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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Angel Island - West Coast Immigration Station

The majority of my ancestors came to the United States before Ellis Island and Castle Garden were the gateway for European immigrants. While researching topics for the Everyday Genealogy Desk Calendar
I discovered another immigration gateway - Angel Island.

Angel Island

Angel Island was the 'Ellis Island of the West' for Australians, Canadians, Mexicans, Russia, Central and South Americans and in particular Asian immigrants from 1910 to 1940.

Boats would land in San Francisco and the passengers would be processed based on the class of their ticket. Persons holding a first or second class ticket would be processed on the ship. Passengers holding steerage tickets would be sent to Angel Island for processing.

Processing on Angel Island was not handled as efficiently or quickly as Ellis Island due to the Chinese exclusion laws.

The following links will help you research your ancestors that may have passed through Angel Island.

History of Angel Island

Angel Island Association

"Angel Island" 'Guardian of the Western Gate' - Valerie Natale

Books from Amazon:

Angel Island: Immigrant Gateway to America

Island: Poetry and History of Chinese Immigrants on Angel Island, 1910-1940

Angel Island : Immigrant Gateway to America

Take Care,

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Sunday's Obituary - John Lewis Schwemm

John Lewis Schwemm
Born - Jan 13, 1871
Died - August 21, 1947

Barrington Courier-Review
Thursday, August 28, 1947

Funeral services were held Saturday afternoon at the funeral home, 149 West Main Street, Barrington, for John Schwemm, 76, well-known and familiar figure of this community. He died suddenly Thursday, August 21 of heart disease.

Schwemm was born on a farm four miles south of Barrington January 13, 1871 and lost both of his parents before he had reached his 13th birthday. He lived on with his brothers and sisters, doing work on the neighboring farms until 1894, when he and his brother Herman started a farm implement business, which was carried on successfully for 23 years.

When the livery business was discontinued, Schwemm did teaming in Barrington, he and his team being known and loved by local residents. In November of 1946 the team was sold and Schwemm retired.

In 1900 he married Gertrude Meyer of Barrington, and from this union there were two children, Earl Schwemm of this village and Ruth Schwemm Hardarce of Highland Park. His widow and children survive him as well as four grandsons, John, Richard and Robert Schwemm and Phillip Hardacre.

Also surviving are a brother William of Crystal Lake and two sisters, Mrs. William Schnetlage of Barrington and Mrs. William Lyons of Chicago.

Schwemm, who lived at 111 East Liberty Street, had a happy and friendly attitude toward life and people. He found pleasure in simple things, and much of his enjoyment came in doing for others. He was genuine and sincere, and carried a youthful viewpoint throughout his 76 years.

Both Reverends Bertam G. Swaney of the Methodist Church and Christian J. Doenecke, formerly pastor of the Methodist Church presided at the funeral services.

Internment was in the Evergreen cemetery. Emil Schwemm, Clifford Schwemm, Malcom Lyons, Frank Miller, Spencer Boehmer and Russell Smith, nephews of Schwemm, were pallbearers.

Friday, February 25, 2011

My Ancestor Was Born in the State of Franklin!

Minnesota? South Dakota? Wisconsin? Franklin?

One of the most fascinating elements of creating Everyday Genealogy - the Desk Calendar last year was being reminded how our nation was created. Once the original 13 colonies were formed our ancestors headed west and new territories and states were formed. Here are some of the more interesting facts I found

Did you know?

Residents of Wisconsin were enumerated in 1820 in the Indiana Territory census and in the Michigan census in 1830.

South Dakota residents were counted in the census of Wisconsin in 1836, in Iowa in 1840 and in Minnesota in 1850 as the Pembina District.

South Dakota was a part of Minnesota until Minnesota became a state in 1858.

West Virginia seceded from the state of Virginia on May 23 1861 and became a state in its own right in 1863.

Kentucky was annexed by Virginia in 1772 as part of Finscastle County. In 1776 Fincastle County was divided into 3 new counties: Kentucky, Montgomery and Washington.


