Sunday, May 31, 2015

Put It Where the Sun Shines

Hungarian Sun Pickles on the third day

When the sun shines in Southern California, I make Hungarian sun pickles... Vizes Ubotka.

I remember going to my grandmother Berger's  house and heading directly to the kitchen and for the cooler and her jar of pickles. She would take a large fork and dip into the jar and put one large pickle on a plate for me. I would sit at the kitchen table which was covered with oilcloth and eat my pickle and drink the juice.

There is no vinegar or brine in this recipe.
Although I have several Hungarian cookbooks, I use the oral direction my Grandmother Berger used.

The recipe is shared here.
Vizes Ubotka

A large glass jar with lid
30  five-inch pickling cucumbers
6 cloves of garlic
6 T salt
1 t Flour
1 slice of rye bread
1 large batch of dill

Cut off the end of the cucumbers and score them in an X top and bottom.
Place 1/2 of dill and several crushed garlic in the bottom of the jar.
Place in as many cucumbers as you can standing on end and pack them tightly.
Place the other half of the dill and several crushed garlic into the jar on top of the cucumbers.

Boil about 4 quarts of salted water. 
Put the jar with cucumbers in a pot of hot water to prevent the jar from cracking when you add the next step of boiling water.
Pour salted boiling water over the cucumbers and fill to the top.
Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of flour over top and cover the mouth of the jar with 1 slice of rye bread.
Use cheese cloth or the jar lid to close. (keep cheese cloth moist)
Place in sun (or a warm place) for 4-5 days (bring in at night).

After the fifth day, remove all,  strain the liquid and replace cucumbers and liquid to jar. The juice chilled is an excellent summer drink.
I regrigerate.

Food is a major part of the Hungarian culture. Several recipes will be placed on my blog. Hope you enjoy them.


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

You're a First Timer?

First time at Family History Library in 
Salt Lake City, UT

September 2009 was my  first trip to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City Utah.  I had so many questions.  I was apprehensive.  It’s like your first time jumping into a pool or first time behind the wheel of a car. It’s that FIRST time experience.

I was very lucky to meet up with San Diego Genealogical Society members, Donna and Nancy. I met them at the Salt Lake City airport and I said was, “This was my first trip and I didn’t know where to go or what to do.”

“Don’t worry, we’ll show you,” they said. And they did.  Nancy and Donna were helpful and so was the staff of the Family History Library. Really!!  Just ask.

The following are some suggestions:  
* Get a person to team up with you if you can. 
Narrow your search to something specific but bring other files/data. 
      *My husband had to FED EX some additional files. 
        It cost $$$

Allow for “weight” of files in your luggage.

Wear your society badge and a plastic lanyard card.  
     * The lanyard with a slit pocket is convenient for carrying a       copy card and your hotel room card.

     Pack light. Depending on the time of year you go wear layers.   
     On some floors of the library the air conditioning really works.

If you have a laptop bring it. I brought mine but did not use it.  Bring a memory card for saving data.  I did and did not use it.   
Bring a means to secure your computer to a library table leg.

     Attend the library orientation the first day.

Start your research on the first floor.

     Buy a copy card. You will need one-dollar bills for the copy machine. It is a bit tricky but you will get the hang of it. 
     * As you pay for lunch or dinner get one-dollar bills in change if you can.

Use the library computers.  Ask at any desk or any library volunteer wearing a badge.  Ask to see all the new things on the computers and in the library.

     If you bring a backpack or computer case keep it the size of your computer as the lockers will not hold larger computer backpack on wheels. A case about 17 “ high, 14.25 “ width and 8 “ deep will fit. 

You WILL WANT to use the lockers as you leave the library for lunch. A small, wheeled computer briefcase is a good idea. Files get heavy and cumbersome. 
The lockers use dimes.

     LEAVE THE LIBRARY for lunch at the cafeteria or Nauvoo Café or other Temple Square restaurant.

When you first go to the library go to the main desk and get a restaurant card (free). 
     * Eat in the cafeteria. Prime Rib on Thursday lunch.  Good $ deal on meals. 

     The trolley is free within a certain number of blocks. I used it frequently.

JB’s restaurant is connected to the hotel. 
     * The only “deal” is the breakfast buffet.

