Tuesday, December 11, 2018

4 Must Polish Research Collections

Archival Jurisdictions
At a3Genealogy we encourage our clients to research their family lines. So right now, as I'm writing this post, an Australian-based client is currently researching in Warsaw and forwarding to us his findings and documents. We work with our clients -"teamwork" - to get answers on their ancestral brickwalls. In this case, it is the client who is the document retriever, and a3Genealogy researchers will analyze documents, follow the Genealogical Proof Standards (GPS), and work toward proving kinship to meet the objective of "Who are the parents of Stephanus...? (Truncated for client privacy). 

Sources for Polish Research
Rudzinski Folder online:The Head Office of the State Archives 
Our Polish ancestral projects are broad in scope.  The last project was for an Israel-based American who wanted EU status, through his Polish ancestor.  That was a fun project!  We must note that many of our Polish ancestral projects require us to start right in America, so our top Polish resources include Poland research, online research, and American research.  Here are four of our favorites:

If you haven't visited the Central Archives of Historical Records Warsaw or one of the other national Poland archives, well, you are missing a treat. The Central Archives of Historical Records Warsaw or Archiwum Główne Akt Dawnych w Warszawie, AGAD, holds a wealth of genealogical information (AGAD).  Visit the AGAD  link to read about it in Polish, or have your page translated (right click mouse and choose translate). 

Although our current Polish ancestral research project does not include a Polish American component, we must sneak in an underutilized American collection. We love the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences of America PIASA Archives Yes, this collection can be a bit academic, but so worth the time.  Here's information based on their website: The archival manuscripts are included in seventy-five collections.
"The archival collections include manuscripts, 
correspondence, diaries, maps and sound recordings."

A quick look at The Head Office of the State Archives Sezam and Zosia Databases is a great place to begin your research.  We often use this as a finding aid, and send the "Nerd Team" to the site to ferret out information. Yes, we affectionately call a few of our researchers the "Nerd Team."  They consider it a a badge of honor. Here is information on the various databases and Poland Holdings of the Polish State Archives.   
If your research lands you on needed State Archival collections, the a3Genealogy team relies on the Family History Library for their microfilmed/digitized Polish State Archives collection.  Since not all of the State Archives records were microfilm, you may need to make a written request for document retrieval.  Here's more information on the Poland State Archives records. 

Teaming with Document Retriever
The a3Genealogy researchers follow basic protocols, dare we say Standard Operating Procedures, to work with the document retrievers around the world. Our clients taking on this role also follow the basic procedures. We know when researchers are in a "genealogical research zone", there are two things often forgotten:  1) Giving distinguishing file names to each document; 2) Citing sources. Now that can be a problem, when we need to go back to the repository or archive for further research! So for anyone retrieving documents, here are things to consider as you pull those precious nuggets of ancestral leads: 

Shared Documents
Where will shared documents be stored?  At a3Genealogy we use Box.com, Dropbox, and Google Drive, based on the retriever's experience.  Our retrievers may send us documents in any legible form (scanned, phone cameras, by snail mail, email, messaging, etc).  We ask for full pages to include margins. Then we file the documents in the appropriate folders. 

Files Folders and Identification System
The biggest issue is that a project may have multiple "Stephanus" in each generation (cousins, direct line, uncles, etc).  So your files and folders must clearly determine which "Stephanus". Researchers want an at a glance filing system!  That's a major time saver. 

Citing Sources
So this is where we have broad guideline for clients, but professional document retrievers for hire should know to follow GPS standards for citations. Ok, our overseas retrievers often use a different citation format, but it usually meets our needs. Just remember to cite! For clients we have them jot down everything they can about the collection: name, folder number from archives, collection name, etc.  This can be given to the a3Genealogy team via handwritten notes, phone pics, etc. and we sort it out for proper citation. 

Just a few Polish  repository and research tips and tricks.  
Kathleen Brandt
a3Genealogy@gmail.com
Accurate, accessible answers

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Homes for Unwed and Troubled Women 1869 – 1950

Where Are the Records?

 Seattle Advertisement for Florence Crittenton Home

Usually we find out by accident that Grandma was born in a home for unwed mothers. Sometimes, we figure it out, by the surname throughout her historical records, where a father is not listed, or the maternal family surname is the only one used. Sometime, we just deduce it correctly, when the family lived in rural America, yet, Grandma was born in a woman friendly town like Kansas City. Who was Grandma’s father will always be a family secret, or, the gossip of the hometown, but perhaps more information can be found in the records of the place of birth, especially if it was a home for unwed mothers.

