Monday, October 31, 2011

Researching Uncle Gus Plus Mary Turns 50!

Gustav Adolph Blum may or may not be my great uncle. His mother was Mathilda Johanna Mueller Strunk Blum Schumacher who may or may not have been my great grandmother Johanna Wehmeier Pahlke's mother.

I have three very thin pieces of evidence that Johanna and Gus were siblings.

1. My grandfather, Johanna's son William Pahlke, told my mother that Mathilda was his grandmother.

2. Mathilda's obituary refers to Johanna as Matilda's daughter.

3. When Gus committed suicide and murdered his two children Johanna is referred to as his 'half sister'.

Since I could not prove Johanna was Mathilda's daughter I decided to do some 'sideway' research. My hope was that by finding more information about Gustav I would learn more about Johanna and Mathilda.

Gustav left Barrington Illinois sometime in April of 1900. His mother, Mathilda posted this notice:

Barrington Review - April 28, 1900

Barrington, April 23, 1900
Notice is hereby given that as my son, Gustav Blum, has left my house and home and his whereabouts is unknown to me. I hereby give notice that after this date I will not be responsible for any debt that he may contract on my account, as he is not of age.

Matilda Schumacher

According to his military records Gustav enlisted in the Navy on April 19, 1900 in Chicago. I obtained Gustav's military records but the only family relationships mentioned were that Mathilda was his mother.

From Gustav's obituary I knew he was married. I also knew that he and his children died on December 12, 1916 and where they were buried. From the marriage and death certificates I started to put together his wife Elsa's family tree. But, alas no more information about Gustav's family.

Gustav married Elsa Haag on July 19, 1905. Elsa's parents John and Caroline Haag had five children: Johanna, Philip, Emma, Marie and Elsa. All but Johanna immigrated to the United States in the 1890's.

The Haag family lived at 93 Sands Street in Brooklyn. From the census records it seems that the family ran a boarding house and possibly a restaurant.

Emma married a gentleman with the last name of Neul and was a witness at Gus and Elsa's wedding. Marie's married name was Bratley and had the sad task of claiming the bodies and arranging the funeral for Gustav and her nephew John and niece Elsie.

Gustav's obituary said that his wife Elsa was in an asylum and he was depressed because his children were living with relatives. I did confirm that Elsa was living in an asylum in Dutchess County, New York in the 1930 Federal Census.

Through all of this I have not found any additional information on Gustav's family relationships. I have, however, begun to put together the story of the Haag family.

I want to find out why Elsa was committed. I would like to find descendents of Marie, Emma, Philip or Johanna to see if there are pictures of Gustav and Elsa or what family stories they may have of this tragic couple. I have posted messages on many Rootsweb message boards and mailing lists. Hopefully I will be able find some answers and whether or not Gustav Blum is my great uncle!

Happy Birthday Mary!!!

It hardly seems possible that it was fifty years ago (yesterday) my sister Mary was born. Since there is a nine year age difference we both consider ourselves 'only children'. While I whined about her getting a new bike (mine was used) and a car (I had to use mom's) it gave me great material for years.

I would post a more current picture, but I only have permission to use pictures of her before the age of 5!

Happy Birthday Mary!!

Take Care,


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Family Vacations - 1950s vs 2011

Vacations - 1950's

When I was a young girl summers were spent visiting my grandfather in Beacon Hill, Michigan. My mother and I would take the train and spend two weeks at my grandfather's house. Once she had a driver's license she and her sister Bunnie would load us kids in the car and drive. It was like being in another world.

Meals were cooked on the woodburning stove during the day and at night it would keep the chill off the house. The biggest difference between Grandpa's house and home was the bathroom - or lack of. Instead of a bathroom Grandpa had an outhouse (2 seater) and a sauna. I learned from a young age to not go into the outhouse alone. I do not know what I was more afraid of falling in or getting locked in by one of my cousins.

We would spend two weeks relaxing on Lake Superior, visiting family and chasing fireflies. Only now do I realize how lucky we were to have the luxury of taking two weeks off.

Jimmy (shooting gun), Bunnie, Sharyn Orloski - Pattie's Back

Vactions - Now

With everything going on in our lives, most of us are lucky to get away for a long weekend. Finding the opportunity, money or vacation time to spend two weeks anywhere is nearly impossible. Between work schedules, summer school and camps it is hard to arrange a family dinner let alone a vacation.

