Tag Archives: books

The Book: Progress Report – July 27, 2014

World War II letter book coverI haven’t done a book update in a month, mostly because I haven’t done a thing on either book. I’ve been out of town with my children, exploring the northeastern part of the country. I was able to spend some time with my dad in New York, and then I traveled to New England to catch up with some old friends and see lots of historical venues. All in all, we were gone exactly three weeks. I spent last week catching up on everything else, including my ProGen homework for the month. I wrote an 18 page evidence analysis report for my Revolutionary War ancestor Nathaniel Hobart. Yesterday, I was finally able to sit down and start working on one of the books.

While I was out of town, some documents that I had ordered for my research on the David Jegerlehner descendant book arrived: the death certificate for George Yegerlehner and a stack of obituaries from the Allen County Public library. It appears that George died in Oak Park, Illinois while visiting (or living with) his daughter Hazel. Wilbur O. Igelman, Hazel’s husband, was the informant on the death certificate. The Igelmans were enumerated in Oak Park in 1940, and they were apparently still living there in 1949. So mystery solved as to why George died in Oak Park!

The first volume of Roscoe and Gladys’ letters now exceeds 200 pages. I am working on assembling Chapter 7, the letters from November 1942. Chapter 8 will contain December’s letters. Then the hard work of writing short biographies of select individuals shall begin. I began looking at some blog articles about type font last night. Since I am planning on self-publishing the letters, there is a lot to consider. I have been using Calibri font while assembling the letters, but most books use a serif font (vs. a sans serif font). This WordPress blog uses a sans serif font. The publishing industry has been debating font merits for readability and legibility for a very long time. Personally, I think it just depends on what your personal aesthetic is. Two of the standard recommended choices for self-publishing are Garamond and Palatino. Below are samples of these two types plus the Calibri I use for general word processing. What do you think works best?

Garamond

Garamond (a serif font)

Palatino Linotype

Palatino Linotype (a serif font)

Calibri

Calibri (sans serif)

Link to article: Picking Fonts for Your Self Published Book

© Deborah Sweeney, 2014.
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2014/07/27/the-book-progress-report-july-24-2014/

The Book: Progress Report – June 21, 2014

Book CoverI know I haven’t written about my book progress for the last two weeks. Two major events precluded my writing a post about my progress.

During the first week, I was chaperoning my Girl Scout troop to Disneyland. The girls had saved their cookie money from several seasons, and were able to make the trip with minimal expense from the families. So even though you might think twice about buying cookies, they really do mean a lot for the girls. We were gone five days (2 for driving, 3 in the parks). The girls enjoyed two Youth Education programs – one on Animation and another on Leadership. Our presenters were both excellent educators. If you ever get the chance to participate in the Youth Education programs, it is worth it (plus you get to go in the Fast Track line for several rides while taking the class).

Disneyland 2014

The second major event occurred this week, and was less fun than the previous week’s distraction – the DDoS attack of Ancestry and many of its subsidiary companies. After spending last weekend recovering from the excesses of Disneyland, I sat down ready to work on Monday morning but was unable to access my data file or any records. I worked on a couple other small projects but was feeling dejected. My father had recently shared one of my WWII letter blog posts on his Facebook page. One of his friends was excited about the future possibility of turning the letters into a book. This has been one of my long term goals, and I had already started cutting and pasting the letter transcriptions together. So instead of working on the David Jegerlehner book, I found myself working most of this week on preparing the letters for book publication. Perhaps they might even be ready this fall or early next year.

World War II letter book coverThe first volume will only contain the letters from 1942. There are over 300 letters from that year alone. With the annotations and short biographies I plan to write about some of the individuals in the letters, I think this will make a good sized book (200-300 pages). Three more volumes will likely follow. There are over 600 letters for 1943, so this year will be split in half. The remaining letters from 1944-1945 will be the last volume. I already have a table of contents and a cover designed for this book. Currently I have organized 70 pages of letters (May-August) with the remaining months of the year still to go (September-December). Over the last two days, I have written first drafts of an Introduction and the first chapter explaining who Roscoe and Gladys were.

