Thursday, May 31, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 22: So Far Away: The Travels of Nils Malkom Nilsen

I am working on this year-long prompt, hosted by Amy Johnson Crow. I will write each week in one of my two blogs, either Mam-ma’s Southern Family or at My Trails Into the Past. I’m looking forward to writing about my children’s ancestors in new and exciting ways.

Nils Malkom Nilsen, the maternal great-grandfather of my husband, was a minister for the Swedish Covenant Church, and from his birth in Åsenhöga, Jönköping län, Sweden, to his death in Hilmar, Merced County, California, he lived in at least twelve residences.
  • Åsenhöga, Jönköping län, Sweden
  • Fastorp, Lännäs, Örebro län, Sweden
  • Sheffield, Warren Co, Pennsylvania
  • Youngstown, Mahoning Co, Ohio
  • Cromwell, Middlesex Co, Connecticut
  • Harcourt, Webster Co, Iowa
  • Hilmar, Merced Co, California
  • San Pedro, Los Angeles Co, California
  • Turlock, Stanislaus Co, California
  • Escalon, San Joaquin Co, California
  • Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz Co, California
  • Hilmar, Merced Co, California


He studied the ministry in Fastorp, Sweden, before immigrating to the United States to Sheffield, Pennsylvania, where he served at the Swedish Evangelical Mission Church from Spring 1889 to October 1890.

After leaving Sheffield, he next moved in Youngstown, Ohio, at the Swedish Church on Pine. He served there for five years. During that time, his wife died and he received permission returned to Sweden to get another wife.

In Cromwell, Connecticut, he served at the Swedish Evangelical Mission Church and started an orphanage, Cromwell Children’s Home, where he served as the superintendent.

He left for Harcourt, Iowa, in April 1903, and served at the Swedish Evangelical Mission Church for two and a half years. During that time a new church was built.

In 1907, he moved his family (wife and five children) to Hilmar, California. Besides being the minister at the Swedish Mission Covenant Church, he also purchased land to raise crops as a farmer. He was in Hilmar the longest at seven years.

He then served at several California churches: San Pedro, Escalon, and Santa Cruz, where he was in charge of a conference grounds at Mission Springs.

Also in the 1920s, he returned to Sweden to visit family.

The total miles traveled between his hometown in Sweden to his place of death in Hilmar was roughly calculated using online sources such as Mapquest.com and timeanddate.com.

277 km

Åsenhöga to Fastorp
250 km

Fastorp to Malmö
6234 km

Malmö to NYC

329 mi
NYC to Sheffield

120 mi
Sheffield to Youngstown

395 mi
Youngstown to New York
6234 km

NYC to Malmö
258 km

Malmö to Åsenhöga
6492 km

Åsenhöga to NYC

395 mi
NYC to Youngstown

492 mi
Youngstown to Cromwell

1274 mi
Cromwell to Harcourt

1829 mi
Harcourt to Hilmar

311 mi
Hilmar to San Pedro

320 mi
San Pedro to Turlock

28 mi
Turlock to Escalon

108 mi
Escalon to Santa Cruz

107 mi
Santa Cruz to Hilmar
6492 km
2916 mi
Hilmar to Åsenhöga
6492 km
2916 mi
Åsenhöga to Hilmar

Total kilometers traveled was 26,495. For miles, I multiplied this number by 0.621371 and the number of foreign miles was 16,463. The total miles traveled in the U.S. was 11,520.

So, Nils Malkom Nilsen traveled a total of 27,983 miles between residences and the two trips to Sweden! He certainly traveled far in his lifetime.

Copyright © 2018 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Monday Genea-pourri, Week of May 21-27, 2018

Randy Seaver of Genea-Musing started this meme and I loved the idea. Genealogists are great at documenting our ancestors’ lives but not so great documenting our own. I’ll write about what I’ve been doing the past week.

Genealogy
I drove up to Sacramento to attend the Sacramento German Genealogical Society’s presentation about military records given by Dr. Kathryn Marshall. She covered a lot of information in the hour and a half! The handout is full of great links.

Because I attended the above meeting, I did not volunteer at the History Center of the Contra Costa County Historical Society. However, on Wednesday, a group of us visited the Museum of San Ramon Valley in Danville in order to see their special exhibit on Chinese and the Transcontinental Railroad. It was a very nice exhibit. I also asked if we could view their archives and we went into both the library on the ground floor and the archives area on the second floor. I’m writing up an article for the Contra Costa County Genealogical Society’s newsletter about the researching opportunities at this museum.


