2015 in Review

2015 was a bad year for this blog as I did not post a single entry. This was, however, a great year for finding my dead with finding the burial locations of my 4x great-grandparents, Peter and Margaret (Schaeffer) Wetzel, being the highlight of the year.

Seeing time and time again where people are having difficulties finding their people buried in a particular Coal Township, PA cemetery, I decided that I wanted to photograph and record the GPS coordinates of all tombstones in this cemetery and make sure that everyone had a Find-A-Grave memorial with this information. I began this project during the summer and by late-fall had completed one of the smaller sections, which totaled almost 600 graves. This project was partly inspired by fellow Find-A-Graver, Robert David Miller, who has done the same in multiple location cemeteries and who’s data was a great help to me when I traveled multiple hours knowing that I would not have to blindly wonder around cemeteries hoping to find my ancestors.

2016 Goals

I want to do so many things in 2016 but know that so much will fall by the way-side as life continues and priorities will have to be made with the house and my grandmother being at the top of the list. My top five six genealogical goals for 2016 are, in no particular order:

  1. Determine if and how the US Nahodil’s are related; this includes all variant spellings, Nahadil, Nochodil, etc. If you are a Nahodil descendant, please leave me a message or send me an email as I would love to connect.
  2. Continue with the cemetery project that I started in 2015 with photographing and recording the GPS locations of all tombstones in a local cemetery.
  3. Figure out what I am going to do now that Ancestry.com has discontinued its Family Tree Maker software and will cease supporting it at the end of the year. I have almost 20 years of data in this desktop software that I will now need to migrate to different software; this would be a perfect time for me to also clean up my facts and sources. I have already purchase Magic Roots and Legacy but do not like either as they do not have the capabilities that I require.
  4. Delve deeper into the world of genealogical DNA testing. I have been involved with AncestryDNA for a few years now but find it limiting. I would like to get involved with testing through FamilyTreeDNA; this is more detailed and requires more knowledge of DNA than I currently have. I hope this avenue may be able to help prove or disprove some of the family stories about my Nahodil ancestors.
  5. Consistently maintain and update this blog on a weekly basis. Writing does not come naturally to me so it seems to take so long to produce even a few short paragraphs. I really have to hand it to all the other bloggers about there that publish frequently and with such interesting posts that keep you coming back for more.
  6. Begin gathering and organizing all the paperwork needed for my DAR application.

Well, off to play cards with my little old grandma.

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1 year anniversary – recap and look ahead to 2014

 

I can’t believe it has been one year since I first posted to this blog.  After reading other genealogy blogs for a few years I thought that this would be a nice and easy way to possible connect with other relatives.  I figured that this would be a great way to keep my ancestors alive while making the information freely available to others and I hoped to connect with new cousins.  Was I sadly mistaken…I have come to accept that I am not a writer nor a story-teller.  In my quest to push on, I found that it took me many hours to write each post.  A quarter of the way through 2013 I made the decision to move to the area from which my ancestors’ came.  The long distance house search and frequent trips upstate lead to many things being put on the back burner, that included this site.  I am happy to say I have found a house and plan to make the move in a couple of months, provided that no issues pop up.

 

While writing does not come naturally or easy for me, I plan to continue this blog in 2014.  I have set a more realistic goal for myself  to write once a week about a relative who has an anniversary that week.  I really enjoyed the theme of Ancestor’s Anniversaries that I did last year and plan to take that approach in the coming year.

 

Back in June I received the AncestryDNA results for myself and an older Wetzel cousin.  I continue to be amazed at how many people I share DNA with.  Unfortunately, many of my closer connections do not have a public tree or their tree is lacking enough information to determine how we may be related.  I have contacted a few “cousins” but this was one of those areas that I slacked on last year.  I think contacting one DNA match a month is an achievable goal of 2014.

 

After receiving my AncestryDNA results I was contacted by a fairly close “cousin” who ask how we were related.  As soon as I looked at his tree I knew that the connection was through my paternal side which I knew nothing about.  Through 14 years of researching my family tree, my paternal side remained blank.  After receiving this inquiry, I entered the name of my father and his parents.  Long story short…it appears that I have an Aunt out there who has a very well developed family tree on Ancestry.com and has included many pictures.  Even though I never knew them, it is nice to see what my ancestors looked like.

 

2013 was a great year in that I met or connected with so many great people, many of these connections came as an unexpected surprise.  In the beginning of the years I was contacted by a trio of Lynn descendants who were wonderful to connect with and meet as we pooled our information and resources to pass on our family history.  After sending emails back and forth for the previous year, I had the pleasure to speak with Thelma (Strausser) Rothman’s granddaughter on the phone.  October brought the surprise of the year in the form of a message from Rose Nahodil’s grandson, who is the son of her eldest daughter.  Though it was slightly saddening to find that Rose left her young daughters, it was wonderful to find that they are alive and well and have had good lives.  November was another fabulous month as I visited my 3rd cousin and met her family.  This is a group that I am related through two different branches of my tree as they are descended from both my Nahodil and Strausser lines.  Once again, I found myself surrounded by a great group of people who were thoughtful in sharing their stories and pictures.

 

If you run across my site, please feel free to leave a comment to say hi or anything else you like.  I love meeting cousins and hope to meet many more once I move where a majority of them live or have lived.

Wordless Wednesday is Ancestor’s Anniversary – Mr. and Mrs. Fred Nahodil’s wedding anniversary

40th wedding celebration announcement published in the Shamokin Citizen on June 2, 1960. Today is the 93rd anniversary of their marriage.

40th wedding celebration announcement for Frederick Nahodil and Flossie Irene Lynn published in the Shamokin Citizen on June 2, 1960.
Today is the 93rd anniversary of their marriage.

Wordless Wednesday: Frederick Nahodil during World War I

Frederick Nahodil (on left) during World War I

Frederick Nahodil (on left) and guys having a light moment during World War I

Taking the plunge

After spending the past 12 years researching my genealogy I spent 2012 reaching out and connecting with many new cousins, most of which I have since met.  Like me, many of them have also moved away from the area that our ancestors called home.  Since we have scattered, I thought I blog might be a great way to connect those I already know and those I hope to find one day.

This blog is basically going to be about my genealogical journey, my ancestors, and the area of Pennsylvania that my family has lived in for almost 200 years (that I have been able to document).  As you all know, some lines are easier to follow than others so I also plan on including my brick walls.

I have been putting this off long enough so I committed to started this on January 1, 2013 for no other reason than it sounded like a good date I could work to.  In my head it was so much easier.  I honestly have no idea about blogging or online technology so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by the time it took me just to get this to the point where I post something.  I think I am ok with everything except that WP was installed in a subdirectory which is forcing me to include that in the URL.  I have read about redirecting to the root but no matter what I have tried I just couldn’t get it to work to my liking…I’ll chat with my IT guy at work tomorrow and get his thoughts.  I will get this fixed.