Monday, January 31, 2011

Tuesday's Tip - Transcriptions...More Than Mere Typing

I've done plenty of transcriptions on Sunday's Obituaries, Amanuensis Mondays, etc, but I'm about to be doing many more.  I need to figure out who all of the people are in the hundreds of clippings that have been passed on to me by my in-laws in Wisconsin.  Rarely is there any data on the clipping to show which newspaper it came from, but at least I know they are from Wisconsin papers and most likely close to the area mentioned in the clipping.  I also know that they were clipped by my husband's grandparents so the clippings reference someone that was important to them, either, family or friend.

Many times there is a handwritten date on the article, which is most like the date of the event rather than the date the article was published.  We as genealogists realize that the publication source and date are very important to write out, unfortunately when they articles were clipped the publication date was not at the front of the clipper's mind.

Anyway, I'm blessed to have these clippings (and plenty of them).  I've scanned the ones that were stored in a "magnetic" photo album (don't worry I saved them from that bit of preservation), but have not scanned the ones that have been glued into several old, large scrapbooks.  That's a bit of work still waiting for me.  I still need to figure out where all these people belong in my tree.  The easiest way I've figured I can do that and get the most out of it is to transcribe the clippings.

I'm a fairly fast typist and it's easy enough to minimize the screen with the image and the screen I'm transcribing to so that I can see both at once and get the job done faster than if I'm trying to switch between screens.  I won't lie and say that the transcribing itself helps me to figure out where each person belongs.  My brain doesn't work that way.  When I'm transcribing, I'm looking at words, usually out of context.  My fingers just fly across the keyboard and little actually registers.  I can transcribe an entire obituary and not really know what was in it, but it's the proof-reading afterward that does the trick.  I have to make sure I didn't make typos in the transcription, so I always check my work.  That's usually when I have those "ah-ha" moments and find where they may belong...or at least what surname I need to file them under so I can place them properly later, perhaps after another transcription.

Transcription isn't just about typing it into your program, blog, database, etc.  It really is a helpful tool for helping us figure out who belongs where in our family tree.  Now that I've come to terms with that it's time to get to work...

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Amanuensis Monday - Rev. Robert Anthony

 "Rev. Robert Anthony (hand-dated Mar. 16-1956)

EDEN, Wis., March 16 - (Special) - The Rev. Robert Anthony, 45, who was to have been celebrant Saturday morning for the funeral mass of a second cousin, died early Friday of a heart attack in the rectory of St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church in this Fond du Lac County community.

Pastor of St. Mary's and nearby St. James Mission since January, 1950, Father Anthony was to have officiated at services in St. Columbkille's Church at Elba (Dodge County) for Nicholas Powers, 80, who helped found the Astico State Bank and the Elba Canning Co.

A native of Columbus, Wis., where he attended schools before graduation from St. Francis Minor and Major Seminary in Milwaukee. Father Anthony was ordained a priest May 22, 1937, in St. Ann's Church, Milwaukee.

Well known throughout the Milwaukee Archdiocese, Father Anthony was assistant pastor at St. Joseph's in Fond du Lac from 1937-40, at St. Monica's in Whitefish Bay the following year, at St. Sebastian's in Milwaukee from 1941-45 and at St. Gall's Church in Milwaukee from 1945 until he came here.

His accomplishments at St. Mary's included building a school, convent and shrine to the Blessed Virgin, and organizing the first Boy Scout troop here.  A member of the Knights of St. George, the Knights of Columbus and the Catholic Order of Foresters, Father Anthony was completing plans for remodeling of the church and rectory at the time of death.

His body will be at the Dugan Funeral home in Fond du Lac from 3 p.m. Saturday until 4 p.m. Sunday, when it will be moved to his church to lie in state until services on Tuesday.

Area clergy will chant the Office of the Dead at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, preceding a solemn Requiem high mass at 11 a.m. at which Msgr, Henry G. Riordan, pastor of St. Joseph's Church in Fond du Lac, will be celebrant, Archbishop Albert G. Meyer of Milwaukee will attend the funeral.

Burial for Father Anthony, an only child whom cousins survive, will be in St. Jerome's Cemetery at Columbus."

This and most of the other Wisconsin clippings I have were passed on to me from my husband's family.  This was from my mother-in-law, Dolores Cayemberg nee Kuehl.  I don't think the Rev Anthony was a relative.  I rather think that he was an ancestor's pastor and undoubtedly a cherished member of their church-family.  All that he accomplished as a priest before his early death at the age of 45 is amazing.  He was obviously a very dedicated man. 

I am a bit disappointed at the lack of information on his family.  The newspaper mentions the 2nd cousin who Rev Anthony was to preside over the funeral of, but it doesn't mention who his parents were.  There are nuggets of information in here that people can follow if they wanted to track down information on his lineage, to not mention someone's parents in an obituary is to do a great disservice to the deceased.  Just this genealogist's humble opinion.

Sunday's Obituary - Oscar Boegel

"Oscar Boegel (hand-dated June 18th 1980)

Funeral services for Oscar P. Boegel, 72, of the Town of Wayne, will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at Miller's Funeral Home, Kewaskum, and at 10:30 a.m. at  St. Bridget's Catholic Church in the Town of Wayne.

The Rev. John T. Budde, the Rev. Walter Morgan and the Rev. Elroy Pesch will officiate, and burial will be in New Holy Trinity Cemetery, Kewaskum.  Friends may call from 4 to 9 p.m. today at the funeral home.

He died Wednesday, June 18, 1980, at St. Joseph's Community Hospital, West Bend.

Mr. Boegel was born March 6, 1908, in the Town of Wayne, a son of the late William and Mary Zwaska Boegel.  On Oct. 7, 1930, he married Lucy Wietor at holy Trinity Catholic Church, Kewaskum.

He was a retired mail carrier and was employed by McGraw-Edison Co. for 22 years.  He was a member of Knights of Columbes Council 1964 of West Bend, and a life member of St. Bridget's Church, Town of Wayne.

