Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Surnames in My Genealogy

You may have noticed, I recently added a link to the top of my blog labeled "Surnames in my Genealogy".  On that page, you'll find a list of ALL the last names found in my family tree.

I tried to make a neat little tag cloud with the names, so that names that appeared more frequently were larger than those that only appeared once or twice. Ideally, it would look something like the Tags box on the right of this page.  Unfortunately, I couldn't find a tool that would import my text file and output a text or HTML tag cloud.  I attempted to manually create a tag cloud and spent a couple hours on it.  Then I copied it to a page in my blog and all the names came out the same size.  Bummer!  

I'm still hoping to find a snazzy little tool to tackle my desired name cloud, but for now this will suffice.

Wacky Wednesday: Grave Humor

Here's a wacky book that I came across as I was reading another genealogy blog. Sorry, I've browsed several blogs lately, I'm not sure which blog led to this book.

We all like a good play on words once in a while, so how about a play on names?  This new book, Grave Humor, depicts loads of interesting word/name pairings found in cemeteries. 

Some samples can be found on the book's website:

... On second thought, maybe you want to pre-order your headstone and pre-arrange your plot so you and your final neighbors names don't end up in a future edition of Grave Humor.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tuesday's Treasure: Children of Albert and Amy Laabs

Today's treasure is a photo sent by cousin Shari Adair.  The children in this photo are the three oldest children of my Great-Great Grandparents Albert and Amberzine "Amy" Laabs.

This picture was likely taken in 1917.   Kenneth would have been about 7 years old, Hazel about 5, and Agnes would have been about 1 year.  Albert and Amy's fourth child, Frank, was born in July 1918.  Two more children, Myra and Fred, were born to Albert and Amy in 1921 and 1928.

Thank you, Shari, for sharing your collection of Laabs photos!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Welcome to the world little Isabella Weinkauf!

Congratulations to my cousin Erin, her husband Justin and the new big sister Natalie on the arrival of Isabella Patricia Weinkauf!  She was born this morning at 7:57 AM. She weighed 3 pounds, 2 ounces and was 16 inches long.


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sunday's Obituary: Minnie Workman

Following one of the daily blogging prompts from the Geneabloggers ( ...

This obituary was originally published in the Brookings Register in April 1944 and a copy is currently located in my Great-Grandma Leola's research files.

Mrs. M. Workman Passed Away at Home on Thursday
Was Resident of County for Sixty-Six Years; Services Held Monday Afternoon

Mrs. Minne Workman, 90, passed away at her home in  Sterling township on Thursday, April 13, following a brief but critical illness.  Funeral services were held on Monday afternoon at 2 o'clock in the Sterling Methodist church with Rev. Edward W. Stodghill officiating.

Pallbears were Ed Clifford, Frank Person, Tom Kerr, Clarence Schmidt, Fred Rittman and Walter Steinkamp.  Special services were held at the home at 1:30 in the afternoon.  Interment was in the Sterling Methodist cemetery.

Mrs. Minnie Workman, whose maiden name was Minnie Koester, was born on October 5, 1853, in Jackson, Ind.  When a child of 10 years, she came with her parents to farm near Northfield, Minn., where she grew to womanhood.  On March 2, 1874, she married George Workman who preceded her in death in 1901.  She and Mr. Workman lived in Iowa for four years following their marriage.  They then moved to Sterling township where Mrs. Workman has resided for 66 years.

She was always active in community affairs and was a member of the Methodist church, with which she became affiliated while in Northfield, Minn., and also a members of the Women's Society of Christian Service.  She was one of the charter members of the Sterling Methodist church which was originally in the German conference.

Surviving are two sons, Jesse Workman and County Commissioner Lowell Workman of Brookings and Sterling respectively; two sisters, Mrs. Elizabeth Farrankop, Oxboro, Minn., and Miss Sarah Koester, Altadena, Calif'., eight grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.  Three brothers and three sissters preceded her in death.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Saturday Stumble-Upon: It's a Small World After All

Since I started this blog back in July, I have heard from some cousins again and have also been in communication with a few new cousins.

Shari (Searls) Adair, a cousin in the Glenn family line who I've been in contact with for several years now, was surprised to learn that she knew two other sides of my family!  She was in school and 4H with my grandma Sharon (Jorenby) Luze. When the families lived in the Lake Campbell area, the Searls farm and the Jorenby farm were adjacent to each other. Shari's family had also lived near Lowell Workman in Eureka township.

Now with the realization that the cousins from the east (Glenns from Aurora) knew the cousins from the southwest (Jorenbys from the Lake Campbell area) and the cousins from the north (Workmans in Eureka township), I began to wonder how far apart these families really were.  So I pulled up Google Maps and started mapping the childhood homes of my great-grandparents.  Here's the result:

Not bad!  Brookings is almost the center point of all of their childhood homes.  I'm willing to bet that at some point or another, the families all crossed paths in Brookings.  Moral of the story: It's a small world after all!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Lessons learned - Back Up Your Data

Once again I've learned a lesson the hard way!  I work with computers all day long and often remind people to back up their data and documents.  But who takes their own advice?  Apprarently, not me!

Last week I was struggling with my computer, so I decided it was time to wipe it clean and start with a fresh image.  I had previously saved most of my data to an external hard drive (like the Western Digital Passport below).  Unfortunately, I hadn't ever saved or backed up my Outlook email profile.  But most of my email is just meeting or event information for Girl Scouts, notices that bank statements are available and fun forwards from family and friends. ... Nothing of great urgency, right?

Then I realized ...

I've switched emails for genealogy at least twice and had downloaded LOTS of email from those old email addresses to that Outlook profile!  UGH!  A couple years of research and documents shared by family members -GONE!

My plan was to go through those emails over the next few months, glean the data and post the data to my Penny's Genealogy Pages site.  I guess my plan backfired.

So if you've sent me any really cool family information and don't see any mention of it on my web site ... could you send it again, please?

In the meantime, I'm setting up regular backups for my computer on my Western Digital Passport. With over 450 GB of space remaining, I have NO excuses!!

Lesson learned: Back up your data!

Western Digital My Passport Essential 500 GB USB 2.0 Portable External Hard Drive WDBAAA5000ABK-NESN (Midnight Black)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Happy 90th Birthday to Anna Taylor!

Happy 90th Birthday to Anna Taylor earlier this month.  She celebrated her "youth" this past Sunday with a host of family and friends in Estelline.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Tuesday's Treasure - John & Ida Waage

This weekend the descendents of John and Ida Waage will gather for their 48th annual Waage family reunion.

To the left is an early picture of John and Ida Waage.  Below is a picture of their children in 1959.  Left to right: Leroy, Erwin, Iva, Joseph, Viola, Hartwick, Stella, Thomas, and Mamie.