Friday, November 9, 2012

Saturday, September 22, 2012

I haven't fallen off the earth

I have a very sick doggy and am playing round the clock nursemaid. He had surgery and now refuses to eat and needs constant care. I hope he recovers quickly so I can A) sleep and B) get back to life. Wish us well.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Second Blogiversary!!

Join me in celebrating my 2 year blogiversary.
One lump or two?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Happy Email from Yvonne in Sweden

Hi Jennie,
It´s been a while and I'm sitting here in rainy Sweden, did not know what to do so...I began the search for your ancestors Isberg and Fält in Sweden, I hope you don´t mind...?
I found some info that I do not know if you already have. I'll send it to you.
Hopefully, it may be of interest....
I think you have a very interesting blog!
I also have a small blog, but I'm not so good, it often becomes a little different things that I add ..
I have no real “common red thread” to follow....;))

Hi again,

I found a brother of Johanna: Anders, born April 1866 and emigrated together with his family in 1889, se the attached file.
I also found one of the sisters, Anna, who emigrated in 1890.
... Hope you do not mind that I am looking for your ancestors, you might want to find yourself ..;)

Thank you, Yvonne. You have been a huge help on more than one occasion. Everyone should visit Yvonne's blog Swedish Thoughts.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Friday Funny...Annie Shovelhand

Annie Shovelhand, great great grandmother of Edward Scissorhands

Friday, July 27, 2012

A Researcher's Best Friend

In addition to researching my own family, I also research the family of one of my town's founders. I've been on the hunt for this family's story for over 5 years. I've found much, but know that there's much more to find. I know that I could read newspapers on microfilm from now until I'm cross eyed. This family was written about every time the husband went fishing or the wife hosted a tea.
My fellow researchers are always keeping an eye out for the family name. We alert each other if we find an item of interest. On Tuesday I met up with one of my research buddies and imagine my surprise when she presented me with a book she found at a local garage sale for a whopping .50; the paternal family history of the wife of my research project. It is well sourced and indexed and takes the family line back to the immigrant ancestor and the 1700s. Of course, I've found some incorrect information. But that's to be expected in a secondary source. For me, the clues and stories are the most important thing. I'm beyond excited to pick through this volume with a fine toothed comb. Thanks friend, for having my back. I hope I can return the favor some day.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Side Streets of Genealogy.

I've taken my direct lines across the pond but don't have the funds to subscribe to the world archives right now, so I'm currently researching collateral lines and doing some reverse genealogy in hopes of finding living relatives in the US. This has proven to be as fun and even more revealing than researching the direct lines. My grand parents and great grand parents were a bunch of goodie two shoes but some of their siblings and children got up to some mischief which has been very entertaining to uncover. The 19 year old aunt who got herself in the family way and ran away from home. She was obviously found and got married to the child's father a month before the birth. But that marriage didn't last long and ended in divorce. She later married the widower of her own sister and than at least once more. There's the mystery cousin that no one knows anything about, but there she was on the 1930 census living with her grandparents (my great grandparents). She was 15, for heavens sake. How could no one not know anything about her? And why were her younger brothers living as boarders in CA when the rest of the family was in MT? These side lines will keep me busy while I save my pennies for the World subscription and can continue my direct lines in Europe. This is why I LOL when I hear people say their research is DONE! It's not done, you just quit looking.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Friday Funny.....Caption this

This one left me speechles. Go ahead and post your best caption.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Carl Borgreen Documents

Carl Borgreen Confirmation
Had a chance to photograph these beautiful documents when Mom came to visit a while back. They have been rolled up in stored in a bookcase for years. They felt a bit brittle and had to be gently held flat to photograph. I think some time in a steam bath would help to relax the paper. Hopefully some day I'll have a chance to do that and put them in a protective sleeve and container for proper storage. The good news is, they've been kept away from sunlight and the colors are vibrant.

Carl Borgreen Baptism

Saturday, April 28, 2012

New Acquisitions

Gust Borgreen letter 19 Nov 1929
 Nathanial Baldwin Incorporated
Radio Head-sets, Loud Speakers, Sensitive Telephone Receivers
502 Deseret Bank Building
Salt Lake City, Utah
November 19, 1929

Mr. Gust Borgreen,
709 Second Avenue South
Great Falls, Montana

Dear Sir:

We acknowledge receipt of your application for 100 shares of the stock of the Nathaniel Baldwin Incorporated, at $4.00 per share, and your remittance in connection there-with of Check $200.00 and Note $200.00.

