Sunday, August 2, 2015

Proud..What else can I say?

My Uncle Leo

The inscription says "to Aunt and Uncle from Sgt. Leo B. Prihoda." 
He addressed this photo to my mother and father.

I called my cousin Leo Bela Prihoda "Uncle Leo" because he was more the age of an uncle than a cousin. I remember him fondly.

He was born in August 3, 1922 in Kispest, Budapest, Hungary.  He came to America with is family and became citizens. Leo Bela with his parents Anna Etelka and Joseph Matyas Prihoda entered the United States Port of Entry New York on the ship Manchuria of the White Star Line. Their date of entry was October 3, 1923. Leo Bela's date of citizenship was June 20, 1930 obtained in San Diego. The Naturalization  Number was 3324991.

His grandfather was named Leo. His uncle (my father) was named Leo. His cousin (my brother) was named Leo.

I know naming like this goes on in many families. It causes major confusions when following a family history. 
Recently found this article on Facebook. 
More on this later as our family has a Johanns and Maria. 

His daughter my second cousin tells me that he won a Purple Heart having been injured twice in battle. We were all proud of him.

As a civilian employee working on airplanes as a machinist for the government he invented a tool that saved the government a great deal of money. We were all proud of him.

As a civilian working for the government as a machinist, he invented a tool that saved the government a great deal of money

Having been diagnosed later in life with diabetes,  he lost his leg due to complications with the disease. He regained consciousness after the surgery to remove his leg but died several hours. His attitude was heroic. We were all proud of him.

Leo Bela Prihoda was buried at Fort Rosecrans San Diego, California.

Of whom you are proud?

See ya down the road,

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

A Dollop of Sour Cream

Chicken paprikash with additional sour cream when plated
Cooking Hungarian

Like many cultures, food can be a central theme. But for Hungarians food is an expression of love, camaraderie, and celebration. It is quite unexplainable.

My favorite Hungarian recipes can be found on any internet if you Google them... but there are nuances and differences of ingredients, measurement, or cooking styles. But the one thing that is common in most Hungarian dishes is sour cream either mixed into the sauce while cooking or topping the dish when plated and served.

The following are few of our family's Hungarian dishes with their nuances.

Chicken Paprikash
 All Hungarian dishes start by cooking several chopped onions until soft.  Take the pot with the onion off the fire and add the paprika (paprika will burn and taste bitter).
Add chicken, chicken broth or water and heat
Stir in 1 cup of good sour cream.

Chicken Paprikash sour cream added to sauce
Additional sour cream can top the paprikash if desired when plated (see at top of post).

Cabbage Rolls
Sour cream is added to the cabbage rolls when they are served.

Stuffed cabbage before cooking
The rolls filled with an onion, beef, pork, rice mixture and wrapped in blanched cabbage leaves are then covered 1/2 way up the pan with water. I top with sauerkraut. Top the entire dish with tomatoes or tomato juice and then a few peppercorns.  Stuff a few pepperoni into the crevices of the cabbages. Cook 1-2 hours until rice is cooked.

 Cabbage rolls plated with sour cream. Many Hungarians do not top this dish with sour cream.

Hungarian Beef Goulash

Goulash while from Paprika
Goulash is usually cooked with beef. Use a top sirloin rather than stew beef so that the beef is very tender. The sour cream is added to the plated goulash.
There are two kinds of goulash. One is served over a homemade noodle or "nokedli" (spaetzel) and the other is like a soup made with potatoes and more liquid.

Other Hungarian Food served with sour cream

Langos is a fried puffed bread that should be sprinkled with cheese and a dollop of sour cream. Picked up and eaten by hand.

Uborka Salat is a cucumber salad. The cucumbers are sliced thin, salted and left to drain of their natural liquid.
They are to be cured in the refrigerator with a vinegar, garlic, salt, sugar dressing overnight. Before serving, sour cream is mixed into the salad. Add a dash of paprika just before serving. If you leave the cucumbers unpeeled the dish with the paprika on top reflects the colors of the Hungarian (paprika) and green (cucumbers).

Rakott Krumpli  is cooked sliced potato, cooked sliced eggs, layered with sour cream. Stuff kolbas, sausage, pieces of thick bacon, or other spiced Hungarian meats in between the layers. Top with a sour cream mixture. This dish resembles scalloped potatoes. 

Hungarian Summer Squash is grated summer squash (or zuchinni or spaghetti squash) sauted with a bit of flour and cream added and then sour cream. Top with lots of fresh dill!

Cheese Dip Farmer's cheese or an America unsalted feta cheese with sour cream, paprika, caraway seeds.

