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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tuesday's Tip - Get Involved!

It does not matter if today is the first day of your genealogy adventure, or if you've been researching for 50 years. There is always new tricks and skills to be learned. The best way to learn is to get involved with others in the genealogy community. Facebook is a great place to "meet" other genealogists. There are many interesting groups on facebook. They are full of people who will share your passion for what you do. You will make new friends, you'll find people with similar research interests, and you will find people you can help and others who can help you. You will learn of educational opportunities like conferences, webinars, and new books. I'm amazed at the wonderful friends I've made via our facebook relationships and have been blessed with fun and knowledgeable mentors that I never would have met if I hadn't have started to take advantage of Social Networking.

Being on facebook has led me to groups where I can learn to improve my research skills while helping mankind. My 2 favorites are Families For Forgotten Heroes and Unclaimed Persons. I've joined a group called Occupy Genealogy where I can learn of issues that might hinder my ability to do my genealogy research and what I can do about it. Facebook has given me the opportunity to learn about blogging and it was fun to join other bloggers who share the genealogy passion at Geneabloggers. You will find facebook pages for Genealogical Societies, Ethnic Group research, research in a geographic area, genealogy based on religions, the sky is the limit on facebook. Just use the search engine and a whole new world will open up to you!

I hope to see YOU on facebook! You can find me at my facebook page.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Amanuensis Monday - Ferdinand E. Eberlein - Feb. 18, 1863 - Civil War

Camp near Germantown
February 18, 1863
Dear Parents,

Today I received your esteemed letter dated the 4th of this month in good health, thank God. I received a very disturbing letter from brother Eduard on the 10th of this month saying that he volunteered to join the soldiers (this must be a mistake), that he left everything with strangers, which I don't like at all, people I don't know, but your letter made me feel better and gave me new courage. Your letters mean so much to me.

I sent Eduard 85 dollars for construction and to buy young farm animals; he does not say what he did with it and I wrote several letters to him with enclosures, but he does not answer. Could you please check on what is happening? Soon I will have that much money again, which I will send to you as soon as I have a chance.

I'm taking care of the three highest ranking officers in the company and receive something extra per month, I eat good food while we are in camp, and I don't have too many occasions to spend money here. I am glad that you gave me my brother Georg's address. I will write him a letter as soon as possible.

We are now in this camp the second week and I don't know when we will be leaving here. We will definitively go to Vicksburg where I might go see my brother. The first of this month I saw Martin Kiefer in German Town and Memphis. He is doing well. So far I have not been in a battle.

In December 1862 and January we went marching, over Christmas and New Year's. We had a hard time and came within one mile to the rebels, but they escaped from our path. We marched over battlefields were I saw the graves and blood on the earth, trees destroyed by bullets, dead horses on mass. And now while I am writing this letter I can hear the canons not far from here. I could write so much more but time does not allow it.

So I have to close this letter, wishing you all the best and hoping that this war will soon come to an end and that I will see you all again.

Your eternally devoted son,
Ferdinand E. Eberlein
Company C 5th Regt Minn, Vols
Memphis, Tennessee

I am awaiting an answer soon and good news. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sunday's Post is CANCELLED!

I promised myself that I would make an honest effort to post something everyday. Well, today's post is that today's post is cancelled. There is much work to be done and protecting the SSDI is way more important than improving my writing skills. Because if the government puts a nail in the genealogy coffin, it becomes pointless to work to become certified in this field.

Please, join us over at Occupy Genealogy and start educating yourself about these issues! And then, let the letter writing begin! This is one of those projects that needs your attention NOW. If you wait a few weeks to deal with it, you just might not have the SSDI to help you in your research.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Society Saturday - Save the SSDI

Please spread the word amongst the Genealogy Societies that you participate in that action is needed NOW for people to write to their Senators and Representatives that we need to protect our right to access the SSDI. Some misguided negative publicity has made certain Senators believe that they can end identity theft if we can no longer access the SSDI. This is WRONG WRONG WRONG.

We need everyone who has an interest in Genealogy - be it personal or professional, so take action! Don't leave this for somebody else. YOUR VOICE COUNTS! Send a letter, fax or e-mail to your Representatives and Senators. Put it on the facebook page or twitter page or google+ page of your Representatives and Senators.

This website will give you info about the Feb. 2, 2012 meeting with the Ways and Means Committee. Chairman Johnson Announces a Hearing on Social Security's Death Records . There is info towards the bottom of that press release on how to submit your letter to this committee.

