Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Freedom, Rights, and Independence Day

The African American 4th of July
Today Americans of all colors, race and religion are free to join in the festivities of the 4th of July.  Not to dampen the spirit, but we can't forget that in 1776 slavery was a welcomed institution even while the words freedom and rights were widespread. Colonies fought against the British forces in the Revolutionary War, 1775-1783 for such freedoms and rights that were not extended to slaves for another 80 plus years. 

African American Revolutionary Soldiers
In some states, like North Carolina,  free-coloreds, like my ancestor Ned Griffin, were allowed to serve as soldiers, others as laborers.  Slaves, too, served as substitutes for white men.  In exchange they were most often promised their freedom, as my ancestor, Ned Griffin.  But they had to fight in the field, and then upon their return to their home state, had to fight in court, for the freedom promised to them. 

Ned Griffin
An Act for Enfranchising Ned Griffin, Late the Property of William Kitchen.

[An Act for Enfranchising Ned Griffin, Late the Property of William Kitchen Colonial Records. Acts of the North Carolina General Assembly, 1784 April 19, 1784 - June 03, 1784
; Volume 24, Pages 543 - 649.]
I. Whereas, Ned Griffin, late the property of William Kitchen, of Edgecomb county, was promised the full enjoyments of his liberty, on condition that he, the said Ned Griffin, should faithfully serve as a soldier in the continental line of this State for and during the term of twelve months; and whereas the said Ned Griffin did faithfully on his part perform the condition, and whereas it is just and reasonable that the said Ned Griffin should receive the reward promised for the services which he performed;
II. Be it therefore Enacted by the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina, and it is hereby Enacted by the authority of the same, That the said Ned Griffin, late the property of William Kitchen, shall forever hereafter be in every respect declared to be a freeman; and he shall be, and he is hereby enfranchised and forever delivered and discharged from the yoke of slavery; any law, usage or custom to the contrary thereof in anywise notwithstanding.
 
As many as 10% of the Continental Army soldiers were African Americans. Ancestor Ned Griffin, served in The Battle of Guilford Courthouse, March 15, 1781. The following history is available on the History from the National Park Service, Guilford Courthouse website.

Ned Griffin, a “Man of mixed Blood,” served as William Kitchen’s substitute in the North Carolina Militia.  William Kitchen deserted the army prior to the battle of Guilford Courthouse and purchased Griffin to serve in his place.
Hiring a substitute was a common practice for those who could afford it. In this case, Kitchen promised 
Griffin his freedom upon return. Griffin fulfilled his service (it is believed to have been at the battle of 
Guilford Courthouse), but Kitchen instead sold him back again into slavery [upon his return].
In April 1784 
Griffin petitioned the North Carolina General Assembly for his freedom based on Kitchen’s “promise.”  The assembly acted quickly and enacted legislation that freed and enfranchised Ned Griffin and declared him “forever delivered and discharged from the yoke of slavery.”

The Slave and the Fourth of July
If the 4th of July is a celebration of the birth of America's independence, and the works of the Continental Congress' adoption of the 1776 Declaration of Independence, filled with fireworks and cookouts, one must be reminded that it was not the birth of its citizens freedoms or independence.  

In July 1852 Frederick Douglass, a former slave and a leader in the Abolitionist Movement was invited by the Ladies' Anti-Slavery Society of Rochester, New York to speak at the Independence Day celebration. Millions of Americans of African descent were yet trapped in the tyranny of slavery decades after the Revolutionary War. Douglass delivered his Meaning of July Fourth for the Negrospeech as planned. First paying tribute to the United States, to Jefferson, to the Founders, to the Declaration of Independence, he then shared his "What, to the American slave, is your Fourth of July?" famous oration. This excerpt well explains not only what Ned Griffin endured for years after serving in the Revolutionary War, but the pains of his fellow plantation mates, not yet free. Douglass speaks on the limited celebration of Independence Day:
I say it with a sad sense of the disparity between us. I am not included within the pale of this glorious anniversary! Your high independence only reveals the immeasurable distance between us. The blessings in which you, this day, rejoice are not enjoyed in common. The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity, and independence bequeathed by your fathers is shared by you, not by me. The sunlight that brought light and healing to you has brought stripes and death to me. This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn. To drag a man in fetters into the grand illuminated temple of liberty, and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems, were inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony.
Kathleen Brandt
a3genealogy@gmail.com

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Break Down a Brick Wall

A Pro Genealogist's Approach
Interview and Video by Amy Johnson Crow
AmyJohnsonCrow.com

Yes, over 90% of our clients choose to add DNA kits as a vital tool to bring down their brickwalls.
Join me in Lincoln, NE, at the Lincoln-Lancaster County Genealogical Society 2018 Fall Conference, 18 Aug 2018.