During the course of the year I try to plan a trip to visit my mother, a trip to Chuck's family and some time to relax at home. Since genealogy is a large part of my life even when I am on vacation I have a 'to do list'.
There is always a library or historical site to check out, a cemetery to visit or family member to visit and interview.

This year my sister and I visited the Hoosier Grove Museum
in Streamwood Illinois. My great grandmother grew up in the area and I had always wanted to visit their historical one room schoolhouse. One more place to check off on my 'to do list'!

Hoosier Grove One Room School House

Remember to relax, enjoy yourself and your family this summer. Whether you take a vacation or 'stay-cation' make new memories while you research the old.

Take Care,

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Box of Old Pictures, Chicago Dogs and Evergreen Cemetery

A Research Trip Home

Last week I made a trip home to Illinois. While my ancestors came from the northwest suburb of Barrington, I grew up in the neighboring town of Fox River Grove.

My mom had recently mentioned she found an old box of pictures under the living room sofa so i was anxious to go look through them. My sister Mary and I try to scan pictures as soon as we can. Mom has a habit of cutting the originals up for her collage.

There were about 80 pictures we had not seen or scanned before so Mary scanned them as TIFFS and then I cut and saved another set as JPEGS.

One amazing thing was some actually had names and dates on them! This is my favorite. It is of my dad and is sibling from 1940. It is the earliest one I have seen of the three of them. I am very happy that we were able to rescue these pictures and document them.

Chicago Dogs and Evergreen Cemetery

Every time I make a trip home I have to visit Evergreen Cemetery. Over the years it has become more than a cemetery. Folks jog, walk and push strollers through the wooded rows of headstones. I like to eat lunch there. There is nothing better than a Chicago Dog and Fries from Kookers to give me the energy and motivation for an afternoon of locating, photographing and cleaning headstones.

On this trip I needed to take pictures of some memorials I had adopted on Unfortunately when I found them I could not photograph them until the 'bird droppings' had been removed. With a jug of water and some gentle rubbing the stones were ready for their close up.

Of course it rained soon after, so the 'bird droppings' would have been handled naturally if I had waited a day!

The last stop was to decorate my Grandparents, William and Florence Schwemm Pahlke's headstone. Lilacs for Grandma and American Flags for Grandpa, a World War I veteran.


As I mentioned in a previous blog, Spring Cleaning can be a genealogist's break through moment or nightmare. I hate to think of how many folks might have pictures under a couch or in the back of a closet. You never know what you will find or what may get thrown out.

Take Care,

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Harry Potter, Genealogy and eReaders

Harry Potter

It was a year late, but Tori finally got to Harry Potter! She and Chuck road the rides while I made sure we had pictures and souvenirs. Tori decided to try Cornish Pasties at Harry Potters which she said were good, but not as good as Nan's. We all tried the ButterBeer but after one sip Chuck and Tori decided they needed a soda - I was the only one who liked it!

It was a good day.

Catching Up on My Genealogy

Since Clayton moved out I have been transitioning the bedroom into an office for myself and a bedroom for Tori's visits. The easy part is rearranging and buying furniture. The hard part is gathering up all the genealogy paperwork that I have not transcribed and filed for two years!

What I had not realized is that even though I had been doing genealogy research while Clayton was living here I had not kept up with my filing and transcribing. I kept finding folders and envelopes and notes that I thought I had entered into my database but had not.

While I was in the midst of all of this filing and data entry I realized that I also had to update many memorials! Oh and then if there were newspaper articles to transcribe they also had to be sent to the Barrington group!

The deadline for all of this is Wednesday when I leave to visit mom. The data entry and posting to the various websites will be done, the filing may not...

eReaders and Me

I have been struggling with which eReader to use and frankly what to use it for! That may sound strange but it has been quite a struggle. I have written an entire article on my Everyday Genealogy blog,but the bottom line is I like the Kindle best.

Take Care,

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Holidays, 7 Up and Where Did I Put My eReader?

Everyday Genealogy: Holidays, 7 Up and Where Did I Put My eReader?: "The holidays always remind me how the world has changes since I was young. Holiday meals at Grandma Pahlke's demanded your best dress, ties ..."

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Belle's New Home, The Mysterious Nancy and Uncle Newt

Bye Bye Belle

Sunday we brought Belle, Clayton's Mastiff, to his new home. Belle was quite excited as we gathered up her bed, toys and food by the front door. She enjoyed the car ride and was well behaved during the hour drive to her new home.

