Sunday, March 25, 2012

On This Date...

On March 25, 1913, my great grandfather Ludwik (Lewis) Bieda arrived in America with his parents and two brothers. I find it amazing that it was 99 years ago. Not even a year after the sinking of the Titanic. How scary would that be?

Left to Right: Ludwik, Jakob, and Anna Bieda

They sailed from Bremen Germany on the Kronprinzessin Cecilie. I found a few pictures of it online through Google.


 another view of the smoking room.

I doubt my Polish peeps would've been up in first class. I mean photos of Jakob make him look rather snazzy with a pocket watch and everything but the surname "Bieda" translates to "Poverty" in Polish. Lovely

File:Photo of the SS Kronprinzessin Cecilie in New Yorlk.jpg 

Ever since the movie came out and we learned about it in 3rd grade, I've had a thing for the Titanic. When I found out they came to America not even a year later... I see the movie different now. Maybe all of you genealogist types see it too. When I watch the first half (pre iceberg) I feel... It helps me imagine what my ancestors might have been feeling when they boarded the Kronprinzessin Cecilie. Then when everyone is scurrying for the lifeboats... it just makes it more real knowing that it could've happened to my ancestors too. 

In other news... did you all hear Titanic is coming out in 3D? Excited! Just made plans to see it with some coworkers. I'm sure I'll post about that, as well as a whole Titanic themed post including distant cousins I'm apparently related to that were on the ship. I found some sad stories (surprise right?) about some of the families. I'll share those too (if I can remember where I stashed them).

Thats all for now folks!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Other Half

This is called the Persing & Bieda family history for a reason. Up until about a week ago, I had no idea about the other half of my tree. My dad's side. Never met the guy. It awkwardly came up in conversation last week (how would that conversation not be awkward?) but I'm glad I know now. Besides. Every tree has some interesting tidbits in it. Some good some bad. But it is what it is.

I usually don't include names of living people in my blog, but I think I'll make an exception. Maybe I want him to randomly google something and find out that I exist, or to remind him that I exist. Maybe because they'res a teeny part of me that's angry and hurt and wants other people to know he's a jerk (maybe not 100% jerk. perhaps coward is a better word?)

So who is this man and his family and how much do I know? And how did I get past the little info I was given initially? Sit back and I'll tell you.

His name is Darrin Kay Snyder. He has a sister named Donna. His parents are Donald and Elaine K Snyder. The names of his parents I actually found on You know, that creepy website where you can find terrifying amounts of information. Hah. I have a free account but it didn't really help. I found more by not signing in. Anyway the names were confirmed by my mom so I know I have the right people. Another good tip for finding living relatives? Check the white pages online. If I wanted to I could call Darrin or send him a letter. Doesn't mean I'm going to.

Based on the birth dates of my grandparents, couldn't help me with what I had. Well, not until the 1940 census comes out anyway. But I was googling here and there. And I found a Gedcom file online. I've never seen one or used one or anything before so the code took some getting used to. I think I could be a pro now.  Here is the link that I found:

It shows all of them. I learned that Donald passed away in 1999 and he was a Korean War vet. It even said an occupation for prison guard. The file shows that Elaine's maiden name was Turner. Her mother's maiden name was Melick. The file has the Melick/Moelich family going back to the 1500s in Germany. So last week I had no idea.... and now I'm in the 1500s? In WDYTYA drinking game talk... thats like 10 shots right there.

Does it end there? Of course not! I plug everything into all generations from that page. No hints for Donald, except a ss. death record and military record. I was able to find my great grandparents, Minnie Melick and Ellis Turner. And guess what? THERE WERE PICTURES! You all know how I am with pictures. Heck how all of us are with pictures. There was even a picture for Elaine's sister. Apparently they were twins! I found more twins further back. Anyway long story short I found a crap ton of people back there. Mostly German ancestry. But all of them were in America since the 16-1700s. Another branch I found, now this is exciting, goes to England. I love the UK and Ireland. You have no idea. When I saw England on the ancestry tree I was about as excited as Amy Farrah Fowler on Big Bang Theory when Sheldon gave her a tiara. At this point I'm in the 12-1300s in England. And there's a castle.

I think I'm starting to ramble a little bit so this is where I'll end it. As always leave me comments. Please? Or if you are related to me don't hesitate to let me know :)

Friday, March 2, 2012

WDYTYA Workout

Right now I'm watching Reba on Who do You Think You Are. Apparently she's my 19th cousin. In the drinking game that means I should take a drink. But if I was going to follow that I would be completely smashed right now. (Actually I'm cheating on the exercise version only b/c i have a headache and jumping jacks don't help with that).

Like I said last post, I'm modeling this after the drinking game (link in last post too) so if some of the things are similar well, you know why.

So here we go. The WDYTYA Workout:

5 crunches if...
-we go back 3+ generations in several seconds
-celeb travels to another state in the U.S
-they look at an old document
-the celeb compares their life with their ancestor's life

10 crunches if...
-there are no gloves used on an old document and it bothers you
-celebs travel overseas
-name change
-impossibly quick "finding" of documents in the library. 

5 push ups if... mentioned in the show
-photograph found in a library
-emotional moment

10 jumping jacks if...
-they are shown a nice family tree
-wow!/ gasp/ shock/ surprise
-they go to a census

20 jumping jacks if...
-you are related to the celeb
-you've been to the city/town that they travel to
-they go to the 1600s or earlier

This is just a rough draft of course. I'm making it up as I go. 

Suggestions are welcome!

(Also, I'm not proofreading any of this. Long day at work plus distracted by the show. So if something doesn't make sense... just go with it. LOL)