|Lizzie Dunzinger as a young lady.|
The family story passed down through the years says that Lizzie was born in New York in either 1854 or 1856. Her grandparents brought her to Burlington, Des Moines County, Iowa to live with relatives after her parents died when she was about three years old.
In this list, I will talk about only facts about the documentation and facts about what we know, not my beliefs on what is true.
Des Moines County, Iowa Marriage Book #10 Index
Certificate of Marriage
There is not currently a Catholic Church in Kingston. I found a record of a St. Mary's Church, Kingston, Des Moines County, Iowa http://www.topozone.com/map.asp?lon=-91.0545892&lat=40.976703&datum=nad83 (N 40.9767 and W -91.05459). At these coordinates is an open area next to St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery, where you might expect a church to be located. At this point in time, I have not figured out where the old St. Mary's Church records might be stored.
St. John's Church, Burlington, Des Moines County, Iowa marriage book entry
A newspaper article titled "Ziegelmueller (and family)", which appears almost like a letter to the editor written by "Virginia Zaiser Williams" at "Rt 1 Briarcliff".
I do not know when this was published or in what newspaper but I would think it appeared in the Burlington Hawk Eye. There is a handwritten note in the bottom margin of the article, which we believe was probably written by Mary Ann Panther Vorwerk or her daughter that says "These people were relatives of Grandma Panther". This note refers to Lizzie Dunzinger. It states that the Ziegelmuellers and Wagners came from a town called Wemding in Bavaria. The article also mentions the Guenthers including a young Peter G. Guenther.
1870 Federal Census
Church baptismal records of the children of Leonard Ziegelmueller and his wife, Juliana Wagner.
Andrew Dunzenger - M - 32 - born in Germany
Fanny Dunzenger - F - wife - 27 - born in Germany
Mary A. Dunzenger - F - child - 4 - born in New York
Elizabeth Dunzenger - F - child - 1 - born in New York
Victoria Seidlenar - F - 68 - mother - born in Germany
Adam Pacoke/Jacobe(?) - M - 16 - brother - born in Germany
1853 New York City Directory
Andrew Dunzinger is not found in the 1857 or 1858 New York City Directory. Names surrounding his in the 1853 directory are found in these other directories but not his. This tells me the deaths likely occurred in either 1855 or 1856.
Birth Record Search - A search request submitted to the New York City Municipal Archives for a birth record for Elizabeth Dunzinger in New York City, New York County, New York in 1854 resulted in no record found.
Google Book "Jahrbuch der Stadt Wemding 1835-1836" page 28
What don't we have?
1. Any record that is confirmed to be our Lizzie Dunzinger Panther showing her parents' names.
2. Any record of the death of Andrew and Fanny Dunzinger or any other Dunzinger during the 1855-1860 timeframe that could match up with the family stories. I looked at microfilm from the Family History Center for deaths in the years 1855-1860 and found no Dunzingers or similar names.
3. Any record of our (confirmed) Lizzie Dunzinger in any census prior to 1870.
4. The birth record of an Elizabeth Dunzinger in New York during the 1850s timeframe, or any timeframe for that matter.
So, what we have is a lot of circumstantial evidence that my great-grandmother was born April 12, 1854 in New York City, New York County, New York, to Andrew and Fanny Dunzinger and that she had a sister named Mary A. Dunzinger and a grandmother named Victoria Seidlinar (or something similar) and that her father was born in Wemding, Bavaria to a master dyer named Andreas Dunzinger and his wife, Maria Francisca Leinfelder, along with their family history there, which is waiting for us to delve into.
Is this mass of circumstantial evidence enough to constitute proof that we've found my great-grandmother's family? Does it fall short of that but still make it likely we have the correct family link? Where do I go from here? No matter what, I'll still hope to find more concrete evidence proving this connection. The question is, do I turn my focus to the family history in Wemding or would that be a waste since this connection isn't yet proven? The research in Wemding will not be easy. The records are not digitized and if they are microfilmed, they are only available in Eichstatt, which is near Wemding in Bavaria. A trip there will cost a lot of money. Paying a researcher to look for me will also cost a lot of money and I also wouldn't have the satisfaction of doing the research myself.
Please let me know your thoughts. I'd really appreciate it!