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Showing posts from July, 2011

Norwegian Ancestors? Try the Pedersen Funeral Home Records

Recently a client asked for help locating death information for members of a Norwegian family and made me think of the John M. Pedersen & Sons Funeral Home records that are available on Family History Library microfilm. If you have Norwegian ancestors who died in Chicago between 1899 and 1972, you might want to check these out. Last night I took a look at the first few items on film 1672191 which covers part of 1913 through part of 1926. The first thing I noticed was that the volumes were indexed and the index included addresses, something that might be helpful when researching a family with a common surname. The handwriting was clear and it was easy to jot down page numbers of interest. The volume I looked at was organized chronologically, one page, one person, and the page numbers were easy to read. The entries included the usual information about the deceased--things like name, death date, parents, birth date, and address--but they also included specific burial informatio

Free Genealogy Workshops in Wilmette this Saturday

If you're in the Chicago area, there are two free genealogy workshops at the Wilmette Family History Center on Saturday, July 30, both led by Denise Mortorff, a retired university lecturer from California with 35+ years of family history research experience. 10:00 am FURTHERING COLONIAL ANCESTRY USING MEDIEVAL & EARLY MODERN RECORDS Furthering your colonial ancestry requires resourcefulness. Move your search forward by learning the historical context in which you are searching, the knowledge and skills required to conduct research, record types, their availability and how to determine their ”fit” with your research needs. 11:00 am YOU FOUND IT WHERE? ORGANIZATIONS & GENEALOGY RESEARCH WORLDWIDE Thousands of organizations around the world house materials that can enable researchers in furthering their ancestry. Learn about organization types, how to identify those pertinent to your research needs, and ways to access their collections from a distance. Considerations in

Finding a Story in Antique Photos

Last week my husband's banjo teacher told me that a friend of his had uploaded scans of historical photos--including pictures of early musicians--to a Facebook account and that I should really take a look. I did. One photo in particular caught my attention--a man and a woman standing side by side for the photographer. I don't know anything about the people in the photo but it was easy for me to imagine a story filtered through my own experience and imagination. The man's coat--not a suit jacket, a coat--was heavy and hung from his shoulders in a box-like shape. The bottom of it was noticeably wrinkled and his pants were baggy and worn, his shoes coarse. His large hands were drawn up across his chest in an awkward sort of way but they looked strong, like the hands of a laborer. The woman cut a solid figure clothed in a dark dress with rows of light vertical dots and a wide ribbon at her collar. The fascinating thing was that the faces of the man and the woman seemed to

Fourth of July: A Cautionary Tale from The Chicago Tribune, 1907

On July 4, 1907, The Chicago Tribune used a cartoon drawing to remind local folks to use caution when celebrating the holiday with fireworks and other explosives. (The image below is from The Chicago Tribune , 4 July 1907, p. 1 and it was accessed through Footnote.com .) Unfortunately, the advice came too late for Mrs. Hart and her son. Her death certificate tells us that she died of "Organic Heart Disease" but apparently there's more to the story than that. (Death certificate image from FamilySearch's Illinois, Cook County Deaths, 1878-1922 ) The Chicago Tribune reported that she "fell dead on her doorstep from heart disease when son and playmates exploded giant firecracker." ( The Chicago Tribune , 4 Jul 1907, p. 1, col. 3 accessed through Footnote.com) Have a safe and happy Fourth of July everyone!