When we arrived Belle was happy to see Tori, Clayton and Snoopy (Tori's Chihuahua). Tori walked her around the house and I think Belle will be quite happy in her new home.

Chuck and I empty nesters again - if an empty nest includes 2 dogs and a cat!

Nancy Marian Hanson Horton Smith Weber - Where are You?

Chuck's maternal great grandmother, Nancy, is proving to be a mystery. I have been using all my genealogy tricks and tips and have not been able to fill in the last three years of her life. I am now fleshing out the lives of her half siblings, the Franks Family, to see if some sideways research will help.

Since I have been doing more writing about genealogy than actual research lately, this is a great exercise for me to tackle. If I could find Nellie Evans (Chuck's paternal great great grandmother) I should be able to track down Nancy's movements from Waterloo IA to Blackduck MN.

I'll keep you posted....

Uncle Newt

Mom called me last night to let me know that Uncle Newt, my dad's older brother, was in the hospital. While he has had his share of stays in the hospital, at almost 93 it is a reminder of his age.

I called the hospital today and he was in good spirits, eating lunch. I asked if someone was bringing him his morning paper. I should have known that he already had it all arranged.

I told him to make sure he listened to the nurses and I would be up to visit soon.

Newt, Mable and Earl Pahlke

Take Care,

Friday, March 18, 2011

Redecorating, Reconnecting and Sunday Dinners

It has been a busy month!

We have been busy helping Clayton get settled into his new house. There was a lot of cleaning and painting but in the end it turned out great. He is settled in, working on his yard and getting Tori's room in order.

Clayton moving meant we can put our house 'back together'. We just have to figure out what that means. Two guest rooms? His and Her offices? One office and one guest room? So many choices and thank goodness no rush to decide.

Another Horton Mystery

During the last six months between promoting my calendar, Everyday Genealogy, the holidays, winter visitors, working with Pam on our four blogs and Clayton's new house I have not done much genealogy research. Then like kismet a brickwall came tumbling down.

Nancy Hanson Horton Smith Weber is my mother-in-law's grandmother. There are many stories and few answers about her life after she left her husband, John Walter Charles Horton, in Blackduck, MN in 1922. Her youngest son, James, was 10 years old and Nancy was 40 when she filed for divorce in her new home in Wisconsin Rapids, WI that same year.

Over the years I found various news articles about Nancy's life in Wisconsin Rapids along with her marriages to Mr. Smith and Mr. Weber but I never was able to put it all together. AND I never had a picture of Nancy. It seems like once I have a face to put to the name it helps me 'get into their skin' and figure out new angles to pursue.

The other night I was on the phone with my friend Pam cruising around and there she was - NANCY! Another Horton researcher had created a tree on Ancestry and I recognized who it was. She and I had exchanged information years before and then lost contact. Happily we are now working together on the Horton family and I am motivated to uncover the last three years of Nancy's life.

Sunday Dinners with Tori and Clayton

Meanwhile I am busy finding recipes that Clayton and Tori can make for Sunday dinner. Their first was ribs and baked beans in the crockpot. Since they are both night owls I suggested they start the crockpot before they went to sleep. It worked like a charm! This week I am sending over a whole chicken with directions on how to bake it. Tori is doing great in the kitchen so I am sure she and Clayton will do just fine.

Take Care,

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Genealogy - The Perfect Hobby for this Pack Peddler

Grandma Pahlke always referred to me as a pack peddler. I was never sure what a pack peddler actually was but it sounded cool and I wore the nickname proudly. From Marilyn Monroe to F.Scott Fitzgerald once I become interested in a subject I have to become an expert. And, don't even get me started on my Kennedy and Beatles collection. The closets and bookcases are bursting not to mention my cd jukebox.

Fast forward 50 years and this pack peddler found the perfect hobby - Genealogy. I now have the perfect excuse for reseraching, reading and collecting everything I can get my hands on that relates to my Pahlke, Schwemm, Schultz and Maish families. The best part is each of those surnames have even more branchs, twigs and nuts to research.

When doing my genealogy research one of my favorite things to find are obituries and photographs. Last night I hit the jackpot! While surfing to see if there were any new family trees I came across a fellow researcher I had exchanged information with years ago.

Jackie is researching my husband's maternal line, her grandmother and Chuck's grandmother were sisters. She has made great progress in researching the Horton family and has photos and obituaries I had not seen. I contacted her and we agreed to exchange photographs. She is also going to help identify some of the old photographs I scanned of the Horton and Maish family!