The top right of this page will give you a search for your Senators and this one will give you a search for your Representatives .

I first learned of this when I read the article written by Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak Are We Going To Lose The SSDI?  Inside and outside of genealogy, the SSDI / MDF is a valuable tool that helps us do good things all over the world!

If you need ideas on what you could put in your letter, please check out Talking Points on Why Genealogists need the SSDI You might have to scroll down the page a ways to find it. Stay abreast of the latest developments by keeping an eye on RPAC's website and with the facebook group Occupy Genealogy and on the Occupy Genealogy Website .

To those of you who are members of Unclaimed Persons and Families For Forgotten Heroes  loosing the SSDI would be a major blow to the work we do.

Please, share this info via e-mail, facebook, twitter, google+, I don't care, even smoke signals. Just spread the word! You can copy anything from this blog post you want.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Family Recipe Friday - Sloppy Joes

I come from a long line of this and that kind of cooks. Many recipes don't have any measurements. Such is the case for these sloppy joes.

I've made these Sloppy Joes for picnics, pot lucks, showers and funerals. People usually really like them. When my son was young, he used to have a lot of fun waiting for someone to say they like them and then he'd tell them they had Diet Coke in them. He liked to watch the surprised look on people's faces!

Brown some hamburger. You can brown a veggie with it if you want (onions, peppers, celery). When the burger is good and brown, drain the fat and season the meat with something. (salt, pepper, maybe some BBQ spice or a little garlic powder). Add equal amounts of ketchup and some kind of diet pop (Coke, Pepsi, or Dr. Pepper, or even root beer - just make sure it's diet). Add one drop of mustard if you only cooked a pound of burger, more mustard if you cooked more. Open the bag of brown sugar and grab about a golf ball size of a clump and mix it in with everything else. Simmer until it's thick. Serve on buns.

Thriller Thursday - Clara Ober - Murder or Suicide?

 Clara Ober was the niece of my Gr. Great Grandma Anna Dorethea Lottine EBERLEIN

Blue Earth Post
1 AUG 1895

Was It Suicide?

Miss Clara Ober's Body Found Floating in Blue Earth River Just Below the Old Dam - Great Excitement in Blue Earth City - Arrest of Jacob Fruend.

Blue Earth City is passing through the throes of one of the most exciting periods in its history. Tuesday morning it was found that Clara OBER had left her bed at the residence of her uncle, Henry EBERLEIN, on Fourth street, some time during the night or early morning and by a note found it was feared she had left with suicidal intent. The marshal and her relatives instituted a search which was kept up all forenoon but unavailing. After dinner the fire bell was sounded and, upon the assembling of our people, searching parties were formed and sent out in every direction. The first party to find her was to send word to the city engineer who was to sound three long fire whistles. In less than an hour the whistle was sounded. Her body had been found floating in the Blue Earth river just below the dam north of town. In the absence of a coroner, the body was taken in charge by CONINGS Brothers who conveyed it to their undertaking rooms. Coroner HUMES was sent for and it was found that he was absent in the East on a visit. His address was obtained and, in answer to a telegram, he appointed Dr. FRANKLIN deputy late Tuesday evening. Great Excitement prevailed upon our streets during the afternoon and evening. At about 10 o'clock Henry EBERLEIN swore out a warrant for the arrest of Jacob FREUND and he was locked up and the next morning taken to Mankato. During the evening an exciting crowd gathered in town and many threats were made, but cool judgment prevailed and nothing was done further than a few cases of lawlessness in breaking in the windows to Freund's saloon and restaurant. We advance no theories and refrain from comment because the coroner's jury is in session as we go to press, farther than to say that from the position in which the body is said to have been found in the water, the theory is advanced that death occurred before drowning, and the fact that a quilt which is missing from her bedroom and is supposed to have been taken by her as a wrapping instead of her apparel, none of which she took with her, cannot be found, is commented upon as pointing to outside parties, and perhaps foul play. Let us keep cool and allow the law take its course, and to that end we refrain, for the present, from publishing any of the circumstances that led up to the sad death.

The funeral will probably occur Thursday, but no details have yet been arranged.

The unfortunate mother of the dead girl has the deep sympathy of the entire community and bears up under this terrible affliction much better than was feared.

The following are the jurors summoned for the inquest: A. G. MAAS, David FREER, M. B. PARKER, Alex ANDERSON, Henry COLE, J. A. VAN SLYKE.

