Wednesday, January 1, 2020

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: #1 ~ The Zaugg Family Looks for A “Fresh Start” in a New Land

Written for Amy Johnson Crow's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. (click here for details at Amy's blog)

First just the facts:
Name: Jakob Zaugg, Sr [as the head of the family, I’ll start with him]
Born: 21-Feb-1795* Bern, Switzerland
Married: Anna Stetler, 23-Jun-1820, Eggiwil, Bern, Switzerland
Died: 09-Dec-1873, Mount Eaton, Wayne County, Ohio
 *This is a calculated date based on the description in Wayne Co records of Jacob being 78yr 9mo 18days when he died.

In May,1853, Jakob, his wife and all but one of their children ventured from Switzerland across the ocean to settle in Wayne County, Ohio.  This group included their eldest son, also Jakob/Jacob who was then married and had a 6-month-old son named, originally, Jakob/Jacob! The exception was their eldest daughter who, with her husband, would follow them just one month later.

Wayne County had a large Swiss population so the destination made sense and I can only assume that they knew people already living there.  Still, it seems hard to imagine that at almost 60 Jakob would be prepared to start over.  But this fresh start would work out well for the couple.  When Jakob died, he had enough property and money to leave something to all his then-living children.

In writing this I wanted to pull the passenger list and was dismayed to find it almost totally illegible on Ancestry.  However the same record on Family Search is very clear.  Here is a side-by-side comparison.

In looking at the clearer version on Family Search I saw something I'd never noticed before - the Bartschi family listed above.  Jacob Zaugg, the young married man, is my 3rd great-grandfather and his wife is Barbara Batschi but I'd never done much about looking for her parents.  Could this be her family?  Now I have something else I need to explore.  It always happens when I try to write anything - I discover all the holes and unexplored clues. 

Thanks Amy!!

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: #13 ~ Nelle Eickelberg is "In the Paper"

Written for Amy Johnson Crow's Challenge 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. (click here for details at Amy's blog)

Week 13: In the Paper
"Newspapers are fantastic resources for our family history because they are contemporary recordings of our ancestors' times. We can see the news that affected them. (And that's not even considering the obituaries, marriage notices, and news articles that actually mention our ancestors!) What discoveries have you made in newspapers?”

Just the facts:
Name: Nelle Eickelberg
Born: March 25 or April 1, 1885 in Carbon, Clay Co, Indiana
Married first: William Nissen 26-Sep-1901
Married second: John H Quick 1910
Married third: Richard Hefin 26-Aug-1920
Died: 15-Aug-1970 Denver, Colorado [Find-a-Grave memorial]

Relationship: Great-grandmother
I am descended through:
- her son, Jack H Quick (1911 - 1999)
- his daughter, my mother, Jacqulin Ann Quick (living)

This prompt just ‘spoke’ to me. I have the most wonderful article that I found quite unexpectedly. I had been searching for articles about my great-great-grandfather, William Eickelberg who lived in Colorado. He was, at one time, the deputy inspector of mines and he also owned a restaurant so I was finding a number of interesting things. And then this popped up in the Denver Post, November 11, 1901 page 8:

Wow - that was not what I was expecting!

In spite of this romantic beginning, the relationship would not end well. When their son Harry was 6 years old the couple would divorce. In the complaint Nelle would state that her husband had, “…willfully deserted and abandoned this plaintiff on the 10th day of January 1908…” It looks like in this case father really did "know best".

Sunday, January 6, 2019

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: #1 ~ Caroline Flory and My First Great Genealogy ‘Find’

Written for Amy Johnson Crow's Challenge 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. (click here for details at Amy's blog) 

Week 1: First 

"Who was the first ancestor you found who you didn't personally know? Who was the first ancestor to arrive in the country? Who was the first child in one of your ancestral families? First to go to college? First husband out of a string of many?" 

Just the facts:
Name: Caroline Flory
Born: 20 March 1844 in Wayne County, Ohio
Married: John Ulrick Saurer, who was 21 years her senior, on 30 Oct 1860
Died: 16 May 1884, East Union Twp, Wayne Co, Ohio [Find-A-Grave memorial]

Relationship: Great-great-grandmother
I am descended through:
- her son, John Frederick Saurer (1873 - 1962)
- his daughter, Lela Mabel (Saurer) Ritchie (1913 - 1991)
- her son, my father, Donald John Ritchie (living)

Caroline was the source of my first truly thrilling genealogy find. I had just started to seriously research. By "seriously" I mean actually looking for records to back up all the information I had collected over the years from talking to my relatives. I had quite a bit of information at this point because I just loved looking at old pictures and, of course, when people show you pictures they tell you about them.

On a trip to Apple Creek, Ohio to visit relatives I decided to run over to the court house in Wooster. Not really knowing what I was doing at this point I was fortunate that the person there was very helpful and pointed me to some indexes which had been published by the local historical society. I happily looked up births for quite some time and made copious notes. I found more children listed for Caroline and John Saurer then I was previously aware they had. On an interesting side note, I was told that the original birth registers were not available to look at as they were too fragile. Now those same records are available to view on Family Search!

