Thursday, February 20, 2020

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - my Favorite Genealogy Discovery



Bridge Houses of Bad Kreuznach
google images
I have made many amazing discoveries while doing genealogy and exploring the lives of my ancestors. One of the most amazing was the discovery of a shared birthplace between my granddaughter and her fourth great-grandmother a mere one hundred and sixty-seven years apart!!

In 1997, my daughter and son-in-law moved to a small town outside of Frankfurt, Germany. The town’s name was Bad Kreuznach. They had decided to live in a German town rather than living on the military base. My husband and I were lucky enough to be able to visit them often during the six years they lived overseas.
On March 18, 1999 my granddaughter was born in the German hospital in Bad Kreuznach. During our visits we tried to learn about the history of the little town. One of the things we loved about the town was the Fußgänger zone, which was a pedestrian only shopping area. Another was the bridge over the river with the little houses at either end. A favorite pastime was to stand on the bridge and feed bread to the ducks in the river.

We enjoyed our visits to Germany and one time even rented a van to explore the known areas of my German ancestry. We traveled to Oberselters and Villmar in the Hessen Nassau area to see the churches where the Burbachs worshiped and the cemeteries where they were buried.

Eventually we returned to the United States and I returned to exploring my genealogy.
I knew my grandmother Henrietta Burbach, born 1888 in Milwaukee, and her father’s ancestors but hadn’t explored her mother Eva Schmitz’s background. I found that Eva, born 1858 in Milwaukee, was the daughter of Philip Schmitz and Elisabeth Kronenberger. While I have not yet discovered the birthplace in Prussia for Philip Schmitz, I have found out that Elisabeth Kronenberger was born to Heinrich Kronenberger and Anna Margaretha Mary Bott on the 29th of September 1832, in Oberstreit, Bad Kreuznach, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany! How can this not be a favorite discovery? 

The Kronenbergers left Germany sometime between 1842, when their youngest child, Margaretha was born. The first appearance of Elisabeth Kronenberger in United States records is in the 1860 Milwaukee census with her husband Philip Schmitz and children Eva and Philip.[1]


[1] year: 1860; Census Place: Milwaukee Ward 9, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; ,ancestry.com, https://ancestry.com, accessed 20 Feb 2020; NARA, Roll: M653_1423; Page: 722; Image: 328; Family History Library Film: 805423

Monday, February 10, 2020





It’s been ten years! I never thought I would keep it going this long. On a lark and in response to a challenge by Thomas MacEntee, I created a blog on February 10,2010 and joined the Genealogy Winter Games hosted by Thomas. Medals were awarded based on genealogy tasks accomplished. Here is a listing of the goals and how I did! 

Sunday, February 28, 2010
Winter Genealogy Games are over!
The Winter Genealogy Games have now ended and I have been reflecting on how much I have achieved.
To even enter the games, I needed to create this blog. Next, I created a flag to represent my heritage.
1 Go Back and cite your sources - I have been citing sources and earned a Bronze Medal.
2 Back-up Your Data -I have completed task C making a new DVD back-up of all my digital media. I also have MOZY back-up my data daily and store it on their servers. That qualifies for a gold.
3 Organize Your Research - I have individual files for each family line I am researching, and I also have digital folders for each family. A silver!
4 Expand your Knowledge - I learned how to create a blog and I played around with googlemaps. I also created a WORDL using the names of the families I am researching. Another gold!
5 Write, Write, Write! - I wrote a summary of my blog and listed the names I am researching. I also am participating in the 52 Weeks to Better Genealogy Challenge. One more gold!
6 Reach Out - I index regularly for both ancestry.com and familysearch.org. I check message boards to see it I can help with a request, and I have begun following several different genealogy blogs. Gold again.
Summary: 1 Bronze, 1 Silver, and 4 Gold not bad for a newbie!

This list of goals has served me well over the years and with a few changes and additions, I have kept pretty much the same style.

In the past ten years I have written 445 blog posts, including this one. I have written about the people and places in the background of my grandchildren’s lives. I have read church records in German, Norwegian, Hungarian, and Latin. Usually it was a mix of Latin and another language. Using my blog as cousin bait, I have connected with “cousins” in Germany, Norway, and Ireland who still live close to the ancestral homes.

