only a couple minutes, and one much longer which played throughout the reception after. I enjoyed doing it so much that I ended up doing one for each of my grandparents and gave them to both sides of the family as presents. I miss them all, so it was a bit of a tearful process. You've heard it before, but I'll say it again. No matter how difficult it might feel to talk to someone and ask them questions, it's far harder when they've gone. There are some things you'll never get if you don't ask.

The other big change in the family this year was my cousin's second child was born. She's a sweet little thing, and it was quite the celebration Christmas evening with four kids in the house. My cousins and my sister and I are all so widely spaced, we generally haven't had more than three kids in the family at any family Christmas. There are six years between me and my sister, and five between her and our next cousin, so by the time his brother was born, I was in my teen years. And by the time my twin cousins were born, they'd moved up to Alaska, and just didn't come to many family Christmases. We've had the occasional Christmas where extended family have had their kids over, but they were more rare than not, so it was definitely an experience having four young kids at Christmas this year. I quite enjoyed it.

Brick Wall Progress
I considered doing this in a different post, but I'm not as well-organized this year as I was last. I've made a few discoveries.

My favorite this year, I think has to be my great-grandmother's brother, Mendel Kresch, who escaped through Belgium to Brazil when the war started in Europe. He and (I believe) his wife, their daughter (not sure if there were others, or if they escaped), her husband, and their child, managed to escape to Brazil, and therefore managed to survive the war. I only discovered that one because one of my father's cousins mentioned a cousin from South America, so when I saw the Brazillian Immigrant card collection at Family Search, I had to check it out. It's especially great because the cards have a photo attached, so I can see just what he looked like.

Other than that, I haven't made any big discoveries in my ancestral lines, though I have made a few other discoveries. I discovered that Grumpy's family was still officially in Arkansas during the 1940 census, when I'd assumed they were already in Chicago. I do know that they'd moved to Chicago no more than two years later, as that is where they are living when Alex had to go in for his draft card, which was another bit of fascinating information to find. I still haven't found Jack Seneft in the 1940 census, though I keep trying. Unfortunately, I don't believe he ever married, so all I have to go by is his name and draft card information from that same batch. 

I also found a bunch of names and addresses in the BC area during the Ancestry free period. They had the Canadian voting records posted, and so I have a lot of information on who was living where and when because of them.

I'm working on a book about Nana's mother, and sorting through letters, which makes me think it might be interesting to scan them all and create a book of them. It would be a lot of up-down, though, given where my scanner is currently placed. But because of the book, I have been trying to firm up the information I do have on the Sealand branches. I still have no better leads on where Lars Olsen ended up when he came here, but I have a bit more information on his wife. I keep trying on Oline's father's side, too, but so far all I really have there before him is Census information. As of now, I know that the family farm, Stubbegaard, passed through at least four generations: Rasmus's father, Rasmus, Rasmus's eldest son, and that son's son. I think after that it was sold, though I'm not sure why. I hope to find some information on it in the letters, because I remember my Aunt talking about it in at least one of them.

Software Upgrade
After many years of being a Family Tree Maker user, I have finally switched over almost completely to Roots Magic. I miss some of the interactive features FTM had, but RM has others that make up for quite a bit. I got the full version of the software for Christmas, so I'm still playing with some features, and haven't even gotten to others, but so far so good.

Much of my year has been spent hand-entering the family tree from the old documents I have, and actually adding in the source information, which I never did in FTM (part of why I wanted to do it this way). It's been a learning process, but I've found all sorts of fascinating stories in doing so, and reorganized things a little to help.

Still posting at the Examiner, including a series on local and online sources for international genealogical research.

I also restarted my Surname Saturday posts, though those will be slowing down now, as I'm reaching the edges of my family tree, and know less and less stories about them as I go further back.

I didn't do so hot on my resolutions this past year, but I think my main two focuses this year will be on finishing adding all my sources to my Roots Magic tree, and otherwise focusing on my great-grandmother's story. I'd love to at least get her life story written out, if nothing else. Maybe get all those letters scanned, too.

To everyone reading this, have a happy and productive new year.


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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.