18 February 2011

Leslie Albrecht Huber on tour!

I've written before about Leslie Huber's book about her immigrant ancestors, The Journey Takers. In that book, she turns her painstaking research into wonderful vignettes, creating stories that connect her readers to another time and place. Her writing encourages us all to do the same with our own family history research. I also have ancestors from Sweden, Germany and England who came to the United States, specifically to Utah, in spectacular journeys. Like Leslie, I see their journeying as a metaphor for my own journey through life, showing me once more how significant the stories of the past are to my own present.

I just received word from Leslie that she will again be sharing her expertise with us at several venues in southern Nevada and Utah. You won't be sorry if you take the time to come and listen to this marvelous author. The following schedule highlights her visits, most of them free and open to the public. I've had the opportunity to hear Leslie speak, and for me, her lecture style is as riveting as her writing. For additional information check out Leslie's website: www.thejourneytakers.com

Leslie Albrecht Huber February-March 2011 lecture series:
Did you ever wonder what it was like for your Western European ancestors to leave their homes behind to start new lives here in Utah? Leslie Albrecht Huber will explore their experiences in her lecture, The Journey Takers: An Inside Look at the LDS Immigration Experience. Come explore these immigrants' stories, the historical context of their lives, and learn some sources and research methods that can help you uncover the stories of your own immigrant ancestors. The lecture is based on Huber's newly released book, The Journey Takers

24 Feb             Book Presentation, Paseo Verde Public Library, Thurs 6:30 p.m., 280 South Green Valley Parkway, Henderson, NV, lecture free and open to the public, lecture and book signing: The Journey Takers

25-26 Feb        St. George Family History Expo, St. George Convention Center, 1835, Convention Center Drive, St. George, UT, Conference registration required for attendance, lectures: 11:30 a.m., Fri: Beyond Names and Dates: Uncovering Your Ancestors’ Stories
8 a.m., Sat: Crossing the Ocean with the Internet,
2:30 p.m., Sat: The Journey Takers: An Inside Look at Immigration Research
Book signing: 3:40 p.m. at the Family Roots Publishing booth

26 Feb             Seagull Bookstore, Sat, 5-7 p.m., 967 West Red Cliff Drive, St. George, UT, book signing: The Journey Takers

1 Mar               Seagull Bookstore, Tues 4-6 p.m., Provo, UT, 2250 North University Pkwy #C56,book signing: The Journey Takers

1 Mar               Book Presentation, Provo City Library at Academy Square, in the Bullock Room on the 3rd floor of the Academy Building, Tues, 7 p.m., 550 North University Parkway, Provo, UT, The lecture free and open to the public, lecture and book signing: The Journey Takers: An Inside Look at the LDS Immigration Experience

2 Mar               Monthly Meeting, Cache County Historical Society, Wed, 7 p.m., Historic County Courthouse, 199 North Main Street, Logan, UT, The lecture is free and open to the public. Lecture and book signing: The Journey Takers: An Inside Look at the LDS Immigration Experience

3 Mar               Seagull Bookstore, Thurs, 11 a.m.-1  p.m., 1114 North Main Street, Logan, UT, book signing: The Journey Takers

3 Mar               Seagull Bookstore, Thurs, 4-6 p.m., 514 N 325 East, Harrisville, UT, book signing:The Journey Takers

3 Mar               Ogden Family History Center, Thurs 7 p.m., 539 24th Street, Ogden, UT The lecture is free and open to the public. Lecture: The Journey Takers: An Inside Look at the LDS Immigration Experience

4 Mar               Seagull Bookstore, Fri, 2-4 p.m., 1625 West 9000 South, West Jordan, UT, book signing: The Journey Takers

4 Mar               Utah Genealogical Association, Fri, 7 p.m., Bountiful Arts Center, 745 South Main, Bountiful, Utah. The lecture is free and open to the public. Lecture and book signing: The Journey Takers: An Inside Look at the Immigration Experience

5 Mar               South Davis Regional Family History Fair, Sat, Bountiful High School, Bountiful, UT, The conference and lectures are free and open to public (onsite registration required). Lectures and book signing:
9:20: The Journey Takers
10:40: Eight Ways to Cross the Ocean
12:00: Writing a Page-Turning (But True) Family History
Book signing: 1:10 p.m. at the Family Roots Publishing booth

5 Mar               Seagull Bookstore, Sat, 5-7 p.m., 316 North Marketplace Dr. Suite C-100, Centerville, UT, book signing: The Journey Takers       

15 February 2011

There I Am!

I went to Dick Eastman's after-conference dinner at rootstech. It was the first time I have attended one of his dinners. Wow, it was great fun. I knew I would need to have some kind of transition activity before I went back to "real life." The conference was wonderful, geared toward "easy does it" and telling our stories. I so agree with the importance of both those ideas. And sure enough, upon arriving home, though I don't live that far away from SLC, I was immediately swept into the housework, etc. that had been neglected in favor of the conference. 
I'm in the black and purple, surrounded by my new friends
It's taken me a few days to "surface," but when I saw my picture on the Eastman blog today, I had to post about it. It took me back to the fun of being there and the wonderful people I met. 

