May I Introduce to You . . . Julie Wiesinger
I have the great pleasure of introducing you to Julie Wiesinger and her blog, Julie’s Treasure Chest, described as, “. . . In my blog, I share information on how genealogical research can be done in Austria and what sources are available. As various sites are in German, I explain the functionalities for Non-German speakers. Further, I write about Austrian history, to bring family research into context. I also want to introduce my own research and my ancestors in the blog.”
Julie, please tell us a little bit about yourself.
“I was born in Vienna, the capital of Austria, and lived there most of my life (with the exception of a year studying abroad in Edinburgh, Scotland). Besides our flat in Vienna, we (myself and my family) have a house in a small village in Lower Austria, where we spend a lot of time.”
How long have you been doing genealogy and how did you get started?
“I started researching my family history when I was pregnant with my daughter in 2013. I came across a family tree app. As I entered the names and dates of my grandparents, I suddenly realized how little information I had and how little I knew about them. That got me started, as I am a curious person and I love a challenge!”
When and why did you start your genealogy blog?
“I started my blog just recently, in January 2017. I was researching on the Internet and found some genealogy blogs. I liked the idea of sharing experiences with others, maybe even spark the genealogy flame in others. And I thought: My ancestors immigrated to the US, so other researchers may have Austrian ancestors, maybe I can support them finding their Austrian roots.”
Julie, how did you choose the name for your blog?
“I have always been a fan of good pirate stories and lost treasures. For me, all the information on my family waiting to be found is like a treasure – therefore the name Treasure Chest.”
Julie, what research tool or source has been particularly helpful in researching your family history?
“In Austria, there is a site, Matricula online by ICARUS which offers Austrian church books for many parishes in Austria (new ones being added constantly). This site is definitely the most important research site for me, as church books are the main source of information on baptisms, marriages and deaths in Austria. Very helpful sites are also, Gen Team and Familia Austria. Both sites contain databases for Austria and the former Austrian-Hungarian Monarchy. Familia Austria additionally offers a lot of research information (which is in German and partly tied to a membership in the association).”
Do you have any tips for new genealogy bloggers?
“As I am a new blogger myself, I actually have only one tip: If you are thinking about starting a blog, just do it! Get started! Even after only a few weeks, I have already had great experiences, as the contact with and comments by other bloggers. It’s really worth it.”
Julie, what other genealogy blogs inspire you?
“This is a difficult question, as there are so many genealogy blogs out there (which I even did not know some months ago). I think every blog I found so far is special, as it always gives a different angle to the research.”
What has been your most exciting genealogy discovery in your research?
“One of the most exciting discoveries was only just recently, when I found out that the sister of my great-great grandfather, actually was the eldest woman in Vienna and was featured several times in newspapers, even with photos (I did not have any photos before). Another great moment was when I got a box full of letters from my grandfather’s half-brother written to his wife in WWII, which give insight in his WW experiences and life, but also in my grandfather’s life, as he is mentioned in the letters.”
Julie, what is your favorite post on your blog?
“My favorite post so far is about the ‘Buffalo Zither Club – Friday’s Faces from the Past’ as I literally made an astonishing discovery while writing the post. It all started with a photo I have of my ancestors who immigrated to Buffalo. I wanted to write about how one could find out more about unknown persons in a photo. While writing the post, I started researching and really found out a name for one of the musicians in the photo. That was absolutely thrilling!”
How much time are you able to spend on your research?
“With a family (my husband and my two children) and a part time job, my research time is limited. However, on weekends, I usually find some time to continue efforts to find out more about my ancestors.”
Julie, who is your favorite ancestor and why?
“My favorite ancestor is definitely Bartholomäus Wiesinger. He lived an adventurous life (at least in my imagination), as he was wandering around Austria, doing many different jobs (as servant, cattle drover or wool dyer). At some time he even owned a house in Linz, but apparently ‘lost’ it again. He and his wife had 10 children, all born in different villages in Upper and Lower Austria (I am not even sure, I found all of them yet). I have not been able to find out his birth place, which is my biggest genealogy challenge!”
Julie, what family story or heirloom do you cherish most?
“For me, every heirloom and every story is precious, but there are two that stand out, as they are the oldest ones: One is a sketch of a newly commissioned altarpiece of around 1845 which was given to my ancestor who was then the head of the village. The other one is a red goblet which came with my great-great-grandmother from Bohemia to Vienna in about 1880.”
In what ways has genealogy improved your life?
“Genealogy has made me more aware of my roots, of where I come from. I appreciate all my ancestors have accomplished, as it brought me to where I am now. Through genealogy, I see things differently (for example houses, photos or books), I wonder much more about the history of things.”
Julie, what do you love most about doing your genealogy?
“I love the moments when I uncover facts and details about ancestors, which I did not know before. To have more knowledge about past generations makes them come more ‘alive’ for me.”
What is on your genealogy bucket list?
“I want to visit all the places, my ancestors have lived in to see the surroundings in which they lived their lives.”
If you wanted to leave a message for future generations, what would you tell them?
“Awareness of a family’s past is a great strength for the future.”
Please take a moment to visit Julies’s blog. Leave her a comment letting her know you stopped by. Welcome Julie, thank you for sharing your blog and family history with us!
© 2017, copyright Gini Webb. All rights reserved.
Gini Webb lives in San Diego, California and manages her own blog, Ginisology, while also researching her own German heritage, retired, enjoying life with wonderful husband Steve and visiting with her grandchildren! Are you a genealogy blogger who would like to be interviewed for the “May I Introduce To You . . .” series? If so, contact Gini Webb via e-mail.