January 16th, 2012

Mormons! Actually, kinda sad. And a Dutch word of the Day

I stumbled across a new meta-source for the genealogical exercise: Mocavo. It's a genealogy specific search engine. Basically, it does what you would do if you weren't feeling like doing slog work -- surfs through public domain history books which are prone to supplying genealogical information, surname forums over on genealogy.com, etc., only you only have to type your query in once and it collects all the other stuff for you. Mildly cool.

Of course I typed in Plantz, and found Kristine Plantz (Kristine, if you are reading this, please, please, please get in touch with me via the comments or my email or by messaging me -- we're distantly related, approximately 3rd cousins or possibly 4th), who between 2002 and 2004 was posting in genforums over on genealogy.com. Kristine is descended from my great-grandmother Amy Maria Plantz's brother Nathaniel Alfred Plantz. The old email, unsurprisingly, doesn't work any more, so I figured I'd do a little googling and try to figure out some of the descendants. In the course of doing so, I found Mormons! One of Nathaniel's children married a Mormon (I can't speak to whether he is one himself), which is detectable in her obituary, and it seems to have been a family thing. There's some tragedy over there: a series of marriages and divorces and early deaths in my generation. That's kinda sad. Hopefully, in years to come, should Kristine (or anyone else in the Plantz family in Colorado) get interested in contacting relatives again, they'll stumble across this post.

It is always exciting to pick up a new religion in my family tree, even though so many odd ones are already represented that LDS seems quite staid.

The Dutch word of the Day is the result of tripping over this website, which has SCANS of the CIVIL REGISTRY!!! OMG! I should not be this excited.

http://www.allefriezen.nl/en.html

I was sort of hoping that the certificates might have a little more information than the transcriptions over at genlias -- after all, the genlias notes field occasionally has tantalizing extra tidbits -- but so far, nothing wildly exciting. Word of the day comes from a death record. The person reporting the death of my great grandfather (and let me just say how profoundly excited I got when I realized I had not previously been able to find this record in genlias) is a begrafenisondernemer. Google translate sez: mortician. I think I might go with undertaker, because that's literally what ondernemer means, but I'm betting there are some technical subtleties that I'm missing here.

In case the above is not perfectly clear: genlias.nl provides transcriptions of the civil registry. allefriezen.nl provides _scans_ of the civil registry, thus allowing armchair genealogists to decipher handwriting from across the ocean. Fun!