Thursday, May 30, 2013

Burgenland Austria DNA Study

Looking over the Burgenland, Austria DNA study is fascinating. This study began with the Burgenland Bunch Genealogy group which has a great website, and contains many articles about the area.. A wide variety of Haplo groups are found here. Burgenland is located in a crossroads area between Western and Eastern, Southern and Northern Europe. The area saw many invaders cross through, which led to the genetic diversity. 
The Kapple/Kappel/Koppel family is about to join this study. My cousin Darryl Kapple has agreed to testing. It will be exciting to see where we fit in this study. My prediction is either J or R1a? We'll see!
Here is my understanding of the Haplo groups which have surfaced so far in the Burgenland.

Found in Hungary likely Semitic (Jewish)
Semitic (Jewish) Haplo type

Found in Hungary originated in the Balkans? 
Semitic (Jewish) Haplo type

Semitic (Jewish) Haplo type

Arrived in Europe during Neolithic age


Eastern European Croatian?

Semitic (Jewish) Haplo type

Middle Eastern 
Greek Eastern Eur
Baltic or Northern Eurasian

Semitic (Jewish)
Eastern European Slavic

Common European Haplo

Common in Europe


Sunday, May 26, 2013

Farming Reality Series and the Reality of Farming

I've been house bound for the past two weeks caring for my bedridden mother. It's been a very hectic two weeks! When I've had a chance to sit down and relax I've been watching a BBC historical farm life reenactment series. This series of shows at YouTube ranges from Tudor England to WWII farming life. Ruth Goodwin, Historian, and Archeologists Alex Langlands and Peter Ginn are the team of  reenactors who take us through all these periods. I was surprised by the interest of young females in these programs. As one of these girls put it Peter and Alex are hot looking farmers!
After watching all of this farm life unfold, and learning about all the intricacies of bygone farming I got out all of my farming related material about my ancestors. One of the first wills mentioned that my ancestor John Thurmon had a horse by the name of Scrug. I was thrilled to find such a personal piece of information in his will. It really inspired me to find more wills and inventories. 
James D. Owens inventory was one of my more extensive inventories; he died in the 1820's at a fairly young age, with a young family. Looking at his farm related articles and livestock it looks like he had a very thriving midsized farm. He owned a Bayshear plow ; I have found a picture of one like it. As I've gleaned from the series plowing in a straight line is an art. I always thought ploughing would be simple, but nothing is as easy as it looks.  

James' inventory of livestock included 6 cows, 2 steers, 3 hogs. 1 sow. and 18 baby pigs. His also owned one bay horse and had a stand of bees. Bee keeping was covered in one of the Farm Series episodes, which I thought was very interesting.
My great-great grandfather Richard Browning left an interesting inventory in 1901 Jackson County, Indiana. His reflected the new farming inventions of the industrial revolution. He had two mowing machines, and a wheat fan. He also had 1 horse  9 years old, and 1 mare 14 years old. He had 2 cows and 2 calves. One sow and 9 pigs, 4 shoats and 1 fat hog. He had 3 heating stoves and 1 cooking stove. As Ruth Goodwin said the worst part of life in early farming days was the cold. It seems like the Browning family was well fortified against the cold.
My ancestor Pierre Mason in Quebec shows up in the Farm Schedule for the 1861 Census for Canada.  I had forgotten it's in French lol. I have managed to translate most of it. Pierre Masson owned 1 horse, 4 steers, 5 sheep, and 2 pigs. He grew oats,peas and potatoes. I have been wanting schedules like this for my American families.
Every time I read through my genealogy material using a different perspective I glean even more about the life of my ancestors. I now have a greater appreciation for my many farming ancestors. I learned a great deal about early farming from these reenactments. Animal care seemed to be the most time consuming chore on the farm. The participants in these reenactments felt like caring for the animals was the most rewarding part of the project. Our farming ancestors had acquired so much knowledge through generations of farming, much of which is now lost. I had dismissed farming as something that anyone could easily learn. As the participants learned farming is an art and science which actually takes years, and generations to master.

