This and That

Scanfest
WOW! Thanks to the great publicity over at facebook’s Genea-Bloggers Group, we had the Best Scanfest Ever. We had three records broken! The first was a total attendance of 20, which means that in all, 20 Scanfesters participated at some point between 11 AM and 2 PM, PDT, but not all at the same time. The second was the highest number of Scanfesters in the chat conversation at once, at 18. The third record was the highest number of first-time Scanfesters in attendance: 11! My only regret was that I did not get as much scanned as anticipated because my hard drive was filling up (I’ve since been working on remedying that problem by deleting unnecessary files and programs). So who were our participants? Besides your humble hostess, we had Colleen, Diana, Diane, Elizabeth, footnoteMaven, George, George, Jasia, Kathryn, Kathryn, Kathy, Laura, Lori, Lorine, Michelle, Randy, Renee, Sheri, and Thomas! Too bad Craig couldn’t make it! Thanks to Diane, Thomas, Randy, Kathy, and George for your announcements or follow-up posts on Scanfest, too.

Online Photo Storage
Speaking of scanning, Lee at the Footnote Blog shares how you can store your photos online for free at Footnote…and do a whole lot more with them, too!

Find A Grave now has 25 million grave records in the non-famous side of their website! Take a look…you might find an ancestor or two.

Facebook
The Facebook craze has hit the genealogy community, thanks to Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak’s Unclaimed Persons project. A side effect of this is a new Facebook group, the Genea-Bloggers, started by Thomas MacEntee of Destination: Austin Family. This group is for those who either blog about genealogy, or are fans of genealogy blogs. Genealogy bloggers have been learning more about each other in this terrific social networking community, and thanks to Thomas’ great administrative skills, we’re kept up-to-date on all sorts of blogging and other events, such as carnivals and Scanfest. Thomas recently started the Facebook® Bootcamp for Genea-Bloggers blog to help out those genea-bloggers learn how to navigate and use Facebook. I encourage you to join Facebook (a social networking site, similar to MySpace, but a little more “grown up”) and add me as your Friend (contact) by searching for “Miriam Robbins Midkiff.” (Don’t be afraid to challenge me to a round or two of Scramble!) Besides adding genealogy community contacts, I’ve added real-life friends, family members, members of my local genealogical society and acquaintances from church and schools I’ve attended. I also recently searched for and found some cousins I’ve been out of touch with for years.

And if you’re already a member of the Genea-Bloggers Group, stay tuned to the FB for GB blog to hear of an exciting new event coming in August!

An Award

Fellow Washington State genea-blogger Carol Wilkerson of iPentimento honored me with a BFF (Blogging Friends Forever) Award. The rules for passing on the award are:

1. Only five people are allowed to receive this award
2. Four of them must followers of your blog.
3. One has to be new to your blog and live in another part of the world.
4. You must link back to who ever gave you the award.

I hereby pass this on to Jasia, footnoteMaven, Apple, Renee, and Diane (the newbie to my blog, who technically doesn’t live that far away – British Columbia – but it is another country, after all!)

Photos of Ancestors’ Ports of Emigration
My primary heritages are Dutch and Frisian, and thus I’ve been a fan of Henk van Kampen’s Trace Your Dutch Roots. Lately, he’s been featuring photographs of Dutch ports. Do you have Mayflower ancestors? Take a look at the Delfshaven pictures. Did your ancestors (Dutch or not) traverse the Atlantic on one of the Holland-American Line ships? See the Wilhelminakade.

North Frisian Resource
The Frisians are an ethnic minority who live in present-day Netherlands, Denmark, and Germany, whose language, customs, and ethnicity are more closely related to the English than the Germanic peoples of the countries wherein they reside. I blog often about my Frisian ancestors from the Netherlands, and if you’re a fan of Michael John Neill’s RootDig, you’ll hear about his Ostfrisians (West Frisians from Germany). Recently, Jennifer of Our Future Rooted in Our Past blogged about the North Frisian Emigrant – Archive of the Nordfriisk Institute in Denmark. Thanks for sharing this great resource, Jennifer!

