"If you can't get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance"
-George Bernard Shaw

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Google Maps

When we attended the Western Michigan Genealogy Society conference last fall, I learned about using Google Maps to help with my research. So today I spent the morning working on Google Maps with John and Emily Fitzgerald's family. I had done this once before, but that map came up missing. I think it was attached to another account, but its gone now. Anyway, I added the new map. I haven't quite figured out how to get the URL for the map, but once I do, I'll post it.

Today is the GTAGS/DAR workshop at the Traverse Area District Library at 1 to 4 pm, so I must be off. I will definately report on the workshop later!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Crains in Monroe Center Cemetery

Last week we took a 'trip' to Monroe Center South of Chums Corners to the cemetery there to photograph several Crain headstones. Half the stones we were looking for were covered by the only pile of snow in the entire cemetery.
We did find:
Burnette Crain
There was also an Elmer and Ernet Crain. I'm assuming sons of the couple below.

The stones buried by snow:
Dean Crain and His wife Sarah (Dean is the brother of Burnette)
and Flyod Crain, their son.

I will have to make this venture again soon, once the rest of the snow is gone.

Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture: Upcoming 13th Edition: Our Irish heritage - What's in a name?

Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture: Upcoming 13th Edition: Our Irish heritage - What's in a name?

Fitzgerald>>What's in a Name, Carnival of Irish Heritage and Culture

This is my first post for Genabloggers from facebook. The title here says it all!

The name Fitzgerald (also spelled FitzGerald and several other variations) mean son of Gerald.
Some snippets I have found on various internet sites about the history of the name follow:

FitzGerald Surname Origin(Origin Normandy French) The son of Gerald, Fitz, a son, Gerald (Teutonic), all-surpassing, excellent. This ancient and honorable family is traced from Otho or Other, a Baron in Italy, descended from the Grand Dukes of Tuscany. Walter, son of Otho, came into England with William the Conqueror, and afterward settled in Ireland. Maurice FitzGerald assisted Richard Strongbow in the conquest of that kingdom.

Source: An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names With an Essay on their Derivation and Import; Arthur, William, M.A.; New York, NY: Sheldon, Blake, Bleeker & CO., 1857.

Fitzgerald is one of the many first or middle names that was originally a surname. Like many surnames threatened with extinction within family trees and histories (mostly through marriage on the women’s sides of the families), it was adapted for first name use in order to keep it visible. As a surname, Fitzgerald’s origins are almost exclusively British and French and possibly trace back to French Norman conquest/English times. There is evidence is was also present in Ireland with roots beyond the isle of Britain to German (Teutonic) areas. Interestingly, all four origins (English, French, Irish, German) translate into the same definition: son of Gerald. This naming style was common and transferred beyond any one Gerald or any one son. In other words, being a Fitzgerald could mean literally being the son of someone named Gerald or being the son’s son or any line of grandsons from that Gerald. Further, there was not necessarily any one noteworthy or famous Gerald. It could be used like “Jr.” or “III” is today to identify the ancestors of someone with the same name. [1]


Fitzgerald Name Meaning and History
Irish: Anglo-Norman French patronymic from the personal name Gerald (see Garrett). The name was formed by the addition of the Anglo-Norman French prefix fi(t)z ‘son of’ (Latin filius) to the personal name. The Gaelicized form Mac Gearailt is common in the Gaelic-speaking areas of West Kerry.

Dictionary of American Family Names, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-508137-4

Friday, March 20, 2009

Thomas Fitzgerald Pension Record

Friday, March 6, 2009
Thomas Fitzgerald Pension Record
A few days ago, Thomas' pension record arrived. It was sitting there between the front doors when we got home after getting our taxes done. I was so excited to see it there. I couldn't believe how thick it was. I was able to go through the file as a preliminary look over, but with all my school work, I couldn't really go through it until today. I have lots of information I'm adding to the file and filling in some holes, but it still doesn't give me anymore information on John and Emily. In fact, the only reference to John and Emily Fitzgerald made in the entire file is Thomas replying to the pension department that he was unable to access any family records about his birth as his parents are both dead. That recorded on 9 May 1913, which would be rather obvious that they would likely have died long before then, or they would both have been over 100 years old!
I did send a copy of the most current report this week to my Uncle Jack, who is my grandpa's only living sibling, to see if any new information helps him to remember anything about the family. I always look forward to seeing what Uncle Jack remembers, he always has stories about his grandparents. The stories make it all the more fun to do the research.

Research Arrival!

