Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Things that Make You Say "Aww" . . .

My nephew and his wife gave birth to twin girls on July 26th.  They were big girls -- 7 lbs. 6 oz. and 6 lbs. 14 oz. at birth.  Twins run in their mother's family.  Both of the maternal grandparents are twins.  But I cannot recall any twins in my immediate line.

With the permission of Violet and Isabel's parents, I want to share these newest members of the Jones family.

The two girls were welcomed into a home that had a big brother, Quentin.

They definitely seem to be happiest together -- after all, they aren't strangers to each other.

Have you ever been in a situation where one yawn seemed to lead to another?  So have they.

So welcome to the family, Violet and Isabel.  You've been born into a great one!

Great Aunt Kath

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Taking a Break

Hotel am Markt Bacharach, Germany
(our hotel the first two nights)

I'm going on an unexpected vacation!  I've blogged before about my cousin, Barbara Pharo, with whom I share a common gg-grandfather.  We met a couple of years ago through  Although she lives in Tampa, she grew up in northern Kentucky, across the river from Cincinnati.  In the less than two years that we have known each other, we've traveled to the home of our common ancestor in Kentucky and attended the Ohio Genealogical Conference together.

Barbara had a last-minute cancellation for a European trip she's been planning for the past year for a group of nine. It is part cruise and part land travel. With the encouragement of my husband, I jumped at the chance to go. 

We start out in Germany and then take a train to Amsterdam.  This is followed by a week-long cruise that will take us to ports in Ireland,  Spain, Portugal and Italy.  After disembarking from the cruise ship, we will head by train to Venice for a couple of days.  With stops in Verona and near Milan, we will fly home on day 17.

I've only had two weeks to really get used to the idea that I am going.  Although this is my 5th trip to Europe, I've never been on a cruise and I've never been to Spain or Portugal.  So it will be a mix of places that I love (Rhine River Valley, Amsterdam, and Cobh, Ireland) with places I am sure I will love.

There are nine people in our group -- a nice blend of older and younger, and "crips" and "non-crips." I'm in the "crip" group with my knee and hip replacements, but it hasn't prevented me from doing anything I've wanted to do in the past and I don't expect that it will be a problem now. 

As a fan of European trains, I am excited that our non-cruise travel will almost exclusively be by train.  We are sure to see some beautiful countryside.

So I've got three days to "get my act together."  I've given some thought as to whether or not there will be any blog posts between now and mid-September, and I've decided that I will just have to play it by ear.  I don't know how full my days and nights will be, but taking in the experience will be my top priority.

One thing for sure -- as I have internet access, I hope to read a few of your posts.  I'm sure I'll have a few symptoms of withdrawal when I don't have continual internet access -- but I'll deal with it.  Know that I will be thinking about you and raising a glass of "whatever" to you all -- wishing you could be with me.

Bon voyage!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The 200th Post of Jones Family Matters!

Photo Credit:  PD
When I began writing this blog in May 2009, I didn't know how much I would grow to love it.  I worried about having enough material.  Would I ever figure out how to position images?  Would anyone even read it?  Would my family care?

I found that genealogy is never finished.  There are always new discoveries.  I learned that I am much more attracted to finding out who my ancestors were and not nearly so interested in dates and charts. My foggy idea that the blog could serve as "cousin bait" has definitely proved to be the case.  Not only has it helped me forge new relationships with my first cousins, but I've discovered third and fourth cousins I did not know existed.  Martha Darby Rutter, Betty Arnett, Barbara Pharo and the Biedermanns are just some of the cousins who come to mind.

I've become a better researcher.  In striving to tell the story as accurately as possible, I've found myself reexaming records, searching for missing pieces, and actually toppling a couple of brick walls.  I've submitted three articles to genealogical journals for possible publication.  I was just notified that my latest submission will be published in the Ohio Genealogical Quarterly making it three for three.

I discovered that I have a real interest in and love for historical context.  Thanks to my diverse ancestry, I've become much more knowledgeable about German, English, Welsh and Irish history.  Since I'm a 5th generation Jones in Cincinnati, I've become even more appreciative of the city of my birth.

