Conger Family of North America Home Page
This page was most recently updated Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Please direct correspondence regarding this and other
Conger web pages here to webmaster Job Conger -- firstname.lastname@example.org
I am s l o w l y relocating my Conger web pages from the former site to this one. Many links indicated here will not connect you as they should, but they will as soon as my relocating is complete. Thanks for your interest and your patience.
Conger Family Gallery
I've launched a new page of Conger portraits. The start of this addition was inspired by the donation of some late 19th century/early 20th century card-size portraits purchased at an Iowa estate sale and given to me by a friend. There are Congrs to identify here and some folks which are likely not Congers. Which is which? You tell me. Visit the site if you have the time, the parsley, the sage and the rosemary, and tell me what you think; aye? Visit the page by clicking here
Maxine Leonard, the dedicated, selfless, tireless dynamo who launched Conger Confab and was a guiding light for many Congers, myself included, died Sunday, October 2, 2005. Services are slated for October 6. A neighbor sent me an e-mail with the news. I will try to post a more detailed obituary in the next few days and will add a page of pictures and memories from my visits to her home.
Her death should inspire all Congers and Conger kin reading this to renew our focus on sustaining Conger Confab the family newsletter which I published for some years after she turned the genealogical files and other family heirlooms over to me.
If you have memories of Maxine you would like to share with others via this website, please e-mail me, address below.
I have posted the funeral home obituary and the transcript of the graveside eulogy shared by good people who were there. Visit that page by clicking here
NEW at my Conger web pages
A gentleman born Dan Conger in Milwaukee, WI November 28, 1945 and given up for adoption seeks information about his birth parents. For the complete story, vitis the Conger Research page by clicking here
How Job C. Conger, IV Became Connected to Conger Confab
When I was a child growing up in Springfield, Illinois, I was told Congers are all related, and that the first of us took a slow boat to the new world before the Revolutionary War.
In 198something, I received a newsletter entitled Conger Confab from Maxine Leonard in Janesville, Iowa. It was newsy, friendly and answered a lot of questions. I subscribed on the spot.
Over time, I let my subscription expire. But when I met an elderly couple exiting a car with "E CONGER" license plates, I asked him if he was a Conger -- yes, from Easton, Illinois. Maxwell C. and Ruth E. Conger were the first Congers I ever met beyond a grandmother and cousins in Macon, GA. I asked if he knew "that lady who put out the Conger newsletter -- yes, again. He gave me her address and I wrote Maxine and enclosed a subscription check. In 2003, I read Max's obituary, and have met a local rural Illinoisan who had the greatest respect for the man.
After a few years of subscribing, Maxine said she needed a person to take over the Confab, and she figured I was the one meant to do it. I had all the right attributes for a Conger: I knew how to spell KAT without a spellchecker and I was unemployed. Was I going to argue with DESTINY?
Shucks, NO!!....Conger Confab is a quarterly newsletter about Congers. It has pictures, many historical pictures from earlier generations of Congers, news of what Congers are doing, and many postings of enquiries from Conger family researchers. Any Conger or Conger kin is invited to send pictures of the family, news of the family, news of genealogical meetings, research questions, obituaries, birth notices, marriage notices, pictures and descriptions of anything with the Conger name on it (items Congers have written, drawn, painted or manufactured) to the mailing address which I will send you if you email me first. I TEMPORARILY stopped publishing Conger Confab because of personal financial reversals, and I'm not "out of the woods" yet.
|Pictured right is Maxine Crowell Leonard, the patron saint of Conger Confab, whose diligent research, devotion to the Conger family and love of humanity benefits all Congers and Conger kin. This picture was taken during a September 1999 visit with her at her home in Waverly, Iowa. The plate she holds is now part of the Conger Family Collection entrusted to yours truly, Job Conger.||
A limited number of Maxine's Conger Family of America, Volume 1 are for sale for $100 plus $5 shipping. If you come to Springfield, Illinois and visit the Conger memorabilia collection and take me to lunch or dinner, you can forget about the $5 postage cost.
I have no copies of Conger Family of America Volume 2 for sale.
I am still seeking a Conger family member to continue the mission of publishing Conger Confab, to take all the Conger family materials passed onto me by Maxine Leonard. I don't care whether you live in the USA, Canada or Myanmar. IF you can transport yourself to my home and promise to carry on the Conger family genealogy mission, I will GIVE you all materials on hand, except for the remaining copies of CFA Volume 1, the back issued of Confab which I have published and the beverage cups.
Please contact me of you want to know more about taking over the Conger material. If there are no offers to take over, and if I continue to lack the financial capacity to re-launch Conger Confab -- I don't have a full-time job right now and yes, I'm looking -- I will transport all Conger materials to the site of the Sangamon County Genealogical Society in Springfield, Illinois, sometime in 2005. But in the meantime, I'm going to make a serious effort to demonstrate my faith that things will improve, in part because I am, after all, a Conger, and because I am sincerely grateful to Maxine Leonard and the many supporters who have shown their faith in me. I have created several new pages, listed below.
Conger Family Directory Status
A suggestion by Confab subscriber Cheryl Davidson-Ramsey has led to the launch of Conger Family Directory #1, originally planned for publication and distribution in 2001. This will be a directory, a paginated tapestry, a time capsule, that shares what we know about Congers and Conger kin who subscribe to Conger Confab. It will include genealogical lines, occupations, hobbies... in short, what people want to share. If I know nothing but a subscriber but a name and address, that's all I'll include. Bare minimum I hope to share is name, address, phone number, email address, web site address. Bare acceptable is the subscriber's name and city, state. If subscribers wish not to be mentioned at all, I will respect those wishes. I hope to include the kind of information described under Recommended Sources below. The CFDOne will be offered exclusively to Confab subscribers in 2001 for the cost of producing it. I'm donating my time and equipment and expect that Cheryl will donate hers also. There will be printing and postage costs to recoup.