As for the Descendants of David Jegerlehner book, I received three awesome envelopes in the mail this week: two from the National Archives and one from the Indiana Department of Health. From the National Archives, I received the Civil War Pension files for David’s son John Yagerlehner and his son-in-law Thomas H. McCormick. The Indiana Department of Health envelope contained the death certificate for Rosina (Yegerlehner) Wolfe, one of my great grandfather’s sisters. They were unable to find a death record for Rosina’s brother Charles who supposedly died in Indianapolis in 1922.

The book progress updates will be going on hiatus for the next month. I have numerous other commitments that will take me away from my computer and my research, including a little vacation time. Because although Disneyland was fun, it wasn’t truly a vacation while chaperoning eleven 13-15 old teenage girls. That’s hard work!

© Deborah Sweeney, 2014.
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2014/06/21/the-book-progr…t-june-21-2014/

The Book: Progress Report – June 6, 2014

Book CoverThis week the manuscript has expanded to 45 pages. There are currently 21,917 words and 142 footnotes. I am not sure I have ever written anything this long before. I am not counting the 89 page book that I wrote in 1998, although I probably should. The 1998 book was my first genealogy history book. Titled The Descendants of Jacob Troxell, 1797-1885, the book was a very basic genealogical report of Jacob’s descendants. I catalogued known descendants through the seventh generation with 857 individuals! Perhaps I should rephrase my initial statement. I have written a longer document. However, it was written early in my career as a genealogist, and although I used a modified register system, my sourcing was very limited. I used about thirteen different sources in my bibliography, and did not footnote or reference each fact. I have certainly learned a lot in the last 14 years. One thing I did know back then was how important it is to share your work. I donated two copies of my book to libraries in Indiana. You can even find my book listed on World Cat.

My biggest discovery this week is that I tracked down where great Uncle George died. Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis is one of the largest cemeteries in the country. This year marks their 150th anniversary. They have a part time genealogist/historian on staff to handle requests. For a reasonably modest fee, one can order burial records for individuals buried at the cemetery. They also have a great online burial locator. Over the years, I have used it quite a lot. But until this year, I had never ordered an actual burial record. For those of you who followed along with the saga of William B. Schwartz, I decided that I needed to give this service a try. I knew William and his wife Mary Victoria were buried there so I started with them. The cemetery sent me a copy of William’s burial certificate which included his death location and cause of death. (He died from the rupture of an aortic aneurism). They don’t have this information for all their burials, only those prior to 1917. I ordered William’s death certificate from the state of Indiana at the same time. The burial certificate is more legible than the death certificate. I would not have been able to decipher much from the death certificate so I am glad I ordered both. After ordering William’s burial certificate, I decided to give Uncle George’s a try. I was crossing my fingers that Uncle George’s burial certificate would give the location of his death. The gamble paid off. He died in Oak Park, Illinois. I even found him on the Illinois State Archives Death Index (once I knew where to look). I am not exactly sure what he was doing in Oak Park, but I suspect he was probably visiting relatives when he died.

This week, I continued to add burial notes and footnotes to the manuscript. Hopefully, I will be done soon! I attempted to write a brief biography of one of the male descendants from the fifth generation who never married. His obituary is one that arrived in the mail this week. I found his high school yearbook, gleaned some great information and a photograph as well.

Yagerlehner, Glenn - Caldron (Central High School), 1929, p. 13 (detail)

Central High School (Fort Wayne), Class of 1929

 

© Deborah Sweeney, 2014.
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2014/06/06/the-book-progress-report-june-6-2014/

The Book: Progress Report – May 30, 2014

I feel like I did a lot of work this week, and I didn’t get to work on things as much as I wanted to.

I read a great article from Vita Brevis (one of the blogs of AmericanAncestors.org and the New England Historical and Genealogical Society). Author Penny Stratton wrote about preparing your genealogical project for publication. Her two bits of advice this week were on the importance of writing a table of contents and coming up with a title. I already came up with a working title last week but had not written a table of contents. I also noticed this week that my father has a title of contents for his book which he uses as a checklist to track his progress. So I got to work and came up with a basic working table of contents for my book. I may have to change the subtitle of my book at some point since I do not intend to write about ALL of David’s descendants in this book. Perhaps I should just add a Volume 1 to the title….