I presented the fourth class at the California Genealogical Society’s Record Series Class in Oakland on Wednesday. Actually, it was the fifth class on researching offline because somehow I copied the wrong PowerPoint file unto the flash drive. Luckily I had the next class on the flash drive for the save!

I also participated in the California Genealogical Society’s all day seminar on Chinese Research. I helped handout packets at the beginning and was a consultant to answer questions during the breaks. It was a great seminar with over 70 people participating.

For client work, I drove down to San Jose to get a divorce packet but was unable to get it because it was too old to be in the computer and they have to order it from off-site storage. I arranged for them to mail it directly to the client. It was good to know of that if I go again. I also worked more on the genealogy summary for another client.

I did meet with the four others in our certification study group. Some progress has been made by all but we didn’t discuss the article as planned. I have been working on my case study, trying to add DNA evidence. Our next meeting will be in two weeks.

Blog Writing: I wrote a few blog posts these past two weeks:

Volunteer Work:
More weed-pulling this week in the native garden at the John Muir National Historic Park in Martinez. Several volunteers work on this garden located at the front of the visitor's center weekly.





Copyright © 2018 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Who Is Your Most Recent Unknown Ancestor (MRUA)?


1) Who is your MRUA - your Most Recent Unknown Ancestor? This is the person with the lowest number in your Pedigree Chart or Ahnentafel List that you have not identified a last name for, or a first name if you know a surname but not a first name.

2) Have you looked at your research files for this unknown person recently? Why don't you scan it again just to see if there's something you have missed?

3) What online or offline resources might you search that might help identify your MRUA?

4) Tell us about him or her, and your answers to 2) and 3) above, in a blog post, in a comment to this post, or in a comment on Facebook or Google Plus.

In December 2016, we wrote about our MRUA and I wrote about no. 19, Susanna Raduntz. I also wrote about nos. 20 and 21, Jeremiah Sullivan and Mary Sheehan. Their parents are still not known.

Today, I’ll write about the next nos. 36, Christoph Siewert and 37, Anna Marianna Ewald. They were the parents of Vincent Sievert, who was born in Posen and married Susanna Raduntz on 14 January 1811 in Schniedemühl, Posen.

What I know about Christoph Siewert: He was born about 1766, based on being forty-five when he married Anna Ewald on 14 January 1811 in Schneidemühl. He died 3 February 1841 at the age of seventy-five. Anna Marianna Ewald was born about 1785. She died 17 November 1845 at the age of sixty.

I have the same problem with Vincent’s parents as I have with Susanna’s parents. There doesn’t seem to be earlier records in Schneidemühl. I also know the marriage of Christoph Siewert to Anna Marianna Ewald was his second marriage. But that is all I know. The researcher, who obtained this marriage said that there were no more records at the Diocesan Archives in Koszalin.

I may never find out more about the Siewert or Raduntz families unless I go to the archives and conduct my own research.

Copyright © 2018 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, May 25, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 21: Military: George Gorrell Served in WWII

I am working on this year-long prompt, hosted by Amy Johnson Crow. I will write each week in one of my two blogs, either Mam-ma’s Southern Family or at My Trails Into the Past. I’m looking forward to writing about my children’s ancestors in new and exciting ways.

George Joseph Gorrell, U.S. Army Air Corps


Before World War II started, my father-in-law, George Joseph Gorrell, was training at the Curtiss-Wright Technical Institute of Aeronautics in Glendale, Los Angeles County, California. He was learning how to work on airplanes.



His World War II Draft card had information about his physical features. He was six feet tall and weighed 160 pounds. As a young man, he had brown hair, brown eyes, and a dark complexion. He was 25 years old.



After the training, he worked at McClellan Air Force Base in North Highlands, California, just north of Sacramento. He received more training there on hydraulics. He worked on landing gear.


 He was inducted in the Army Air Force on 27 July 1943 in San Francisco as a private. He went to England where he serviced hydraulic landing gear with the 913th Air Engineering Squadron. After the collapse of Germany, he was stationed there until he was discharged as a staff sergeant. He had his camera and took many photos. He printed them out as contact sheets because he had no enlarger. Someday the negatives will be scanned.




He also received an award for creating an improved tool.


Thank you for your service, George!


Copyright © 2018 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Monday Genea-pourri, Weeks of May 7-20, 2018

Randy Seaver of Genea-Musing started this meme and I loved the idea. Genealogists are great at documenting our ancestors’ lives but not so great documenting our own. I’ll write about what I’ve been doing the past week.

Genealogy
I worked two Fridays this month at the Desk of the California Genealogical Society’s library. The first Friday I had a couple of researchers looking for their aunt. Last week I had two researchers looking for someone to translate a record written in Portuguese. I sent them up to the FamilySearch Library.

Our CGS Intro Class group had a meeting, as we are changing the format. Each first Saturday class would be one of three types of class: overview, records, and organization. We talked about who would work on which part and scheduled ourselves for the following year. I’m to work on the overview class.

I did get to meet with the Certification Study Group. All five of us were able to meet and discuss our progress. I had worked on my case study thinking about how to incorporate DNA into the argument. We also discussed the Helen Leary article from the 1999 NGS Quarterly supplemental issue on Evidence.

The monthly Monday Morning Genealogy group met and I picked up Kathie at BART. We discussed lots of different topics: DNA, archive websites that have digital images, and successes of research. We continued the conversation at IHOP afterwards.

Our Annual Meeting for the Contra Costa County Genealogical Society was on the 10th. During share time, I shared about receiving the personnel files of my grandaunt from the National Personnel Records Center at NARA, St. Louis. The packet I received was over 75 pages and was filled with information about her job in Greece as well as lists of previous jobs. After Greece, she worked for the Bureau of Reclamation in Sacramento.

Lastly, I worked on my client’s genealogy, incorporating the research into a finished product. It definitely taking longer than I expected. I emailed him, explaining that it would take longer. I’m waiting to hear from him before continuing any further.

Blog Writing: I wrote a few blog posts these past two weeks:
·         I wrote about languages in one 52 Ancestors post and about Mother’s Day in another 52 Ancestors.
·         I also participated in one Saturday Night Genealogy Fun post about my mother.

Class
I completed two more classes for the California Genealogical Society’s class Intermediate Genealogy: Records Series. Weeks two and three were about Probate and Immigration.

Baseball
I attended three baseball games with my friend, Beth. The San Francisco Giants played the Cincinnati Reds and out of the three games, the Giants won two. We had great seats on the lower level and the field seemed so close. 




Copyright © 2018 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 20: Languages

I am working on this year-long prompt, hosted by Amy Johnson Crow. I will write each week in one of my two blogs, either Mam-ma’s Southern Family or at My Trails Into the Past. I’m looking forward to writing about my children’s ancestors in new and exciting ways.

I had to deal with a foreign language early in my genealogy research because my father’s paternal side is German. My father’s maternal side is Irish, but so far those records have been in English.

I studied German four years in high school and four quarters in college, so I wasn’t afraid to research in German records. Though once I found them, I didn’t realize the lettering would be so difficult to read!

I lucked out in knowing where to look in German records. The marriage between my great-grandparents, Johan Anton Hork and Julia Ann Sievert, gave the birthplace of Johan Anton as Oberhundem, Kreis (county) Olpe, Westfalen. It is important to know the name of the village in order to find local records.

The Family History Library had microfilm of church records for this area and I tackled looking for his baptism. The book with these baptism records did have an index and I found Johann Anton. It wasn’t too hard to read most of this.



As I worked my way back in time, the handwriting got harder to read. Looking for Anton’s father, Joseph, I found the Hs looked way different. It took a lot of practice and help from other researchers to transcribe these records.


I also used letter guides I got from the Family History Library, that can now be found online here.


German wasn’t the only language I’ve worked with. My husband’s maternal line is from Sweden and I used Swedish records to find several generations of family. My best resource was a book called Your Swedish Roots by Per Clemensson & Kjell Andersson.

And for a client, I tackled French Canadian records. The handwriting was easy to read, but I used the French Word Lists from the FamilySearch Wiki to understand the words used in the records.

So languages I’ve used in genealogy include:
  • English
  • German
  • Swedish
  • French
  • Spanish
  • Latin



Copyright © 2018 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Celebrate Mother's Day - Show Us Some Photos

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible! music) is to:

1) Sunday, 13 May is Mother's Day in the USA. Let's celebrate it by showing some of our photos with our mother.

2) Extra credit: What did you call your mother during her life? What did your children call your mother?

3) More extra credit: Have you written a biography or tribute to your mother? If so, please share a link if you have one.

4) Share your photo(s) on your own blog post or in a Facebook or Google + post. Leave a link on this blog post to help us find your Mom photos.


I don't have a lot of photos with my mother but I do have some pretty special ones. These were all taken within the first year of my birth. The color one is from a slide--no idea who took it.






I called my mother "Mommy" and then "Mom." My daughters called her Grandma Lea. Unfortunately, she died when they were really young and didn't know her well.

This is probably the last one with my mother. She didn't like having her photo taken.


I wrote a tribute to my mother last year.

Copyright © 2018 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Monday Genea-pourri, Week of April 30-May 6, 2018

Randy Seaver of Genea-Musing started this meme and I loved the idea. Genealogists are great at documenting our ancestors’ lives but not so great documenting our own. I’ll write about what I’ve been doing the past week.

Genealogy
Not much happened on my own genealogy or the certification portfolio this week except for the blog writing. Our certification group didn’t meet this week. I did review my case study a bit and it’s churning ideas in my head for some restructuring.

Blog Writing: I wrote a couple of blog posts this week:
  • For this week’s 52 Ancestors post I wrote about the 1880 census in Comanche County, Texas, where six families were living next door to each other, but all with different surnames.

Class
I started the California Genealogical Society’s class Intermediate Genealogy: Records Series. I have 10 students who all seemed very interested in the class on land records.

Hiking/Outdoors
I did several activities this past week outdoors. On Monday, I worked at the John Muir National Historic Park at the visitor’s center where there is a large native garden. We pulled lots of weeds!



Thursday with Shirley, we did the weekly phenology study at the Strentzel Meadow. Fernando had cut the grass along out path and the ticks were much better, though I still found one at home.

Friday, I went with friends to Mt. Diablo to walk the Mary Bowerman Trail looking for whatever wildflowers we could find. The weather was very nice and I shot over a hundred photos with a new macro lens. I need to use the viewfinder with this lens so I know the images are in focus.




Sunday with Elaine and Phred, we viewed four gardens in Clayton that were open for the Bring Back The Natives tour. These gardens were very nice and I got some great ideas for some new plants for my own.





Copyright © 2018 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- Recall a Summer Day When You Were 12

Randy Seaver of Genea-Musing has another great topic this week.

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible! music) is to:

1) Remember when you were 12 years old? On a summer day out of school? What memory do you have of fun activities?

2) Tell us about that memory (just one - you can do more if you want to) in a blog post, in a comment to this post, or in a comment on Facebook.  Please leave a link to your own post in comments on this post.

3)  Have you told your children and grandchildren about your childhood memories?  You really should.

It was 1966 when I was 12. In that summer, I had just finished up 6th grade at Parkmead Elementary in Walnut Creek, California, and we had a whole summer before starting 7th grade at Parkmead Intermediate, which was located right next door to the elementary school.

A typical summer was breakfast of cereal that we served ourselves. Then outside to play until called for lunch, when we had peanut butter and jam sandwiches. Then outside again until dinner. We didn’t go on vacations as a family—too many kids. There were five of us that summer. I was the oldest and the youngest would be born that December.

We had a huge area to play. Our street was a tree-lined, country lane in the middle of a city. Four houses on our side of the street and four houses on the other. At the top of the street was another side street with a few houses. My friends, Joanne and Susan, lived in one of them. There were empty fields around some of the houses and fruit trees that handled our mid-morning or afternoon hunger.

At the end of the street was Las Trampas Creek with a dam. In the summer, the water was low enough that we could cross the creek using the top of the dam. Further upstream were places that deep pools were created where we could swim. Along the creek were toe paths that we used to quickly get to the gas station where we could buy bottles of Coke.

The creek was a fun place to play. First pollywogs and then little frogs were everywhere in the early summer. All along the creek grew what we called bamboo but was really Arundo, was a place where we made forts. I loved to sit along the bank in the shade and read—mysteries were my favorite. I probably read most of the Nancy Drew books that summer.

I also got to go to Girl Scout day camp at Twin Canyons in Lafayette, California. Joanne’s mother volunteered that year and she brought me along. We were a small Cadette group in the Bay Unit. I don’t remember too much about the camp except we cooked in the outdoors, hiked in the hills, and sang a lot. There were no flush toilets at the time, but latrines that we had to clean. (Girl Scouting has changed since then—girls don’t clean toilets. The camp now has toilets and a swimming pool, too! But they still cook outdoors, hike, and sing.)

Probably going to camp was the highlight of that summer of 1966. I am very thankful for Mrs. Gerow in taking me along.

Copyright © 2018 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.