Surviving are his wife; five sons, Lambert of West Bend, Norman of Chicago, William of New Orleans, La., John and James both of Kewaskum; and five daughters, Mrs. Gordon (Mary Ann) Sonnenberg of West Bend, Miss Rita Boegel of Racine, Mrs. Robert (Joan) Struebing of Wayne, Mrs. Thomas (Lucy) Bartelt of Kewaskum and Mrs. Leroy (Margaret) Myer of Wauwatosa.

Also surviving are 26 grandchildren; for great-grandchildren; two brothers, Dr. Arnold of Theresa and Norbert of Jackson; and a sister, Mrs. Mark (Lorraine) Grafmeier of Kaukauna.  A grandchild preceded him in death."

Clippings were passed on to me by my mother-in-law, Dolores, Cayemberg nee Kuehl.  It is unknown which Wisconsin newspaper the clippings were from

Friday, January 28, 2011

Space Shuttle Challenger - I'll never forget

When I was in Junior High School I wanted to be an astronaut.  The guidance counselor would try to persuade me to not try for it because they hire so few a year, blah, blah, blah (yeah...wonderfully encouraging man...).  I was also in 8th grade when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded.  I was sitting in typing class when our science teacher, Mr. Nause, knocked on the door and called our typing teacher, Ms. Miller, out of the room.

Ms. Miller was a jokester.  She was a bit harsh too...not all of her jokes were the most pleasant, i.e. - telling kids with dimples that they were birth defects, etc.  I didn't mind her.  In fact I enjoyed her class, if not her humor (and I have dimples!).  So a couple minutes later she came back into the classroom and told us that the Challenger exploded.  The class laughed.  Everyone figured that with her sense of humor she was trying to make a joke, and we knew that you always laughed at her jokes!  She repeated it several times, but couldn't convince us.  She actually had to leave the room and get Mr. Nause to come back in and tell us that she wasn't joking.  Needless to say there was silence after that.

The period ended a few minutes later and it was time for gym class.  My gym teacher (I don't remember her name) sat in the gymnasium with the radio on listening to the news about the disaster.  There were only about 5 of us that sat there with her and listened and cried while everyone else did who knows what.

There are three tragedies that occurred during my life that I feel certain I will remember for the rest of my life.  This is one.  How absolutely heart-breaking to think of their families (and I somehow always do think of the families when tragedy happens), and how terrible it was for Mrs. McAuliffe's class to be there watching it happen.  I hope they will be remembered for what they are.  Heroes making the way into the great unknown.  Explorers.  Trail-blazers.

Rest in Peace:

Ellison S. Onizuka - Mission Specialist - from Kona, HI.  First Asian American to in space. LTC, USAF

Sharon Christa McAuliffe - Crew Member, "Teacher in Space Program" - from Concord, NH.  Was selected from over 11,000 applicants to be the first teacher in space.

Greg Jarvis - Payload Specialist - born in Detroit, MI.  CPT, USAF

Judy Resnik - Mission Specialist - born Akron, OH. Second American woman and second Jewish person in space.

Michael J. Smith - Pilot - born Beaufort, NC. CPT, USN

Dick Scobee - Commander - born Cle Elum, WA.  LTC, USAF (Vietnam veteran. Awarded Distinguished Flying Cross, and Air Medal)

Ron McNair - Physicist - born Lake City, SC.  Second African-American in space.  Black belt & Saxophonist.

For more information on these heroes, please check out the NASA website.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Funeral Card Friday - Joseph and Katherine Melzer

They died about 3 weeks apart.  Illness?  Coincidence? Broken-hearted?  

They aren't in my direct line, but I do look forward to learning more about them.  The cards were passed on to me by my mother-in-law, and while there are Melzers in our line I haven't connected this one.  I did find this Joseph connected in an tree, but there were no supporting documents.  At least nothing I would call "rock solid".  I'll have to contact the maker of the tree and see if there are sources that haven't yet been posted.  Shouldn't be too difficult to get to the bottom of with a little elbow-grease!

Thankful Thursday - I'm going to Charleston!

I'm always so thankful for my husband, but he's got me particularly thankful right now.  He's cleared his schedule for the week of May 11-14th so I can go to the NGS conference in Charleston! 

This is no small thing.  He usually leaves for work before the kids would be allowed to show up for school and gets home a couple hours after they are out of school.  I'm also the one that herds the kids in the morning and gets them ready to go so this will no doubt be a challenge for him, since I'm the one dealing with the toddler that doesn't want to get out of bed in the morning and then not want to dress or eat!  My oldest is pretty much maintenance free.  You just have to get him out of the shower before he uses all the hot water.

I can appreciate the sacrifice he'll be making at work and the strain that this may no doubt have on his patience!  Hopefully, this period won't make him totally adverse to the possibility of having more children.  Sometimes kids can be unusually effective birth control!

I'm not going to worry about any of that.  My husband is awesome and will probably be out eating pizza, Chipotle, and partying with the boys while I'm in genealogy heaven!

I'm going to try to show up early so I can have an entire day to myself to go exploring at Fort Sumter!  I'm a history buff and absolutely love the National Park Service!  I'm always dragging the kids around to National Parks as we drive around this wonderful country during our summers.  This time, though, I'll be alone and able to walk through casually without worrying if the kids are trying to wander off!  I'll be able to take pictures at my leisure!  Hopefully, I'll be able to see an old friend from college as well!  One of my dearest friends from my Army days in San Antonio will be attending the conference too!

If anyone has tips for a conference newbie, I'd love to hear them!  I'll be scouring the NGS blog and website for all the postings on the conference, but nothing beat experience, so I'm looking for advice.  It's time to start preparing!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History - Home

I grew up in a coal-mining city in northeast Pennsylvania called Hazleton.  We lived on Diamond Avenue…one of the main streets in the city and back in its heyday, Diamond Avenue was the place to live.  It was status.  I remember my dad telling me that this was one of the reasons he wanted a house on Diamond Avenue.  Looking for status.

It was a beautiful house…at some point in its life.  It actually was beautiful when I was younger, but my dad let it fall into severe disrepair and a gorgeous home built at the turn of the 20th century is an eye-sore.  Many of the houses on Diamond Avenue are now “fixer-uppers”, but my childhood home pretty much looks as though it needs to be bulldozed and rebuilt.  It does break my heart and makes me a bit bitter.  If the house had been cared for properly it would have been something worth passing on to future generations.  Something to be proud of.  That’s not the case though.

