Saturday, September 27, 2008

Getting to Know Me, Getting to Know Desktop Genealogist

Something was missing. Like the midnight snacker standing before an open refrigerator, I had a taste for “something,” but I couldn’t quite put my finger on what that something was. When the News-Messenger advertised for bloggers for their online edition, suddenly it all clicked.

Overcoming my usual shyness, I submitted a proposal to the city editor, who requested a meeting and some writing samples. From that meeting the Desktop Genealogist was born.

Initially I had hoped to help other family historians better navigate the waters of Internet research. However, once I started posting, I realized the posts I enjoyed writing the most had to do with telling a simple story. Whether it was about a grandmother, an old church, or why my toes are deformed, the constant knot in my stomach dissolved and that missing “something” was suddenly found.

My friend Mississippi Terry, of Hill Country of Monroe County, Mississippi, decided with the growing number of geneabloggers finding their way to the Internet, it might be nice if each of us posted an article about our blogs, including an example of the brightest, breeziest and most beautiful of our posts.

Below are my own nominations for my best of the best:

Brightest Stories My Grandmother Told Me

This was written for an edition of Smile for the Camera. It gave me a chance to experiment with my tools for telling a story.

BreeziestOne SuperPower to Go – Please!

My answer to the question, “Why are you twitching your nose?”

Most BeautifulThe Art of Painting Pictures

Note my breeziest and brightest posts links take you to my original Desktop Genealogist Blog on the News-Messenger.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Strange Things A Happenin'

Note: This post pertain's to my Desktop Genealogist blog on The News-Messenger. In the interest of keeping my archives up to date, and because some people follow this blog, (thank you Sheri, Miriam and Apple), I have went ahead and posted it to the Unplugged site. If I've confused you, imagine being me!!!!

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but of late, I have been MIA on this blog. My MIA status extends to all my “homies” in the geneablogger community. So when I did a quick check in on Monday to find out what ‘s been happening in the world of genealogy, I was surprised to find my blog mentioned in Randy Seaver’s weekly Best of the Genea-Blogs September 14 -20, 2008.

Surprised, pleased and dismayed because Randy wrote, I also had Terry Snyder's post "The Gentle Ferocity of Love" from The Desktop Genealogist blog on my list, but the Fremont News-Messenger site is messed up and I couldn't find a link. I'll add it to my list when I can find a good link.

So I sent Randy the link, and I thought all was well. But hold it, not so fast. I noticed in my Google Reader that a post I had dated September 4, now showed that it was posted September 20. Huh?

For those of you not familiar with Google Reader, it is a wonderful little tool offered by Google that allows you to organize your blog subscriptions, and see them all at a glance. Occasionally, however, it does some wonkie things.

So being a Curious Georgia type a girl, I clicked on this new link to my old post, and what do you know, I end up on Cincinnati.Com’s very own online edition. AND THERE I AM IN ALL MY GLORY!

I’m giving you the link right HERE, but just in case they fix the darn thing, and you start thinking, “That Terry chick has finally gone off the deep end,” I took a print screen picture of me, on Cincinnati.Com’s online edition. Darn, I almost feel famous.

I’ve reported the problem to the media editor here at the News-Mess, and he basically said:

1. Huh, really AND

2. That's above my pay grade.

But bless is heart, he did report it and you can see how quickly the wizards behind the newspaper curtain have reacted to the problem.

I haven’t seen any other bloggers mentioning these weird happenings, but then again, I haven’t been paying close attention. I’m not sure when the Cincy newspaper will notice they have a freeloader on their website, but hey, my screenshot proves I was there – hidden where nobody can find me, but there nonetheless.

In the meantime, you can head on over to Randy Seaver’s blog, and find a variety of blog posts to keep you in the genealogical loop.

Hey, I wonder where this post will end up? Who knows - today Cincinnati, tomorrow Hackensack!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Gentle Ferocity of Love

The elderly couple came tentatively into the waiting room of the doctor’s office where I sat. Both were white haired. Both were frail looking, though she, the more frail of the two, leaned a bit unsteadily into the arm of her mate. He fussed with getting her seated and letting the receptionist know that they were there.

