Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday - Miniatur Wunderland

One of the coolest places I have been in Hamburg is Miniatur Wunderland.  They even have a cemetery, complete with a funeral and a crypt with caskets and ghosts.  

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday - Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach

The crypt where Carl Phillip Emanuel Bach (son of J.S. Bach) at St. Michael's in Hamburg, Germany.  At one point, he was the music director of the church.  When we visited they were setting up for a party atop all the graves.  Below see the bar, situated on top of other peoples crypts.  Maybe a party for genealogists?

Fearless Females: Let's Do Lunch!

March 16 — If you could have lunch (or another meal) with any female family member (living or dead) or any famous female who would it be and why?  Where would you go?  What would you eat?

This is a tremendously easy one for me.  I would have lunch with my great grandmother Anna May Sanderson Whitehead.  We could go where ever she wanted as long as she answered my questions about who she really was and, if I am correct in my assumptions, why she left her family in Canada and started a new one in the US. Having lunch with her may be the only way I ever find out for sure about her life.

Fearless Female prompt from Lisa Alzo at The Accidental Genealogist

Monday, March 15, 2010

A Tribute to Lillian Eichhorn Casell

The only known photo of my great-grandmother, Lillian L. Eichhorn
The Chronology of her life is available here

The first record of Lillian L. Eichhorn's life is a birth certificate in Buffalo, NY for F. Eichhorn.  No first name name, just an "F" for female, indicating that a new child had come into the world on 22 December 1908, an early Christmas present.  Lillian was the fifth child and fifth daughter born to William Fred Eichhorn and Augusta Tross.  If the weather was anything like it is today, 22 December was cold and snowy, but in the excitement of a new baby, I imagine no one minded.

Six years later, the Eichhorn's would welcome their sixth and final child, a boy, William Tross Eichhorn into the family.  Life must have been fun for this young family.  William worked for the railroad, while Augusta took care of the home which they were able to buy while Lillian was still young.  There were aunts, uncles, cousins and grandmothers around to be with.

While in high school Lillian would meet Alfred Marco Casell, three years her senior and son of Italian immigrants.  It is hard to say what her German parents thought of him, but they married when she was just 16.  Like her father, Alfred too worked for the railroad and with the money he made they rented a house on Sherman Street in Buffalo.

Between 1928 and 1935 they had four children, first a girl, followed by three boys.  I always imagine the promise that life had for them.  Then, at 2:45 pm, 19 December 1938, just three days before her 30th birthday, Lillian died of lobar pneumonia at their home on Division Street.  Suddenly, everything changed for Lillian's young family.  Lillian was buried on her 30th birthday in Acadia Park Cemetery, North Tonawanda, NY.  Her young widow could not afford a plot, so her brother-in-law let them have a space in the grave site he had purchased.

Life was not easy for the family she left.  Her mother, Augusta, was so overcome with grief, she died of a broken heart a mere 13 days later, on New Year's day 1939.  Alfred, unable to take care of four young children and work, put them into an orphanage in October of 1939, where they stayed for nearly 8 years.
Alfred died in 1981, never remarrying.  His eldest son, Robert and his wife had purchased four plots in Acadia Cemetery some years earlier, and placed Alfred in one of them.  Until that time, when a cemetery worker happened to mention it, neither Robert, nor any of his siblings knew that that was also where their mother had been buried.  In fact, standing on Alfred's grave, one can see to where Lillian is buried and it is just a short walk.  Using part of their inheritance, the four siblings placed a marker on their mother's grave site, marking her place and short life for those visit there.
Written for the Carnival of Genealogy: A Tribute to Women

Timeline: Lillian Eichhorn Casell

The chronology of my great-grandmother Lillian Eichhorn Casell's life:

22 Dec 1908: Lillian is born in Buffalo, Erie, NY to William Eichhorn and Augusta Tross
10 Apr 1914: Lillian's brother William Tross Eichhorn in Buffalo, NY
18 Feb 1921: Lillian's grandmother Maria Strassheim Tross dies in Buffalo, NY
11 Jul 1925: Lillian marries Alfred Marco Casell in Buffalo, NY
1928 - 1935: Lillian and Alfred have 4 children, 1 girl and 3 boys, in Buffalo, NY (2 are still living, hence no names and dates)
9 Mar 1931: Lillian's father William Eichhorn dies in Buffalo, NY
2 Oct 1934: Alfred's mother Caroline Izzo dies in Buffalo, NY
9 Aug 1936: Lillian's grandmother Katherine Weiss Eichhorn Gorndt dies in Buffalo, NY
26 Nov 1937: Alfred's father Marcantonio Casillo dies in Colden, Erie, NY
19 Dec 1938: Lillian dies of Lobar Pneumonia in Buffalo, NY
22 Dec 1938: Lillian is buried at Acacia Park Cemetery, North Tonawanda, Niagara, NY

Intercultural Communication - Part 1

My first class in Hamburg is a week long workshop on Intercultural Communication which began today.  Prior to taking the class today, I had been thinking about what it means to be an American, how I view the world and how the world, though primarily Germany, views me.  I had not thought that this class would have me thinking so very much about genealogy.  Surprisingly, intercultural communication plays a huge role in genealogy and history and as family historians, we should be thinking about it when looking at our ancestors.

