Why is writing a NGSQ article is a humbling experience?

Answer?  Because you find out how little you know, how bad you write and what gaps there are in your research!  Geesh.

I have been working on an article for sometime that I know I won’t use for certification but which I think is a good “story”.  As I kept working on it, it got closer to the style of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly or NGSQ (sometimes simply called “the Q”).  As I built each citation for each of the datapoints, I discovered that I had not obtained direct evidence from a original source of my great grandfather’s birth in Germany.  I found that what I did have were all derivative sources and recorded much after the birth event, e.g. the death certificate in Chicago IL.

This was odd to me because I had the Ortsippenbuch (a contemporary arrangement of data from the parish records arranged by family rather than chronologically) from the parish where their family worshiped, Uphusen (near Emden in Ostfriesland). Yet he wasn’t listed.

I quickly put out a request for information on the Rootsweb.com Ostfriesen listserve.  And the genealogy community came through for me again!  Lin Strong (Mpls. MN) and Hilda Bruns (Campen, Ostfriesland) assisted me in identifying that for reasons, as yet unknown, my great grandfather had been christened in Westerhusen, not Uphusen.  I sent for the tapes from the Family History Library and today I took a look at the record.  The good news: he and his sister were recorded.  The “bad” news: as you can see below, I was not blessed with clear images and the printer was even worse!

Here is a scan of the photocopy (photo would not work…the film reader was worse!) of what I was looking at!

So, Hinderk Jansson Bode now has a citation for the original record of his christening and the best I can do for his birth.  It’s still a thrill to see the original record of an event that happened in 1845 to an ancestor of your own!  I still do not know why Hinderk was christened there.  maybe there were elderly family members there and they wanted to include them in the ceremony (witnesses were not recorded.) It is obvious this was a very small parish as often times many months went by without any baptisms at all.

I am blessed with helpful and knowledgeable “boots on the ground” researchers who help me out.  This is a “brick wall” that never materialized.

Now I need to work on the article and submit it and see what happens.  I have only a hope that it would be accepted but no confidence that it will be.

Happy Hunting!


Things I have done since the last post:  not much.  I am making up for the lack of posts the past few weeks as I recuperated from the holidays, celebrated by aunt’s 90’s birthday in Chicago and completed various assignments for 1.) ProGen, 2.) a grant I am participating in on Learning Space Design and 3.) a Board meeting I will attend in a week in Ann Arbor!  Whew.  It will be busy.

Westerhusen (LKr. Emden), Hannover, Germany. Kirchenbuch, 1706-1875 (Parish register of baptisms, marriages, and deaths). Hendrik Jansson Bode (14 February 1845); FHL microfilm 1,417,993.


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