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,

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The ONE, TWO Punch...for MAC


Being a Mac APPLE user I am not pleased when articles such as "Source Citations" in the May/June issue of Family Tree magazine  reviews software solely for PC users.

The rationale by the magazine is that these three genealogy programs for the PC use Elizabeth Shown Mills Evidence Explained (EE) as a guide for creating source citations.

My experience with computers goes back as far as the Apple IIe. 

I was the first person at my university to take doctoral exams on a computer.  
• I carried my computer to the school, 
• the professor had to look at my discs, and 
• I sat in a separate room in case the clacking of the keys bothered the other doctoral students take the exam.

PAF 2 was my first genealogical software program. Once LDS stopped supporting upgrades for the MAC version of PAF, I changed to the Reunion software by Leister. 

Many MAC users have downloaded Reunion 11 (having kept records on Reunion 8, 9, and 10.)

Reunion has an app called ReunionTouch to read  Reunion information of ones's software on iPhone and iPad.

Being a Mac APPLE user I am displeased when articles such as "Source Citations" in the May/June issue of Family Tree magazine  reviews software solely for PC users. 

Reunion does not use Elizabeth Shown Mills Evidence Explained (EE) to guide source entries. But it is not hard to adapt the template to EE guidelines or even use free form.  Some of us have asked Leister and Reunion through suggestion forums to rethink and revamp the source area to use EE as a guide.

Mark Harrison of Leister Productions states, "the citation style we employ has been around a long time. It's very flexible and powerful.

There are many different and valid approaches to source documentation. The bottom line is that we've tried to make it easy for any user to choose an approach that suits them and then be consistent. There is no one correct way.

We're not proponents of rigid formats to use in every situation. Too many rules and too much complication will likely discourage rather than encourage effective source documentation. We feel that good source documentation will get the average person to the source, and that goal can be accomplished in many ways.

The source template easily adapts with pull down options for source information.

The fact that Reunion does not use EE as a guide for creating a source is not a deal breaker for me and the use of a Mac Apple and Reunion. 

Would like to hear from you Mac Apple users on this topic.

Until later,