Kathleen Brandt
a3Genealogy.com
a3Genealogy@gmail.com

Friday, June 15, 2018

4 Places for Missouri Genealogy

Tips from Kathleen Brandt
By Amy Johnson Crow
Original Posted: AmyJohnsonCrow.com

I will be giving the webinar “Within a 60-Mile Radius: Kansas City - The Midwest Gateway to Genealogical Resources” 25 Jun 2018 at 7:00pm CST for the Association of ProfessionalGenealogists.  This is one of four of the Pre-PMC Webinar.

Kathleen Brandt
a3Genealogy@gmail.com
a3Genealogy.com

Thursday, June 14, 2018

A Few Missouri Resources for Jewish Family Research

Where to Begin
In 1900 there were 934 Hungary born persons captured in the Missouri census. This number increased to 11,141 by 1910. What would cause such a dramatic increase in the Hungarian population in 10 years? The 1910 census also records that almost 8500 of these Hungary born residents lived in St. Louis and over 400 of them were living in Kansas City, Missouri (Jackson County). Numeric studies like this using Archives.comAncestry.com or Familysearch.org may help you trace your ancestor’s migratory path.

Since we were tracing a Hungarian Jewish family from Ohio to Kansas City, we repeated this analysis for Ohio which led me to the Western Reserve Historical Society at the Cleveland Jewish Archivefrom the Feinstein Jewish Center at Temple University  which held vertical files relevant to our client.

Concentrate Your Research
The idea is to narrow your search to the most likely city/town and repository that may hold documents on your ancestor. Of course this is of most importance when you are tracing a particular ethnicity or an ancestor from a specific religious sector (i.e. Jewish, Catholic, etc).

Another key is to know the endonyms so you don’t overlook local or community based records (i.e. Magyar / Hungary)

A Few Missouri Resources
Kansas City does not hold a genealogical goldmine of Hungarian immigrant research archives or collections, but it is rich in local Jewish historical documents. So before perusing the JewishGen.org website, focus your research locally.

Here are a few of the helpful repositories: 

If visiting Kansas City, you may also wish to add the Self Guided Automobile Tour of Contemporary and Historic Jewish Sites in Greater Kansas City.  

Kathleen Brandt
Accurate, accessible answers

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Jamaica - Family Research

“De more yu luk, de less yu si”
Translation: The more you look, the less you will see.
Explanation: It is impossible to know every single detail about any matter.
Also, the more you find out, the less you know.




 I recently visited Westmoreland Parish, Jamaica (#5), and a small bit of St. Elizabeth Parish (#2). Like most I flew into Montego Bay which is in St. James Parish (#3).

Jamaica is best known to tourists as having great sandy beaches, and beautiful turquoise water with spa resorts, and “ya mon” being share with the heartfelt “one love” attitude. But the culture, practices and historical residue is what kept me in the constant process of interviewing and digging a bit deeper.  As the proverb says, “De more yu luk, de less yu si.”

So What is Commonly Known
Typical tourists go to the spa resorts by assigned transport.  They see the small shanties for residence, large mansion styles in the hills, and food stands. There are the myriad of students and workers waiting on the road for “Route Taxi’s” to transport to school or work.  And of course, no one can miss the churches. They literally overshadow every community, roadside driveways, and poorly kept main roads.

Most have a bit of the Spanish, French and British slave history of the island. We’ve even learned through songs the rebellions that lead to emancipation.  But as genealogists we need to dig a bit deeper to learn about our ancestors. We must understand the history to understand the records.

