RootsMagic Releases New Version with TreeShare with Ancestry.com

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Yesterday was an exciting day. RootsMagic finally released its TreeShare functionality with Ancestry.com. This means that a RootsMagic family tree can be linked with an Ancestry.com family tree. Hints from Ancestry will show up in the shared RootsMagic tree. And changes made in either tree can be carried over to the other.

This requires downloading an updated version of RootsMagic 7 (you need to own this database software) to your computer and going through some simple steps to activate the TreeShare functionality.  Those include downloading an Ancestry tree to RootsMagic or vice versa so that you have the same tree “in the cloud” on Ancestry and on your computer in Rootsmagic. Then you can use the full power of TreeShare to add new records to both trees.

At the moment, I have only viewed Bruce Buzbee’s video on how to do this and what the advantages are for doing so. Go here to see this relatively easy to understand video. You have to scroll down the web page to find the screen capture with the start link.

I will be trying this out today and report back. Watch this space.

 

FamilySearch Will Discontinue Microfilm Distribution

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The following announcement was made by FamilySearch.org on 26 Jun 2017:

On September 1, 2017, FamilySearch will discontinue its microfilm distribution services. (The last day to order microfilm will be on August 31, 2017.)

The change is the result of significant progress made in FamilySearch’s microfilm digitization efforts and the obsolescence of microfilm technology.
• Online access to digital images of records allows FamilySearch to reach many more people, faster and more efficiently.
• FamilySearch is a global leader in historic records preservation and access, with billions of the world’s genealogical records in its collections.
• Over 1.5 million microfilms (ca. 1.5 billion images) have been digitized by FamilySearch, including the most requested collections based on microfilm loan records worldwide.
• The remaining microfilms should be digitized by the end of 2020, and all new records from its ongoing global efforts are already using digital camera equipment.
• Family history centers will continue to provide access to relevant technology, premium subscription services, and digital records, including restricted content not available at home.

Digital images of historical records can be accessed today in three places on FamilySearch.org under Search:
• Records include historical records indexed by name or organized with an image browse.
• Books include digital copies of books from the Family History Library and other libraries.
• Catalog includes a description of genealogical materials (including books, online materials, microfilm, microfiche, etc.) in the FamilySearch collection.

When approved by priesthood leaders, centers may continue to maintain microfilm collections already on loan from FamilySearch after microfilm ordering ends. Centers have the option to return microfilm that is available online or otherwise not needed. As more images are published online, centers may reevaluate whether to retain microfilm holdings.

Married almost 57 Years

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Yesterday would have been 57 years of marriage for my wife and me. Mary Jane (MJ) and I were married on 25 Jun 1960. Unfortunately, she passed away on 19 May 2017, just 37 days shy of that 57th wedding anniversary.

It was tough not being able to celebrate this latest marriage milestone with her. Several times throughout yesterday, I had to stop and realize the loss of my companion for well over 57 years. We first met each other when Mary Jane Van Court and her classmates from Richmond Township joined me and my Andover classmates in seventh grade in the Andover school system.

When you add in our junior and senior high school years in the same homeroom class, plus our college years, I knew MJ for 66 years. For most of those years, we dated steadily, and we did the same during our four years of college. MJ went to Baldwin Wallace College and I went to Case Institute of Technology. The two schools were about a half hour’s drive apart in the Cleveland area so it was easy to see each other on frequent dates. We got married very shortly after each of us graduated.

My son Kurt helped me commemorate the day by taking me out to dinner with his girlfriend, Jan. Thanks, Kurt. It helped a lot.

 

Ending Editorship of Footsteps to Past Newsletter

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Today, I completed laying out my last issue as editor of Footsteps to the Past, the quarterly newsletter of the Cuyahoga Genealogical Society, a chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society. Martha Nienhaus is taking over as editor and will put together the Fall 2017 issue.

When John Stoika died in May in 2013, I took over the Footsteps editorship. I included the following note in the June 2013 issue:

New Look for Footsteps

With this issue, Footsteps to the Past takes on a slightly different look. I am using a different electronic publishing program [Microsoft Publisher] from the one John Stoika used [Print Shop Pro]. This required drawing up new templates for the pages of the newsletter. Also, I decided to increase the type size slightly and to use an alignment known as “flush left, ragged right” rather that the justified alignment used before. This gives the newsletter a less formal appearance, and I believe that it makes is a bit easier to read as well. Let me know what you think.

