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.

Friday, March 25, 2011

My Mystery Man

The elusive “Mr. Werntz.” He is my third great grandfather and I’m beginning to think he doesn’t want to be found.
Here’s the family overview:

Sarah “Sallie” Buffington (Werntz?) Tallman had a son with my mystery man.  This child, James Oliver Werntz was born September 7, 1853.  I have no actual record of a marriage between Sarah Buffington and Mr. Werntz.

James Oliver Werntz married Agnes Henderson Campbell in Pennsylvania, probably in 1872.  

James and Agnes had a daughter, Jennie Olive Werntz, born February 11, 1873 in Pennsylvania (possibly Pottsville).

Jennie Olive Werntz married Henry Snyder January 31, 1895 in Denver, Arapahoe County, Colorado.

Their children were Grace, Wilma, Dorothy and William.  Dorothy was my grandmother.

In this photo - back row -Jennie Olive Werntz Snyder.  Front row (left to right) - James Oliver Werntz, Grace Snyder and unidentified woman.  She could be James' wife, Agnes Campbell Werntz.

Here’s the census overview:

1860 (only 7 years after James' birth) – Sarah Buffington is living with her husband Mattias Tallman.  Living with them is James, age 7 and Henry, age 2.  There are in Wiconisco Twp., Dauphin County, Pennsylvania.

1870 – James Werntz is living with Samuel Buffington (Sarah’s brother), age 16, occupation, driving teams.  Samuel is a manufacturer of porter and ale.  They are in Gratz, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania.

1880 – James is married to Agnes and living in Mt. Carroll, Illinois.  His occupation is “keeps billiard hall.”  The Mattias and Sarah (Buffington) Tallman family has also moved to this area in Illinois.

I have census records up until James Oliver’s death on June 13, 1926 in Rupert, Idaho.

Here’s my tale of woe:

I cannot prove that Sarah Buffington and Mr. Werntz were ever married.  In Buffington family history records, James Oliver’s dad is always referred to as Mr. Werntz.  I assume he was recognized as a member of the family, but Sarah was fairly young when she had him (15 or 16).  Sarah also had a cousin close in age and living nearby named Oliver.  Maybe she was a young widow?  Maybe they weren’t married?

But….at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, I found the record at the right. (Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania Archives; authors Phillip A. Rice and Jean A. Dellock)  

J.A. Werntz married a Miss Buffinger of Kratztown, Pennsylvania on September 11, 1853 - a year before my James Oliver was born.

In my research I found out that Kratztown was a name used for Gratz.  The surname Buffinger also comes up when doing surname searches on Buffington.  With my limited German language skills, I can hear how these translations could happen.

It’s intriguing, frustrating, challenging and crazy-making!  But, it’s genealogy and I am resolved to find my Mystery Man!  He can’t hide forever.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

One Lovely Blog Award and My Nominations

Heather Kuhn Roelker of  nominated my blog for the One Lovely Blog award.  What a surprise that was – I wasn’t sure anyone but me actually read it.  Seriously, I have received some lovely feedback from fellow bloggers and family members.  Once again, I must thank Thomas MacEntee and Lisa Louise Cooke for their promotion of blogging as a family history tool. It’s awesome!  And a big thanks to Heather, too! 

So, I did a little research, and my job is now to:

1.       Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who granted the aware and their blog link.
2.       Pass the award on to 15 other blogs that you've newly discovered.
          (See below – not all “newly” discovered, but some of my favorites)
3.       Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award. 

The blogs listed above are not in any particular order.  I enjoy reading them all, and lots of others as well.  Many of these blogs have been nominated before for this award – but for people new to the genealogy blog scene, check them out.

Thanks again Heather!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

You Say Kunders, I Say Conard (and Cunraeds and Cunnard and Conrad!)

Yes, these are all versions of the same name in my Grandma Savage's (Marion Rowe Beagles) line.  The Kunders family came from Krefeld, North Rhineland-Westphalia, Germany.

