Thursday, November 3, 2011

You know what...

You know what's fun about plugging in Royal Genealogies? It's seeing how the current Royal Families evolved over the years...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Blog #94 Legacy

A poem about my family’s faith (2007)

Grandpa Robert climbed in a window

To preach his first Sunday sermon!

Although he came in a different way,

The congregation said,

“Next time use the door!”

When eighteen miles is a great distance,

“Too much for the horses, they need a rest!”

No love was lost when,

The Priest slapped a grown man,

Over spilled holy water…oh my!

So in eighteen hundred and sixty four,

The Hoffman women were gathered plus four men,

To establish a church on the wide and open prairie,

To summon all to answer Christ’s call,

To preserve their faith for more generations.

My grandma Minnie is of sterling stock,

Among the few Baptists from Poland,

Who come to this place,

She married Catholic who languished,

But her children knew her faith.

You see Grandpa Fred was no slouch,

He stepped up when the minister was out,

“I just talked,” he said, “and not preached.”

Uncle Dave was more of the preaching sort,

Telling people of the Christian Destiny.

His father named Dave, the grandson of two preachers,

The one who used windows, the other the door,

Who instilled the values of faith,

While having his own so great,

Meetings were held in his house to pass the Good News.

Four families, one faith,

Who keep it passing,

From generation to generation,

A great history and legacy,

Yet Christ’s work isn’t done.

Tags: Poetry, Hannah Cutter, David Breese, Fred Hoffman, Minnie Kobus, Polish Baptist

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Royals, Royals, Royals

How Many Names do YOU have in your Family Tree Maker File?
I'd really like to thank cousin Lucy Cuthbert (current Duke of Northumberland's niece) for marrying into the Saudi Royal Family, it helped me add 200 names to my family tree. I'm trying to add as many royal, princely, and noble families into my Family Tree Maker File. I'm done with the Belgians and have 75-90% of the other royal houses done. I now have 30,000 names in my family tree.

Yes, I continue to do work on my lines (mainly the Breese's) but after a while you come to a brick wall and you need to take a break...and wait for more information to get digitized. So I've been adding royals and famous people to the family tree. It's been a fun experience.

Things I've Learned:
There's plenty of Uncle-Niece Marriages between families. (EWWW!)
You can see the progression of countries.
You can end an empire through the marriage bed. (hmmm, I can see why the Byzantine Empire fell)
All Royal, Princely, Ducal, and Noble families are related some way.


Thursday, August 4, 2011

#93 Surname Resources

A New Direction

I thought this week, I’d thought I share websites that I use for the surnames that I research. First Surname will the Breese Family. Warning, this is not a complete list of Breese Websites. These websites are not presented in any particular order and I will try to include some little blurb about the site. this website has not been updated since 2004, but it is a start for Breese research. This site perpetuates the story that there were four Breese brothers who came to America and that one of the brothers was the ancestor of Samuel Finley Breese Morse. I usually hit up the forums to see if anyone is looking for the Breese’s I’m looking for. More often than not, I have to post something announcing what I’m looking for. This is the Breese forum. I do not usually use this message board for Breese research. - This is the Breese surname forum I prefer using the message boards. I don’t know why. This is the Breese forum from in partnership with I’ve met so many people through this website and I hope that in the future someone will find what I’ve written and will help me out. this is the Breese page for the Sidney Breese line, the ancestor of Samuel Finley Breese Morse. There is one famous Breese featured on the page and that is Kidder Randolph Breese, however the authors of the site do not have him connecting to anyone in their family. this is another Breese line -Moses Breese, and if you’re descended from them this is the site for you. There is a new theory that Moses Breese is descended from Cornelius Breese the brother of John Breese. This web page is done by another branch of the John Brees family. She ties to include a little something on each of John Brees and Dorothy Riggs’s sons Kari also posed the book her uncle wrote about the Breese Family. - Lori Breese Krout’s Breese site is more than ten years old, but you can get a start here. It mainly focuses on John R. Breese’s son Silas Gildersleeve Breese. Lori has done a ton of work over the years on Breese genealogy. - This is Lori Krout’s new Breese website. It’s not completely done yet, but I thought I’d give her a shout out. It is very well done and mainly focuses on her line as a start, but she does eventually want to have a little something on each line.