Next I decided to look for marriage records and bingo! There was a listing for John Saurer and Caroline FLORY. I felt so proud of myself ~ an actual new piece of information that no one else in my family had been able to tell me – Caroline’s maiden name. That, however, wasn't even the thrilling part. This was just the index so I asked the nice lady about the actual record and she showed me where the big ledger-type books were kept. I looked up the record and nearly fell off my chair. The record had some writing next to Caroline name which was HER FATHER'S consent to the marriage because she was only 16! So, right there I was able to go back another generation. If that wasn't cool enough, I also found and was able to make copies of her father's will.

WOW! I was totally hooked for life. Of course I soon found out that not every single trip to a courthouse was going to yield up such treasures. I don't mind though. Looking at old records just fascinates me almost as much as looking as old pictures. It's a way of touching history.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

#GenealogyPhotoADay ~ starts with A AUFLICK

Written for Genealogy Photo A Day ~ a list of photo prompts provided by Genealogy Girl Talks.

Name: Nellie [possibly Margaret or Mary Ellen] Auflick
Born: 29-Apr-1864, Minersville, Meigs County, Ohio
Married: William Eickelberg, 01-Jan-1884, Charleston, West Virginia
Died: 27-Sep-1940, Meigs County, Ohio [Find-A-Grave memorial]

Relationship: Great-great-grandmother
I am descended through:
- her daughter, Nelle Eickelberg (1885 - 1970)
- her son, Jack H Quick (1911 - 1999)
- his daughter, my mother, Jacqulin Ann Quick (living)

Although Nellie was born and died in Ohio, the picture here was taken in Denver in 1887 and Colorado is where she lived most of her adult life.  I'd always assumed it was where she'd died until I did some actual research. I even blogged about it way back when I made the discovery.

I have many pictures of Nellie so it was hard to choose one to share.

The last picture is Nellie at her 70th birthday.

Her parents, Thomas Auflick and Margaret Ann Hannington also eventually moved out to Colorado and are buried in Lafayette, Colorado. If I'd had a picture of them I'd have chosen that for this prompt. I've always felt there SHOULD be a picture of this couple. It's certainly on my most wanted list.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Another SCORE for the Shaking Leaf Hints

I have a confession to make and I hope it doesn’t get me thrown out of the highly selective genealogy club. I love the shaking leaf hints on Ancestry. I even wrote a blog post about them a few eons ago.

This time the shaking leaf solved a big mystery for me. I guess the thing I love so much is it’s not a mystery I was even working at.

In brief, my great-grandmother, Nelle Eickelberg was married three times. While she was born in Indiana, her family was in Colorado by the time she was two or three and she lived the rest of her life there. I have been able to find her first marriage, when she just 17, a great newspaper snippet about it, the birth of her first child, as well as the records for her subsequent divorce.

I can find her and her second husband, my great-grandfather John H Quick, in the 1910 census and I have their son, my grandfather’s birth record. I have John’s very scanty death certificate. I also have a record of Nelle's marriage to her 3rd husband as well as being able to find her in every census in Colorado from 1900 to 1940. I have her death certificate. I have her third husband’s death certificate. Shoot, I have her first husband’s death certificate.  The one thing I couldn’t find – a record of her marriage to my great-grandfather. I’ll admit after the first few attempts I haven’t tried all that hard. There is really no information I felt it would add to what I have on Nelle.

So fast forward to yesterday. Now my standard work-flow for dealing with hints is that I go through periodically and pick ‘ignore’ for all of them. Then, when I want to work on a particular person I will look at – and evaluate – all the hints I’ve ignored. As I was doing my ignore, ignore, ignore, routine I happened upon a marriage record in Iowa for J H Quick. Well clearly that’s not my guy and Quick’s a common name. I was wishing that Ancestry had another option besides ignore. Something like maybe ‘hell no’ that would put these clearly wrong things in a different category but I digress. Then I saw the next entry. Basically the same marriage record in Iowa but for Nellie Nissen (Nissen being Nelle’s first married name)! OK, that’s odd so I actually click through to the record. I wanted to jump out of my chair! There was all the correct information – her parents’ names as well as his parents’ names. This was my great-grandparents’ marriage record – IN IOWA!

As you can see here it even shows that both of them live in Denver. Why in the world they went to Council Bluffs, Iowa to be married is a mystery to me.

Of course the first thing I thought of was to check the marriage date (29-Sept-1909) and my grandfather’s birth date (03-Jul-1911) but as you can see it wasn’t that.

Here’s the cool thing – after I looked at that marriage record I realized that it gave me some real proof that the family I’d picked out for John Quick really was correct. There, plain as day, he’s listed his parents. I had placed John in this family based on a few scant clues but I knew that it wouldn’t really stand up to hard scrutiny. Now I feel much more secure in this branch of the family.

My next step is to look at Nelle's divorce from her first husband.  Maybe there are some clues there.  Oh, and laws, I need to look at laws.  Possibly it was easier for them to get married in Iowa?

No matter what we find, there's always something more to do...that's the fun of genealogy.