ZINIO logo
Family Tree

Family Tree October - November 2018

Add to favorites

Family Tree Magazine will help point the way toward the best research tools and practices to trace your family's history. Each issue includes tips on locating, collecting, and preserving photos, letters, diaries, church and government records, and other documentation, plus fun articles about creating scrapbooks, organizing family reunions, and vacation ideas that combine history with leisure!

Read More
United States
Yankee Publishing Inc.
7 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
out on a limb

Americans with German ancestry make up the largest heritage group reported in the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. In 2010, the survey says, an estimated 47.9 million Americans claimed German roots. I’m one of them, and another is on the cover of this Family Tree Magazine issue. My fellow Cincinnati resident Ramona Mellin has been discovering ancestors and treasuring old photos for a decade now. The picture she’s sharing on our cover commemorates an important event in her family history: the double wedding ceremony of her aunts Mariele Niggemann and Elfriede Meyer, shown with their siblings, Gertrud Neuhaus and Ferdinand Dreier (Mellin’s father). This issue’s “Local Experts” article (page 20) is all about researching your German family tree using a website that’s probably new to you, created from German sources by German…

1 min.
tree talk

MY WIFE’S GREAT-GREAT-GREAT-GRANDFATHER David Cogswell, of Syracuse, NY, married Mary Barnes of Kent, England. But the dates of her life events made no sense; she was either too young or too old to fit them. It took us a while, but with further research we finally figured it out: David had married two women of the same name. Three years after his first wife died, he married her niece. A puzzle solved at last. Harold Lieberman, St. Cloud, Minn. I spent lots of time at the DAR library and the Library of Congress. Happily, my job had me traveling to the DC area at least once a year, so I could stay extra days. Warren Pearce, via Facebook I started [researching my genealogy] in 1978 .... I spent probably thousands of hours going through…

1 min.
everything’s relative

HUMANS HAVE EATEN APPLES for centuries, but your ancestors might not recognize the ones you know. Modern farming and food distribution practices favor produce bred for volume, appearance and durability, not necessarily flavor. Those old apple varieties—with names like Ashmead’s Kernel, Chenango Strawberry and Polly Sweet—have become food antiques. Learn the stories of these living heirlooms in books such as Apples of Uncommon Character by Rowan Jacobsen (Bloomsbury) and Edible Memory by Jennifer A. Jordan (Chicago University Press). Who knew an apple could give you a literal taste of your ancestors’ lives?…

2 min.
falling for family history

On the Road One of the most unusual locations I’ve ever spoken to a genealogy group was right here in my home state of Texas. Houston’s National Museum of Funeral History <nmfh.org> has 30,000 square feet of funeral service artifacts—the country’s largest collection. Between genealogy classes, I studied the coffins and caskets, hearses from throughout history (the 1921 Rock Falls hearse above has hand-carved wood panels), and items from the funerals of presidents, popes and celebrities like Roy Rogers. Podcast Hear how Lisa and expert guests deal with brick walls, confusing DNA results and other genealogy problems in our October podcast. Use your favorite podcast app or listen at <familytreemagazine.com/podcasts>. Heirloom DIY This timeless DIY heirloom is a meaningful gift that wraps your relative’s wrist in family history. Dig through your jewelry box for old,…

4 min.
six feet under

The best gravesite in a churchyard was close to the church and to the east, for the best view of the sunrise on Judgment Day. Like in real estate, location, location, location mattered here, too. GENEALOGISTS POSSESS WHAT SOME MIGHT CONSIDER A MORBID INTEREST in death, burial and cemeteries. But in fact, people have always grappled with how best to bury the departed. A 50,000-year-old Neanderthal skeleton found in a French cave bore evidence that his companions carefully dug a grave and protected the body from scavengers. A site in Iraq suggests Neanderthals laid their dead to rest in beds of flowers. Either approach might be preferable to the practices of early Zoroastrians, who set bodies on hilltop “towers of silence” for birds to strip clean. Once the de-fleshed bones were…

2 min.
leave no trace

After nearly 50 years, multiple DNA tests and a winding paper trail, Romeoville, Ill., genealogist Joseph Martin has finally found his paternal grandfather. Why was he so hard to find? The grandfather changed his name and abandoned his family—twice. “Francis W. Adams married Josephine Martin in Detroit in 1921,” Martin explains. Their first and only child, Martin’s father, was born in 1922. Josephine died three weeks after giving birth, then Francis disappeared. Josephine’s father adopted Martin’s father and gave him his surname. “It’s speculation on my part, but I think her family sent him away,” Martin says. For 48 years, Martin searched records for Francis. He wondered about a name change. So a few months ago, Martin took a DNA test with 23and Me <www.23andme.com>. One match, an estimated second cousin, was…