Friday, March 21, 2014

Looking For My German Ancestors, Part 10

As you may remember from my previous post, I had promised that I would begin writing about researching my German ancestors in German records; however, I have decided to devote another article to my ancestors' lives in the United States as I have an update to make on some mini-mysteries that I had about my ancestors. In a future post, I will continue my series by writing about my research findings in a few German records.

As I mentioned earlier,I've made some progress my research into my Klippel and Kees ancestors over the past several months.  A part of this progress came about through my research in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century newspapers of Saginaw and Bay City, Michigan. While the majority of my findings only provided some interesting facts about the lives of my Klippel ancestors and Anna's husband, I did uncover a brief obituary or death notice for Emilia (Kees) Klippel. Emilia (or sometimes recorded as Amelia in other records) Klippel's obituary listed the names of her children and indicated that she would be buried in Cleveland. Since her husband, Friedrich, was not mentioned in the notice, I think it may be safe to conclude that he had already died. In addition, the notice indicated that she died of pneumonia which contradicts the cause of death listed in her death record. Since the notice was printed a day after she died and since death records in Michigan before 1897 tend to be inaccurate, I've decided to conclude that the cause of death listed in the newspaper is the accurate cause of death.

In addition to uncovering my ancestor's obituary, I also uncovered some information about Anna Klippel's brother, Henry, that confirmed my grandma's claim that he had a child with his first wife. As you may remember from my post, "The Wives of the Two Henrys ...," I had mentioned that I had been unable to find evidence that Henry had a daughter with his first wife, Ida; however, after searching through the Bay City, Michigan newspapers earlier this year, I finally did find proof of a child and discovered the daughter's name. Once I had a name for Henry's daughter, I searched through FamilySearch's Michigan Birth Records and found a birth record for the child. Previously, I had not been able to find a birth record because I did not know the name of Henry's daughter and because Henry's last name had been misspelled in the record and index. I also searched the death records for Michigan on the FamilySearch and Seeking Michigan websites, but I was unable to find a death record for Henry's daughter. (I have refrained from giving the name the child in the remote chance that she is still alive.) At this time, I am uncertain as to what happened to Henry's daughter after Ida died, and I have been unable to find Henry in the 1910 census. The only possible clue I have to the fate of Henry's daughter is my grandmother's claim that Ida took her daughter away from Henry after she divorced him. Although the death certificate could be incorrect, Ida's death certificate indicated that she was still married, but that does not rule out the possibility that Ida and Henry were in the process of a divorce. In addition, the death certificate indicated that Ida died of consumption, and she may have become too ill to care for her daughter. (Henry may have been working as a sailor on a Great Lakes' ship as newspaper article a couple years later indicated that Henry was working on a ship.) Was Henry and Ida's daughter in the custody of Ida's relatives at Ida's death, and did they refuse to give back to Henry his daughter? At the moment, I am struggling to locate Ida's siblings in the 1910 census, but I am uncertain as to whether or not  most of Ida's siblings returned to Canada. I know one brother continued to live in Bay City, but I did not find a female in his household that fit Henry and Ida's daughter. Of course, there is a possibility that my family tradition is incorrect, and that Henry and Ida's daughter might not have been taken in by her maternal relatives. Could have Henry and Ida's daughter been temporarily place in a home while Ida was ill, and later, put up up for adoption? The only way I can answer those questions would be to examine court records in Bay County, Michigan, and I'll have to make a trip to Bay City to do the research.

In addition to the discoveries I made in the newspaper articles, I also discovered where Henry Klippel, his second wife, mother, Emilia (Kees) Klippel, and grandfather, Adolph Kees, were buried in Cleveland, Ohio. I found their burial places by searching an index of Riverside Cemetery's burial records. I haven't yet emailed the cemetery to find out what additional information (if any) that the cemetery might have on them, but I intend to do so once I have a chance. Even though Friedrich is not listed as being buried in the cemetery in the index, I hope that I may find a clue from any additional information that the cemetery might have on Emilia. Of course, I now have a new mini-mystery to figure out in regards to Adolph's burial since the index indicates he wasn't buried at the cemetery until nearly a month after his death. It may be the case that he was buried somewhere else first and then reburied at this cemetery, or possibly that the ground was too hard to dig a grave until later. ( Adolph died in early March.) Again, the cemetery may have additional information on what had occurred.

Besides the discoveries I made on my own, I also received an email from my contact in Germany that included information she had found in a German archive. One piece of information was a copy of a letter that my ancestor, Marianne (Anna Maria) Pirker wrote to her husband, Franz Joseph Karl Pirker, and the other piece of information was a pdf of a book published in 1899. The book included information on the descendants of one of my Cotta ancestors, and it confirmed my suspicion that the Henriette Cunz who married a Frank Voelker in Cleveland, Ohio was Adolph Kees' daughter, Henrietta. Of course, the book also included information on my Cotta ancestor's ancestors, and I was able to find additional information on my Cotta ancestors and family from the information included. Obviously, I am very grateful for the information that my contact provided. In a future post, I hope to write further about my Cotta ancestors, especially once I am able to examine church records from Stuttgart and Tuebingen, Germany.

Of course, in future posts, I plan to write about my research into German records on my other lines of German ancestors; however, that may change if I uncover additional information on my German ancestors in the United States, and I will write about those discoveries as well. So, stay tuned for future posts, and enjoy!

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