Thursday, February 9, 2012

Military Records

Military records are wonderful sources that provide unique facts and insights into the lives of men and women who have served in the armed forces. They may include dates of birth and death, residence, names and addresses of family members, military rank and affiliation, among other details. The types of records you’ll find in this category include draft records, service records, pension records, bounty land records, claim records, and military histories.( While most of us are researching immigrant ancestors, there is much more to the story than many of us know. I was able to find one of my uncles who had immigrated to the U.S. from Russia in time to serve in WWI. It was such a delightful discovery. While his description on the records was rather sketchy, it was still fun to read that he had blue eyes and was tall. Anything that helps them come alive is well worth the search.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Searching the Census

Once you get your family line into America there is so much information available. Remember that there is much more to the story than just names and dates. The following blurb from is a great reminder of that. "Historical records contain a wealth of fascinating information and clues that can lead you to many more discoveries. Census records are incredibly helpful because they can provide a snapshot of your family at a moment in history when the census taker came to the door. These records list names, birth dates and places, occupations and more. Some census records even tell you if the family owned a radio."

Friday, February 3, 2012

Lutheran Pietist Document Found

I recently located the following article, posted by the Mennonite Historian, Volume XIII, Number 1, March 1987. My primary focus for Alexanderdorf is the families of Hert/Hert and Stark/Stark; I will attempt to locate this document and report any interesting findings. Recently the Centre for MB Studies was given a document of unusual historical interest. Not a Mennonite document as such, it is a report, written in 1827, by a Lutheran Minister by the name of Saltet, to his home congregation in Wuerttemburg, Germany. This 33-page document describes one of the events of the Russo-Persian War, which this Lutheran Pietist community, in the area of Tiflis, Georgia, South Caucasus endured. Villages in this community were Alexanderdorf, Langenfeld, Elisabehtal, Helenendorf, Katharienfeld, Marienfeld, Petersdorf, and (Neu)-Tiflis. They were founded in 1818. In 1827 some 1,000 Kurds and Tartars attacked the village of Katharienfeld. During the raid some 35 villagers were killed and women and children were taken captive. The captives were either sold into slavery or harems. Written in gothic script this unique document is available to researchers interested in this period and in Lutheran Pietists. The document was donated to the center by Mrs. Anna D. H. Unrau of Birds Hill, Manitoba.

 Dee Hert, VC Alexanderdorf

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Gen Fair

March 3, 2012, the annual Gen Fair is being held in Bountiful, UT. Numerous classes are being offered, with several German sessions by Baerbel Johnson. Access and registration information at A syllabus is provided and contains information on all classes which is very informative. Remember to wear your Germans from Russia shirt.

What’s Next on Who Do You Think You Are?

Award-winning actor and activist Martin Sheen embarks on an epic journey into both sides of his family history. It takes him to Dublin, Ireland and Madrid, Spain where he discovers that a commitment to social justice runs deep in his roots. On February 10, Marisa Tomei travels to Italy to reveal the truth about her great-grandfather’s murder. Tune in throughout the rest of the season to watch Blair Underwood, Reba McEntire, Rob Lowe, Helen Hunt, Rita Wilson, Edie Falco, Rashida Jones, Jerome Bettis, Jason Sudeikis, and Paula Deen.