The state of Franklin, whose capital was first Jonesborough and later Greeneville, was formed in 1784. It was never admitted to the Union. Franklin became part of Tennessee in 1790.

The state of Franklin lives on in Johnson City where there is a bank and main highway are named "State of Franklin". It was also mentioned in as one of the 'ghost states' in a documentery "How the States Got Their Shapes".

BTW - Davy Crockett was born in the state of Franklin 1786.


We all use census records, obituaries, etc. to help us find out which state or country our ancestors were born, married and died. What we have to remember is that they are answering the question from their 18th or 19th century perspective not our 21st century map.

Take Care,

Visit our other blogs!
Pack Peddler's Pages
Technology Tamers
My McKee Family Tree

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A New House, Family Memories and Our Home on Pine ...

Pack Peddler's Place: A New House, Family Memories and Our Home on Pine ...: "A New House This week we have been busy getting Clayton's new house ready. Painting, flooring and setting up a kitchen for someone who at b..."

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Washington: State, Capital & President

When I was a child we celebrated Lincoln’s Birthday and Washington’s Birthday as two separate holidays. Lincoln’s birthday is still February 12 and Washington’s on the 22 but the holiday is now celebrated is President’s Day. And to make it a convenient three day weekend it is on the third Monday in February. This may be great for planning purposes, but I miss celebrating on the actual birthdates of these two presidents.

Washington D.C.

Washington D.C. is located on 100 acres of land that was donated by the states of Maryland and Virginia in 1791. If you are doing research in either of those states in this time period, your ancestor may have ‘moved’ whether he/she wanted to or not! The first census Washington D.C. participated in was 1800 and the 1810 census like the 1890 census has been lost.

Washington State

The Washington State Archives has a great interactive website with free digital images. There is also a collection of Historic Washington Newspapers available to browse online, one of my favorite things to do on a rainy afternoon. Didn’t find what you were looking for in the historical newspapers? Then you can use the Ask a Librarian link to request FREE obituary lookup and receive a copy via email.

The Washington State Archives make me wish I had a few more ancestors who headed farther west than Iowa!

George Washington

While George Washington was the father of our country, he unfortunately did not have any children. He did raise his wife Martha’s two children from her first marriage and had close relationships with his nephews and step grandchildren. To learn more about our first president or if your family research points you in the direction of being a descendent of one of Washington’s relatives check out the George Washington Foundation

I hope everyone has a great President’s Day.

Take Care,

The History Channel Presents Washington the Warrior

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Sunday's Obituary - Emma Rethmeier Schwemm

Emma Rethmeier Schwemm
Born: Aug 18, 1872 - Schaumburg,Cook County, Illinois
Died: July 30, 1945 - Elgin, Kane County, Illinois

Mrs. Emma Schwemm, 73 of Dundee Road, died Monday afternoon at Sherman Hospital in Elgin from a skull fracture and other injuries sustained in an automobile accident Sunday afternoon on the Northwest Highway in Barrington, near Plagge Flowers. Services will be held this Thursday afternoon at 2:00 o'clock in the funeral home at 149 West Main Street. The Rev Dore N. Ester of Salem Evangelical church will officiate and burial will be in the Evergreen Cemetery.

The accident causing her death occurred about 4:15 Sunday afternoon when a car driven south on the highway by Donald Alvin Tadder collided almost head-on with a car driven by F. C. Sternberg of Rt. 2, Barrington. Mrs. Schwemm was riding with Sternberg, who boards at the countryside home of her daughter, Mrs. Mary Buehler; and another passenger was her grandson, William Schwemm 12, also of Barrington

Earl W. Baade, Barrington chief of police claims Tadder fled from the scene of the accident and he signed a complaint against him. Chief Baade said Tadder went through a section of swamp land and made his way to Lake Zurich where he sought medical attention.

