Friday, January 25, 2013

A brief catch-up

I know I haven't been blogging nearly as much as I should have been. Work has been crazy busy, we moved into a new house, I got really sick with the flu, and I've been working like mad trying to get through the last two folders in my "document everything I've ever collected" project. Are those good enough excuses? Probably not, since it takes about 30 seconds to at least do a Wordless Wednesday post. Oh well.

But to update you all on where I'm at with all the things I've been working on, here goes:

DNA - took a fantastic workshop from Diane Harman-Hoog on how to use your Family Finder and Relative Finder matches to look for particular surnames. Got a few tips on how to do the same with Gedmatch matches, but I wasn't able to get that part of it to work so well. But I learned a lot, and I hope to be able to really put those tips and tricks into practice when I get done with my huge project here in a couple weeks (hopefully).

Also, my grandma Blossom's 1st cousin once removed (on grandma's father's side) took a DNA test, and I found her on Gedmatch! Now I have all kinds of Wagner DNA identified, so any matches to both my grandma and her cousin will be Wagner cousins, and not Zitzmann cousins. Yet another set of matches to go through!

The Project - I just finished (like just a few minutes ago) entering all the census records I've collected on my Bergstad side - 176 of them! I've still got a couple hundred files to go in my Bergstad folder, including 50 or so files from a Bergstad cousin named Delores that I haven't had the time to go through in much detail yet. Those files are next on my list, and I'm excited to see what's all in them! I know there are pictures of relatives I haven't ever seen photos of, and I'm keen to see if I can find a family resemblance to any of them.

Also, I'm making my first foray into courthouse research. Sort of. I was searching on Google for Bergstads in McKenzie county, North Dakota, when I saw a list of probates from that county up through 2009. I searched the list and found three Bergstads - my great-grandparents John and Katherine (Hammer) Bergstad, and my great-great-grandfather Knute Bergstad. Between the three of them, there's 101 pages! I ordered copies of all three, and am really excited to see what a probate record looks like. Kinda sad that after doing genealogy for 13 years this if my first time getting a probate record. But in my defense, my ancestors haven't lived anywhere close to where I live, and this is the first time I've come across an online listing for probates. If more courthouses and counties would list their holdings online, I'd be happy to order more records.

That about sums up the last month or two of my genealogical activity. Hopefully I'll be able to get back on a regular blogging schedule. And once The Project is done, I'll have to decide how to spend my time between DNA research and paper genealogy. But one thing at a time here. I'll keep posting interesting things I find during my documentation, and some of these new family photos as well. Keep checking back, and thanks for reading! Be sure to leave a comment if you have a question or something you want to discuss. I'm always happy to talk about genealogy.