Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Plymouth Michigan Genealogy 15 September 2012

Genealogy Workshop at the Plymouth Historical Museum On Saturday, September 15, the Plymouth Historical Museum will hold the fourth in a series of genealogical workshops to help family historians of all levels research their 19th-century American ancestors. This workshop features David McDonald, CG and Michael Lacopo. David serves as president of the Board for Certification of Genealogists and is a director of the National Genealogical Society. More importantly, he's got 35+ years of experience as a genealogical researcher and nearly 30 years as a lecturer on matters of genealogy and family history. As a result of marrying well, Dave's research scope has expanded beyond his own family's mid-south and midwest connections into New England and central Europe. He has traveled to, and researched in, England and Germany on both his own and his wife's immigrant forebears. Beyond the genealogical realm, he serves as pastor at Windsor United Church of Christ near Madison, Wisconsin. Dave and his wife, Dr. Jennet Shepherd, an optometrist, have three adult children and fill their newly-emptied nest with a basset hound, two indeterminate cats and one mother (hers). Dave and will be speaking on: From New England to the Plains & Beyond At the turn of the 19th century, the American frontier was fairly bursting with anticipation. New England, with its rocky soil and smaller-than-subsistence tracts, was teeming with folks ready to explore and head westward. With the opening of the Erie Canal, the impediment to outbound migration was largely broken and New Englanders poured westward to populate the Midwest and Great Plains. Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Ohio all received significant numbers of pioneer settlers in the Federal Era (to 1850). In addition to general patterns of movement, we'll examine the life of Polly Putnam Betts, born in Vermont of a father native to Massachusetts, in 1793, and who died in Iowa in 1886 with granddaughters then living in Colorado and California. Lutherpalians & Presbygationalists: Where Did Grandma's Church Go? Part confirmation class refresher, part Intro to Religion, we'll take a look at Protestant denominations, Catholic traditions and other Christian bodies of note when considering genealogical research. Did your family play cards? Did Grandma dance? Was Uncle Frank known to take a nip or two? We'll consider how these sorts of behaviors may well reflect religious traditions and upbringings that are frequently no longer a familiar part of Americans' lives. What happens when churches close? Where do their records, if any, go? We'll consider clues for finding those records as well. Mike is a small-animal veterinarian born and raised in northern Indiana. He takes a scientific approach to his research as he does to his trained profession. Researching since 1980, he has lectured nationally and appeared in numerous journals and periodicals. A self-described “all-American mutt,” his research skills cover a broad range. He has written or co-written several single name studies since 1985. Mike will be speaking on: Deconstructing Your Family Tree: Re-evaluating the "Evidence" When information passed on from researcher to researcher doesn't add up, it's time to tear down the walls and rebuild anew. This methodology lecture shows how erroneous conclusions can sneak into our research uncontested. This lecture is pertinent especially today with so many Internet family trees that get cut and pasted into our own research. “She Came from Nowhere…” How to Incorporate Social Histori into Your Genealogical Problem Solving This lecture shows the importance of knowing the social history of an era, a location, and an ethnicity to solve genealogical problems. By knowing this we can identify the parents of Elizabeth Stith, the ancestor “from nowhere.” The workshop begins at 9:30 a.m. and will end at 3:30 p.m. There will be limited seating and the event will fill up rapidly, so please buy your ticket early. The fee for the day, $40, includes the four lectures, lunch, and the option of touring the Museum's special exhibit, "Inaugural Gowns of the First Ladies," during lunch and the afternoon break. Tickets are available at the Plymouth Historical Museum or on its website at http://www.plymouthhistory.org/events/Genealogy-Workshop_ET119.html?SortBox=201209. The Plymouth Historical Museum is located at 155 S. Main Street, one block north of downtown Plymouth. For more information, call the Museum at 734-455-8940.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Detroit Polish Sources

Here are some books recommended to me about Detroit Polish research. Sto Lat by Ceil Wendt Jensen Detroit Polonia by Ceil Wendt Jensen Polish Roots by Rosemary Chorzempa Polish Surnames, William Hoffman In their Words, Shea and Hoffman Hope this helps those conducting Polish research in Southeastern Michigan.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Poles to Southeastern Michigan