     There is a great market within walking distance. You have a refrigerator and microwave in your room so buy breakfast items (cereal, fruit, milk and juice) and have it with hotel coffee in your room.

     No smoking or alcohol on Temple grounds but off Temple grounds you can get a great meal and a nice glass of wine or mixed drink. 
Also there are package stores.

    Take time to smell the roses.  You will see the most beautiful array of flowers and plants. If you go late Fall, you will see a team of gardeners getting the trees ready with Christmas lights.

See the gift shop in the Family History Museum next door to the library. 
 * It is $$$$ and aimed toward the Mormon religion but I bought wooden toys for my great nieces and nephews.

     See the Mormon Tabernacle Choir practice Thursday evening and at the temple Sunday morning (9:00 am). 
     * Might as well, the library is closed on Sunday.

Ask. Ask anyone in the library or members or hotel.

Things I will do next trip:
1.     Buy/bring a magnifying glass.
2.     Ask more questions about recent technology.
3.     Eat evening meals in great Salt Lake City restaurants.
4.     Pack lighter as airlines charge per suitcase and per weight.
5.     Leave Salt Lake City for home early in the day.

Consider going on a research trip to Salt Lake City. 
You gotta go!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Have You Had a Serendipity Moment with Your Research?

My Serendipity Moment
  Serendipity is a word that is fun to say. Like the character of Penny on the television series The Big Bang Theory, she liked saying "schnapps." I like saying serendipity particularly since it is essential in this significant discovery. 

by chance in a happy or beneficial way.
noun: the occurrence and development of events 

     I used the word serendipity in a prior post to describe how I found the death date and burial location of my great grandfather Johan.

                              The story of this serendipity begins here.

Johan and his second wife Marianne

* Johan was married twice.
* Johan had 6 children: five daughters and one son.
* Other children did not survive.
* Two daughters and one son came to America.
* Johan traveled back and forth from Croatia to America.
* When in America Johan lived in Baltimore MD, Reb Lake MN, 
    and Hand County SD near his daughters.

* In the recent blog post "What Was Your Spark to Your Passion" I referred to what I call sidestepping in research. I sidestepped from my grandmother Anna Marie to her half sister Katherine. I used Katherine's life information to research their father Johan. 
Johan at top, Katherine in middle and Anna at bottom of chart

* In Katherine's documents I found 2 newspaper clippings to which I had not paid much attention.  
* The first clipping mentioned that Katherine visited her brother in law Josef in a small town in Ontario, Canada. 

* Katherine left Yugoslavia before Teresa married Josef.
* She never met her brother in law.
* Teresa, Josef's second wife, remained in Yugoslavia.
* Josef moved to Canada (no information whether Teresa came to Canada.)

Katherine's visit to Ontario, Canada to meet Josef

* A second clipping told of sisters from Germany visiting Josef in Canada. 
*These sisters, Eva and Teresia, were daughters of Josef and Teresia. 
*This clipping mentioned the surname we will identify as "H"  for privacy reasons who lived in this small town in Ontario, Canada.

Teresia and Josef's daughters from Germany visit Josef in Canada.

* I sent postal queries "shotgun style" to a few "H" families in the small town in Ontario, Canada
* One of my letters was forwarded to an "H" who was a  relative.
Subsequent information netted me this information:
* The name and address of cousin Teresia in Munich, Germany, daughter of Teresia.
* The address of cousin Franjo of Zagreb, Croatia, grandson of Elizabeth and
* The confirmation that Teresa and Elizabeth were daughters of Johan.
Chart of Johan's daughters Teresia and Elizabeth

In 2012, I visited Munich, Germany and met 88 year old cousin Teresia.  
* With her boxes of photos laid out on the kitchen table we verified our relationship. She showed me the photo of Marianne, her mother,  who was my great aunt.
* I brought a copy of the same photo from America.
* Teresia had no information about Johan.

Cousin Teresia in Munich, Germany
 In 2013 I visited Croatia and met cousin Franjo and his family. 
Franjo's grandmother was Elizabeth. He verified the connection of his grandmother to Katherine and thus to my grandmother. 

Cousin Franjo in Zagreb, Croatia

* We sat at Franjo's kitchen table and drew out a rough family tree.
* Franjo had no additional information about Johan.

I take a moment here to mention Marion another of Johan's daughters. This daughter married and remained in Europe.  She  played a significant role in my hunt for Johan's information. 