The Columbia Trust Company of this City, will forward to you, upon payment of the above note at our offices, 502 Deseret Bank Building, Salt Lake City, Trustee Certification covering the number of shares for which you subscribed.

You will be interested to know that Mr. Nathaniel Baldwin, President of the Company, is advising his friends to hold on to their stock as he confidently believes this stock will become very valuable.

Thank you for your interest and your subscription, we are
Very truly yours,

Carl Borgreen High School diploma 31 Jul 1925

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Titanic Sinks

source unknown

Don't many of us have a Titanic tale in our family history? Our family story goes something like this; William H. Johnstone came over in April 1912. Family lore has his wife and children turned away at the docks due to Ellen Johnstone being too sick to travel. It all seemed so romantic until the ships' passenger lists were found and the math was done. William did come over in April of 1912. In fact, he came one week before the Titanic disaster, arriving on 7 Apr 1912. He disembarked in Halifax Nova Scotia, not New York and he traveled on the ship Grampian, of the Allan Shipping Line.

In June of 1913, Mary Alice, Stephen (age 3), and Ellen (age 1) Johnstone and Mary Alice's mother Mary Coleman, came to Quebec on the ship Laurentic, of the White Star Line.

 It seems that the horrific news of the sinking of the Titanic at nearly the same time William was sailing would have sent shivers of fear through the family. I think that the story probably grew and morphed over the years, like a game of telephone. The fact that Steve and Ellen were so small probably contributed to the misunderstanding. An interesting fact about the Laurentic; on 25 Jan 1917, it was sunk by a mine off the north coast of Ireland with a loss of 350 lives. I'm not sure if this factors into the family lore, but it's worth noting.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Oh Joy!

Just got an email from Mom. She was talking to Uncle Jimmy and he said he'd found Great grandpa Gust Borgreen's declaration of intention and citizenship document. So excited to have these papers at last. Can't wait for my copies to arrive.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Thank You Sister Noreen! Amanuensis Monday

Way back in November I posted about my great-great aunt Martina Marxer. Martina was a nun with the Sisters of the Precious Blood in OH and died in 1939. I tripped across her death certificate one day and decided to find out a bit more. I sent an email to the convent and hoped to hear back. After the hustle and bustle of the holidays I received a very nice email from Sister Noreen of the convent archives. She promised to look into my requests ASAP. Today I received a brief summary of Martina's time at the convent.

CPPS Archives
Sisters of the Precious Blood
Dayton OH

Name: Sister M. Gabriela Marxer, CPPS
Birth Name: Martina
Birth: March 29, 1862, Eschen. Lichtenstein
Father's Name: Andrew Marxer
Mother's Name: Anna Schaechle
Entered the Sisters of the Precious Blood: March 12, 1883, Maria Stein, Ohio
Received as a novice: February 18, 1885, Maria Stein, Ohio
Profession: March 10, 1888, Maria Stein, Ohio
Ministry: Domestic Arts [included cooking, gardening, making hosts, making rugs and care of orphans]
Died: July 15, 1939, New Riegel, Ohio
Buried: New Riegel, Ohio
Cause of death: Stroke

Note: There are different versions of the spelling of the family name: Marxer, Merxer, Merxes. Some records also show the name of Sister Gabriela [her given religious name] was not always used but the name of Sister Martina, her birth name.

From CPPS Archives
Date: March 15, 2012
CPPS Archivist

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Happy Birthday Grandma Marxer!!!

Marie Elizabeth (Johnson) Marxer was born 10 Mar 1914, to Albert and Elina Johnson in Roberts Montana.

Marie graduated from Roberts High School on 18 May 1933 and took a job at Yellowstone National Park, shortly thereafter.

On 24 Feb 1936, Marie married Edward Martin Marxer in Great Falls MT and they began their life together on the Marxer homestead near Eden MT. Eddie and Marie welcomed three boys to their family; Marvin, Gary and Neal. Ranch life was busy and the work was hard but life was good for the Marxer clan.

In the 1970's, Eddie and Marie sold the ranch and moved to town. They enjoyed their retirement and traveled extensively.