Quick Genealogical Tips 

  1. Slave emancipation by the British was in 1838, leading to some records that may reveal your ancestor as a having a subsistence farm vs. working on plantations. Or being a free maroon - the maroons were Africans who escaped slavery (mostly run-aways) and set up communities of freemen in the mountains mostly in the eastern parishes.
  2. Your maroon family line may also reveal a connection to the indigenous Taino people as they joined to formed protected communities.  
  3. Your Jamaican ethnic origin may include that of ancestors of Chinese and Indian descent as by 1840 British used both as indentured servants on plantations.  
  4. Your Jamaican bloodline may include J1 or J2 Jewish Haplogroups on DNA results due to the European-expelled Jews who fled to Jamaica as early as 1510 but records may say “Portugals” as to not stir the wrath or mistreatment by the antisemetic. Good news is this information not only proffers your Jewish ancestry, but also perhaps their earlier homeland. But, remember this is just a hint. A totally different conversation is understanding the confusion of Sephardic vs Ashkenazic Jewish haplogroups.
  5. The facts and history of Jamaica settlement and slavery have been researched and recorded since the beginning of settlement, but the location of originals are not centralized.  A good place to start is in A History of Jamaica; From it’s discovery by Christopher Columbus to the Present TimeWm. James Gardner, 1873.
Key Research Resources
A Solved Case
Slave Law of Jamaica, and other Hathitrust.org collections are quite useful in tracing your Jamaican ancestors. The a3Genealogy research team recently traced a Philadelphia free-colored descendant to his Jamaican slave ancestor emancipated in 1795 using the An Account of the Emancipation of the Slaves of Unity Valley Pen, in Jamaica, Barclay, 2nd edition, 1801 and of course other resources to include in-country sources.

Kathleen Brandt
Series, Jamaica 2018
a3Genealogy@gmail.com
Accurate, accessible answers

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

2018 Speaker Titles


One Motivated Mama Inspirational "Where you are going" Canvas by Ana Brandt.    www.shoptaopan.com  #inspiration #motivation #knowwhereyouaregoing #whereyoucamefrom #canvas #wallart #motivatedmama:
Visit Ana Brandt's Site
These are just a few titles offered by Kathleen Brandt as a conference Keynote Speaker or seminar Presenter. All are tailored to your conference theme or celebration. If you don't see what you want here, know I offer custom designed presentations and workshops. Know that all of the presentations are chocked full of actual images and many have real life short case studies. 

I am now scheduling for 2017.  But remember, I am often called upon as a last minute substitute, because we can never plan for those unplanned "life" events

Be sure to review the Experience/Qualifications page. 

Kathleen Brandt
Keynote Speaker/Presenter
816-729-5995

Presentation Titles for Your Conference

Military
Revolutionary War
·         Finding Your Revolutionary War Soldier
·         7 Best Revolutionary War Resources
·         Your Blacksheep: Courts-martial and Courts of inquiry records
War of 1812
·         War of 1812 Records: 10 Places to Research
·         Researching Your War of 1812 Impressed Seamen
Revolutionary War and War of 1812
·         African Americans Served Too – Finding Records
Civil War
·         10 Best Bets for Civil War Research 
·         7 Tips to Researching Slaves and Slaveholders
·         Finding Your Elusive Civil War Veteran
·         Claim It!  Southern Claims Commission Records and Slave Claims Commission Records
·         Researching Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) and other Association Records
·         Civil War POW Records
Modern Wars (WWI - WWII
·         Military Records Were Destroyed? What to Do?
·         7 Easy Tips to WWI and WWII Research
·         Forgotten Records -  WWI and WWII

Research Methodology
·         Leaping Over Brickwalls
·         The Changing Surname - How to Trace It?

DNA
·         DNA: Spit or Swab?  (Beginner)
·         DNA for Genealogists: Who? What?, When? Where? (Intermediate)
·         From History to Present: DNA Research (Case Studies)
·         DNA All Day Workshop (all levels)

Research Tools
·         Tech Toys for Genealogists: It’s All Portable
·         Oral and Family History: Sharing Our Ancestors
·         The Cloud: Looking Forward to Backing Up
·         Technology Toolbox for Genealogists

African American Research
·         7 Tips to Researching Slaves and Slaveholders (with MO. Case Study)
·         Researching the Road to Freedom (Prior to the Civil War)
·         7 Resources to Researching Missouri Ex-Slaves and Free-Coloreds.
·         Using Ship Manifests for Slave Research
·         African Americans Served Too: Finding Revolutionary War and War of 1812 Records

