Julie's Genealogy & History Hub

Julie's Genealogy & History Hub -

Checking Out Chicago’s Old German Newspapers

Wait…what?  Julie’s working on her own genealogy?  Yes, it’s been quite some time since I’ve been able to work on my own family history, much less blog about it.  Sadly, I’ve been sitting on this find since May 2014, yikes!  But today, with actual free time (I know, shocking!!), I decided to work on my ever-growing pile of “stuff” accumulated from various research trips over the last few years.  It’s a neat find and I thought I’d share it with my genealogy buddies.

Over the last few years (when I have time, that is), I have been working on a few of my German lines, using German records both in the United States and abroad.  Stepping into this land of records is challenging due to the fact that the language AND the handwriting/text is foreign.  While I don’t have total command over this obstacle yet, I continue to grow.  Heck, I found this tiny little notice about my second great-grandfather’s death, despite the fact that his name was spelled wrong.  How often have we overlooked a short notice in a newspaper that’s written in our native tongue?  (I’ve got my hand raised!)  What’s more, I haven’t seen this newspaper clipping (or much else in German script) for almost a year, and I could still glance at it and find what I needed!  Boy, if I can do it, anyone can!!  Though I’ll admit, I had my cheat-sheet with me, that has all of my surnames shown in the German script used in the newspaper so I could easily identify them.  I blogged about doing the same thing for German handwriting while perusing German church records (see Tip for German Research – Write it Out…in GERMAN!).

Continue reading

Book Review – The Other Mother: A Woman’s Love for the Child She Gave Up for Adoption

Title:  The Other Mother: A Woman’s Love for the Child She Gave Up for Adoption

Author:  Carol Schaefer

Format:  Paperback, Kindle

Published: 1991; reprint, 2013

Synopsis:  (from Amazon) In 1965, Carol Schaefer was 19, a freshman in college and deeply in love. She was also pregnant. When her boyfriend’s family opposed their marrying, her parents sequestered her in a Catholic home for unwed mothers a state away, where she was isolated and where secrecy prevailed. She had only to give up her baby for her sin to be forgiven and then all would soon be forgotten she was told. The child, in turn, would be placed with a “good” family, instead of having his life ruined by the stigma of illegitimacy. Carol tried to find the strength to oppose this dogma but her shame had become too deep. “The first time I looked deep into my son’s eyes, I felt like a criminal. As I unwrapped his hospital blanket and took in the heady fragrance of a newborn, I feared the nurses or the sisters would come in and slap me for contaminating my own son.” Finding no way out, she signed the fateful papers leaving her son in the hands of strangers, but with a vow to her baby she would find him one day. For years, Carol struggled to forget and live the “normal” life promised, not understanding the consequences of the trauma she’d endured. On his eighteenth birthday, she set out to find him, although the law denied access to records. Her search became a spiritual quest to reclaim her own lost self, as she came to understand the emotional and psychological wounds she and other mothers like her had endured. Against all odds she succeeded in finding him and discovered that in many ways they had never really been apart. With her son’s encouragement and his adoptive mother’s cooperation, she tells their story.

My Rating: 

I have done some adoption research for a few people, which were all successful, and I am currently working on an adoption case using DNA.  I’ve contemplated if this is an area I’d like to specialize in, but I feel that I need to really understand all of the implications of conducting such research before I go any further down this path.  There are several books I want to read to gain more insight, but this one called to me, begging to be read first.  I’m glad it did.

Continue reading