Tuesday, April 8, 2014

DNA for Genealogy Explained!





 Roberta Estes

Wanting to do your DNA but don’t know how to begin? Having done your DNA, do you understand what you have and how to interpret the results? Come to these two fascinating and informative lectures to learn more about DNA for Genealogy!

On Saturday April 12 in the Colfax Auditorium, the St. Joseph County Public Library, in collaboration with the South Bend Area Genealogical Society, will present two lectures from national speaker Roberta Estes, an expert in the use of DNA testing for genealogical purposes.

For the first, DNA Testing for Genealogy Explained, Ms. Estes will discuss the types of DNA testing available and how these tests can serve the genealogical researcher. Her title for the lecture is DNA and Genealogy Introduction, and it will begin at 10:30.

For the second, DNA Test Results Explained, Ms. Estes will cover interpreting DNA test results. Her title for the lecture is Yikes, My Results are Back! Now What?  This presentation is for both Y-line and mitochondrial DNA. It will begin at 1:30.

You may reserve your space by calling 574-282-4621, or at http://www.libraryforlife.org/

Roberta Estes is a professional scientist, business owner, and genealogist. She excels at explaining difficult technical subjects in an understandable fashion to a nontechnical audience. She founded DNAeXplain in 2004 to provide analysis and interpretation of genetic genealogy DNA test results. Her website is http://www.dnaexplain.com/

Thursday, March 27, 2014

April Genealogy Events in Michiana!

Spring is here!  (at least the calendar says so) and my April calendar is overflowing with genealogy events to choose from!

I want to highlight two events taking place this month.  Be sure and join me at the Main Branch of the South Bend Library on Saturday, April 12th to hear from Roberta Estes on Genealogy and DNA Testing.  She will be giving two talks at 10:30 and 1:30.

Come out on Tuesday, April 22nd to Christ the King Lutheran Church on Cleveland Road in South Bend to hear about the preservation efforts taking place in the historic South Bend City Cemetery.  You may just be inspired to join the effort!

See you out and about in April!


Thursday, April 3, 2014 – Noon - South Bend Genealogy Roundtable.  Join us to discuss your family history search. Share your successes, bring your questions, and have fun! Beginning and experienced genealogists are welcome. You are welcome to bring a bag lunch St. Joseph County Public Library Local & Family History Center, 304 S. Main Street, South Bend, IN  46601. Call 282-4621 for more information.

Saturday, April 5, 2014 – Indiana Genealogical Society Annual Meeting and Conference – Allen County Public Library, Fort Wayne, IN – J. Mark Lowe will be the featured speaker.  For more information http://www.indgensoc.org/conference.php

Saturday, April 12, 2014 – 10:30 a.m. -  Not Just Playing god – Genealogy and DNA Testing - Roberta Estes - Colfax Auditorium, the St. Joseph County Public Library, in collaboration with the South Bend Area Genealogical Society, will present two lectures from national speaker Roberta Estes, an expert in the use of DNA testing for genealogical purposes. Join us in theColfax Auditorium of the St. Joseph County Public Library, Main Street, South Bend, IN.

 For the first, DNA Testing for Genealogy Explained, Mrs. Estes will discuss the types of DNA testing available and how these tests can serve the genealogical researcher. Her title for the lecture is DNA and Genealogy Introduction, and it will begin at 10:30.

 For the second, DNA Test Results Explained, Mrs. Estes will cover interpreting DNA test results. Her title for the lecture is Yikes, My Results are Back! Now What?  This presentation is for both Y-line and mitochondrial DNA. It will begin at 1:30.

 You may reserve your space by calling 574-282-4621, or at http://www.libraryforlife.org/

Saturday, April 12, 2014 – 10:00 a.m. - GENSIG (Genealogy Special Interest Group)-   Jim Mathias will discuss the books "Homo Ludens" by Johan Huisinga.  The study of the play elements in culture.  During Jim's trip to his Aunt's home they found a drawer filled with trinkets from a lifetime of memories.  Everyone has such a collection, it's sitting down and analyzing their meanings.  And the book "Computer Spyware."  There's a new software package called "Discover.me" that shows you all the software that's tracking you on the internet and "slowing down the internet!!!"  Sometimes dozens of cookies are looking at you depending on where you are! Please join us, the coffee is always on.  Goshen Public Library 601 S 5th Street, Goshen, IN 46526 contact Young Snodgrass for more information.young.snodgrass@frontier.com