What is culture?  According to the forth definition on dictionary.com it is the behaviors and beliefs characteristic of a particular social, ethnic, or age group."  In short, it is how people see the world and why they act the way they do.  One subculture would be genealogists.  The genealogists I have met all seem to have a deep reverence for family, enjoy meeting new people, are curious, enjoy history and are dedicated, among other things.

According to the iceberg model of cultural elements our professor gave us, basic things such as food, clothing, language and behaviors are easy to see, but they are only the tip, the small portion above the water.  Other things like values, beliefs, assumptions, perceptions and ways of communicating are below the surface, harder to see and understand.  An excellent image of the iceberg model is shown here.

Why is this of use to us as we search for our ancestors?  We need to remember that our ancestors lived n different cultures than we do today.  This is particularly true if you find an event you disagree with or do not like.  How many genealogists have had family members not give them the whole story because of how they judge an event in the past?  Before we judge, it is tremendously important to remember that how they acted was a product of their time and culture.  Imagine what you ancestors would think of some of the things you do today!  By studying the culture of a time and place, we can better understand the motivations of our ancestors and have a better overall picture of their lives.

Tomorrow I will discuss how my time here is making me look at stereotypes and the effect they may have on genealogical research.

Fearless Females: 6 Word Tribute

To my mom: Strong, loving, my cheerleader, my hero.

Fearless Female prompt from Lisa Alzo at The Accidental Genealogist

Hohenstaufen, Germany

According to the marriage record of Charles Herman Thorn and Catherine Wise in Chippewa, Ontario, Canada, Cathrine was born in Hohahstrefen, Wurtemburg Kingdom, Germany.  The correct spelling for this town is Hohenstaufen and it is located in the Baden-Württemberg part of present day Germany.

In 1206, Hohenstaufen was "mentioned"1.  A small village, its current population being 1300 residents2, it is most well-known for the large mountain of the same name, for which the city sits at its southern base.  Additionally, the ruin of Hohenstaufen Castle, sits atop the mountain.  Hohenstaufen Castle was build in approximately 10703.  The castle was destroyed in 1525 in the Peasants War4.  Currently, it is a German national monument.  "The year 1971 marked a turning point, when it was incorporated as part of the overall administrative location, with the exception of the farms in Ottenbacher valley in the "city of Göppingen Hohenstaufen""5.

If you are interested in researching Hohenstaufen, the FHC hastheir church records microfilmed from 1558 to 1897.  Also, Kathy Brandt Bonnell has created a website that features much information from town records.

This was written for the March Edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy.

Image used with Creative Commons rights as follows: (((Information | Description = ((en | The village of Hohenstaufen (Göppingen) and the same mountain, seen from Aasrücken)) | Source = own work | Date = 2006-06-11 | Author = M. Rust | Permission = own work | other_versions =)))

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Your Gratitude Story

This weeks Saturday Night Genealogy Fun by Randy is:
Read Megan Smolenyak's article 120 Years of Smolenyaks in America: A Note of Gratitude from a Great-Granddaughter

* Do you have an ancestor like Megan's great-grandfather that was the first one to come to America (or your present country of residence) that you would like to thank?

* If so, tell us about that ancestor - and why you are thankful for their effort.

Maria Strassheim Tross, on the 24 June 1884, you arrived in New York City and then traveled to Buffalo from Eberstardt, Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany with 6 children, all under the age of 10, including an infant, and only 3 pieces of baggage.  I believe your husband had died in the prior few months and yet you still set out to a new country, relatively alone.  I cannot even imagine doing something like that, even in todays world of quick airplanes.  Thank you great-great-great grandmother Tross, for being such an incredible, strong woman.

Fearless Females: In the News

From an unknown Buffalo, NY newspaper.  Ironic that one her daughters married a Democrat who was very politically involved and town supervisor a couple times.  Vera (Mrs. William H.) Whitehead was my great-grandmother.

Fearless Female prompt from Lisa Alzo at The Accidental Genealogist

Saturday, March 13, 2010

I finally broke down...

And got an Ancestry.com subscription.  In the past I have always used the library version, but being so far from home for so long, I thought getting the subscription would be a good idea.  So I now have a 3 month world subscription, which is already paying off in relation to some English parish register information.

I have also decided I should start looking into my fathers side of the family, even though I have a great aunt and great uncle who have already done a lot of it.  n particular I am going to work on the Karpinski family, my paternal grandfather's mother's family, as this one has not been searched very far back.  I have already found some promising leads on Franciszek Karpinski (my great-great grandfather) and a new cousin!