(Capitalization of last names was done by me)
~ Skip

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wisdom Wednesday - Pay It Forward

Even those of us in the Genealogy Community who are amateurs have developed skills as researchers. Most of us enjoy what we do and are passionate about our "hobby". Regardless if you are a pro or an amateur, I encourage you to take the skills you've learned and use them to pay it forward. Do look-ups for people, or volunteer to do indexing, or help out at your local historical or genealogy society. Help newbies learn the tricks of the trade so they can share the joy you've known at discovering long lost cousins. Help make the world a better place by using your skills to bring peace and closure to others. Volunteer with groups such as Unclaimed Persons who help coroners find the next of kin of people who have passed away with no family by their side or with Families For Forgotten Heroes who find the next of kin of Unclaimed Veterans. The gift of volunteering your time will improve your research skills, will allow you to make new friends in the genealogy community, and you will be making the world a better place by allowing a family to finally know what has happened to their missing loved ones. Help protect our right to access vital records by becoming a member of Occupy Genealogy. There are many ways in life to pay forward the skills we have honed. I promise, you will never regret your efforts to go out there and be an ambassador of good will while you represent the Genealogy Community!
~ Skip

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Travel Tuesday - My Trip To Germany

I had a distant cousin named David Anacker. He was the nicest man! He loved his family so much and had one of the biggest hearts on the planet earth!!! Twice, he honored me with a trip to Seattle, WA to attend the Anacker family reunion. The second reunion was not only for the Anacker family, but for anyone who’s family roots traced back to Breitungen, Germany. (Formerly the 3 towns of Herrenbreitungen, Altenbreitungen and Frauenbreitungen). He was my co-conspirator to have distant cousins who did not know each other, meet for the first time at that reunion. The Anacker family knows how to throw a reunion and we all had a blast!!!!

We announced at that reunion that the next time we held a reunion for the Decedents of Breitungen families, it would be held in Breitungen at the 1075th anniversary celebration of that community. Yes, 1075! We here in America do not have the sense of roots that our German cousins have, who have lived in their communities for countless generations. I was excited about the reunion in Germany, but knew I would not be attending, because I could never afford such a trip. David promised my cousin, Jeanne Eberlein-Burmeister and I that we would be going to the reunion in Germany, he was going to make sure that we got there.

A few years later David was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Many of us were saddened at the thought of losing David. He was so looking forward to all of us going to Germany the next year, and now, it appeared he would not be going. It is so hard to live many states away from someone when you know it is time to say good-bye to them, and you have no way of seeing them again.

While all of this was going on, I bought a raffle ticket to for a fund-raiser at a local private school in our area. My boss’s kids go to that school and every year, I would buy a ticket. Money was a bit tight that year, so instead of using my “mad” money, I wrote a check for it out of my husband’s and mine household account.

A month after we learned of David’s diagnosis of cancer, he passed away. You could tell how much he was loved, because there were many of us who were deeply saddened to hear of his passing. He touched so many lives. My heart ached for his kids, who adored their father.

The day after David passed away, the school I bought the raffle ticket from held their fundraiser. To my delight, I won a $2500 travel voucher from Bursch Travel here in Brainerd. I now had to tell my hubby I spent $100 on a ticket, because I won. He was thrilled I won. I told him being as I spent his money, I thought we should use it and go on a dream trip, like the Daytona 500 or the Indy 500. I’m married to the sweetest man on earth, and with tears flowing down his cheeks, he looked at me and said our dream trip could wait, because I have a bigger dream. He said David promised me I would go to the reunion in Germany, and my hubby felt that David just made sure it would happen!!

Going to Germany is one of the most amazing experiences of my life. It was a very happy time to be there. I took David’s picture with me everywhere I went, so in a way, he could be on the trip with us. We went to church on Sunday, and I fought back the tears the whole time we were in church. To sit in the pews that my ancestors have sat in for over 400 years was a very emotional experience. I don’t speak German, and didn’t understand a word of the sermon, but it didn’t matter. I felt like I belonged there. I felt an empty place in my heart suddenly fill up with joy. I felt I belonged, and that I had finally come home.

