Saturday, August 22, 2015

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

Seems like an appropriate post title, considering that it is back to school time. Again.

Back to school time for me means the household has a better routine. Thanks for hanging around - I do appreciate it. Hopefully, my brain will be more engaged in blogging and reading everyone else's posts.

My last post was from the deep South. I traveled to Alabama in May because my college son qualified for NAIA track and field National Championships in the 5000m. He's settled in so well in college and we were so thrilled for him. Unfortunately, competing in 85 degrees and 85% humidity on the Gulf Coast of Alabama was less than ideal. He still finished 20th, though a long ways from his personal best time.

#1194, white over black

Back in Illinois, high school son was hoping to qualify for the Illinois 3A state track and field meet in the 3200m (2-mile). He did! So after flying back home from Alabama, I packed up and we drove to Eastern Illinois University to watch him compete. As it goes with my sons and coincidences, he also finished 20th! We were so proud. The best part is that they were both just sophomores, so hopefully there will be more qualifying ahead. Now...cross country season!

#6, orange and white

The rest of the summer was spent working and dealing with everyone's crazy schedules. We took a family weekend to Wisconsin and Lake Michigan, and now it is back to reality.

Lake Michigan, near Port Washington, Wisconsin

Part of MY routine, of course, is genealogy. That will never go away. So even though I didn't blog this summer (and frankly, I am still exhausted from #52Ancestors in 2014!), I have continued my research. I keep up with my DNA matches and because of that, keep working on my tree. Previously, I usually added new lines and sometimes in-laws, based on what I learned. Now with DNA in the mix, comparing my tree to another's may not yield an immediate match, but if we both fill in our trees, that potential match may show itself.

In addition to the tree-ing, I have jumped back into my online database ( I use TNG to present my research online, and have been learning more of the behind-the-scenes "coding" to make it appear to my liking. That will always be a work in progress! One thing I decided to add was a DNA logo for those people who I have discovered a DNA match with. Here's an example.

I learned how to add Google maps in my database to show a person's life locations. That was easy. Then looking at my database, I realized how badly I needed to actually update the locations. Wow, was that a (necessary) chore. I use Legacy Family Tree for my database (which uses Bing) but TNG uses Google. I've decided Google maps are far superior to Bing maps. That meant manually geocoding many locations. I think I got most. If you see something that looks weird, do tell me!

I still want to start posting about my DNA work and the connections I've made. I'm not sure of the approach - do I start with basics, assuming this audience is not terribly familiar, or do I jump right in? Hmm, more to ponder.

I hope you all had great summers! I, for one, am glad to be back to the grind.

© 2015 Sally Knudsen

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day in Biloxi

For the past several days, I was in various parts of the South: Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. While driving through Biloxi, Mississippi yesterday, I paid a visit to the Biloxi National Cemetery. It was established in 1934, and lies on the grounds of the US Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Thank you to all who served.

© 2015 Sally Knudsen

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy (early) Mother's Day to my mother, grandmother (at age 96!), and all of our ancestral mothers before us.

Louise Wilhelmina Dork Hummel (1895-1973)
died Lansing, Ingham, Michigan

Wilhelmina Kopkau Dork (1871-1915)
died Lansing, Ingham, Michigan

Wilhelmina Stachel Kopkau (1842-1914)
died Lansing, Ingham, Michigan

Gottliebe Schmidtke Stachel (1815-1900)
died Lansing, Ingham, Michigan

Anna Maria Macziewska Schmidtke (1785-after 1854)
died Kreis Rosenberg, West Prussia

Christina Brant Macziewska (unknown)
died Kreis Rosenberg, West Prussia


reprinted from my original post 5/12/12

© 2015 Sally Knudsen

Friday, April 24, 2015

Slightly Sidetracked

I'm still here, I swear.

Now that I've discovered DNA testing, I've vastly altered how I research. It takes a lot of time and I am so fascinated! I hope to get a better grip on various results and start blogging about them soon.

So many ways to get sidetracked! This:

and these:

Kid1 winning a college 3000m last weekend

Kid2 (r) running an Illinois Top 10 1600m time last weekend

Me: wandering through the past and cheering on the present. Thanks for your patience!

© 2015 Sally Knudsen

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday - He's Hilarious

This is one of my favorite "stumbled upon" stones.

Hilarious and Margaret are buried in St. James at Sag Bridge Cemetery in Lemont, Cook, Illinois.

I find that Hilarious is a true Latin name, meaning 'cheerful.' From the Behind the Name website, there was a Saint Hilarius, a 4th century theologian, and a Pope Hilarius in the 5th century.

© 2015 Sally Knudsen

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Family With 17 Children

One part of my ancestral makeup is French-Canadian. I recently made a double-cousin connection via DNA. This cousin and I each descend from the same Blanchette and Dionne families two times. Making that connection got me back to filling in gaps on my tree. Those gaps can be pretty big because a lot of my Quebec families had a large number of children: 8, 10, 12 and more was not uncommon.

I was in my database, updating the fourteenth baptism in a particular family, and I thought, hmm, I wonder how big is the biggest family in my tree? And never one to shy away from data, I spent some time in the Statistics tab of my family tree software to see what other shocking interesting facts I could find.

I use Legacy Family Tree 8.0. Here is where I find the Statistics tab:

The report in Legacy comes 'pre-filled' with a number of interesting facts like longevity by century, number of children, most popular names, etc. I have about 7,000 people in my database including both parent's trees and my husband's tree. The report includes the entire database.

Let's begin!

Longest female lifespan:   102 years, 1 month, 10 days
Longest male lifespan:        99 years, 11 months, 5 days

Average female lifespan:    59 years, 7 months, 27 days
Average male lifespan:       59 years, 2 months, 22 days

Sorry guys!

Families with 10 or more children:   49
Most children:   17    (yes, that really says 17)

Ignace Blanchette and Julie Lampron of Ste-Monique in Quebec had 17 known children, including two sets of twins, between 1846-1876. Ignace is my first cousin 5 times removed. Julie has my sympathy.

Most popular names in the 1800's:   Mary and Joseph
Most popular names in the 1900's:   Dorothy and Edward

Not sure I even know a Dorothy in real life!

Most popular locations:

  1. Lansing, Ingham, Michigan
  2. Chicago, Cook, Illinois
  3. New York
  4. L'Avenir, Drummond, Quebec, Canada
  5. Locke Township, Ingham, Michigan
  6. Joliet, Will, Illinois
  7. Birtley, County Durham, England

It's fun to look at your genealogy in a different way. What fun facts can you find in your tree?

© 2015 Sally Knudsen

Friday, March 20, 2015

Friday DNA Fun

I haven't been writing quite as much lately. With a number of family DNA tests back, I have been busy analyzing those tests, as well as working on updating my family tree.

This recent exchange with my son was too good not to share.

He is a teenager and recently was fitted for contacts. One afternoon last week, I picked up a new trial pair from the optometrist's office. I laid the bag on the bathroom counter:

Yesterday I asked him why he hadn't used the new contacts yet.

"OOOHHH that's what that bag is? I thought it was one of your DNA tests!"

True story.

© 2015 Sally Knudsen