My Family History web pages

Welcome to my family history web page. As my genealogy work expands, I've needed to expand the page.
Please click the appropriate link below to go to the family page you are interested in.

Panther

- Including Birk, Klumpp, Traub and Hanle families, along with related families in the towns of Moesbach, Stadelhoffen and Erlach, Baden, Germany.

Bixenman

- Including the Miller family


See my entire family tree database. (Documentation not included.)

I created the family tree site above due to the long RootsWeb outage. It's definitely not perfect. If you have a good way to generate a simple text-based html family tree site that looks similar to the RootsWeb Family Trees, please let me know.


See my entire family tree on RootsWeb. (Documentation not included.)


My genealogy blog can be found here.

In the five years I've had my genealogy blog, I've had over 50,000 visitors. While I'd love to be a super-popular writer, I'm pretty satisfied with how popular the blog has become. So, what posts are the most popular with my readers? Here they are.

1. German Church Record Basics - Part 1 - German Records - Coming in first place is my post about how to read German church records. It contains images of common words found in German church books and what they mean. I'm very happy that this has become the most popular post. This means that my blog is making a difference and really helping out people that need assistance.

  2. What Constitutes Proof? - Coming in second is my post documenting what I have about my great-grandmother, Elizabeth Dunzinger Panther. I asked whether what I have constitutes proof that I've found her parents or not. The concensus seems to be that I can be pretty confident that I have the right family but I'm keeping my eyes out for more proof.

3. The Miller/Müller Family - Third place goes to my documentation of the family of my great-grandfather, Charles Miller, before I made the breakthrough finding his parents and his ancestors in Germany.

4. Menke and Related Families in Hanover, Germany - Fourth place goes to the post about my Menke family and the related families around Schwagstorf and Ankum in Hanover, Germany.

5. German Church Record Basics - Part 2 - Latin Records - In fifth place is the other post I'm very happy to have among the most popular with the readers. In this post, I provide images and explanation of the most common words found in German church records written in Latin. This will likely help you with Latin church records from other countries but since I don't have experience in church books from other countries, I can't say that for certain.

6. Emigrants Out of Germany in the Mid-1800s - In sixth place is one of my favorites. If it wasn't in the most popular posts, it would definitely have been in the list of my favorites. It's about a newspaper article written during my cousin's visit to Germany, describing the reasons for people to move out of Germany in the mid-nineteenth century. It really helps you understand the hardships of people who lived through those times and puts their migration to America in a new perspective.

7. Autobiography of Agnes Panther Miller - Seventh place goes to another that is one of my favorites. With the passing of my mother, finding story of her life written in her own hand gave a very sad time a glimmer of happiness. It helps me understand her early life in ways my interview with her never could since much of what she wrote about I didn't know to ask about.

8. The Ancestors of Julia Cecelia Doran - Eighth place surprises me a bit. It does provide the ancestors of my grandmother, Julia Doran Miller but since I didn't know a lot about her ancestors and still don't know much, I find it surprising that people find it interesting. I'm glad people are finding things in my blog they enjoy.

9. Incarcerated in Iowa - An Historical Prison Project - Ninth place is the story about the Incarcerated in Iowa historical prison project. I find this project extremely interesting and I really hope I can help in getting it moving again.

10. Doran Probate and Property Records in Carthage, Illinois - Finally, in tenth place is the post describing the passing of the Doran real estate in Carthage, Illinois and Fort Madison, Iowa and how it helps us understand the family a little more. It is in the most popular posts primarily because another genealogy blog linked to it finding the way I stepped through the property records interesting.

--Matt

In the five years since I started my genealogy blog, there have been more than 50,000 visitors to it. While I'm happy with this number, I hope people continue to find it and find it interesting and inspiring.

Some of my personal favorite blog posts are already included in the list of top ten visited posts, also listed above. I'm not going to repeat those. I'm including only those of my favorites that do not appear in that list.

1. The Tom Doran Story - A Wild Character in the Wild West - My favorite blog post is the biography of Tom Doran, the outlaw of Junction, Texas. It is my firm belief that his story would make a great movie. It is my hope that I can make this happen some day.

2. Those Darn Dorans - My next favorite is the first description I found of the Doran family of Carthage, Hancock County, Illinois. Between Tom Doran, in the above post, the fight that resulted in the death of Henry Doran, and the story becoming clearer about "Old Uncle Tommy" Doran and his wife Catherine "Kitty" "Old Granny" Doran, this family is the stuff of legends.

3. Who Finds Who? - I love the coincidence of my cousin's son literally tripping over the grave of his ancestor when I asked his father to find this specific grave. Talk about genealogical serendipity!

4. It's a Small World - This post shows connections you wouldn't expect to find in different branches of a family tree and coincindental connections I've found.

5. Was My Unknown Great-Great-Grandfather a Philanderer? - One of my more recent posts and one that describes my quandry in finding the father of my great-grandfather. The number of common matches with my DNA matches that are likely descended from this person is amazing. They dwarf the number of common matches of people I'm much more closely related to.

6. Spur of the Moment Trip to Iowa - This post describes my genealogy finds during a recent trip to the birthplace of my father. This includes the discovery that the headstone of my uncle, who died at 17 months old, was sinking and the results of its restoration.

7. Photos - More than First Meets the Eye - This was a fun post, showing what you can see if you look closely at your photos. You might be surprised about what you can discover about your ancestors lives and personalities.

8. Learning About Their Lives - This post shows how much detail photographs can provide about the events in your ancestors' lives. I had heard about my grandfather's sale of his dairy cows but these photos really helped me understand the event.

9. Interview Your Elders - In this post, I encourage everyone to interview the elders in your family. You can learn details about their lives you likely have no other way of knowing and you have no idea how much longer they will be around to ask. Please talk to them today!

10. Müller Orphan Train Connection - This was about the discovery I made about the descendants of my great-grandfather, Charles Miller's brother and how one of his nephews was put on an Orphan Train to live out his life in Nebraska. I had no idea I had a connection to the Orphan Trains.

Extra - The Passing of My Mother, Agnes Catherine Panther Miller - I had a tough time narrowing my list down to my ten favorites and there was no way I was going to drop my post about the death of my mother. I believe this write-up gives the memory of my mother the respect and love she deserves. Reading this, I believe you'll understand a bit about my love for her.

--Matt






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