Chief Baade learned that he was in a Lake Zurich doctor's office and he returned him to Barrington, later turning Tadder over to Sgt. Don Barnes of the state police who brought the man to Sherman Hospital.

Others injured in the accident were brought to the hospital by ambulance. Mrs. Schwemm was in such severe shock that attending physicians did not believe she would live through the night. She rallied slightly, however, but suffered a relapse in the morning. Her death was due to shock; sever lacerations and possibly other injuries suffered in the collision. Because of her condition when she was admitted to the hospital, no effort was made to examine her for fractures.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Coupons, Samples and Free Research Sites

I love coupons!

I love the adventure of clipping coupons and then planning a trip to Wal-Mart so I can save even more on my grocery bill. Free stuff or coupons / discounts are always better. Cool Savings is an online site where you can find and print coupons.

I love free samples!

I love products from but the free samples you get to pick with each purchase are just delightful!

I love free archives & databases! is a site with links to a fabulous array of search tools. The best thing is many of the site are fee!

I subscribe to and feel that it is worth every penny. BUT, did you know that they have 200 databases that can be accessed FREE?

To access the free sites and many others visit

While you are there take a minute to explore the other links, you may be pleasantly surprised at who or what you may find.

Happy Researching,

Monday, February 14, 2011

Oregon and Arizona - The Most Romantic States in the Union

What are the two romantic states in the union?

Arizona and Oregon!

Oregon and Arizona both became states on Valentine's Day! Oregon in 1859 and Arizona in 1912.

If you are researching in Arizona, be sure to check out the Arizona State Library's historical maps, digital archives and more. The website is

If you have Oregon Roots did your ancestors take the Oregon Trail? The Oregon Trail began in Independence, Missouri and ended in Oregon City, Oregon. Check out The Oregon Trail Map. Find out the history of the trail and its actual course.

Happy Valentine's Day

To get a DAILY Genealogy tip check out our CLEARNCE SALE. The Everyday Genealogy Desk Calendar is on Sale for $5.99.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Sunday's Obituary - William Hamilton Warren

William Hamilton Warren
Born: September 24, 1847 - Kent County Maryland
Died: October 9, 1914 - Plano, Kendall County, Illinois

Father of Myrtle Warren Schultz

Kendall County News
October 14, 1914

William Hamilton Warren

Nearly blind, growing infirm from ill health at times insane, William Warren for twenty-five years a Plano resident ends his life Friday by taking Paris green. His condition for the past year was a sad one.

Mr. Warren moved to Plano from Kent Co. Maryland in 1879. He was a carpenter by trade and a gardener. The latter part of his life was spent raising garden truck. He was born in Kent Co. Maryland, September 24, 1847 and was married there to Miss Mary Francenia Startt, March 10th 1869, who died April 30, 1891.

To them were born eight children two of them dying in infancy. There remains to mourn his loss two daughters and four sons. Daisy, now Mrs. Ben Olson; Myrtle, now Mrs. William Schultz, Ray, Walter, William and Frank. Also seven grand children.

Funeral Services were held Sunday afternoon at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Ben Olson. Rev. C. A. Neuman in charge. Burial in Plano cemetery.

We are extremely grateful to the friends who were so kind at the time of the death and burial of our father. Mr. and Mrs. B. Olson, Mr. and Mrs. Wm Schultz.

Everyday Genealogy Calendar Clearance Sale! $5.99 including std. shipping

The obituary mentions Mr. and Mrs. Wm Schultz. This is a picture of William and Myrtle Warren Schultz

Friday, February 11, 2011

Everyday Genealogy Clearance Sale

Spring cleaning is starting early this year in Florida!

Everyday Genealogy 2011 Desk Calendars have been reduced to $5.99 including standard shipping.

I need to make room in the house so these calendars have to go.

Visit: or click on the title of this post.

Special pricing can be negotiated for larger quantities.

