Though it’s been a slow year on the blog, it’s been a productive year of genealogy nevertheless!
Y-DNA Course – In January, I took part in a Y-DNA course offered through yourdnaguide.com. This was great, it filled in a whole bunch of missing knowledge for me. Now I understand what I’m looking at when I see Y-DNA test results at familytreedna.com. This was especially helpful for understanding the Frasier/Fraser line thanks to cousin Bruce’s DNA. I enrolled his test kit in the “Fraser and Septs” surname project. There is some great research coming out of that group and I really need to put it on the blog. Although I’m still unable to identify the father of our John Fraser, I now know quite a bit more about his ancestors and how our family fits into the greater Fraser clan.
“The Lost Persson Brothers” Publication – the Swedish American Genealogist journal published my “Lost Persson Brothers” paper in their July issue. I wrote the initial draft as part of my participation in the “Research Like a Pro with DNA” study group back in 2021. I don’t think I’ve ever blogged about this – I need to tell about both the process and the findings! In this project, I confirmed family lore about two of Christian Pearson’s brothers emigrating to Minnesota and taking the surname “Peterson”.
Genealogy Field Trip in Wisconsin – our oldest son and his family moved to Wisconsin this year, not too far from where my Frasier and Campbell familieis lived. This gave me the opportunity to visit a couple of cemeteries. Looking forward to some courthouse visits in the future.
Using Court Records – In September, I took this course from American Ancestors and it was a bit of a disappointment. It was very dry and kind of simplistic. I also watched a webinar on this topic from FamilySearch – and it was disappointing, too. I am learning a lot more from the book “Courthouse Research for Family Historians – Your Guide to Genealogical Treasures” by Christine Rose. This has been on my bookshelf a long time, I just need to study a little deeper.
Swedish American Genealogist (SAG) Workshop – In October, I attended the SAG Workshop. This was my second year to attend and so much fun! The lectures are just fantastic. The biggest news in Swedish genealogy is that technology tools will soon be able to read and transcribe handwritten documents from as early as the 16th century. This year, I did not have a well-defined project to work on so I just generally dabbled on my family tree with a bit of focus on Augusta Mathilda (Gustafsdotter) Rudeen’s ancestry and her purported connection to Greta Garbo (which I have almost fully confirmed!). For next year’s workshop, I intend to come more prepared with specific research questions.
Donated Collections – I made two donations to archives this year. At the American Heritage Center at the University of Wyoming, I donated the J.W. Johnson collection (letters and photos) and P.W. Pearson’s papers from his employment at the Union Pacific Railroad. At the Wisconsin Historical Society, I donated a collection of letters and photos related to the Campbell and Frasier families. Once the finding aids are online, I will post about my experiences.
Collection Processing – people keep giving me stuff (which I love!) but it takes many hours to go through the materials, sort out what to keep and what to toss, scan important documents, and safely store everything. Looking around my office right now, I have about four boxes of stuff yet to process.
Bookmark Processing – I have been using the “Bookmark” feature in ArkivDigital to save interesting records that I come across. Now I have a backlog of 100+ bookmarks that I need to import into my family tree. I’m trying to do about 10/day and finish up by the end of this month. And going forward, I need to STOP BOOKMARKING because it just makes more work for me later.
John Martinson Project – I am working all the way through John Martinson’s line – ancestors, descendants, and siblings. That’s when I realized how much stuff is buried in my ArkivDigital bookmark collection. I hope to resume work on this line after the first of the year. I am posting my progress at https://road13.com/familyhistory/topics/research-pages/the-john-martinson-project/.
Fact-Checking Great Aunt Esther – This was a fun five-part series of blog posts to validate family stories that Esther had told me. They all pretty much checked out! Here’s a link to the last in the series – scroll to the bottom to see links to all five.
52 Weeks – I once again tried to take part in the weekly blog posting challenge but only made it through six posts. I won’t try this again – I prefer to blog when inspiration strikes and not on a pre-defined schedule.
New Descendants – My favorite genealogy activity of all: entering the names of two new grandchildren into my database!
Research Projects: here are the research projects I intended to work on this year and the progress I made:
- Hultman Ancestry – based on the research I completed at the SAG workshop in November, I’ll be writing up a blog post and an accompanying research paper that corrects the record with respect to the parents of Isaac Hultman (1782-1827). DONE! See https://road13.com/familyhistory/correcting-the-record/.
- Gustafva Johansdotter Ancestry – again based on SAG research, I’ll document what I’ve learned about Gustafva’s great-grandfather Sven Häggblad. Research is DONE, just need to blog about it.
- Dill Ancestry – finding the parents of Peter Dill (d. 1839) has been an ongoing project. This year, I will try to figure out the relationships between the various Dill men living in and around Augusta, Georgia during the colonial period up to about 1835. Found some good court records from Augusta. Need to regroup and figure out how to better attack this project.
- Lola Timmons Female Lines – I need to research some of Lola’s female lines: Nancy Dyer, Lydia Bennett, Susannah Jemison and Emily Patton. My cousin Sara Frasier did a lot of research on these lines, I need to validate her findings and see what the possibilities might be for extending lines further. I’ll be starting with Lydia Bennett. Did not do.
- Timmons Follow-Up – I did some good research on the parents of Peter Timmons (1839-1879) that I need to write up in report form with source citations. Did not do.
- John Fraser Ancestry – as noted above, I’m hoping that Bruce’s Y-DNA test will give us some clues. Y-DNA testing has taken this as far as we can go – at least for now. Need to blog about it.
Looking ahead for 2024
Rademacher book – Dale and I wanted to get a Rademacher book pulled together in 2023 and it just didn’t happen. Need to regroup on this and aim for 2024.
SAG Workshop – as mentioned above, this is on my list every year from now on!
Metadata for Genealogy – I’d like to take this online course to improve my system for scanning and saving old photos.
Visit the National Archives – I read a blog post that detailed how to research records in-person at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. Both Dale and I have many ancestors who obtained land from the federal government, either through purchase, bounty warrant, or by homesteading. We also have several ancestors who served in the military. It will take quite a bit of preparatory work to organize my research requests but what fun to see the records in person! As the year goes along, I’ll compile lists and then see about scheduling a trip.
SGSC Presentation – I’ve been asked to make a presentation to the Swedish Genealogical Society of Colorado on May 4, 2024 about my Hultman research.
Research Projects – I’ve got a pretty good backlog of projects as listed above. I think the only new things I might add will be specific research questions to tackle at the 2024 SAG Workshop.
Blog Maintenance – I need to update the blog layout and move to a WordPress managed service at my domain provider.