Saturday, November 8, 2014

Learn a Little, Learn a Lot

My paternal grandparents DeWayne and Lydia Burke were both teachers and my mother was a teacher and they all taught me that you never stop learning. I have been trying to add more knowledge to the old brain these days by listening to some fantastic podcasts. I love this way of learning. I just turn one on while I am driving or cleaning and BAM! learn something. To be honest, I don't do a lot of cleaning if I can help it as I would rather be researching something so it's mostly while I am driving or playing solitaire.

My three favorite ones right now are Lisa Luise Cooke's Genealogy Gems PodcastFamily Tree Podcast, and The Genealogy Professional Podcast. All three offer different perspectives and always something I didn't know and can use in my research. I know there are more out there and I have not tried them all but might one day. I would love to hear of other amazing podcasts that might be your favorites.

Here is a photo of my grandparents with my dad as a small child back in the late 1930's. My grandfather taught high school American history and my grandmother taught special education in Bellevue Ohio.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Weddings in the past and a wedding in the future

My beautiful daughter will be getting married to an amazing young man next month and with all the wedding hoopla going on I have been pushing my genealogy research to the side. I did manage today to add more documents to the binder and log so at least some progress is happening.

Back to the wedding. While thinking about the upcoming nuptials I thought I might post some photos from our family with newlyweds from the past. Now I do not know who these two couples are but they are from somewhere on my fathers side of the family. This means a bit more digging.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Sorting Saturday - the organization changes and continues

As much as I loved my new excel organizing chart it was beginning to be to cumbersome. Two many ancestors which created too many pages since each one had their very own page. Now I am not an expert at excel by any stretch of the imagination but when I think excel should do something I find a way to learn to do it and I did. I made a new chart and I love it. I just hope I don't find anything better.

My original setup was the same page for each ancestor and it looked like this only bigger and with more pages:

My new form is all in one and is much easier to work with. I give each document a code with a letter and number and that is how it is filed in a binder and if it is in the computer that code is attached as well. This helps in not duplicating documents as it seems I have the same ones saved over and over again. Go figure. I did not print out the very first column which has names and spouses listed.

Friday, August 1, 2014

The more I find the less I know

My number six ancestor to be filed neatly away in my new handy dandy organizational system is young Calvin's father John. John Burk is my brick wall, or should I say one of my brick walls. But really the one that causes me the most grief. It seems the more information I find on him the less I know or the more questions I have. There was a prompt on another blog asking who in history would you like to have dinner with and my answer was John Burk just to ask who his parents and grandparents were and where they came from so I could move on in this research.

John was born in Crawford, Ohio in 1833 when they did not keep birth records. I know this because his brother in law was kind enough to write a family history down with birth and death dates and his 2 times grand daughter was kind enough to share it with me. I also have a handwritten note with the same dates from someone in my grandfathers family. Sadly, these notes do not include his parents names.

John married Ellen Percey Hill from Jackson, Hancock, Ohio on April 4, 1863 and they had three boys, Calvin, William and Elroy (who died before his first birthday). The Burk family lived in Bath, Green Co., Ohio in 1870 and one year later Ellen died in Hancock Co. Ohio soon to be followed by John in 1872. The boys, Calvin and William were put under guardianship of their uncle, Ellen's brother Edward.

At one point in John's life he knew a man names JW Burns who transferred a patent over to John in 1870. This man lived in Medway, Ohio not far from Bath. Which raises questions of what did John do for a living? Did he work for this JW Burns? Were they related? Why did he get that patent and what was he going to do with it? As interesting as all this is it does not answer the question of who his parents are and where did they come from. The search continues!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday

My files are slowing but surely getting in the binder and being checked off on the individuals list. The organization continues.

Total so far?

 A big ol' FIVE! That's right, five. That's progress anyway. It is great to find some blogs on genealogy organization like Organize Your Family History to get some ideas and insights.

My number five is my second great grandfather Calvin Burke. What a childhood he and his younger brother must have endured with his parents both dying when he was young and his guardian not around by the time he was fourteen. Calvin was  born on August 23, 1866 to John and Ellen Burk (notice no "e" at the end) in Hancock, Co. Ohio. Finding that "e" will be another hunt altogether.

At the age of 4, he and his younger brother William are found with their parents in Bath, Ohio. It is here that a third brother, Elroy was born and soon after died. He and his family soon relocated back to Hancock County where his parents died a few months apart in 1871 and 1872. His mothers brother Edward Hill became their guardian in 1872 but by 1880 Calvin is found in a boarding home working on a farm in the area with no sign of his younger brother William.

Seven years later in 1887 Calvin married Grace Estelle Curtiss of Grafton, Ohio and they had two children, Hazel Edna Burke and Cecil Lynn Burke, my great grandfather. I am not sure how life was for this little family but in November of 1893 Calvin died of consumption ending his short life at age 27.

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Organization Chore

Most genealogists have a plethora of evidence lying about in their work space or just around the house, or all over the house. I can at least say mine is all over my computer in various files or in a big file box. I think I can find what I am looking for if I try but it will take some time.

So this month I am embarking on organizing my piles of evidence and connecting them with the correct person while learning some new computer and excel tricks. Wish me luck!

I have listened to three lectures on organization and can say that two have given me some great ideas on how to link up the computer data to my ancestors as well as all the paper proof I have stored in my files using an excel sheet. Will I accomplish this monumental task? That remains to be seen but I think if I plan on a few people a day and I don't procrastinate (like writing a blog post instead or organizing) I just might get it done.

Who knows what I may find while plowing through all the stuff I have saved on my computer. I might find the proof I need to connect Anson Preston with his father Jacob Preston or at least have a lead to go snooping further. Would that fall under procrastination?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

Handmade spinning wheel by my great grandfather Paul Florentz in WV. One of the many wood carved pieces he created.