Thursday, March 5, 2009

Genealogy Message Boards & Connections

The power of genealogy message boards is unbelievable.
What you might not know..Read below.
1) Messages posted to a message board stay on the server as long as that server is in existence. Case in point I started doing my own research back in 1999. Every message I ever posted is still right there for the world to see ten years later.
2) One of the most important things about using a message board is to have a current email address. What do I mean by this? I know with the way the internet has changed over the years people change internet providers frequently. Maybe you upgraded to high speed and gave up your old email address. This can be a big mistake. Let me explain why.....
You posted a message trying to find a connection to your elusive KLEIN ancestor. You didn't have much info at the time except for a name, date of birth and a place of birth that your grandmother KLEIN had written down in a journal about her favorite aunt. Sometimes that's all the info anyone can hope to have. It's not a lot but it is something you can work with. Mind you KLEIN is probably one of the hardest surnames to have to work with. I know this first hand.
What with the spelling variations and the number of immigrates to enter the US in the 1800's with this name.
BUT 3 years after you posted that message along comes a second cousin once removed and she has her great grandma Klein's family bible. This cousin is trolling the message boards on Ancestry or Rootsweb and she comes across your message. She starts to tremble a little as she reads your info. Finally, after a couple of years of research on Ancestry she has found what she believes is one of her great grandma's relatives.
Quickly she looks at the date of the message. She then clicks on your username and hits send email to user and sends a quickly typed message telling you of the family connection. Woo Hoo Yea!! She is doing the happy dance.
Guess what happens when she refreshes her email program? The email she has sent off with such high hopes comes bouncing back from your old email address. No account found for that username.
This is why it is so important to keep your active email account. If you must change your email account go back to those messages that you posted and reply to it and leave a new email address in the reply. Ancestry and Rootsweb shows you in your account profile messages you have posted and replied to. If you can't find that simply do a search on your old email address.
I have had the same email address for over ten years and everyone once in awhile I do go back to old messages I've posted and update my info.
Two weeks ago I made a major connection because of a message I replied to over a year ago. But at that time I did not have some critical information to make a connection. More to come in my next post.
LaFleur laFleur Loffler Braun Connections made through the Ancestry message board.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Deihl and Klein Genealogy

When I first started my own genealogy research I really didn't know what I was looking to find.  By that point both of my parents and all of my grandparents had already past away. Like most people I never took the time to ask many questions. I was only 22 when my maternal grandmother Katherine KLEIN passed away. But for some reason thirteen year before I even knew what the Internet was, when my nanny, as we called her was getting very ill and we knew that she wouldn't be with us much longer I asked her for her parents names and my grandfather's parents names.

On a piece of notebook pad written in green ink that I still have,  I had written Luis Klein and Olga Dihl as my grandmother's parents. I can remember still to this day that I had asked her about the spelling of the names. She was very clear about the way her maiden name was spelt because all of her life people had been spelling it KLIEN instead of KLEIN. She would also have this problem with her married name STRETZ. The number of ways that people would spell STRETZ was unbelievable. I can attest to this even now as I do my genealogy research on my STRETZ lineage. The name has been mangled from the very first records I can find on my grandfathers family. There are records that I can not find and I know it is because of the spelling.

I feel like I have been very lucky in my genealogy research. I have hundreds if not thousands of documents on the 596 people that are currently in my family tree. There are many more names to be added to my tree but I haven't had the time. Or as I do my research I wander from family to family as I find more documents so the list is ever growing. All of my research has been in the US. I've yet to take that giant leap across the ocean but one day I will.


If you've been researching for very long you may know how hard it sometimes can be to find out the town or village that your ancestor immigrated from. All of my people immigrated from Germany. Up until last year I thought that all of my ancestors immigrated from Germany. I recently found out that my paternal Great Grandmother is from France. I haven't found the documents yet to either prove or disapprove this.


Now back to my Deihl family. My grandmothers grandfather was Carl Deihl. His father was Karl August Deihl. This information I stumbled across when Ancestry added the passport records last year. In this one document I found out my 3rd great grandfathers name and the town he was from in Germany.

Kaiserslantern, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany The spelling may be off because I had a hard time finding anything out about this town.

Carl Deihl was also know as Charles Diehl. The spelling changes with each document I have. I also learned that he lived in Connecticut before moving to Queens New York.

I have not been able to find any passenger lists for the family. Carl and his wife Catherine along with 5 of their children immigrated in 1892.

If you have ever come across this family in any of your research please contact me or leave a comment here on this blog post.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Genealogy 101

If your new to Genealogy research and feeling a bit overwhelmed thinking that your new hobby is going to be an expensive one let me reassure you that there is a lot of free info out there.

