Friday, May 7, 2021

An Illegal Operation

First, a word of warning. If you cannot stand reading about controversial topics, unpleasant events, tragedy and death, I'll ask that you stop reading now. This post is about the death of my grandmother's sister. I knew she died young and I had heard rumors about the cause. Someone recently posted newspaper articles about the trial that followed, which confirms what I had heard was the truth. Someone posted about her death in the West Point, Iowa community Facebook group a few years ago and another person commented that they had "heard about her". I commented that I had also heard the rumor but that I would not comment about rumors or mention what they entailed. Now that these articles are out there and the rumor has been proven true, I will post about it, as unpleasant circumstance as it is.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Time For Baseball

It seemed as if spring would never get here this year. Finally, the weather is warm enough to enjoy some time outside and the trees and grass is starting to sprout new green growth. It's my favorite time of the year. Along with spring comes baseball. I've never been athletic but if there was one sport I would have played, had I had the skills and coaching, it would have been baseball. Based on what I'm going to show here, I tend to believe it's in my genes.

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Court Cases in Google Books

 I was doing some searches in Google Books to see if I could find any that contained mentions of my ancestors. With a surname like Panther, you find a lot of books that mention encounters with a member of the large cat family. So I searched for the name of my great-grandfather, Aloys Panther in quotes. I didn't find anything so I did a search for his brother's name, Ferdinand Panther in quotes. I found a book titled "Reports of Cases at Law and in Equity Determined by the Supreme Court of the State of Iowa".

Monday, February 15, 2021

More Information About My Seefried Ancestry

 A few months ago, I posted about the undocumented Seefried ancestry I had discovered. When I made this discovery, I emailed a couple of people that posted this information to see if they had any documentation or more information. One person responded that he didn't have documentation. He had gotten the information from a second cousin of his. He said he'd contact this cousin to see what he could provide him about the Seefried family research.

Monday, February 1, 2021

A Cousin on Groucho Marx - You Bet Your Life

I had heard that my third cousin once removed, Louis Menke, was on Groucho Marx's show You Bet Your Life several decades ago. That's all I had heard about it. Nothing about what it was about. I just figured it was a game show and that's as far as it went. Then someone posted on the West Point, Iowa Facebook page a newspaper article written around the time of the show. It is quite entertaining in that it was said that Louis Menke was never out-talked by anyone. Apparently, Groucho Marx heard about this and had to invite him onto the show.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

The Will of Leonard Ziegelmüller

In posts found here and here, I discussed discovering the name of the mother of my great-grandmother, Elizabeth Dunzinger Panther. It ends up the surname had been in front of us for a decade or more but we had no idea that it was her last name. My second cousin has provided me with an additional piece of evidence that, had we known to look for it earlier, could have cut decades off of this search. It is the last will and testament of Leonard Ziegelmüller. In order to take advantage of this, I would have had to recognize that the last name in the headline of the newspaper article was definitely connected to her rather than believing another family the article discussed, which she was found living with in the 1870 US Federal Census, was her family. In the end, rather than providing us the breakthrough, it serves as additional evidence that what we have discovered is correct.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Reasons for Aloys Panther's Move to America

 My great-grandfather, Aloys Panther, and his wife Monica Hanle Panther, along with their oldest son, came to America from Baden in 1872. Why? I had speculated that the end of the Austro-Prussian War, the death of his brother and the death of two of his sons may have convinced him to try a for a new start in a new land. I believe his brother may have paid a return visit to his home town to convince him to follow him back to America.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

European Church Records at Matricula Online

There is a web site that contains images of church book images across mainland Europe, mostly in Germany and Austria but also including Poland, Netherlands, Hungary, Bosia-Herzegovena, and Luxumburg. The number of parishes included is amazing. The current count of churches included is nearly 6,000. This site is known as Matricula Online. It can be found at https://data.matricula-online.eu/en/ . If you have ancestors from these areas, be sure to browse their church book image collection.

I looked for churches my family is known to be from and sadly, none of them are there. I'm still excited to find this site. They state that their goal is to continuously expand the content of the site.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Missouri Death Certificates 1909-1969

The Missouri Secretary of State web site has a searchable database of images of death certificates for the state of Missouri from 1910 -1969. It can be found at https://s1.sos.mo.gov/Records/Archives/ArchivesMvc/ . If you have anyone in your family tree that died in the State of Missouri between these years, I encourage you to search the database. Over a period of a few days, I searched my genealogy database for anyone that died in Missouri during these years. I didn't find every one of them but I did find 58, from just about every branch of my family tree. Several of these gave me new information such as parents, spouses and death dates that I didn't have before. Some causes of death I saw were burned due to a child playing with fire, to typhus, to electrocution.

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Undocumented Family Trees - Seefried Ancestors

 In this post from August 2019, I talked about the transcription of the marriage record I found for my 2x-great-grandparents, Andreas Dunzinger and Anna Ziegelmuller. A few months later, I was able to obtain an image of the church book record. You can see that the transcription was an accurate representation of what was written in the record. It lists Anna's surname as Ziegelmilch and her parents as Paul Ziegelmilch and Victoria Seefried.

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Newspaper Account of an Orphan Train

After learning about my grandfather's first cousin, Christian Müller, being sent to Nebraska on board an "orphan train" of the Children's Aid Society in 1902, I've been trying to learn more about it. I have so far found just one article in the "Red Cloud Chief" newspaper of Red Cloud, Nebraska. I found the articles below on the University of Nebraska website "Nebraska Newspapers". Here is the article found in the Friday, September 12, 1902 issue of this newspaper:

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Grimmelshausen and Christman Brandstetter

 Not long before finishing my ancestry research in the area around Ortenaukreis, Baden, Germany, I exchanged emails with a person who lived in the area. I provided a family tree to him and he commented that without doubt, my 8x-great-grandfather knew Hans Jakob Christoffel von Grimmelshausen. At that time, I know I recognized the name Grimmelshausen and I know I saw the death record for Grimmelshausen in my research, but since I didn't have a family connection to him, I hadn't looked too hard at it. Once I received this email, however, I started looking deeper into who Grimmelshausen was.

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Relative Soldiers Who Died Fighting for the Other Side in War

I'm sure most genealogists know their family members who served in the US Military and especially those who died in battle. Let's expand our search a bit. Do you know of any of your relatives who died on the other side of the front line? Relatives who actually fought against America and its allies? When I was working on my Panther family history book, my brother called saying his son, my nephew, had a school project where they had to map out where their relatives fought in World War II. My brother wanted to know if I had found any of our German relatives that fought in the war. I was able to tell him that I did and, not only that, I had their photographs!

Friday, August 14, 2020

Historical Markers - The Villasur Expedition

Today, August 14, 2020, is the 300 year anniversary of the massacre of the Spanish Villasur expedition, which occurred in the area of my hometown, Columbus, Nebraska. This is not something I recall learning about in any class in any grade in school. I know I don't have relatives associated with this event but I'm confident some people in town do. I know it's easy to ignore the historical markers you see every day when going about your day to day life but it might be a good idea to check them out at least once. What can you learn about your town that you didn't know before? Could your ancestors have been involved in the events?

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Free Access to MyHeritage Photo Enhancer and In Color

 I received an email today letting me know that My Heritage is providing free access for everyone, even non-subscribers, to their Photo Enhancer and In Color tools through September 10, 2020. If you don't have a MyHeritage subscription, you'll definitely want to take advantage of this offer! I know I'll be giving the photo enhancer a try and I'll be colorizing some photos I missed the last time around.

--Matt