An intriguing story of researching Civil War ancestors, “Johann F. Gisch and The painting of The Battle of Lookout Mountain“, will be our featured presentation at the January, 2017 meeting. Our speaker, Ronnie Janecka, has been interviewed about her genealogy work by Dana Leeds as part of our Getting to Know Our Speakers series. Ronnie shares how she started her research, some tips and tricks in doing Civil War research, stories about one of her favorite ancestors, and more.
We hope you enjoy learning more about Ronnie.
What got you interested in genealogy?
My interest in genealogy began with my grandfather’s baptismal certificate which was written in German and hung in our family room. As a child I was not allowed to touch this document. Upon her death in January 2002, I retrieved it. Thus began my journey with only 5 names registered on the certificate.
Do you have other family members who served in the Civil War?
I have a Union maternal grandfather that served in Civil War and died at Crawfish Springs.
For those of us researching our Civil War family members, do you have any tips?
Google the name as many ways as you can. Today’s spelling is different from yesteryear’s spelling.
I am curious about anything and every “fact” concerning my ancestors, therefore I do not hesitate to telephone a repository or person(s) with any useful information.
My mantra is “DONATION AND/OR INFORMATION.” Leaving a small donation for the repository is always welcomed, and you will be remembered by the librarian, church secretary, state archivist. For example, when I visited Rock Island Museum, I gave the archivist information about John’s private life after the Civil War and information about his grandchildren, one of whom was my mother.
Besides this story of your great grandfather, who is one of your favorite ancestors or what has been one of your favorite genealogical discoveries?
My favorite ancestors are the Pank Sisters: my grandmother, Louisa Pank, who married Johann’s son, Harry Daniel Gisch; my Aunt Margret Pank, who married Benjamin Buckley; and my Aunt Augustine Josephine Pank, who married Henry Mandin. Both Louisa & Margret helped raise Augustine’s daughter, Julia, (JuJu) after her mother died at an early age. All three Pank sisters married men who were in the maritime business.