History of Homes for Unwed Mothers
Florence Crittenton Home, Kansas City
Homes for unwed mothers and “troubled” women were becoming a common place by the early 1890’s. As early as 1869 the sisters of St. Vincent opened The House of Providence, a program for unwed mothers and their children, as did many other cities.

Charles Nelson Crittenton
By 1893 Charles Nelson Crittenton, grieving the death of his four year old daughter Florence who suffered from scarlet fever in 1882, founded Florence Night Mission. This Mission was designed to assist the prostitutes, troubled “lost and fallen women and wayward girls” of New York City.

By 1895 Dr. Kate Waller Barrett, an Episcopalian minister’s wife and mother of six, joined forces with Dr. Crittenton. Dr. Barrett’s primary interest was to assist unwed mothers. After completing her nursing course in 1894 at the Florence Nightingale Training School in London and her medical degree at the Women’s College of Georgia, in Atlanta, she and Crittenton partnered to establish up to 73 homes for unwed expectant mothers across America.[1] The National Florence Crittenton Mission became a well known safe-haven for unwed, troubled girls. Most of the homes served between 8-15 girls, but then there were the larger Florence Crittenton homes, like that in Kansas City.

Willows Maternity Home, KCMO
Other private homes for unwed mothers, or troubled women like “The House of Another Chance in Seattle which opened in 1926, assisted up to 150 women. And the The Willows Maternity Home, founded in 1905, in Kansas City was noted for its significant influence in adoptions. 

Homes for Colored Girls
Based on the times, the colored girls had their own homes for unwed mothers. In 1925 in Kansas City, there was the Florence Home for Colored Girls. Although named after the Critenton’s daughter, it was funded by the philanthropist William Volker. 

Kansas City – The Baby Hub of the US
According to statistics, Kansas City was the baby hub and a safe-place for unwed mothers. It was located in the middle of the US with convenient access to the railroad. A railroad map into Kansas City was featured on the Interesting Willows’ Statistics pamphlet printed in 1921 by Willows Maternity Home.

At that time, Kansas City also was the home of the Florence Crittenton Home, The St. Vincent’s Hospital, Eastside Maternity Hospital (often called the Kansas City Cradle due to its close association and history, but this relationship is a bit misleading) and the Florence Home for Colored Girls.

Where are the Records?
Some of the workers kept diaries that have been preserved for these homes as the chronicles of the Florence Crittenton Home in Montana. The records for the Florence Crittenton Mission in Kansas City are held at the Missorui Valley Special Collections. The Florence Crittenton Home of Norfolk records are held in the Old Dominion University Libraries, Special Collections: Manuscripts. However, some records were destroyed, as those at the Willows Maternity Home, in Kansas City. These records were supposedly “piled in the backyard and burned.” 

Be sure to check with State Historical Societies and manuscripts for these records. 

Note on Adoptions: Although the homes mentioned in this post historically encouraged the women to keep their child, the same homes were used as adoption agencies.

[1] The New York Times, 17 Nov. 1909, Page 9; http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9F06E3DA1630E733A25754C1A9679D946897D6CF, online access 19 May 2010

Reprint of 19 May 2010, title of same name.

a3Genealogy
Accurate, Accessible Answers
a3genealogy@gmail.com

Monday, November 26, 2018

New Genealogy TV Show - "I Should Have Known"

PRESS RELEASE
The new TLC pilot, I Should Have Known, aired Monday, 26 Nov 2018.  "I Should Have Known," proves to be much more than a genealogy show. 

Kathleen Brandt, of a3Genealogy (KCMO), is an International Professional Genealogist, Licensed Private Investigator, and a host of the show. She has joined others to help "Lindsay" and Francisco wade through their "new life secrets."


I Should Have Known
(click here for full episode)
Here is what TLC says:

           I Should Have Known
Lindsey [sic] and Francisco's lives get turned upside down when they learn a life altering secret that makes them question who they even are?  Now struggling with the fact they were lied to their entire lives, they each embark on a mission to uncover the truth.  
Be sure to sign into your provider to access the online full episode of the show. We'd love your feedback on the show.