With any hobby there is going to be some expense but before you start thinking that this is one hobby that is going to be too expensive for you and you give up before you've ever begun because you think your going to have to join Ancestry because it is the one site out there that can help you fill out your family tree. Ancestry does have millions of records but that doesn't mean that you have to join as soon you start doing your research.


To begin with the only thing you need to start your family research is a spiral notebook and a pen. Simply start by writing down all of your family members names. Start with your parents and work your way backwards. If your lucky your parents or grandparents are still alive and you can get the correct names, places of birth, dates of birth and deaths for as many ancestors as possible.

When I started my research both my parents and all of my grandparents had already passed away. All I had was a piece of paper with both my grandparents names and both  sets of their parents names.

Just gathering the information from your living relatives could takes months. And all you would have spent was possibly a few dollars in postage stamps or some long distance phone calls. You certainly didn't need any subscription to any website for this research. But maybe you are anxious to get started and feel that you already have enough info to get started. There are a few free website's you can start with.


RootsWeb has lots of free info listed on the site.  You can even search the info with out joining the site.This site is now owned by Ancestry but the info listed is still free. Go check it out so you can see what I mean.

Search the World Connect Family Trees and see if anyone has been researching your family name. You may even find a cousin or two.

USE Caution before you start adding any information you find on a family tree on the Internet. You must verify the info before you add it to your own tree. There are many family trees out there that have errors. You do not want to add the wrong info to your own family tree.


The USGenWeb Project has a website for for almost every single county in the US. The information varies with each state and county website. These site are all volunteer generated info.


I've given you a few places to start on your genealogy adventure. See what you can find for free.

Thanks for stopping by!






Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year


Another year is upon us. What genealogy goals do you have for 2009? I'll share mine with you today. But first a little background.

My second great grandfather Jacob FLANDERS was born in Prussia about 1835 and died in Manhattan, New York in 1899. His wife Pauline JACOBSEN was born July 1836 in Prussia and died 6 May 1922 in Queens, New York. They had four children. Three of them were born in England. My great grandmother Henrietta was born in Manhattan.

In 1874 they immigrated from England to New York City on the ship Holland. I have many documents. I have death certificates on Jacob and Paulina. I have the passenger list from the ship. I also have many documents on their four children.

Periodically I would go back to research them as all genealogists do when they come to a point in their research when there is a lull. I knew they were from Germany and I can't tell you how many times I tried to find info on the FLANDERS surname in Germany. Their name had been butchered over the years. On the passenger list it was what I thought was FLALUA. On the 1880 census records it was FLAMDA. Jacob died in 1899 and Pauline moved in with her daughter Henrietta and her husband Max STRETZ. She lived with them until her death in 1922.

My grandmother had told me an interesting story about my grandfather when I was young. She told me that my grandfather was Jewish but apparently hid the fact, for whatever reason. The reason could very well have been that my grandmother was a Lutheran. The only reason she said they found out he was Jewish was because when his mother Henrietta was dying the family sent for a Rabbi instead of a Priest. I'm sure it caused a very big stir in the family back then in 1948.

I sometimes wonder now if the religious confusion of a half Jewish half Lutheran family is why I grew up without any religion. I remember going to a church when I was young. And I also was allowed to go to any church any of my friends went to. My mother believed I should form my own opinion and go from there. I don't think I formed my own opinion. I think I was confused and that is probably why now as an adult I don't claim any religion as my own.


So based on this family lore I recently decided to move along my research on the FLANDERS line. I had joined JewishGen around 2005 or so and have over the years gone to the website and tried to find my FLANDERS family without any success.

At the end of November I went back to the JewishGen site and joined The German Jewish Special Interest Group . It was the best thing I ever did as far as researching my FLANDERS line.

I received a wealth of information from the members of the group. They gave me info that has my mind spinning.

A few of the members helped me with the FLANDERS name. I had wondered over the years if the name had been changed when they came to the United States.

They pointed out to me that what I thought was FLALUA was actually FLATUA. Now this is a German Jewish surname. One of the members found the family in various records in London England with the spelling of FLANTER, FLANDER and FLATER. It was also suggested that the name could be FLATOW. Thanks to the great members of the group I have lots of new info to research.I also have an area of Germany to research.


So my goals for the new year is to try and trace my second great grandfather Jacob Flanders back to Prussia.


Thanks to another gersig member I have a picture of Jacobs headstone from the Washington Cemetery in Manhattan. This wonderful gift has given me Jacobs Hebrew name which was Yakov ben Nachum.


I hope you've found this post interesting. Please feel free to email me if you feel like you may be connected to this family.