Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Bart Brenner

Whom should I profile on GeniMates today was the question I asked myself this morning before I read my RSS feeds. There I got my answer.

It just so happened that  I read, A Hobbyist's Genealogy Manifesto, one of the best blog posts I've read in ages and that co-incidentally the writer had sent me a GeniMates profile during the last week.

I met Bart on Google+ a few months and since then have been following his blog with interest. I thank Bart for taking the time to submit such a fantastic profile that I know others will enjoy.

Date:  4 January 2012
Name:  Bart L Brenner
Hometown:  Born: Youngstown, Ohio grew up: Ashtabula, Ohio current residence: St. Charles, Missouri 

Are you a Hobbyist or Professional Genealogist?  Hobbyist

What, if any, formal or informal studies have you undertaken that are relevant to genealogical research? No formal studies; have started (but not completed) NGS “American Genealogy: a Home Study Course”; webinars; currently participating in American Records online study group.

How long have you been chasing ancestors?
Casually 30+ years; seriously 3 years

How did you get hooked on genealogy?
Over 30 years ago my second cousin once removed showed me his genealogy research notebook on the Brenners. I was not interested in genealogy at the time, but recognized the value of this information. With his permission I copied every page. Hearing about this encounter, other family members began sending me materials related to family history. Over the years I began cooperating with a brother-in-law regarding my wife's family history. When I retired (toward the end of 2007), I set my focus on genealogy. A pastime had become a hobby had become interesting had become a passion had become an addiction.

What is your day job?
I am a retired Presbyterian minister. I served as pastor, minister of education, and regional executive.

What are your areas of Expertise in Genealogy?
I have lots of experience at beginning to do things the wrong way, learning along the way, and then initiating processes to correct mistakes of the past and move into the future with a better grasp of standard practices and protocols. One special proficiency (developed from cooperating with my technologically proficient son) has been the development of a personal research wiki that organizes and maintains my genealogical data, information, and evidence. This has enabled me to digitize as many records as possible, maintaining only a very small set of hard copy 

Please outline your involvement in Genealogy Societies and Groups
Member of National Genealogical Society, Ohio Genealogical Society, American Records online study group, Geneabloggers

What are the lands of your ancestors?
The majority of ancestors originally came from Germany; eventually migrating to Ohio; most ending up in Youngstown, Mahoning & Columbiana Counties, Ohio.

What Family Names are you Researching?
My side of the family – Brenner, Deeter, Mieding, Smith, Cole, Messerall, Barthel (Bartle)...
My wife's side of the family – Weaver (Weber), Gregg, Hill, Spitzer, Fitzmaurice, Lewis, Graham, Anderson

Who is your favourite ancestor? Why?
John Brenner (1836 – 1909) is my 2g-grandfather. He is the first direct line Brenner to immigrate to the United States (from Adelshofen, Baden, in 1854). He was 18 years old at the time. From an obituary, I learned that upon his arrival in the United States, he was mugged and robbed of all his possessions. This led to his walking from New York to Philadelphia when family friends resided. He was able to borrow enough money to continue his travels to Ohio (via Rochester, New York). His was an indomitable and adaptive spirit. He developed a nursery business, was a cemetery superintendant, sold marble (tombstones), and finally served as office manager for a construction company.

What ancestral city or town would you like to visit? Why?
I would love to visit the area of Eppingen, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany. The smaller villiages of Adelshofen, Sulzfeld, Ittlingen, Kurmbach, Neipperg, and Stettin are all in the surrounding area. Some have actually been incorporated into Eppingen. This is the area in which my 2g-grandfather, John Brenner, and many of his ancestors lived.

What is your favourite resource for genealogy?
Ancestry.com & FamilySearch.org

Do you keep your genealogy files on paper? No
Do you keep your genealogy files on a computer? Yes

What genealogy software do you use to record your family tree?
RootsMagic 5 and TNG (The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding)

Do you have your tree posted on the internet? Yes

What Social Networking Sites do you use for genealogy? 
Ancestry, Facebook, Google+

Do you have a blog? Yes 
What are your blogs' URLs? http://geneapoppop.blogspot.com.au/

What are your Other Hobbies, Activities, Interests?
Fly fishing, fly tying, progressive theology, teaching, reading

What is your favourite leisure time activity apart from genealogy?
Fly fishing

What is your favourite (non genealogy) book?
Willa Cather's “Death Comes to the Archbishop” and Howard Rugg's “Imagination”

What is your personal philosophy in a few words ?
We are stardust, the universe's capacity for self-awareness. My personal calling is to a) make sense of life and live fully into its values; b) cooperate with others as they create meaning and value; and c) celebrate all that is.

If you have anything else to share please add it below.
As I became serious about my genealogical research, I adopted the moniker “GeneaPopPop” because I wanted to leave a legacy for my grandchildren. I chose the title “Stardust 'n' Roots” for my blog as a reminder to my grandchildren that they are Stardust (“wonderfully created”) and they have solid roots and location in this marvelous and mysterious universe.

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