Research Arrival!
Yesterday my reserach arrived from Past & Present Research. I was so excited I was trying to carefully open the envelope as not to damage the papers inside and fighting off the urge to just tear into it like an egar kid on Christmas morning. Anyway, what an amazing treasure trove of information. The obituraries, espcially for Thomas, were very enlightening. The amount of detail in Thomas' obituary gave me some long awaited answers to some event timelines in his life. It also gave me the city of his birth, which happens to be the city that we are staying in during our trip to Pennsylvania! With some additional research before we leave, I am hoping to find the home where the family lived, and perhaps I may even find Emily and John, or at least where they are buried. The photo of Thomas isn't so good close up, but from a distance it actually makes a pretty good photograph. Maybe someday I can have it digitally enhanced to make it a better photo.
There is so much more information that I need to compile from the packet, it is going to take me a couple weeks to get it all in, plus I have to have some time to work on school work-I need to graduate eventually to keep funding me genealogy habit. :)
In the meantime I will continue to focus my research on the family and improve my odds of finding good information while we are on our trip. I have made some RAOGK.com requests of volunteers to help confirm burials in cemeteries. So far I have had no replies, but it has only been a couple days and it is still during the work week. More updates to come!

Follow up on Wexford County Research

Follow up on Wexford County Research
I talked to Alice LaBar today and she told me that she found all three of my obituaries! And that there was quite an article written about my Great, Great Grandfather, Thomas Fitzgerald and there was a photo of him in the paper! A photo! I can't believe how lucky I am. I'm so excited to recieve my packet of papers from her!
Alice was such a lovely lady to talk to on the phone as well. I would definately recommend anyone to contact them if they need research done in the Cadillac Area. She and her husband are knowledgable and definately went the extra mile for me! I will definately send her a thank you note after all this for her help.

I am now thinking about and reading articles in my spare time (what little I have right now) about ou planned Genealogy vacation for May to Pennsylvnia to see about tracking down some more of my Fitzgerald Ancestors. There are many helpful articles online on different Genealogy sites. I think I printed about 8 or 10 of them. So far I've read 4, I think, and they all say about the same things. 1)Have a plan 2)Do your homework 3)know what resources are available where you are going 4)know the hours of operation for places you want to research at 5)pack appropriate clothes 6)bring adequate supplies 7)know which resources you can access from home or nearby and which ones you can only get by traveling and focus on the latter. I know there's more, but I can't think of them right now, but I think these just about covers the basics.
So off to find more contact information so I can make a million phone calls over Spring break. Thank goodness for unlimited long distance phone plans.

Following up on Learned Tips

Sunday, February 22, 2009
Following up on learned tips
A tip I heard last weekend about going overand reviewing your reserch from time to time has helped pay off, at least in little baby steps. I found that my GrGrGrandfather's brother, William Tennyson Fitzgerald, was married a second time after his first wife died, and had another daughter by his second wife. Although it didn't get me any closer to breaking through my brickwall, it did give me a little bit more information on this family.

Another "trick" I learned last fall at the conference I went to in Grand Rapids taught me about using a mapping application, like Google maps, and use that to plot out information on a family to help things make sense. SO...I plotting out places that major events took place, census records, births, deaths and burials, of John and Emily Fitzgerald and the 4 sons that I know about through research and I made a discovery. Their life events follow major roads in Pennsylvania as well as their migration from New York City west into Pennsylvania. I would definately recommend to anyone on using this techinique. It is also helped me to plan where we are going and where we will be staying for our vacation in Pennsylvania this Spring.

Mistakes to be Made

Friday, February 20, 2009
Mistakes to be Made
I know that everyone is bound to make mistakes. After all this time I realized that I had the years wrong on the death dates of my GrGrandparents, Thomas and Henrietta Fitzgerald. Funny thing is that I would have never noticed it had I not contacted Past & Present research to help me with some of my research in hunting down obituaries. Even more interesting is the dates on Thomas' and Henrietta's headstone are not what is in the offical death record. I believe I was once told that their headstone was placed much later after their deaths so it was probably done from memory or someone had the wrong year written down. I look forward to reading everything Past & Present Research has found for me. Perhpas it will give me some clue into my brickwall ancestors.

Past & Present Research

Sunday, February 15, 2009
Past & Present Research
Today I got an amazing email from a professional researcher in Cadillac on a prelimiary search on my Fitzgeralds in Wexford. She sent me a detailed email on some of the members of the family. I learned about 2 siblings my Grandpa had that I never knew about. I will definately give them a call about what they found and I am planning on following up with my own research. I found them through the Wexford Library website.

The email:
Hi Alana ,

Yes, we can look for the obits you asked about . We usually charge $ x.xx a half an hour or $xx.xx an hour . It will take an hour and a half for the three which would be $xx.xx plus $x.xx mailing for a total of $xx.xx .
In the old papers we have to hand copy the information and retype it as it is written , which is time consuming. We will wait to hear form you before we start and there is no guarantee that they will be there , but we will try our best .

