Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Dame and the School Marm - 28 Sep 1900

Charles Logie wrote to his daughter Beatrice about the use of a telephone and travel aboard the Utah Inter-Urban Railroad.

Beatrice was still looking for a good teaching position and Charles confirmed that she could use the teaching certificate issued by the Alpine District elsewhere in teaching positions in Utah.

Charles frequently referrers to “The School Marm” in his letters. He is usually talking about their boarder, Miss Frances Gailbraith, who was a school teacher in American Fork. Frances was born and raised in Connoquenessing, Pennsylvania. Her exploits with trouble making students and hopeful encounters with suitors never ceased to amuse Charles as will be witnessed in future letters.

interburbancar Telephones were new to the area when this letter was written and they undoubtedly had to go to the Cooperative Store in downtown American Fork to talk to Beatrice who was in Salt Lake City.

Transportation in that day was via the old Utah Inter-Urban Railroad, an electric powered train system that was replaced by highways and automobiles in later years. Now, everyone wishes the system was back in place and in service. It is being replaced by the very expensive FrontRunner system from Salt Lake City to Provo.

Charles and Rosa Logie had a new grandson, Walter, according to this letter. He was the son of their daughter, Elenor Logie Gaisford.

Charles Letter:

American Fork Sept 28/00 (1900)

Dear Lady Beatrice,

teaching_certificate_smWe received your letter this morning & was pleased to hear that you were well in regard to the Telefone. We think you did right in waiting to see if you can get that school. Miss Boley expects to arrive in the city on Sunday evening by the D & R. G. & wished you to be at the depot to receive her. Bro. Forbes saw those certificates that you have & he thinks there is no nead to apply to Brown as you already have his certificate that he gave you at Alpine. Bro Forbes says he will send you a recommend. Don’t know of any thing special. I am working every day & I have a hard time of it nights. The Dame & the School Marm are always lawing me. Well that’s all. We are well & hope you are about likewise with.

With Kind regards. To the City Bugs we say adieu & remain Chas J. G. Logie Esqr

Got a letter from Nellie yesterday. They are all well. Got the baby blessed last fast day & they call him Walter Logie Gaisford

The Kirke’s (Churches) of Bornholm Island - Denmark

One branch of my ancestry lived on Bornholm Island in the Baltic Sea for hundreds of years. The island is located east of Denmark, north of Poland and South of Sweden, covers 227 square miles and the language is a dialect of Danish called “bornhlmsk”.

Because of the small land size and remote location, residents tended to live there for many generations. Churches are called Kirke’s and on Bornholm, the design and styles are truly unique. They are well kept and I’m lucky because there are so many great Danish census and church records documenting the residents there over the past 400 years.

Of course those of us not living where patronymics were used in naming convention may struggle a little in tracing lineages.

It isn’t too difficult understanding the principle when Lars Jensen is the son of Jens Andersen who was the son of Anders Hansen. The first name of the father becomes the surname of the child. Just add ‘sen’ for the men and ‘datter’ for the ladies. It’s simple right?

Well, not always. Sometimes a location was tacked on to the name as well. An example is Hans Hansen Riis. Of course, there are many other variations in naming that existed there too, but after a few days of research, you’ll generally get the ‘drift’ of how it all worked.

Unfortunately, there weren’t too many unique first names used on the island … Hans, Jorgen, Jens, Anders, Peder, Bendt, Lars, Esper, etc. So how do you track your family when there are a ton of men with common names and you aren’t sure which one is yours?

Research takes some thoughtful reasoning. Surnames are only a clue to the father’s name. They don’t continue down through the family unless you are lucky and descend through Hans the son of Hans who was also the son of Hans and hence end up with three Hansen’s in a row. Of course that really isn’t that much help since there are a lot of unrelated Hansen’s in the area. Remember how common the first name ‘Hans’ is….. Hopefully, your ancestor had a middle name too, which narrows down the number of possibilities.

I’m sure that there is a very good method to trace patronymic lineages. I’ve read a lot of instruction books on the subject but have found that for me personally, the best way to find my ancestors is to inventory all the church and census records in the area, compare birth years and locations and then narrow down the probable candidates to a list of names, places and dates. By adding the known birth date of a child and you now have two points of reference in addition to the birth location of the child.

To the readers, if you have great hints, tips and instructions about researching ancestors who used patronymics as a naming convention, leave a note and links on this post so we can all benefit from your knowledge.

I rely on touring the ancestral locations and look for probable migratory patterns. I’ve described using Google Earth as a research tool in other postings. It is my constant companion when I’m doing research farther back in time. I plot the results of ‘probable’ or ‘possibles’ individuals and locations, save the file and add the known locations.

The visual representation helps in the quest. Granted, folks may have moved long distances back then, but usually the ‘distance movers’ are few in numbers. Most folks stayed in a fairly small radius on a map. You just need the town and parish names so you can start your search.

During the evenings this week, I’ve toured all the churches, graveyards and farmlands where my ancestors lived on Bornholm using Google Earth. Thanks to other users who have posted photos of the locations and have attached them to the database, I’ve had a grand time. Although the smells and ambiance were missing, my imagination filled in a lot of the blanks. I can still smell the fish smoke houses when I think about them.

If you’d like to take a quick tour of the churches that served my ancestors using Google Earth, click here. Once the program launches, just click on Tools > Play Tour. (Yes, I’m assuming you already have the free Google Earth program installed on your computer).

Have you created files of the birth, marriage, death and burial locations of your family yet? If not, go for it. It is easy and you’ll quickly find out how useful this tool is in your research and ancestral remembrance.

If you’d like a quick photo tour of the beautiful and unique Bornholm island and its buildings, play the video below.