AncestryDNA: It’s Processing!

Family Tree: AncestryDNA Processing

I sent my DNA sample off in the mail exactly a week ago and I got an email today saying the lab has received my sample. Now I just have to wait the 6-8 weeks for the results. My patience is going to go nuts waiting.

AncestryDNA & House Party

I’m so excited! I was picked to host an AncestryDNA Family History House Party!

AncestryDNA Family History Party

The party isn’t until the beginning of June, but this one has some activities to do beforehand. Within the next week or two, I’ll be receiving a DNA test kit from in the mail. Once I send in the test it takes approximately 6-8 weeks to receive the results. Which puts us right around the beginning of June.

I just got picked a few days ago, so I have no idea what kind of theme I’m going to do, what foods to make, etc. My mom’s birthday is a few days before the scheduled party date, so I’m considering combining the 2 to make it easier for everyone to get together.

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – A Fearless Females Prompt

Genealogy is Fun

Post prompt is from Randy at Genea-Musings.

1) Read Lisa Alzo’s blog post Back for a Fourth Year: Fearless Females: 31 Blogging Prompts to Celebrate Women’s History Month on her blog, The Accidental Genealogist. [The post is from last year, but Lisa’s using the same list this year.]

2) Choose one of her daily blog prompts from the list (you could choose the March 8th prompt or choose another), and write about it.

3) Tell us about it in a blog post of your own, in a comment to this blog post, in a Facebook post or a Google+ post.

I chose the prompt from March 2 — Post a photo of one of your female ancestors. Who is in the photo? When was it taken? Why did you select this photo?

My Family Tree: family fun in 1951

This photo contains not just one, but 5 female ancestors. There is a 6th women in the photo, but she is related to me by marriage while the rest are all blood related.

The people in the photo are (from left to right, top to bottom):
Harriet (Goodman) Rice, Benjamin Silverstein, Muriel (Forman) Silverstein, Phillip Silverstein, Sarah Silverstein, Rose Silverstone, Ella (Silverstein) Goodman, Mollie (Goodman) Silverstein and Jim Silverstone.

Harriet, 19, is a 1st cousin.
Benjamin, 60, is my maternal great-grandfather.
Muriel, 23, is my grandmother (Bubbie) that just passed away the other week.
Phillip, 26, is Muriel’s husband and my grandfather (Zeidi).
Sarah is Phillip’s biological sister.
Rose is the sister-in-law of Phillip.
Ella is Phillip’s half-sister and my grand-aunt.
Mollie is my paternal great-grandmother and the wife of Benjamin.
Jim is Phillip’s half-brother, my grand-uncle and the husband of Rose.

The photo is dated July 22, 1951. She’s not in the photo, but my mom was almost 2 months old at the time. It appeared to be a hot summer day in Detroit based on what some people were wearing. I selected this photo because everyone in it seems to be having a great time. They all look very happy and almost like someone told a joke just before the photo was taken.

Extra tibit: Mollie’s maiden name was Goodman and Ella married a man with the last name Goodman, but those 2 lines of Goodman families were not previously related to each other. Or if they are I have not discovered it yet.

She’s gone

This is a post I was hoping I wasn’t going to have to make for quite a while. My maternal grandmother, my Bubbie (Yiddish for grandmother), passed away this past Tuesday, February 25th at 5:05pm EST. 🙁

Her health had been rapidly declining the last month of her life. She used to love to talk on the phone, but in the last few week’s of her life she didn’t want to talk and would not answer her phone. Either a nurse at the health care/hospice she was at or a friend that was there visiting her would hold the phone up to her ear when my mom called to say hello. I was able to speak with her toward’s the end of January (one of the last times she was talking) and then last Sunday I spoke to her, told her I loved her and missed her. I knew I wouldn’t get a response, but I wanted to tell her before she left us. We didn’t know how long it was going to be (from the time her health started declining) and I’m really glad I was able to have someone there to help me talk to her one last time. I’m also thankful that she passed away in her sleep, that she went peacefully and that she is now with her husband, my Zeidi (Yiddish for grandfather).

My mom and her mom (my Bubbie) – September 2011
Julie and grandparents
Me with my Bubbie & Zeidi – sometime in 1981

 She lived in Michigan (lived there her entire life), so my mom flew back East on Thursday. The funeral is tomorrow. It’s being live streamed over the internet for those who can’t be there in person. My mom’s cousin (they were born in the same year so they grew up really close) still lives in Michigan and is going to be holding the Shiva tomorrow and Monday. My mom flies back home on Wednesday.

I’ve also created a memorial page for her. Just click below.

RIP Bubbie. I love you.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – Do You Have a John Smith?

Every day/week I tell myself I am going to go through the different genealogy blogs I have bookmarked and make up a blog post calendar for what days people post what meme’s/genealogy questions, etc. Have I done this yet? Nope, for I am nothing if not a procrastinator combined with a person who constantly has brain fog.

Anyway, I remembered it was Saturday and that I should check Genea-Musings. Each Saturday, Randy posts a different topic to write about (all related to genealogy of course).

Today’s question is…

1) How many persons named John Smith do you have in your genealogy management program or online family tree? How many persons named John Smith are ancestors?

2) Pick out one of those persons named John Smith and do some online research for them in Ancestry, FamilySearch, or another set of record collections. Your goal is to add something to your database.

3) Tell us about it in your own blog post, in a comment to this blog post, or in a post on Facebook or Google+.

Here are my answers…

1) None. I have zero John Smith’s in my tree. I have 2 females with the maiden name of Smith and 1 with the maiden name of Smyth, but nobody named John Smith/Smyth.

2) Since I don’t have a John Smith to do a search on, I’ll use one of the Smith’s I do have. I picked Margaret Smith (about 1382 – about 1430). She is my 18th great-grandmother on my paternal’s maternal’s side. So my dad’s mother’s side. She married Thomas Spencer (1378 – 1433) in 1403 in Eaton, Bedfordshire, England. They had one son, Robert Spencer (1406 – 1477).

After doing a search on Google, I found through a few other family tree and genealogy websites that she was actually born in 1380. None are sure where she actually died, other than that it was still in England. Looking at the hints for her on my tree on, there is a marriage record, a millennium file record and infomation on 18 other ancestry member trees available. I do not have a paid subscription to the site, so those will all have to wait.

3) I’ll be making a comment on the post over at Genea-Musings with a link to here. As well as on Google+.

New(ish) Relatives

Is it amazing what the internet can help with!

My mom recently had to fly out to Michigan because her mom, my Bubbie Muriel, has started declining in health and the staff at the health care center she lives in thought it best that my mom come out right away. For those curious, my Bubbie is still hanging on, but she is no longer her old self. She won’t answer her phone and she isn’t talking. So when we call, someone has to hold the phone up to her ear. I believe she can still hear us, just isn’t responding.

My mom stayed with her cousin when she was out there, who happened to have been storing a bunch of my Bubbie’s things for us. My mom brought some of the items back with her. One of these things was a photo album from when my Bubbie went to Israel in the late 1990’s, maybe 2000.

Most of the photos in the album are tourist type pics (she’s on a camel in one of them!) and the rest are of her with people I have never met. One of the pictures is not from her trip. It’s in black & white and you can tell it was taken earlier than the 90’s by the clothing and decor. There’s writing on the back, but it’s in Hebrew/Yiddish so my mom or I could not read it. I scanned the photo and the back and uploaded it to They have a section on their site where people can upload photos, documents, etc that they need help either translating whatever is written on helping to figure out the location of the photo. A few people responded, but one guy went above and beyond and actually found the people in the photo! I talked with some of them on Skype last weekend and confirmed we are 2nd and 3rd cousins! We are trying to plan another chat tomorrow so that my mom can talk to them.

Family Tree - Photo Translation

January 20th Updates

I just uploaded 15 census files to the census album in the gallery. See the “how to” to read on how to make the files large enough to read more easily.

I’ve also added a link to the links page.

They have not been updated yet, but I have more surnames to add to the surnames page as well as a famous kin to add! I hope to have both of these done by the end of the week.

Large File Viewing: How To

I finally figured out how to get the census records (and anything else that is a large pixel file) to show large enough that you can read the information.

Below is an example of how the census file will usually appear. You might be able to view the entire image, but you probably won’t be able to read most of it.

Increase File View 01

What you need to do to view it correctly is click on the small rectangle towards the upper right (next to where the green arrow is pointing). You’ll get a drop down box, like this

Increase File View 02

Click on “Original” and the image should resize to its full size. The file info box on the right will get in the way of view part of the image, so just click on the 2 arrows pointing towards the right (in the green circle) and it will close off to the edge.

Increase File View 03

Reclick those same arrows (only now they will be pointing left) if you need to bring up the info box again.

Before you increase the file size, look for the arrows on the left of the census image. That is where our families information is. So now when you resize the image you know about how far to scroll down without having to read the entire list of names. However, if that interests you too, go right ahead!

Gallery Update

Gallery updates:

I’m currently uploading and editing the information for the census records I have.

After that I’ll work on the official records/documents that I have. This will include World War I and II registration cards, newspaper clippings, birth records, etc.

eta: Or possibly not. I’m able to upload the census records, but they won’t enlarge enough that you can actually read the information on them. I’m going to look around for another way to make them viewable. If you have any advice on a gallery view or anything to help with that, please let me know.

The Bloggers’ Geneameme

What are the titles and URLs of your genealogy blog(s)?

Do you have a wonderful “Cousin Bait” blog story?
I’ve had 3 cousins contact me on after finding the tree I am working on while they were working on theirs. One is a 5th cousin, one is a 4th cousin and the last is a 3rd cousin. Other than trading a little bit of info back and forth through, I’ve had no contact with any of them.

Why did you start blogging? Is there someone who inspired you to start blogging?
I’ve had a website in some form or another for almost 20 years, but as far as having a blog where I actually updated about my life, that started in 2001. I had paper journals/diaries for years and got caught into the whirl of livejournal in 2001.

How did you decide on your blog(s) title?
I based the website name on the fact that it was all about my family tree and the tumblr blog on the fact that I’m using it to interact with more genealogists.

Do you ever blog from mobile devices? What are they?
I have the WordPress app on my phone, but have never actually used it.

How do you let others know when you have published a new post?
I don’t. lol I haven’t really given out the family tree website url and the tumblr was just started so there’s nothing there to share. On my personal blog, I pin some stuff on Pinterest and the rest are just out there.

How long have you been blogging?
Since September 2001.

What widgets or elements do you consider essential on a genealogy blog?
For tumblr, the tag function is really great. For WordPress, I haven’t discovered anything that helps (genealogy wise anyway).

What is the purpose of your blog(s)? Who is your intended audience?
The purpose of both is to share information about/with other geneaology buffs and with family. The website is more to share with family, so they can view the family tree, photos, etc and to help fill in blanks. The tumblr is more to help me connect with other genealogists, but it’ll be linked on the other website as well.

Which of your posts are you particularly proud of?
Just starting out with both, so none so far.

How do you keep up with your blog reading?
For tumblr, I’m following other genealogy fans. If it’s someone else’s website, I visit site by site. I do have a Blog Lovin’ account and have blogs added, but don’t read it every day.

What platform do you use for publishing your blog(s)?
Tumblr and WordPress

What new features would you like to see in your blogging sosftware?
I have no idea.

Which of your posts has been the most popular with readers?
None so far.

Are you a sole blogger or do you contribute to a shared blog?
It’s just me, myself and I.

How do you compose your blog posts?
It depends on what the post is about. Sometimes I’ll write it in Notepad, then copy/paste it over to WordPress. Or I’ll start on WordPress and just keep saving it as a draft. Once it’s in WordPress, I’ll add in photos, links, etc. I haven’t made any posts yet on tumblr, but it’ll probably be the same process.

Do you have any blogs that are not genealogy related? If you wish please share their titles and URLs.

Have you listed your blog(s) at Geneabloggers?
Gotta get a bit more info up on the website before submitting.

Which resources have helped you with your blogging?
I’ve gotten ideas from and from the people I’m following on tumbrl.

What advice would you give to a new Geneablogger?
Start slow.
Work on one name at a time instead of bouncing back and forth between people. Though I admit I’ve done this before myself.
You will hit roadblocks. I usually will stop researching for a while, even if it’s only a day or two, then start in again. Sometimes I’ve even waited a month or more because I had been working on it so much I needed a longer break.

taken from Geniaus