Month: April 2011

Today I received another great email that two more of my ancestor’s headstones were found and photographed by a friendly Find-A-Grave volunteer. I don’t remember when I requested these, but it’s nice to finally know where they are located. Though, it’s interesting to see that their headstone spells their name Sterns, instead of Stearns. Click the thumbnails for larger versions.

My 3rd-great-grandparents, Henry Stearns (also known as Georg Heinrich Stierns) and his wife Margaret (also known as Katherine Rosina Margaretha Schumacher), immigrated from Württemberg, Germany with their four children and settled in northern Wisconsin. They are both now buried at Oakwood Cemetery in Weyauwega, Waupaca Co., Wisconsin.

Links to their Find-A-Grave entries: Henry Stearns & Margaret Stearns.

You’re at the right place, don’t worry. I decided to put together a new template since I felt I didn’t have a lot of customization options on the last one without tearing it apart. I built this one from the ground up, so while it may not be full of zazz, it allows me complete freedom (as far as WordPress will let me go.) I originally built the theme for my wife’s website, Tales From the Nursery, so I had just gone through the process. I may or may not have stolen a lot of ideas and code from that template, but don’t tell anyone.

I find it sort of fitting (though not planned) that I’m releasing this new theme on the 12th anniversary of the passing of my grandfather, Richard Zalewski. His death was sort of indirectly the catalyst of my genealogy adventure. Plus, I’m finally starting to crack open the mystery of the Zalewski ancestry, which has been causing me trouble for all 12 of those years.

You will notice the photo at the top-right. I felt it was a neat place to show off photos of our ancestors and links to more information. Also, at the top of the main page, you’ll see the “Featured Posts” box. This will allow me to feature certain posts for a longer period of time, especially if I’m proud of them. I was also able to more prominently display links to my other genealogy sites under the photo. Those were getting lost in the old theme. I am not completely done with the theme. I need to do some more work on the sidebar, but it works right now. I just want to jazz it up a bit.

As always, please don’t mind the dust or broken things, I’m finishing everything up. If you do find something that’s broken, please leave me a comment or use my Contact Form. When doing so, please also mention your Operating System (Windows 7, Ubuntu 10.10, etc.) and your browser (Internet Explorer 7, Safari, etc.) That will help me troubleshoot. I have tested as much as I can at the moment, but the site should work very well in any modern browser, the most popular being Internet Explorer 8+, Firefox 3 and 4, Chrome,  and Safari. It probably looks horrible in Internet Explorer 6 (and maybe 7), but it should and you should really not use that anymore. Microsoft even says so themselves. Plus, if you’re using IE 6 or 7, you will get a nice message at the top of the site telling you to update it.

Thanks for stopping by.

My wife, over at “Tales From the Nursery” posted a great article on some of the things Facebook may do to your blog posts.

Two interesting things about Facebook has come to my attention: Facebook hates busy bloggers and keeps trying to hide us from our fans.

It’s nothing person, but it’s what appears to be happening.  Less than half of my fans are seeing my fan page updates and posts.

That’s right – less than half.

Now, I realize some of them may choose to hide my page for whatever reason.  That I’m ok with – if they choose to do so.  But I don’t much care for Facebook deciding to do it for them.  Thanks to a couple other bloggers, we can do our best to let our readers and fans know so those who want to be kept up-to-date won’t miss so much!

Read the rest over on the site.

One of the things you need to do once you track down the origin of your Polish ancestors, is to search for an entry for the location in the Słownik geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego i innych krajów słowiańskich (or Geographic Dictionary of the Kingdom of Poland and Other Slavic Countries.)

According to a description of it on the “Genealogy of Halychyna/Eastern Galicia” website:

This massive collection took over 20 years to publish all 15 volumes. [15 volumes. 1880-1902.]  The gazetteer was published when officially there was no Poland in existence. From 1772 to 1918, Poland was dominated by three empires: Austria (later known as Austria-Hungary), Russia and Prussia. The gazetteer contains a great wealth of information on cities, towns, and villages, as well as mountains, rivers, and other geographic points of interest in the lands that were once a part of the old Kingdom of Poland.

When I searched for the location that I was pretty positive was the origin location of my ZALEWSKI and LINDNER ancestors, Gottschalk or Goczałki, there were a few entries. But, after some searching I think I narrowed it down to one entry. The entry is located in Volume 2, Page 755 under Goczałkowo. You can use the online search engine to find an entry, though you do need to install a document viewer plugin, but it works nicely.

The book gives amazingly detailed descriptions of even the smallest towns.