Thursday, April 17, 2014 – 7 pm - Elkhart County Genealogical Society – “Getting to Know Our County Seat”. Wanda Hoffman, Historian and Library Coordinator for the Society, will present some of the folklore and facts about Goshen and its early settlers. She will give the history of the county court houses from the beginning in 1830 through the present courthouse built in 1905. Included will be interesting tidbits such as its tunnel under 3rd St., its monuments, and its old fence. Information on Goshen’s cemeteries will also be discussed. Ms. Hoffman knows Goshen well. She is a member of the local historical societies and is a volunteer at the Elkhart County Historical Museum and the Goshen Historical Society Museum. Please join us as we learn about our county seat. All meetings are free and open to the public. Bring a friend! First Presbyterian Church, 200 East Beardsley, Elkhart, Indiana. Use the East door.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014, 7 pm- Twigs from the Tree of Life – Save the South Bend City Cemetery!   Learn more about the efforts to document and preserve the historic South Bend City Cemetery and how you can contribute to this important project.

Visitors will include: Elicia Feasel - Assistant Director Historic Preservation Commission of South Bend & St. Joseph County, Oliver Davis - City of South Bend 6th District Council Member,Jonathon Geels - Project Specialist at City of South Bend , Deb Kuehn - GIS Manager at City of South Bend and Steve Nemeth – Cemetery Sexton.

Twigs from the Tree of Life meets monthly at Christ the King Lutheran Church, 17195 Cleveland Rd, South Bend, 46637 For more information contact Lynne Wolfgang lynnewolf@aol.com  Everyone is welcome! (Please use the single door entrance in the back of the church)

Thursday, April 24, 2014 – 6:30 p.m. - Mishawaka Genealogy Roundtable. Interested in genealogy? Share your story! Beginners and experienced researchers are welcome to chat about their family history and research..Mishawaka Public Library, 209 Lincolnway East, Mishawaka, IN  46544. Contact Deanna Juday for more information. d.juday@mphpl.org

Saturday, April 26, 2014 – 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. – Family Research.  Interested in family research but don’t know how to start?  Join us as we show you how to begin researching your ancestors.  We will also look at the resources that the library has available to aid you in your research.  Training Lab, Mishawaka Library, 209 Lincoln Way East, Mishawaka.
For information: 574-259-5277 ext. 215 or www.mphpl.org

Saturday, April 26, 2014 – 2:30 p.m. - Grave-Robbing Cemetery Tour South Bend City Cemetery.  South Bend has its own history of grave robbing.  Discover our sordid past in South Bend's City Cemetery with Travis Childs from the Center for History who leads an exploration of our area's somewhat sketchy buried secrets.  This tour requires a fair amount of walking over uneven ground.  No pets please.  No registration necessary.
214 Elm Street, South Bend (corner of W. Colfax Street and Elm)

SAVE THE DATE!
Saturday, May 10, 2014 – Annual Allen County Public Library Bus Trip.  The South Bend Area Genealogical Society and the Elkhart County Genealogical Society are co-sponsoring a research trip to the Allen County Public Library!  For more information contact Call Bill Minish  (574)-277-1183, email: WHMinish@aol.comView flyer here.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Tragically Short Life of the Other Ralph Ellam (1823-1859)

My last post revealed the short life of Ralph ELLAM (1907 - ca. 1919) who died of a broken neck when he fell out of an apple tree.

This post deals with another tragic death of a Ralph ELLAM.  This Ralph ELLAM is my husband's great-great-great grandfather (and also the great-grandfather of young Ralph above).

Born 1 May 1823 in St. Helens, England, Ralph was one of 9 children born to Ralph ELLAM (1788-1846) and Elizabeth HUGHES (1791 - ?).  He grew up poor and illiterate, never learning to write his own name.

On 1 Jan 1853 at the age of 29 he married Elizabeth GREENALL in the Chapel of Farnsworth, Prescot, Lancaster, England.


After his marriage he continued his work as a miner and he and Elizabeth welcomed three children:

Alice born in 1855
Elizabeth in 1857
William 29 Jul 1858 (my husband's great-great grandfather)

Tragedy struck on Tuesday, 12 Apr 1859.  On that day Ralph reported to work at the Broad Oak Mines in St. Helens, England.  Sometime during the day he fell off a roof in the mine causing instant death.  He was 35 years old.


An inquest was held on 14 Apr 1859 (the same day he was buried) and found the death was accidental. William was only 9 months old at the time of his father's death.

