Sunday, October 4, 2015

My first WWII ration book.

During Wold War II, rationing was the system put in place in the U.S. to make sure that everyone had access to the necessities of life – even if quantities were limited..  Everyone was issued ration books – I had one in my name when I was only 7 weeks old. Children were issued ration books to insure that families had access to adequate goods. When it came to rationed goods, a person was allowed to purchase only a certain amount at any given time.  The books contained stamps that were collected by retailers at the time of purchase.

In order to preclude a black market in ration stamps, retailers were prohibited from accepting stamps that had been removed from the books.  Rationed items included, rubber, leather, sugar, meat, fats and oils, and gasoline among other things. More information about rationing can be found here:

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Short form Research Plan

I needed a plan to help me zero in on some specific gaps in my tree. My short form research plan is designed to help me isolate possible sources for each gap so that I can try to do a thorough search for each item and briefly record the results. This should help me organize these loose ends and keep me from redundant research.  (I hope.) There will probably be revisions to the form but this looks like a good place to start.

Research Plan (short)


Marianna Jaskowiak
Birth & Brother
August 1849
Marriage 1867
LDS films Iwno

Nepomuceno Sip
Birth date
LDS films Grabow

Magdalena Kaczmarek
Birth date

My Heritage??

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Respect Your Audience – a minor rant

I’ve been watching tutorials for MS Movie Maker. A few of them are produced by Microsoft; but many are produced by user gurus and wannabe gurus. I classify some as “wannabes” because while their knowledge of the product is very good, their presentation skills, well, just plain suck.  Has our culture become so casual that a sloppy presentation manner is thought to be acceptable? 

One individual has produced several Movie Maker tutorials.  I’ve watch two of them and the video presentation is good; but I won’t watch any more of his work because of his careless and unedited narrative.

He burps. He sniffs. It even sounds like he blows his nose. UGH!!!  I can’t listen to him. This man is a social moron! (I did say it is a rant.)

I know that there are many tutorials on many subjects that are very well done by user gurus so I’m not condemning them all  Just the few who have no respect for others.

<<End of Rant>>

And I did manage to get my two StoryPress stories converted to YouTube videos.
War Baby on YouTube

Schipp in Prussian Poland

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Story Interrupted.

My favored family story platform, seems to have gone belly-up. It was VERY user friendly and FREE. Easy to upload videos or photos and add narration. I discovered it when Thomas MacEntee announced he’d done a story about his mother.   This was shortly after I’d struggled to produce my first YouTube video.

I was amazed at the simplicity of StoryPress. It is disappointing that the site will be shut down at the end of September.  Apparently the venture was not profitable. They say they’ll review their business model to see if they can come up with revisions that will make it work for them.  I hope they are successful.

The good news is that I was able to download backup copies of my stories; and that the backup consists of separate image and audio files. I won’t have to start from scratch.

The goal is to create a history in an appealing contemporary format. What is the likelihood that my kids and grandkids would read it in a book?  Small. So multimedia is my choice.

A year ago my impatience led me to give up on Microsoft’s Movie Maker because it is not intuitive – at least to me. But I’m going to try it again after watching a couple of tutorials. (When all else fails, read the instructions.) It’s always a bit frustrating trying to learn new software but I’ll give it a go.

I’ll be redoing the stories I had on StoryPress and posting them on YouTube.  They are “War Baby” and “The Shipp Family in Prussian Poland”.  Then I’ll resume work on the next story about crossing the Atlantic as a passenger in steerage in the 1880s.

Back to the drawing board.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Partitions Wars and Partitions

There was a lot going on in Poland during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Power brokers were busy waging war, making and breaking treaties, and redrawing national borders.

My third great grandfather, Johann Ganas was born in 1779 the village of Czerlejno in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth just after it had come under Russian control.  Johann’s son Adalbert was born in that very same village – probably on the very same plot of land, and perhaps even in the same house – in 1810 but Adalbert was born in Prussia. Here’s what was happening in the 32 years between Johann’s birth and the birth of his first son.