Krefeld is located in between Duisburg and Düsseldorf on the map above - about a 30 minute drive to the northwest of Düsseldorf.

The Kunders were some of the original settlers in Germantown, Pennsylvania.  A book I found at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City called, "The Strassburger Genealogy" (FHL #896630) says the following:

"On June 11, 1683, Penn [William Penn] conveyed to Govert Remke, Lenart Arets, and Jacob Van Bebber, all of Crefeld, one thousand acres of land each, and they together with Telner, Streypers and Sipman constituted the original Crefeld purchasers.  Their purpose was colonization, and not speculation...Before long thirteen families, comprising thirty-three persons, nearly all of whom were relatives, made preparations to depart for the new world.  They were Lenart Arets, Abraham Op den Graeff, Dirck Op den Graeff, Herman Op den Graeff, William Streypers, Thones Kunders [emphasis added], Renier Tyson, Jan Siemens, Jan Lensen, Peter Keurlis, Johannes Bleikers, Jan Lucken, and Abraham Tunes."

So as not to overwhelm you all with the details (I do have some!) here is a very brief outline on my Kunders connection - 

Thones Kunders m. Elin Tyson
Cunraed Cunraeds m. Anne Klinken
Anthony Cunred m. Sarah Hatfield
John Conard m. Elizabeth Potts
Nathan Conard m. Hannah Butcher
Anna Conard m. Enoch George Selby
Cynthia Anne Selby m. David Marion Price
Mary Elizabeth "Bessie" Price m. Noah David Beagles
Marion Rowe Beagles m. Nephi Waldo Savage
David Savage m. Suzanne 
Cindy Savage (me) m. Martyn Harris

Those of you who follow my other blog will recognize that Savage surname!  I wasn't sure whether to include the Kunders line in that blog or this one, so I decided to go with the geographical connection to Germany.

Whew!  Another post completed.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

"We all had to wear masks"

From my Grandma's (Dorothy May Snyder) notes:

"While we lived there [Pocatello, Idaho] the Spanish Influenza epidemic came.  School was closed & we all had to wear masks.   My sister Wilma who was secretly married while we lived there was pregnant.  So in the fall of 1918 her husband Frank Ball took her & me up to his ranch out of Inkom thinking she wouldn't get the flu.  The Armistice was signed in Nov. while we were there & Wilma got sick so we came home in a great big wagon.  Wilma was sick & chilling all the way & when we got home she had the flu.  Her baby was born but she [Wilma] died.  Then mother kept the baby, a boy, but he only lived 6 weeks."

I wish that I had the opportunity to ask my Grandma about my great aunt Wilma.  A secret marriage?  Since she was married to Frank Ball, Jr., on March 30th, 1918 and the little one was born November 21, 1918, I suspect Wilma may have known she was pregnant.

Wilma Snyder Ball was buried on November 25, 1918 in Mountain View Cemetery in Pocatello.  Her baby son, Henry Frank Ball, was buried on March 10, 1919 in the same plot. 

I found Frank Ball, Jr., (Wilma’s husband) in the 1920 Pocatello census with his family.  He was only 23 years old and listed as a widower.  How sad that must have been.

Grace and Wilma Snyder
It is too bad that I did not have the chance to ask Grandma Dorothy more about Wilma and the baby, as well as the impact of the Spanish flu in Pocatello. 

Grace holding sister Dorothy; Wilma holding kitten

FYI - There is a really terrific book by John M. Barry, called "The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History." I highly recommend it to anyone who had a family member affected by the flu. It is a good read even if you don't know of anyone directly impacted.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

From 1929 Wedding Dress to 1971 Animal Print Jumpsuit

Grandma Dorothy (Dorothy May Sndyer) was married on July 14, 1929 to Maurice "Pat" Lane.  When I came across this photo last night, it made me smile.  Grandma was just getting ready to start married life, and it was fun to think about her being a new bride.  

I also smiled because I realized just how much my niece Jeni  looks like Grandma Dorothy.  Now I have been inspecting all of the all photos to see if I can see my son in any of the ancestors!