Lincoln, Grant and Reagan

Growing up in Illinois I was aware that the state laid claim to two presidents: Abraham Lincoln and Ulyssess S. Grant. With a state motto of 'Land of Lincoln' Honest Abe was all around. On the other hand I was a bit confused that Grant's Tomb was in New York! When Ronald Reagan was elected president Illinois could now boost three favorite sons that made it to the White House.

Abraham Lincoln's birthday is February 12th and his life has been well documented. There are also the challenges to his official parentage. As we all know, it is all in the research and the citations. I have posted a link to let you judge for yourselves.

This September the Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference will be in Springfield. Attendees will have a chance to visit the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and if you have Illinois ancestors Springfield is a goldmine of records and archives.

If you are interested in exploring the lives of these men or knowing more about Springfield I have listed a number of helpful links.

Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference

Abraham Presidential Library and Museum

Illinois State Archives @ Springfield

Galena State Historic Sites

Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home

A Challenge To Abraham Lincoln's Ancestry

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Using Timelines to Understand Your Ancestor's Lives

My great grandfather, Fred Schwemm, was the oldest surviving son of Joseph and Julia Schwemm. When I first started my research I gathered up information on Fred, his parents, his grandparents George and Sophie Schwemm and his six siblings who survived to adulthood.

During this quest I found the guardianship papers that were drawn up when Joseph and Julia died leaving six minor children. I found marriage records for Fred and his siblings, the birth announcements for their children and eventually obituary and death records for all of them.

What I did not do until I talked to Ruth Schwemm Hardacre, my grandmother's first cousin, was look at all my 'research' as the story of Fred's life. When Ruth made the statement that Fred had 'stole' the farm from his siblings I knew I had to stop and understand Fred's life from his perspective. To do this, I put together a timeline so I could see the sequence of events.

Sometimes in our search for every record and every name we can forget to step back and put our ancestors lives in context to the time period they lived. Timelines can be an extremely helpful tool to do this.

Setting up a timeline is easy - find the first date you have, such as the birth date of an ancestor and then the date that ancestor died. From there start filling in significant family, state and regional events. It may also be helpful to check out an almanac or local newspaper.

If you need a resource for finding a timeline for a particular state check out e-Reference Desk @ or just click on the title of this article.

And, in case you are interested, Fred did not steal the farm from anyone but that is another blog posting!

Take Care,
Everyday Genealogy Desk Calendar

The first picture is of Fred and Emma Rethmeier Schwemm my maternal great grandparents. The second picture is of my grandmother Florence and her sister-in-law Anna Pahlke.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Genealogy, eBay and Harvey Hampers

Have you ever used eBay?

I started using eBay years ago to buy bisque, albums, replacement parts for computers, etc. Then one day I was bored and I put in "Barrington Illinois", the town my dad's family migrated to in 1864 from Germany.

My search yielded cookbooks published by various local groups, keepsakes from the town’s Centennial, unknown photos from the turn of the century and a sewing basket made at Harvey Hampers. My mom not only worked at Harvey Hampers when she first moved to Barrington from Michigan but made those sewing baskets. Mom was totally shocked when I told her not only were the sewing baskets for sale on eBay but I had bought one. While mom may not have made the one I bought I can share it with my grand daughter and tell her that Nan used to make them!

While I have not found a family bible or a complete family tree for auction the items I have found helped round out my understanding of Barrington over the years. The added bonus was that the cookbook contained recipes contributed by family members. While I attended the centennial celebration as a child I did not have a souvenir. Thanks to eBay a commemorative plate hangs in my kitchen.

eBay can become addicting but it can also help flesh out your research. Search town names, surnames, counties, etc. and see what you find. Postcards, photos, books, maps and even family bibles are being auctioned daily - you just have to start searching eBay to find them.

Take Care,

Everyday Genealogy Desk Calendar

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Sunday's Obituary - Fred Rethmeier

Fred Rethmeier
Born - Nov 8, 1822 - Lippe, Detmold, Germany
Died - April 8, 1910 - Barrington, Cook County, Illinois

DuPage County Register (Wheaton, Bensenville, Itasca, Roselle edition), front page, on Friday, April 15, 1910. The column heading was "Striker Items"

Mr. and Mrs. Henry Rethmeier, of Minden, Neb., came to attend the funeral of his father and will spend some time visiting friends before returning to their home.