Read on...


   A representative of a German Bank was in contact with Franjo  conducting research on Marion's estate. 
* Franjo mentioned to the representative that an American cousin, me, was researching Marion's family.
* In March 2015, the bank representative working on the estate  contacted me asking certain questions about our family members.
*  I wrote back the answers to his questions. 
*  I also asked a few questions of my own.

   In the give and take of emails between us, the bank representative provided me with the death date and burial location of Johan.

And finally here is the original document...

Original document of Johan death in Palesnik, Croatia

 And here is its translation...
 Johan's death certificate translated by German bank translators
  The bank representative's continued work on this case has provided me with additional documents and sources.


  Tell me about your serendipity moment. 



Friday, May 8, 2015

What Was It that Sparked Your Passion?

What Was the Spark to Your Passion?
My passion for family research began with the death of my maternal grandmother Anna Marie BINDER Bauer.

My interest in genealogy/family research started when my grandmother Anna Marie Binder Bauer passed away in 1961. As a young teen holding the funeral card in my hand and staring down at the simple gravestone I wondered... and my wonder became my passion for genealogy and family research. 
Gravestone for Anna Marie at Holy Cross Cemetery San Diego, CA
   Much later another spark was ignited when my mother Catherine Mae Bender (BINDER) Berger  retired and decided to get a passport for travel. The difficulty and the process she went through to get proof of citizenship/naturalization etc. continued this intrigue for me.

   I am first generation in America of immigrant parents and research in the countries of Croatia, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, and the state of South Dakota was difficult to nonproductive. I spun my wheels writing queries, doing translation into several languages, and waiting for postal responses that provided little to nothing from abroad. 
My spark waned.

  Feeling frustrated, I switched my interest to my husband's Dutch ancestry and was tremendously successful. These sparks of success kept me going...nonetheless I was hooked.
More on Dutch research in another post.   

  When I returned to the BINDER research I was more successful in finding information about my grandmother Anna Marie Binder, by sidestepping on the family chart to Anna's half sister, Katherine Binder Muehl.

Katherine is located in the middle of this chart


Have you had sparks?

What sparked your interest in conducting family history/genealogy research?


I would love to hear some of your comments!
Some may go into another one of my blogs.

Copyright @ 2015-16 Diane McClure Lott

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Family Tree magazine: Causes of Deaths

 Environmental, Hereditary, Era ?

The May/June 2015 issue of Family Tree magazine contains an article called Numbers to Die For which includes the Top 10 Causes of Death, Then and Now.

The top 10 causes of death in 1900 according to the Family Tree article were pneumonia or influenza, tuberculosis, gastrointestinal infection, heart disease, and cerebrovascular disease (such as stroke). Their list of causes of deaths in 2010 are heart disease, cancer, noninfectious airway diseases, cerebrovascular, and accidents.

All deaths in our family in the 1900 time period have not been discernible/discoverable. But in the Szabo/Berger/Binder/Bauer family, heart disease was the cause of a substantial number of deaths during this past 20th century. This would cover their birth dates of 1880-1910 and their death dates of 1960-1980.

Some other causes of death in my family have been murder, brain hemorrhage due to being thrown under the wheels of a team of horses, suicide, drowning in a creek, childbirth, forestry accident, and although the reason is not given "death and buried at sea."

* Are diseases environmental or hereditary and is the time period in   which they lived predicable of causes of their death?
* Were the causes of death in 1900 accurately diagnosed?

Of my two grandmothers and my mother, heart disease was the cause of death. Certificate of death for my father was respiratory caused by his occupation as a carpenter. My grandfather (1874-1911) died of pneumonia at the age of 36 in Hungary (re: the Family tree list). His occupation was brick layer. 

As I entered information on certain children of the Lott family, during 1700-1800, I was definitely affected by the number of children who died at birth or died within the first few years of life and the number of women who died in childbirth or late because of complications from childbirth. (This is also referenced in the Family Tree side bar article that states "Between 1935 and 2010 the risk of dying for children ages 1-4 dropped 94%."

As researchers of family history we collect dates of birth, marriage, and death. It is essential information to our craft. Do we take good notice of the causes of death? 

Because of this one page article I intent to be more alert to source materials and try to retrieve the cause of death and add it to the genealogical information of my families.