Well these are a few websites that can be used for Breese Genealogy Research. This by no means is complete, but it is a start. If you have any suggestions for Breese websites please post them! If I get enough, I can post another list of Breese genealogy websites.

Tags: Breese, Genealogy

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

#92 Facebook-We Don’t Need No Stinking Facebook!

Using social networking and Google to find cousins

With the rise of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Myspace, genealogist are not immune to the changes that Internet has brought. So what is a genealogist to do to help with the changes? This is another brainstorming session on how to use each of these mediums.


A ton of people have joined Facebook. Through the many years I since I have joined Facebook, I have discovered a lot of cousins. In fact a lot of my friends are my cousins. There are also plenty of genealogy groups that cover a variety of topics out there you can join, like Genea-bloggers, International Genealogy, British Genealogy, etc.

Individual families also have their genealogy groups so that people that have the same surnames or the descendants of those surnames. I run two genealogy groups for the Breese Family and the Cutter Family. So far the Breese Genealogy Group is much bigger than the Cutter Genealogy Group. I joined the Pierce Group, Hoffman Club, Pierson Family, Jackson Family, and the Engelmann Family genealogy groups.

Also on Facebook you can post photos and videos of your family to share with only your friends. I have a tribute to my grandparents on the site that only my friends can see.


With Picasa or Windows Photo Story, you can put together slick slide shows with your family photos. Both are slideshow programs. You can create your slide show through Power Point and save the show as a .GIF file and import the slides into Picassa or Windows Photo Story to create a movie.

There is a warning with Picasa though, if you operate with Windows XP, you need to open the files with Windows Media and not any other program otherwise you get a serious error and have to restart your computer. After the fifth attempt of trying to watch the video, I figured that out and will pass along that advice.


On Twitter, you can update what you’re researching for the day and let people know of your latest discoveries. You can also check out when other people post their latest blogs. The beauty of Twitter you can blog your Tweets from everyone so only people you approve of can follow you.


MySpace, I haven’t been on my MySpace page in a while, but you can blog on MySpace and create photo albums of your family. Like Twitter you can also set it up so where only people you approve of can see your Myspace page.

This is a short post, hopefully giving my readers ideas on what to do with the social networking sites. If not, oh well, but I hope that you will consider hooking up with a social networking site to spread the word about your family. Maybe one day, a relative will see you on Facebook and contact you. A genealogist needs to use all avenues in order to make the connections and social networking is one of them!

Tags: Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, YouTube

Monday, June 27, 2011

Blog 91: Citing Sources

So You Can Go Back and Verify

Anyway, it’s Blogging Time! This is a blog I meant to do for a few months, but it kept getting put off. I figured not it’s about time that I address this issue!

Knowing where you got your information is important, it helps to verify the information and when you want to go back to see if any of your sources are updated. This is especially important considering most of us do our genealogy research on the Internet and sometimes sites shut down. With my history background, I know that it is VERY IMPERITIVE that you cite your sources to prevent plagiarism. I prefer Chicago Style and used Chicago Style when I wrote my Hoffman Book, and it’s really difficult for me to go back to APA or MLA. We should bring that concept into Genealogy as well and cite everything we possibly can. It prevents us from making mistakes and spreading misinformation.

Yesterday, I peaked at my Dad’s family tree maker and found that he was redoing it. It drove me crazy with how he was doing it. For example for Edward Reinhold he put “son’s death certificate.” That is all, his sources are either “daughter’s marriage certificate,” or “Son’s obituary.” It literally drove me up the wall. He’s redoing his genealogy too to make it neater (vs. me who wants every little thing I can possibly get), and he’s citing his sources the same way. For me, I cite dates and not names usually where I get my dates I can get names!

I mainly use Family Tree Maker for imputing my genealogy. You may have your own way to cite your information, and I have mine. I usually use Chicago Style for genealogy, but sometimes I make up my own. It’s the one I used in my history courses…and I really don’t like to go back to other forms. So Thanks a lot Professor Kersten and Professor Voelker!

Citing Sources for Family Tree Maker


When I cite censuses, depending one whether it’s federal or a local census, I keep it simple and straight forward.


