bcagle on Family Tree Circles
Journals and Posts
Seeking family connections for Hans Frederick Wilhelm Elschner and Hildegard Kloenne, of Ludwigsruh, Germany (before WWII, now Gorzow area Poland).
Interested in discovering history of family crest. So far no luck.
Have many document copies, many posted at my website at www.cagleonline.com
Anyone researching their German roots may well have already discovered that many records were destroyed through a series of wars. What was once the bulk of the Holy Roman Empire,the home of our earliest German ancestors, has been broken into many smaller countries and provences. Thos searching ancestors born since 1900, may discover that they are now "Polish" relations.
On a trip to their homeland a few years ago, my mother and her two sisters planned to visit their home in what was Ludwigsruh,Germany (at the time they left during WWII, the Russians were on their heals, literally and they just did escape).
After quite a bit of research and paperwork, they discovered their little town was now a subdivision (of sorts) of Gorzow, Poland. During their visit they spoke with many people and each time they mentioned that they were born in Ludwigsruh Germany, they were (not always) politely informed that they were from Gorzow Poland. They were considered Polish although they have a long German ancestry.
If you have a relative with roots in Germany/Austria and Prussia, especially before WWI or WWII, you may do well to find a map of the area printed before 1940. By cross refencing the old map with the new one, you may discover that the records you are searching for are in a newly named or renamed town.
I have an atlas of maps printed in 1927 and am happy to do lookups.
Also consider trying to get the longitude and lattitude degree designation location rather than a place name only. Long. and Latt. do not change, no matter how many wars may come along.
I hope this helps.
Have you discovered a box of secrets in the attic? I did, and boy what an interesting addition to my research.
After the death of my grandmother Rogers- MILLER in 1978, my aunt received a trunk full of old letters, photos and things from her estate. This got placed in her attic and forgotten. It was not until after the death of her husband and her decision to sell the huge 6BR family home and downsize, that the trunk was rediscovered.
I can remember that saturday morning. "Barbara, do you want this old trunk of my mother's. It is just full of old letters and stuff?"
Well, duh. YES! By this time I was actively researching our family history and had been pestering my aunt, among others,for information. So, I set out to get the trunk, wondering if the content my open some new secrets for me to explore.
Sure enough, as I excitedly anticipated the possible content I hurried home and tore into the chest. Of course, I only glanced at most of the documents and letters, placing them in neat piles on the table so that I could sort and catalogue them later, but I just could not stop, until I found it.
Imagine my shock when I found my grandfather's divorce papers and learned that, not only had he been married before my grandmother, but he had two children by his first wife! OK, back to the phone to grill my aunt. No, she knew nothing about this and was quite curious to find out. So together we set out to learn all about this closely guarded secret my grandparents kept from all of os for over 50 years.
Well, it took some time but we found out what we wanted to know and shared the information, but there are other secrets waiting for me in those old letters, carefully tied into packages and stored for others to find some day.
My grandmother knew that eventually these letters and documents would be discovered. Perhaps she hoped no one would care and they would be tossed, but, either way, I am so grateful that she kept them for all those years and that my aunt was absent minded enough to forget to toss them out.
What secrets await you in your search? Don't discount those faded old letters and papers stuck in a box in a corner of an attic or closet. The treasures they contain may be your life's golden discovery.
We now have two more major branches and a slew of new relations to get to know. Isn't it just wonderful?
And tho I search both far and wide
My relations I find in shadows hide.
A game we play of hide and seek
I think they are winning, at least this week.
Seach and you shall fine? Well, not always!
Where have all the Elschners gone?
I've found the death index listing for my grandmother, and I have some inherited information on this family, but they seem to have dropped off the face of the earth.
Oh, I have 'found' many with the ELSCHNER surname, but none seem to have any recognizable connection to my family line.
Such are the joys of genealogical research.
I can't help but wonder how many future genealogists will be similarly frustrated in their attempts when researching family connections in today's war torn countries. What is it about our leaders that makes them so intent on destroying records of the past?
It is this underlying thought that drives me to keep researching. Some day someone in my family may benefit from what little I've found. In the meantime, I am the last of this line as there are no 'sons' to carry it on.
I have, however, discovered a rich history (through marriage connections and family stories) that dates back to the middle ages. Perhaps I will never be able to fully 'verify' family stories so rich in detail that I know all about the family crest that seems non-existant but which is manifest in family heirlooms (mom's ring, a plaque, and the story for example).
While it is important to 'make verifyable connections' in doing genealogical research, I would like to stress the importance of recording all those little bits and pieces that one cannot directly verify. Why? Because there is so much more to a family's history that who was born where and when.
Our research is a voyage into the discovery of our past family. Not just who those people were, but more importantly WHO they were as people. Do I have my great-grandmother's love of _________? Where did I get my green eyes when all my sister's have blue eyes? Why am I short, tall, thin, 'round, and so forth. Yes, physical and medical traits will emerge, but for me, finding out that I have 'joinerism' (the ability passed down from great grandmother Joiner that great grand dad explained allowed her to 'talk the birds right out of the trees')has provided a connection that is almost tangable and none the less so for any lack of 'documentation'.
Keep up the search. Find those documents. But remember, genealogy is as much about the stories as it is about the 'facts'.
I am researching my paternal line which contains references to Cythiana Lucus, daughter of JOSIAH LUCAS 1838 Ohio, and MARGARET ADAMS 1771 - 1866 (est dates).
Old family letters tell of Cynthiana attending a dance at which a Peter Boyalton Adams attended and danced with her. Her mother (MARGARET told her he was a cousin).
I can not find anything else to document this other than other old family letters and stories.
If anyone can help, please let me know.
I am currently posting many of my documents on my website at www.cagleonline.com
I also have a world atlas printed in 1927 that may help someone find old place names. I would be happy to scan and send any map it contains, but as I would scan in hi-def, the files are too large for the website, so please contact me.
I have been very lucky with my genealogy research because I have 'inherited' many boxes full of photos and documents. The problem is preservation. With literally thousands of documents, photos, old newspapers,family letters, and notes, it soon became impractacle for me to adequately store and preserve the wealth of papers.
But, I found a solution that not only preservs all these papers and photos, but allows others access to them as well.
I have begun scanning everything to my computer. Each box of papers is organized and scanned then stored on CDs. When I have a file box full of papers that have been scanned, I take it to my local library or Family History center (by prior agreement). These facilities are able to preserve precious papers so that the can be made available to researchers many years from now. My local genealogical center was thrilled to be offered such papers and call every few weeks to know if any more are ready.
The agreement is that they are donated as a permanent loan and that any researcher or family member is to be allowed access in perpetuity.
My records are safe from disaster and time.
The added bonus is that I don't have to have room to store (4) file cabinets full of genealogy info or worry about it getting tossed if something happens to me.
Hope this helps someone.
Looking for the ancestors of my sister's husband, Mark Ray Turner (19 60, CA), son of Albert Ray TURNER and Freida Lou OWNBY. Freida traces her line back to the mayflower, bunt not much on Albert as yet.
Any Help would be appreciated.
I am a genealogy AND a History buff. I quickly discovered the benefits of combining my understanding and knowledge of history with me genealogy research. Now, my Family Tree is full of people I have come to know, and not just a bunch of disconnected names on a list.
Let me explain what I mean. When beginning my research I learned the my paternal ancestors, Miller and Rogers were primarily from the mid-western farming region. This led me to look at the history of the region during the times that my father's family lived there. I discovered that many of the 'traits' in our family such as hard working,adaptability,studious,crafty, and so on seemed to stem from lives spent working from sun-up to sundown. Adapting to the adversity of farm life and unpredictable weather, a desire to learn how to work smarter not harder, and a need to create many of the tools and other things needed for everyday life.
This is a somewhat simplistic example,but understanding the horrors of the age of the dust bowl and the frustration of dealing with drought and trying to hang on till the rains came, gave me a little more insight.
Similarly, the horrors of WWI and WWII that directly impacted my family, especially my German born mother, Anne Elschner (1927 - 2008) and maternal ancestors, helped me to understand much of the skepticism we all seem to have with regards to politics, our frugality, and a desire to look beyond color or nationality. It explains our love of baked goods as these were a staple in my mother's and her ancestors diets. These are traits and direct lessons, if you will, that our parents learned the hard way and passed along to us.
