14 October 2012

New Mission Rules, Sisters, and Czech Ancestors

I’ve been slacking on keeping up on our weekly blog posts, mostly because life has been busy as ever, but also because I’ve gotten way behind with posting photos to the blog and I still have photos from our last days in New York, and lots since then, so I’m a little overwhelmed with all that I need to catch up on.  But I guess that doesn’t mean I can’t write our weekly updates until I’m all caught up on posting photos, so here goes:

We’ve had a fun, busy week this week.  Michelle and her kids have been here, and they get to stay until Thursday.  It’s been a lot of fun.  I have had fun with her sweet girls, and with her new baby, Robby, especially since I’ve been swaddling Robby and he loves it so I can get him to sleep most times when he gets fussy.  I’ve always liked Michelle and we get along well and have a good time together.  But I know people who talk about their sisters as their best friends, and I’ve been feeling more and more like that with Michelle while she’s been here.  It’s pretty fun, to see her as she has three little kids now and she is such a good mom.  And I feel like we kind of get each other.  I wish they lived closer, but I’m still crossing my fingers that maybe in a few years they will be able to move closer. 

Last weekend it was general conference, and we enjoyed some very good talks from the leaders of our church.  The boys did quite well – you can imagine that a two hour meeting with adults just talking the whole time would seem long for little kids, and at least for the first session the boys all sat and watched almost the entire time.  It’s nice to see them as they are able to do more and more each year that they get older.  Anyway, my favorite conference talk was one that talked about the importance of both genealogy research and temple work.  And then there was the prophet’s big announcement about the new ages for missionaries in the church.  Up until now young men in the church needed to be 19 years old before they could serve a mission for the church, and young women could serve missions at age 21.  They announced on Saturday that the young men can now serve missions starting at age 18 as long as they have already graduated from high school.  And young women may serve starting at age 19 (they explained in a press conference afterwards that experience has shown them that it works best when there is at least some age difference between the young men and young women serving missions, and that it is wise to have the young women be older than the young men serving).  And they said that it’s not just a switch from age 19 to age 18 now – it’s just something they can choose to do if they feel it’s right, or they could still wait until age 19 to go.  So, that’s a big deal.  The age has been 19 as long as I can remember.  I’m curious to see how that works out with our boys when they are that age – I’ve never actually sat down and calculated their ages to see how old they will each be when they graduate from high school, to see if they would have time to attend a semester or year of college first before serving a mission or not – so I’m not sure if it will make much difference for them or not.  But my prediction is that by the time they are that old, 18 will be the standard age for all young men to leave on missions.  We’ll see.

Anyway, this week we’ve had fun.  Camden had a week off of school a week ago, so it was nice not to have to spend as much time driving back and forth to schools the first week Michelle was here.  So this week I knew I’d have to spend a lot more time in the car with Camden back at school.  On Monday Camden woke up not feeling well, and it’s a good thing we kept him home from school because he ended up throwing up twice that morning.  Fortunately, that was it and he was feeling better by that afternoon, and it fortunately did not go through any of the other kids.  We weren’t able to go to the kinder music class that morning that I usually take Courtland to because Camden was sick, but hopefully we can make it this upcoming week.  The boys had their piano lessons, and the teacher assigned Christmas music for them to start practicing, which is great – I love it when they start playing Christmas music.  This week I made some flash cards with the piano notes on them, so Camden and Lijah can work on memorizing the piano notes a little better.  The boys are learning a lot more of technique and the way that music works, and not just passing off songs each week, so we are grateful for a knowledgeable piano teacher that all of our boys love.  Now Kolby, Lijah, and Camden are taking lessons from our friend from church, Marilyn Staffieri, and we are planning for Michael to start teaching Isaac lessons when he turns 5 in a few weeks.

Speaking of birthdays, it’s been birthday season at our house again.  Camden turned 6 in September and he had a pool party a few weeks ago.  I love that the kids can swim for their birthday parties (at least our boys who have fall birthdays – I guess we’ll have to do something else for Lijah in January and Courtland in February), but it’s so nice to be able to do pool parties outside because the kids love to swim with their friends, and we don’t have to worry about entertaining them or having small kids dropping cake crumbs all over my parents’ floor.  Anyway, I got Isaac’s birthday invitations sent out in the mail this week, and I made Kolby’s invitations this week too.  Isaac wanted a pirate party, so I made a pool party invitation with a pirate and a pirate ship on it.  And Kolby wanted a Harry Potter party, so we are just going to invite a few kids and let them watch the first Harry Potter movie at the party because that’s what Kolby really wanted to do.  Kolby read the first few Harry Potter books recently, and so he has seen the movie (we told the boys they could see the movies after reading the books).  And although Lijah has worked hard and his reading and spelling have improved a lot so far this school year, he isn’t quite ready yet to read that level of book, but he really wants to stay up and watch the movie with Kolby and his friends at the birthday party, so Kolby and Michael have been taking turns reading the first Harry Potter book to Lijah with plans to finish before Kolby’s party.  It’s been pretty cute – instead of going to the playground before school starts, Kolby and Lijah have been going to the school library and reading Harry Potter together.  At this rate, they should easily finish the book in time. 