1785 Inventory of John Owens

1861 Agricultural Census Pierre Masson

Friday, May 10, 2013

Taking on your Ancestors Lives

I just discovered the BBC show "Turn Back Time" at YouTube. British families go back in time and live like their ancestors did. They begin in the early 20th Century. Most of the participants didn't know anything about  their great-grandparents lives. The families were grouped into social classes ie, working class, middle-class, and upper-class. The participants were all surprised about where their family backgrounds landed them. This got me thinking about which group I would be a part of. Looking at my family beginning in 1900 this is where they were in society:

  1. Frank Kappel and Maria Kurta were shifting from place to place in the early twentieth century as many immigrant families did. Frank worked various general labor jobs in Pennsylvania before the family relocated to Chicago in 1909, and he got work at Pullman. He worked as a punch press operator until his death in the 1930's. Maria also worked from time to time at Pullman sweeping up. Maria had 11 children and didn't spend that much time working. She made several trips back to her home village in Hungary. So if I lived her life I would probably have spent many years taking care of infants, cooking and cleaning in small lower class multi-family housing in Chicago. 
  2. Willliam Forgey and Isis Forgey lived on their own farm in Indiana. If I lived Isis life I would also have been kept busy raising a family and doing farm wife chores like canning. William and Isis did employ a neighbor girl as a servant at one point. Isis was also an active member of the Methodist Church. Her life may have been a little better than my Kappel great-grandmother.
  3. Frank Mason and Helen Mullen. Frank Mason was a house painter in Chicago. Helen worked as a servant in the household of Courtney Kleman, a stock trader, and his wife Minnie in 1900. This was a common job for first generation Irish women. After her marriage in 1905 she settled down to raise a family. Her husband died young forcing Helen to return to work. She took in laundry and was described as a laundress in the 1920 Census. She later worked cleaning classrooms. She even continued her cleaning job after breaking her arm. So if I had lived Helen's life I would have made my way from Ireland to America alone and worked for Courtney Kleman in the early 20th Century, and continued in the same sort of work off and on through out my life.
  4. Nicasio Del Castillo and Elena Garcia. I would be living in Nicaragua if I lived Elena's life. Her husband Nicasio was a Lawyer as I have heard? I have not confirmed that yet. My grandmother said that her mother spent most of her time sewing and embroidering. The native Indian population was exploited for cheap labor. Anyone with any resources could employ Indians to cook, clean etc.. 
I don't think I would like to reenact the lives of any of my female ancestors. They did have some interesting experiences such as migrating to this country from Austro-Hungary and Ireland. Money isn't everything but it does smooth our way through life as I think Miss Marple said?

My Great-grandmother's employer was Courtney Kleman. She live in his household as a servant in 1900.
She was 19 yrs. old on the 1900 Census.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Service Records of Volunteers, 1784-1811

I am finding the Service Records of Volunteers, 1784-1811 to be a very useful group of records. They are available on the Internet at both Fold3 and . This group of records is especially useful for the Southern States where skirmishes with the Indians were common during this time period. The Chickamauga Wars were a series of skirmishes that took place between 1776 and 1794 in and around Tennessee.
The records in this record group are mainly Militia Rolls. Since all able bodied men were required to serve in the Militia it's a good census substitute for the Southern male population. The south lost many of it's early census records, especially Tennessee so any list of residents is helpful. I found Amsy Browning in these records. Apparently the only place Amsy can be found in any records anywhere is in these Militia records. We would never know Amsy existed or lived in the Sullivan County, Tennessee area if not for these records. These records have also added to our knowledge of the life of Hugh Forgey. We now know he served in the Militia under his brother-in-law Captain John Beaird in Knox County, Tennessee. I've also notice a William Forgy was killed at Fort Pitt in Pennsylvania. I don't know the circumstances of his death, but the date of his death may not be known to his descendants and they might find this bit of information helpful.
If you browse these records at Fold3 (you'll find them under Revolutionary War??) and you drill down to the unit name you will notice a record group called introduction. Often it doesn't give any additional information other than pay roll numbers (participating in the Militia did provide a pay check at least). Sometimes a little additional information is given regarding the unit. It's sometimes interesting to see the reason why the Militia was called up at a particular time. According to one of Captain Looney's  reports his unit was mustered because of an Indian Invasion. So we know that Andrew Forgey Jr. was called up to help repel this invasion in October of 1793.
I've found these records very interesting and I've learned more about the Militia units, and the Indian Wars in Tennessee.