1900 United States Federal Census. National Archives Administration. Washington DC.

1880 United States Federal Census. National Archives Administration. Washington DC.

If I listed every single state that I found these censuses, it would clutter up my Master Source List, so I don’t do that. I usually list residential area instead with the dates if I had them and then cite the census at the time. For individual state censuses I’ll list the year and the state and follow the same pattern, who published it and where was it found. Sometimes for both types of censuses I’ll list “Microfilm” under the format button, but because that doesn’t show up in the genealogy report, I leave it alone.


For books, I use the same standard way that has been pounded into our heads throughout our school careers. Basic form is book title, author, city: publisher, publishing year and source location. If I downloaded a book from Google Books, I usually see a source location stamp and I use that for the source location. I’ll put book down for the books I downloaded.

Examples (how it appears on my master sources):

A Genealogy of the Warne Family. George Warne Lahaw. Frank Allaben Genealogical Company, 1911. Wisconsin State Historical Society.

A History of the Cutter Family of New England. Dr. Benjamin Cutter. David Clapp & Sons, Boston, 1874. Wisconsin Historical Society.

Vital Records

Vital records (Birth, Marriage, and Death) I keep simple and straight forward. I differentiate between a Birth Record and a Birth Certificate. Birth or Death records I’ll list Birth Record-County (I Drop the Vowels, except for counties that start with Vowels), Location


Birth Certificate-DKLB. Dekalb County Courthouse, Illinois.

Death Certificate-OCNT. Oconto County Courthouse. Oconto, Wisconsin.

Marriage Certificate-MCDNGH,IL. McDonough County Courthouse. Macon, IL.

Sometimes states post their indexes online; if that’s the case I’ll just cite the state index, the available years, author, where it can be found. I was surprised that there were several states where I could access the indexes to birth records, especially for individuals that are still living and are famous.


For Obituaries I list the relatives name and obituary. The newspaper or website I found it on, where it can be found and on what form. Sometimes I’ll list the newspaper, especially if I got it off a message board.


Amelia Scanlan Obituary. The Oconto County Reporter. Farnsworth Library, Oconto, WI

Appleton Post Cresent-OBIT. Appleton Post Cresent. 2007.

Messages Board Postings

For message board postings, I’ll post the Subject Title, the author or the reply, the website and message board I found it on. I usually use or for my message boards. I only have one example of message board postings, but I hope that it gives you a good idea on how I cite message boards.


Adna and Clarissa (Cutter) Colburn of MA/IL/MN Family. Deborah Marlett. Colburn Message Board.


Websites and Gedcoms I do a little differently, so I’ll address them separately. Websites, I do the title of the site, the author, and where it can be located. I put the web address in both the publication and source location boxes on Family Tree Maker.


The World According to Jeff Babcock. Jeff Babcock.

Descendants of Michael Meyer. Brian Meyers.


My main rule with Gedcoms is that whenever I import a new one, the first name that matches what I have gets cited. If I import a Gedcom on Isabel Cutter, my great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather Richard Cutter’s sister, I’ll cite her name with the gedcom I imported. Then when I get around to getting all her descendants cited, I know that I got this information from this particular gedcom. Gedcoms sometimes will come with extra information that I don’t necessarily want (like record changes), so I clean them up before I import them into my main family tree maker.

Okay, how I format my gedcoms: Title, Author, web address for both publication and location. If I have a note to where I started the import, I’ll put that down too.


Ray Stevens Gedcom. Ray Stevens. Note: Starting with Lydia Harrington going back in time.

Judy’s Gedcom. Judy Blackman.


This is for general stuff that doesn’t quiet fit into a nice neat little category. Self published books, family documents and family members. For citing those items, I’ll post title, author, and where it can be found. For letters, I’ll post who wrote the letter in the title. For individual family members, I’ll post the name and the date I talked to them. If a family member gave me a genealogy report, I’ll post who the genealogy report is about and who gave me the report. I hope I gave you enough of a general idea that I don’t really need to provide any examples.

There you folks have it, blog on how I cite my sources. You may take it anyway you want, but I hope that I educated you on how to cite your sources and provided examples of how to do it. Even while writing this blog, I see that there are some problems I have with some of my citations and I plan on getting those until next week! See ya later!

PS: Prevent the spread of the flu: Constantly Wash Your Hands!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tags: Family Tree Maker, Ancestry, Elsye’s Genealogy Blog