My weekend will now be busy sorting through and uploading photos to my Google's Picasa web albums to share with Jackie, hanging out with my favorite person in the world, my granddaughter Tori and doing my taxes.

I think Meatloaf said it best - two out of three ain't bad.

Take Care,

Everyday Genealogy Desk Calendar

Ellen Harmon Marsh Dickerson Booth, Mable Maish Lukken, 'Little Mable' Martha Marsh Maish

Sherman Maish and Family (Sherman, Ellen, Grace, Nellie, William, Martha and Mable)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A New House, Family Memories and Our Home on Pine Street

A New House

This week we have been busy getting Clayton's new house ready. Painting, flooring and setting up a kitchen for someone who at best can make Kraft Macaroni and Cheese have kept me busy.

We tease Clayton that unfortunately takes after his Grandfather Schultz not Pahlke. Growing up he would hear Grandpa Schultz's common phrase "Shirley make me a sandwich". My mother-in-law would make a face, laugh if she saw us watching and ask him what kind of sandwich he wanted. We would tease her and she would assure us that it did not bother her.

My father, on the other hand, was quite the cook. Granted it all took place in his favorite skillet, but he made everything from egg sandwiches to porkchops. The funniest part of all of this is Clayton grew up with his father doing the majority of the cooking. His retort is that he can read so he will be able to cook for himself. This should be interesting.

Our Home on Pine Street

While we were prepping Clayton's house for painting I started remembering all the pictures of my parents moving into the house on Pine Street. Once we lived there a while Dad decided we needed a basement, so one weekend the house was 'raised' and the basement dug and poured. I am sure it was much more complicated than that, but since I was about 5 years old, that is how I remember it.

My sister Mary was born in 1961 and there were more changes to our home. Mom and Dad decided we needed more room and an inside entrance to the basement. The family room and master bedroom were added opening up our small kitchen. Oh and my room was cut in half with the new stairway to the basement. Mmmm maybe that had something to do with my attitude toward my new baby sister? Naw.....

Looking back on the pictures of the house on Pine Street I see how the house grew into a home. When we first moved in my Uncle Larry and various cousins and friends slept on a 'convertable sofa' on the recently screened in 'coal porch'. Years later when Mary was born we added more rooms. When I was married my half bedroom became the dressing room for the expanded bathroom. Mom and Dad were either sure Chuck was the right man for me or wanted me to know I was on my own.

The point is when you are looking back on your family history think about the places you have lived and relate the circumstances that may have influenced when your family moved, enlarged the house or when other family members came to live with you.

I think I may be uncovering more reasons I refer to myself as an only child.

Just joking Mary!

Take Care,

The first picture is me sitting on the side porch around 1954. The second picture is Mary in either 1963 or 1964.

Looking at these pictures I realized that the addition to the house was later than I remembered. If you look to the right of the house in the picture of Mary you can see that Dad built his garage BEFORE Mom got her new master bedroom.

I think it is time to make a timeline for the various phases of the family home.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Barrington, Beacon Hill and Family Stories

I grew up listening to family stories. I remember sitting around our kitchen table listening to my mother,her sisters and brothers talking about 'up home'. 'Up home' referred to Beacon Hill in Upper Michigan. Many of my mom's brother and sisters lived in or around Fox River Grove Illinois while I was growing up. There were always lots of laughter and stories.

My grandfather William Pahlke was retired and lived in Barrington just a couple of miles away. He would come to visit my mother during the week and tell her stories about family and friends. The one phrase I remember him using a lot was 'the big one', his reference to World War I.

Before I was born Grandpa Pahlke took mom on a tour of Barrington, his home town, and pointed out not only the houses various family members had lived in, but even their tombstones! What I would not give for a video of that day.

It is so important to record these family stories. They not only tell the history of our family but also of the communities that they settled in. The Barrington Area Library
has started an initiative to record the stories of the people of Barrington. The stories can be written or recorded, but the main thing is to collect them. I have listened to a few and I am so sorry I never recorded the breakfasts I would have with my Dad and Uncle Newt. I have written down the stories, but recordings would be so cool.

Last night I told mom she needed to take a break from writing about her childhood growing up on Lake Superior. I asked her to focus her writing about moving to Barrington and the various jobs and people she encountered.

I know we all think our parents have a special story, but hers is quite unique. In the late 1940's businesses in Barrington were advertising in Upper Michigan for "Clean, Hardworking Finnish Girls". Mom's sister Bunnie had answered one of these ads and found employment in Barrington. Soon after mom followed her lead and moved to Barrington. She also met dad...

This year make a point of starting to record your family stories. It may be a story that you have heard 100 times, but have your written it down? These family stories are more precious than any birth certificate or immigration record you will find.

Take Care,

Everyday Genealogy Desk Calendar - Clearance Sale - $5.99

Friday, February 11, 2011

My eReader, a New House and Everyday Genealogy

We are back from Las Vegas where we had a great time celebrating Chuck's 60th birthday. Chuck's brother Bill hosted an extraordinary birthday dinner on Friday evening. The entrees ranged from prime rib to lobster and the wine was flowing.

I had most mornings to myself since I am neither a gambler nor a night owl. I enjoyed eating a leisurely breakfast with my paperback and then splitting my online activities between my laptop and eReader. My eReader was up to the task and in retrospect I probably could have left my laptop at home. I discovered that I could listen to the Genealogy Guys podcasts directly off the website on my eReader. So, as long as there is Internet access I will not have to download them in advance.

Now that we are back home it is time to help Clayton get moved into his new house. Tori has picked out the colors for the interior and tomorrow we will be looking at everything from carpeting to shower rods!

Oh and Chuck informed me that I had to have a Clearance Sale on the remaining "Everyday Genealogy 2011 Desk Calendars". We have reduced the price to $5.99 including standard shipping - A bargain for 365 tips on you genealogy research. Visit to order yours!

Take Care,

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Las Vegas, Birthdays and My eReader

Las Vegas & Chuck's Birthday

I'm writing this from a coffee shop in Las Vegas. I've been coming to Las Vegas regularly since I married Chuck in 1971. Our honeymoon was of a bowling touranment in Los Angeles, Disneyland and then my first visit to Las Vegas. During our trip in 1972 I saw Jack Benny perform at the Sahara. On our trip in 2009 I saw the Cirque presentation of The Beatles 'LOVE'. I miss the Las Vegas of 1974 - slots were slots not video games. And personally I am not convinced that bigger is better when it comes to casinos.

The reason I am in Las Vegas is to celebrate Chuck's 60th birthay. We had a fabulous dinner last night hosted by his brother Bill attended by Timona, Bill's wife, and his daughters Stacy and Brenda with their respective spouses. Everyone had a great time trying different wines, appetizers and then trying to eat their entrees! Just a word to the wise, if restaurant says that their side dishes are large enough to be shared, believe them!


Preparing for the trip I charged my 'almost' best friend, my eReader. I have bought and started reading two eBooks on it, but keep forgetting to finish them. There is something that still pulls me to my paper and hard copy books and the eReader sits forgotten.

I had read online that the eReader was great for watching movies. I decided to ask my son to load a couple on the SD card. As before, the first and second attempt to load a MPEG4 failed. The instruction manual did not have any information on trouble shooting so I will have to deal with this at a later time.

I also practiced two features I had never tried: Notes and Highlighting. I have recently downloaded more FREE books on Google Books so I wanted to make sure I knew HOW to highlight and make Notes before I started reading.

My next task was making sure I had my 'Favorites' updated and setting up my email accounts. I was quite excited because it appeared I would not have to bring my laptop on the trip - WRONG.

Since the eReader does not have 'Word' or 'Text' capabilities I thought I could get around it my using Google Documents. I was disappointed that the version of the browsr on the eReader did not support creating a Google Doc. I will write the vendor to see if this going to added in a firmware update.

I did load the eReader with three January podcasts by Drew Smith and George G. Morgan (The Genealogy Guys) to listen to on the plane. Marathon listening of George and Drew can be addicting.

My eReader and I still have a few more rounds to go, but it is getting easier to use. The downside is that if a new firmware version is available to allow me to use Google Doc I will have to set everything up again. Firmware updates take the eReader back to 'factory settings' and to date I have not seen a way round this. Mmmm I wonder if Carbonite would work on my eReader. More Research!

Take Care,

P.S. The picture is from Chuck's first birthday.

Everyday Genealogy Desk Calendar

Monday, January 24, 2011

Football Memories and Me

The endless talk last weekend about the Green Bay Packers playing the Chicago Bears made me think. Was my dad a Green Bay or a Bears fan?