I saw the look of concern etched so clearly on his face, as he continued to fuss around her until she took his hand into her own and patted it softly. I watched the look that passed between the two of them, feeling as if I had somehow invaded their privacy yet unable to pull my gaze away, drawn in by the gentle ferocity of love that passed between them.

I saw that same look this past Saturday, with a younger cast of characters, as I witnessed the marriage of my eldest stepson and his new bride. Though this time the look included the exuberant dash of youthful joy, it was, nonetheless. the same gentle ferocity of love that I had viewed so many years ago in that doctor’s office. It was beautiful and breathtaking to behold.

Erin, my new daughter, had her heart set on being married beneath the trees on her grandmother’s farm.

The weather, which had been withholding rain for weeks, suddenly decided that this weekend it was time to let loose. It rained on Friday and it rained on Saturday. A call from my stepson, told us that they were moving the ceremony to the reception hall, but because Erin still hoped to say her vows on the farm, the wedding party and a few close friends were going to meet there.

Sure enough, the rain stopped. Erin and Matt were married just as they had wanted to be - on her grandmother’s farm.

I don’t know what kind of journey awaits them. I hope that life is kind to them. I hope that when their hair is white and their gate is slow, their love is still beautiful and breathtaking to behold.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Kościół p.w. NMP Królowej Polski

In the village, nestled beside neighboring trees, it stands. Made of brick, embedded on a stone foundation, it is the perfect example of Gothic architecture - pointed arches, stained glass windows, and ribbed vaults. First built in the sixteenth century, fire has been its natural enemy. Repeatedly it has been rebuilt, so that bits and pieces of the structure originate from different centuries.

It was here, beside the eighteenth century alter, that my great grandparents, Leo Schröder and Emma Gleffe Schröder were baptized. It was here, standing above, in the 17th century pulpit, Reverend Walter Bielenstein preached the last sermon before he and the rest of his flock were forced to leave their church and their homes at the end of World War II.

I had thought, looking at the few pictures found online, that the church had been abandoned. I imagined a dusty, dark neglected cavern, left as a relic of a forgotten time, and a forgotten people. I imagined this, that is, until a certain German friend set me straight.

Below you are looking at Kościół p.w. NMP Królowej Polski or Church of Our Lady Queen of Poland. The church, far from being abandoned, is still busy baptizing the children of Budowo

From Website:

Though the dogma preached from the 17th century pulpit is slightly different and the voices lifted in song are of another language, the ghosts of Budow's German parishoners must be smiling. For their church, still lives. It lives.

Until Next Time . . .

Information Sources:
Email correspondence with Siegfried Krause.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sandusky County Kin Hunters at the Hayes President Library

I’m popular. Well, okay, not so much popular as I am in demand. Family, work, and my dirty house are all crying for extra chunks of time. And if you haven’t noticed, there is an exciting presidential race in full swing. (I think I have whiplash from trying to follow all the charges and countercharges that are floating around the Internet and TV – talk about silly season.)

So, I’m going to be dialing it back a bit on my blogging – unless of course, someone discovers how to add more hours in a day. Seriously – anyone - more hours?

Carnival of Genealogy

Jasia has posted a whopping 50 entries from 49 geneabloggers at the 55th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy. There is a lot of great reading (and a fair amount of picture viewing) on the subject of “Show and Tell.”

Sandusky County Kin Hunters

A little birdie (okay, not a birdie but Dave Golden) tells me that this Sunday’s Kin Hunters meeting will be held at the Hayes Presidential Library this Sunday at 2:00 PM. Head Librarian, Becky Hill, will be presenting the program that is free and open to anyone interested in family history.

For further information, you can contact Dave at 419-502-7620

Well, that’s all from my corner of the world.

Until Next Time – Happy Ancestral Digging!