Going forward, I will be looking for article contributions from CVGS members. We all like to read case studies of successful research, so why not write one up and share it through this newsletter. Favorite memories of family life are welcome too.

This was my second stint as editor of Footsteps. I served as editor from the September 1996 issue until the Jun3 1999 issue. Jack Braverman and then John Stoika stepped up and served as editor. Incidentally, if you want to check out previous issues of Footsteps, go to our website, www.cuyahogagenealogy.org, and open the Members section. You’ll find a complete run of issues there under newsletters.

Now, Martha Nienhaus is taking over as editor. She has indicated to me that she has some changes in mind for the layout. What will remain the same is the need for articles from CVGS members. I urged CVGS members to let her know if they have an article to contribute. I plan to submit articles to her from time to time going forward.

Finnish Research Strategies and Records

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I get my start in genealogy during a visit to the Family History Library in Salt Lake in 1992. It was during a business trip and the colleague that I was traveling with said that he was visiting the Library in the evening. He agreed to take me along.

While there, I did some checking for my Finnish ancestors in databases on CDs. This was the International Genealogical Index and consisted of transcribed information from records in Finland. This was years before FamilySearch.org was introduced and before the vast digitization effort now being conducted by the LDS Church for their members and the public.

Over the years, I tried to keep up with improvements in access to Finnish records for family history research. It was a hit or miss process.

Recently, I accessed the FamilySearch.org website and checked out the wiki pages on Finland Genealogy. Wow! I was really impressed with the organized approach to explaining what was available and how to access it. There is considerable information available for online researchers. Other types of information are available at the Family History Library.

I have bookmarked the section headlined “Finland Record Selection Table” and plan to work my way through the various data types and sources.

One note: I did visit Finland in 1996 and was able to tour cemeteries in Vesanto and Rautalampi. In Vesanto, I requested family records from a clerk in the parish records office and she was able to complete the request in a couple of hours while I toured the area in my rental car. I paid a small fee for her work, which was nicely typed up. I know now that she consulted microfilms that today form the basis of online databases of Finnish church records.

 

Flu Pandemic Claims a WWI Soldier from Ohio

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This is another installment in my ongoing WWI research to commemorate America’s Centennial of entering the War in 1917.

“To Appear Saturday” read the headline on page 9 in the Hutchinson News for Tuesday, 16 Jul 1918. The Reno County, Kansas, newspaper was reporting that local men had been notified to appear for physical examinations:

Thirty-three men have been notified to appear at the Elks club at 9 o’clock Saturday morning for a physical examination. This list includes most of the men remaining in the 1918 registration and some of the men who have been reclassified. A large number of 1918 registrants are appearing in the morning for examinations. The work starts at nine o’clock.

On the list was Bert C. Butcher, 607 N. Main, Hutchinson.1 I was researching him because he was the son of my wife’s paternal grandmother, Mary Heinselman Butcher. I knew that he was in the Army and had died in 1918. I wanted to find out more.

Albert C., aka Bert, was born on 28 Apr 1889 in Bern Township, Athens County, Ohio, to Mary and Albert T. Butcher.2 Albert T. died in 189233 and Mary then married James S. Van Court, my wife’s grandfather.4

Bert was enumerated as Albert C. Vancourt in 1900 in Grant’s Pass, Ritchie County, West Virginia, living in the household of James S. Vancourt.5 Using the Vancourt surname was probably a simplification of the situation as I have found no record of a formal adoption. Also, Bert used the Butcher surname or variations throughout his lifetime. Note also that the Vancourt surname was often spelled Van Court over the years.

The Vancourt household migrated to Richmond Center, Ashtabula County, Ohio, in the early years of the twentieth century. It was there that Bert met and married Illene Ida Carter on 10 May 1913.6 Almost a year later, on 4 Apr 1914, a daughter, Louise Ida Butcher, was born to the couple. Unfortunately, Illene died four days later.7 Louise died a year later on 20 Apr 1915.8

Bert moved to Hutchinson, Reno County, Kansas sometime in 1915 to live with cousins. He was enumerated as Albert Butcher in the Kansas State Census for 1915 (no enumeration date was given) as living in the household of E. E. Bourquin, husband of Mary Jane Heinselman, his mother’s niece.9 Bert’s occupation at the time was “casual laborer.”