International: Emigration - Immigration
·         When They Came to America Where Did They Go?
·         Blackbirding: Sugar, Cotton, and Slaves! Researching South Pacific Island Laborers
·         Did Your Ancestor Become a US Citizen? Where to find Records and Documents

Local Topics and Custom Designed Presentations
Have a unique topic?  Due to our vast client base and experience, presentation just for your local group can be customized. Of course actual images of documents and relevant research tips are shared and often accompanied by a case study.
·         “Delegation of Colored Men” 7 Resources to Researching Western-North Carolina Ex-Slaves and Free-Coloreds.
·         Pioneer Trail From Missouri to California: How to Trace Them?
·         Tracing My State Militia Records
·         Tracing Huguenots – From There to Here

Motivational
·         Your Pioneer Ancestor and You!  How Our Ancestors Did It?
·         The Invisible Staircase: How Missouri Did It!

Entrepreneur You
·         Make Money: Your Genealogy Empire


Midwest and Missouri Specific
Image result for midwest map
Midwest German Settlers
·         Researching Germans from Russia Ancestors
·         8 Tips to Researching Your Missouri Rhineland Ancestors

Missouri Irish
·         Tips to Tracing Your MO. Irish Ancestor - From Immigration to Emigration

Bohemian Settlements
·         5 Research Tips to MO. Bohemian Ancestors

Friday, March 16, 2018

Press Release - New Partnership

DNA Analysis Is Important 
a3Genealogy, of Kansas City, Mo, is pleased to announce that, effective immediately, we have entered into a definitive partnership with In-Genes, a provider of genealogical DNA analysis and founder of the “DNA Heritage Finder” database. A significant benefit of this partnership will be in the area of non-paternal event and adoptee research.

The partnership with In-Genes, based in Los Angeles, further aligns and strengthens a3Genealogy’s position in the genealogical research industry and will create a more comprehensive infrastructure. In-Genes’ proprietary database “DNA Heritage Finder” and a3Genealogy’s longevity in the industry providing extensive genealogical expertise will expedite the process of DNA analysis and reporting and will result in greater efficiencies and significantly increase capacity.

We have worked together for media and individual clients for over a year and our business values and philosophies align: the client being the focus, delivering the best possible product with an emphasis on honesty, integrity, and scientific rigor, as well as connecting the past and present.

Please join us as we look forward to an exciting and prosperous future for a3Genealogy, our project partners, and our clients.


Kathleen Brandt
a3Genealogy.com
Accurate, accessible answers

Monday, March 5, 2018

RootsTech 2018


Hope, Love, Endurance, Unity and Family 

Roots Tech never disappoints! I spent most of my time in the Media Hub again this year.  The lineup of speakers were awesome. There was Brandon Stanton, Scott Hamilton, Natalia Lafourcade, and Henry Lewis Gates.  If you missed Roots Tech this year, I say, these speakers alone were worth the registration fee.  I had the opportunity of interviewing each of them. Every year I’m impressed with the keynote speakers (and I’ve attended every RootsTech but one). If you decided not to come this year, these presentations were also live streamed, so I hope you got the message of hope, love, endurance, unity and family. 









The issue with staying at home, is you have no idea what the energy is like or how easy it is to meet that smiling person across the room. I always think “there are no strangers here.” I see my Belgium friends, my Australian friends, my South African friends, once a year.  That’s a reason to be present.  Sure, we all connect on social media – facebookblog comments, Linkedin, Instagram, and of course Twitter (that’s my go to, when I need answers)-  but we catch up during this four day frenzy. Then we add another dozen or so more BFF’s to the list for next year. 

Trends
If I had to encapsulate this year’s trends I would say “buy up, partner up.”  I’ve never seen the likes.  I attended 4 meetings just on business dealings between companies.  It’s all about aligning your business.  And of course, everyone is aligning with DNA experts and companies.  The a3Genealogy team will making their DNA partner announcement soon. We have been working for a year now, on the partnership, it’s going swimmingly, so we are ready to dive in. By the way, we connected at RootsTech 2017!  I look forward to telling you more about our media use of this exciting proprietary DNA database and the partnership that has helped us solve some exciting brickwall discoveries of non-paternal and adoption cases this past year.