The following are Hungarian Dishes Made Without Sour Cream
There are many dishes served without sour cream. Desserts like Dobors torte, walnut cake, poppy seed strudel, and palachinka are just a few.

Palachinka is like a crepe and can be prepared sweet or savory.

For a sweet palachinka:
A ladle of mixture into a frying pan. Tip the pan to spread the mixture all around the pan and then flip to the other side.
It can be served rolled up with apricot jam inside. 

For a savory palachinka:
You can use the crepe for savory dishes also. Roll chicken inside and serve with a paprika cream sauce...then sour cream can top this savory dish. 

Please see one of my favorite websites for Hungarian cooking (below).

Also Facebook: Hungarian Cooking.

See online June Meyer's website.

If you enjoy Hungarian Food and wanna swap recipes,  just write me.

See ya down the road, 

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Getting Somewhere ...With Unusual Spellings of Names

Hungarian Name Spellings Can HELP

A stop at the Family Search exhibit booth in the Jamboree 2105 exhibit hall netted me some great family data.  I posted my 

gggrandfather and

gggrandmother of the


to my Family Search family tree.

 • I added the surname Balint given name Martony and his wife given name Agnes and her unusual maiden name Zsigai.
• These unusual spelling of names matched information in the Family Search database which I then attached to my tree.

• I knew when I saw Zsigai and the name Agnes with it, I had found my gggrandmother. (Other match suggestions of Zsigi and Zsiga with the name Agnes were (perhaps a translation/typing error) all matches of information for my gggrandmother.

• There were no further suggested matches and no source given. 
I was disappointed that there was no source such as an image of BMD or census record. The only thing the folks at Family Search exhibit table could tell me was that this information was in the Family Search database. 

 Note the blue icon. There are other icons of importance (See below)

In the Hungarian language and culture Martony, Balint, and Zsigai are not unusual names or spellings.  
•We are not used to working with the spellings of these names so they STOOD OUT as the only names matched and were not easily confused with other surnames. 
•If the database had other names like these, most certainly they would have been my Martony and Agnes.

• The Zs is an actual letter of the Hungarian alphabet and is used at the beginning and pronounces only similar to the English like Z in zipper.

I typed in the information of my gggrandparents and left the Family Search exhibit booth. Once back in my hotel room I tried to continue work on this tree but found the information I had entered was not to be seen.

Note: It may take several days for the find and your acceptance of the find to be added and seen on your Family Search tree.  

When working on Family Search and as other matches pop up, note the small icons at the bottom of the button: 

red exclamation point = error such as "father born before before the mother's birth date"
brown (computer with magnifying glass) = source hint such as a "leaf" in Ancestry
blue (keyboard with ?) = research suggestion= no source attached  
Note the red, blue and brown icons

Caution: Unmatching or unattaching matches that are NOT good matches are too easily attached. Then you have to go through the process of unmatching/deleting them. 
Note: Not an easy process to find and complete.

 One week later I received by email confirming the linking of these matches in LDS summary format.

This match due to an unusual spelling of a name was a good match.

Another couple of the Berger/Szabo surname wer added. The email below provided source name and microfilm numbers.

What are your experiences with Family Search? 

Please contact me and share them.

See you down the road,

Friday, July 10, 2015

My Pal....Flip Pal

Several years ago I bought a Flip Pal...

This blog post is not a "how to" of the Flip Pal but some comments and suggestions on my most recent use.

Flip Pal, memory card, USB adapter, lid needs to be removable as scanning a large document you must turn the Flip Pal OVER to scan a large item in sections for stitching together. (see below)

My cousin Leona and I have been promising to get together and share family stories, photos, and documents.  In her most recent email Leona said she had some very old death certificates and other documents. I asked her to copy them and send them to me. Unfortunately, the documents were too old and too brittle to take somewhere and make copies.

I took my Flip Pal to her house and we scanned documents for most of the morning. I used my Flip Pal to take several pictures of documents that would be "stitched together" when I got home.

Leona indeed was correct. Some of the documents were very old, delicate, and brittle.

NOTE: She and I went to the Container Store and purchased acid free document portfolios and photo containers.  I made her promise that she would go right home and put the worst of the documents into these containers today and the remainder soon after.

Scanning: (I use a MAC computer)
If you are scanning to "Stitch together a large document, you must remove the lid and flip the Flip Pal over and scan as shown below.
1. Be careful as you scan in sections.  Overlap if you are using several scans to create one document from a large document.
2. Align edges carefully. 
I wasn't so precise but I still got a good result.
scanning sections of a large item
3. After scanning, take the memory card out of the Flip Pal. 
Press in and it will pop out.
4. Read the directions for the use of the memory card and accessory like the USB adapter. 
I needed to use the USB adapter.

