Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Few Upcoming Posts ...

Although I have not published very many posts lately, I am hoping to publish a few articles in the next few days as soon as I am finished writing them. A couple of  those topics are:

  • Part 10 of the Looking For My German Ancestors series
  • Two Genealogy and History Thoughts columns sparked by some genealogy posts published and events that have occurred over the past month.
Stay tuned for these future posts and much more. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

July 2013 Edition of the Going-In-Depth Magazine Published!

I just learned from Randy Seaver's post that the July 2013 edition of the Going-In-Depth genealogy magazine has been published. You can read it here. Enjoy!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Three More Genealogy Blogs Added

I've added three more genealogy blogs to the list of genealogy blogs. The blogs added are:

The learned about the latter two genealogy blogs from Randy Seaver's post, and I found the German Lutheran blog from an internet search. While I look forward to reading posts from all three blogs, I am especially interested in the blog on the Suwalki Germans primarily because I believe my German ancestors from the Russian Empire came from the Suwalki Province. 

Any suggestions for additional genealogy or history blogs are always welcome. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

If You Get A Strange E-mail From Me ...

If anyone has received a strange email from me, I apologize. My yahoo e-mail account was hacked earlier today. At the moment, I guess I'll have to ask people to not contact me through my yahoo email. I have changed my password, but I do not know what else I need to do.  Does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day!

I just want to wish everyone a happy and safe Father's Day. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Looking For My German Ancestors, Part 9

In my previous post in the "Looking For My German Ancestors," I had promised to continue writing about my Kees ancestors and relatives in Cleveland, Ohio. I will continue to write about the Kees family in Cleveland, and hopefully, I will finally begin writing about their ancestors in Germany and Strasbourg in future posts.

As you may or may not remember from previous parts of the series (6 and 7), Anna, her parents and siblings resided in Cleveland, Ohio from about 1870 to 1876. (I think they lived in Cleveland before 1870, based upon Anna's brother's (Henry) birthplace and year in the 1870 census, but I have yet to corroborate my suspicions with primary documents. Sometime time between and 1876 and 1880, Anna's family moved to Saginaw, except for her older brother, Adolph. He apparently chose to remain living in Cleveland.) Besides Anna's immediate family, Anna's uncle, William Kees, also lived, married and raised a family in Cleveland. William applied for citizenship, and became a citizen of the United States in 1871.

In April of 1877, Adolph Kees, the father of William and Emilia (Anna's mother) immigrated to the United States with a few family members, Jettchen Kees, Johann(a? I believe the person to be female.) Joeslin and Marie Joeslin. From the woman (no relation) who had sent me information on William and Emilia Kees, I learned that Jettchen was a nickname for Henrietta. Since I knew that Adolph had a daughter named Henrietta, this Jettchen could be his daughter, although my contact also noted that the Jettchen could be a daughter-in-law as well. (I suspect that the Jettchen may have been Adolph's daughter, and I will explain why I think that a little later.) The Johann(a) Joeslin, I also believe to be another daughter of Adolph, since I knew from the sources I had that Adolph had a daughter named Anna who had married a Joeslin, and I suspect that the Marie Joeslin was Johanna's daughter. In June of that year, the Cuyahoga County Recorder's Office recorded the sale of land between William Kees and a Henrietta Cunz. As mentioned previously, Adolph had a daughter named Henrietta, and Henrietta married a Jacob Cunz. While I can not definitely say that the Henrietta Cunz that William Kees sold land to was William's sister, I suspect that there is a connection. Marriage records for Cuyahoga County indicate that about a year later, a Henrietta Cunz married a Fred Voelker, but unfortunately, the marriage record did not record the names of the parents of the bride or groom. So, I cannot rule out yet if this Henrietta Cunz is related or not.

By 1880, I believe Johanna and Marie had returned to Germany, while Adolph and Henrietta/Jettchen, remained in the U.S. In the census of that year, Adolph Kees is listed as residing in Germany a few houses away from William Kees and his family while a Fred and Henrietta Voelker are listed as residing in Detroit, Michigan.  Two years later, Adolph Kees passed away in Cleveland, but I do not know yet where he is buried. While the Cuyahoga County Archives has records on Adolph's death, the archives apparently does not have a probate file for him. (I had made a request for  a search a few years ago in case there had been a probate file created after Adolph's death.) In the early 1890s, Emilia died, and a Saginaw newspaper article indicated that her body was taken to Cleveland for burial. (Since only Emilia's children were listed, I think it is safe to assume that Emilia's husband, Fred had already died.) If I can find out where Emilia was buried in Cleveland, I may be able to figure out where her husband and father are buried. During that same decade, I believe Fred and Henrietta Voelker died, possibly in Ohio if FamilySearch's Deaths and Burial database is accurate. While the death year listed for a Henrietta Voelker in the database fits with the birth year information I have for Adolph's daughter, Henrietta, the names given for this Henrietta Voelker's parents do not match. In addition the parents' last name is given as Voelker, so I do not know if I am looking at the wrong person, or if there is an error in the database.  There is a probate record listed in an index for Cuyahoga County probate records for a Henrietta Voelker, but unfortunately, the probate file does not appear to have been added to the Ohio Probate database yet. I will probably have to order the file from the Cuyahoga County Archives to see if there is a connection between my ancestors and this Henrietta Voelker. If I am able to confirm or disprove the connection, I will post on it in a future post.