Family Ties
My parents returned home in the wee hours of this morning after a trip back to Michigan to visit my paternal grandmother, who was diagnosed about a year or so ago with Alzheimer’s. As well, they enjoyed visiting the families of their respective brothers and one of Dad’s sisters. I was relieved to hear that Grandma recognized Dad and Mom and that they had an enjoyable time together. My parents have made similar trips in the past to say their last goodbyes to their parents. Grandma is my last biological grandparent, although my mother’s step-mother is still in good health. They also got to see one of the newest members of the family. I know this was a bittersweet time for the folks…a part of the circle of life.

Internet Genealogy
And finally! I received the latest issue of Internet Genealogy magazine today (I think I was the last person on the planet to do so!). One of the many reasons I love this publication is that I see so many familiar names, sites, and blogs mentioned. footnoteMaven’s Shades of the Departed blog was featured in the Net Notes column by Donna Pointkouski. If you’re interested in the photography side of genealogy (and who isn’t?), be sure to read this article, then drop by Maven’s blog.

Donna Potter Phillips of the Eastern Washington Genealogical Society has two articles. One is “E.W.G.S. at 75: Thriving’ and Survivin'” and highlights the many ways our terrific society has kept up with the times and has stayed growing and vibrant in an age when we’re seeing a demise of many societies. Her “Cold Case Research: Genealogy Style” reminds me of the Campbell House and Unclaimed Persons projects, and explains how doing family tree research on strangers from history is not only fun, but educational! If you’re stuck or tired of your own family lines, why don’t you and some genealogy friends or fellow society members do a similar project?

And that’s a wrap!

This and That

Scanfest
WOW! Thanks to the great publicity over at facebook’s Genea-Bloggers Group, we had the Best Scanfest Ever. We had three records broken! The first was a total attendance of 20, which means that in all, 20 Scanfesters participated at some point between 11 AM and 2 PM, PDT, but not all at the same time. The second was the highest number of Scanfesters in the chat conversation at once, at 18. The third record was the highest number of first-time Scanfesters in attendance: 11! My only regret was that I did not get as much scanned as anticipated because my hard drive was filling up (I’ve since been working on remedying that problem by deleting unnecessary files and programs). So who were our participants? Besides your humble hostess, we had Colleen, Diana, Diane, Elizabeth, footnoteMaven, George, George, Jasia, Kathryn, Kathryn, Kathy, Laura, Lori, Lorine, Michelle, Randy, Renee, Sheri, and Thomas! Too bad Craig couldn’t make it! Thanks to Diane, Thomas, Randy, Kathy, and George for your announcements or follow-up posts on Scanfest, too.

Online Photo Storage
Speaking of scanning, Lee at the Footnote Blog shares how you can store your photos online for free at Footnote…and do a whole lot more with them, too!

Find A Grave now has 25 million grave records in the non-famous side of their website! Take a look…you might find an ancestor or two.

Facebook
The Facebook craze has hit the genealogy community, thanks to Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak’s Unclaimed Persons project. A side effect of this is a new Facebook group, the Genea-Bloggers, started by Thomas MacEntee of Destination: Austin Family. This group is for those who either blog about genealogy, or are fans of genealogy blogs. Genealogy bloggers have been learning more about each other in this terrific social networking community, and thanks to Thomas’ great administrative skills, we’re kept up-to-date on all sorts of blogging and other events, such as carnivals and Scanfest. Thomas recently started the Facebook® Bootcamp for Genea-Bloggers blog to help out those genea-bloggers learn how to navigate and use Facebook. I encourage you to join Facebook (a social networking site, similar to MySpace, but a little more “grown up”) and add me as your Friend (contact) by searching for “Miriam Robbins Midkiff.” (Don’t be afraid to challenge me to a round or two of Scramble!) Besides adding genealogy community contacts, I’ve added real-life friends, family members, members of my local genealogical society and acquaintances from church and schools I’ve attended. I also recently searched for and found some cousins I’ve been out of touch with for years.

And if you’re already a member of the Genea-Bloggers Group, stay tuned to the FB for GB blog to hear of an exciting new event coming in August!

An Award

Fellow Washington State genea-blogger Carol Wilkerson of iPentimento honored me with a BFF (Blogging Friends Forever) Award. The rules for passing on the award are:

1. Only five people are allowed to receive this award
2. Four of them must followers of your blog.
3. One has to be new to your blog and live in another part of the world.
4. You must link back to who ever gave you the award.