11 February 2011

More wonderful stuff today at Rootstech

This morning we heard from Curt Witcher, head of Allen County Library. He is another very personable and positive man. He told us that we are living in the best time ever for genealogists. I totally agree. Our time today is not taken up by long and painful searching, rather we are helped so much by the technology available. Curt pointed out that we have the time now to evaluate our finds and then tell the stories. Tell the stories! Yes! Let's tell our stories. If we don't think we can write them, Anne Roach told us that we can write a book while on our commute, while doing the dishes or cutting up carrots, using speech to text tools. Yesterday I learned how to create family websites, create ancestor pages on FaceBook, and tell our living stories to each other as families.

I am learning so much and can hardly wait to implement it. But tonight I need to proof more of the book that we're publishing. Tedious, but necessary. Why is it that I see so many more typos in hard copy than on the computer screen? By the way, here's a tip courtesy of Anne Roach: Try using text to speech software to have your story read out loud to you. The errors that our eyes read right over are more "visible" to the ear.

Having a wonderful time at RootsTech. Wish you were here. Or maybe you are. Hi!!

10 February 2011


I'm in the Family History Library in Salt Lake and it's almost 10 pm. Yay, they are open tonight and tomorrow much later than usual. It's fun to be here all the rootstech people. Earlier this evening, my sister and I attended a fun party at the Planetarium with food, prizes and an awe-inspiring 3-D movie of the Hubble space telescope repair and photos from the telescope. Wow, it does make me aware, like genealogy does, of how small I am in the universe.

I attended some wonderful classes today; learned a lot. More later. This morning I wondered if I was in the right place. Some of more technical technology in the keynote addresses went over my head. I did get some of it though and I get the reasoning behind mixing us up--techies and family history nuts. We learn from each other. I think this will be a glorious 3 days, well 2 more to go.

08 February 2011

A Research Report: Jørgen Mortensen and Karen Larsdatter

Jørgen Mortensen was the eighth of ten children of Morten Jørgensen and Kirsten Christendatter, born in early March of 1743 in the tiny village of Uglerup (later Ullerup). His wife, Karen Larsdatter, eldest of six brothers and sisters, was the child of Lars Pedersen and Birgitte Nielsdatter. She was born in Torplille in October of 1751, making her eight years younger than her husband Jørgen.  They were married in the church in Torup 25 April 1773 when she was 21 and he 29.

Baptismal font and pitcher where these
children as well as many others received
infant baptism in the Torup Church in
Torup, Frederiksborg, Denmark. (Photo
by Laurie Dunkley)
The 10 children came quickly. Lars was first in August of 1773 in Uglerup, but he died in 1785 when he was just 12 years old. Jørgen was born in Torplille, where Karen's parents were, in 1775, but he died just 14 days later. Kirsten was born in 1776, Birthe in 1778, and Maren in 1781, all born in Uglerup, as were all the rest of the children. After the three girls came two more boy babies, in 1782 and 1784, both named Jørgen. 1782 Jørgen died at 4 weeks, but the third Jørgen,  born to the family in 1784, lived to adulthood to become the father of our Jens Jørgensen. He had three more sisters, Karen born in 1787, Inger in 1790 and little Ane, who was born and died in 1792 as an infant.

The family must have been desperately poor and we can only imagine their primitive living conditions, based on what was common in the late 1700's. In 1787 Jørgen was a day worker in Uglerup, but by 1801 he and his family had a small holding of land in Lille Carlsminde, another village in Torup parish. In the early census of 1787 the children were 10 year old Kirsten, 3 year old Jørgen and the baby Karen. Maren, who would have been 6, was probably dead and 8 year old Birthe was living with her grandmother, Karen's mother. In the 1801 census in Carlsminde, Jørgen was 61, Karen was 51 and their 26 year old daughter Kirsten was still living with them with her illegitimate daughter Mette Sophie. Karen, 14, and Inger, 12, were also with them.

Karen died in February of 1815 in Lille Carlsminde and Jørgen lived only a year longer when he died there as well and was buried 20 Apr 1816 at the age of 70.

05 February 2011

Research Reports as Family History

Recently, as I was putting the final touches on a chapter in our forthcoming book, I realized that several ancestral families were mentioned, but that was all they had--a mention. Yet I had done more research and knew more about them. In the genealogy research classes I have taken, I learned that the last step in a research project is a research report. It's easy to put off, even indefinitely, that last step. After all, isn't the research report in my own mind. Can't it easily be seen in the research log or in the software I use to keep track of each family? Well yes, because that's exactly what I used to write a series of reports to be included in this chapter about the ancestral families that were merely names.

Jens and Marie Jorgensen
or James and Mary Johnson
enhanced tintype
My cousin had written a beautiful chapter detailing the history of Denmark during the time that these families lived. She had included photos from her trip there. She wrote with humor. She included descriptive detail. But she had left the family research end of it to me. I didn't want to interrupt the flow of her excellent writing so my sister came up with a brilliant idea. We put the reports in a text box and set them off by the use of italics. It turned out beautifully. Opposite the page that told about typical Danish peasant life is a brief history of a typical Danish peasant family--which just happens to be our ancestor!

Here's what I learned. Don't neglect the research report. It's how we communicate our findings to others. And it's a family history story, especially when set in the context of the social history of the time and place. In this chapter the two were separated. In other histories it is woven together. If you are just beginning to share your stories with others, but are familiar with the necessity of writing a report, it's a great starting point in developing a wonderful story that will spark interest in those ancestors that have become familiar and dear to you.