Two years later, on 5 Jun 1917, he registered for the WWI draft in Hutchinson.10 He reported that he was married (this suggests that he remarried in Kansas) and that his wife was dependent on him. He also reported that he had been serving in the Kansas National Guard for a year. His occupation at this point was “auto painting.” Curiously, the draft card was made out for Bert C Butcser and that is the way he signed the card. Two hand-written notations apparently were added later by officials: his surname was crossed out and Butcher was added and the word “Deceased” was written diagonally across the card.

Bert no doubt reported for his physical on 20 Jul 1918 as required.  From his death record on an online website at ksgenweb.com listing Kansas WWI Casualties, we learn that Buteser [misspelling of surname variation Butcser], Bert C, Pvt, of Hutchinson was shipped off to Camp Pike in Little Rock, Pulaski County, Arkansas, on 15 Aug 1918.11 Camp Pike was one of many American Army training bases where thousands of troops fell ill with flu and many died. His death was reported as taking place in the Camp Pike Base Hospital on 27 Sep 1918. Cause of death was marked D for disease. More than half of the entries in this database died due to disease. There was no particular disease identified in this record set.

Authorities eventually identified flu as being responsible for the deaths of thousands of WWI soldiers in America and abroad. When the flu pandemic had run its course, it had killed as many as 50 million people worldwide.12

The Kansas website mentioned above provides the information that Bert served with the 41 Cas Co 162 Dep Brig. 61 Co 16 Receiving Bn 162 Dep Brig, which agrees with details on his headstone.

In another section of the same online database, titled “Relatives of Deceased Soldiers,” there is an entry for Mrs. Bert C. Buteser [sic], wife, 607 N. Main St., Hutchinson, Ks. 13

According to a newspaper report show above, Mrs. Viola Butcser was notified of his death14 and she arranged for his remains to be transported back to Hutchinson. He was buried in the Hutchinson East Cemetery. The cemetery stone below shows that he served in the 61st Co. 16 Reg. Btn 162 DB.15

From the newspaper report above, I learned that wife No. 2’s given name was Viola and that she was living with her father, Frank Wright. That suggested she was Viola Wright before marrying Bert. To date, I have found no marriage record for the couple.

The newspaper report gave me her given name and her probable maiden name, plus the fact that she had a baby daughter at the time of Bert’s death. With this information, I was able to track much of Viola Butcser/Butcher’s ongoing life in Hutchinson. as a widow. An interesting fact revealed in the 1930 Census was that she was employed as a nurse.16 Perhaps her husband’s death due to flu had something to do with her becoming a nurse.