Oh and social media! If you aren’t partnering with a DNA kit company or a DNA analysis company - like a3Genealogy DNA, then you are partnering with a social media expert. As I said, “Buy up, Partner up.” 

Hope to see you next year at RootsTech 2019. Save the date: 27 Feb - 2 March, 2019. Be sure to keep an eye on the RootsTech blog.

Kathleen Brandt
a3genealogy.com
Accurate, accessible, answers

Friday, February 23, 2018

Are You Telling A Family Story?

Dates, Documents and the Truth
We all can find census records, vital records, and pieces of historical data recorded in big books and newspapers,  but what’s the real story.  These pieces of data proffer important dates, places and family names. From them we can get the who, what and when.  But the why is a much deeper question requiring the experienced genealogists to seek answers.  At a3Genealogy we look in three areas for our clients that is often missed.  Have you even heard of 1) social geography 2) medical geography 3) population geography?

Let me give you an overview of what should be included in your family history. If your hired genealogists is just giving you reports based on the who, what and when, your report is not complete. Family historians (hired or Aunt Mabel) should offer you a story. A story that includes the why. At least, provide us with the setting, the environment, the social influences, medical impacts, community involvement and events.     

The Why - Dig Deeper



  1. Social Geography: concentrates on divisions within society – class, ethnicity, region, age, geography of education and crime, conflicts, even local political influences, etc.
  2. Medical Geography: focuses on patterns of community disease and deaths, epidemics, how variations in morbidity, and mortality rates reflect local environments.
  3. Population Geography: concentrates on the local and regional characteristics of fertility, mortality, and migration. In genealogy we begin with a thorough census analysis. Highlighting your ancestors’ names does not suffice. A review of the neighborhood, community, regional and state populations can provide hints to migratory patterns, community divisions or community offerings.

 Interviewing Our Elders


During a Body Mapping session, the family historian will present the interviewee with an outline person traced on a large piece of paper. The historian should ask open-ended questions to facilitate visual storytelling, i.e. “What is the effect of being … ?” Instead of the interviewee giving a verbal response, the must draw out an answer on the Body Map. The result is a Body Map to display family, community and religion effects that may not be otherwise uncovered through traditional research means. Remember storytelling "The purpose of a storyteller is not to tell you how to think but to give you questions to think upon. (Brandon Sanderson) 

Kathleen Brandt
a3Genealogy.com
Accurate, accessible answers

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Open Air Schools - Where Are the Records?

Indiana first "Fresh Air" school, 1910
Indiana Historical Society Bass Co
What to do about Tuberculosis? 
Open Air School Coming to Idaho
The Kendrick Gazette, 23 Dec 1921, Image 6
You air it out of course! 
Tuberculosis was a problem around the world. According to The Forgotten Plague, PBS American Experience, "by the begining of the 19th century, tuberculosis, or 'consumption,' had killed one in seven of all people that had ever lived." It difficult to find a family historian who has not identified at least one ancestor who was a victim or was housed in a sanatorium for tuberculosis - often to never return to the home. Few however, ask, "where were the children?"
Open-Air Schools and the Tuberculous Child in Early 20th Century America
Richard A Meckel, PHD, JAMA Network: Pediatrics
In USA we love to show the Netherlands and Soviet images during the period of 1915-1921 (approx) where open air schools, used to prevent the spread of disease, were common.  But this was also a practice in America. Providence, RI was the first "fresh-air school" or "open air school"  in America, established 27 Jan 1908 (Richard A Meckel, PHD, JAMA Network: Pediatrics). These "fresh-air schools existed until about 1938 - 1941, (National Library of Medicine).

A Few Great Resources
Open Air School in Connecticut
LOC: New-York tribune., May 04, 1919, Page 6, Image 74
At a3Genealogy, we have seen it from Connecticut on the east to Idaho on the west. Some records have been preserved. We suggest you begin with a thorough newspaper search of the region.

  1. Chronically America, Library of Congress online collection is a great resource to begin for a newspaper research
  2. State Archives have been helpful, but be sure to check county historical & genealogical societies and associations.
    First Open Air School in St. Louis, MO
    Bernard Becker Medical Library
  3. Medical Journals and dissertations and local doctor's papers can also be found at local medical school libraries.  The bibliography will provide great hints to original sources. This is where we usually find observation notes, and sometimes names. 
  4. Be sure to visit the familysearch catalog also for a limited overseas collections - mostly England. 