I hereby pass this on to Jasia, footnoteMaven, Apple, Renee, and Diane (the newbie to my blog, who technically doesn’t live that far away – British Columbia – but it is another country, after all!)

Photos of Ancestors’ Ports of Emigration
My primary heritages are Dutch and Frisian, and thus I’ve been a fan of Henk van Kampen’s Trace Your Dutch Roots. Lately, he’s been featuring photographs of Dutch ports. Do you have Mayflower ancestors? Take a look at the Delfshaven pictures. Did your ancestors (Dutch or not) traverse the Atlantic on one of the Holland-American Line ships? See the Wilhelminakade.

North Frisian Resource
The Frisians are an ethnic minority who live in present-day Netherlands, Denmark, and Germany, whose language, customs, and ethnicity are more closely related to the English than the Germanic peoples of the countries wherein they reside. I blog often about my Frisian ancestors from the Netherlands, and if you’re a fan of Michael John Neill’s RootDig, you’ll hear about his Ostfrisians (West Frisians from Germany). Recently, Jennifer of Our Future Rooted in Our Past blogged about the North Frisian Emigrant – Archive of the Nordfriisk Institute in Denmark. Thanks for sharing this great resource, Jennifer!

Family Ties
My parents returned home in the wee hours of this morning after a trip back to Michigan to visit my paternal grandmother, who was diagnosed about a year or so ago with Alzheimer’s. As well, they enjoyed visiting the families of their respective brothers and one of Dad’s sisters. I was relieved to hear that Grandma recognized Dad and Mom and that they had an enjoyable time together. My parents have made similar trips in the past to say their last goodbyes to their parents. Grandma is my last biological grandparent, although my mother’s step-mother is still in good health. They also got to see one of the newest members of the family. I know this was a bittersweet time for the folks…a part of the circle of life.

Internet Genealogy
And finally! I received the latest issue of Internet Genealogy magazine today (I think I was the last person on the planet to do so!). One of the many reasons I love this publication is that I see so many familiar names, sites, and blogs mentioned. footnoteMaven’s Shades of the Departed blog was featured in the Net Notes column by Donna Pointkouski. If you’re interested in the photography side of genealogy (and who isn’t?), be sure to read this article, then drop by Maven’s blog.

Donna Potter Phillips of the Eastern Washington Genealogical Society has two articles. One is “E.W.G.S. at 75: Thriving’ and Survivin'” and highlights the many ways our terrific society has kept up with the times and has stayed growing and vibrant in an age when we’re seeing a demise of many societies. Her “Cold Case Research: Genealogy Style” reminds me of the Campbell House and Unclaimed Persons projects, and explains how doing family tree research on strangers from history is not only fun, but educational! If you’re stuck or tired of your own family lines, why don’t you and some genealogy friends or fellow society members do a similar project?

And that’s a wrap!

Online Dutch Genealogy Resources

Henk van Kampen over at Trace Your Dutch Roots is starting a new series of posts on online Dutch genealogy resources. Although for years I’ve been using many of the websites that Henk will probably be featuring, I am looking forward to his series immensely. Having the perspective of being a native Nederlander, he has insight to resources that might otherwise be missed by those of us descended from Dutch immigrants. Every time he posts something new on his blog, I learn a little more. I’m sure he’ll also feature sites and resources I have never heard of before. If you have Dutch roots, you won’t want to miss a single article!

Online Dutch Genealogy Resources

Henk van Kampen over at Trace Your Dutch Roots is starting a new series of posts on online Dutch genealogy resources. Although for years I’ve been using many of the websites that Henk will probably be featuring, I am looking forward to his series immensely. Having the perspective of being a native Nederlander, he has insight to resources that might otherwise be missed by those of us descended from Dutch immigrants. Every time he posts something new on his blog, I learn a little more. I’m sure he’ll also feature sites and resources I have never heard of before. If you have Dutch roots, you won’t want to miss a single article!

What I’m Reading These Days – Part 3

Not every blog I read is genealogical. One, although not connected to family history in its purpose, has indeed been helpful in my understanding of my ancestry. It is called In Friese Pas, which is Dutch for something along the lines of a “Frisian passport” or “appropriately Frisian.” Using various translation sites gave me various results.

This is a blog (available in English) by a Dutch woman named Grace who takes long walks in the countryside in the province of Friesland, the Netherlands with friends. Each week they walk to a different village. She takes photographs and gives the Frisian as well as Dutch name of the village, writes about the history, village coat of arms, points of interest, etc. I stumbled across her blog Googling for the towns of Marrum and Westernijkerk, twin towns that are the home of my VALK ancestors. It was rather gratifying seeing photos of the church they attended, a railroad station, and general views of the villages.

The Frisians are an ethnic minority in the Netherlands, with a culture and language more similar to English than Dutch. They live mainly in the provinces of Friesland (thus the name) and Groningen. The Frisian Islands are a part of the province of Friesland, and extend in a northeasterly direction from the Netherlands towards Germany. There is a Frisian minority in Germany as well, but there they are called Ostfriesians (East Frisians). You may have heard of the Ostfriesians if you’ve heard Michael John Neill speak or read his articles or blog.

If you’ve been lucky enough to trace your line back to the “old country,” you may want to try Googling the name of the village, city or region to see if there are any modern or antique photos available online. Maybe you’ll hit the jackpot like I did and actually find an English-written blog about the homeland!

What I’m Reading These Days – Part 3

Not every blog I read is genealogical. One, although not connected to family history in its purpose, has indeed been helpful in my understanding of my ancestry. It is called In Friese Pas, which is Dutch for something along the lines of a “Frisian passport” or “appropriately Frisian.” Using various translation sites gave me various results.

This is a blog (available in English) by a Dutch woman named Grace who takes long walks in the countryside in the province of Friesland, the Netherlands with friends. Each week they walk to a different village. She takes photographs and gives the Frisian as well as Dutch name of the village, writes about the history, village coat of arms, points of interest, etc. I stumbled across her blog Googling for the towns of Marrum and Westernijkerk, twin towns that are the home of my VALK ancestors. It was rather gratifying seeing photos of the church they attended, a railroad station, and general views of the villages.

The Frisians are an ethnic minority in the Netherlands, with a culture and language more similar to English than Dutch. They live mainly in the provinces of Friesland (thus the name) and Groningen. The Frisian Islands are a part of the province of Friesland, and extend in a northeasterly direction from the Netherlands towards Germany. There is a Frisian minority in Germany as well, but there they are called Ostfriesians (East Frisians). You may have heard of the Ostfriesians if you’ve heard Michael John Neill speak or read his articles or blog.

If you’ve been lucky enough to trace your line back to the “old country,” you may want to try Googling the name of the village, city or region to see if there are any modern or antique photos available online. Maybe you’ll hit the jackpot like I did and actually find an English-written blog about the homeland!

Happy Birthday – March 4

Happy Birthday to:

  • Willemke Gerryts ENGBRENGHOF, my 4th-great-grandmother, whose father, Jan Gerryt Martens ENGBRENGHOF, brought what little German ancestry I have into the family tree. Willemke’s mother was Trijntje HESSELS, a Frisian, and daughter of a ship master. Willemke was born on this date in 1788 in the village of Marrum, municipality of Ferwerderadeel, Friesland, the Netherlands, the fifth of 11 children. She married my ancestor Gerrit Hendricks DOLSTRA on 29 June 1806 in Marrum, and they proceeded to have three children, all widely spaced apart. The youngest was my ancestor, Trijntje Gerrits DOLSTRA, who as a widow, emigrated to the United States in 1888 to live with her one surviving child, Tjamme Wiegers “James” VALK. Willemke died 3 September 1843 in Ferwerderadeel, and was buried three days later in the Marrum Churchyard. Although she was buried in Row 30, Grave 5, probably no gravestone exists, as the Dutch custom is to dig up graves after a period of many years, burn the bones, and thus leave room for new burials (in the Netherlands, land is at premium). One can pay more to have a loved ones’ body buried for a much longer time before the necessary unearthing and subsequent cremation. In Willemke’s case, her family must have been indigent, as the deacons’ fund paid for her burial.