In my next post, I will continue my discussion on my Kees and Klippel ancestors; however, instead of writing about my findings on these ancestors in the United States, I will start writing about what I have uncovered in German records. Stay tuned, and enjoy!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

And Another Mini-Breakthrough into the Research on my Oswalt Ancestors ...

Before I get back to posting on my findings of my newly-found Oswalt ancestors, I want to mention another breakthrough I had in solving a small mystery with my more established Oswalt ancestors. A few years ago, I posted on my difficulty in locating the marriage record for ancestor's third marriage, and I briefly described what I knew about John's third wife. Up until this year, I had not been successful in locating the record for John's third marriage primarily because I had concentrated my search for the record in Michigan, with an occasionally glance into Indiana. More specifically, I had only searched FamilySearch's databases for Michigan and Indiana  marriage since I knew John resided in Michigan during the period that the marriage would have taken place and lived only one county north of the border with Indiana. I had not considered searching the Ohio Marriages database even though I knew from census records that John's third wife was from Ohio .

So, when FamilySearch updated the Ohio County Marriages database earlier this year, I decided to search for my ancestor's third marriage on the random chance that he married in Ohio, and surprisingly, I found the marriage record recorded in Warren County, Ohio. Apparently, John's last wife was from Warren County, and since I had not been able to find her in the census records before, I did not know where she was from in Ohio. Unfortunately, the marriage record did not indicated where the marriage had taken place, although I suspect it may have been in Warren County since the minister officiating at the ceremony resided in the county. I will have to search the newspapers in Warren County for a marriage notice, though, to confirm my suspicions.  The lesson here is that if a bride and groom are from two different states, one should always search for the marriage record in both states no matter how unlikely it might seem that the marriage occurred in one of those states. I had always believed that John's last marriage occurred in Michigan since he resided in Michigan and his first two marriages had occurred in that state, and I had been unable to find this marriage before because I had dismissed looking for the marriage in Ohio as being improbable.

Of course, now I have more questions and a new mystery to solve. How did John meet his new wife, since Warren County, Ohio is nowhere near where John and his children resided in Michigan? Where were John's children staying while John remarried? Did John and his children temporarily live in Ohio at one point? From what my grandfather's aunt told my grandfather, the marriage came as a surprise to the children, and John just showed up his new wife one day. I had always assumed that the marriage had occurred in Michigan as a result of this tradition. I might never know the answer to those questions, although I hope I find some a newspaper article on the marriage that provides a hint or clue to those questions. If I ever find a marriage notice, I will post an update. Stay tuned ...

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

And Another Update on the Research Into My Oswalt Ancestors ...

A few days ago, I promised that I would post another update on the progress I made on my Oswalt ancestors. Instead  of posting more information on Adam Oswalt (died 1837-1838), the father of Benjamin Oswalt (died 1861), I will write about the findings I made on a few of the grandchildren of Adam Oswalt (died 1837-1838) which includes my Civil War ancestor, Adam Oswalt.

As you may remember, I wrote a series of articles a few years ago that explored whether or not the Civil War veterans, Adam Oswalt, Benjamin Oswalt and William Oswalt, were brothers. At that time, I only had indirect evidence to conclude that the three men were brothers; however, I can now definitely state that they are brothers. How? Well, I ordered two additional Civil War Pension files earlier this year.

Previously, I had only ordered Adam and Benjamin Oswalt's Pension files, and those files did not indicate whether or not the two men had a connection. (I should quickly note that Benjamin's Pension file was actually a Widow's Pension as his widow filed for a pension file after his death.) So, when I decided to order additional Pension files this year, I chose to order William's Pension file (or Widow's Pension, to be more accurate) and the Widow's Pension file for one of Adam's Detwiler brother-in-laws. (I will discuss the Detwiler Pension file in a future post.)

