Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 in Review and the Ancestor Approved Award

I am a little slow posting this, but I'd like to thank Travis over on TLGenes for the Ancestor Approved Award he passed to me in early December.  This may also be a good time to reflect on 2010.

The Ancestor Approved Award comes with two requests:
  1. List ten (10) things that you have learned about your ancestors that surprised, humbled, or enlightened you.
  2. Pass the award to ten (10) other genealogy bloggers.  (I'll do this in 2011, after I've caught up in my blog reading.)

In 2010 while tracing my ancestors I have learned:
  1. Roots run deep!  I'm constantly amazed at how geographically close my family lines have lived and continue to live.  I have cousins from different sides of my family that knew each other growing up.  (Check out the map in "It's a Small World After All" post)
  2. Label all pictures!  While boxes of unlabeled photos elicit some pretty neat conversations and lots of memories, labeled photos provide a much nicer collection of family treasures.  Grandma Leola (Workman) Crapser had a nice collection of family photos and treasures. Even after several rounds with my grandpa and his cousins, the subjects of many of the photos are still unidentified.
  3. Neighbors Aren't Nosy!  They're just detectives in disguise. You may find that a former neighbor may be able to provide clues to the lives of your ancestors.
  4. Read All About It!  Small town newspapers are notorious for sharing little bits of information about all the people around town.  You may find your ancestors visiting a cousin or friend and this information may just lead to more research for you.
  5. Readin' and Ritin' weren't as Important in the Past!  Check all possible variations of a name's spelling.  Was that "Jorenby or "Gorenby"?
  6. The Informant is as Important as the Information!  Take note of the sources of the information you are collecting.  The census and the church baptismal record are guaranteed to provide you with different birth dates.  And the census taker's informant may not have remembered all the details with precision. 
  7. Running in Circles Can Be Fun!  Elusive ancestors need to be found. While researching those elusive ones sometimes the only data you can find leads you to data you already know in a different format.
  8. Back Up Your Data!  After losing my data in a computer disaster, I learned the hard way to back up the data.  Also store a copy of the data in another location or in a fire-proof safe.
  9. Keep in Touch!  When meeting cousins for the first time, be sure to trade contact information to share future discoveries.  The wave of social media - Facebook, blogs, instant messages, and even - should help genealogist keep tabs on cousins.
  10. Give and Take! I mean SHARE!  Share your research with your cousins.  Take research shared by others, but give credit where credit is due and double check the facts. Give of your time and talents to aid other researchers.  Opportunities exist everywhere to do a little discovery for the good of genealogy.  Join us over at the Ancestry World Archives, if you have some time to spare.

As we reflect on 2010, let us dream for 2011!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Checking Out the New Toys

Yesterday, I watched as my nieces excitedly unwrapped their presents.  Wrapping paper ripped and thrown about, new clothes glanced at and tossed aside as the nifty new toys were discovered.  OH!! (with big eyes) ... Zhu Zhu pets! ... Web Kinz! ... an art set! ... a dolly! ... And the littlest niece said "SWEET!" as she opened a gift containing more pieces to the Princess castle she got for her birthday in October.

Flip-Pal mobile scanner
The Flip-Pal Scanner
With all of the unwrapping complete and the place to myself again (not that I don't enjoy the company!), I thought I'd check out my new toy too.   On my Christmas wish list this year was the new Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner.  This is the scanner that is bound to make scanning large items, like scrapbooks and framed pictures, easier.

After a couple rounds of scanning a marriage certificate for Great-Grandpa Oral Crapser and Great-Grandma Leola Workman, I haven't quite mastered this nifty new toy.  Supposedly, to scan large items you take multiple overlapping scans and then on the computer select the images to be "stitched" together.   The scanning is easy, but the stiching is coming out quite interestingly.  The first result looked like this:

Then I got an almost perfect stitch, though the center looks a little warped.  It has also been determined that the marriage certificate itself had been trimmed at some point in time.

And then just to ensure we all have the right perspective on my nifty little tool:

That's right, I went after a smaller piece of paper - a receipt for the marriage license fees - thinking it would be easier because it would only take 2 scans.  HA!  I guess a little more practice is in order before the upcoming Jorenby family reunion!

Here's to hoping Christmas brought you many joys!  Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sunday's Obituary: Martin B Christianson

From the Hendricks Pioneer,  30 August 1962 edition; accessed from (

Funeral Rites For M.B. Christianson

Funeral services for Martin B. Christianson were held Monday, August 20, at Calvary Lutheran church in Hendricks with Rev. H. R. Schafer officiating.  A family service preceded the 2 p.m. rites.  Interment was in the East cemetery at Hendricks with DuWayne Luze, Curtis Luze, Lyndon Nelson, Roger Grimlie, Donald Grimlie and Don Mennis serving as pallbearers.

Mrs. Carvel Johnson served as organist, and also accompanied a mixed quartet comprised of Mrs. Wilbert Blake, Mrs. Clarence Nygaard, Hans Hegstad, and Carvell Johnson.  The quartet sang "Does Jesus Care", and Msrs. Johnson and Hegstad sang "Den Store Hvide Flok."  Mrs. Teddy Mathison sang "Beyond the Sunset" at the family service.