The Flip Pal disc in the adapter and in a USB port

5. Once the card is inserted into the computer, the Flip Pal folder or device icon will appear on your desktop.
Flop Pal folder or icon. Here an icon on my MAC

6. Click on the folder/icon.  You will see the Finder tool bar and  
the Mac folder will open on the desktop.

7. To download in preparation to stitch together...
     • click on flip pal folder/device on the desktop 
     • open the MAC file folder, click TWICE on Easy Stitch
     • you will see Easy Stitch on the toolbar line (see below)
I did not see this at first as I wasn't looking in the right place.
     • Go to file to Open.

See tool bar with Easy Stitch. See Easy Stitch highlighted, and the blue Easy Stitch window that will show stitch progress.

 • Your scanned items in a scanned number list and the actual scanned item pieces will both be displayed.
     • You will need to see and work with both of these lists.

This took me a few minutes to understand, find, and connect with. 

Both lists shown
Calculate the scanned numbers from the copy of the pieces you want stitched together and then highlight them on the scanned numbers list.  You may need to go back and forth between screens.
This also is not a easy concept to grasp at first.

The scanned items that will be stitched
     • Hit Open and then ...Wait
     • You will see the stitching progress on the blue Easy Stitch window. (see below)
This takes a couple minutes so don't try to attempt other task as it holds up the time for this process.

Blue Easy Stitch window showing stitching progress
     • Your scanned item will be shown on the screen in stitched format.  


Remember to take the disc from the computer and replace into the Flip Pal. 

Check batteries frequently.  
Carry 4 (four) AA batteries in the case. 
The Flip Pal will run haltingly if batteries are low.

Do you have a Flip Pal?
Please contact me and tell me your experiences.

See ya down the road, 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Palesnik Sure Ain't Poland

For the Longest Time
The Caronia

Even though I found my grandmother and mother on the passenger list for the ship Caronia, for the longest time I was puzzled about the Ellis Island transcription that stated Last Place of Residence as Poland... Croatia.

This is the actual entry for Anna Binder and child Kata.

This is the same information on the Ellis Island print out.
 (see below) with the entry Last place of Residence of "Poland...Croatia"."

I used the flip-pal to scan and "stitch" the document below. 
More on Flip-Pal in another post.

It was only through sidestepping to my half Great Aunt Katie Muehl (noted before in the post Serendipity) and looking at emails from her family members that information from Ellis Island transcription was corrected

I looked at the entry written as Poland...Croatia with a magnifying globe and saw the last Place of Residence was actually Palesnik, Croatia.

Below is a portion of an email from cousin Mark Muehl:

"Joseph paid their fare and had some $80 with him. Joseph had been to America before between 1903 and 1907 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I did a quick search but couldn’t find him on a ship manifest in 1903. (Looks like another funny case of him returning to Palesnik to find a wife, then coming back to America. What is it with Palesnik and wives?)

This is just one email as there were many email confirmations from Mark stating that the last place of residence was Palesnik, Croatia.

location of the city of Palesnik, Croatia
Palesnik is a small town in Croatia not far from the city of Zagreb.
It is so small that wikipedia only provides the following description:
Palešnik is a village in Croatia. It is connected by the D45 highway.šnik

• Have you had experiences with Ellis Island transcriptions such as this example?

Please contact me through this blog post as I would love to read your stories.

See ya down the road,
See posts: 
* Serendipity
* Flip Pal

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Meeting Joe or...What Nationality Am I?

Meeting Joe Esterreicher
This blog is divided into 4 parts.

I will introduce you to Joe Esterreicher later in the blog.
Joe helped me find either directly or indirectly most of what you will read here.

And First the Names

Are we the nationality of the place of our birth?
Are we the nationality of our parents?
Are we the nationality of our ancestors?
       ...and if so how far back?

The surname Berger of my paternal lineage is most likely German. Although it is traced back to the late 1700s in Temesvar (Timis), Romania.

Note: Does that make us Romanian because of a border change giving land to Romania that was Hungarian land and populated by Hungarians.

The surname Szabo also of my paternal lineage is Hungarian because the letter Sz in the surname developed within the Hungarian language.

The surname Binder of my maternal lineage is found in Somogy Harsagy, Hungary from the late 1700s.

I know this information about the Binder lineage
thanks to Joe Esterreicher
• The surname Binder is not recognizable as Hungarian.
• Information on immigration documents state race as German
• Again, probably German but not traced back to Germany.
     ...not yet

Note: Does that make us German if we trace it there? Or does it make us Hungarian as parents were born in Hungary?

The Binders migrated from Somogy Harsagy, Hungary to what is now Herzegovac, Croatia where my mother was born.

• My mother told me that she was born in Herzegovina which is now a country (Bosnia/Herzegvovina) built from the breakup of Yugoslavia. 
• The immigration record stated that Palesnik was the last place of residence.  (transcription stated Poland! That will be another post.)
• As I scanned the maps of Croatia looking for Palesnik, I saw the city of Herzegovac a few miles to the north.
See the location in reference to Hercegovac
• Her birth is registered in Palesnik, Croatia.
• Could she have meant Hersogovac?
• She did.

Note: Catherine Binder was born in Croatia. Does that make her Slavic having been born in Croatia?

Now, Some History

A study of European history, and the Danube Swabians might help in this discussion of my nationality: 

The Banat of the Danube Swabians

I learned that the Danube Swabians (Germans) populated the Banat areas and came into this area in three waves of migration. These waves of migration were due to three separate causes. (More on these three waves of migration in another blog.)

I quote from Joe Esterreicher's website here...

The people that one can find family history on this web site are primarily ethnic Germans. They came to this area of Croatia, starting about 1860. Most of these people came to Croatia from Hungary or from an area in Europe that is now in the Czech Republic. The Hungarian ethnic Germans can be traced back to the mid 1700 in various church books. No filmed church records have been found for the Czech Republic. 

Joe quotes from the book:

Die Deutshen in Syrmien, Slavonien, Kroatien und Bosnien
By Dr. Valentin Oberkersch

Translated by Henry A. Fischer with his family permission 2006
The Regulation and Decree was issued by the Emperor on December 31 1858 and was addressed to Hungary, Croatia, Slavonia, the Serbian Vojvodina, the Banat, and Transylvania with a renewed call for agricultural settlement and development. Some of the regulations included: homes for 50 families or more, all members of the community must be of one nationality regardless of origin, and of one religion.

I quote from Wikipedia:
coming from a variety of areas (majority of them boarded boats in Ulm, Swabia, Germany and traveled to their new destinations down the Danube River) the were referred to as Swabians.
Note:  Thus the name Danube Swabians

Joe Esterreicher
Meeting Joe Esterreicher

• I met Joe Esterreicher in late 2008 visiting his website looking for the surname Pinter
Note: Joe's research tells us that the letter P is sometimes substituted for B and the letter T is sometimes substituted for D and the reverse. 
Hmmm? Can Pinter be Binder? 
What can of worms would that open?

• Joe said the surname Pinter showed up on microfilms with the Somogy Harsagy information: 2065211 and 2065210 at FHL.
• The surname Binder appeared also... and frequently.
 •As Joe is an avid genealogist, he located, pulled out, and put all the Binder entries from microfilms 2065211 and 2065210 into a word document for his website and sent a copy to me.


Identifying My Nationality ??

• The Berger and Binder names appear to be German.
• The birth location of at least one of the Berger wives is Ersingen, Tübingen, Germany. 
• Families with German surnames Schlichter, Bauman, Vagner and many others lived in the areas populated by Danube Swabian migration.
• Families with Binder surnames lived in areas that were populated by Danube Swabian migration.
• Immigration documents and census records state race as German for many family members
• The years that covered the sources of my family information coincides with the date of the three waves of migration.
• So much more research to be done on this assumption.

Note the Temes (gold) and Somogy (red) areas. 
Generations of my Binder family are now found in these areas and sourced  
thanks to Joe Esterreicher!

What nationality am I?

Write  to me and share your thoughts on this topic.

See ya down the road,

Wednesday, June 24, 2015


Skip Long Passport Control Lines

Although the Westways Magazine suggested Global Entry back in October 2013, my friend Mary told me about her Global Entry just a few months ago.

(I live in San Diego, CA and therefore some of these comments and suggestions are location oriented.)
Here is my experience with Global Entry and some suggestions:

Check renewal date on your passport. Keep it current.

Just remember: GOES 

You will need to:
• Make out the application on line and print it out
Print out any receipt you get if you pay online
• Make an appointment online for the San Ysidro Office
Take your passport with you for your appointment
Take $100 cash (just in case you didn't pay on line)

Take the BLUE trolley line from a commuter parking area south to San Ysidro.
Once you arrive in San Ysidro you will be at the end of the trolley lone. You must get off the trolley
Walk approximately in the direction the trolley is pointed.

Look for a pale blue building with the name SENTI on the front of the building. (...or ask someone)

After you check in at the window:
• You will be interviewed.
• You will be fingerprinted. (even though you have been fingerprinted for any other job)
• You will have your picture taken.

The Global Entry is good for 5 years BUT...

• If you have to renew your passport within this time frame (mine needs to be renewed in 3 years) You will have to scan your new passport at the SENTI office. 

Note: The renewal dates 
of the passport and 
Global Entry are not in sync.

Inside your passport on the photo page at the bottom 
are two lines of what look like letter and number gobbledygook. 

When you renew, 
although your personal information and photo have not changed, the gobbledygook will change and it needs to be scanned at the SENTI (Global Entry office.

You Global Entry will come in the mail about 4-6 weeks later. 
(mine came in about 2-3 weeks.)

Then when you arrive from outside the country just:
• scan you passport and 
•scan your fingerprints 
at special kiosks and you are on your way.

P.S. If you are a member of Global Entry, you automatically qualify for what is called TSA Precheck. 

The TSA Precheck allows you to go through an expedited screening at many airports:

• your will walk through a metal detector walk through
• carry-on bags are sent through x-ray machine 
  (I didn't have to take out my computer)
• you don't have to take off shoes or remove liquids

Do you have a Global Entry?
Have you used your Global Entry?
Have you been screened by TSA Precheck?

How did it work?

Please contact me with your comments. Would love to hear from you.

See ya down the road,


Tuesday, June 16, 2015


Mind Maps Can Be Used in Genealogy Research and Writing...Alzo

  While going though a file called Articles I found one from Internet Genealogy magazine October/November 2012 called "Mind Maps: Free Your Mind" by Lisa Alzo.

For Lisa a spark for an idea may come from  a dream, a TV show, a newspaper, or online. Any of these (or others) can trigger topics to write about. From there a series of points develop but most of the time what she calls a "mish-mash" gets dumped into something called a MIND MAP.

Lisa refers to a free—flowing process invented by the British psychologist, Tony Buzan in the 1970s. Buzan says:
 "constructive thinking is a free flowing process on that branches in unpredictable directions around a single key word."

(Teaching techniques for years have used Venn, Cluster and other "thinking" Diagrams.)

In Lisa's article she lists 5 ways a mind map can be used in genealogy research and writing projects.

The following are just a few ways I used mind maps in research and writing.

1. Creating a Research Plan
After attending many FGS, NGS, Jamboree and society events and listening to sessions on organizing your genealogy, I have taken many notes on their many suggestions for research plans.

          But do we ever use them?

! My research became much more focused when I started using a written plan or mind map.
     * I was able to focus and leave out extraneous information that kept popping back into my head.
• A plan or mind map can also be composed on computer or with the use of other technology.
     *But I used pencil and paper in an old fashioned cluster map drawing.

• Even a timeline is a mind map. Time consuming yet quite useful.
     * This was most useful with my brick wall.

          Comment: Or drawn in the sand? 
The article includes a sidebar with tools for creating Mind Maps. 

2. Tracing an Ancestor's Footsteps

When trying to put some organization into the wanderings of the Szabo family during the late 1800s in Hungary and Romania, I just got a map and pinpointed the cities of the births of the Szabo children and connected the dots.
Talk about "Mapping." This is Central Europe 1789

I noted railways, rivers, roads. I searched Google or Wikis for towns of births and/or large towns nearby to see what may have been an economic attraction.

     Comment: I was thinking that an economic attraction might net a family a job for income...but this may not have been the reason for migration. 

Little did I know it was NOT an economic reason.  
More on this in a subsequent blog.

3. Connecting Family Lines/Cluster research (see solving Brick Walls below)

4. Family History Projects
With the inspiration of Dawn Parrott Thurston, I got the impetus  to work on writing vignettes of my family history.  Mapping helped me get thoughts down on paper but certainly not in a finalized product. The mind map of my family history has begun.

      Comment: Don't start your writing with normal genealogical BMD facts. Picture in your mind a setting, a family remembrance, and start there. Describe the rememberance and the rest will come. 

" My father sat in the big overstuffed chair hidden behind his evening newspaper. "

5. Solving Brick Walls and Connecting Family Lines
In tracing the Binder surname, Binder genealogy was a conundrum.
(see blog "Serendipity"
I sidestepped to the surname Muehl, the half sister of Binder. I was using a mind map.

• Branch after branch of my mind map developed 
• I sidestepped my direct line to connect with my half great aunt Katie.

     Query: Is there such a thing as a half great aunt?

Katie was easier to map. Lots of newspaper articles, photos, and letters. 

     Comment: Hindsight!

So I had been using mind maps but didn't name them.

Have you used Mind Maps?
How do you get organized?

Please contact me with any comments on my blog and blog topics.

See ya down the road,