Bill Pringle - Bill@BillPringle

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Family History for Bill Pringle

Introduction

This page contains a collection of family history items pertaining to Bill Pringle. If you are related to, or know something about anyone mentioned in these pages, please let me know.

A family history book was created by Leo Leiden in 1967, with an addendum in 1977. Additional information has been uncovered since then, and we are actively working on updating the information with the hopes of publishing a new volume. If you are a descendent of the Leiden family, you can send me a list of the recent information, including names, dates of births, deaths, marriages, and any pertinent information you think should be included. I will compile all the updates and publish a new book. If you don't have a copy of Leo's books, let me know who you descended from and I can email you what I have, then you can send me the updates.

The following pages have information on our ancestors, broken down by families. On my mother's side there are two active family history groups: one for her father (Gill / Johncour), and one for her mother (Leiden). Because of this, I have broken her family history tree into those two parts. I don't have a lot on my father's side, so if you can help there, I would greatly appreciate any information you may have. On my wife's side, I have broken the family tree into two parts, based on her parents (Preston and Smith).

No personal information about the living (only their names) are included for privacy reasons. I include their names because otherwise it would be difficult (or impossible) for anyone to determine if I am missing any recent information. I have been contacted by several people who apparently did a search on their name and found my site, so this has been a great source of family history information for me (and hopefully for them.) If you don't see someone or see someone marked as living, but you know that they have died, please send me the correct information so that I can update my records.

Family Trees

Pringle Family Tree
This is the family tree for my father. It is the smallest tree, so if you can help me find more information, I would appreciate it.
You might be interested in the two autobiographies that my dad wrote ( one for me , and one for my sister K.C.)
Gill Family Tree
This is the family tree for my mother's father's family (William Murl Gill). This tree includes the Johncour family (my mother's father's mother was Helen Orford Johncour.)
Much of the information in these pages were obtained from the late Patricia Burchfield. Many thanks, and RIP.
Susan Bearer, a descedent of Peter Joncour, has been another great source of information, and has created a number of entries at the "Find a Grave" web site, which includes obituaries and photos. You can search through her contributions for more information.
Leiden Family Tree
This is the Leiden family tree (my mother's mother was Della Mary Leiden). This tree includes all the descendents of my mother's mother's father's father: Adam J. Leiden. The Leiden family has done extensive family history, starting with Leo Leiden, who published a family history book and a supplement. These two publications were a great resource for this family tree. The Leiden family holds a reunion every other year, and many members have been a great source of information, especially Bob Leiden who gave me the translation of the Catharina Flink letters.
I discovered that the Mormon Church has microfilms of the church records for Sondernheim and Martinstein in Rhineland, Prussia, where the family originated. I was able to scan these films and now have them on my PC hard drive. This makes looking up information fairly easy, and allowed me to find a lot of information that we didn't have before, as well as to correct some of the records we already had. If you are interested in getting a copy of these records, it takes 4 DVDs (two for Sobernheim and two for Martinstein). If you want copies of these DVDs, let me know, or if you are interested in only a few records, tell me which ones and I will be glad to send them to you.
This page contains a series of letters that were written in German from Catharina Flink to her sister-in-law, Elizabeth Leyden. Catharina was the sister of Adam J. Leiden, and Elizabeth was Adam's wife. They were translated into English by a friend of the family. (Elizabeth is my mother's mother's father's mother.)
She wrote these letters about once a year during the period from 1889 through 1912 (usually near the end of the year), and they discuss the news from Germany. These letters allowed me to identify some family members, as well as provided some information on death dates. They also mention people that I'm not sure who they are.
I have included foot notes for what I was able to figure out, along with questions that were raised, and would welcome information, suggestions, etc. from others.
Preston Family Tree
This is the family tree for my father-in-law.
My wife and her sister Jackie are actively researching this family.
Smith Family Tree
This is the family tree of my wife's mother.
My wife and her sister Jackie are actively researching this family.
Autobiography of William C. Pringle
This autobiography was created from a series of tapes that William C. Pringle made for his son, Bill.
Life Memories of William C. Pringle
An abbreviated autobiography of William C. Pringle, based on a tape made for his daughter, K.C.

