Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Cousin They Lost

The other day, Miriam mentioned a site called Lost Cousins (AnceStories: Lost Cousins is Completely Free Until 2008!). I signed up (free) and while the concept is interesting, I think it would be a lot easier to use if Lost Cousins made a deal (or is there an API?) with FamilySearch that would allow users to "claim" households and individuals in the 1880 census.

It's a great way to find others researching the same ancestors, but I lost interest after adding a handful of individuals to my account.

Looking Back and Ahead

Well, one brick wall came down in 2007: connecting Willis HALL to his parents finally happened. A few years ago, I would have pushed hard to further that research, but I'm more realistic about things now and very relieved just to have completed this phase. Thanks goes out to distant cousins and strangers for their assistance with this research.

Not a lot else happened. That's not necessarily a bad thing, nor is it surprising. I'm lucky now to get a few hours of genealogy in each week. I have finally begun, for the last time, compiling my information in the way I had always wanted. It's a race to see who finishes first — me or the LDS digitization project!

Next year should be more of the same (lack of substantial progress), but also interesting. First, with little effort I could obtain DNA samples from my branch of the HEATONs. It's already been discussed and there seemed to be some interest. The trick will be getting samples from those with verified Pennsylvania (and New Jersey?) roots for comparison. Similarly, I've begun to think that a DNA test on my BURGER cousins might help tie up a few loose ends from 140-150 years ago.

Second, I'm confident Cousin Dan and I are very close to finding where the LODENKAMPERs resided prior to emigrating. It seems like we're in the right neighborhood, so to speak, but I just don't know where to guess next.

Finally, I'm about to order parish records for the REINMĂ–LLER family. If that transaction goes smoothly, I hope to resolve some issues that have been kicking around for several years.

Other than that, I don't see anything big on the horizon for 2008. Maybe I'll get another lucky break like the HALLs and a dead end will open up.

Here's the interesting part about '08: I may be libraryless! My local branch is closed until December 2008 for expansion and remodeling, and I'm not sure that their genealogy section was entirely moved to the temporary location. And thanks to some major roadwork over the next couple of years in St. Louis City and County, getting to StL County Special Collections may not be worth the hassle. Because they have a microfilm scanner, St. Louis is where I order all of my FHL microfilm. I'm hoping that my local branch decides to upgrade and adds one of these scanners next winter because the StL highway work isn't going to be finished until sometime in 2009. That's OK, I guess. It will give me an excuse to work on what I already have and maybe go on some short trips instead.

Green coffins

CNN: 'Green funerals' feature biodegradable coffins.

I've always heard that the best and fastest way to compost is to occasionally turn the pile. Volunteers?

Monday, December 17, 2007

Old Guy Dies

From the Daily Mail: World's 'oldest' person dies aged 116 after putting his long life down to never marrying.
"However, he died before proof of his age was submitted to Guinness World Records."
Is there some reason his age cannot be verified after death?

Sunday, December 02, 2007

MO Deaths: 1939

The Missouri State Archives has added scans of certificates from 1939 to the Missouri Death Certificate Database.