25 May 2012

Funeral Card Friday: Uncle Bill

I only had one uncle growing up, Uncle Bill. I remember when I saw him at my wedding to my husband Steve in 2004. He was happy at the age of 88 to be able to come to my wedding and help us celebrate. I can recall making the rounds to our guests and arriving at his table to thank him for attending our joyful day. He told me that he was pleased to have come but that it was probably going to be the last time he saw me alive. Little did I realize how correct he was because I didn't ever see him after that. Time and life's happenings got in the way of me visiting him.

I attended his funeral and picked up the card as a tangible remembrance of his life. I always kept this card in a special book that I read daily, mostly because of the serene picture on the front side. Now as I reread the verse it seems to take on new meaning again. In fact it gives me "Strength". Read the words. Life, destination, journey, unexpected, turning point, mountaintops, valleys. Each one separate unto itself and yet all can be summed up in the final sentence of the sentiment. Thank you Uncle Bill for being part of my life then and now.
Until our next genealogical appointment…

17 May 2012

Genealogy TV

If you haven't noticed I am still not on track with a set date. Should I worry about this? There is that German perfectionist side of me that says yes you better. After all what is an appointment but a meeting involving a set time and place, more than likely in the future. And then again there is that American jump out of the box side of me that says whenever we meet it is an appointment. So bring on the past, live in the present and prepare the future for your descendants. Work your genealogy today.

With all of that said have you seen that my blog is now listed on the Geneabloggers site? Type Genealogical Appointments into the search and there we are. I feel just that little one or two liner gives me the motivation to move on and blog more. Share my blog with your friends as it inspires me to write more. Tell me what you want to see or not see for that matter. The largest problem I see is having the time. Time is wasted on the youth. Did you know that? When one is young you have forever. When you get old you are doing the catch up dance. But I do have to say that in watching the recent edition of Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. finding your roots and seeing Margaret Cooper at age 98 working strong on her genealogy energized me to write today.
I have seen that the buzz around the internet today is that "Who Do You Think You Are" will not have another season after this one is finished. Sad for many of us who have enjoyed watching it but please remember that  there is the Dr. Gates show on PBS and also TheGenerations Project on BYU TV. So we aren't being left high and dry so to speak.
And so as with any new project, this one included I am still in the groping stage of it. Not exactly having any format or plan. So please hang in there with me on it. I promise I will get better as I travel along the path of my genealogical appointments.

09 May 2012

The Acorn

Does the acorn really fall far from the tree when it drops? How often do we reflect on that thought in our genealogy? All of those years ago when I started to work my genealogy I did some of the things that all of the people have said to do in the beginning.

ü work with yourself and then backwards
ü interview your family members
My semi-timeline might begin on the day I was born and the musical area of my life no doubt began with my first vocal cry. At the age of seven my parents purchased an organ that they (Santa) gave me for Christmas. The onset of lessons began soon after the holiday and continued into my young adult years. In between we added an extensive vocal period. A highly disciplined madrigal group and a much rewarding Lutheran folk service group complete with guitars. Such was life in the 70's. No I don't play much anymore but I do sing whenever I can.
Questions to Molly (1st cousin one time removed) began soon after I started this never ending path to connect with my ancestors. Molly is my grandfather's niece. Seek and you shall find, knock and the door will open, ask and it shall be given. What can you tell me about our family I soon asked. Among so many different tales she shared, the one that reminded me that this acorn didn't roll to far from the root of the tree was when I read in one of her first letters to me about my 3rd great grandfather, "Christian SPRECKELSEN, a musician who played at Weddings, Funerals etc…". How awesome is that? The musician of the town in the "old country". I don't know of any musicians in between him and I. Funny how life talents can skip some generations. Now if that wasn't enough of a twist of fate where does this next one sit on the tree?
I found a local FamilyHistory Library (FHL) and had early on in my research decided to spend my days off from my ten to six job there, sitting in front of one of those massive machines, dubbed microfilm reader. You see back then there was very little on the internet, let alone software programs. If you wanted to see a census record you had to actually get dressed, drive on down to the stake (or any other facility that held the record), thread it on the machine, wind and wind till you found your family and then hand write all of the information down on good old fashioned paper. Well on one of the blessed days on the hunt for my 2nd great grandfather, Jacob KIEFFER, there I sat. I only knew his name because it was written in my baby book but not too much more. I did know that they were someplace in massive New York City. Finally after hours of spinning, there at the end of my session was Jacob in the 1850 New York census.
1850 New York State Census*
He had a wife and 2 daughters and his occupation was stated as a "Turner". Fast forward and we have another one of those acorn rolling moments. Ask me what my husband does for a living? Well he is a woodturner of all things. (You can read all about his work in the other blog I write, The WoodArt Studio). Furthermore what did he do before he transitioned to woodturning? He was a musical instrument technician. Yes there is that music connection happening again.

So some might call these coincidences in life where as I have dubbed them genealogical appointments. It is times like these that drive me to research more. To have more new day appointments with my family passed. With that in mind for today I thank you for joining me in yet another of my numerous genealogical appointments.
* Source Citation "United States Census, 1850," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/MCT8-SMQ : accessed 9 May 2012), Jacob Keifer in household of Jacob Keifer, New York City, ward 8, New York, New York, United States.