Saturday, November 22, 2014

Ancestry Saturday: A Rehearsal For Next Time

I was in Germany for a week on business, but I never got to do a single bit of ancestry research.

I was all ready to though.

I had print and electronic versions of what I believe to be the baptismal record for my great great grandfather, Michael Baecker. He was baptized in Annweiler, Germany and my recent travels got me within 30 minutes of the place.

I rehearsed in my head what I would do if I could stop for just 15 minutes at the Catholic Church there, the library, or the archives.

What is the cross for? I knows it means the records note his death, but when did he die? Where? How?

Should it match the time frame between when my great grandfather was born and when his wife remarried, it would have to be 1875-1877, so the time frame is narrow.

Where did he marry Barbara Fries and where were their children baptized?

15 minutes would have done it.

Now, I have a reason to return.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Ancestry Saturday: Why Germans Chose Ohio

I wasn't in Germany for a full day and the answer was clear. Germans chose to emigrate to places in Ohio and Western Pennsylvania, because of the similarities.

During a recent business trip, I found, shockingly, how alike the Southern parts of Germany are to my home state. The geology and geography match. The mix of manufacturing-oriented suburban towns and urbanized business centers is alike. Even the dry senses of humor and disciplined culture are similar.

I got to do zero ancestry research (no one who knows me will believe that statement), but it was a productive trip. When I shared how at home I felt in their country, the business conversation got easier with our business contacts too.

I have reasons galore to go back.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Ancestry Saturday: A Double Rare Find

A newspaper on microfilm dating back to 1841 is a find in its own right. Finding a marriage record for my third great grandparents makes it a rare find. I found a marriage notice in the March 25, 1841 edition of the Crawford Statesman for Laban Smith and Miranda Shontz.

The Crawford County Historical Society in Meadville, PA had an index card reference to make it easy, but it still gives you a thrill.

Amazingly, there were two. Not to be outdone, The Crawford Democrat published word on March 30, 1841.