Endnotes

  1. Newspaper report listing men required to report for enlistment. Hutchinson News 16 Jul 1918, p 9, Hutchinson, Reno, Kansas, USA. Online database record at www.newspaperarchive.com.
  2. Albert C Butcher birth record, Ohio, Births and Christenings Index, 1800-1962. Online database at www.ancestry.com
  3. A. T. Butcher death and burial record, Church of Christ Cemetery, Pike, Ritchie County, West Virginia. Online database record accessed at www.findagrave.com.
  4. Marriage of James S Vancourt and Mary Butcher, 1900 Census, West Virginia, Ritchie County, Grant District (the couple were married five years previously). Online database record accessed at www.ancestry.com.
  5. Ibid. Census record shows Albert C. Vancourt living in the household of James S. Vancourt in 1900.
  6. License and return for the marriage of Albert Charles Butcher and Illene Ida Carter in Ashtabula County, Ohio. Ohio County Marriages online database at www.familysearch.org.
  7. Death and burial record for Illene Carter Butcher, wife of Bert Butcher, buried in Richmond Center Cemetery, Ashtabula County, Ohio. Online database record accessed at www.findagrave.com.
  8. Death and burial record for Louise Ida Butcher, daughter of Bert Butcher, buried in Richmond Center Cemetery, Ashtabula County, Ohio. Online database record accessed at www.findagrave.com.
  9. Albert Butcher enumerated in E. E. Bourquin household, line 2, Kansas State Census Collection, 1855-1925. Kansas State Historical Society; Topeka, Kansas; Roll: ks1915_194; Line: 2, Online database record accessed at www.ancestry.com
  10. Bert C. Butcser’s [sic] registration for the WWI draft in Reno County, Kansas. Online database record accessed at www.ancestry.com.
  11. Report of Bert’s death due to disease. Transcribed from Kansas Casualties in the World War – 1917-1919: Regular Army, National Guard, National Army, Enlisted Reserve Corps, compiled under Supervision of the Adjutant General of Kansas, printed by Kansas State Printing Plant, Imri Zumwalt, State Printer, Topeka. 1921. 8-4185. Accessed online at http://ksgenweb.com/archives/statewide/military/wwI/casualty/index.html.
  12. “1918 flu pandemic,” detailed article accessed at www.wikipedia.org.
  13. Next of kin listing, see Kansas Casualties in the World War – 1917-1919, online database above. Click on “Relatives and Friends of Deceased Soldiers” for the record.
  14. Newspaper report about Bert’s death. Hutchinson News 27 Sep 1918, page 6, Hutchinson, Reno, Kansas, USA. Online database record accessed at www.newspaperarchive.com.
  15. Death and burial record for Bert C. Butcsher [sic], buried in Hutchinson Eastside Cemetery accessed online at www.findagrave.com.
  16. Viola C. Butcser enumerated in the household of her father, Frank Wright, 1930 Federal Census, Hutchinson, Reno County, Kansas. Her occupation is shown as “nurse.” Online database record accessed at www.ancestry.com.

 

Resumption of Posting to This Blog

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It’s hard to believe but it has been one month and two days since I last posted to this blog. The subject of that post was to record the passing of my wife Mary Jane, MJ for short, on May 19. Since then it has been quite an adjustment not having her present in my daily life.

At first, I was quite busy planning a Celebration of Life for MJ. We held it on June 4 at Nosek-McCreery Funeral Home here in Brecksville. We had the assistance of a professional celebrant, Kevin O’Brien. He organized a wonderful service for our family and friends. Afterward, we shared a catered meal in the funeral home’s hospitality room.

Then I got busy taking care of MJ’s affairs. Since we had joint ownership of everything, we don’t have to go through probate, but there were credit card accounts to be closed, insurance notifications, and other details. With her affairs mostly settled now, I can devote time again to genealogy and family history research — and posting on this blog. Stay tuned.

Mary Jane Van Court Huskonen 1938-2017

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On Friday, 19 May 2017, we said goodbye to our wife and mother, Mary Jane. She had suffered from dementia as well as hip and shoulder problems during the last three years. After a brief hospital stay in April, followed by four weeks in a skilled nursing facility, she lived out her final days at home. A team from Cleveland Clinic Hospice at Home assisted in making her as comfortable as possible. I and daughter Karen and son Kurt were at her side when she passed away.

I have collected and studied many death notices over the years while practicing my avocation of genealogy, so I thought it would be appropriate to prepare a death notice for her. Here is what we will be sending to family and friends today, and to various newspapers:

Mary Jane Huskonen
Mary Jane (Van Court) Huskonen passed away May 19 at her home in Brecksville, Ohio. She was born December 12, 1938 the daughter of Clyde and Meta (Scheppelmann) Van Court in Richmond Center, Ashtabula County, Ohio, who preceded her in death.

Known as MJ by family and friends, she is survived by her husband of 57 years, Wallace Dingman Huskonen, as well as daughter Karen Frame (Matthew) of Honeoye Falls, New York, son Kurt Huskonen, of North Ridgeville, Ohio, and grandchildren Korey and Kayley Huskonen and Maegan, Kaelyn, and Matthew Frame. A brother, Sidney August Van Court, preceded her in death in 2000.

She graduated from Andover High School, Andover, Ohio, in 1956 as class valedictorian. She then studied at the Conservatory of Music at Baldwin Wallace University in Berea, Ohio. After graduating from BW in 1960, she taught elementary music in the Parma Public Schools for eight years. She then helped start the South Suburban Montessori School in Brecksville, and served as its director for three years. During the early 1980s, she served as business manager of Infocom Productions, an audio-visual production business she owned with her husband. Later, she worked at Modern Curriculum Press in Strongsville as an education materials sales specialist, and at Penton Media, Cleveland, in the payroll department. Recently, she operated the Huskonen Piano Studio from her home in Brecksville, during which she shared her love for playing the piano with dozens of students.