I am still trying to write weekly as part Amy Johnson Crow’s “ 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks” campaign to encourage writing for family history. DNA often creeps into my writing as I look for more connections to far-flung family relatives and I haven’t even started on matches from Australia and New Zealand. I will be writing for a while yet!

Monday, February 3, 2020

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 3 Longest


In preparing for this I needed to use google to determine the distance traveled by my ancestors from their home to their destination in the United States. I checked the distance for my three immigrant ancestors to the cities where they settled.

            Villmar, Hesse-Nassau to Milwaukee, Wisconsin is 6840 km
            Bergen, Norway to Chicago, Illinois is 6206 km
            Limerick, Ireland to Chicago, Illinois is 5768 km

Clearly the distance traveled by my German Great-great-grandfather and his family is the longest.

Around 1845, Georg Burbach left his birth village of Oberselters[1] in Hesse-Nassau and traveled to the village of Villmar about 12.4 km to 16.3 km away. His parents were both deceased and as a second son, he would inherit no land. The journey probably took two to three hours on foot depending on the route he took.
Georg found work as a laborer on a grain farm and settled into village life. 

Perhaps his attendance at the Church of Saints Peter and Paul led to meeting Catherina Caspari whom he married in the church on 22 April 1849.[2]

The young couple had their first child, a son Adam, born 5 Sep 1849,[3] Adam was followed by Hermann in 1852[4] and Johan in 1854[5]. Sadly Adam died in Dec of 1854[6] and is buried in the cemetery of Saints Peter and Paul Church.
Shortly after the death of Adam, Georg and Catherina received news from their relatives in Wisconsin about the opportunities in the United States. The young couple decided they would leave Hesse-Nassau and seek their fortune in the United States.

On 18 June 1856[7] Georg and Catherina, along with their sons Hermann and Johan (John) arrived in New York and began the journey to Milwaukee.

After arriving in Milwaukee, Georg worked as a laborer to support his family, gradually improving his employment by advancing to cattle drover (herder) by 1863[8] and cattle broker by 1870[9]. In 1875 he had advanced to Cattle Broker and in 1877 he was a butcher in a shop owned by his sons Hermann and John.

Georg and Catherina had six other children after their arrival in Milwaukee but only the last child Eva, born in March of 1880 is known to have survived.

Georg died 20 July 1897[10] in Milwaukee and is buried in Calvary Cemetery there. His wife Catherina spent the remainder of her live living with their son John and his wife and family. Catherina died 17 September 1913[11] and is buried next to Georg in Calvary Cemetery.


