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Monday, April 15, 2013

Do you know what your ancestral home looks like ?


     When you do research on all your families as you crawl back in time, do you wanderlust about the places they lived in? Of course, as we go further back, our wish list of "travel ancestral home visits" gets bigger!

    Last spring, I had a client and she was traveling to her ancestral village to solve more mysteries. She asked me where my family lived in Abauj- Torna. I mentioned that they were 1/2 mile from the border of Slovakia. One day, I opened my mail, lo and behold, there were pictures of my ancestral village, Jablonca ! And not only of Jablonca but my Grandfather's family ancestral homestead in Hungary ! Still standing and obviously, in beautiful condition and surroundings.  Thank you, Cathy!

  In Hungarian records research, house numbers are noted quite frequently in church and census records so I knew that my Nagy family lived in Jablonca No. 9 [3]  for many generations. Eventually, the only remaining child that lived on, with descendants, immigrated to America and a paternal Aunt lived on at No. 9 Jablonca.

Jablonca 9,by Cathy

Here is my family from Jablonca No. 9: 

István NAGY  Born 15 Jan 1842  Jablonca, Abauj, Hungary  [1]
Christened 16 Jan 1842 Jablonca, Abauj, Hungary   [2] 
married Susanna SEBÖ,  ( b. 16 Jan 1838, Jablonca, Abauj, Hungary ) They married on 15 Apr 1863 in
Jablonca, Abauj, Hungary  [2] (witnesses at their wedding: Pal Zeman & Istvan Lorintz)
Children: 
1. István NAGY,   b. 25 May 1864, Jablonca, Abauj, Hungary, d. 25 Sep 1864, Jablonca, Abauj, Hungary
2. István NAGY,   b. 1 Nov 1865, Jablonca, Abauj, Hungary,   d. 10 Feb 1875, Jablonca, Abauj, Hungary
3. Lajos NAGY,   b. 3 Feb 1869, Jablonca, Abauj, Hungary,   d. 19 Jun 1896, Jablonca, Abauj, Hungary
4. Maria NAGY,   b. 13 Oct 1871, Jablonca, Abauj, Hungary, d. 23 Aug 1873, Jablonca, Abauj, Hungary
5. Joseph NAGY,   b. 19 Jul 1874, Jablonca, Abauj, Hungary,   d. 18 Aug 1953, Toledo, Wood, Ohio,
6. István NAGY,   b. 3 Feb 1877, Jablonca, Abauj, Hungary,   d. 3 Feb 1877, Jablonca, Abauj, Hungary
7. Maria NAGY,   b. 3 Feb 1877, Jablonca, Abauj, Hungary,   d. 5 Feb 1877, Jablonca, Abauj, Hungary

4Jablonca from Cathy.JPG.crdownload

1) Church Records: Jablonca, Abauj-Torna,Hungary, Magyarországi Református Egyház, (Microfilm ,Genealogical Society of Utah), FHL 1924854., Rec# 2.

2)Church Records: Jablonca, Abauj-Torna,Hungary, Magyarországi Református Egyház, (Microfilm ,Genealogical Society of Utah), FHL 1924854., Other Entries.

3)Népszámlálás 1869 (Hungarian 1869 Census) .Author: Magyar Statisztikai Hivatal .(Manuscript/Manuscript on Film,Salt Lake City, Utah.Genealogical Society of Utah, 1998-1999)







Sunday, April 7, 2013

Zen & the Art of Genealogical Maintenance

zen

Apply to your genealogical matters :

"You look at where you're going and where you are and it never makes sense, but then you look back at where you've been and a pattern seems to emerge".

"The pencil is mightier than the pen.”

“For every fact there is an infinity of hypotheses. ”

“The test of the machine is the satisfaction it gives you. There isn't any other test. If the machine produces tranquility it's right. If it disturbs you it's wrong until either the machine or your mind is changed.”

Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values

How many years have you been doing genealogy? What do you have to show for all your hard research, encased in your gedcoms programs on your computers or bundled in file boxes of notebooks and if you found time, you patiently printed out pages of your work. This is not an article about genealogical organization; there are plenty of them out there.  I was recently inspired by Valerie Elkins Brown when ROOTSTECH 2013  live-streamed  her " gen-organization "  talk. Her motto was to give yourself a break and do it your way.

Three things that strikes me these days when I look at my genealogical life  :

1 ) Less is more

2 ) Don't be a genealogical hoarder

3)  Keep it simple.

I have been doing it various ways, for many years, rotating different methods through desktop genealogy software. Life got too busy and there are more challenges in getting the research out there which became more stressful.Then I read this inspiring article written by Lianne LaVoie of "Stories of a Canadian Family" : http://www.wikitree.com/blog/using-wikitree-to-organize-your-genealogy/

Like Lianne, I use Wikitree all the time. I research with one tab open and make a profile in the other tab in WikiTree. Sometimes I categorize the profiles by locations. Sometimes I edit, write some biography or post a follow-through on the sources  I have accessed. WikiTree is a great genealogy cloud if your hardware at home fails. I am not big on uploading gedcoms to public trees so I enter my findings one-by-one manually as I work along which helps me analyze my research deeper. It's extremely convenient to access wherever I am located. It works great on my Kindle Fire when I am traveling.There are many " widgets " to view your input. I like the privacy settings, the geocoding for locations and the printing capabilities. I can also upload images of documentation ( like a free cloud ). I did not mention the side benefit of other family collaborators that found me on WikiTree.

 My core work is still lodged into my computer software and I always have my spreadsheets but it's very liberating to use WikiTree as I can see my work gets out there. I am not going to say anymore on how WikiTree can help you but it's working for me. You can become a guest at www.wikitree.com to see if the wiki way works for you and then, join, for free.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Military Monday : Adam Upperman of Philadelphia, a Hessian Soldier who became a Patriot.


       Adam Upperman ( Opperman ) is listed among the Hessians who signed the Oath of Allegiance in the State of Pennsylvania between 1777 and 1789. This list was taken from the book by Thompson Westcott, “Names of Persons Who Took the Oath of Allegiance to the State of Pennsylvania between the Years 1777 and 1789, with A History of the “Test Laws” of Pennsylvania.”3

The Hessian soldiers were mercenary soldiers that were employed by the English to fight for the British's goal of squashing the spirit of American independence. They were hired in units, not as individuals and deployed by their princes in Germany. They received wages, but the prince of their respective states received most of the funds; Britain found it easier to borrow money to pay for their service than to recruit its own soldiers 7

A mercenary soldier usually have no ties to any country. Wikipedia defines them as " soldier who fights, or engages in warfare primarily for private gain, usually with little regard for ideological, national or political considerations. However, when the term is used to refer to a soldier in a regular national army, it is usually considered an insult, epithet or pejorative."  A response from a moderator5  on the genealogy mailing list at roots web ( AMREV-HESSIANS-L) said that the term as used in the Declaration of Independence, WAS USED AS AN INSULT. It did not correctly name these soldiers, and it was because of this insult that some families hid their Hessian ancestors
After the war ended in 1783, 17,313 Hessians returned to their homelands with about 5000 remaining in America.

Adam Opperman , born in 1757 in Hachborn, Hesse-Kassel,Germany, did not go back. Four years previously, he served in the Hesse-Kassel Jäger Corps and while marching through with his troop through New Jersey, he fled and deserted them. He married an American girl, pledge allegiance to the State of Pennsylvania and became a Patriot.
A "Patriot" was someone in the Colonies who fought for our independence from the King of England. (There is an addition to this, which was a person who assisted in some other way can also be considered a patriot.) Taken from Hessians who signed the Oath of Allegiance in the State of Pennsylvania 1

Pg. 77
Aug. 6, 1782
Francis Otto, deserted the Brittish Service about 4 years, a Hessian; by trade a book-binder.
Johannes Parkmann, deserted the Brittish Service & Hessian Line about one year; by trade a tanner & currier.
Johann Bishop, deserted the Brittish Service & Hessian Line about one year; by trade a Shoemaker.
Adam Opperman, deserted the enemy & Hessian line about 4 years; by trade a Weaver.
William Garman (his mark), a Hessian deserter from New York; Labourer.
 
Merz, Johannes Helmut. Guide to help you find your Hessian soldier of the American revolution [Hamilton, Ont. : J.H. Merz, 2001]
 

His surname was Americanized to " Upperman" shortly after he swore allegiance to Pennsylvania in 1782.
  1. http://freepages.military.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~bonsteinandgilpin/oath.htm
  2. http://www.staatsarchiv-marburg.hessen.de/irj/HStAM_Internet
  3. Thompson Westcott, “Names of Persons Who Took the Oath of Allegiance to the State of Pennsylvania between the Years 1777 and 1789, with A History of the “Test Laws” of Pennsylvania.”.
  4. Merz, Johannes Helmut. Guide to help you find your Hessian soldier of the American revolution [Hamilton, Ont. : J.H. Merz, 2001]
  5. Nelda Percival is the web moderator of  the AMREV-HESSIAN MAILING LIST WEBSITE.
  6. Merz,Johannes Helmut Deserters of the Hesse-Kassel Fields- Jaeger Corps, in Hessian Guide:Hessians remaining in America [Johannes Helmut Merz, 72 , 2005, Secondary quality].
  7. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hessian_(soldiers)

Monday, March 4, 2013

Military Monday: Private William Doll

NewYorkCivilWarMusterRollAbstracts1863WilliamDoll
Source: New York, Civil War Muster Roll Abstracts.1

       William Doll was born on 15 January 1841, and baptized at St. Louis Church at 35 Edward Street in Buffalo, New York . His godparents were Joseph Fougeron ( his maternal Uncle ) and Mary Ann Fougeron. He was the first child of Michael Doll, a grocer from Baden, and his wife, Mary Francoise Fougeron .2  They lived in the Black Rock section of Buffalo by 1850 and then moved to Washington Street. His parents, and a little sister named Hattie Doll, were deceased by the cholera epidemic by 1857.2,4

      William worked as a butcher in Buffalo, most likely at his maternal Uncle's grocer on 127 Niagara Street, Buffalo. His physical description was described as black hair, black eyes, dark complexion and he was 5 feet, 8 3/4 inches in height when he enlisted.
Doll,Williamb.1841_Bull_Run_2_moreSource:Town Clerks' Registers of Men Who Served in the Civil War

      William Doll enlisted on the 9 MAY 1861 in Elmira, Chemung, New York. He was with the B 21st Infantry 3.

      Private William Doll fought at Rappahannock Crossing, Cross Keys, Cedar Mountains, Fords of the Rappahannock, Sulphur Springs  and Groveton . At the age of 21 years old, he was killed in action at the  "Second Bull Run" on 30 August 1862. 3,

       His burial location is cited as being buried at the site of battle, according to this record here :

Doll,Willian b. 1841_Bull_Run_2

 Unless further research proves differently, he was buried at the Monument of Unknown Soldiers in Arlington, Virginia  :http://www.arlingtoncemetery.mil/visitorinformation/MonumentMemorials/CivilWar.aspx

UPDATE : In looking for him in the Soldiers and Sailors Database,  he is definitely in the index but under the wrong spelling for his surname.



  1. .Civil War Muster Roll Abstracts of New York State Volunteers, United States Sharpshooters, and United States Colored Troops [ca. 1861-1900].(microfilm, 1185 rolls). Albany, New York: New York State Archives.
  2. St. Louis Church Records (Church Rectory,1985 ).Baptisms.Buffalo,New York.
  3. Town Clerks' Registers of Men Who Served in the Civil War,[ ca 1865–1867] (microfilm , 37 rolls). New York State Archives. Albany, New York.
  4. 1850 United States Federal Census . Buffalo Ward 4, Erie, New York;(Images, Roll: M432_502); Page: 350A