R.I.P David. I miss you very much! I will never forget you and I’ll never forget our trip to Germany. Thank-you for sending me there.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Amanuensis Monday - George Eberlein - Vicksburg June 18, 1863

One of our family treasures is a set of letters written in German. We had a few of them translated. This one is from George Eberlein. Georg Eberlein was the brother of my gr. gr. grandmother, Anna Dorothea Lottine Eberlein Katzung. I have shared some of these letters here: The Olive Tree Genealogy - Past Voices
~ Skip
P.S. Most of the members of the family spell Anaker as Anacker

June 18, 1863

Dear Parents,

As I am still alive and with a little time on my hands, I take a pen to write you some news. Yesterday we had a little bit of fun with the rebels as our people dug themselves into their bigger forts and filled them with powder. Yesterday we opened fire at 4 p.m. and waited until all the rebels came into their fort and then we tried to blow up the fort, one after the other. Twice we were repelled but the 3rd time we succeeded and planted our canons there right a way.

Dear parents, many lives were lost, even though it did not look too terrible when we blew up the fort. One could see the rebels flying in the air and what was not shattered was burned. And in the coming days more shall be blown-up. I don't know yet how many death and injured we have. I am satisfied that with God's help I got out of it unharmed. The rebels should give up soon or they will all be blown to hell. They left Fort Heindson with 1300 prisoners but they will have to give them up soon as well.

A person gets 1 pound of cornmeal for 3 days and a handful of beans, nothing else. That's why they will have to give up, they won't be able to make it long. We get as much as we can eat, ham and meat, beans, rice, sugar, and cheese, more than we can eat and enough crackers and flour. Only beer and brandy is not available. I have not heard from my brother Ferdinand yet and so far I have not gotten anything from you.

Please answer me soon and send me some news. All the best to all of you. Greetings to Georg Anaker and please tell him to write me a letter, and say hello to all our friends from me.

My address Georg Eberlein
Co. K.
29th Regt Wis Vols
1. Br.
Gen. Hovigs Division
13th Army Corps

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Purple Irises

Many years ago, when my Great Grandma, Mamie Helen Hubbard Carrier, passed away the family had a gravesite service in Princeton, MN. She had lived in a Nursing Home by St. Cloud for a long time, and had outlived most of her friends. Just about everyone there was related to her or her deceased husband.

There was an elderly lady there and none of the family knew her. When the service was over, the lady asked us to walk her to her car. In her car, she had several purple iris plants. She told us that when she was a young bride, her and her husband moved into the house next door to Mamie and Elmer Carrier in North Minneapolis. My Great Grandma dug up purple irises from her garden and gave them to this lady as a house warming gift. They lady still lived in that house and had grown those pretty purple flowers all these years! When she heard Mamie passed away, she dug up several of those flowers to give to family members as a memorial. What a sweet way to share a part of Mamie with all of us!

The story could have ended there and it would have been a really cool story. Fast forward to several years later, and I'm now into genealogy. Every year, I took my father in law to several cemeteries so we could put flowers and flags on the graves of his wife's family and the graves of his friends. One year, I decided to take a trip of my own and took a trip to Princeton to see if I could find the cemetery and the graves of Elmer and Mamie, and the grave of my Grandpa's sister, Phyllis, and her husband. The cemetery was easy to find, it's right off of Highway 169. I drove right to it! It is a nice cemetery and it's very well maintained. They have tarred all the little roads between the rows of graves and named each little road. They put up regular street signs at the ends of each road.

It was a real goose bump moment when to my delight, I discovered my Great Grandma is buried on Iris Lane!! All the roads in the cemetery have been named after flowers. No-one who is in charge of the cemetery knew the story of the lady who brought the purple irises to Mamie's funeral. Just seems to me that Mamie made sure to put the thought into someone's head to name her road after the comforting thought of a friendship that endured over many years and many miles. Each time I return to that cemetery, the "Iris Lane" sign brings a smile to my face and a warm glow to my heart. RIP Mamie, we've never forgotten you!

~ Skip

The Learning Curve Has Begun!

Thank goodness this choice as a venue for blogging has lots of templates to choose from! No need to know HTML and things technical. It's been a click and explore experience, not real frustrating, and my new blog has been born!

The first thing I noticed is that depending on what templates a person chooses, with various layouts and color schemes, some choices are too busy and distracting, and other choices, due to the color, will rip your eyes right out of your head or the pages are hard to read. Guess I never made the observation before of what I like about certain webpages and blogs, but now that I've thought about it and played with it, how pleasing it is to the eyes is very important! I think the K.I.S.S. method will be very important in this venture!

~ Skip

Testing 1, 2, 3, 4 Testing!

Well, here it is... my very first blog post. Times are changing and it's time for this Grandma to catch up. I haven't a clue as to what I'm doing, I'm learning as I click around.

As soon as I get it all figured out, it will be time to actually compose something. Thanks for stopping by!

~ Skip