Lately I've even convinced a couple of relatives and friends to have their DNA analyzed for both health and ancestry information.  I've stayed on top of some of the latest software advances such as google+ and  I am scheduled to teach a series of classes on family history blogging at our library in the fall.  I've become much more involved in my local and state genealogical organizations and now been accepted into four lineage groups and one group for Civil War ancestors.

And probably the most unexpected thing -- through Geneabloggers (a group of almost 2000 bloggers writing about their family histories) I've met new friends -- friends whose work I admire.  I look forward to every one of their posts. I'm amazed that these contacts are spread throughout the United States and beyond.  There is great diversity among our group and I've been exposed to traditions that are foreign to me.

So blogging has become a passion for me -- and I owe much of it to those of you who have taken the time to read and comment on my posts.  I look forward to the next 200 posts.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

"Our" Vonderheides in the Ships Passenger Lists

Since I started researching the Vonderheide branch of my family (maternal g-grandparents) ten years ago, I was amazed that I could not find this family listed on any ship's passenger list or other common resource such as Germans to America. After all, I knew exactly when the family came through Baltimore on their way to Cincinnati from written family records, naturalization papers and census documents. I chalked it up to the many variations for Vonderheide in the records. I've found this surname listed as: v d Heide, Heide, von der, Heide, von der Heide, and several other variations.
Recently, however, one of the members of our local genealogical society published an article containing a ship's passenger list that included Vonderheides from Holdorf, Germany who emigrated to Cincinnati in 1852. They were the aunt and uncle of "my" Vonderheides who did not arrive until 1881. Encouraged by her article, I decided to try again. This time, I think I hit pay dirt. I wonder if you agree with my conclusions.

I searched for passenger lists to Baltimore for June 1881. Scrolling through the document page by page, I found this image:

Click to enlarge

I then looked to see what the transcription was for this record:

Click to enlarge

My Vonderheide family of 1881 included Hermann Heinrich (age 42), Elisabeth (age 43), Joseph and Heinrich (Henry) twins (age 11) and August (age 7). The ages for the parents were correct. Elisabeth could have had the nickname of Liselle. What was clearly "Heinr." on the original record was transcribed as "Heiur", and "August" was transcribed as "Margurt". The poor transcription of the names was understandable, but the ages were clearly wrong. And how did they EVER decide that their surname was HeideHeide?

I'm not surprised that the people responsible for recording the names of the people in steerage were not too concerned about getting the ages of the children correct. Everything else fits. I think I finally found them! In addition, I now know that they came over on a ship called the Leipzig.

S.S. Leipzig
Photo Credit:  Palmer List of Merchant Ships

According to the Palmer List of Merchant Ships:

The steamship LEIPZIG was built for Norddeutscher Lloyd by Caird & Co, Greenock, Scotland (yard #149), and was launched on 13 February 1869. 2,388 tons; 91,68 x 11,89 meters (length x breadth); clipper bow, 1 funnel, 2 masts; iron construction, screw propulsion, low-pressure, single expansion engine, 1,150 hp, service speed 10 knots; accommodation for 84 passengers in 1st class and 735 in steerage.
You can read more about it by clicking on this link.  Search under "L" for "Leipzig." Lesson learned -- don't stop searching too soon.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The 1948 Wedding of Bill Hansen and Florence Ryan

Florence Ryan and Bill Hansen
Every time I'm convinced there are no more treasures in my immediate family left to uncover, a new one turns up.  My sister-in-law, Linda, was going through some things in her home and found a binder full of wedding pictures of my mother and her two sisters.  The three girls were part of that generation that had to wait out World War II for the "boys" to return home.  As the oldest of three girls and a boy, my mother had to wait the longest as her young adult years were put on hold. 

With the war finally over, there was a sudden availability of eligible men. All three started dating prospective husbands, and in the end, all three girls were ready to marry at about the same time.  My mother got married in January, her sister, Evelyn, in April and her sister, Florence in June.  Not only were there three marriages in five months, but my grandmother made the bridesmaid dresses for all three weddings.

So back to the binder my brother and sister-in-law found.  It was filled with beautiful pictures of elegant weddings.  I do not recall seeing many of the pictures before.  My brother felt that the blog was a great vehicle for sharing them with the family.  I put some of the pictures into collages and then decided to make a photoshow with all of the pictures for Florence and her husband, Bill.

I'm glad I can still be surprised.