I am sure my sister knows. Mary loves sports. She played softball for years and has faithfully followed the Cubs and Bears. I enjoy watching baseball, but football never interested me.

I do remember on one of our family trips to Upper Michigan, before Mary was born, we were going through Green Bay and dad drove around Lambeau Field. I remember the lights were on and it seems to me we drove a little slower as mom and dad talked. I remember asking what was so special and being told 'this is where the Green Bay Packers play'. I was duly unimpressed and remember laying down and going to sleep.

I was happy when Green Bay defeated the Bears, but for a reason all my own. I cannot imagine anything as exciting as the 1985 Chicago Bears, Jim McMahon, Walter Payton and 'The Superbowl Shuffle'. I remember Mary and Dad talking about each of the games and how excited Clayton and I were when the Dolphins handed the Bears their only loss.

One of these days Chicago will produce another team that will eclipse the 1985 Bears, but for me Jim, Walter and the Shuffle are number one. You can click on the title of the blog and relive the experience!


Da Bears!: How the 1985 Monsters of the Midway Became the Greatest Team in NFL History

NFL Films - Chicago Bears - The Complete History

Never Die Easy: The Autobiography of Walter Payton

Everyday Genealogy Desk Calendar

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Rethmeiers of Illinois and Nebraska - My Most Elusive Ancestors

A little bit about my genealogy research (for a change).

My great-great-grandparents were Fred and Dorothy Rethmeier. They immigrated to the United States shortly after their marriage in 1854 and settled in Barrington, Illinois. Of their seven children only three lived to adulthood.

My grandmother Emma Rethmeier, the youngest of the family, married Fred Schwemm. Her brother John, a carpenter, never married and lived on the family farm until both of his parents passed away. After the family farm was sold, John made his home with Emma and Fred in Barrington. Then there is Henry. Henry moved to Nebraska and was quite prosperous. I found quite a lengthy article about him and thought I had hit pay dirt. This family would be easy to trace…wrong.

History, Reminiscence and Biography of Western Nebraska, 1909

Henry Rethmeyer, a resident of Minden, Kearney County, is well and favorably known as a worthy citizen and good businessman. He is a contractor and builder, and has followed this trade constantly since coming to Minden twenty-four years ago.

Mr. Rethmeyer was born in Cook County, Illinois, February 13, 1858. He is a son of Fred and Dorothy (Dullmeyer) Rethmeyer, who came to Illinois from Schaumburg, Lippe, in 1854, settling in Cook County, where he followed farming for many years. He is now eighty-six years of age, and his wife seventy-nine, both hale and hearty. Since locating in Kearney County Mr. Rethmeyer has built a good many dwelling houses and barns all over the county and also in the adjoining counties.

He has done work in Adams and Clay counties, and erected the German parsonage at Grand Island. This is a beautiful residence, and he has put up many of the finest houses in his hometown, of which his own home is a good example. He employs four or five assistants and carries on a large business, giving the best of satisfaction with whatever he undertakes. He owns two houses here, and has met with pronounced success in his line, and has made all he is worth through industry and strict attention to his business, supplemented by honesty and good judgment. On the grounds surrounding his residence he has in full bearing a fine orchard of cherries, apples, plums, apricots, etc., showing that all of these fruits can be successfully grown in Nebraska if properly planted and cared for.

Mr. Rethmeyer was married in 1883 to Miss Mary Heimerdinger, who came from Stuttgart, Germany, in 1882. They are the parents of two children, namely: Mary, wife of John Stader, a farmer living in this county, and Julia, wife of J. Blackburn, who is engaged in the fruit business in Banning, California. Mr. Rethmeyer has four grandchildren--Edward, Onita and Hilda, in Kearney County, and Olpha May, in California.

In the summer of 1907, Mr. Rethmeyer went into the cement block business and does considerable contracting in the line of cement work. He does cement floor work, porch columns, baluster work, steps, etc.

Researching the Rethmeiers

The first problem is that Nebraska has no statewide indexes for death, birth, or marriage records and county indexes are scarce. Another problem is that from the records I have found, their children Julia and Mary were both born in Germany. So did Henry go to Germany or were they Mary’s children from a previous relationship? And then there is Mary husband’s last name. I was busy looking for a Stader family, but recently found out it was Stadler.

And did you notice that Rethmeier is now Rethmeyer?