Sad, but this view of the house from the backyard is all I really have!
I actually don’t have a picture of my childhood home.  I’ve got pictures in my home, in the backyard, on the front  porch, but not of the home in its  entirety.  I need to put that on my to-do  list for my Summer 2011 visit back  home.  It won’t look as I  remember it  though as my father attempted to  repaint  it.  The house was  a beautiful  blue-grey, but the paint was peeling and the wood was showing through, so he got white paint and tried painting it.  It now looks like it’s been white-washed.  You can see the old color through the white paint.  To make matters worse the sides and back weren’t painted!  Yikes!

The inside of the house had high ceilings and the living room and dining room were open.  There were built-in curio cabinets in the living room with glass panes.  A wood-trim separated the living room from the dining room.  There were three bedrooms downstairs and one bathroom.  The fireplace in the dining room was fake, but we still believed that a magical Santa would be able to get down it!  The upstairs of the house was a duplicate of the downstairs and was meant for another family.  We had renters for a brief time when I was very young and then never again.  There was a small porch on the 2nd floor as well, but I was always told to not go out on it because it wasn’t stable and I’d probably fall through.  The attic had 3 rooms and was absolutely freezing in the winter and stifling hot in the summer.  Not the best place to store stuff!  There was an unfinished basement where my dad kept his tools and “workshop”.  We kids hated going into the basement because there were tons of spiders.  There was even an old “coal bin” in the basement, but I believe the house was heated by oil when I was growing up.  Apparently when coal stopped being king it was time to convert to oil!
The dreaded leopard-print wall-to-wall carpeting!

The floors of the house (at least on the first floor) were gorgeous hardwood.  Today, that would be highly desirable, but my mom wanted wall-to-wall carpeting.  My dad finally agreed to install it and my mom picked out the carpet she wanted.  When he went to purchase it, however, instead of getting the carpet my mother wanted, he got a “deal”…leopard print carpet.  My mother cried and cried.  That little story pretty much sums up my dad.

Despite the criticisms of how the house looks today, I have fond memories of growing up there.  I’m more critical of the fact that the house doesn’t look as good as it should, but it always will in my memory!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - Eli and Florence Cayemberg

Eli and Florence are my husband's great-grandparents.  The were married in Wisconsin on April 24, 1886 and had 14 children: Emily, Eugenia, Frank, John, Martin Joseph, Henry, Lucy, Louis Felix, Alice, Ella, Wilfred, Anastasia, Patrick, and Walter.  Every year in June the descendants of Eli and Florence Cayemberg nee Villers hold a family reunion in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  I've never been to one because of distance, but 2012 will be at the 75th reunion and I've already decided that we'll be there.  Can't miss a 75th!

Florence and Eli Cayemberg (date unknown)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Monday's Mystery - Desperately Seeking a Date

My Great-Great Aunt Alice V. Barrett and her proud purchase of a car!

Hmmm, that might not have sounded quite right.  I'm seeking a date genealogically speaking.  I'm at a loss in trying to identify the car in the photo.  No, it's not critical to my research.  Call it a burning desire. So if you can help at all I'd be forever grateful!  You'll be a legend in my family history!  People will name their children after you!  OK, maybe that one was a bit of an exaggeration...

So what do I know about the picture and the lady behind the wheel...

-Her name is Alice Veronica Barrett.  She is one of two daughters born to Patrick and Bridget Barrett nee Farley.
-Alice was born on 06MAY1887 in Hazleton, PA
-The car was most likely purchased in NY, NJ, or PA since those are the possible matches I have for where Alice lived.
-I would assume that the picture was taken sometime around the time she purchased it, being proud of a purchase that not everyone had.

I originally thought that this was a Ford Model-T and posted the picture on Facebook requesting help from people that may know more about cars than I do (and that's pretty much everyone).  A friend of mine said that he too thought that it was a Model-T and dated it to 1927.  While I love my buddy for trying to help, the date and model don't necessarily sit right with me (although that doesn't make him could just mean that I'm being difficult).  The biggest being that the tires weren't typical of the 1927 Model-T.  "Spokes" (for lack of a better term) were thinner and there were more of them in the pictures of the 1927 models I've seen.

So these are the aspects of the picture that I've been trying to match up with a specific make and model of car:

-The above mentioned tires.

-The "nose" of the car is relatively long, indicating that the motor was up front which was not always the case with early cars.

-The "vents" on the nose of the car are at an angle and there are several of them.

-The spare tire is on the back of the car and vertical (some spares were canted at a slight angle when on the back)

-It's a soft/rag-top.  From what I've read, fewer of these models were made as time went on and cars became more enclosed.

-The doors do not have a panel in between them.  If you check pictures of cars from this era you'll notice that very few cars have doors that are right next to each other.  There is a small panel in between the front and rear doors and the doors themselves are relatively small.  These are good full-size doors.

-Then I've got to take a look at the clothes that the ladies are wearing.  I'm rubbish at dating fashions as well, but I'm working on improving in that area.  From my novice experience. I would say that the hemlines are most likely too low for 1927 although I'm sure not everyone wore flapper-style dresses, I would still imagine that the overall hemline would be higher and the waistline lower than what is pictured here.

My best guess for the time period (and it is just a guess) would be sometime around 1917-1923.  That's mostly based on the tires of the car and my guess at the clothing, but I could be WAY off on that!

If you've got mad-skills or even just a guess on the time period based on the clothing or on the make and model of the car, I'd be forever grateful!

Sunday's Obituary - Theresa Rosbeck

"Mrs. Theresa Rosbeck (hand-dated Jan. 20 - 1981)

Mrs. Theresa Rosbeck, 83, of Menomonee Falls, a former resident of West Bend and St. Kilian, passed away at the Menomonee Falls Nursing Home where she had been a resident for six weeks.

Mrs. Rosbeck was born February 2, 1897, at Theresa Station, Dodge County, to the late Peter and Margaret Steinmetz Kiefer.  On May 8, 1923, she married Martin Rosbeck, who passed away on February 4, 1973.