Martin B. Christianson was born in Alamaca county, Iowa, September 9, 1876, to Bore and Johanna Chrisitianson.  He was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran faith.  He was united in marriage with Ingeborg Singsaas November 28, 1905 by the Rev. Salenstin*.  To this union were born five daughters and three sons.  He died at the Hendricks hospital August 17, 1962, at the age of 85 years, 11 months and eight days.  He had made his home at the Hendricks Retirement Home since the fall of 1958.

To mourn his passing he leaves four daughters, Thelma of Sioux Falls, S.D., Merl (Mr.s Alvin Oien) of Hot Springs, Mont., Alyce (Mrs. Hjalmer Grimlie) of Astoria, S. D., and Irene (Mrs. Harold Luze) of Brookings, S. D.; two sons Ervin of Missoula, Mont., and Vernon of Fort Peirce, Fla.; three brothers, Emil, Anton and Selmer of Hendricks; three sisters, Mrs. John Fjerstad of Watertown, S. D., Mrs. Oliver Sommervold of Toronto, S. D., and Mrs. Julia Tiller of Hendricks.  There are also 19 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren.  He was preceded in death by his wife, one daughter, one son, and his parents.

To his family he was known as a kind and loving father, and will be missed by those remaining.  Blessed be his memory.

Editor's note: In a previous article on Ingeborg Singsaas the pastor was listed as "Rev. T. K. Solensten", which I believe is the correct spelling.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Follow Friday: Newspapers Collection on has an excellent collection of newspapers from small towns.  One of the papers is the Hendricks Pioneer and several members on my mom's paternal line are from the Hendricks, Minnesota area.  Unfortunately, it is subscription based.  I've signed up for a 7 day free trial so I can view several editions though.  I found several articles already this week on Singsaas family members. also has the WWII diaries available for FREE this month.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: The Small Cowboy

Here's another photo from Grandma Leola's collection:

I have no information about this photo. Who might this boy be? Where do you think this may have been taken? What do you suppose this youngster is up to?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

News from Hendricks Pioneer: Harold Luze visits Grimlie and Nelson Homes

I found this news clipping from the November 30, 1967 edition of The Hendricks Pioneer via

On Page 6 of the November 30 edition, it reads:

"Birthday guests Sunday at the Hjalmer Grimlie home for Mrs. Grimlie's birthday were Mr. and Mrs. Linden Nelson and family of rural Toronto, Mr. and Mrs. Harold Luze of Brookings and Mr. and Mrs. Blaine Grimlie and Charleen.

Visitors at the Linden Nelson home of rural Toronto Friday evening were Mr. and Mrs. Hjalmer Grimlie, Rodger and Terry, Mr. and Mrs. Harold Luze of Brookings and Mrs. Donald Mennis and boys of Minneapolis."

I find the clippings from these old newspapers telling of the recent visitors to a home quite interesting.  You just never know when that distant cousin will show up in the local paper. 

I had never considered what the paper would look like after a holiday though.  The November 30, 1967 edition of The Hendricks Pioneer was published the week following Thanksgiving.  There were several columns of clippings just telling the world where everyone spent their Thanksgiving weekend.  Here's a small sample:

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Happy 80th Birthday to Margie!

Eighty years ago on December 22, 1930, Mrs. Margie Quam was born.  Today, about 105 people turned out to help Margie celebrate her youth!

Cousin Bonnie put together this neat little video to display various pictures of Margie and the family.  Check out the video:

Happy 80th Birthday, Margie!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Holiday Ornaments - oh, the horrors

Just read Amy's tale of Christmas ornaments from her childhood (Holiday of HORRORS!). I laughed, but then I remembered my family loves to keep things too ... uh oh ...

Mom? Dad? You don't have any edible ornaments stored in those Christmas boxes, do you?

And to my sister, who sets up a tree in each of her 3 daughters' bedrooms for the purpose of displaying all those handmade ornaments - Their edible ornaments from years past aren't hanging, are they?

Found Perfect Reason to Upgrade the Genealogy Software

Tonight I found the perfect reason to upgrade my Family Tree Maker software.

I've been eyeing Family Tree Maker 2011 since it was released a few months ago. It has all sorts of nifty new features, that this techie has just gotta have.  After all, my last upgrade was in 2005!  That's 6 versions of cool features I'm missing!  So I put it on my Christmas list this year, hoping Santa might bring it. 

Well, tonight my cousin contacted me, needing names for her family tree project at school. (Yeppers, the very same project that fueled my passion!!)  In an effort to get a report to her, I remembered I hadn't reinstalled Family Tree Maker since my little back-up disaster in September.  I've been working off of printed or electronically filed information instead.  When I did reinstall FTM 2005, I had nothing but problems.

I ended up taking screenshots and sending those her way.  Then to end the frustration, I had (that's right HAD) to purchase FTM 2011. 

 ... Sorry, Santa, you'll have to find something else to bring me!