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 ...