Now checking our sources here at the house which is free , we find the following ;

1. Ernest , Thomas and Henrietta are not buried in Wexford county according to Maple Hill cemetery and Mt. Carmel cemetery , which has several Fitzgeralds buried there .
2. Thomas and Henrietta ( Berry ) have a daughter who died in Wexford county named Ina - death date is Dec. 4, 1910 age 24 years 6 mo. 22 days .
3. Ernest and Martha ( Farrow / Furrow ) had two children , Ralph Francis - death date Apr. 17, 1922 age 11 days and Unk. death date Jan. 19, 1916 at age 11 hours .
4. Arthur and Jennie Marie ( Loomis ) had a daughter Ina Marie - Death date June 17, 1909 age 1 year , 5 months , 15 days . Also a son Lloyd Arthur - Death date , Sept. 13, 1913 age 2 months 17 days .
5. James and Catherine ( Golden ) had a daughter Mamie F. Death date , Aug. 13, 1928 age 49 years 3 months and 24 days .
6. Patrick and Mary ( King ) had a son Thos. Death date Oct. 18, 1909 age 64 Years 9 months 23 days .
All from the Wexford Co. death index upto 1929 .

Burials located in Mount Carmel ( Catholic ) -
Florence Fitzgerald died - Nov. 9, 1944 - Thomas is lot owner and husband .
Josephine Fitzgerald - died Nov. 23, 1900 - J. is lot owner and Husband .
Raymond J. Fitzgerald - died 1960 - lot owner is Thomas .
Regina Fitzgerald - died July 23, 1960 - lot owner is Thomas .
Thomas Fitzgerald - died Oct. 18, 1909 - lot owner is Thomas and wife is Florence .

City Directory - Cadillac 1938
Arth.( Jennie M. ) Farmer - home 743 Paluster .
Bernice - saleswoman - home 743 Paluster .
Melvin ( Irene ) Shop Supt. at Ovaiett's Bakery - home 812 1/2 South Mitchell St.
Pearl , Mrs. Helper at Wexford Cafe - home 211 1/2 South Mitchell St.
Roy ( Pearl ) home 211 1/2 South Mitchell St.

Wexford Co. Marriages 1868 - 1897 index.
Edward 1897
Thomas A. 1883
Charles 1882
Wm. K. 1890

Recent Obits.
Jack Pearce - July 6, 2008
Marvin L. - Spet. 19, 2006
Pearl ( Mrs. Roy ) Feb. 1960

There is a Harry Fitzgerald buried in Maple Hill cemetery but is not listed in the Wexford Co. deaths . Date in cemetery is Dec. 27, 1884 .

We also have a listing for the 1884 city directory for Cadillac , which lists
Thomas living in Harristown ( a section of Cadillac ) and is listed as a machinest .

Hope this helps .
We also will need to have an address and phone number if you decide to have us check .
Alice & Charles LaBar
Past & Present Research


I've decided to give footnote a try. In a short time I've already found some documets on my Fitzgerald family. I'll give it a try for a month and see what is brings. At least it is a better price than ancestry.

Irishing Naming Traditions

Saturday, February 14, 2009
Irish Naming Traditions
This was an interesting bit on Irish naming traditions. Here is the link to the entire webpage: http://www.babynamesofireland.com/pages/naming-traditions.html

Oldest son named after the Father's father
2nd son named after the Mother's father
3rd son named after the Father
4th son named after the Father's oldest brother

Oldest daughter named after the Mother's mother
2nd daughter named after the Father's mother
3rd daughter named after the Mother
4th daughter named after the Mother's oldest sister

I hint? I hope so.

Internet Research Project

I volunteered to speak at an upcoming GTAGS meeting on internet research. I've planned on using a case study approach because it makes the most sense to me and I really didn't know where else to start. At least Brenda came up with a good title! Climbing Internet Genealogy Brick Walls. Hopefully people don't think I'm borning and I can help them learn.

I'm also excited to take on my new role as the publicity chair for the society. Still not quite sure what I'm supposd to do, but I'm sure it will come.

A Prayer for Genalogists

A Prayer for Genealogists
Lord, help me dig into the past
And sift the sands of time,
That I might find the roots that made
This family tree of mine.

Lord, help me trace the ancient roads
On which my fathers trod,
And led them through so many lands
To find our present sod.

Lord, help me find an ancient book
Or dusty manuscript
That's safely hidden now away
In some forgotten crypt;

Lord, let it bridge the gap that haunts
my soul when I can't find
The missing link between some name
that ends the same as mine.

N. Curtis Woods

Welcome to the new blog!

Welcome everyone to my new blog site.
Technical difficulties aside-don't we love computers some days!- This blog is going to follow the same format as my original blog. I'll be trying to transfer over those posts, I hope, to this site.

A little reminder for anyone local that the GTAGS/DAR event is coming up March 28th. Read below for more info:

Genealogy Workshop presented by the Job Winslow Chapter NSDAR along with GTAGS on Saturday, March 28, 2009 at the Traverse Area District Library 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM. The workshop is open to anyone interestd in working on their family tree. There will be chapter genealogists and members to assist those attending on a one-to-one basis. Everyone is welcome to attend the workshop at anytime throughout the afternoon. There is no charge and registration is not required. For those planning to attend it would be hlepful to bring any useful date or documents about your family.

I look forward to seeing anyone who can make it there!