We will publish a Conger Family Directory AFTER we have produced six more issues of Conger Confab and recouped some of the credibility lost to the wind since September 2001. Look for updates here after we publish those issues.
The Genealogical Dilemmas I've Kept Under my Hat Until Now
As noted earlier, I grew up cozy and happy believing all Congers in the US decend from one fellow who came over to the colonies before this land was our land. Didn't know his name until my propitious encounter with Maxine Leonard, and as I will say always, I am a much richer man, spiritually, as a result of that confluence of fates.
From the start of my correspondence and phone conversations with Maxine, I expressed doubts regarding my qualifications to take over the task of producing Conger Confab. She always assured me that I didn't have to be a genealogist to produce the newsletter.
As I settled in, and in the main, enjoyed the hours I spent producing Confab, two dilemmas began gnawing into my heart. One was that the genealogy book and computer program writers LOUDLY proclaimed COPYRIGHT ownership of the data they shared. Hence the problem of how to share what I read with fellow Confab supporters. I have always stated that information in Confab is for everyone's use so if someone wanted to share the info provided with others, be my guest. So the minor impasse I had with sharing data, simply stated, was How do I tell you something I read - and, something someone else read and told me - without being sued by a copyright holder? THAT was my secondary concern -- about which I welcome your opinion -- and it doesn't hold a candle to my first concern: what I will call The Genesis Myth.
While I respect religion which holds to the principle "Love thy neighbor as thyself." I regard the story of Adam and Eve as apocryphal, "of doubtful authenticity" as the Tenth Edition of Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary explains. As I learned more -- THANKS TO YOU AND MAXINE -- about Conger history, the raging debate over whether Congers are of French -- not English -- descent, I came to question what appears to be equivalent of Old Testament "lore" that states all American Congers are descended from John Belconger. The problem I have with my uncertainty is that I do not know how to resolve it. I do not know how to find the truth.
Several outstanding genealogists, who supported me early in my efforts, have drifted away from me as I have drifted away from focusing on my major dilemma. He can I pretend to be an "authority" on Congers when what I "know" is a thimble of Cognac in an ocean of rot-gut beer?
Over the years, I've purchased a few books that are intended to teach readers about genealogy, and I've barely read past the introductions. We recall how the disciples of Christ watched in fear as they saw him approaching them, walking on the Sea of Galilee and he spoke in essence, "Oh ye of little faith. . ." I am of little faith in resolving my dilemmas.
What is your understanding?
Family of America, Volume II
A few years ago, I purchased Maxine Leonard's remaining copies of Conger Family of America, Volume II. There weren't many left, and they didn't last long here. Subsequently, Maxine gave me permission to reprint the volume, but I didn't for two reasons. First, I was aware, through correspondence with other genealogists, of errors in Volume II that should be corrected before producing a second edition. Second, I had no dollars.
At this time, considering my circumstances, further consideration of revising and reprinting CFAII is not an option. If you have investment capital and are willing to finance such an enterprise, I will be happy to work with YOU toward getting the job done. Write me if you'd like to know what I have in mind.
The Future of Confab
I still have the subscription records from my earlier production of Confab; even Maxine's original pink address note cards. Every line that has been sent to me by respected genealogists is here. I have thrown nothing away.
One of the nifty things about Maxine's Confab was that it functioned exceptionally well as a "grapevine" for coordinating Conger Family reunions. During the time I published Confab, I planned three reunions and generated a grand total attendance of two people. Thank God, other Congers and Conger kin have visited over the years, and I say again, the coffee and boiling hot water for tea are always at the ready for good people who contact me before arriving in Springfield. I have had some wonderful visits from terrific people.
IF I CAN RESTORE MY FINANCES to the point where I can afford some kind of health insurance and house insurance and regular meals after purchasing a car I can drive on the highway in comparative safety, I will resume publication of Conger Confab. As soon as I am confident that I can deliver more than a random issue every year or even two a year, I will send an advisory out to all past subscribers. I am seeking NO SUBSCRIPTION ORDERS NOW. And I know, even this effort at improving my earlier web pages is not enough to merit a request for fiancial help. My goal is to produce a newsletter every three months as I did earlier.
In the Meantime
I am going to much more diligently than before, share on this web site, exactly what I would be sharing via Confab with the additional benefits that we can afford to publish in COLOR here, and it's free to you if you support this bombastic revue and even if you don't. Please direct your news about your life, questions about our family's genealogy, pictures . . . full explanations at the pages listed below.
Other Conger Web Sites Here
to the newest addition - Conger Family Gallery here
to Conger Obituary page here
to Conger Genealogical Data page here
to Conger Family of North America Research page here
to Conger Confab INDEX from June 2001 back to March 1997. To view this project click here
to Conger Merchandise page here
to Brotherhood of Jobs Page, dedicated to anyone with a first or last name of Job or Jobs here
to Richard Henthorn's list of Jobs in the Conger family here -- WONDERFUL RESEARCH!
What additional web sites of value to Conger family researchers, and just folks like me who like to read about other Congers, should I list here? Direct your answers to me -- email@example.com
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