Sunday, September 30, 2012

What Not to Submit for a Lineage Application

In most lineage society guidelines and rules there are definite do's and don'ts included.  Some are a bit obscure, but overall they are definitive.

What should you submit:
Actual documentation of the fact you are stating. This would include as many original documents that you can find.

What you shouldn't submit:
Abstracted indexes, written biographies (unless proving dates), personal family histories, published family histories, and internet information (unless it is an original record and it is sourced).

The purpose of a lineage application is to document and prove your relationship to your ancestor's. As genealogists, we want the best proof argument we can provide.

With the addition of so many records on different websites today, it is very easy to succumb to that abstracted index of information we find.  However, that abstracted information should lead us back to the original record. The original record is always the best proof document. Remember, an abstract may not always retrieve all of the information found in that document.

If you live far away from your research area, try using local genealogical societies for research assistance. Local libraries in the area may also help you.

When I receive an application to review that only has three original documents in a stack of paper one inch thick, I'm not sure if our organization is expressing our wants clearly to potential applicants, or if the applicant is taking the "easy" route and using the quickest and easiest methods that they feel will accomplish their goal.

Joining a lineage society means that you are documenting your lineage through the best documents and resources that you can find to do that. It is always amazing to me that so many records exist pre-1800 that allow applicants to really put together an interesting and complete application.

In effect, you are documenting your research skills. You are leaving behind a lasting legacy for future generations to know their individual pasts as well. You want that legacy to be the best resource for those in the future.

The judges of lineage societies are usually willing to answer questions of applicants and help point them in the right direction. If you have a question, please don't hesitate to ask.

Monday, September 3, 2012

A Lasting Memorial

A few years ago, I attended the 50th wedding anniversary celebration of a cousin and her husband at the Belden Methodist Church in Belden, Ohio.  During the course of conversation, she happened to ask me if I had seen the stained glass window in the sanctuary that honored our ancestors.  At that point in time, I had no idea that this window even existed.  Of course, I had to go see the window.

The window faces north, so only indirect light shines through.

Seeing the names of my great-great grandparents in a stained glass window was a very warming experience for me.

Charles William (Karl Wilhelm) Pfeiffer came to the United States about 1850 with a sister, Barbara from Germany. While there were several brothers and sisters, it is believed that only these two, from this particular family, dared to venture to the new world.  They settled in Cleveland, Ohio for a few years. Barbara married a Joseph Kerble (I would find out 150 years after she came to the U.S and is another story), while Charles married Sophia Ruegger in Medina County Ohio.  Sophia and her family had come to the United States when Sophia was about 5 years old in 1847. 

Charles and Sophia had eight children. Their son, Henry, my great-grandfather, also had eight children.  Henry married Cora Benton, the daughter of William S. Benton and Allice Killmer/Kilmer.

Charles Pfeiffer learned the art of brick making with his father in Germany. Charles developed his own brickyard in Belden, Ohio and shipped his brick all over the United States. His brickyard burned as the result of sparks from a passing steam locomotive. It totally devastated him and he really never recovered from the loss of his income.