19 June 2015

Into a Briar Bush - Genealogy Records Page by Page

"If a girl jumps into a briar bush, it is hard to tell which bush scratches the hardest."[1]

This birth certificate took my breath away. There were several illegitimate births each year in Stonington, Connecticut, but for this one, either the doctor or the clerk felt the need to pass moral judgement on the mother of this baby boy. 

Genealogy Records Page by Page

I found the record for baby boy Morrison born in 1863 by looking through the Stonington vital records on microfilm, image by image. When you are searching for a family (online, on microfilm or in person), take the time to proceed page by page. There are several benefits to this process;
  • become familiar with names of fellow residents; important when building your FAN club
  • find items missed during indexing or indexed incorrectly
  • microfilm: you may discover film descriptions are inaccurate and find something you didn't expect to find
  • births: find babies recorded without first names
  • marriages: learn the names of officiants of other marriages and by extension discover religious institutions
  • deaths: learn about most common causes and epidemics
  • discover interesting stories and add to your knowledge of the time and place
Yes. It takes more time to look at every page or image. I spent eight hours going through this microfilm reel! That's three days spent at the Family History Center in Exeter, New Hampshire. However, not only did I find several family records, I found baby Morrison's birth certificate. 

Baby Morrison's certificate tells us about the morals of the day and society's view on illegitimate births, promiscuity and racial prejudice. Was this remark made by the white doctor because of the mother's color? We could answer this question by making a survey of all of the illegitimate births in Stonington and noting the doctors' names and their remarks.[2] 

I hope you will consider going page by page the next time you are hunting for an ancestor's record. Let me know what you find. 

Research on!

Jennifer Shoer aka Scrappy Gen

Let's Remember!
[1] Stonington, Connecticut, Records of births, marriages, deaths 1847- 1869, Certificate of Birth, 39, Morrison, April 12th, 1863; FHL microfilm 1309873, Item 4.
[2] 1850 U.S. census, Stonington, New London County, Connecticut, population schedule, p. 270 (stamped), dwelling 208, family 381, Geo. E. Palmer; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 19 June 2015); citing National Archives microfilm publication M432, roll 48.

18 June 2015

Got Jewish Ancestors?

Head over to the Reconnecting Relatives Jewish genealogy blog for help finding your Jewish ancestors. Every Tuesday there will be a new post with tips and resources. 

The Name Game helps make sense of Jewish forenames and surnames. Learn the answer to the question: Do Yudil, Judil, Yehuda and Jacob all refer to the same man? In the United States in the late 1800s and early 1900s, surnames were a free for all. Like the name Smith? It's yours for the taking. Learn the answer to the question: Why did a family named Shochet become Shoer? 

Do you have a question you would like to see answered on the Reconnecting Relatives Jewish genealogy blog? Comment below or on the blog or email Jennifer

Research on!

Jennifer Shoer aka Scrappy Gen

Let's Remember!

17 June 2015

Most Popular Post on the Scrappy Genealogist

The most commented post on The Scrappy Genealogist is the one in which I write about traveling back to the place I first lived, Butzbach, Germany. My Dad was stationed there from 1965 through 1968. We lived on Texas Road in the American military housing complex, Roman Way. My memories of our time there are hazy, but when we visited, I felt a deep connection to the place where I spent my first years. Memories can be intellectual, but mine of Butzbach are physical and emotional. 

Ten years ago, on 30 April 2003, the U.S. Department of Defense announced that its operations at Schloss Kaserne and Roman Way in Butzbach would end in 2007.[1] Periodically I reread the comments from people who also lived and/or served there.  They are united in their fond memories and they miss this special place and time. I totally get it. And so feeling a bit melancholy today for a place and time now gone, I offer you these links:

Photos by Stimpyrama: This site's photographer takes beautiful photos of Lost Places. His photos of Roman Way are edited to create a gritty, emotional effect. 

YouTube user 3AD Roadking 1970 created three videos in 2007 of Roman Way:
Roman Way Village Housing Part 1
Roman Way Village Housing Part II
Roman Way Village Housing Part III

and one of Schloss Kaserne

Frankfurt American High School has two interior photos taken in Butzbach, one of pool tables and the other of a snack bar

Flickr user Setjet posted pictures taken in 2003 of Roman Way and surrounding US Army areas

Schloss Kaserne

This blog Forgotten Memories has more pictures of the neighborhood. 

This is a series of pictures of Schloss Kaserne. 

We visited Schloss Kaserne during our visit. My Dad worked in this building during his service in the 1960s. I know that some of the buildings were torn down, but this one was still there. 

Research on!

Jennifer Shoer aka Scrappy Gen

Let's Remember!

[1] www.defense.gov U.S. Department of Defense, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs) News Release No. 290-03 April 30, 2003 http://www.defense.gov/releases/release.aspx?releaseid=3797 accessed 4 April 2013
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