Category Archives: Projects

Ancestor Wall Art – Part 2

Yesterday, I posted about the wall art in my office. Today I am writing about the wall art in our family room.

I’ve been wanting to do an ancestor photo wall for a while. Most of the photos in our house are from our wedding, so I was also getting tired of them.

I found these awesome leaves at the Ohio Ren Faire two years ago. But since my husband was more interested in sharp objects, I didn’t get them. So this fall, I made sure that we came home with some.

Since I have a bazillion photos from my grandpa’s WWII days, I made sure to highlight a few of them. I also had to find a way to include my husband on the wall (it’s a little hard when we don’t have many photos and can’t get more by choice). I was able to add few photo of him when he was little and an ancestral family photo I received from one of his distant cousins.

I hope to add a few more sets of leaves to the wall and some more photos in the future.

Ancestor Wall Art – Part 1

I meant to write about my new wall art this fall, but since that never happened, I might as well do it now.
I have been wanting to change the stuff on my office walls for a while and add something genealogy related. The walls in my office are purple and I could have used black and white family photos, but I wanted something different.
So I decided to make word clouds of my ancestors’ surnames and birth places. I used Tagxedo to create the images.
For the surnames tree, I created a text file of the surnames of 8 generations of my family. I uploaded the text file to Tagxedo, chose my options, and saved the image.

For the birthplaces tree, I created a text file of the birthplaces of 7 generations. [In order to get two words to attach, you add a ~ between the words. Ex: Lycoming~County.]

I had the images printed as 12×12 glossy photos and framed them. Along with some family photos, I now have genealogy art in my office.

[And yes, the photos are not centered with the cabinet. But that’s where the nails were from the poster that was hanging there first. They are centered on the wall though.]

Eiswerth Family Story Book Project

I spent 2012 gathering family stories from my dad and his brothers and sisters. I previously wrote about the process in three posts:

For most weeks between January and September, I requested stories from my family. The project evolved over the year from attempting to fill in the holes in my grandmother’s stories to asking my family to write any story they had about a certain topic. It was great to see how one person’s stories made the others remember other things about their childhoods.

Each week I edited the stories submitted that week together and sent it back to my family for review. Sometimes I would get a few corrections or even a few more stories. By the fall, I had 29 Word documents that needed to be corralled into chapters and finally into a book.

In the end, I had a 100 page book with 15 chapters. The chapters were:

  1. The Eiswerth Family (summaries of the main characters in the book)
  2. Eiswerth Homes
  3. Eiswerth, Reeder and Shaw (my grandfather’s construction company)
  4. Running the Eiswerth Home (stories of my grandmother’s struggles raising 7 children, gardening and cleaning)
  5. School
  6. Fun and Games
  7. Spring
  8. Summer
  9. Fall
  10. Winter
  11. Childhood Trouble (yes they needed a whole chapter for this)
  12. Illnesses and Injuries
  13. Pets (also know as dinner)
  14. Other Stories
  15. Sayings (a list of things my grandparents said to their children and when they said them)

I used to publish the book and sent my family a private link in order to order as many copies as they wanted. Since this book is about the living, I didn’t want to make it available to the masses. Plus, if you’re not in my family you might get nightmares from reading the stories (as my husband tells me that he has after editing the book).

I’ve received many positive comments about the book. My grandmother read stories that she had never heard before and I’m sure some of the children will be in trouble the next time they see her. My aunt says that I know too much about the family now. And my cousins are excited to read the stories and can’t stop reading. I’m glad that I took the time last year to preserve these stories for years to come.

Volunteerism: My Vevay Newspaper Index Project

The first Carnival of Genealogy has been posted for 2010. The topic for the 88th COG is volunteerism. Thanks to Jasia at Creative Genes for another great topic!

I know that many of us have volunteered our time indexing for FamilySearch and Ancestry’s World Archives Project. I found these projects a great way to work on reading old handwriting, but I also had trouble finding projects that included my ancestors. I liked helping others find their families, but I was looking for something that would help researchers where my ancestors lived.

That’s when I found that the Switzerland County (Indiana) High School had digitized 50 years of the local newspaper. The images were all TIFF files and there was no OCR scans to search. I began looking at the dates in my database and trying to find obituaries for my ancestors. It was time consuming to download the all the images and try to find the page with what you were looking for (if it was even there).

And then I had an idea…

Why not put together an index of all the BMD information in the newspapers? It shouldn’t take too long or be too hard right?

So that’s how I began downloading all the newspaper images, scrolling through them, finding BMD information and compiling an index. It was easy at first when the paper had only 4 pages and most of it was ads (which were fascinating to say the least). The part that I am currently indexing is 8 pages long, so it takes more time analyze. Plus it’s hard to only look for BMD information. I want to know everything that was happening to the people who lived near my ancestors.

The project is currently 31 of 50 years complete (I use a blog to keep others posted on my progress). Not too bad for having started last February. I hope to have this project finished by the end of the summer (hopefully much sooner). I have also added an index to a Ohio county, Indiana cemetery book (because it drop me nuts trying to find my ancestors without an index) and am currently working on collecting articles found in PERSI on Ohio, Switzerland and Dearborn counties and creating an index to the names in those (I have found lots on my ancestors that was not included in surname searches in PERSI).

I hope that I have helped other researchers to find their ancestors in the Vevay newspapers and that I will continue to find projects that bring my own ancestors and the ancestors of everyone out in the open.