PS Special thanks to Randy Seaver for including my post One Year and 199 Posts Ago, in his Best of the Genea-Blogs- 31 August - 6 September 2008.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

One Year and 199 Posts Later

One year and 199 posts ago, I wrote my first blog post. It was scary. And it was exciting. I had no idea what I was getting into, but I plunged ahead wholeheartedly.

As I wrote on the blog’s two-month anniversary, “It probably will come as no surprise to anyone that I was not exactly blog literate when I undertook this task. I had an idea, a chance to pitch it, and finally the thumbs up to try it.”

As I did then, I will again thank all of you who have stopped by to read a post or two. Your support has meant a great deal to me.

I have discovered a few things in the year that I have been blogging.

1. I discovered that I probably should have paid more attention in English class.

2. I discovered that a girl, who could never keep a diary for more than two weeks, could indeed blog for a whole year.

3. I discovered that spell check is a girl’s best friend.

4. I discovered that spell check isn’t idiot proof (me being the aforesaid idiot.)

5. I discovered that geneabloggers, though diverse and unique, are of one voice in their mission to support and encourage other geneabloggers. I can’t think of another group where ego is so checked at the door. These people genuinely celebrate each other’s success.

6. I discovered that writing apparently has some healthful benefits. Since November, I have been off my high blood pressure medication. While the doctor is sure I have taken his advice to meditate (yeah right), I think whining aloud is the ticket to better health.

7. I discovered that I’m not as smart as I think I am. I could have saved myself that very public discovery by just listening to my family. They have been giving me that same message for years.

8. I discovered that I have my own voice, however warped it may be.

9. I discovered that some of my writing is not written for you, dear reader. Nor is it written for me. Rather it is written for those who are yet to be. I often think of a time 25 years or maybe 50 years from now, when a relative or a descendent discovers my words, and feels the same excitement that I feel when I read the words of my ancestors. (Note to self: Eighty-six the post with the picture of my foot. Don’t want the great grandchildren to worry about mental instability running through their gene pool.)

10. In writing posts about my own family’s history, I discovered that each of our lives is just a brief flicker on a long, flowing timeline. This is it folks, This is your one shot to get it right, to find the joy, and to give yourself permission when you fail, to get up the next morning and take your shot at getting it right all over again.

11. And finally, I discovered me. And while that only has relevance to those nearest and dearest, for me it has been an interesting journey.

I have no idea where I go from here. I know that for now, you can find me slicing and dicing pieces of my life and my family’s history like some mad chef - serving it up for your reading pleasure here at the Desktop Genealogist Unplugged Blog.

Until Next Time – Happy Ancestral Digging!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Almost Wordless Wednesday - I knew he loved me when ...

He agreed to wear a matching pink tie for our wedding ceremony.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Our Family Treasure

For 102 years, various members of my family have been responsible for keeping the documents that my great grandparents Leo and Emma Schrader brought with them when they immigrated in 1906.

Without these items, much of our family’s history would have been lost. Many records belonging to those areas east of the Oder-Neisse line, where my family originated, were destroyed during World War II and its aftermath. It is doubtful that we would have been able to reconstruct this information without these originals.

Below is the marriage certificate of Leo and Emma in Muttrin, on April 5, 1904

The next item, which I had to have translated, was written by the minister of Budow’s church. It was needed to prove the details of Leo’s birth. It gives Leo’s parents as Wilhelm Schröder and Caroline Quetschke. (Quetschke, I am told is an uncommon German name.)

Below is the Kirchliches Zeugnis or Christian Certificate that shows, the birth, baptism, marriage and confirmation of Leo, Emma, Willi and Max.

These are pictures of an unknown German family. The woman bares a family resemblance, so my guess is that she is related to either Leo or Emma

One of several papers relating to Leo’s military service.

The definition of an heirloom is something that has been in the family for generations. These papers are my family’s heirlooms.

This post written for the 55th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy.

Note: German family names – Schröder, Gleffe, Quetschke, Hingst

Related German family names – Tuschy, Kollat, von Malottki