By connecting the events of history to your genealogical time line and especially, uncovering personal histories and connecting them to the 'accepted known history' of an era or a location, can open your eyes to the people that are represented by those names on your family tree.
Take a look at history - climb your family tree and uncover your roots.
Here is a brief update to the genealogical info on the Wayne G. Miller branch of the Family.
Jonathan Lloyd Miller death Oct 2009
Anne Elschner Miller death Jan 2008
Frank Douglas Wesley III death Feb 2008
The last remaining member of W. G. Miller's immediate family (children) is Martha Jane "Peter" Miller Wesley. She is now 80 and quite spry and I have forbidden her to have any terminal illness or accident for at least 10 years. She promised to try to comply.
Please update your records as I do not have time at the moment to update the genealogy records online. I will get it done as soon as I possibly can.
In order to understand the lives of our ancestors it is vital that we attempt to remove ourselves from our own reality and travel back into the time in which they each lived. This is, at best, a difficult process but it is one that is facilitated by the development of an understanding of the political and social events surrounding our ancestors as well as a familiarity with the workings of their daily lives. We can learn, for example, how the average family of similar position and means within the same time frame lived and worked.
We can look to recorded history, surviving documents and journals, and other resources to develop a picture of an average life. What did our ancestors eat, wear? How did they travel? What were their lives like? Did they live like everyone else of the time and place, or were they different? Did their particular circumstances forge a difference that was observable? How were they unique? What made them stand out from the surrounding population, or did they?
Researching the genealogy of a family entails more than just looking through musty volumes in search of some snippet of documentary proof that an ancestor existed. It is more than recording the birth, marriage and death dates alongside some obscured name from some half forgotten time or place. It is a magical voyage of discovery that transports one from the rigors of the mundane concerns we embrace and call our lives, into an uncertain reality. It is a reality that is hidden from our fullest understanding, yet exposed in stark facts recorded over time.
The genealogist is a time traveler. They are transported into the past with each new discovery until they become voyeurs into the lives of those ancient mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, cousins, aunts and uncles. They dig through the dust and ashes to find details of lives lived without thought of intrusion from future observers. We read personal letters left behind in old trunks. We decipher conflicting dates and discover forgotten public records that may, at times, be less than favorable to the individual. Yet, we push, prod and document.
A word here, a phrase there, a found treasure that reveals a new connection that heretofore was but a vague suspicion. Through it all there is an underlying need to understand; to place the name upon a deserving individual, a person with feelings, ambitions, and failings that we can understand and associate with our own. There is a need to understand why. Why did our ancestors leave everything behind to come to a new country, where they had nothing and knew no one? Why did our great-great-grandparents decide to settle in an area that what largely a wilderness rather than embracing a growing urban settlement where work was available, if not plentiful? These are questions that plague us as we delve deeper into the mysteries of the past in what usually becomes a never-ending quest for answers.
Looking back to those early days of beginning my research, I would not have imagined I could spend twenty years digging through papers, photos, old letters and archives in an attempt to find people I could never really know. I would not have believed, had someone told me, that I would devote hundreds of hours to categorizing, cataloguing, and compiling facts and notes from obscure sources or plentiful family documents and letters in an attempt to piece together a family album of images and personalities. I recall an incident that occurred in a librarys back room years ago. I was deep into deciphering some passenger lists in an attempt to locate some ancestor when the lady sitting next to me tapped me on the shoulder. You are awfully young, dear, to be spending so much time digging up old people she said.
We both laughed and I told her that I had started early so that I could get done and then I would be able to spend my declining years traveling. She laughed and smiled, a funny knowing sort of smile. Sure dear she replied before turning back to her stack of papers. At the time I didnt understand. Now I think I do. I can see the almost addictive quality of this undertaking. In the lulls between discoveries I find I now seek history books. The need to uncover the history surrounding all those faceless names and long ago families has become almost as consuming as the need to find just one more connection, one more generation, one more person. And for some elusive reason it is impossible to walk away and call it done.