Eddie passed in 1984. Marie carried on with her volunteer work and traveled for several more years. Marie passed on 15 May 2000 in Great Falls MT. She and Eddie are buried at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Great Falls MT. Grandma, you are loved and missed.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Happy 100th Birthday, Grandma Nell!

Ellen "Nell" (Johnstone) Borgreen
"Nellie" was born in Liverpool, England on 5 Feb 1912, to William H. and Mary Alice (Coleman)Johnstone. She was the 2nd of 8 children. "Nellie's" father immigrated to Canada in April 1912 and landed in Halifax on April 7th, just one week before the sinking of the Titanic.

On 4 Jun 1913, Mary Alice arrived in Quebec with her two children, Steve and Nellie and her mother, Mary Coleman. The family reunited with William and moved west to British Columbia, where they would live until immigrating to the U.S. in 1916. Nellie's brothers, William and Donald were born in Canada. Mary Alice crossed into Montana at the port of Gateway on 24 Feb 1916, with her 4 children and her mother. William entered the U.S. at some point in time, but no record has been found. The family settled in Great Falls, MT. William worked as a master meat cutter for The Great Falls Meat Packing Company.

Kathleen, Gertrude, James and John were born to William and Mary Alice over the next years in Great Falls.

Nell attended St. Mary's High School and then the Columbus Hospital's School of Nursing where she graduated in 1933. These were difficult years. The nation was in the throes of the Great Depression, Grandma Coleman and William were suffering from cancer. William was unable to work and the family banded together to make ends meet. Mary Coleman died on 14 Jun 1932 and William died on 16 Oct 1933. At this same time Nell went to work for Dr. C. H. Peterson.

On 29 Jun 1935, Nell married Carl Borgreen at St. Anne's Cathedral in Great Falls MT. They made their home in Great Falls. Nell and Carl welcomed 4 children to the family; John, Judy, Jim, and Jerry.

On 22 Nov 1959, life took a drastic and tragic turn when Carl died suddenly and unexpectedly on a hunting trip. The family carried on, the kids grew and married and had children of their own. Nell returned to nursing, working at  Park Place and Cascade Country Convalescent Hospital until her retirement.

Nell was spunky and fiesty until the very end and on 22 Oct 2000, she left us to reunite with Carl.
Today would be her 100th birthday. Happy Birthday, Grandma. We love you and miss you.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Genealogy as Grief Therapy

Alex in June of 2011
 I think anyone who has spent any time researching their family history can relate to this....the process brings our ancestors back to life. In the case of researching those relatives who have passed in our own lifetime, it keeps them alive in a different and special way.

I'd been researching my family for some time before my son passed in August 2011. I had become familiar and comfortable working with death certificates, funeral home and cemetery records and even traipsing through cemeteries. For 5 years I've researched a local founding family in my community and I participate in the annual Stories and Stones storytelling program at our local cemetery; the very cemetery where I would bury my son. I feel at home there. I know the names of many of the "residents' and know the stories and history of those individuals who are neighbors to my child. As gut wrenching as it is to lose a child, the entire process has been softened by the knowledge, experience and very act of researching my ancestors.

My son would often come to the computer room and sit with me. He'd act very bored and put upon, but would usually ask what I was working on, or had I found anything interesting. He'd listen and look at photos and, I hope, would absorb the information. When he passed on, I took great comfort in knowing that he would be met by people he knew. I also gives me comfort to know that I'll meet up with him again someday and have the opportunity to meet and reconnect with all those who've gone on before me.

This hobby has brought me comfort and understanding during a very dark time.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Productive time

Finally got my FTM software. It's all installed and syncing and everything is coming up little shaking leaves.
I'm also enjoying the 3 free months of access. Granted, it's only US records, but I've found lots of records on my collateral lines, not to mention photographs and family stories.
Lastly, I've managed to make contact with several distant relations re; information on their trees and offering to share what I've found in my own research.
I'm hoping that with collaberation, we can knock down a brick wall or two.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Friday Funny...Smile for the Panda

source unknown
Pandas hold a special place in our house, so when I saw this old photo, I just had to share it.
I wish I knew the story behind it.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Motivation Monday...Family Tree Maker 2012 and subscription

Currently waiting for my order from to show up. I finally broke down and bought Family Tree Maker 2012 with a free three month subscription. I've been searching and bookmarking all the records that I want to examine and will be ready to hit the floor running when the box shows up in my mailbox. Can NOT wait.