While she had heart problems at the end of her life, most of my memories are of Grandma being active and independent - that's why I included a picture of her in my brother's go-cart.  The go-cart picture also shows a major fashion change!  Imagine that - an animal print jumpsuit, with ankle length nylons.  Awesome!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Was sagt das? Why I wanted a German speaking helper

Yes, that's why.  Of course I could make out the dates and some of the names, but I just didn't have the expertise to decipher all the other words!

Here is the translation I received from my angel in Germany:

Nr. 82
date of birth                 14. June 1885
date of baptism            04. Sept. 1892
baptism in the house of the family
Sell, Emma Bertha Anna, daugther, born in wedlock, of the butcher Hans Hinrich August Sell in Pocatello state of Idaho in North America and Bertha Friederike Jacobine nee Sick.
1. Christine Magdalena Johanna Sick 
2. The mother of the child
3. Anna Christine Henriette Ewers, all from Neustadt

Nr. 83
date of birth                 24. March 1887
date of baptism           04. Sept. 1892
baptism in the house of the family
Sell, Otto Heinrich Carl, son, born in wedlock, of the butcher Hans Hinrich August Sell in Pocatello state of Idaho in North America and Bertha Friederike Jacobine nee Sick.
1. Otto Heinrich Friedrich Sick
2. Wulf Johann Heinrich Ewers
3. Wilhelmine Ernestine Dorothea Sick, all from Neustadt

Notice on the right side of the record:

Notice to 82 a. 83.
These two children were born in America and not baptised until now. While staying here with her mother for visit in her grandfathers house they were baptised. 

After I received the translation, another mystery was solved.  According to the baptism record, Emma Sell's mom's name was Bertha Frederike Jacobine Sick. Earlier in my research, I came across a passenger list with Emma and Otto, but they were traveling with someone with a name that looked like "Tacobine." My mom and I wondered who in the heck this Tacobine was.  Taco Beana, not very German sounding.   Well, I made a rookie mistake by not thinking what might make sense.  J's and T's look a lot a like, duh.  After many a joke about our Taco Beana, great great grandma Sell finally got recognized!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Maurice "Pat" Lane Obituary

In the honor of National Procrastination Week, I am posting my "Amaneusis Monday" entry.  Not too bad - I'm only one day late!

Maurice Lane Dies at 61

Maurice H. (Pat) Lane, 61, 247 West Buell, an assistant station manager for the Union Pacific Railroad, died early today in Bannock Memorial Hospital after a short illness.  He suffered a heart attack Monday.

A son of Homer and Emma Sell Lane, he was born Feb. 8, 1902, in Pocatello.  He received his education there and was a graduate of the Pocatello High School, where he was a member of the football team.

He began working for the railroad as a boy during the summer vacations and in October, 1921, began work as a brakeman.  In 1924 he began work for the Pacific Fruit Express in the car service department.  He then went back to the railroad on Oct. 31, 1944, as a brakeman.  On Oct. 8, 1948, he became a ticket clerk and then assistant station manager.

He was a member of Portneuf Lodge 18, AF and AM, the York Rite Masonic Bodies, Gate City Commandery 4, Knights Templar, Ruth Chapter 3, Order of the Eastern Star, El Korah Shrine of Boise, and Lodge 900 Brotherhood of Railways Clerks.

He married Dorothy M. Snyder July 14, 1929, at Pocatello.

Survivors include his widow, a son, Ben H. Lane, Pocatello; a daughter, Mrs. David Savage, Vancouver, Wash.; his mother, Mrs. Emma Lowrie, Pocatello, a sister, Mrs. Berniece Ward, Portland, Ore., and three grandchildren.

Funeral services will be announced by the Downard Funeral Home.

Maurice (pronounced "Morris") was my grandfather.  He never went by Maurice, but by his nickname, Pat.  Unfortunately, my Grandpa Pat died before I had a chance to know him.