1772 First Partition of Poland - The Polish-Lithuanan commonwealth becomes a protectorate of the Russian Empire
1779 Johann Ganas Birth
1790 The Polish-Lithuanian and Prussian alliance was a mutual defense alliance signed on 29 March 1790 in Warsaw between representatives of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Kingdom of Prussia. It was signed in the brief period when Prussia was seeking an ally against either Austria or Russia, and the Commonwealth was seeking guarantees that it would be able to carry out significant governmental reforms without foreign intervention.
1791 The Constitution of 3 May, 1791 (PolishKonstytucja 3 maja) was adopted by the Great Sejm (parliament) of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, a dual monarchy comprising Poland and Lithuania.
1792 The Polish–Russian War of 1792 (also, War of the Second Partition,[3] and in Polish sources, War in Defence of the Constitution (Polishwojna w obronie Konstytucji 3 maja)[4]) was fought between the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth on one side, and the Targowica Confederation (conservative nobility of the Commonwealth opposed to the new Constitution of 3 May 1791) and the Russian Empire under Catherine the Great on the other
1793 The 1793 Second Partition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was the second of three partitions (or partialannexations) that ended the existence of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth by 1795.
1794 The 1794 Greater Poland Uprising (Polish: Powstanie Wielkopolskie 1794 roku) was a military insurrection by Poles in Wielkopolska (Greater Poland) against Kingdom of Prussia which had taken possession of this territory after the 1793 Second Partition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.
1795 The Third Partition of Poland (1795) was the last in a series of the Partitions of Poland of the land of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth among Prussia, the Austrian Empire, and the Russian Empire which effectively ended Polish–Lithuanian national sovereignty until 1918.
1803 Johann Ganas Marriage
1806 The 1806 Greater Poland Uprising was organized by General Jan Henryk DÄ…browski to help advancing French forces underNapoleon I in liberating Poland from Prussian occupation. The Wielkopolska Uprising was a decisive factor that allowed the formation of the Duchy of Warsaw (1806) and the inclusion of Wielkopolska in the Duchy of Warsaw.
1807 Abolition of serfdom. Serfs were free to buy the land on which they worked, and to move from the Noble's estate on which they worked.  
1807 The Treaties of Tilsit were two agreements signed by Napoleon I of France in the town of Tilsit in July, 1807 in the aftermath of his victory at Friedland. The first was signed on 7 July, between Tsar Alexander I of Russia and Napoleon I of France, when they met on a raft in the middle of the Neman River. The second was signed with Prussia on 9 July.
1811 Adalbert Ganas Birth

Poland disappeared from the map, but not from the hearts of her people.  

Timeline of Polish history adapted from Wikipedia

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Coming out of a slump

I’d finished a project on which I’d worked intensely for some time, and then fell into a mental abyss.  It’s as though my battery had died and needed a recharge - a mental time out in the dog days of summer. So I puttered around for a while, reorganized some files, got a few things organized into binders and played some computer games. At times like this it feels that my brain is filled with fog.

I made a stab at getting going on my next story – about crossing the Atlantic as a steerage passenger in the 1880s; but it got to a certain point and then stalled.

Thank goodness, the time out did manage to get me recharged.  The fog has dissipated and I’m back.

I’m working on a report to send to my cousins. The steerage story will actually happen. And I’m going to revisit some LDS microfilms to make sure I’ve not missed anything on them.  Monthly Indian River Genealogy Society meetings resume this month.

Back into the fray.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Goodbye for now,


  • There are better sources for researching my Polish ancestors.
  • I strongly dislike the new user interface for family trees.
  • If I am not going to use it to maintain my trees, I cannot justify the cost
  • If I am not a current subscriber, I cannot view sources that I had previously attached to my tree.

The new version leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Why must I lose access to existing source documents?  Money grubbing.  Turns me off.

I will keep updating my trees on Family Tree Maker and sync them with Ancestry as cousin bait.  My main online trees will be on and my main local trees will be on Legacy.

Fortunately, my library has a world wide subscription that I can use when Ancestry seems the best place to search’ but as long as I am concentrating on Poland, those times will be rare.

When I shift my focus back to my husbands’ early American ancestors, I’ll probably go back to subscribing for one month at a time for research.  Too bad.  I really liked Ancestry before they “improved” it.

(Note to grammarians: Yes the apostrophe goes after the s because I am researching both my current husband’s family and my ex-husband’s family)