Lucky me, I have German ancestors on both my maternal and paternal lines! I am currently researching the names SICK and SELL in Schleswig-Holstein, SCHNEIDER in Hessen and KUNDERS (Conard) in North Rhineland - Westphalia. I enjoy doing German research and trying to remember some of the high school German language that I took oh so long ago.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History, Week 9: Sounds

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2011) that invite genealogists and others to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants.  Week 9: Sounds.  Describe any sounds that take you back to your childhood. These could be familiar songs, jingles, children playing, or something entirely different.

"Unsafe at Any Speed"

Putt-putt, putt-putt, putt-putt.  Silence as the car comes around the corner.  Putt-putt, putt-putt, putt-putt.  Again, silence.  A few seconds later, the muffled noise of a car door closing and the jangling of the front door opening and closing.  The tapping of shoes on a hardwood floor.  Daddy’s home!

Early in his practice as a dentist, my dad would often get home from the office after we had been put to bed.   I used to love the sound of the Chevy Corvair (yes, “unsafe at any speed”) as it rounded the corner to our house.  We called it the “putt-putt car" because of the noise it made driving into the neighborhood.  Nearly every night, Dad would come home with a little something for me and my brother and sister.   Sometimes a little toy, often some sort of candy.  Yes, I know, candy from the dentist; but as long as we brushed our teeth well, it was no problem.

In thinking about writing this post, I decided that I wanted more details about the car from my mom.   The first thing she told me was that the car was actually hers.  Apparently my dad told her he was taking her to a baseball game in Portland, but instead took her to the Chevy dealer and told her the white Corvair with the red interior was hers!  Mom can’t remember what year it was, but we guess about 1962 or 1963.  She loved the car.  She said that they even took it back to Idaho one year – she can’t recall if my brother and I sat in the back, with my sister in a carrier by mom’s feet, or if she was pregnant with my sister.   Jeepers!  What a ride that would be! 

Not our Corvair, but very similar
The only problem that mom remembers having with the car is that the accelerator pedal would get stuck.  Just a minor issue!  Once when they were coming home from the Washington Coast the pedal stuck.  She said it took a bit of work, but dad finally was able to reach down and release it somehow.

The best thing about this whole blog post prompt:  After our talk about the “putt-putt” car, mom said that she should really write all of this stuff down.   I told her that I have been hoping to interview her and we have made plans to talk next week!

So, thank you Amy and Thomas for providing these blogging prompts.  It brought up a lot of happy memories and helped me get the interview with my mom arranged!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Dank-Himmel für barmherzige Samariter! (Thank Heaven for Good Samaritans!)

My high school German classes didn't prepare me for German genealogical research.  I used an on-line translator and I'm a bit concerned about my headline!  

Speaking of translators, I wanted to sing the praises of a certain genealogy angel that not only helped me find several generations of German ancestors in Schleswig-Holstein, she also scanned, emailed and translated the entries for me!  Genealogy jackpot!  I even did the genealogy discovery dance.  It involves a lot of whooping and hollering, hands up in the air, etc.  Thankfully, I was home alone; otherwise, I might be posting this from the nearest mental institution.

Back to the serious bit....Here is the baptism record for my great great grandmother, Bertha Friedericke Jacobine Sick, who was born August 5, 1859 and baptized on August 18th.

Thank you, Ute, my translator angel in Germany!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Grandpa Pat, Pocatello, Idaho

This is a photo of my grandpa Pat (Maurice Homer) Lane, my great aunt Bernice Lowrie, Benjamin Lowrie and my great grandma Emma Sell Lowrie, in Pocatello, Idaho.  The car and the background interest me.  I have no idea what type of car it is, and I can't tell if they are standing outside my great grandma's house.  The neighborhood would have changed a lot when I was visiting in the 1960's and 1970's.  Another mystery to chase down...

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sell Family Photos

The photo on the left is of my great great grandma, Bertha Sick Sell, my grandfather, Maurice Homer "Pat" Lane, and my great grandmother Emma Bertha Anna Sell.  I am not sure when the photo was taken, but my grandfather was born in 1907 (I think!) and so I would guess this is about 1917 or so.

Emma was born on June 14, 1885 in Blackfoot, Idaho.  Her mother, Bertha Sick Sell was born on August 5, 1859 in Neustadt-in-Holstein, Germany.  She immigrated to the United States via New York in 1883, with her husband-to-be, Heinrich "Henry" Sell.  Bertha died November 7, 1922 in Pocatello, Idaho.

The photo at the right is of my great great grandfather, Henry Sell.  Henry was born in February 1860 in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany.  He married Bertha Sick in Blackfoot, Idaho on May 31, 1884.  Henry was a butcher by trade.  He died on Valentine's Day in 1918.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Grandma Lowrie

This is a photo of my great grandma, Emma Bertha Anna Sell Rovelstad Reed Lane Lowrie.  Oh yes, she was married 4 times, God bless her.  I only knew about three marriages, and then, all of a sudden, another one appeared.

It is hard to reconcile this pretty young woman, who had many husbands, with the old great Grandma I remember.  She must have been something in her day!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Welcome to my first post on my latest blog.  My first blog focuses on my Savage family who came from England and moved to Utah as LDS converts.  This blog will focus on my research on the German lines in my family.  I am excited to share what I have found.  Thanks for visiting.