Kathleen Brandt
a3Genealogy@gmail.com
Accurate, Accessible Answers
(original post, 25 Nov 2018, revised)

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Genealogy Gift Certificate - Black Friday

  
Offer Expires 6 Jan 2019  
It's too late to ask for an ancestry family tree by Christmas, but .... we have just what you need! Genealogy 
Need a Last Minute Gift Certificate? 
Every year we do it! We need a special gift for Mom, Dad, the Family and our brain goes blank. At a3Genealogy we recognize the panic in your voice, your emails and your facebook posts.  So again this year, we are offering our Holiday Special (code #88) off our 10 hour $80.00/hour packages. (A savings of $50.00.)

Special Holiday Promotion 
Code #88 extends a $50.00 discount on four of our most popular packages: 1) Basic Family Research Package  2) Consultant Package  3) Military Package 4) DNA Analysis Package. You must purchase research projects in 10 hour increments. Special Holiday Promotion Code #88 does not apply to other Packages to include Heirship Research Packages, Media Packages, Dual Citizenship Packages, or Adoption Packages. Promotion Code #88 expires 6 Jan 2019.  

Popular Packages Plus More

10 Hour Basic Family Research Package:  This family research package typically includes two surname lines. Know that our research is not just an ancestry.com or internet searches but may include researching for military, naturalization documents, court records, and records held at Federal, State and County repositories. USA only.

10 Hour Consultant Package:  This package is designed for the aspiring genealogist, but genealogy professionals often request it. Are you a family historian or genealogist and need help with your brickwall?  You do the research, but we will be your partner and guide you via conference calls, emails and local meetings.  We have experts across the USA and many overseas that can also coach you through local issues. We often assist in your document retrieval needs.  

10 Hour Military Package:  For your Revolutionary War soldier WWII veteran, and all those in between, we can design a research project to honor your ancestor.

10 Hour DNA Analysis Package: Your results are in, but what does this all mean?  We can use DNA Analysis Package, to assist in solving a brick wall, planning a trip overseas, or even connecting you to your biological family. This is not a comprehensive Adoption Package, but this might be just the package you need.

Notes:

  • Be sure to visit our webiste: a3Genealogy.com
  • a3Genealogy Gift Certificates can be applied to any research project. Gift certificates are activated upon payment.
  • Contact us for more information, or make your holiday purchase here: Gift Certificate #88. Happy Holidays!
  • Projects for Promotion Code #88 must be scheduled by 1 April 2019. 
  • All gift certificates are activated upon payments. Clients will receive an expiration and ID code to confirm activation. 
  • For phone purchase, contact Kathleen Brandt at 816-729-5995. 
Kathleen Brandt
a3Genealogy 
a3Genealogy.com
Accurate, accessible answers

Monday, September 24, 2018

Which County in Ireland?

John Burns, Wisconsin, Milwaukee County, 1836 Probate Records
A Non-Stop Party
My older brother used to say “it ain’t nothing but a party.” While in college, his motto was "you don't go home until you are exhausted. Just because the party stopped, you don't stop. YOU are not exhausted. There were after parties, a friend’s house to play games, and meetups after the after-parties at IHOP. That was my brother Lance’s philosophy on life. I, on the other hand, am a genealogy nerd.

The Issue - Needle in a Haystack
The person I'm looking for is John Burns.  Well, at least that was his name in the USA - Wisconsin in 1836. I know he was born in Ireland, but without strong hints supported with solid research, finding the "correct" John Burns in Ireland is the proverbial looking for a needle in a haystack. He's there somewhere, but where? So I must exhaust my USA research. 

What’s Hidden in the Wills?
But, when we have projects like our Burns, Barnds, and Byrnes (yes, those are some of our B clients along with Britt, Burnett, and Brundage), we call it a party at a3Genealogy. We don’t stop until we’ve exhausted all of our party resources. Of course in this case, the party includes "all possible involved parties."  

Our researchers and clients are usually enrolled for the long haul.  We keep them informed of our progress, disappointments, and surprises along the way.  But sometimes they make us laugh. Like today, when a client asked, “why do you need to look at wills and probates to find the parents and origin of my John.” Here’s why!

Family Names
"...my sisters Catherine Burns, Bridget Burns and Aunty Burns and to Patrick Burns (a son of my brother John Burns by the widow Carrel...)