The following web sites are good sources of family history information

Ancestry.Com
This web site has lots of family history related records, although you need to pay money to see the actual images.
Family Search
This is a free web site run by the Mormon Church. It contains many of the records that are also on Ancestry (my guess is that Ancestry got most of their data from the Mormon Church.
There is a new version of this site that is currently undergoing beta testing. Once available to the general public, this will be a great resource to help people work together to research their family trees.
Family Records Search
Data for this web site is still underway, but will allow users to view the original family history records. Once done, it will essentially be a free version of Ancestry.Com
FamilySearch Indexing
This web site allows you to help index orginal records. As records are indexed they will appear in the Family Records Search web site, above.
Cyndi's List
This web site is an extensive index to various family history web sites.
Ellis Island
This web site has all the records of immigrants who entered the country through Ellis Island

Tips and Suggestions

I don't claim to be an expert, but I have talked to experts. That was a joke :^) This section describes some of the things that I have learned about Family History, including tips on how to find things. I attended a Family History Conference at our local church, and some of the things said there inspired me to create this section to pass along what was mentioned at the conference, as well as some of the things I have learned.

Some relative has already done some work on Family History
If you are lucky, you know who that relative is. If you aren't lucky, then keep talking to family members and try to find them.
Get a computer program for Family History
There are lots of programs out there. Since I'm pretty cheap, I use the free PAF program from the LDS church. It does everything I need, including building the web pages, reading and writing GEGCOM files, generating reports and forms, and exporting my family tree to my Palm Pilot. Whatever you get, make sure you can enter lots of notes for each person.
For each person, include everything you know about them (including conflicting or clearly wrong information), and where you got the information. NOTE Make sure you include the sources of your information. That will come in handy when you are trying to resolve issues.
Get in the habit of backing up your information on a regular basis. I have my PAF program set up so that it will ask me to create a backup each time I make changes. Copy your backup files to another drive, like a different hard drive, a flash drive, etc. If you are storing image files, then consider writing them to a CD or DVD. If you don't know how to do that, ask a teenager. That was a joke :^)
Talk to as many family members as you can, especially the older ones.
Get a cassette recorder and ask if you can record the conversations. That way you don't have to worry about writing things while they are talking, you can just listen and think of questions to ask.
Start by asking for stories of when they were young. Don't try to "get them back on track." You are getting to know that ancestor by hearing what was important to them. If they are "all talked out", then you can ask specific questions.
Consider converting your cassettes to CDs. If you don't know how to do that, ask a teenager if they can help. Once you have the interviews on CD, you can make copies for anyone who wants them. You can also use the CD to quickly find the section of the interview that you want to check.
Either transcribe the entire interview, or extract the basic information. If the recording is on CD, consider adding the track/time so you can quickly find it later.
Each person will probably tell a slightly different story. Don't try to decide which version is true, just record all the things you have learned, along with your opinions. Once you have all the versions, go back and ask each person about the other versions.
Don't stop with just "your" ancestor.
Don't just look for your direct descendent; list all of the siblings, along with their descendents. Don't spend a lot of time on descendents, but when you come across any information, add it to your family tree. There may be times that you can't find your actual ancestor, but you can find a brother or sister. This will sometimes lead to you finding your ancestor. For example, if ancestor's name was transcribed incorrectly, finding a sibling might let you find your ancestor.
Another advantage of finding siblings, including descendents, is that it increases your chances of coming across somebody else who is researching the same line. When that happens, you might find entire branches of your family tree that you didn't know existed, all because you took the time to add siblings to your family tree.
Make your research available to others.
Making your research available to others is the best way to find others who might be searching the same family tree. This often leads to resolving some of the "brick walls" you have encountered.
There are a number of ways you can publish your work.
  • If you have a web site, post your tree there. Most family history programs will create them for you.
  • Add the information to FamilySearch.org. At the time of this writing (Sept. 2008), the LDS Church is developing a new version of this web site that makes colaboration easy (essentially automatic). They are looking for people to test and evaluate the system.
  • Use a family history web site, like Ancestry.com to create a family tree that others can search.
I would encourage you to include the names of all living relatives. PAF has an option to suppress all information on living individuals, but it also has an option to display just their names. People often google their own names, and they might find their name and get in contact with you. So far, I have found a half dozen relatives I didn't know about, but I have only had one person ask me to remove their name. (I changed their first name to LIVING in my PAF file, and recorded the real name in a file that doesn't get published to the web.)
When searching, be creative
If you are having problems finding somebody, learn to think outside the box and forget what you know. People moved around, and sometimes changed their names or the spelling of their names. On top of that, there are lots of chances for transcription errors.
If a search doesn't find anything, try widening the search. If that doesn't work, try different spellings, and the soundex option (which matches other spellings that sound the same). If all else fails, try using just the first name and age; last names are a common source of transcription errors.
If you strike out finding somebody, try to find their relatives. Sometimes that will let you find the person you were really looking for.
Finding non-realatives is often easier than finding relatives
This is clearly said with tongue in cheek, but it is often true. That isn't necessarily bad, since often families married back and forth, so you might find your original line by tracing back the in-laws.

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