This isn't a long one this week; but volunteers for hosting Open Threads have been a bit sparse as of late. So, I thought I'd come out of hiding and pull my weight with a little quickie diary about my summer plans (which I'm very excited about). I'm hoping everyone can join in and share what you've got lined up this summer.
Genealogy & Family History Community
After several years of research, I'm finally heading out on my second cemetery hunt. The first was technically before I started actively researching my family history. I visited my birth town in 2008 to find my paternal grandparents' graves. When my grandfather died in 1959, my dad paid $75 for 3 plots in the local cemetery. He buried his mother next to his dad 3 years later. That third plot has been waiting for him for over 50 years. My siblings and I will bury his and our mothers ashes probably next year (whenever we can coordinate a time when we can all make the trip).
The impetus behind my trip this year is that 2014 is the 250th anniversary of the founding of the first German colonies on the Volga River in Russia. My ancestors were part of the original settlers in two of the colonies founded in 1764: Dobrinka and Galka.
To celebrate the 250th anniversary, the Center for Volga German Studies (CVGS) at Concordia University right here in Portland, Oregon is hosting several conferences throughout the summer for each of the original colonies. More will follow over the next few years for the anniversary of each colony. Lucky me though - my colonies are both this year.
The first will be a little bigger - 2 days June 27th and 28th right here in Portland (conveniently enough for me). CVGS hopes to link up to other celebrations around the world including events in South America, Germany, and present-day Dobrinka.
The Galka conference is scheduled for August 2nd at Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas. That's quite a ways away for me to travel for just one day. However, I've got other reasons to go. Number one is that my grandmother's father, John Henry Bischoff is buried in Deerfield, Kansas. He died around 1907 just a little over a year after moving his family from Russia. They couldn't afford a gravestone at the time, so the grave has been left unmarked all these years.
Fortunately, they met a worker at the cemetery who pulled out old (and I mean OLD!) maps of the cemetery. Looking for both a Bauer and Bischoff, they found it on 3 different maps.
I've also got one more item on the agenda (other than the conference, of course). I've suspected that my grandfather had a half-brother who settled in Kansas. The church records from Russia to prove it haven't been found, but the half-brother's grandson lives in Missouri. I talked to his wife a couple years ago on the phone. Unfortunately, they didn't seem to know much about his grandfather's history. I am hoping they will be agreeable to a short visit where we can compare family pictures. I'm flying into Kansas City, so I figure I can take a detour and visit them first before turning around and driving into Kansas.
So that will be my Kansas trip. In July, we are taking a camping trip to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho where it just so happens one of the grandsons of my Dad's Aunt Katie lives. If I can overcome my introverted tendencies, I'd like to call him up as well to see if I can visit him and see what pictures and stories he's been handed down.
Well, that's my agenda for the summer. Anyone else have sleuthing planned this summer? If not, what are the places you want to go "some day"?