family history

Pictures of a Different Era


I was trying to find the box of letters from my mission. With my missionary journal gone, I was always trying to save the letters I sent home. Unfortunately I found the box the letters should have been in, because the photos thatw ere packed with them were there. The letters are gone, though. I did, however, find a few old family photos, but no one in the family knows who the people are.

The first photo was developed in Vienna, Austria, the second one I have no information about. It might be somewhere in Ohio, where part of our family ended up. While I have no idea who these people are, the photos are lovely, and who knows, maybe someone can recognize someone.


Looking for my Great-Grandmother


I spent most of the day looking for my great-grandmother. More specifically, I’ve been trying to find her death certificate. I know very little of her, other than her name, and that she married my great-grandfather sometime after my grandpa was born. My grandpa passed away when I was 12, and my grandma was never on good terms with her mother-in-law, so I didn’t get much info from her either. When asking my parents about when my great-grandmother died, I just got some uncertain responses: “I think I still met her,” my mom said. When asked if she was still alive when they got married, the answer was, “I think so.” Considering that by the time I was born she had already died, that leaves me a 7-9 year window to search. When asking where she died, my dad responded with, “If she died at home, then the 11th district.” Which is only funny, because she lived in the 12th.

I started the search on with the 12th district. My grandma once vaguely mentioned 1972-74, so I looked up the death certificates for 1972, and then I remembered: the 12th district wasn’t only my great-grandparents’ home, it’s where one of the largest hospitals in the city is. That means nearly 4000 entries in a year! It would be so much faster with a microfilm reader than online, waiting for each image to load. Of course, when you add travel time, making an appointment and so on, it is so much faster, more comfortable and flexible to do it from the comfort of my own home.  I looked through over 500 pages of records, January to August 1972, and so far I haven’t found the Bogár Ferencné Focht Katalin I’m looking for. Hopefully with a  few days’ work I can find her. I can’t even imagine how much work it would be looking through all 22 districts’ records would be!

While I was searching my niece, who just turned 8 today, asked what I was doing and asked about her family tree. She had asked once before, so yesterday when I had the opportunity I got some data from her other grandma, so part og her birthday present was her family tree printed and laminated – with at least four generations on each side, and up to 8 on some. She had a lot of fun looking at the various names, and I promised her next time we’d match a few names to faces in our family photobooks. Getting kids hooked on genealogy early on is fun!