I guess we have to believe our ancestors when they tell us those stories of having to study and sleep in -10F temps.  These open air schools usually were often creative art intensive, and included one hour nap daily.

Did your ancestors go to an open air school?

Kathleen Brandt
a3Genealogy@gmail.com
Accurate Accessible Answers

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

7 Steps to Begin Jewish Genealogical Research

Your Jewish Ancestry. 
Recently I was named a founding board member of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Kansas City (JGSGKC). This is an interim board position and we just had our first General Meeting. The group was enthusiastic, and filled with questions.  I'll will try to answer some of them over the next few weeks.  Where to begin? How to read script?  Where are the resources? A big question was on DNA interpretations. 

Over the past 10 years with a3Genealogy we have built a lot of expertise in this area.  It all began with Dual Citizenships applications and research from the far corners of Russia to South America.  In 1990's when I worked in Tel-Aviv, as a contractor for Bezeq, there were questions about records.  Where were they? There were also a plethora of questions on Operation Solomon and Operation Moses with the Falasha. But, mostly the questions were based on how to take oral history and have it proven, shared, and distributed to family far away? How to connect to those who were not living in Israel? How to trace correspondence.  

So I'm here to tell American Jewish descendants, it's time to get started.  The others are looking for you. 

7 Steps to Begin Your Jewish Research
1)    Create a family tree.  You will need this to properly connect with your Jewish cousin matches. And don’t expect familiar Jewish surnames.  One of our a3Genealogy clients was overcome with laughter when he realized that both Uncle Harry Morris was Jewish and Aunt Mollie Bell - she was Jewish too!
2)     Pull as many death records as possible.  Especially on the lines that match with Jewish cousins.  The key is cemetery names, informants, and information as to where the body went after death. Be sure to visit the Jewish Gen Online Worldwide Burial RegistryUncle Harry was buried at the Golden Hill Cemetery, in Colorado according to his death certificate.  Let’s research that cemetery:
Golden Hill Cemetery was established over 100 years ago on West Colfax Avenue for the Jewish population. It is a historic location listed on the National Register of Historic Places. - Goldenhillcemetery.com

3)    Get an image of the tombstone and know the endonyms. Well what do you say…Uncle Harry, who was born abt. 1890,  has a Star of David right on his tombstone. Wonder why the family never mentioned that? (Image from JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry.)
4)     Pull marriage records.  You are now looking for a Rabbi and Temple name.  Remember we are still just in the gathering phase of your research.
5)     Analyze the census.  Much information is in plain sight on the census records. This is always an overlooked strategy for researchers, but the town and neighborhood histories can offer a treasure trove of hints and tips.  One client’s family was rooted in Bastrop Louisiana.  Here’s a bit of its history:
Bastrop had a small Jewish community that blossomed around 1892. “By the turn of the twentieth century, Jews in Bastrop had formed a congregation, erected a synagogue, and operated some of the most successful businesses in Morehouse Parish.” “…between ten and twelve families still resided in Bastrop after the end of the Second World War. They had all joined B’nai Israel in Monroe, but they also organized an informal Sunday school and held an occasional Friday night service either at their homes or in the Bastrop courthouse. Charles Snyder and Ferdinand Wolff cared for the cemetery, now a handsome and verdant two-acre property with approximately fifty burials. - Encyclopedia of Southern Jewish Communities - Alexandria, Louisiana.
6)     The JewishGen.org website must not be ignored.  Be sure to visit community repositories also.
7)     Seek out online and local collections. In tracing a Hungarian Jewish family from Ohio to Kansas City research landed us with the Western Reserve Historical Society at the Cleveland Jewish Archive. 

Other Resources

ladino-migration

Not every Jewish DNA result will lead you to Eastern European Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry.  
  • Sephardic Jewish Research: You may have just joined a large global community that has recently uncovered that they too have Sephardic Jewish ancestry. Be sure to visit SephardicGen.comHere is a listing of a few Sephardic Surnames.
  • A recent a3Genealogy client was traced to thIraq (Mizrahim) and Turkey and Middle East.  We have found that patience will be the key as additional DNA testing is needed in these areas. 
Reprint 2016
Kathleen Brandt
a3genealogy@gmail.com
Accurate, accessible answers

Saturday, January 6, 2018

From Norway to North Dakota

Hvem va du Helene? (Who Were You, Helene?)
Today a surprise package came in the mail.  When I saw the envelope was mailed from Norway, I knew it was from  longterm client Stein.

I have not heard from him in a year. Matter of fact, I got family pics from him the last time he was in North Dakota and knew he was doing another family tour in America.

The a3Genealogy crew connects clients to overseas cousins.  We usually do a genealogy booklet, verification with DNA, and we collect as many pics and artifacts as we can for the client. Many of our clients are looking for "off-the-internet documents. They have come to dead-ends on the internet, but know there's a lot more information floating around, or "archived."

This is not the first time, I have been mentioned in a client's personal family book, but it's special every time! One of my presentations is called Sharing Your Ancestors.  Any long-term client of ours, (and we have several) knows that I want them to write and share about their family.  It started with my Napa Valley vintner in 2008. He has connected with dozens of Stice cousins he never knew. One was a significant scientist in the cloning of Dolly the Sheep. (Remember that?)

a3Genealogy is now known for creating travel guides, and even setting up meetings for cousins. It's our off-the-TV version of Who Do You Think You Are, but just as exciting. There's the Australian South Pacific client who connected with her biological family from WWII in the Ohio.  Then there's Mary Ellen of Effingham, IL who brings her ancestors alive in books, on stage, and in historical presentations.  And the descendant of a WWI - WWII soldier who we traced and mapped throughout Iceland and Europe so he could follow the footsteps of his ancestor and the troops.

There are so many reasons to do genealogy, but to create a space for your ancestors to have life, is so special.  We also find out a little about ourselves by meeting these distant cousins. So when I opened Stein's book, and found this compilation of his genealogical research of Helene, I melted.

Helene Fauske was most fascinating as she worked for Rockefeller, Standard Oil, and was working in their Asia offices for the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCM). Read the section about Women in the Mission to get research tips: Ancestors Who Joined Missions. In addition to vital records we uncovered business and personal correspondence, photos and newspaper articles on her movements.

"Søkene Etter Helene" 

 a3Genealogi gjorde en søkejobb, og fant Helene Fauske. de fant de to pleiehjemmene hun bodde på, og kan bekrefte at hun døde på. Dokumentene fra begravelsen viser at Helene aldri giftet set. a3genealogi bekrefter at hun mottok en pensjon fra standard oil pa 2500 i maneden.
Translation: The Search for Helene 
a3genealogy did research and found Helene Fauske. They found the two nursing homes she was living in and confirmed her death date.  The documents from the funeral  home showed that Helene never got married. a3genealogi confirmed that she received a pension from standard oil at $2500 a month." [This was based on the nursing home/court papers].
We connected Stein to his unknown North Dakota cousins. They had the other half of the story.  Family pics, the letters from Asia and NY, and so much more were just waiting for Stein in North Dakota.

An Excerpt from Chapter Profesjonell Hjelp


Translation: Professional Help
Well I returned home, and continued the work, but I was forced to realize that I needed help from someone who could do genealogy... I needed help! Kathleen Brandt is a professional genealogist and owner of a3Genealogy. She was hired to do this easy job, and to systematize all my loose threads. Most of all, I hoped it would be possible to find relatives alive. Kathleen started searching at multiple sites and sent reports back to me by email. This worked perfectly 
[Kathleen] had found some of her [Helene’s] descendants in Grand Forks. The lady I should be related to was Inez S. Drake. I was in doubt... Yet, her maiden name was Kjelsberg.. This name was known from previous research. I asked Kathleen to call Inez to see if she knew anything about Helene Fauske. [...] Inez was Helen's niece. Kathleen called me back with an invitation from Inez [to contact her]. It was just amazing... Thus I could start planning trip number two, but first a little more background material was needed.
Note: Translations were done by me. I haven't been to Norway since the 1980's and I used Google Translate to assist in this loose translation.

The Take Away
Share Your Ancestors!
I just asked Stein if he was willing to make this book more widely available in America.  I'll let you know his answer.

Kathleen Brandt
a3genealogy@gmail.com
Accurate, available answers