Year of Migration: 1831
..."when I left Ireland in the year A. D. 1831.
But, From Where In Ireland?
"That there may be no mistake I here give the Post Office address of my said sisters and brothers [sic] son when I left Ireland in the year A. D. 1831 as follows, to wit: Bonafair [?]* in the county of Kilkenny, Ireland, their residence prior to that time was at Lochland Bridge [Leighlinbridge?]in the county of Carlow, an adjoining county."
Worth it?
We have about a dozen more wills on the Burns of Wisconsin before coming to any conclusion. But did the client really want us to overlook this one?

Kathleen Brandt
a3Genealogy.com
Accurate, accessible answers

Notes: *Bonafair as written has not been located in County Kilkenny.  Perhaps Ballyfoyle, but this has not been proven. 

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Join Me 21 Aug - DNA Genetics & Medical Genealogy

Freshly home from a day at the Lincoln - Lancaster (NE) County Genealogical Society (LLCGS) Fall Annual Seminar! Now that was fun.  I presented 4 great topics to a wonderful group. I am sure to see you all again soon.
1) 10 Best Bets to Civil War Research
2) Finding Your Revolutionary War Soldier
3) Oral and Family History: sharing Our Ancestors
4) The Changing Surname - How to Trace It  (new offering). 
Thanks you LLCGS for hosting me, and a special thanks to Dennis Allen and Cris Nagla of Genealogical Treasures from Des Moines, IA for being so supportive.

DNA Series Genetic & Medical Genealogy
Now, to the upcoming excitement: DNA Series Genetic & Medical Genealogy hosted by the North Oak branch of Mid-Continent Public Library.

This is a class that will not disappoint! Genealogy test results have helped us find long lost relatives, assists investigators in uncovering criminals, and helps us identify medical risks, and genetic health ties to our ancestors.  Learn the tools, your medical risks,  and how to trace your genetic genealogy.  This is not a medical class. It's how to get the most out of your DNA test results and how to track more on your genealogy charts.  Yes, there's a standard for the charts.

Hope to see you Tues: 21 Aug 2018, 6:30 - 7:30.  Visit the Registration Link here.

Kathleen Brandt
a3Genealogy.com
Accurate, accessible answers

Sunday, August 5, 2018

How to Trace the Changing Surname


The Lincoln - Lancaster Genealogical Society (Nebraska) specifically asked for this presentation.  It's an eyeopener. We click, and click and click and never find that elusive ancestor.  I suggest you pull away from the redundant clicking and attack this issue with a plan. 

Women and Surnames
We know that in 1866 there was an article on Keeping Their Maiden Names in Addition to the Husbands Surname. Wow! Our ancestors were progressive.  You did it, didn't you? You just googled what actresses in 1866?  Then you realized, oh....stage!  

Norwegian Surnames
Well, surnames have always been a pain. This early writer attempted to make sense of Norwegian Names. 
 
 So when someone says to you...the records just don't exist.   Think about it! Our ancestors even had their names legally changed through the courts, or in the military.  
1917, Inquirer, PA, Vol 176, Issue 25, pg. 10
I mean really how did: 
  • Ber become Berkowicz (and many other variations)
  • Banham became King
  • Samuelsson became Tinberg
  • Sadorkiewicz become Weinstock
  • Whitaker became Bagshaw.  
  • And, where did Cuplin even come from? All of the close DNA matches were Copelands.   Yes, we have to pull out all the stops, including DNA to solve this surname changing issue! 
So Where Are the Records?
In all the usual spots, repositories, historical collections. But, we must have a keen eye on the documents. Here are a few: 
  • National Archives especially for 1) Native American Indian to Enrollee Names, 2) Prisoner aliases 3) Military Records
  • Court Records for alias prisoners
  • State Archives: especially for early Americans where name changes were noted in minutes
    1754, Pennsylvania Archives, fold3.com
    • Prison Records: State prison records, and Attorney General Criminal Records (for some reason, duh, men and women criminals had lots of names). 
    • Naturalization and Declaration of Intent Records (be sure to study them and pair with ship manifest. 
    • Social Security Applications and Claims
    • Marriage Records
    That's where we start! Of course there are so many more resources we must scour to identify and verify!

    Kathleen Brandt
    a3Genealogy.com
    accurate accessible answers