Osborn Family Tree

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Welcome to the first edition of the Osborn Family Tree. Been here before? You can go straight to the data for each of the four family branches:

If this is your first time visiting, this page will introduce the tree to you and explain how the data is organized, how to navigate, and some conventions used on this site.


Contents

What's Here, and Why

This site links family history information from the four branches of my tree, and attaches available photos and genealogical documents. Much of the original data comes from my mother (who had inherited much of that from her mother and from other family sources, though she added quite a bit of her own research to the collection).

There are two versions of this site: A standalone, private version which includes all the available data, and a web-accessible, public version which omits names, data and images of known living people. If you are viewing the private version on your computer, you can access the latest public version here.

The site is intended to enable sharing of family history data within the extended family, for education and to improve the data quality and quantity. Contact info for questions, corrections, and additions is near the bottom of this page.


How the Data is Organized: It's All Relative

To simplify maintenance of the information, my tree is divided into four branches, one for each of my grandparents; almost no data is duplicated from one branch to another (although some images are), so that gaps and conflicts are not created by imperfect editing. Dividing the tree has two negative effects: it divides three couples (my grandparents and my parents) in the presentation, and it complicates navigation for people who are interested in more than one branch of the tree. But few people will have direct connections to more than one branch; at my generation only my siblings and their children connect to all four branches, and only my first cousins and their families connect to two branches. So the division into branches will also simplify information exchanges with most related people who are actively working on their own family histories.

Another potential issue is the frame of reference: on this site, all of the branches start at my great-grandparents' generation, which means that calculating relationships requires an offset for nearly everyone. That's true for any family tree, of course.


Navigating the Site

This is the top page on the site, connecting the four branches together. Using the branch links near the top of this page (the four pairs of photos below the mosaic), you can access the 'contents' page for one branch at a time. Here's how my genealogy software labels the various pages for each branch:

Contents: Really a table of contents for the branch, with links to the various kinds of data pages on the site and some general information about the people in the branch.

Family Card: An abbreviated data page for one person or couple, showing their vital dates and their immediate family relationships (parents and children).

Home Card: The entry point to the tree, showing the Family Card for each base couple (my great-grandparents) with their parents and children. Browsing around the branch is easy from this point.

Person Sheet: The full data page for one person, including vital dates, notes, footnotes to sources, etc.

Index: An alphabetical listing of people in the branch, organized by surname and then by given names; each listed person is linked to their data page. Birth and death years are listed where available, to help distinguish like-named people.

Surname: Similar to the Index page, but lists only surnames; it links to the right location in the Index page. Can be helpful, because the Index page can get quite long.

Media: A page which includes all images linked to a single person or couple.

Tree: A simplified 5-generation pedigree tree for a single person. It is also possible to navigate the family branch by clicking on names on these tree pages.

Sources: A listing of available sources (notes, records or indexes) for some of the family data, including links to record images where available.


Once in the family data (on any Family Card, including the Home Card), you can navigate by clicking on people or icons. The destination pages vary with your action:

Clicking on one of the main couple names: takes you to the Person Sheet for the selected person.

Clicking on the media icon : takes you to the Media page for the selected person (where available; many people have no image data).

Clicking on the tree icon : takes you to the Tree page for the selected person, for a visual review of that part of the branch and optional further navigation.

Clicking on a parent or child: takes you to the Family Card for the selected person, i.e. moves you up or down (back or forward) a generation.


Most pages also include navigation links at the bottom, to return you to the branch Contents page, to the Index page, etc.


Some Conventions

The page names and navigation methods described above are default for the genealogy software used to generate this site; some other features were also software-constrained, plus there are some personal-choice conventions within the family data, explained here:

Male/Female is left/right and top/bottom: Constrained by the software; a useful visual cue once you get used to it.

Male/Female is blue/pink: Constrained by the software, but I can override it (suggestions welcome).

People are labeled and described by their birth name (usually): Primarily this means that married women are described by their maiden name, a potential source of confusion for most of us but an unambiguous standard. Or at least it would be, if I used it as consistently as I intended. I struggled with what to call people whose names evolved over time (often true for immigrants). A spectacular example is Don Kalal, who was born in the US to Bohemian-Moravian parents, and was called in sequence Augustin (probably originally with an accent mark over the i, Augustín), then August, then called himself August D (for WWI military service), then August Donald, then usually just Don.

Places are labeled and described by the name in effect when an event took place (usually): Related to the person-name convention above; town and names change, and certainly political boundaries do. So if someone was born before WWI in a town in the western half of what is now the Czech Republic, and died in the same town before 1992, the birth data should say Bohemia, Austrian Empire and the death data should say Czechoslovakia. This is going to cause problems with geolocation of the tree data, until geolocation can reliably handle historical place names. Again, the tree data is not very consistent in following this convention, yet.