Mr. Rethmeier was born at Leppe, Detmouldt, Germany, Nov.8, 1822; married Dorothy Dellmeier, Mar. 28, 1854. They sailed for America, April 1 the same year. They lived two months with Mr. Becker, a blacksmith, who was a cousin of Mrs. Rethmeier, and the only relative they had living in America.

Mr. Rethmeier bought a 40-acre farm, now owned by Fred Geiskee, near Mr. Steinmeier's in Schaumburg, where they lived seven years. He sold this farm and bought an 80 acre farm in Barrington, where he lived until his death Thursday night, after a short illness of pneumonia.

He leaves a widow, aged 81 years December 30, one daughter, Mrs. Emma Swemm (Schwemm) of Barrington, two sons, Henry, of Minden, Neb. and John who has always lived on the farm with his parents, and five grandchildren.

In March 1876, they lost six children by diptheria; all were buried in Hoosier Grove cemetery.

Funeral services were conducted by Pastor Ellerbrake, Sunday. Interment at Hoosier Grove cemetery. Mr. Rethmeier was an industrious, hard-working man, and one of the oldest residents of Barrington.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Las Vegas isn't just for Gambling.... if you have Neveda Ancestors

If you are researching in Neveda there are many sites on the Internet to assist. If you are in Las Vegas and have a little time on your hands because the dealers and the slots are winning, check out the Clark County Library.

I visited the libray in 2009 and spent hours researching various newspapers on microfilm. I also noticed that the library is advertising at the airport when we landed.

If you are planning a trip to Las Vegas to do some research be sure to contact the Clark County Genealogy Society. The supplied me with great information on what was available and places to visit.

You can also visit the Nevada State Museum:

If you are not in Las Vegas I have listed some links for Neveda and Las Vegas genealogy research.

Take Care,

Everyday Genealogy Desk Calendar

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

What's in a Surname? Check out National Geographic

National Geographic Feb. 2011 Pages 20-21

This two-page article includes a map of the United States with a distribution of common last names super imposed on the map. The map provides a graphical representation of immigration.


The prevalence of the names Lablanc and Fonenot in south Louisiana reflect its Acadian heritage. The same holds true for the Southwest with Spanish sounding name like Garcia, Chavez, and Rodriguez. East of the Mississippi, the map is crowded with lots of names, many of which are easily identifiable as being English/Welch/Scottish/Irish in origin. West of the Mississippi, the names become more sparse.

For more information on this project, visit this website:

You can even "map" your own names.

Take Care,

Everyday Genealogy Desk Calendar

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Google Books and Me

Google Books is the most fascinating library I have ever encountered. Whether I am looking up county histories or hoping to find a reference about an ancestor I am always amazed at the number of books available.

The other day I found an article on about recipes from the turn of the century. I realized I had never looked up cookbooks on Google Books. Using the filter '19th Century' I was able to find books and magazines that my ancestors may have read.

What did I find?

There were recipes from all regions of the country plus tips on keeping house and raising a family. I also found 'The White House Cookbook' published in 1887. It contains a great photograph of the 'White House Bride - Frances Folsom Cleveland'!

Then I started thinking about the record cold and number of storms we were having this winter. My next search was on the word 'almanac'. I was presented with a list of almanacs that included a World Almanac, another published by the Chicago Dailey News and of course the Farmer's Almanac all from the 19th century! I was quickly downloading these FREE pdf's to my hard drive.

Get the idea?

Click on the title of this article or use this URL: to start finding your endless list of books on Google!

Once you have read articles from these 19th century publications you will never take frozen food, Doppler Radar and your microwave for granted again!

Now, I just have to load all those PDF's on my eReader!

Take Care,