Thursday, January 3, 2019

Happy New Year! It's 2019~

Happy New Year! 
I can’t believe it is 2019--- 
It is mind boggling to me where the last year went to... And with my lack of productivity on numerous fronts, I fear that I may have squandered some valuable time.



Evidenced by my lack of blog activity, I did not have nearly as much time devoted to my genealogy quests as I would have liked! Which is the complete opposite of what I had originally planned for 2018.

Yes, I did speak at the North Star Conference, the yearly Fall Conference put on by Minnesota Genealogical Society And I was able to do some basic genealogy research throughout the year--- as well as continue to analyze and make breakthroughs via DNA.

As has been frequently discussed here in The Dead Relative Collector, having my DNA tested nearly 4 years ago, proved that there was some "biological identity issues" in my pedigree~
So I am NOT exactly who I thought I was...?
I'm STILL Not Who I Thought I Was... Thanks DNA
And DNA results continued to alter my new family as well, as people continued to be just not who I thought them to be.... and that saga will be a 2019 article series.

My biggest research triumph was late in the year, when I finally was able to locate my mysterious Great-Great Grandfather Owen Rutherford Bruce, some years after he was last spotted in the late 1920's. Capping his life story with his death finally lead to a bit of closure in my research, but has also expanded a number of new research avenues! This will also be a follow-up article, as he's made previous appearances here in The Dead Relative Collector.

Getting back into a regular blogging schedule is one of my big goals for 2019! I've already began a huge organizational push in my entire genealogical archive, this 3rd day of the New Year and I'm looking forward to continuing my progress & making the year my most successful yet!

Happy New Year~

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Spring Conferences & Educational Opportunities!

It's hard to believe we're four months into 2018! Especially here in Minnesota, where we can't seem to get a start on Spring... much of the state just got yet another significant snowfall and it makes motivation and planning ahead for warmer months difficult!

However, April is a busy month in the world of genealogy! And while the month is half over, there are a number of genealogical education opportunities on the horizon, right here in our own backyard~ And while it's always wonderful to learn new things, it's just as nice to hang out with "our people" and share the mutual love of our craft!

The Germanic Genealogy Society has their Spring Conference this coming Friday & Saturday—April 21st & 22nd. Timo Kracke is the key note speaker and the list of other speakers & subject matter looks to make a very fine conference!






If you are in Northern Minnesota, the Stearns County History Museum & St. Cloud Area Genealogists are sponsoring a Family History Conference ‘Trace Your Roots’ by the ever knowledgeable Paula Stuart-Warren. This also takes place on April 21st.


On April 28th, the Minnesota Genealogical Society has its Spring Conference “Back to Basics Workshop” which is going to be held at the new MGS location! So if you haven’t been there yet, here’s your chance. And luckily, one of the breakout sessions offered is a ‘tour’ of the new research library!

For those of you who don’t live here in Minnesota, or who are not able to travel to the venues across the state— I strongly suggest you still take a look at the Minnesota Genealogical Societies Event page, as there are many free webinars to further your education.

If webinars are your thing, The New England Historic & Genealogical Society has some amazing free webinars that are open to anyone…as well as other online classes that require payment/membership. They cover some very specific subjects, as well as broad basic genealogical research subjects that anyone will find informative.


There are so many opportunities for further our genealogical education—from conferences, webinars, workshops & classes. Every subject matter under the genealogical umbrella.

I encourage you to take advantage of these great services that are available! And if you know of others, please share~ The more people who know, the more people can participate.


Thursday, January 4, 2018

Happy New Year 2018~

The Dead Relative Collector wants to wish everyone a very Happy New Year! Hopefully 2018 is full of genealogical successes for us all~


After a break of a few months... times goes SO fast... I'm looking forward to blogging with regularity again! There still remains a large stash of "lost" family items to try and reunite as well as never ending changes & 'news' in our wonderfully diverse hobby to chat about. In addition to sharing my own personal genealogical quests and photos.

The Dead Relative Collector had the luxury of attending multiple genealogical conferences & workshops in 2017. I had great hopes to blog about them all individually... but it seems that time has just gotten away.

Among the highlights were the International Germanic Genealogy Conference in July-- many hundreds of people attended and it was incredible! What an honor to be part of the first ever one!

The North Star Genealogy Conference, sponsored by the Minnesota Genealogical Society was also a great time in October! The Dead Relative Collector was honored to present there for the first time as well.

Here's wishing you all a very Happy New Year and looking very forward to interacting with you in the coming year as well continue our never ending genealogical quests!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

TBT- Larrie Maine at Stony Brook

Spotlighting photos from my extensive photo archive
This week it is-
Larrie Maine [1896-1977]
My Great-Great Uncle

Larrie Maine at "Stony Brook" [Cass County, MN]

Larrie Maine was the first born, of six children belonging to Ralph & Minnie (Cole) Maine. Throughout his life he lived in various places around Minnesota & North Dakota, before settling on his farm near Mapleton, MN where he passed away following a heart attack at 80 years old.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Lost Photo Album- Olaug Kaatorp of Renville Co, MN

Last Summer I purchased a large photo archive at an auction. What a treasure trove of lost family items!



Many of these wonderful family photos are from Norway! It's difficult to figure out what family they are from though there is correspondence from Norway to Olaug Kaatorp, who lived in Renville County, Minnesota and various parts of Minneapolis/St Paul, it seems.

I can't really determine if Olaug was married or had a family- perhaps that is why her family photo collection ended up at auction??

It would be wonderful to return this lovely family album to a relative who would treasure it, along with the various loose photos & memorabilia. If there are no living relatives in the United States, maybe descendants of the Norwegian branch that sent these items over would claim this piece of family history!




Thursday, June 15, 2017

TBT- Baby Photo of Aunt Ardyce (Sturm) Reader

Spotlighting photos from my extensive photo archive
This week it is--
Ardyce Sturm Reader [1934-1994]
My Great-Aunt

A smiling Ardyce --



Ardyce was born in 1934, the 3rd of three children born to John & Beatrice (Mapson) Sturm, older sister Mava Ruth (my Grandma) and old brother Arlo completed the family.

Baby Ardyce

Growing up in rural Granada, Minnesota, she lost her Mother when she was only about 12 years old. Later marrying and moving to Colorado, she would pass away at only 60 years of age.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Mystery Photo- Southern Minnesota or Iowa

These 5 unknown young women appear to be having a fun time. Likely taken in Southern Minnesota or Iowa, it would be wonderful to determine their identities!


It is likely they are some how connected to the George, Bruce or Averill families that lived in Southern Minnesota & Iowa. If not relatives, they are at least family friends.

Judging by the age of the other photos this was found with and attire of the subjects, this well worn snapshot appears to be from the mid-1920's. 

It would be so nice to identify one or all of the subjects and determine who/where the photograph is of!