From the testimony of William's widow, Eliza, I learned that William, Benjamin and Adam were indeed brothers as I suspected, and confirmed that the men had a sister named Margaret who lived in Michigan. Besides confirming relationships, the file also listed the names of William and Eliza's children and Eliza's children of a later marriage, gave the date and location of William and Eliza's marriage, and provided an explanation of why I could not find a record of that marriage. Apparently, William and Eliza's marriage was not recorded in the county. Although Michigan law required that marriage notices be placed in two newspapers in the county where the marriage occurred, I haven't yet found a notice. I will need to do a more in-depth search of the newspaper records of Saint Joseph County, Michigan.

So, as one can see from the above information, Civil War Pension files could contain a great amount of detail on the lives and families of Civil War Veterans. Unfortunately, the file does not answer all the questions I have about these Oswalts, especially when it comes to the maiden name of William, Benjamin and Adam's mother. In a future post, I will discuss my efforts so far to answer additional questions on my Oswalt ancestors. Enjoy!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Genealogy Blogs I Have Recently Added

I had not added any genealogy blogs to the list I keep in a long time, and earlier today, I seven more blogs. A few of the blogs I learned about from GeneaBloggers and Randy Seaver's Best of the Genea-Blogs Series, and for the other blogs, I either learned about them through a couple of these new genealogy blogs.

The blogs I have added are:

I will add more genealogy blogs as I learn about them, and probably will remove those blogs that have been inactive for over a year. If you have any suggestions for any blogs on genealogy or history, please feel free to leave a comment with a link to the blog, and I will add them to the list. Enjoy!

Friday, May 31, 2013

An Ancestor Found: An Update On The Research Into My Oswalt Acestors

As I mentioned previously, I worked on my genealogy when I had some free time, and I will briefly discuss some of the findings I made for one branch.  Interestingly, I had not expected to make any progress on my Oswalt ancestors this past year, but that is what happened!

At the end of June 2012, FamilySearch put images of the probate records for many of Pennsylvania's counties online. Some of Huntingdon County's Will Books and Orphan's Court records were included in this database, and that July, I decided to look through these images to see if I could uncover any new information on my Huntingdon County ancestors. Previously, I had only examined the Will Books for Oswalt/Oswald surnames and examined the Orphan Court Records for my ancestor, Benjamin Oswalt/d by ordering the microfilmed records held by the Family History Library. As you may remember from a previous post, Benjamin's probate records did not mention the names of his heirs apart from his wife, Mary, and son, John. I re-looked at the probate records for Benjamin again, but I did not uncover anything that I had not found before. After that disappointment, I decided to look at the probate and orphan court records for an Adam Oswalt/Oswald who had died in Huntingdon County in the late-1830s. Previously, I had only examined the notation in the Will Book, which only mentioned the names of the court-appointed administrators of Adam's estate; however, when I decided to see if the Orphan Court had any additional probate records, I uncovered a mini-goldmine of information. Previously, I had dismissed the idea of examining the Orphan Court records for Adam because I had not obtained any new information from the records on Benjamin's probate.

I had always suspected from an examination of the 1820 and 1830 censuses and tax records for Huntingdon County that his Adam Oswalt and my ancestor, Benjamin, were related in some way, possibly as father and son; however, I had not been able to confirm my suspicion. The Orphan Court records confirmed my suspicion, and also gave the names of Benjamin's living siblings and Adam's widow, who I presume to Benjamin's mother.

From the Orphan Court records, I learned that Adam Oswald had owned land in Hopewell Township, and that he had at least seven children. Adam apparently either died in 1837 or 1838, and his children sold their father's land. Adam's widow, Mary, probably died around 1848, as five of Adam's children did not receive their shares of the land sale until that year, and the delay probably had to do with Mary's dower's right  in her husband's land. (Of course, I need to check the laws for that period to make sure that my assumption is correct.)

So far, the known children (in no particular order of age) of Adam Oswalt (d. 1837-1838) and Mary ? are:

  • Benjamin Oswalt (d. 1861) - eldest son (I do not know who Adam and Mary's firstborn is yet.)
  • Eve Oswalt wife of William States
  • Adam Oswalt - youngest son (He lived in Blair County.)
  • Margaret Oswalt wife of Jonathan Rough
  • Catherine Oswalt wife of John Fry
  • Elizabeth Oswalt widow of Jonathan Snyder
  • Mary Oswalt wife of Samuel Weight (sic) 
Since looking at the probate records, I've made some more progress, but I will write about those findings in another post. If you have any additional information on this family, questions or comments please feel free to leave a comment or contact me at jess_history at yahoo dot com. Thanks!

It Has Been Awhile ...

I haven't posted in a long time (nearly a year, actually), but I haven't abandoned this blog. I have been very with school  over the past few years, but I did occasionally find some time to do a little genealogy research. Over the past year, I've made a little progress on my ancestry, and I will be posting future articles on my findings. Enjoy, and stay tuned for future posts!