She was a member and officer of the Cleveland Piano Teachers Organization, and a member of the Music Teachers National Association.

A Celebration of Life gathering will be held at the Nosek-McCreery Funeral Home in Brecksville at a date to be announced.

We knew her death was coming, so we were somewhat prepared. Still, it will be a huge adjustment to no longer have MJ with me sharing life’s adventures.

 

RootsMagic Moving Closer to Syncing with Ancestry.com Family Trees

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Thanks to Randy Seaver and his Genea-Musing blog, I was able to view a video created by Bruce Buzbee about how his RootsMagic personal computer database program (Version 7) will shortly be able to “sync” with family trees in Ancestry.com. His post is here: http://www.geneamusings.com/2017/05/rootsmagic-provides-video-demonstrating.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+geneamusings%2FlEXw+%28Genea-Musings%29.

The new capabilities of RootsMagic 7 in working with trees in Ancestry.com involve Treeshares and Web Hints.

Treeshare is the mechanism by which you can upload your RootsMagic tree to Ancestry.com, or vice versa.

Web Hints are similar to the Green Leaf hints on Ancestry.com. From your FootsMagic tree, you can see hints that the program finds for you in FamilySearch.org, FindMyPast, and MyHeritage. When the new capability is finally rolled out, you will be able to see Web Hints in Ancestry.com as well.  It then is up to you to accept or reject a Hint for a particular person in your RootsMagic tree.

Web Hints are in three categories: Records such as census, military, and vital records; Other member trees; and Media, which includes photos and stories on Ancestry family trees, all of which may pertain to a person in your RootsMagic tree.

Bruce Buzbee has chosen not to call the new capability “syncing” but Tree Sharing. For a detailed discussion 0f this preference, watch his video from Randy Seaver’s post (see above) or go directly to YouTube where you can find it at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=knUwCzqqyK4.

The new capability is being Beta tested by approximately 1,000 RootsMagic 7 users as we speak. Eventually, according to Bruce, as many as 3,500 may be testing the new capability.

I’m excited by this evolution of online genealogical research. I will be able to collect records and other information on Ancestry.com, then use Tree Share to update my RootsMagic family tree. And with the RootsMagic tree, I can organize many more reports, do sorting, and other refinements that aren’t available with an Ancestry.com tree.

Stay tuned.

Finland Record Selection Table from FamilySearch Wiki

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I have been doing genealogical research for about 20 years, and since my paternal grandparents came from Finland, I have spent a good amount of time trying to do Finnish research. FamilySearch.org has provided a table that helps organize your approach to what records to seek and how to access them.
I have copied the table from the wiki page that provides links to the various types of records. Go here to access the wiki page and the actual links. NOTE: It is most helpful for research from 1800 to the present.

Step 1. In column 1 select a research goal. Choose an ancestor you would like to know more about. What new information would you like to learn about that person?

Step 2. In column 2 find the types of records most likely to have the information you need.

Step 3. In column 3 find additional record types that may be useful.

What you are looking for: Try these records first: Other useful records:
Age Church Records Census, Probate Records
Birth date Church Records
Boundaries and Origins Gazetteers Maps, History
Children Church Records Census, Probate
Death information Church Records Probate
Emigration date Emigration and Immigration Church Records
Ethnic background Church Records Minorities, Social Life and Customs, Ethnology
Historical background History Social Life and Customs
Maiden name Church Records
Marriage information Church Records
Occupations Church Records Probate, Occupations
Other family members Church Records Census, Probate
Parents Church Records Census, Probate
Physical description Military Records Biography, Genealogy
Place-finding aids Postal and Shipping Guides Gazetteers, Maps,
Place of residence Church Records Geographical Names Census, Taxation
Previous research Genealogy, Periodicals Biography, History, Archives, and Libraries
Record-finding aids Archives and Libraries Bibliography, Genealogy
Religion Church Records Minorities, Encyclopedias, and Dictionaries
Social activities Social Life and Customs History