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.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Camera Shy

I absolutely hate to have my picture taken!  I'm the first one to volunteer to take the photo so I don't have to be in it.  They never seem to turn out well, and it's not just me.  It's a rare photo of me that has the family saying, "What a nice picture."   I have decided to re-consider, however, in light of the photographs I have of my ancestors.  I am so thankful that they took the time to have photos taken.  Granted, they don't always look too happy, but this was probably due to the amount of time they had to stay still.


I've decided that in this picture my great grandmother Emma Bertha Anna Sell and her brother, Otto Heinrich Sell are just plain fed up with the whole thing.  They look like two very unhappy kids!
Emma Bertha Anna is my great grandmother.  Otto Heinrich is my great grand uncle.
Bertha Friedericke Jacobine Sick Sell is my great, great grandmother
Christine Magdalena Johanna Steen Sick is my great, great, great grandmother
Otto Heinrich Friedrich Sick is my great, great, great grandfather.

Here is another photo of Christine Magdalena Johanna Steen Sick with Otto Heinrich Friedrich Sick.  My goodness, the woman had big hands!  
So it is time to get over being camera shy.  I vow to have more pictures taken with me in them (I'll just put little disclaimers like, "I don't really look like this" all over them.  That would certainly be helpful for the descendants!)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

I Just Gave Myself a Dope Slap

Great Grandma, Emma Bertha Anna Sell, was born in Pocatello, Idaho in 1885, but she was baptized in the basilica at Altenkrempe, Neustadt-in-Holstein, Schleswig-Holstein on September 4, 1892. (See my previous post, March 9th "Was Sagt Das?...")

I found a copy of a postcard of the church that my Great Great Grandma, Bertha Friederike Jacobine (Sick) Sell, had addressed to a neighbor in Idaho.  She told the neighbor that this was the church where the children were baptized.  How nice, I thought.  I even have a picture of the church where Great Grandma was baptized, along with a pleasant little note from Great Great Grandma to the neighbor.

But in looking at this postcard, I noticed a date on the front of the postcard - 1907.  Emma returned to the States with her mother and brother in November 1892. I started to doubt everything I thought I knew.

I turned the copy over and there is no postal service cancellation showing the date it was mailed.  I couldn't reconcile the date of the baptism with the date printed on the front of the  postcard...until I did another check of the shipping records and found Emma's mom returning to the States, again, on December 2, 1907!  So, she bought the postcard on a different trip.  No problem; I get that.  But no postmark? That was still a mystery.

Here comes the dope slap. How could I have a copy of a postcard mailed to my great great grandma's neighbor?  She obviously never mailed it!  That's how it remained in our family's collection.

All of this made me curious about what the church looks like today. I found these photos on-line.

What did I learn from this?  Slow down and think about it!