Sunday, August 30, 2009

Free Forms and More

I just read an article in the Family Tree Magazine about heirlooms, which for me help tell the story of our families. If you are like me, you don't have many from your German-Russian line. My goal is to leave a little more of that personal story from my generation so that the next one doesn't have to work quite as hard at is as I have. If that is something you are interested in, here is a very condensed version of some of the ideas in the article:

1. Make a list of the heirlooms in your possession. Tell the story that goes along with them, and write it down as well. Categorize them into groups, such as photos, documents, objects, etc.

2. Share any photos you have by making duplicates. Send labeled prints to other family members, then there are other pictures if something happens to the originals.

3. Organize the documents in an archival container. Dig into your memory and write down as many stories and anecdotes as you can.

4. Organize your research so that is easy to find what you need when you need it.

There are free forms availble at that will help you with this project.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Newspaper Archives

As you already know, many German-Russian immigrants settled in Colorado. If you are one of the many who have ancestors who settled there, this site is the one for you. It covers 147 Colorado newspapers from 1859- 1923. I can't tell you how surprized I was once I did some searching. I found one article about my uncles that made me cry, one that made me proud, and one that made me laugh. It is amazing what reporters got away with in the early 1900's. Check out this site:

Friday, August 28, 2009

Try This Site

I promised at the last meeting that I'd try out some new sites and let you know what I thought about them. Here is one that I liked and had some success on:

I actually found my grandfather's grave on this site. If you are lucky like I was, it will even have a picture of the headstone. If it doesn't have a headstone picture, you can make a request for it and a photographer will be sent out to take one and add to the page. The section and plot number is also given. I have never visited my grandfather's grave, but now I will. It is awesome!

September Meeting

This is just a reminder about the next Intermountain Chapter AHSGR meeting:

September 12, 2009
Retirement Community Clubhouse
3040 Homecrest Street
West Valley City, Utah

The board will meet at noon, with the general meeting at 1:00 P.M. Bring an idea for the 2011 Convention theme. We are looking for new members, so if you haven't joined our chapter, please come and join us!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

August Meeting

The most recent meeting of the Intermountain Chapter of AHSGR was held Saturday, August 15, 2009. During the meeting members reviewed the by-laws for the chapter and shared publications and other resources which have been useful in their research. Much discussion was held concerning the opportunity to host the 2011 National AHSGR Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah. Many volunteers will be needed, and it is hoped that membership will grow in the coming months.
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Friday, August 14, 2009

Holy Cross Church, Pfeifer, Kansas

Just to give you some background on the last posting, I wanted to share this picture. It doesn't show the church in great detail, but you can certainly gain a feel for its beauty. The story behind it is really quite amazing. I loved it because it showed the faith of the Germans from Russia. In 1875 the first group of Germans left their home in Pfeifer, Russia, and eventually arrived in Kansas the following year. Before a church was built, the people erected a huge cross where they gathered on Sunday to worship. In 1879 their first church was built and was simpler in architecture than this one. The current church was completed in 1891. The people had contibuted to its construction with donations of wheat that was sold as well as labor by parishoners who were stone-masons and carpenters.

Just a note- the Holy Cross Church was was named one of the "8 Wonders of Kansas Architecture" by the Kansas Sampler Foundation in 2008. Donations for the restoration of the church are appreciated:
Holy Cross Charities
1606 Sarratov
Pfeifer, KS 67660
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Letters from Russia

In the recently published newsletter of AHSGR a letter found in the Ellis County News, Hays, Kansas, was printed. The letter from Pfeifer, Russia, to Joe Stramel in Pfeifer, Kansas, described the conditions in Russia in 1921. On a visit to Pfeifer, Kansas, I picked up a small publication on the history of their beautiful Holy Cross Church. I found the bottom picture in that publication. I'm not sure if it is the same Joe Stramel, but found the picture interesting. I took the top picture of the small post office which gives you a more complete idea of the setting. The post office was closed at the end of 2008.
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Thursday, August 13, 2009

More Great Websites

It is just amazing what the online resources are for us. In April, I made a list of links for some generic sites that might be helpful in your search. Be sure and refer back to them. I'm adding some more resources from Suzanne, some are more specific to the German-Russian search. Try them out!

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Just google family history expo to get all of the details, but here are the basics:
Family History Expo
Sandy, Utah
August 28- 29, 2009
It looks to me like there are several sessions on German research. Registration is $68 and is non-refundable. Check it out!