Discovering Stored Treasures

Discovering Genealogy, One Ancestor at a Time.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Happy Birthday Great Grandma!

Minnie Crane 1917
I can't think of a better day for returning to the blog, than today, my great-grandmother's birthday. Minnie Crane born Menuche Kranowitz and also known by her married names Minnie Bloomfield, Minnie Heintz and Minnie Falk (now that is a lot of names), was born 118 years ago today. Aside from the gift of life, Minnie gave me many gifts throughout the years I had the pleasure of knowing her, but the biggest gift of all, was her journal, which I helped her turn into a book, thirty years after she passed away. This Stored Treasure, is the gift that keeps on giving. Only recently, I got an e-mail from Minnie's great nephew who was extremely moved by reading the book. I hope it's alright with my cousin, that I share his kind words. In his letter, he thanked me for putting the book together, but I know he is also thanking Minnie for if she hadn't written down her story, it would have been lost.
Minnie at the wailing wall, Dec 1969

"Stored Treasures... came last night, and she [Minnie's great-nephew's wife] surprised me with it as a late Hanukkah gift. I just finished reading it from cover to cover.
    I am speechless. What an incredible thing of beauty and act of love you have created! I can't begin to convey to you how thoroughly I enjoyed reading it, and how much I learned about my family, my namesake and myself. You have done something wonderful, not just for your immediate family, but for your extended family as well.
    You probably don't remember, but in the fall of 1973 I came to Israel as a volunteer to do civilian work during the Yom Kippur war.... while I was in Jerusalem, I remember standing at the Western Wall for the first time. I'm not a particularly religious person, but I remember experiencing an incredible feeling of connectedness to something timeless, something greater than myself.  I had never felt anything like that before.  Since then, I've only felt anything like it three other times in my life. The first two times were at my two childrens' b'nai mitzvot, when I handed them to torah. The third was when I read your book."
Minnie's story has moved not only family members, but complete strangers in similar way. She provide a unique window into a time period and a places, which no longer exist. Like genealogy itself, her story is personal yet universal at the same time. Thank you Minnie and Happy 118 birthday!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Returning from Sabbatical: Back and open for business!

Past-Present-Future is back from sabbatical! I am proud to announce that this week, I completed Boston University's, Genealogical Research course. It's been an intense experience, one in which I learned a tremendous amount and at the same time discovered that I have much more to learn.

As I mentioned in my last post before leaving blogging for the semester, we were asked not to blog about the course, so unfortunately, I can't really give much detail. I believe I am allowed to highly recommend the course. If anyone has any questions, please feel free to send me a personal note or an e-mail and I'll be happy to talk about my experience. I'm not sure when I'll actually have my certificate, but it will be a proud moment!

Behind the Brick Wall
For now, I'm excited to return to blogging. There is much I look forward sharing since though the blog was on hold, my research was not. On the contrary, thanks to the course, I feel more equipped than ever to break down brick walls.

Here is a heads up of posts to come:

1. Remember Mollie Bogdanow? I've written about this great grandmother several times, as part of the Fearless female series:  29: Fearless Female: Mollie Bogdanow, as part of Friday's Faces From the Past series Friday's Faces from the Past: The Bogdanows and Past-Present-Future: Where Were They 100 Years Ago?. Mostly I've written about how little I know about Mollie, she is one of my biggest brick walls. Well, the wall literally came tumbling down! I'll be posting a new series about how I broke through.

2. Remember the post Bullish on Genetic Genealogy! Since 2012 when I did had my DNA tested on FamilyTreeDNA, I've been meeting genetic cousins, and writing about the experience in posts such as My Mitochondria. Despite my vast family tree, until recently, I've never been able to workout any family relationship. All that has recently changed and I can't wait to share this story!

3. Guess who has an FBI file? I recently learned that one of my ancestors has an FBI file. You'll have to come back, to find out who.

Which series would you guys like me to start with? Write me a comment with your vote!