Happy Birthday, Fridolin Wild

Depiction of Aibling (Wikimedia Commons)

Dear Reader: Do you think you are related to the individuals listed in this post? Please drop me a note! I love hearing from cousins and others researching my family!

My great-great grandfather Fridolin Wild was born on 6 Mar 1844 in Aibling, Germany. He arrived in the United States in 1868, via Buenos Aires, and lived in San Antonio, Texas, until he died in 1919.

Fridolin held various positions in sales throughout his life. He was a traveling salesman and returned to Germany briefly in 1889 according to a passport application and ship passenger list. The 1910 census appears to show that he was a partner in the wholesale liquor business. I hope it wasn’t Prohibition that did him in.

Fridolin married Lina Hoyer in 21 Sep 1872. Her parents were from Germany as well.

His grave can be viewed on FindaGrave.

SNGF: Better Google Search

Dear Reader: Do you think you are related to the individuals listed in this post? Please drop me a note! I love hearing from cousins and others researching my family!

It’s been a while since I’ve been able to play along with Saturday Night Genealogy Fun. Here’s this week’s task:

“1)  Go to genea-blogger Ramdy Majors website (http://www.randymajors.com/).

2)  Add his blog to your RSS reader, if you don’t have it already.

3) Read his blog post AncestorSearch using Google Custom Search – BETA.  See the link at the top of the page that says “AncestorSearch using Google Custom Search – BETA?”  Click on it.

4)  Test out his Custom Google Search form to help you find online information about your ancestors, especially for their marriages.

5)  Tell us about your results – was this useful? Did you find something new?  How can Randy improve it?

6)  If you like Randy’s Custom Search, add it to your Bookmarks or Favorites.”

Searching the first few generations back (on my mom’s side at least) didn’t net much, but that’s to be expected because not a lot of recent records are online. I did find someone else’s Family Tree Maker site, mentioning my paternal grandparents and their marriage. Otherwise, I was finding my own blog posts mentioning my ancestors’ names.

I came across an Ancestry.com message board about my Corley line, but it’s one I’ve seen and commented on before.

What’s this? I entered in my great-great-grandparents, Benjamin William Franklin Corley and Lois Wakefield, and one of the results was for a domain called “sortedbyname.com.” This site listed marriage records and pointed to original source records. For this particular couple, I was sent to the Illinois Statewide Marriage Index. However, when I searched the index for both of their names, nothing came up. When I searched just for his name, I came up with a marriage record, but with a different woman! Hmmmm… and it’s before Lois died… More work is needed here.

Incidentally, when I type in just Lois’ name, I do find the record for her and Benjamin. The reason why it didn’t show up under his name is because he was only listed by his first initials.

Returning to my mother’s line, my great-grandfather Herman Wild (Sr.)’s FindaGrave memorial came up. While it doesn’t contain a photo of his gravestone, it does include a transcript of his obituary. This includes a wealth of information including his cause of death, employment info, street address and the names of several relatives.

Tombstone Tuesday: Ebenezer Wild (No Relation)

Here’s another photo I snapped at Copps Hill Burying Ground in Boston, mostly because of the Wild surname, though I’m relatively certain he’s not an ancestor of mine (my Wilds are German, not English, in origin).

The stone reads:

In Memory of
Mr. EBENEZER WILD
who departed this Life
Decr. 4th 1794
in the 37th Year
of his Age
He was a kind Husband,
tender Parent & Sincere friend

I added a photo to this individual’s FindaGrave page and requested that the page owner update the birth/death year information.

For Wild Grandmas Everywhere

One of the presents my sister gave me at Christmas was this box of British biscuits:

Grandma Wild's Dark Chocolate Gingers

Everyone exclaimed when I opened it, of course, because our grandma was Grandma Wild. Just not the Grandma Wild pictured on the box above.

Alas, my Wilds weren’t British at all. They were German, so it would be pronounced “Vild” and their photos would be on boxes of lebkuchen instead.

Actually, the cookies above were very similar to lebkuchen, so maybe all these Wilds are related after all!

On another note, I really hope the title of this post doesn’t bring out the Twitter spammers. In a similar vein, I predict a whole new contingent of web traffic may be visiting shortly.

SNGFoS: Feelin’ Lucky

Here is my Saturday Night Genealogy Fun (on Sunday) post regarding last night’s challenge from Randy Seaver. The challenge:

“1) Go to http://www.google.com/ and enter a search term and click on the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button.

2) Try your name, your local society, favorite genealogy terms, whatever you want. Do at least three, and as many as you want if you have time. Be creative! Have fun!

3) What did you learn from this exercise?

4) Tell us about it in a blog post of your own, as a comment to this post, or as a Note or comment on Facebook.”

I started out by typing “missy corley” (w/o the quotes) and the result was my Twitter feed. Same result when I added quotes around the name. When I tried “melissa corley,” the result was a Melissa Corley on Facebook (but not me).

Typing in “bayside research services” brought me to my company homepage — yay!

Next, I typed in “corley genealogy,” which brought me to this page of a very distant relative (I’d found the page before when I first started researching my family.)

I then tried a similar search for “wild genealogy.” I really wondered if the term would be interpreted as an adjective and not a surname. To my surprise, it brought up a Cousin Connect page for the name. Good job, Google!

One interesting thing started happening as I continued different search terms. After the first few “Feeling Lucky” searches, I started hitting “Return” on my keypad rather than selecting “Feeling Lucky” on screen after I typed in each search term (force of habit). But Google must have figured out what I really meant to do, since it continued to bring up “Feeling Lucky” results rather than the traditional search results. Helpful, but kind of creepy at the same time.

I’m going to keep searching on some of the surnames in my family. As a librarian, we’re taught to shun Google for more trusted applications and search engines, but I don’t think it can or should be ignored completely, especially since it can help you connect with other real people searching on the same surnames. You just need to use a trained eye when reading the information they put on the web — is it sourced and credible? That’s the challenge with all things Google.

Memorial Monday: Ancestors Who Served

Dear Reader: Do you think you are related to the individuals listed in this post? Please drop me a note! I love hearing from cousins and others researching my family!

In honor of Memorial Day, here’s a quick run-down of my military ancestors:

My dad — US Army Reserves; Korean War, WWII (pictured left with his brother, Edmund, who served in the Navy)

Grandpa Wild — U.S. Army

Grandpa Corley — Iowa Infantry; Spanish-American War

Obediah Basham (my 4Ggrandfather) — Revolutionary War (I haven’t submitted a DAR application yet because I’m still collecting the necessary documentation, but others have)

I’m betting that I also had ancestors on one or both sides of the Civil War, but I haven’t collected/found proof of this yet.