Surname Saturday: Hayman

Each Saturday this year I am posting one of my surnames, going in alphabetical order.  This weeks surname is Hayman.  The names in red are my direct line ancestors.

1-William Hayman
 +Anne Killick
|--2-Susanna Hayman bap. 25 Sep 1796, Halstead, Sevenoaks, Kent, England
|--2-Thomas Hayman bap. 10 Jun 1798, Halstead, Sevenoaks, Kent, England, d. 22
|    May 1867, Halstead, Sevenoaks, Kent, England
|   +Susan Whitehead b. Cal 1802, Chelsfield, , Kent, England, d. 6 Apr 1867,
|    Halstead, Sevenoaks, Kent, England
|  |--3-William Hayman b. Abt 1836, Halstead, Sevenoaks, Kent, England, bur. 8
|  |    Jun 1851, Halstead, Sevenoaks, Kent, England
|  |--3-George Hayman b. 1839
|  |--3-Benjamin Hayman b. Abt 1841, Halstead, Sevenoaks, Kent, England
|  |--3-Robert Hayman b. Abt 1843, Halstead, Sevenoaks, Kent, England
|  |--3-Mary Ann Hayman b. 11 Mar 1845, Halstead, Sevenoaks, Kent, England, d.
|  |    16 May 1877, Barton, Wentworth, Ontario, Canada
|  |   +Charles Whitehead b. 10 Oct 1840, Halstead, Sevenoaks, Kent, England,
|  |    d. 12 Oct 1902, Hamilton, Wentworth, Ontario, Canada
|  |  |--4-Benjamin Thomas Whitehead b. 31 Oct 1866, Halstead, Sevenoaks, Kent,
|  |  |    England, d. 11 Apr 1906, Hamilton, Wentworth, Ontario, Canada
|  |  |--4-Joseph Whitehead b. 2 Nov 1869, Halstead, Sevenoaks, Kent, England,
|  |  |    d. 4 Apr 1936, Hamilton, Wentworth, Ontario, Canada
|  |  |--4-Charles William Whitehead b. 12 Jun 1872, Burlington, , Ontario,
|  |  |    Canada, d. 27 Dec 1927, Buffalo, Erie, New York, USA
|  |  |--4-Rosanna Whitehead b. 5 Jan 1875, Barton, Wentworth, Ontario, Canada,
|  |  |    d. 2 Dec 1924, Hamilton, Wentworth, Ontario, Canada
|  |--3-Harriet Hayman bap. 8 Feb 1829, Halstead, Sevenoaks, Kent, England,
|  |    bur. 30 Mar 1829, Halstead, Sevenoaks, Kent, England
|--2-William Hayman bap. 22 Mar 1801, Halstead, Sevenoaks, Kent, England

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Can You Document 10 Generations?

Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings has written a few posts on the documenting of 10 generations, with yourself as #1.  I have been following his and other blogs on this subject with much interest.  I have not been able to source 10 generations of my tree, yet, but I am probably closer than many genealogists and readers for one simple reason.  I was born relatively recently.

As such, I have two generations, mine and my parents, that others do not have.  To get back 10 generations means I am researching in the early to mid-1700's, not the early to mid-1600's.  My 8th great-grandparents, for example, were born in the late 1700's.  Even at each of their parents being 35 when my ancestor was born puts 2 more generations back at about 1725-1740.

I think many other young genealogists will be able to source a majority of 10 generations (I can on parts of my tree and with a few more years of searching, I will be able to get most if not all of them).  However, for us, 15 generations will be near to impossible, even if, like me, you get duplicate ancestors early on, such as in generation 4...

Tombstone Tuesday - Jewish Museum, Berlin, Germany

According to the plaque next to these tombstones, these were originally in a Jewish cemetery in Spandau.  The oldest stone there is from 1244.  In the middle ages, during a time of Jewish persecution, the stones were taken and used to build the Spandau Citadel.  This was discovered in the 1950s and the stones were salvaged.  These are the oldest remains of Jewish civilization in the Berlin area.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Hello from Hamburg!

SU is never that far away:-)

I was fortunate enough to be one of two students from the iSchool chosen to study at HAW Hamburg for the spring semester.  I will be here until the middle of July.  We are studying in an English language module focusing on Digital Information Services.  I am most excited for the intercultural communication workshop and the visual resources management class.  The classes are very hands on and will have students from all over the world.  This is the first time they are running this module, as well as the first time SU will have students here, so I get to be the guinea pig.  I am hopeful it will work out well and others will be able to attend in the future.

My first two weeks here I am taking a basic German class.  The third week is the intercultural communication workshop and then classes begin in my forth week here.  Please watch this blog to learn about all I am doing here!

Back to Basic: July

July went quick! GRIP  went virtual! I attended (most) of the sessions in Documentation and then continued my citation work with my ProGen a...