She was a member of the St. Kilian Married Ladies Sodality, the American Legion Auxiliary, the VFW Auxiliary and was a Gold Star Mother.

Survivors include one daughter, Margaret (William) Brill of Menomonee Falls; two sons, Ralph (Delores) and Norbert (Sharon), both of West Bend; a daughter-in-law, Mrs. Audrey Rosbeck of Theresa; 26 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; two sisters-in-law, Mrs. Bella Kiefer of West Bend and Mrs. Helen Rosbeck of Mayville; other relatives and friends.  Three sons, two brothers and two sisters preceded her in death.

Visitation at Miller's Funeral Home, Kewaskum, will be after 4 p.m. Thursday, with a rosary vigil at 8 p.m.  Services Friday at 10 a.m. at St. Kilian Catholic Church, St. Kilian, with Fr. Joseph McDonald officiating.  Burial will be in the church cemetery.

Newspaper clippings were passed on to me by my mother-in-law, Dolores Cayemberg nee Kuehl.  They were collected by her mother, Leona Kuehl nee Boegel.  Unknown which Wisconsin paper they were clipped, but most likely from the Brown and/or Fond du Lac county areas.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Follow Friday - PaHR-Access & Enduring Legacy Genealogy

I woke up Monday morning and as I was checking my Facebook and watching my boys play MarioKart I noticed that I had an email on FB from PaHR-Access, a group I subscribed to on Facebook.  What exactly is PaHR-Access?  It stands for People for Better Pennsylvania Historical Records Access.  Their mission is to get Pennsylvania legislators to change the law so that people can access Death Records that are more than 50 years old.

Their following on Facebook isn't large, but it should be.  For anyone researching genealogy and/or family history this is important legislation.  If you don't have ancestors from Pennsylvania you might not think that this legislation is important to your research, but you could be wrong.  What if you're researching a collateral line to try to circumvent a brick wall and discover that the family member died in Pennsylvania (or any other state that's tightening vital record access)?  

It’s also just nice to help out other researchers gain access to the records they need.  We’d want the same done for us.  Writing to legislators that you didn’t help to elect is also not futile.  Letting them know the desire and importance of these records to people outside their state is not weightless.  After all, when you pay for a vital record the state gets that money.

Michael McCormick and his admins (Brendan Cole VanOrmer, John Haji Demos, and Norm Drasher),  on the FB page have been doing a wonderful job keeping their Facebook community up to date on what is going on regarding this important legislation.  One of the most recent posts links to Senator Robbins' letter to the other PA Senators regarding co-sponsoring this legislation.  You can see a copy of the actual letter by clicking the logo above and going to PaHR's FB page and their post or by clicking here.

Michael McCormick also has a blog that goes into wonderful detail about achieving open access to these records (and more).  Check out his "Enduring Legacy Genealogy" blog.  You will not be disappointed!

And last, but not least PaHR-Access has a website designed by Tim Gruber and Dale Berger that lists links to other states that have some vital records online.  Many links take you back to, but they will take you directly to that state.  The site also explains what records are available for each state, time period covered, whether they are full or partial, and if they are extracts.  It's an excellent source of information even if your family isn't from Pennsylvania.

So at the very least check out some of the links above.  If you're on Facebook checkout their page and join.  Even better, contact Pennsylvania legislators and let them know how important this legislation is!  Check out their "Info" tab on Facebook for an easy link to Pennsylvania legislators so you can drop them a note in support of Senate Bill 683!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Cars

Saturn would always take your picture in front of your new car!
My first car was some kind of Subaru 4-door that my mom and step-dad got for me to learn to drive in.  Their cars were manual transmission and they thought it would be easier to learn to drive in an automatic.  They were most likely right!  I drove the car for several years until one winter I was driving home from college in Millersville, Pennsylvania to Greentown and the car broke down.  Dashboard lights going on and no power at all.  Luckily, I was able to coast over to the side of the road without incident.  It was cold and there was a nasty snow storm going on.
My poor baby after a flat tire

I was fortunate that my car chose to break down less than 1/4-mile from a State Police station.  I walked to the station and called for a ride then went back to my car.  The officers tried to get me to stay at the station, but I was a stubborn idiot of a young lady and I felt awkward sitting in a police station being talked to by these guys I didn't know for who knows how many hours until family arrived.  So I apparently would prefer to freeze my buns off in my car, packed full of "stuff" from my dorm room.  The police did stop by occasionally to check on my safety.  In retrospect I was very grateful for that.  Anything could have happened to me.  So as it turned out the problem was a minor one.  Fuel filter I think, but we didn't know that until my step-dad's son "took it off our hands" and fixed it. 

My next car was a "hand-me-down" from my step-dad.  He was getting a new Honda Accord, so he gave me his old one.  It was a manual transmission, but I had already learned to drive a stick (much more fun!).  I know how lucky I was to have had these cars given to me!  I also expect that they preferred not to drive me 3 hours each way to college and back with all that "stuff" college kids bring with them.  Not to mention that I was living in the Poconos with my mom and step-dad and NOTHING is within walking distance.  I had to drive 45 minutes each way to my summer job...NOT and exaggeration either!  I wouldn't have been able to have that job, had I not had a car to get to it!

I joined the Army and no longer had a car.  I got to my first duty station which was in San Antonio and was faced with an unpleasant reality.  My barracks were about 10 miles from the place I was working.  Seriously...lived on one base and worked on another.  Not convenient for a new Soldier with little money and no car.  I suppose you were supposed to mooch rides off other people.  I did that for a little while, but every once in awhile you'd end up on a swing shift where you weren't working with your regular coworkers.  So I bit the bullet and bought a car.  I consider this car to be my first car (no offense, Mom and Jim!) because it's the first car I bought with my own money.  It was a Saturn SC2.  I believe it was a 1999 give or take a year.

I loved the car.  I went to Saturn because they didn't haggle.  It was one price, take it or leave it and since I didn't have anyone with me to strike up a deal with any other car dealership, I took the no haggle route.  The car was a good one though.  It was greenish-blue, 2 doors with 2 bucket seats up front and 2 in the back.  I thought it was super cool because the seat belts would automatically engage when you shut the door and started the car up...well, you still had to buckle the lap belt, but I just thought it was so "spaceman"!

The car was rather low to the ground, when I was pregnant with my first son, it was a challenge getting in and out of.  My husband used to joke that he'd have to grease me up to get me out eventually!  We had it for about a year after Benjamin was born.  The back seats weren't the best for a baby seat since they were buckets, but we could accommodate the small snap-in, rear-facing seat we had.  When Ben got too big and we had to turn the seat around the car just didn't work for us anymore.  I was so sad selling it, but I would have been sadder selling my son! ;)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Wednesday's Child - Rudolph Boegel

"St. Kilian Boy Killed While Out Hunting (Dec 7, 1924 - hand-dated)

The home of Mr. and Mrs. John Boegel, a farmer residing about a mile and a half east of St. Kilian, was thrown into extreme sorrow, last Sunday night, December 7th, 1924, when their sixteen-year-old son Rudolph was almost instantly killed, while out hunting skunks in company with his brother Clarence, aged 19, Leonard Schmitt, aged 16, and Peter Dieringer, aged 15.  The latter three are neighbors of the deceased.  The accident happened at about 11 o'clock Sunday night, in the old M.E. church located on County Trunk F in the town of Ashford, the church has been deserted for about twenty years and is falling into ruin.  The four boys had torn up a section of the floor of the church when the dog which accompanied them ran across the gun which had been laid on the floor, and knocked it into the hole.  It was discharged by the fall, according to the story given out by the boys, and the full charge entered Rudolph's body just below the heart, and took an upward course toward his right shoulder, inflicting a wound about an inch in diameter and about seven inches long, killing him almost instantly.  Just how the gun could be discharged from the fall will probably remain a mystery, as the boys stated when questioned by Coroner Joseph E. Murray of Fond du Lac, who arrived on the scene at about 12:30 a.m. that the hammer had not been cocked.

Besides his grief stricken parents, deceased leaves to mourn his sudden and untimely death, two brothers Clarence and Roman, and one sister Leona, all at home.

Rudolph, who was born on March 31, 1909, was well liked by his companions, among whom he was a leader.  He was a bright and faithful young lad and very active.  His tragic death came as a great shock to his many friends, who join in extending heartfelt sympathy to the surviving relatives in this their hour of deep affliction.  The funeral was held on Wednesday morning at 10 o'clock with services in the St. Kilian Catholic church.  Rev. J. B. Reichel officiated.  Interment was made in the adjoining cemetery.

The pall bearers were:  Reinhold Ottmar and Raymond Bonlender, Roman Kuehl, Arnold and Roman Boegel.  Many relatives from Milwaukee, New Fane, Kewaskum, Theresa, LeRoy, Lomira, Ashford and Campbellsport attended the funeral."

NOTE: Under Pallbearers "Roman Kuehl" should be "Romand Kuehl".  He would later marry Rudolph's sister, Leona.

News clippings were passed on to me by my mother-in-law, Dolores Cayemberg nee Kuehl.  It is unknown, which newspaper the clipping was from, but it is most likely from a newspaper in Brown or Fond du Lac county.  The clippings were collected by her mother Leona Kuehl nee Boegel.)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Tuesday's Tall Tales! - On the run from the Czar

Tabor, Czechoslovakia at the end of the 19th century
My maiden name is Tabor.  From what I've encountered, this is said to be a Czech surname, but my Tabor ancestors aren't from the former Czechoslovakia, so why were they called "Tabor"?  Time for some tall tales, courtesy of my dad......

My great-grandpa, Adam Tabor, and his brother were on the run from the Russian Czar.  They were caught cutting down and selling trees that were the czar's so they fled to the United States.  They didn't take the direct route.  Apparently, they feared the czar's men would be able to catch them more easily if they took a direct route, so instead they traipsed around Europe for a bit and found themselves in a town named Tabor in what used to be Czechoslovakia ("B" on the map).

Now why did they pick this city's name for their own.  Well, I'm told that it was a rough, bad-ass town and they fancied the comparison with themselves, so Tabors they became.  My dad says that they eventually went through Germany and then on to England before heading over to the US and eventually settling down in Scranton, Pennsylvania.  Quite the journey.

View Larger Map

What are the nuggets of truth in this rather tall sounding tale?  It's hard to tell.  My great aunt, Lillian Ruminski nee Tabor, is the only surviving child of the above-mentioned Adam and his wife Jadwiga.  I've only had the privilege of sitting down with my Aunt Lillian once in the past 10 years.  My father was there and let's just say that he polluted the pool more than a little.  I asked him before driving to visit to please not answer questions for her.  The answers needed to be from her and unprompted or his tales and memories could influence her answers.  Sadly, my father rarely does anything he's asked, but I gotta love him.  Unfortunately, his need to interfere could mean that I'll never know the truth.  What Aunt Lillian did manage to tell me, was that her father didn't like to talk about his past.
Adam and Jadwiga are the couple on the left.

So now what I actually know about my great-grandfather...

Adam was born between 1874 and 1885 in Russia (this later became Lithuania in later censuses as borders changed, which is helpful at narrowing down his region since Russia is rather large!).  He arrived in America between 1884 and 1890 and became a citizen in 1896.  He married Jadwiga Paszkawicz on April 2, 1902.  They had four children, Aldona, Clarence (my grandpa), Adam Jr, and Lillian.  He passes away in 1958.  He ran a shop in Scranton and joined the Polish National Catholic Church because (according to Aunt Lillian) the majority of the people that patronized his store belonged to that church.

I've never been able to find that "brother" of his.  The only thing I have is a picture of Adam and Jadwiga with another couple and children.  I've been told that the other gentleman is his brother, but no name is given and really just hearsay. I haven't been able to find his passenger record or naturalization papers, but I'm working on it.

Should we disregard these tall tales that our colorful family members pass on?  No.  They could hold that little piece of truth that can break through a brick wall or two.  If nothing else they're entertaining when taken with a tablespoon of salt!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Villers Saga - Guilty Verdict Article Found

The Bismarck Daily Tribune, 18JAN1898
So it didn't take too terribly long to find it once my internet stopped fighting me (it does that almost instantly when my husband gets on a plane to go on a business trip).  I imagine that it didn't come up in the search because of the clarity of the article.  I knew from the other articles that he was sentenced during the January session so that narrowed my search down.  The last article I found before the sentencing was announced on him was on January 13th so I started on the 14th and found it on the 18th.

"Villers Guilty

Jury in the Trial of the Prisoner Villers at Jamestown Finds Him Guilty of Murder.

Punishment is Fixed by the Jury At Imprisonment in the Penitentiary for Life.

Stay of Proceedings is Granted Until February 1, When a New Trial Will be Asked.

Found Guilty.
The jury in the case of Martin J. Villers, on trial for the murder of August Tromer, today returned a verdict of guilty of murder in the first degree and fixed his punishment at imprisonment for life.  A stay of proceedings was granted to February 1, and a new trial will probably be asked.

The trial of the case was completed yesterday afternoon, and the jury went out this morning after having heard the arguments of counsel.  The verdict in the case was not unexpected, as the circumstantial evidence against the man was strong, and his record probably told against him.  The case has been one of the most peculiar in the history of the state in that the prisoner was serving a sentence of ten years in the pen when the evidence of the murder of the man whom the jury decides to have been his victim, was discovered and he was then removed from the pen to be tried for the greater crime.  It was peculiar also that Villers was serving a sentence for a murderous assault on the wife of his victim when the body of her husband was discovered and he was put on trial for murder.

The trial of the Villers murder case was concluded in court at Jamestown yesterday afternoon, and the attorneys made their addresses to the jury.  The case has been tried rapidly, and little time has been wasted.  The Jamestown Alert says on the demeanor of the prisoner on the witness stand:

On the cross-examination Villers made a fine witness.  His answers were ready, sharp and crisp and often times he had to wait for Attorney Guthrie to conclude his question before he could ejaculate a denial.  Questions requiring a simple yes or no for an answer, either one of which would have compromised the witness, were answered promptly, but evasively and in such a manner as to throw from him an imputation of wrong doing.  Throughout the five hours he was on the witness stand the prisoner sat quietly in his chair and only once did he show great excitement.

When Attorney Guthrie asked the witness if he remembered the burning of a hog pen in this city the night of Nov. 5th, when Mr. Villers was here, also that he was seen by Mrs. Cooper standing in front of the engine house when the fire alarm was turned in, the prisoner straightened in his seat, became greatly excited, the blood rushed to his face and he grasped the arms of the chair a little harder.  When charged with the death of Peter Sterling, who is supposed to have worked for Mr. Villers that fall and with having thrown the body into Josiah Pierson's pig pen after having robbed the body of a large roll of money which Sterling was seen to have late that night and then set fire to the structure burning to body with the hogs, the witness kept his head, and only raising his voice a little emphatically denied all knowledge of the affair.  He said he did not know of the fire until the next morning, he didn't "know the man" and bracing himself seemed to defy the state to prove him guilty of the crime.

When asked where he had been for the last three years the witness stated, "I was in Valley City, here, at LaMoure and Bismarck and back again."  This made the audience laugh and the judge rapped for order.  The witness said he had been thirty-two months in Bismarck when he was "working for the warden of the state penitentiary."

I've got to say that after transcribing this article I'm stunned.  I didn't read it before transcribing.  I didn't really think that there would be anything new, but to accuse him of another murder during cross-examination.  I've heard nothing about the murder of Peter Sterling, although you can bet I'll be looking into it.  Was the prosecution just trying to throw him off?  Most certainly.  What gets me though is the fire regarding the disposal of the body of Josiah Pierson.  It's a similar m.o. to what he was found guilty of doing with Mrs. Tromer...but she lived.

Oh, well, all that's left is to transcribe the court documents.  They are (for the most part) more difficult to read, but you can be sure I'll be setting on them in the near future.  I was hoping to find something to tell me why Villers would have done something like this, if he did at all, but it just seems like the more I look, the more I find additional questions.  Gotta love family history...even if you don't love some of the things the people in it did!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Sunday's Obituary - Martin F. Rosbeck

"Martin F. Rosbeck (hand-dated Feb. 4 - 1973)

Martin F. Rosbeck, 81, of 313 Third Ave., West Bend, a retired farmer, died Sunday at St. Joseph's Hospital, West Bend.  He was born Jan. 16, 1892, at St. Kilian, a son of George and Margaret Thelen Rosbeck.  He married Theresa Kiefer at St. Theresa Catholic Church, Theresa, on May 8, 1923.

After the marriage they lived in Milwaukee for 15 years, then moved to St. Kilian where they farmed for 22 years and finally moved to West Bend in 1961.  Mr. Rosbeck was a member of World War I Barracks 2617.

Surviving are his widow; four children, Mrs. William Brill of Menomonee Falls, Robert of Theresa and Ralph and Norbert both of West Bend; 26 grandchildren and a great-grandchild.

Mr. Rosbeck was preceded in death by two sons, Greg, in infancy and Raymond John, who died in the Korean Conflict.

Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Miller's Funeral Home, Kewaskum and at 10:30a.m. at St. Kilian Church at St. Kilian.  The Rev. Elroy Pesch, OSF, will officiate and burial will be in the parish cemetery.

Family and friends may call after 4 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home.

Newspaper clippings were passed on to me by my mother-in-law, Dolores Cayemberg nee Kuehl.  They were collected by her mother, Leona Kuehl nee Boegel.  Unknown which Wisconsin paper they were clipped, but most likely from the Brown and/or Fond du Lac county areas.

To Do List: Request military records for Martin.  Have a ton of these obits that I've only recently scanned and haven't thoroughly read, so I discovered Martin was a WWI vet when transcribing this.  So cool.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Funeral Card Friday - Maria Beisbier

I just love the German funeral cards I have!  I particularly love it when funeral cards (of any language) when they have pictures on them.  I do get a giggle out of the stern look on her face.  It's commonplace to smile when getting your picture taken today, but apparently not always!  Or perhaps she wasn't very happy in general, although I'd hate to think that.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History - Winter

Don't worry..I'm not eating yellow snow (1974-ish)
I grew up in a small-ish city in northeastern Pennsylvania called Hazleton.  I've got great memories of the city and growing up in it.  Today though the crime's up and the city's down.  It's an old coal mining town and looks like a city that once had seen better days.  I loved the school system.  I loved the fact that we had sidewalks (silly me I thought sidewalks were everywhere until I joined the Army and moved away!).  And I loved the fact that we had four seasons.

I didn't realize how much I loved the four seasons until I joined the Army as well.  I lived in California, Texas and Hawaii when I served.  Needless to say Honolulu, San Antonio, and Monterey don't see much snow!  But we're talking winter here, so best to get on with it...

I have great memories of looking out the front window of the house with the snow-covered roads (before the plows would get there and the snow would turn black).  Watching the cars driving by slowly on the fresh snow was so peaceful.  It's like the world became quieter and everything just seemed more relaxed.  We had a mock-orange tree in the backyard.  Now I say "tree" but mock-orange really aren't supposed to get THAT big.  It was a "bush" gone wild.  My dad had a peat-moss/compost heap right next to the mock-orange and I'm sure that the decades of those extra nutrients seeping into it helped to create this monster bush!  During the winter the snow we would get was generally wet.  Not that dry powdery stuff.  This was heavy and great for snowballs...although crap for shoveling.  When we'd get a good heavy snow the mock-orange would get so weighed down that it's branches would bend over and touch the ground.  The result was our own personal igloo! looked like we had a giant igloo in the backyard when it happened, and we would find a way in and use it as our own personal fort!  I'm amazed that tree lived through all that!

Snow never bothered me.  In fact, when it would snow, my spirits would rise.  I didn't mind shoveling at all.  My dad would complain incessantly about shoveling and the snow plows plowing him back in.  It never bothered me.  Not when I was a kid and not later when I was driving.  I love helping other people and when it would snow we'd try to shovel out some of the elderly people that lived near us as well.  I remember one time (and it is a nice memory) of my younger sister and I helping our father shovel his car out when someone got stuck trying to go up the side-street by our house and getting stuck.  It was uphill, which pretty much describes Hazleton to begin with, and he got stuck.  Spinning tires and no traction.  Having been stuck in slush down by my college and having had two strangers soak themselves to push me out always stayed with me so my sister and I went over to help him get up the hill.

It had to have looked silly.  Two teenage, petite girls walking over and offering to give his car a push.  My dad tried to stop us before walking over.  Telling us that we wouldn't be able to help, but we didn't care.  When other people see you helping, chances are someone else will stop by and help out too.  And someone dad finally put down his shovel and helped us push him out of the snow.  Then we all went silently back to our own shoveling.  Things like that make you feel good inside though and I like to think that it may have turned his grumpy "I hate snow" off for five minutes.

My maternal grandparents were teachers, but pretty much everyone before them were coal miners or married to coal miners.  Knowing this now, I think of how the winter must have been a difficult time for them.  Walking to work had to have been freezing.  At least the mines were a constant temperature throughout the year so they could get a warm up...when they weren't worried about a subsidence, I suppose!

It does give you pause to think about how things were so much harder years ago, yet we still find something to complain about.  I suppose we always will.  I suppose that in 100 years our descendants will look back and think about how hard we had it!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Tuesday's Tip - iGoogle Homepage

About a week ago I attended Legacy's Webinar on "Google for Genealogists" presented by Thomas MacEntee and I've got to say it was probably the BEST Webinar I've been to.  There is so much you can do with Google!  If you'd like to buy a copy of the Webinar you can find the link to the Legacy store to preorder it from the Geneablogger homepage.  You will NOT be disappointed.

But that's not what today's tip is about.  A couple days after the Webinar (when my children gave me some time to breathe), I jumped onto my iGoogle homepage for my HaveYouSeenMyRoots Gmail account and decided to give it a proper set up. I found lots of neat gadgets to place on my iGoogle page that were genealogy related as well as Google gadgets for different aspects of Google that Thomas talked about in his Webinar.

The image is of how my iGoogle homepage is set up right now.  It'll change and that's OK.  What I like is that it's nice to have one page to go to with most of the tools I like to you've got the awesome Google search engine at the top.  You can even access your Gmail and Google Reader right there with nice preview panes!

I'm going to try to do my best to make the most out of Google in my research.  I know I've only scratched the surface, but it's time to dig.  Set up your iGoogle homepage today and bring your tools to one page!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Amanuensis Monday - The Villers Saga, The Final Newspaper Chapter

Bismarck Daily Tribune, 19FEB1898
Under "State News"

"The Jamestown Alert says the prisoner Villers is reported growing weaker but it is possible that he is shamming to gain sympathy.  He has constant services of a physician."

Under "State News"

Bismarck Daily Tribune, 23FEB1898
"Judge Fisk at Jamestown today hears the motion for a new trial in the case of M.J. Villers convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment in the penitentiary.  If the motion is denied, Villers will probably be brought at once to the pen, where he will remain unless the supreme court should grant him a new trial.  It is stated that Villers health is poor and that his life sentence will be no more of a punishment than the ten years sentence under which he was formerly held, as he is not likely to live that out."

I noticed that this article already says that he has been found guilty.  I don't have the article with that "breaking news" so maybe the search engine missed it and I'll need to go back and manually search.  So the above "shamming" (gotta love seeing that phrase in an old newspaper) was to gain sympathy for the sentencing portion.

Bismarck Daily Tribune, 25FEB1898
"Villers Sentenced.

No New Trial is Asked in the Villers Case and He is Sentenced for Life.

Prisoner Declares He is Innocent of the Crime for Which He Has Been Convicted.

Various Items of Local News Gathered in and Around the City of Bismarck (doesn't pertain to Villers so will not be transcribed).

Villers Sentenced.

Martin J. Villers, convicted at the January term of court in Stutsman county of the murder of August Tromer, was Thursday sentenced to confinement in the state penitentiary at hard labor for life.  Sentence was pronounced by Judge Fisk of Grand Forks who tried the case, because of inteligibility of Judge Glaspell.  The prisoner heard the announcement unmoved.  No application for a new trial was made.  Since his confinement and trial the prisoner has grown visibly weaker.  He is an old man of 60 or more, and it is thought by his friends that he will not live out the year.  But it is believed the regular habits and work at the penitentiary will bring the old man back to his former health.  The absence of employment in the county jail was a serious disappointment to him.