Table of Contents

The manuscript has now increased to 38 pages. I haven’t really begun writing any of the individual biographies yet. It is hard when I keep feeling like I can still find more information. It seems so final to write a person’s biography. At some point, I will just have to do it. Instead, this week, I began adding burial information to each individual’s biographical section, as well as writing the footnotes for those facts. I am a little tired of writing Find A Grave, database and images…. but it needs to be done. The gaps in my research are more apparent this way. Overall, I do know where most of the descendants are buried, but I am missing a few. So more research to add to my to-do list…. I have not quite finished this task but will hopefully be done next week.

I received the four obituaries that I ordered last week and ordered another set. I discovered that one of the female descendants had a marriage I was not aware of. She is also one of the descendants with missing burial information. Another obituary gave me a death location. Even though this person lived most of his life in Fort Wayne, and was buried there, he actually died at the home of one of his children in New Jersey. Who knew?!? Well, now I do. One of my death certificate requests came up as a bust. One of my great grandfather’s brothers lived most of his adult life in Indianapolis. He was also buried there but apparently he did not die in the state of Indiana. The Department of Health cannot find a record of his death. This just proves how important off-line research is. Not everything is available on-line, and if you want to really to discover the details of ancestors’ lives, libraries and archives are still our most valuable asset for research. So now, I have to figure out where Uncle George actually died.

I also need to write up a generic questionnaire to give to various family members to help them tell stories about their parents or grandparents: for everything from, where did your parents get married, did they have an obituary, where did they go to school, and what did they do for a living. Most people freeze when you just ask them…so just tell me about this person. Having actual questions can help narrow down and focus the memories.

© Deborah Sweeney, 2014.
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2014/05/30/the-book-progress-report-may-30-2014/

The Book: Progress Report – May 23, 2014

Book CoverI am going to try to write a fairly regular progress report to keep myself motivated while writing the Jegerlehner history. So here is this week’s report:

I have finished the basic outline of the descendants of David Jegerlehner for five generations. The outline is 29 pages long, and lists 254 descendants (and an uncounted number of spouses).

Here is a breakdown of this week’s facts:

Generation 1: David and his wife Magdalena
Generation 2: three children (all biological)
Generation 3: thirty-one grandchildren (all biological). The first grandchild was born in 1863, and the last was born in 1885.
Generation 4: eighty-two great grandchildren (eighty biological and two stepchildren). The first great grandchild was born in 1883 and last was born in 1920.
Generation 5: one hundred thirty-seven great great grandchildren (one hundred twenty-six biological, seven stepchildren, and four adopted children). The first was born in 1912, and the last in 1958.

Generations 6 and 7 (and 8) will not be included in this book but will be a project for another time.

This week I have ordered two Civil War Pension files and 3 cemetery records.   I have received 4 obituaries (Allen County Public Library) and three death sketches from JAMA.

In the past month, I have received assistance from two of my most awesome librarian friends, Celia Ross, from the University of Michigan (Kresge Business Administration Library) and Noelle Boc, from the Tewksbury Public Library (where she is the best children’s librarian EVER!). My father’s cousin Steve has provided me with more family documents, including copies of the biographical pages from the Yegerlehner family bible. Amberly who writes the blog The Genealogy Girl did a look-up for me in some Swiss records on microfilm at the BYU library. There are also countless other anonymous people who have assisted me from places like Find A Grave.

The Jegerlehner family has some amazing people in its ranks, including an astronaut, several mathematicians, and an United States amateur chess champion. Of course, my personal favorites are a librarian and a dramatics and musical arts instructor, from the early half of the 20th century. I wish I could have met them.

It is time to start digging deep into the family history, like never before! If you are a Jegerlehner, Yegerlehner, Yagerlehner, Yeagerline, Yagerline, Yegerline, Yagerlener, or Yager-Lehner descendant, please let me know! I am looking for family stories to embellish the cold hard facts (birth, marriage, death, etc.)

© Deborah Sweeney, 2014.
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2014/05/23/the-book-progress-report-may-23-2014/

A New Project

I have to admit it; I haven’t been too focused on the blog lately. I am still committed to posting all my grandparents’ World War II letters though. I have transcribed and published around 500 which has taken me 18 months at this point. I am probably at the halfway point. So another 18 months to go at least. As much as I have enjoyed researching William B. Schwartz’s life, I am ready to move onto to other things. Who would have thought it would have taken from January to May to tell his story? I certainly didn’t when I started. I am not sure if I am going to continue the daily newspaper clipping post. I need to consider what research I will reserve for my Board of Certification portfolio. Anything submitted for the portfolio has to be previously unpublished and unedited (or reviewed).

My newest focus is going to be….to write my first real, fully researched and sourced family genealogy book. I have been researching my grandparents’ families for twenty years now and it is time to write down what I have learned. I don’t want my research to be lost or destroyed when I am gone. Small blog posts are a great way to share pieces of research but they do not form a cohesive whole.

For the last month, I have been working on the outline of my book. I am tracing the descendants of my Swiss ancestor, David Jegerlehner. David was Roscoe’s great grandfather. So far I have 200 descendants in my outline, and I still haven’t finished with the fifth generation. For this book, I am going to stop with the fifth generation. Most of this generation is gone, or nearly gone, so I have very few people to worry about contacting for privacy issues.

Today I decided to play around with a working cover for the book…what do you think?

Book Cover

©Deborah Sweeney, 2014.
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2014/05/17/a-new-project/

Book of Me – Prompt 21: Hobbies

book of meThe Book of Me – Written by You is a weekly blog prompt created by Julie Goucher of the blog Angler’s Rest. This is a fifteen month writing project to highlight my life so that I will have something to leave behind for my descendants. Week twenty one’s prompt is Hobbies.

  • Childhood hobbies & collections
  • Did you share a “passion” with a family member or friend?
  • Tell us about it – How, why, where
  • Do you still have any old hobbies – the ones that have been with you since childhood?
  • Do you still have those childhood collections?

I have a few hobbies and they have pretty much been lifelong. They are 1) books and reading, 2) sewing and knitting, and 3) genealogy. All three activities have been passed down to me by my elders and have developed or evolved over many decades. Some of my lesser hobbies are subsets of the larger three categories. For example, I have always been a fan of the science fiction and fantasy genre.  I have read lots of books as well as enjoyed many science fiction television shows and movies over the years. One of my oldest friends (from Jr. high) can be credited with introducing me to science fiction literature. We had already bonded over Doctor Who and Star Trek. One series we read was the Dune books by Frank Herbert. I still have my copy of The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Le Guin which she gave me for my birthday or Christmas many years ago.

Doctor Who books

Some of my Doctor Who books

So the major, sometimes overwhelming, collection in my life is my books. Some of my books, I have owned since childhood. The collection is always changing but I have thousands of books in my house. I have a collection of Doctor Who novels from my high school days. My first job was at the Worcester (Massachusetts) Public library’s main branch. Across the street from the library was an independent book store (whose name escapes me at present). The store no longer exists. However, they sold many of the Doctor Who books I own. They were the only place in town that sold them at the time. I used to go across the street during my break to buy the newest novelization or I would go to the store after I left work on my way home. I have contemplated selling these books at times, but they really aren’t worth much so I have just held onto them. Several years ago my daughter picked up a few of them to read and that was definitely fun for me to see.

Vintage patterns

Vintage patterns from 1900-1940

As a knitter and seamstress, I have collections of yarn and fabric. My workroom is filled with buckets full. I also collect old paper patterns. I have some that survive from the 1910s and 1920s. Of course, there are lots of knitting and sewing themed books in my library. There are a few vintage sewing books from the 1950s and 1960s. These are the types of books that were used in high school home economic courses to teach girls to be happy little homemakers.

At this point, genealogy is more than just a hobby; it has turned into a profession. (Sewing was my profession at one point but has now returned to the hobby status). Currently, I have boxes of family ephemera and artifacts that need to be sorted through, preserved and catalogued. I spend much of my spare time every day learning and working in this field. There are a few hundred books that go with this specialty as well.

Most of my friends and family share a passion for one (or more) of the above and I can’t imagine it being otherwise. A world without books is inconceivable!

© 2014 copyright owned and written by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found at: https://genealogylady.net/2014/02/08/book-of-me-prompt-21-hobbies/