Diacritical marks: Two branches of the family include a number of person- and place-names which should include diacritical marks (accents, dots and rings). For the person-names, in all cases these were dropped at or after immigration to the US, to assimilate with American English and record-keeping. Where the original spelling of person- and place-names is known from records, or can be reasonably inferred, I have used the diacritical marks for people born in the source country but not if they were born in the US. Unfortunately I have not used this rule consistently (e.g. the Czech line data needs work, the Swedish line even more).


Known Issues

In addition to the conventions and inconsistencies noted above, known issues exist with the family data and with the software that generates this site. A few are listed here, but corrections, suggestions, and comments are welcome anytime:

Much of the data lacks records and even named sources: A common issue in genealogy, and my to-do list. Contributions are very welcome!

Some conflicting family data persists: This is especially true in the Moravian line (though recent work has helped); also on the to-do list.

Privacy filtering leaves stubs: The software does not completely delete all reference to private (living) people; at the first generation to be hidden, an unnamed stub is shown. But no data is presented, and no links are enabled, so this is mostly a cosmetic issue.

Image resolution is lost in web conversion: The software limits the width of attached pictures on the media page to fit its default page width, regardless of how I edit the page style. And it converts larger images, rather than limiting the display format, so better resolution is not available in the web version. I do have the original images in a separate file for each family branch, and can provide those with standalone/private copies of the tree. Curiously (and fortunately), the software uses the full resolution version of images of source records.

Diacritical marks cause problems in some browsers: If you have trouble seeing names like Näslund, Vojtěch, Jiří, and Blažková, you can try changing the character encoding your browser uses; it's usually found in the browser preferences, sometimes under fonts (Firefox, Chrome, Safari). I usually use the so-called Western European encoding under ISO/IEC 8859-1, or ISO Latin 1; see this Wikipedia article for more information. This page and all of the pages generated by the software use the UTF-8 character set.


Useful Links

The links page is just starting, but over time will gather links to web pages I have found useful in my research.


Family Stories

Well this should really say 'Family Story', because there's only one so far, but in time hopefully there will be a few more stories expanded from the data we have on individuals or family groups in the tree:


Acknowledgements

Most family trees are built by many hands, some forgotten; this one is no exception. But there are some people I would particularly like to acknowledge as having a large positive impact on the tree for me personally:

My mother: Source (to me) of most of the family data, for both her side and my father's, and still recording and passing on family history. Scientia, aere perennius. She also hired an archivist in the Czech Republic to get vital records data, and arranged our first trip to ancestral towns there, has written to archives and family members for data, keeps and scanned many of the images attached to this site, and answers all of my questions. She says she's not a genealogist, which amuses me.

My wife: The better genealogist in our home, she has taught me that records can be found in the strangest places, and those can lead to surprising facts.

Larry Naslund: An early and very generous contributor, donating practically all of the info we have on the Swedish line. Twice he gave us deep and well-organized tree data; the first of those made it possible for me to meet a distant relative on a visit to Sweden in 1977.

Vladislav Michal: Mayor of the town of Podolí I (birthplace one of my greatgrandfathers), and a remarkably skilled genealogist; when we visited the town in 2012, he used archives to find birth and marriage records for my family several generations further back than we had. He and his assistant Blanka Tupá showed us the houses in town and nearby where my family had once lived. And then introduced me to a living cousin in one of the houses!

Věra Kalousová: The cousin Mr. Michal introduced us to; she welcomed us warmly and has been providing data from her line (and about the house) from her family's personal chronicle. And introduced us to the rest of her family, who shared their remarkable family history and their enthusiasm for the land and house connections going back to the 17th century. Happily, exchanges with Věra, Markéta Růtová, Jindřich Polívka, and Jana Kalousová are still going strong.

Fran Anderson and Jerry Calvert: Generous sources to my mother for many Calvert family details (and especially images), and now knowledgeable and helpful contacts for me for both data and methods.

Barry Stewart: Source for a significant sub-branch connected to the Calverts, and a seasoned genealogist kindly sharing his info and methods.

And my friends Alex Feller and Tammy Hepps: Both skilled family researchers (and generous sources for some of our records, even though they aren't related), but also both especially talented at organizing information for the web. You should see what they can do (for example, Tammy's Treelines tool!).


Contact Me (for Corrections and Additions)

On each of the branch contents pages, you'll see this link to click and send me an email; please use it if you have any questions or comments: