Monthly Archives: April 2015

Beltane

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Tomorrow night, people of Celtic ancestry across the world will be observing the Gaelic festival of Beltane. Celebrated on the last night of April, Beltane is a fire festival, welcoming the beginning of summer and open pasturing. Continue reading Beltane

Fun Facts…

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Resurrecting Roots, a genealogy blog written by Treena and Heidi, has been going strong for the past four months, thanks to you, our loyal readers. We started this journey with a passion for sharing our genealogical research, and we have enjoyed it! Continue reading Fun Facts…

Honoring Mothers

My grandmother, Shirley Anderson with her mother, Bertha Hazil Laumond.
My Grandmother, Shirley Anderson with her mother, Bertha Hazil Laumond.

A couple of years ago, I decided to give my mother a compilation of her direct maternal lineage for a Mother’s Day gift.  After spending years researching my historical mothers, I displayed pertinent records and newly found photos in a printed  photo book.  Not only did the gift bring my mother to joyful tears, but it sparked her own interest in genealogy. She is now a  member of the Santa Barbara Genealogical Society, and frequently attends genealogy classes and workshops.  It was the gift that keeps on giving.

Tracing a maternal lineage is quite challenging, and I had to overcome a few obstacles to create this gift.  Female ancestors are especially difficult to find in cultures where women take their husband’s last name as their own. There have been times in history where women were not allowed to own property, pay taxes, vote, or go to college.  Finding maiden names in these time periods could be near impossible. But it is not only the maiden name that can be hard to find, sometimes even the first name can be masked by the formality of addressing a women only in regards to her husband, like Mrs. Dwight Willard instead of Mrs. Shirley Willard. Continue reading Honoring Mothers

Welsh Genetics

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People with Welsh heritage have always been proud of their roots. Even though it has been part of the United Kingdom for a long time, Wales has kept its own unique customs and traditions. It turns out that Wales is even different genetically. Continue reading Welsh Genetics

Spanish Naming Patterns

From Shutterstock.com
From Shutterstock.com

I recently began researching a family with Spanish heritage, and quickly became intrigued by the Spanish naming practices.  This is my first Spanish/Mexican research project, and before embarking on this journey, I had no knowledge of the culture’s family naming patterns.   Having awareness and understanding of a culture’s naming patterns can greatly help with family research. Sometimes you can guess an ancestors name simply by following the naming pattern, then search for documents to support your guess. Continue reading Spanish Naming Patterns

Richard III

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On Thursday, March 26, 2015 the remains of King Richard III were reburied amid the pomp and circumstance deserving of a monarch. I have always been interested in Richard III and the mystery and scandal surrounding his reign. Although I have not found a direct family link to Richard III himself, I do have a connection to Elizabeth Rhuddlan, Princess of England of the Plantagenet line from which Richard III descended. Princess Elizabeth was my 18th great-grandmother, and was the daughter of Edward the Longshanks. Continue reading Richard III

A Deserter of the Kaiser’s Army?

Alfons Tomcek and Josephine Brunner Wedding Photo 1909 Milwuakee, Wi.
Alfons Tomcek and Josephine Brunner Wedding Photo 1909 Milwuakee, Wi.

My paternal great grandfather, Alfons Slopan Tomcek (1882-1955) may have come to America to escape persecution for being a deserter of the Kaiser’s Army.  At least this is what a distant cousin had told my father when they had a chance encounter in Wisconsin a couple of years ago.  This cousin said that a number of Alfons relatives had made the journey to America around the same time as him, but had changed their names so that the Army did not locate Alfons via them.  Although Alfons lived in fear that the Kaiser’s Army would track him down and make him return to Germany, he did not keep a low profile and was involved with some illegal activity in America.  My parents could not remember what scandals occurred in America, but my Mom thinks he may have illegally sold moonshine. Continue reading A Deserter of the Kaiser’s Army?