Friday, June 25, 2010

Grandma's Trunk

I met Elyse Doerfinger  at the SCGS Jamboree this month and I’ve been thinking about her a lot since Jamboree.  I don’t really know her. I met her for a few minutes and I’ve now subscribed to her blogs.  But, I relate to her and wish I had become as involved with genealogy at her age as she is. 

I too was introduced to genealogy at a young age. Just after my freshman year in high school I went with my parents to visit my grandparents in Alabama. My grandmother had an old trunk on her back porch and I always loved looking through it.  This time I started looking at an old composition book in which my great grandmother had drawn a family tree.  There were maybe five or six pages of notes about our family.  My mother suggested that we go into Birmingham and see if we could find out anything more about the family.  What a fun day. I think it was the first time my mother did any family history research and it stuck with her.  She continued to research for the next 25 years.

I went off to college, got married and had children.  Mother would ask me to go to the LDS Family History Center in Los Angeles and we would scroll through microfilm census records.  I have letters I wrote and received from my husband’s family members in response to my questions.  You see my mother and father were researching my side of the family.  My mother belonged to the Whittier Area Genealogical Society (WAGS) and they’ve met on Saturday’s for as long as I can remember.  She’d ask me to go with her and sometimes and I would, but you see my four children were in sports and Saturday’s were pretty busy.  I attended some SCGS Jamborees, I remember one at Pasadena City College and another at a hotel that I think was in Pasadena.  My mother died unexpectedly in 1988 and I inherited her research and the trunk.  I was almost 40 years old when I really started to do genealogy.  I definitely regret the lost years. I miss the time I could have spent working with my parents learning what they knew and never wrote down.  I regret not talking to those relatives who have since passed on.  

This is for Elyse.  Becoming and being a teacher is time consuming. I know because I taught for 11 years and have been in administration for the last 12 years.  During the time my mother was researching, I got a BA, MA, CA teacher’s credential, and administrative credential. I raised four children and attended baseball games, soccer games, football games, swim meets, track meets, and band concerts. I was a Brownie leader, Girl Scout leader, and PTA mother.  I even was in a women’s club where I held a number of offices. We all prioritize our time and although all the things I did were worthwhile, I do regret not putting more priority to my family history. There will be times when you will just not have time for everything.  Be sure to set your priorities and I hope the relationships and research you are doing can remain on the top.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - The Old South

Taken in 1876, New Orleans, Louisiana. Was this a prop? It looks very staged but I love the photo. Louisa M.Ernst Hopp about 30years old.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Struggling to find a Civil War ancestor

Footnote's Civil War records are open for free this month leading me to decide to search for Civil War records for my husband's Hopp family.  There were three possibilities. Charles Hopp (1821-1877) would have been in his early 40's during the war. He had two sons, Charles Hopp (1849-1868) who would have been about 13 during the Battle of New Orleans in the spring of 1862.  The youngest son, August Ignantz Hopp (1850-1879) would have been just 12.

The Civil War records at Footnote show one record for a C Hopp. According to the record, C. Hopp, served in Company 8, Chasseurs a pied, Louisiana Militia, (Confederate) as a private. Page two shows an enrollment of February 24, 186- in New Orleans. There are a number of records for this same enrollment month and day but no year. Footnote has no other records for C Hopp, Charles Hopp or details on Company 8, Chasseurs a pied, Louisiana Militia.

I think it is most likely that this record is for the elder Charles Hopp.

Confederate pensions for Louisiana did not start until 1898.  Charles was dead by this time as was his wife Susanna. I found no record of a pension for a C Hopp or Charles Hopp or Susanna Hopp or any Hopp.

Next I decided to try to find out more about this Company 8, Chasseurs a pied, Louisiana Militia.  Charles Hopp was German not French.

In Google Books I found the following information in The Confederate Army 1861-65: Virginia and Arkansas, Volume 4, Osprey Publishing 2006 by Ron Field and Richard Hook.

Pg5 "Organized under Col Charles A. Janvier on May 8, 1861, the Bataillon des Chasseurs d'Orleans or Orleans Rifle Battalion was composed of French, Italian, and German volunteers. All eight companies of this unit adopted a service uniform described in the New Orleans Bee on May 9, 1861 as consisting of 'a blue jacket, loose brown linen pantaloons, white gaiters and blue caps.'"

A Guide to Louisiana Confederate Military Units 1861-1865, LSU Press, 1996 by Arthur W. Bergeron on page 183 lists a Chasseurs-a Pied under Colonel J. Simon Meilleur and Lieutenant Colonel C. A. Janvier.  It lists only 7 companies with their commanders.  I haven't been able to find a captain for Company 8.

More research is needed to find out anything more about Charles Hopp and his Civil War record.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Summer Through the Ages

All pictures scanned at Jamboree 2010 from a scrapbook created by Cleo Mayhew. 

About 1925



About 1945


About 1954


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

It's a start

This is the third year I've attended the Bloggers Summit at SCGS Jamboree.  I've had this blog for I don't know how long, long before the Blogger Summit. It was originally called Reflections because that was what I was supposed to do.  I was in a training on educational technology  (I'm in K-12 education) at least five years ago and we were supposed to "reflect" on our training.  I got the blog set up in the old blogger system but never wrote anything.  At this point I'm not even sure what the address of this blog is.  But, I'm getting started. 

This weekend was the SCGS Jamboree in Burbank.  We had a great time.  Bill has now learned enough that he enjoys the classes, chooses his own, and can hold an intelligent conversation about genealogy.  For the last year and a half he's been my secretary as president of the Genealogical Society of North Orange County California. I'm very lucky as there were not many couples sharing this passion.  He's pushing me to take a vacation to Scituate, Massachusetts this summer to do further research on his Mayhew line.

This Jamboree was different for me.  After all the years of on again, off again, researching, I've now gotten more into the community.  I'm almost finished with the National Institute for Genealogical Studies course through the University of Toronto.  I joined APG this year as an actual member, not publications only.  I joined the Southern California APG chapter at Jamboree. I know people.  I walk around the conference and people say hello to me. I have a nodding acquaintance with people who think they know me but aren't sure. It was definitely different.

Loved Jamboree. (Isn't it funny that the name is so ingrained that it is Jamboree rather than the jamboree.) I went to quite a few sessions on social networking, learned how to use GenealogyWise, Second Life, and Twitter. As with my blogging, these are all things I've already learned and never used.  When I took the class on Second Life and learned about the opportunities for genealogy I re-activated my avitar, although I don't think you have to reactivate, I'm already two years old.  I've had Twitterrific on my iPhone for awhile but wasn't sure how to use it. Guess, I really do like to be shown how to do things rather than fiddle around or read the directions.

Since I've been told that blog entries should be short; people don't like to read more than three paragraphs, I think I should stop reflecting.  My goal is to reflect at least once a week.  Why was I able to start now and not before?  Thanks to the California economy, I have three days of forced furlough.  It's the first time I've been able to come home from a conference and use what I've learned without waiting a week.  Momentum helps.