According to Dorothy Rethmeier’s obituary, Henry moved to Florida sometime after this article was written. I cannot find a record of his or Mary’s death anywhere.

I have written to ten descendents of Julia Rethmeyer Blackburn, but to date I have had only one reply that advised me to write to someone else, who did not return my inquiry. I have found some VERY helpful folks on Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness that have found obituaries and photographed graves. But, I still have not found when or where Henry and Mary Rethmeier died. I just need a clue, a snippit, a break... I love a challenge!

Everyday Genealogy Desk Calendar

Mary and Henry Rethmeier

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Blogging - Here, There and Everywhere

Blogging... I never gave it a lot of thought. A friend of mine, Sue, once said she was going to become a professional blogger. I will admit I chuckled to myself. First, I could not imagine how there was any money to be made, and second how could someone write that much! Plus, it did not sound like it would be much 'work'.

Flash forward four years and I am now writing and publishing two of my own blogs. I am also working my friend, Pam, on publishing her two blogs. Each blog, while related to genealogy research, is unique and draws a different readership. Each blog requires an equal amount of work.

I found that 'just' writing a blog is not enough. Once you have written each blog posting it needs to be published. To do this the blog had to be set up so it will 'publish' to the newsfeeds when it posted. This involves deciding what type of 'feed' will be used, how / if it will be 'tweeted' making sure that it is readable on Smartphones, etc..

Last fall I learned a lot about websites, SEO and sitemaps while promoting and selling "Everyday Genealogy - 2011 Desk Calendar", so this has been a natural extension. I started the Everyday Genealogy Calendar blog to help promote calendar sales and now I have learned how to promote the calendar blog.

Now, the next part is making some money from all this blogging. It is time to start reading up on the good, the bad and ugly of running ads on the blogs, learning more about Google AdSense and I am sure many other things.

I wonder if there is an eBook that I can download from Barnes and Noble on the subject or a used book on Amazon I can buy? Oh yeah, that eReader, we will talk more on that later.

Here is the list of blogs written by myself and Pam Treme:

Everyday Genealogy:
A blog supporting the Everyday Genealogy Desk Calendar offering hints, tips and advice on genealogy research. Everyday Genealogy Desk Calendar

Technology Tamers:
Pam and I speak at genealogy societies in Florida and we use this blog to promote our lectures. Our goal is to make genealogists aware of how technology can assist in their research and encourage them to publish their results.

My McKee Family Tree:
This blog was created by Pam to share her in depth research of the McKee family. Her goal is to document all the McKee's that migrated to Southern Illinois.

Pack Peddler's Place:
My grandmother nicknamed me Pack Peddler when I was a child and this blog reflects my collection of ideas, family stories and genealogy journeys. And my love/hate relationship with my eReader!


Sunday, January 2, 2011

eBooks, Used Books and Me...

eBook or paperback. Amazon or Barnes and Noble. To be or not to be. The great philosophical thoughts of the ages.

Now that I have started using my eReader reader (Pandigital + Barnes and Noble) I am faced with the reality of my addiction to used books on Amazon. I received gift cards for both Amazon and Barnes and Noble over the holidays and found myself torn between the two retailers.

There is nothing more fun than seeing how many used books I can buy with a set amount of money. Browsing my Wish List on Amazon and then looking at Amazon's suggestions based on my browsing and buying habits is like letting me loose in a candy shop. For my $35 gift card I bought 5 books and one new movie!

I decided to apply my Barnes and Noble gift card to my 'e' account on their website. I do not quite understand why I had to designate it for 'eBooks', but I did not read all the disclaimers that closely. I knew I would find something I wanted. This is where the fun is limited - NO USED BOOKS! Mmmm an entire industry gone! I decided to search for Christmas and genealogy related books. While there were many Christmas books, there were not a lot of bargains and to my dismay there was only one genealogy eBook. The experience was not a lot of fun.

I do have two 'new' books to read on my eBook but I also have those 5 'new' books arriving from Amazon. I tend to pick up the paperbacks quicker than the eBook, so I may never finish George W's book "Decision Points" or start Elizabeth Edward's "Resilience". But I have started reading my newly arrived paperback "The Roosevelt Woman" from Amazon.

I do need to start working on my genealogy again, so reading may become a luxury. And there still are a few Everyday Genealogy Calendars left to sell!

I recommend "The Roosevelt Women". It has a great family tree to help the reader understand the relationships and it written in a very easy to read style.