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29 June 2016

Wedding Wednesday: Happy 96 Anniversary Victor Zumstein

Victor and Clementina Zumstein Wedding Photo
Don't you love a great love story. That's what Robert Victor Zumstein and Clementina Comfort had. Their stunning wedding photo from the 1920s is a treasure and a snapshot of that love.

They were childhood sweethearts living in rural Ontario, Canada. Victor, as he preferred to be called since Robert was a name passed prolifically down through the Zumstein lines creating great confusion, and Clementina attended a one room school house and lived across the street from each other. Their school house was down the lane and on the same street and their church.

At the time of their wedding, Victor had done many amazing things while Clementina had become a teacher in Lincoln County, Ontario. Victor had graduated from the University of Toronto, served as a German interpreter for the Canadian military during World War I and had earned a Masters in Physics and Math from the State University of Iowa. At the time of their wedding, Victor working towards his doctorate in physics having received a scholarship for his education in Iowa.

At the age of 23, Victor married his childhood sweetheart Clementina Comfort, who at that time was a 25 year-old teacher in the public school in Smithville, Ontario. Her engagement ring was said to have cost $100. (That would be worth about $1,100 today!) They were married under a pear tree at the home of Alonzo Comfort, Clementina's father.

Their marriage record reflected their teaching occupation and provided their religion as Congregationalist (which is believed to reference the Elcho United Brethren Church down the lane from their childhood homes.) Their witnesses were Edward Clark and F Almina Comfort.

Following their wedding, they left by train at Attercliffe Station for the State University of Iowa. They owned only their clothes and the "Old Colony" silverware she had purchased a few pieces at a time while teaching school.

Wedding Wednesday is a daily blogging prompt from GeneaBloggers, the genealogy community's resource for blogging. It is used by many genealogy bloggers to help them tell stories of their ancestors.

28 June 2016

Frequency of Exposure Leads to Discoveries

Every year, or month even, more records become available online. This deluge of records has greatly added my research to ancestors primarily in Franklin County, Ohio and Ontario, Canada. As I encounter a new place, I can quickly access additional records without travel as well. All that aside, there is one principle of genealogy that can not be over looked. Frequency of exposure leads to discovery.

21 June 2016

Should I believe the paper tree?

A few years ago, my cousin sent me some information from Germany. He had contacted a researcher in Germany and asked for some information on our Mack relatives and their friends the Puseckers.

He received a wonderful letter in response to his queries. A sweet woman spent about 7 hours looking through the Kirchenbuch for the church and seemed to have pushed our family back a few generations and supplied names for a wife we had not previously known. I was very excited to receive this information.

My first challenge was how do I document this information?

14 June 2016

Genealogy Hack: Hunt for Neighbors

GenHack Search for Neighbors

Ever have trouble finding an ancestor in a record collection, such as a census? I have a little genealogy hack that you have to try.

German names are quiet challenging to find English language records. My 3rd great-grandfather Joseph Gei├čler has at least seven name variations in documents from 1856-1863!

My Zumstein  line, who immigrated to Canada, has also been quite challenging. For one, no family member can agree on how the end of the name should be spelled... Zumstine, Zumstien, Zumstein? Add to that the fact that many government document records are written in terrible hand writing and the search for this family name gets even more complicated. So, when you have trouble finding a relative, be they German or otherwise, use the genealogy hack to cast a wider net by looking for a neighbor.

07 June 2016

Writing a Compound Reason Statement

Writing Better Reason Statements of FamilySearch

FamilySearch is a great online research service where you can build your family tree and attach records and memories to the leaves on your branches. However, there is one kind of record set that you need to be aware of.

Emily Peak of Dayton Kentucky Death Index
Index to Kentucky Death Record on 
An index is a great starting point but it doesn't tell you everything on a record. And, sometimes the information is slightly to completely wrong in the index. So, it pays to see if you can find the original record in another resources.