Author Archives: Gail Grunst Genealogy

About Gail Grunst Genealogy

Gail has been researching her own family since 1979. Her research has taken her back to 1800 Belgium and 1800 England. Gail has worked in a library for the last 20 years and has answered genealogy questions for patrons and helped patrons with their research. In addition to her degree in Library Media Technology, Gail has a two degree in Basic American Genealogy Research from the National Genealogy Society. She has done volunteer work for various Genealogy Societies. Gail teaches several Classes in Genealogy for the Round Lake Area Library, and would be happy to conduct a class for your organization. If interested in a class or if you would like a one-on-one consultation, please contact Gail. Please enjoy Gail's family History Blog

2015 in review


The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 800 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 13 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Book Review: Her Mother’s Hope


I just read a book Her Mother’s Hope by Francine Rivers.  I found compelled to write a book review about it because it ties in to Family History, and I rarely find a book that is Fiction and a story about a family through generations.  The story was inspired by the author’s family history that she researched and events from her mother’s journal.

The story starts out in Steffisburg, Switzerland in 1901.  It is the story of a girl named Marta.  When Marta was twelve years old her father makes her leave school to go to work, and he takes her wages.  At fourteen her father sends her to a housekeeping school for six months to learn to be a servant.   Afterwards, Marta works several jobs and leaves home for Paris and then London working as servant.  Eventually, she travels to Canada, where she realizes her dream of owning a boarding house.  It is in the boarding house, that Marta meets her future husband, Niclas.  Marta and Niclas get married and she becomes pregnant.  Niclas loses his job and goes to Manitoba, Canada to follow his dream of farming,  Marta must decide whether to follow him to Manitoba or stay and run her boarding house.  She finally decides to follows Niclas to the wilderness of Manitoba.  They eventually end up owning a farm in Northern California and raise four children.  The oldest daughter, Hildemara, is quiet, doesn’t speak up, or argue, unlike her older brother and two younger sisters.  Her mother sees this as a weakness, and want Hildemara to stand up for herself.  She did not want her to grow up and be dependent on her.  She is harder on Hildemsara than the others, but Hildamara does not understand why and thinks her mother does not love her, like she loves the others.  Hildemara finally does learn to stand up for herself and works during high school, saves her money, and puts herself through nursing school.  She eventually marries and has children.  The story has many ups and downs as it takes Marta and her family though WWI, the Depression, WWII, illnesses, ending in the 1950’s with a cliffhanger. To find out what happens, I guess I will have to read the next book Her Daughter Dream

Note:  I added the link below because in my Blogging 101 class we were suppose choose an event and  participate and link to the event.  I chose Book Review Day.  The problem is that the link does not work.  So I went back and tried to find another event that would include a book review.  I could not find one, and I don’t have time to change it.  So here is the link anyway.  I tried!  Book Review Day

I Pledge the Allegiance


When our ancestors came here they pledged an oath of allegiance to the United States and renounced any allegiance to their home country.  Our ancestor’s came for a variety of reasons.  They left their home countries seeking political and religious freedoms.  They also came for economic reasons, jobs, and land opportunities.  Before being let in the United States they were checked for contagious diseases, deformities, or if they were helpless in anyway.  They must have a job or relative waiting for them in the United States. If they did not meet these requirements, they were turned away.  Once here most wanted to become naturalized citizens.

The naturalization process back then was a three step process.

First step — to present himself to the court to file a declaration of intention to become a citizen. It had to be filed three years before he could be admitted to citizenship.  It could be filed in any court – city, county, state, or federal.

Second Step – After three years and being a resident for at least five years, he again presented himself to the court in which his declaration of intention was filed.  He filed a petition for citizenship with supporting affidavits, including witnesses’ statements in support of his residency claim, and an oath of allegiance.  These are called his final papers.

The final step occurred when the court ordered him admitted to citizenship an issued a certificate of naturalization.

Our ancestors came here, to the land of opportunity, looking for a better life for themselves.  They procured employment, learned English and became citizens  It’s because they had the courage to leave their homelands and come here to a strange land, that I can live here in this great country today and enjoy freedom.  They said an oath of allegiance and I Pledge Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America.  I don’t know if each school day is started with the Pledge of Allegiance, like it was when I went to school, but it should be.  It bothers me that we are so concerned with offending someone.  Our ancestors who came here were proud to be Americans, they were not offended by our flag or traditions.  They did not ask us to change our way of life or fly their homeland flag. I’m sure most of the people coming today feel the same way our ancestors did, but we seem to cater to a few who claim to be offended.  If we look long and hard, we all can find something that offends us.  Does that mean everyone else should change their ways?  In the history of our great country, somethings needed to change, such as slavery.  Our country makes changes when we need to, we are flexible. However, not everything needs to change. Some traditions need to stay the same. It’s the traditions that keep us grounded, make us feel safe, keep us moral.  It’s a great diverse country, truly unique.  I would not trade living here for any other place on earth.

Daily Prompt