The vast majority of Poles located in the city of Detroit. It became a major destination of immigrating Poles to the United States. The attraction of prosperity and high paying jobs was a big attraction. The wave started to come in the late 1870's and came primarily from the area of Prussia. Wars were occurring in this area and the peasants in this area were a primary group to fill the ranks of the army. Many chose not to go and looked elsewhere to escape the military conscription. Starting in the 1900's the Polish outpaced the third place Irish in the amount of people that were immigrating to the United States. Most of these people were landless peasants. Poland in the latter half of the 18th century had become fragmented so you had people that spoke the Polish language but did not live in what we know today as Poland. About 20% lived in Prussia, 35% in Austria and finally 45 % in Russia. When they came to the United States this became a major challenge, because they were identified all as Polish, because of the language they spoke. Broadly lumping this group into one makes it difficult to identify areas of origin. The Polish also had a very high return rate back to Poland that reached numbers close to 30 to 40 percent. Austrian and Russian Poles came with the intent of earning enough money to purchase land back in the home country. German Poles on the other hand came to stay. The attraction was the many jobs in the Detroit area that involved manual labor with little speaking like the automobile, steel and railroad industries. The Polish nationality was the least likely immigrating group to be self employed. Polish when they arrived in Detroit located in the same neighborhoods. This allowed this group to assimilate into the over all community more slowly. They came to live close to family members, former neighbors or relatives that had already come to the United States. They valued the use of their hands over the ability to get educated. Larger the family the better able to take care of the whole group. They valued the ownership of property meant they had to work so they did. Poles were primarily Roman Catholic and tended to shun other nationalities churches. St Albertus and St Albans were the primary churches that they attended. The church was the center of their cultural lives. Polish preferred to send their kids to parochial schools than have them in public schools. They created their own ethnic, religious and fraternal groups. Unfortunately in Detroit by 1963 close to 300,000 Polish in Detroit had modified their names. The groups mentioned are so important to identifying the original immigrants names. Many of have taken a interest in researching their families. Resources are plentiful in the Detroit area for this ethnic group. The Polish History center in the area is a excellent resource for one researching their family. A group has also been created that is called Polish Genealogical Society of Michigan. Take advantage of these groups and your researcher will be smoother.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Probate Court- Guardianship records

A gold mine for information is in the case of the process when a father dies with minor children or a wife has died and her family leaves money where she had surviving minor children. Both of these scenarios provide a source of genealogical related data that may not be found in any other source. When the father died the court's of the county appointed a guardian for all children under 18 that survived in a household. This occurred even when the mother survived. It was felt that the women were not able to take care of the children so a man was appointed to make the decisions. The papers filed were included in the deceased Probate records. The court establishes the date of death of the individual, age of children with birth date, full name of children and name of guardian. I have seen in cases prior to the normal filing of vital records this to be a gold mine of data. In one situation I was able to get the exact date of death for a individual prior to 1860 along with children's birth dates going back into the 1830's. Each year after the guardianship was established the court reviews the case to make sure that the children are getting proper care. This generated more paper work on the children. The second scenario that would fall into a guardianship proceeding is when the mother has died and money is being left to the children from the mother's side of the family. Here again the children are identified along with birth dates and the mothers death date. Connection to the person leaving the money is also established. This is a outstanding way to establish the maiden name of a wife. Court records are a overlooked resource when doing your family research. Irony it can provide valuable information about a family unit that can be found no where else. Make certain to check for Guardian files on your family members when a parent died with minors. These records were filed also even when the person may not have left a will. Good luck with your search and please give me your input.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Great Polish Newspaper in American link

Following up on my article on Polish Newspapers in the Detroit area I came across a great link for Polish Newspapers in the United States. http://www.polishroots.org/Research/USResources/PolishLanguageNewspapers/tabid/135/Default.aspx Sorry you will have to cut and paste.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Up date 3- Polish Newspapers

The West Side Courier index which was done by Pam Lazar, is sold by the Dearborn Genealogical Society. http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~midgs/dgs_a06.htm To the best of my knowledge, the Burton collection has a few bound books but not many. Dearborn Genealogical Society www.rootsweb.ancestry.com Society Research DataIndex of Society Ancestor ChartsHistoric Northview Cemetery Index Historic St. Alphonsus Cemetery IndexIndex of Dearborn Death Certificates at the Burton Historical CollectionDeaths in the Dearborn Press 1918 - 1928Marriages in the Dearborn Press 1918 - 1928

Polish Newspaper Additions 2

The Citizen Weekly is really just called the Citizen. It was started in 1934 but printing ceased in 2009. Obits and Death notices are being indexed by some members of the Polish Genealogical Society of Michigan. The Zak Library in Hamtramck also has a full set but from what I understand, the books are stored away and one has to ask for them.

Polish Newspaper additions

This link gives more locations for the Dziennik Polski or Polish Daily. http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~meliasz/detroit/DziennikPolski/DziennikPolski_DetroitMI.html The one thing that is not totally accurate is for the Polonica Americana Research Institute, the Dziennik Polski are in bound books rather than bundles. There is not a complete set but quite a few volumes. Dziennik Polski Newspaper - The Polish Daily News (Detroit, MI) freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com Dziennik Polski was the Polish language newspaper published in Detroit, MI from 1904-present.

Polish Newspapers Detroit, Michigan

As in most of America the Polish population played a important factor in the population growth in Detroit, Michigan.  The language barrier provided a opportunity for the establishment of Polish newspapers to cater to the local population.  This leads to a new place to locate information on your ancestors.

When searching our family history the general assumption is the information about our ancestors will appear in the English speaking newspaper in their community.  For recent immigrants and non English speaking ancestors this is not the case.  We often overlook researching our ancestors in the local ethnic newspapers.  In the history of Detroit there were four Polish newspapers.  These papers played a important part in the lives of Polish in Detroit as well as staying in touch with their Polish homeland.  It is here that you will find the records of births, marriages and deaths.  They often did not get covered in the English speaking paper.  It often took generations to learn the English language.  Blending into the English speaking population often took decades.

The newspapers that were published in Polish, time period and location of copies are as follows.

Citizens Weekly- 1935- 1973 State Archives of Michigan, Lansing, MI
Dziennik Polski- 1904-1941 State Archives of Michigan, Lansing, MI\
The Polish Daily, 1904-1941, State Archives of Michigan, Lansing, MI
Glos Ludowy, 1942-1969, 1972-1979, State Archives of Michigan, Lansing, MI

The information you will find in these newspapers could be the key to locating origins of your Polish families back in Poland.  Remember that the term Polish often applied to the language and not the place of origin.  Included in these groups would be people that came from Russia and Prussia.  The common denominator between all these groups is that they spoke some form of Polish and were often lumped together with the people that came from Poland proper.  They were often identified by the area within Poland they came from as well.

The language barrier for us can be difficult, but many language word translators exist on the internet.  They identify the common words like birth, marriage and death in Polish and translate to English.  By no means do you have to know how to read Polish.  Just like the English written newspapers of the time the events of the time appeared in the same sections and often the same pages from day to day.

In the upcoming weeks I will be working on the other language groups and the papers that existed in this area.  As always I look forward to your input.  Don't be afraid of leaving comments.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Free Genealogy Websites- Part 2

Let me clarify that sections of these websites are free.  Some sites charge a nominal fee.  Still have value though when you use the free areas.

11. genserv.com

        Over 21 million individual listings.
        Some databases need a small fee.
12. ingeneas.com
        Free passenger lists for Canada. Must order the actual record for a fee. 
13. rootsweb.ancestry.com/~bwo/
        Free look ups from people offering this service.
14. archives.gov/research/arc/
         Lists Dawes rolls, WW II Draft registration, Casualty list, Indian Bounty Apps, Criminal Case files
15. ellisisland.org
         Must register to access. List of passengers between 1892-1924
16. freebmd.org.uk/
         Lists vital records between 1837-1983. England and Wales Vital Records.
17. geonames.usgs.gov/
         Over 2,000 names and helps with locating ones that do not exist anymore.
18. castlegarden.org
        Immigration information between 1830 to 1890. Port of New York
19.  geneanet.org
        Primarily based on French records across the world.
        Lists land grants from 1623-1992.Digital images of 6,000 + bibles. Searchable index of wills pre 1800. Digital library of Virginia

Have some fun with these websites.  More to come in the upcoming weeks.