On Thursday Michael watched our boys plus Michelle’s two girls so Michelle, Mom, and I could have a girls’ night out.  We had dinner at Sammy’s in Del Mar (possibly my new favorite restaurant), then we got ice cream, and then we came home and tried to watch a show together, but both mom and I fell asleep almost immediately.  But it was a fun night out.  And yesterday was Aaron’s 18th birthday.  We spent the morning cleaning up the house, and it feels good to have our bedroom really cleaned up again, and the boys all worked hard to get their chores done and to clean up the bedroom that all 5 of them have been sharing since Michelle’s family has been in town (which had gotten beyond messy), so it’s good to be able to see the floor again in their room too.   :)  Yesterday evening Aaron had a bunch of friends over for a pre-dance party for his birthday, and then they all went to a church dance.  It was fun, and the boys enjoyed staying up and having dinner and dessert with the teenagers.  After we got the kids to bed and the teenagers had all left for the dance I was chatting with my parents and Michelle and I went to look for Michael and found him asleep on our bed, fully clothed, with a book in his hands.  It was just after 9pm. 

The biggest thing that has been consuming our time lately has been our Czech genealogy.  Mom and I asked Michelle to come look at some of the records with us that we have been finding online (these ones are on the Litomerice archive website, matriky.soalitomerice.cz).  Within an hour or so Michelle was reading all the old Gothic alphabet as well as Mom and I (which took us much longer to get a hang of), and Michelle knows German so that helps too.  And since then I’ve joked that we’ve created a monster.  :)  Michelle has really gotten into the research, often staying up into the night hours later than Mom and I can last.  We’ve found so many records for “new” ancestors that we didn’t know of before, and there’s so much potential for possibly hundreds of more records to find, since these Czech records haven’t been available online in the past so much of this work has never been done before.  It’s so exciting! 

So I thought I’d share just one of the records we recently found, and I’ll eventually add all the other information to my genealogy blog (stephsgenalogy.blogspot.com) once we get through translating them in the future.  Anyway, here’s the birth record of Anna Rosalia Moras (we’ve also found it spelled Moris, Mraz, Moraß [Morass], and Morias; and we’ve found her name listed as Rosalia in some of her children’s birth records, but more often listed as Rosina). 

It shows that Anna Rosalia Moras, my 6th great grandmother, was born on 15 November 1722 in a town called Hettou (now called Hettov).  Her parents were Jacob and Catharina (unfortunately we’ve found in this book that the earlier  the records get, the less likely they are to include maiden names for the women or details such as house numbers or occupations, like we have found in the later records, but it’s still cool to find these records this far back). 

My grandfather is Carl John Spohr Jr., his father was Carl Sr., his father was Ludwig Spohr (who was known as Louis after he came to America), his father was Karl Spohr, his parents were Franz Spohr and Johanna Katharina Panowitz.  And in our recent searching we have found that Johanna’s parents were Adalbert Panowitz (we’ve found the following name variations for him: Adalberth, Panowitz, Panowetz, Panowicz, & Panowecz) and Barbara Elisabetha Kohl (also Khol).  Barbara’s parents were Wenzl (also listed as Joannes Wenceslaus) Kohl and Anna Rosina/Rosalia Moras from this record.  And, from looking at this birth record we find that Rosina Moras’ parents were Jacob and Catharina Moras (no maiden name listed for Katharina).  So, this month we have found 3 more generations (plus lots of siblings) on this line. 

This record is from a Catholic parish book that has birth, marriage, and death records from the town of Hettov and several surrounding towns between 1699 and 1759.  http://matriky.soalitomerice.cz/matriky_lite/pages/zoomify.jsp?page=68&entityRef=%28%5En%29%28%28%28localArchiv%2C%5En%2C%29%28unidata%29%29%2810019%29%29

We’ve got a lot more information from these parish records, but I just wanted to show a little bit of what we’ve been working on.  It’s been so fun working on this with my mom and sister.

No comments: