Saturday, May 26, 2012

An Intermission

I just wanted to make a quick post explaining my absence for the next week or so.  I'm not hiding in a box somewhere, but the movers have arrived so it's time to pack the house, clean the house, get out of the house and sell the house, of course.

The next week or two are going to be absolutely insane with our move to Colorado Springs and then dashing from there to the 75th Cayemberg Family Reunion in Green Bay, Wisconsin on June 10th.  It's exciting, but exhausting.  I hope to get a blog post up here and there, but in case you all don't hear from me in a few weeks, rest assured that I didn't get packed inside one of the boxes without internet connection! I shall return!

But right now, it's time to start another part of life's great adventure, and hopefully find some time to's hoping.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Wedding Wednesday - Seeing Diamonds

Back in November I did a Wedding Wednesday post for Mr. and Mrs. Eli Dart's 50th Anniversary.  As I looked through some clippings this evening I noticed another clipping and it was for their 60th Anniversary.  That's diamonds, baby!

You can read more about Eli and Edith Dart in my previous post here.

"The 60th wedding anniversary of Mr. and Mrs. Eli Dart, Rt. 3, Luxemburg, will be observed Sunday.  They have one daughter, two grandchildren and five great-grandchildren."

Monday, May 21, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday - John Dart

This was one of those tombstones I had a picture know...just in case I make the connection to someone in my tree.  I went to look for a "John Dart" in my tree this evening and do a little research to see if he might fit somewhere, and was delighted to find him right in there already.

Jean Baptiste Dart born July 21, 1813 in Grand-Leez, Namur, Belgium.  Died August 20, 1880 in Wisconsin.

Now if only I had written down the cemetery that I was in years ago when I took the photo.  I swear, I can be scatter-brained sometimes!  Ah well.  It shouldn't be too difficult to retrace my steps.  I'll check on that death certificate too and hope it wasn't left blank.  Either way I'm delighted to realize that I've got Jean  Baptiste's tombstone.  One of the many pieces of information I had filed away that needed to be properly filed away!

"In Memory of John Dart
Died Aug. 20, 1880
Aged 6(7) years"

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Rest in Peace, Aunt Lorraine

We lost our Aunt Lorraine Ryan nee Kuehl earlier today.  She was hit head on by a man that was driving with a revoked license, without insurance and was reaching for his cell phone when he crossed the center line and hit her car head on.  Lorraine was not the only one in the car.  Her sister, Alice, was also in the car at the time of the accident, but Lorraine was driving so she took the majority of the impact.  She held on for over two weeks with injuries that I can't begin to comprehend.  She was a strong and caring woman and she will be remembered and loved always.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Wedding Wednesday - Abts-Gadamus... Gesundheit

Sorry, bad joke, but I just couldn't help myself.  I have no idea where these two people fit in my family tree, or even if they do fit in my family tree.  The names are completely foreign to me.  I'll have to do a little more research, but as of now I'm thinking that it was a friend's child or fellow parishioner getting married.

Still, I've always come back to this article for the beauty of the bride-to-be and the hope that her fiancé came home from war in one piece.

As it turns out, he did come home and lived until 1986.  He was apparently the son of Polish immigrants and served in the Army for almost 6 years.  Florence outlived her husband by nearly 2 decades and died in 2003.

"Mr. and Mrs. Theodore Abts, Champion, are announcing the engagement and approaching marriage of their daughter, Florence, above, to Sgt. Stephen J. Gadamus, son of Mrs. Rose Gadamus, 1159 Day street.  The ceremony will take place at 8 o'clock Saturday morning in the chapel at Robinsonville, St. Gadamus is home on furlough after 39 months in the European theater, where he served in Iceland, England, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Germany."

Monday, May 14, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday - Teresa Villers

You can learn a lot from a the year you thought an ancestor was born isn't correct...or at least you find contradictory information.  We all know that just because it's on the tombstone doesn't mean that it's correct (just like it's not necessarily correct in the obituary, the death certificate, etc), but if we look at all of these pieces of information together we can at least establish a date range to work with.

It's so important that we perform a reasonably exhaustive search.  I know so many people that will take one piece of information and consider it gospel and verse, but you could be wrong.  Track down as many records as you can.  It could help you break through that brick wall!

[Thank you to Rob Watson for taking the picture of Teresa Villers' tombstone and posting it on FindAGrave, and thank you for permission to use the image on my blog!]

Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Mother's Day Tradition

Our Mother's Day photo for 2012
Just a short post this evening.  After enjoying my Mother's Day relaxing I decided to share a tradition that we started to celebrate each year.

It was probably in 2007 when we started this tradition.  On Mother's Day my hubby takes my picture with my boys.  What a great way to document their growth over the years.  I only wish I started it earlier.  I don't remember what gave me the idea to start this tradition.  I probably read about it in some parenting magazine, but I'm glad that we do it.

Have you started any family traditions?  Do you do something special for Mother's Day?

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Sunday's Obituary - Apparently I Need to Work on my Hermans...

In my last post I tried to track down the parents and grandparents for a George Hermans.  Someone obviously a relative since the clipping for his Diamond Anniversary was in a family scrapbook, but I didn't have him in my tree.  Today I look for an obituary and come across one for "Desire Hermans".  I decided to go with it since I'd just done a post on another Hermans and then realized that I don't have Desire in my tree either.

Green Bay Press Gazette
Now, I've mentioned before that I've been editing my tree.  If I don't personally have information on someone in my tree, then I don't put them in.  Of course, not finding George and now, Desire, in my tree isn't a problem.  It just means that since I'm posting about them, then it's the perfect time to do some research and see where/if they belong.  Even though I'm fairly certain that I found out where George belongs, I've still go to do more than a little late-night census work on  I've got George and  his parents (and grandparents) on my research calendar and I'll be heading out to do more research very soon at the Wisconsin Historical Society.  Now I'll be adding Desire to my research calendar and see what I can do to fill out this branch of the family tree.  While Desire and George aren't direct line ancestors, it's still important to me to place them if they belong in my tree.

While I dislike the fact that the obituary doesn't mention his daughters first names (yes, I know it was 1956 and all, but I don't have to like it!), it is very convenient that I have an obit for a man that died in 1956.  His marriage record should be waiting for me at the WHS, and he'll be in the US censuses.  I can get some information there and see if he fits anywhere.

The obituary is mighty helpful just by mentioning his brother, George.  Is it the same George that I posted about previously?  Well, after a quick search of the census records, it looks like it might be.  Only time (about a month) will tell.

Something else interesting about the obituary is that his wife's name was Mary Laurent.  Another family surname and I have a Mary Laurent in our tree that was born around 1877.  This happens to be the same age as his Mary Laurent would have been according to census records.  While I didn't have a marriage record in my Hermans file, I did have one in my Laurent file waiting to be entered into my database.  Desire Hermans, son of John B. Hermans and Antoinette Dart, married Mary Laurent, daughter of Phillip and Mary Therese (funny how the record didn't put their surnames, but that's OK because I already had Phillip and Mary Therese Laurent nee Francart in my tree!) on September 13, 1897.  So that part of the family tree crossed branches.

"Hermans Rites Set for Monday
[Hand-dated, Nov 23, 1956]

Special to Press-Gazette

LUXEMBURG, Wis. - Desire Hermans, 85, of Luxemburg, died at 11 a.m. Friday in a Green Bay hospital after in illness of six months.  He had lived in Luxemburg for 20 years.  His wife, the former Mary Laurent, died 33 years ago.

Survivors include four sons, Frank, Henry and Joseph, all of Luxemburg, Rt. 4, and William, Luxemburg; three daughters, Mrs. William Vandervest, Green Bay; Mrs. Harvey Luedtke, Luxemburg, Rt. 2; and Mrs. Arthur Adams, Luxemburg; a brother George Hermans, Luxemburg; 25 grandchildren and 30 great grandchildren.

The body is at the McMahon Funeral Home, Luxemburg, where friends may call after 7 o'clock tonight.  The Rosary will be recited at 8 o'clock tonight and Sunday.  Funeral services will be held at 9:30 a.m. Monday in St. Martin Church, Tonet, with burial in the church cemetery."

"Funeral Held Today For Desire Hermans

LUXEMBURG, Wis. - Funeral services were held this morning at St. Martin Church, Tonet, for Desire Hermans, 85, Luxemburg, who died Friday morning at a Green Bay hospital.  Burial was in the church cemetery.

Mr. Hermans, a Luxemburg resident for the past 20 years, was survived by four sons, three daughters, a brother, 25 grandchildren and 30 great grandchildren.  His wife, the former, Mary Laurent, preceded him in death 33 years ago.

The McMahon Funeral Home, Luxemburg, was in charge of funeral arrangements."

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Wedding Wednesday - A Diamond Anniversary

I decided to look for a clipping for a wedding in one of the scrapbooks I have and came across this clipping for a 60th anniversary. It's not often that you see a Diamond Wedding Anniversary!

The surname Hermans is in my husband's family tree (on his father's side), but I don't have George Hermans in my tree.  It doesn't really mean that he's unknown to our family, I just don't put anything in my tree unless I can get sources first.  It's evident (at least to me) that this must be a relative of some sort since the majority of the clipping in these scrapbooks are family, so let's see what I can find.

The clipping says that they were married in Dykesville which is an "unincorporated" place in Brown and Kewaunee counties, in other words, it's on the border.  The newspaper was from 1966 so 60 years earlier would be 1906 and the Wisconsin Historical Society (gosh, I love that place!) has a searchable index of pre-1907 births, marriages, and deaths.  Perfect!

There were actually TWO George Hermans that were married in 1966.  One in June in Manitowoc county (nope) and one on October 17th in Kewaunee county (bingo!). So I click on the "details" link to see the record for the George in Kewaunee county and get the information I need to track down this record on my summer visit to the WHS (and duly noted the information in my research calendar so I don't forget!).

Now there's this cool feature when you're on the information page for a marriage record on the WHS' website.  You can click on a link that says, "Search for possible spouse matches."  It's not always correct (even if you only find one match...heck sometimes there is no match which I find funny, but is undoubtedly some kind of flaw in the grand-design.  A fly in the ointment), but it can give you a good lead.  There was only one match for George and that was an Adele Welis.  So was Adele my George's wife?

Well, looking in the 1910 US Federal Census, I see that there are 3 George Hermans that come up on an "exact match" search on  Only one of them is in Wisconsin and he lives in.....Kewaunee county with his wife, Ida.  Same woman?  Probably.  The name is similar, but I want to check some other censuses and records to be sure.  Plus the record on the WHS website could be wrong.

An extra jewel in the 1910 census tells me that George's 64 year old mother is a widow living with them.  Her name is Antonetin (-ish).  That should make is easier to find George before he got married too.  It does appear the this Adele belongs to this George since I found them both in the 1930 census. Yay!

Now I didn't find George with any Antonetin/Antoinette/Anton-anything born around 1885 (a guess-timate from the 1910 and 1930 censuses), but I did find a George Hermans in the 1905 Wisconsin state census with his mother, Antoniette [sic]!  She was still widowed so no dad for this census and no luck in the 1900 US census looking for George.

So since there is no 1890 census for Kewaunee, Wisconsin and George was born after the 1880 census, let's take a look at who I have for Antoinette's (born abt 1849) children in the 1905 census with estimated birth years:  Jule (1877), Anton (1879), and George (1886).  Let's see what I can see in the 1880 census.

In the 1880 US Federal Census there is a J. Baptiste and Antoinette "Ermans" living in the Charles "Ermans" household with their children, two of which are Julius and Anton!  Now I don't speak Belgian, but I do know that many of the documents from Belgium were in French, Charles and his wife Josephine, were born in Belgium and if one of them gave the information to the census takers....well, let's just say that I can do a pretty good absurd Monty-Python-outrageous-taunting-of-the-French accent, and can see Hermans being "Ermans" when pronounced (plus someone else corrected the surname in the Ancestry database, but that doesn't always mean they are correct).

Now, Charles and Josephine Hermans nee Landeck are in my family tree.  They are my hubby's 3rd great grandparents.  So, for now, my deduction after this short-lived-online research and half a glass of wine is that the happy couple celebrating their Diamond Wedding Anniversary is Charles and Josephine Hermans' grandson.  Not proven yet, but just you wait until I get to WHS in June and see if I can find some newspaper articles, birth, marriage, and death records on them!  I've already found possible death record matches in the WHS database for Charles, Josephine and J. Baptiste in Kewaunee.  We'll see if I turn up real gold or fool's gold!

"Wed 60 Years - Mr. and Mrs. George Hermans, Luxemburg, celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary recently.  They were married in Dyckesville and have three children, seven grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren."

[From the Green Bay Press-Gazette, hand-dated Oct 16, 1966]

UPDATE:  ...Yep...already.  As it turns out, I don't need to pull these documents at WHS because I already did.  They were in my file for research that still needed to find a home.  My deductions were right and George, John Baptiste, and Antoinette will be finding their way into my family tree soon.  As for Adele's maiden name.  It was wrong in the spouse search on WHS.  It's Nelis, not Welis.  Close, but no cigar for the transcriber!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Tuesday's Tip - Inputting Data on the 1930 U.S. Federal Census

1930 U.S. Federal Census
The form was actually done over a week ago, sadly I didn't just want to throw a form up without any good information to go with it and last week was busy.  I mean crazy-busy, but with moving and the end of the school year, I need to accept that this is going to be life for the foreseeable future.  So on to another census which means another form that you can download, input data, and save to your computer!

The 1930 census occurred during the Great Depression so it really gives us a special look into the lives of our ancestors.  There's lots of great information that you can read about regarding the data that was collected for the census, and always remember that there was more than the census for the general population.  You can head on over to the U.S. Census Bureau's website and see lots of great statistics about the information.  There were agriculture reports, reports on mining/quarries, unemployment, etc.  So many different ways that you can look into the lives of your ancestors!

Additionally, there was some drama surrounding the 1930 census because of the Great Depression.  You can read more about it by clicking here, but essentially, the statistics from the census were in high demand to assess just how bad the Depression was, but when the numbers came back they were criticized for being too low and the census was called "unreliable".  An additional census on unemployment was conducted in January 1931 and then another in 1937 (this last one was completely voluntary).

Of course there are lots of great places to look for information on the 1930 census (and all others) and I'm only throwing out a few things, but by far, the U.S. Census Bureau and are two of my favorite places to look. has great maps and historical tidbits to familiarize you with the decade, while the U.S. Census Bureau goes into more detail.

Well, on that note (and with a pretty good thunderstorm starting to hit outside here in Killeen, TX) I'm going to post the form and power-down the electronics.

As always, please let me know if there are any issues with the form.  For some reason the form keeps "tabbing" back to the first row, so until I can stop swearing at Excel and figure out how to fix that, you'll need to click in the row you want to input data.  It has something to do with tabbing through a line that isn't horizontal (the street name line and the notes box).  If anyone has any ideas/knowledge on how to correct this please let me know!

The form has been locked to keep you from accidentally deleting anything on the form.  It also (thank you Google Docs) looks like the document is more than one page sometimes, and sometimes it just looks like things are out of place when viewed on Google Docs, but rest assured that once you download it, it should be just one page!  You can access the form by clicking any of the links for "1930 census" or by clicking here.

Until next time, have fun tending those roots!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Sunday's Obituary - Joseph Straub

Gosh, I really dislike obituaries that only refer to the women as "Mrs So-and-So".  Can't change the past, but how disappointing!  This is one of those clippings that were passed on to me and there's no publication information.  There's only the date "1959" written at the bottom as well as the 2 names "Alfred and Leander".

So if we look at the date of birth and his age at death, 1959 would certainly be around the year he would have died.  Additionally, I found by looking in the Wisconsin Death Index, 1959-1997 that Joseph died in Marathon County, Wisconsin on September 1, 1959.

I was able to find Joseph and Catherine "Kate" Straub in the censuses from 1900 though 1930, but it was in the 1920 census that I found Leander, who was 6 years old at the time.  Alfred was found in the 1910 census and was 5 years old.  I don't quite know why they weren't mentioned in the article, but it was apparent that whoever clipped it knew they were missing.  Leander didn't die until January 20, 1982 and Alfred didn't die until March 24, 1984.  Perhaps being left out was a mistake, or perhaps there was a falling out (one would hope not).

While I can't tell which daughters married which gentlemen listed, I did find out their first names:  Edna, Irene, Mary, Armelia, and Florence.  Perhaps they were listed by age (as I did here).

"Attend Funeral Tuesday of Relative

Mrs. Marie Strachota, Mr. and Mrs. John Kleinhans, Mr. and Mrs. Hugo Straub attended the funeral of Joseph C. Straub, 87, at Edgar Thursday morning at St. John the Baptist Catholic church.  Solemn Requiem High Mass was conducted by Rev. Donald Berg of Camp Douglas, a grandson of the deceased, celebrant; Rev. Oscar Cramer, deacon, and Rev. Arthur Cramer, sub deacon.

The deceased was born in St. Kilian in 1872, son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Jos. Straub, Sr.  He married Catherine Schedlo in 1897 and they farmed near St. Kiian [sic] until 1915 when they moved to the Town of Wein.  In 1935 they retired from farming, moving to Edgar where Mrs. Straub died in 1940.

Seven sons survive:  Ben, Herbert, Tony of Edgar; Roman of Marshfield; Wilmer of Spencer; five daughters, Mrs. Oscar Berg, Mrs. Robt Martin of Edgar; Mrs. Alex King, Schofield; Mrs. Theo. Meidlein, Spencer; Miss Florence Straub, Chippewa Falls; 58 grand chilldren [sic], 73 great grandchilldren [sic]."

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Funeral Card Friday - Rosemarie Amerling

"In Loving Memory Of 
Rosemarie T. Amerling 
Born September 7, 1917
Died October 18, 1989"

I decided to post this funeral card today because it had been one heck of a week and my blog was being neglected.  I wanted to get something...anything up tonight.  I didn't start by looking at my family tree, like I usually do (and like I should do).  I did a search for Rose Amerling but didn't find a whole bunch that this card wouldn't tell me.

There was a link to FindAGrave where I could see that her husband was Edwin and when he died, but nothing that helped me with her maiden name.  Amerling isn't a very familiar name in regards to my family, in that it isn't a direct line ancestor so I've heard it before, but that's about it.  So I did what I should have done in the first place and got onto my family tree and there she was.

Rosemary (which is what I had her as) Amerling nee Boegel and Edwin had four known children (which I won't mention by name since they may still be living).  The point is, that she's a Boegel.  My mother-in-law's side of the family and Boegel is a direct line surname for my husband and sons.

So, yes, I had her in my tree and I had this card, but until I put it in my blog I didn't make the connection.  No huge break-throughs, but a little connection is better than nothing at all.

(Rosemarie Amerling nee Boegel is my husband's 1st cousin twice removed).