This is the first and only "lifer" Stutsman county has ever sent to the state penitentiary.

A peculiarity of the Villers case is that all of the precautions that were taken by the murderer to conceal the body of his victim, were set at naught by the burrowing of a badger.  One of the little animals dug its hole just over the place where the body of Tromer had been buried, and its burrowing threw out pieces of bone, and shreds of clothing, which attracted the attention of a farmer who was plowing in the field, and who made an investigation which led to the discovery of the body.  Had it not been for this little animal, the body might never have been discovered and the disappearance of Tromer have always remained a mystery.

When Villers was arrigned for sentence, Judge Fisk asked the prisoner if he had anything to say or had legal cause to show why judgment should not be pronounced against him and it was with an effort that Villers controlled himself.  His face grew white and his mouth twitched as he rose and replied "No." He stated the jury had found him guilty.  He said he was innocent of the crime charged against him but supposed he would have to suffer for it.

Attorney Ellsworth made a merely formal motion for an arrest of judgment which was denied and then asked that the time in which to prepare a statement of the case, to be used in a motion for a new trial, also the time for making such motion, be extended to June 1.  This the judge granted.  An appeal of the case, it may be stated, may be taken with within one year after sentence, according to law.

The court directed, in view of the weakened condition of the prisoner stated by his attorney, that the prisoner be kept at Jamestown until the sheriff considered his condition proper for removal to Bismarck."

Gotta love the mentality that hard labor would make him healthy again.  Martin Villers did manage to live until 1904.  Whether he was ill at the time he was sentenced isn't known.  I guess putting his death certificate on my "To Do List" is next!  I also find it interesting that even though they acknowledge that this case was special, it didn't make the front page.  It was on page 3 of a 4 page paper!

All errors are intentionally left in the transcription.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Sunday's Obituary - Raymond Rosbeck

"GI Returns

PFC Raymond Rosbeck, 19, of Kewaskum, seriously wounded in action in Korea Feb. 5, has been returned to the United States and is at Percy Jones General Hospital, Battle Creek, Mich.  A former employe of the Kewaskum Creamery, Raymond is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Martin Rosbeck.  He enlisted in the Army last June and went overseas last October."

I have a large number of newspaper clippings passed on to me from my Mother-in-law's side of the family, but sadly they don't tell me which Wisconsin newspaper they were taken from and many don't have complete dates on them.  This first clipping had no date on it at all so I didn't realize until finding his obituary (below) in my collection, just how long he was hospitalized.  I was able to reason that this first article must have been published around April 1951.

"Cpl. R. Rosbeck Dies at Percy Jones Hospital

Cpl. Raymond Rosbeck, son of Mr. and Mrs. Martin Rosbeck of the town of Wayne, who since April 4, 1951, had been a patient at Percy Jones hospital, Battle Creek, Mich., died suddenly on Monday afternoon.  Death was caused from injuries suffered in action near Chip(long), Korea, on Feb. 5, 1951, while serving with the 8th Cavalry Regiment.  He was first treated in a hospital in Japan, and was then flown to the United States for further treatment.  Cpl. Rosbeck was schedule to be released from the hospital on Sept. 11, and was awaiting arrangements for this transfer to Wood, Wis., when he was stricken.

He was born Nov. 20, 1931, at Milwaukee and came to the town of Wayne with his parents in 1938.  Cpl. Rosbeck enlisted on June 5, 1950, and arrived in Korea in October.  He was awarded the Purple heart in April of 1951.

Surviving are his parents, a sister, Margaret (Mrs. Wm. Brill) of Milwaukee; three brothers, Robert and Norbert at home, and Ralph of West Bend; a brother-in-law and a sister-in-law.

The body will be in state at the Miller funeral home in Kewaskum after 2 p.m. today (Thursday).  Funeral services will be held Friday morning at 10 o'clock at St. Kilian Catholic church, st. Kilian, the Rev. John B Reichel officiating.  Interment will be in the parish cemetery.  Military rites at the grave will be in charge of Robert J. Romaine post of the American Legion, Kewaskum."

I makes me wonder what his injuries were.  To be hospitalized for so long and so far from home and then to suddenly die of his injuries as he was preparing to be transferred closer to home had to have been particularly traumatic for his family.

I found in the "Korean War Casualties, 1950-1957" database an entry for Raymond that lists him as being "seriously wounded in action by missile".

To do list:  Request the death certificate and military records for Raymond.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Funeral Card Friday - CPL Raymond Rosbeck

I thought I'd stick with the Rosbeck theme this week and post the funeral card for Raymond.

Ray Stevens - I'm My Own Grandpa

This was sent to me by my dear friend and God-brother, Chris, on Facebook.  It made me laugh and while it was incredibly silly, it made me think of some of the interesting family trees out there!  

Does your family tree branch out? ;)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Gold Star Mother

Martin and Theresa Rosbeck lost their son, Raymond, due to injuries sustained in combat during the Korean Conflict in 1952.
CPL Raymond Rosbeck

Monday, January 3, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - Barrett Marker

I don't know who's buried here.  That's a common theme sometimes with surname markers.  Sometimes you can't even be sure that they belong to your family.  I'm lucky though because despite the common name on this marker, I know it belongs to me.  My mom would put flowers on it every year for Memorial Day as did her relatives before her.  She doesn't know who's there either, just that they are ours.  Time to write away to the church and see how good their records are!

Any suggestions on how to fix the marker?  As you can see it's sinking into the ground, but unlike other areas of the cemetery (Saint Gabriel's Roman Catholic, Hazleton, PA), it's more than just the marker...the entire area is sunken.  It is a city with a deep coal mining history, but I know of no subsidences in this particular area.  I don't know if it's a lost cause to fix it.  I would hate to think so.  Now that I've started making the annual pilgrimages to place flowers, I want to ensure that my children can find it when it's their turn.

Hope everyone had a wonderful Holiday!  Our long journey is over and while family will be missed it's time to get back to work!