Ralph is buried in St. Helens Cemetery and his Find A Grave memorial can be found here.

Elizabeth remarried one year later to Lambert HEATON, the only father William knew.

18 years after his death Elizabeth finally received the effects of Ralph's estate.  Effects valued ess than £50 (less than $82 US today).





Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The (Almost) Forgotten Ellam Brother

My brick wall is my husband's grandfather, John ELLAM (24 May, 1908 - ?)

For years the information I had for John was:

Father - John ELLAM (1883-1933)
Mother - Ada Bailey ELLAM (1886 - 1967)

Brother - William H. ELLAM (1909 - 1969)

Recently I discovered there was another brother!

Ralph ELLAM (1907 - ?)

I found Ralph's birth record in the England & Wales, FreeBMD Birth Index, 1837-1915.


I also found an immigration record of his arrival on 3 Jun 1911 along with his mother Ada and brothers John and William:


What I can't locate is his date of death.  Family lore says young Ralph fell out of an apple tree around the age of 12-13, broke his neck and died.  That would place his date of death between 1919-1920.  I can find his parents John and Ada in the 1920 census in Bridgeport, CT.  However, none of the boys are listed with them.

Where and when did Ralph die and where is he buried?  The search continues....

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Society Saturday - Preserve the Pensions - Indiana Steps Up!



The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS), The National Archives, Ancestry.com and Fold3.com are partners in a huge effort: to preserve and digitize 7.2 million pages of War of 1812 Pension Records and make them available for free online.  As of today over 850,000 images have been digitized by volunteers but the effort needs your help!

Ancestry.com has generously stepped up and agreed to cover costs to digitize HALF of the War of 1812 pension records. So every dollar donated will actually go twice as far!

I was proud to see many Indiana Societies, Organizations and family researchers on the list of contributors!  So proud of my Hoosier state!

Please consider donating to this tremendous effort.  Your dollar matters.

Donate to War of 1812


Platinum Level
Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana
Indiana Genealogical Society
Society of the War of 1812 in the State of Indiana

Contributor Level
Clinton County (IN) Genealogical Society
Elkhart County Genealogical Society
Elwood Pipecreek (IN) Genealogy Society
Howard County (IN) Genealogical Society
Indiana Historical Society
La Porte County, IN Genealogical Society
South Bend Area Genealogical Society

Patron Level
Sara Allen
Jinsie Bingham
Brown County (IN) Genealogical Society
Lisa Swanson Ellam
Harold Henderson
Indiana African American Genealogy Group
Linda L. Irish
William H. Minish
Dawne Slater-Putt
Society of Indiana Pioneers
Tippecanoe County (IN) Area Genealogical Society


You can view the current 850,000+ pension files already digitized for free at Fold3.com

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Society Saturday - Can We All Just Work Together?

In my area of Indiana we are blessed with multiple, active genealogy groups.  Within minutes from my home there is:

The South Bend Area Genealogical Society
The Elkhart Genealogical Society
The South Bend DAR
The Elkhart DAR
The South Bend Library Genealogy Rountable
The Mishawaka Library Genealogy Roundtable
The Twigs from the Tree of Life Genealogy Group
The GENSIG (Genealogy Special Interest Group)

That's eight groups each holding monthly meetings including classes and speakers.  Two of those groups hold a yearly event that brings in speakers from outside the area, charge a fee and include vendors.  Two of these groups host an Allen County Bus Trip - held within a month of each other.

Recently I was asked the question - Can we get these groups to work together?  Is it possible?


Of all the groups mentioned the Twigs group seems most promising.  The group meets monthly and focuses on genealogy education.  There are no fees or dues to join and includes members from all the above genealogy groups.  Twigs has somehow been able to cross county lines and bring together those with a common interest in genealogy.  But does it have what it takes to lead the initiative to get all groups to work together?  Does it have the "chops" to lead the charge?

Thinking of the two separate yearly events and the two separate Allen County Bus Trips.  What if those two groups combined forces and resources?  Imagine what could be accomplished by working together.  What caliber of speaker could be brought in to one combined yearly event?  Imagine filling a bus for Allen County with members from all groups. Getting to know each other, the camaraderie which could develop!

While each group has its own focus and identity, by staying fragmented in all areas are the groups really doing what is best for each of its members?  Is it possible to form a cohort with representation from each of the groups to look at this question?

Is it possible to work together?