[1]  Kirchenbuchduplikat 1818 - 1874, Dupilcate Church Book Baptisms 1820-1840: 7 Aug 1825 George son of Huburtus Burbach and Catheruine Schaaf, St Anthony Catholic Church, Oberselters, Hessen-Nassau, Germany.
[2] Villmar Catholic Church (Villmar, Hessen-Nassau, Prussia), "Kirchenbuch 1632 -1884," (Church Book 1632-1884), page 45, Marriage of eorg Burbach and Catherine Caspari 29 APR 1848; 1632-1884, Diocese of Limburg, Limburg, Hessen-Nassau, Germany. LDS film 1272248.
[3] Villmar Catholic Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Villmar), Kirchenbuch 1632 - 1884, 1272247, 5 Sep 1849, Birth and death of Adam Burbach; FHL microfilm 1272247.
[4] Villmar Catholic Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Villmar), Kirchenbuch 1632 - 1884, 1632-1884, 13 Mar 1852, Baptism of Hermann Burbach; FHL microfilm 1272247.
[5] Villmar Catholic Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Villmar), Kirchenbuch 1632 - 1884, 16 Apr 1854, Birth and Baptism of Johan Burbach; FHL microfilm 1272247.
[6]  Villmar Catholic Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Villmar), Kirchenbuch 1632 - 1884, 5 Sep 1849, Birth and death of Adam Burbach; FHL microfilm 1272247
[7] Ancestry.com, New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957 (Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010), Year: 1856; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Microfilm Roll: Roll 164; Line: 21; List Number: 676.
[8] Milwaukee City Directory (Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin:n.p.n.d.), 1863 p 38, occupation of George Burbach; digital image, ancestry,com (https://www.fold3.com/image/255348646 : online 11 March 1863).
[9] 1870 US Census, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, population schedule, Ward 9 Milwaukee, Page 379B, 1749, Georg Burbach; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=1&db=1870usfedcen&gss=angs-d&new=1&rank=1&gsfn=Herman&gsfn_x=0&gsln=Burbach&gsln_x=0&msbdy=1852&msbpn__ftp=Germany&msbpn=3253&msbpn_PInfo=3-%7c0%7c1652381%7c0%7c3253%7c0%7c0%7c0%7c0%7c0%7c0%7c&msrpn__ftp=Milwaukee%2c+Milwaukee%2c+Wisconsin%2c+USA&msrpn=54011&msrpn_PInfo=8-%7c0%7c1652393%7c0%7c2%7c3247%7c52%7c0%7c2025%7c54011%7c0%7c&MSAV=1&uidh=dk3&pcat=35&fh=8&h=14921654&recoff=&ml_rpos=9 : accessed 7 March 2016); Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch..
[10] Wisconsin Death Records 1867-1907 Wisconsin State Historical Society, FamilySearch.org, database (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XLCC-XS8 : online 11 March 2016), p 465 death and occupation of George Burbach.
[11]  Death Notices, Germania-Herold Abendblatt, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 15 September 1913, pg 5 col 6. death and burial of Katharine Burbach.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 2 Favorite Photo


I am blessed to have access to many family photos and have many favorites. This is one of them.
Photo in my possession
received from Dominican Sisters Archives,
Adrian, Michigan
The woman standing on the bridge is my grandmother Alice Fleming Connery.


The bridge is in Adrian, Michigan. Adrian is where Alice would send her daughters for their education. As early as 1900, her oldest daughter, Mary Elizabeth, age 6, would appear to be living there in the 1900 census.[1] Mary was attending St Joseph Academy, where her Uncle Michael Fleming was the Chaplain.
Over the years, Alice made many trips to Adrian as five of her daughters attended the academy and later two of her daughters joined the Sisters of St Dominic.

What was Alice thinking as she stood on that bridge? Was she wondering what the future held for her family? Was she thinking about her aging parents left in Ireland? Wishing they could know her children?

I do wonder what she was thinking.


[1]  1900 US Federal Census,  Adrian, Lenawee, Michigan; Page: 5; Enumeration District: 0039; FHL microfilm: 1240725; Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004; Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1900. T623, 1854 rolls.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 1 Fresh Start



Yesterday I reviewed my success or failure of my 2019 Genealogy Goals. Since I wasn't very successful it's time for a Fresh Start. The new year brings a chance for just such a start so today I am stating my goals for 2020.

I will remain in the 52 Ancestors writing challenge and will probably be more successful if I set aside a specific day each week to write.

I will continue to pursue my genealogy education using virtual classes, although this month I will be at SLIG (Salt Lake Institute for Genealogy) for a class in the Introduction to Genetic Genealogy. Webinars will play an important role in this as will a study group I have enrolled in “National Genealogy Society Quarterly – Mastering Genealogy Proof (NGSQ-MGP). As part of this group I will be reading selected articles from the NGSQ and analyzing them in a monthly group meeting.

I will continue working on the “Do-Over” concentrating on one line per month. Re-vamping my blog site is another plan for this year.

On the topic of organization, I will work on both my drop box and download files to rename and place files where they belong. I have way too many things just dumped in those locations. Perhaps 2 hours per week on each area will show a marked improvement in both files.

I will keep volunteering weekly at both the local library genealogy room and the local Family History Center in addition to continuing to maintaining the website for our local genealogy group and planning the programs for their meetings.

I think I have mapped out my goals for the coming year so I hope I can meet my goals this year.

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 51 2019 Review of Genealogy Goals




google images


One of my goals for 2019 was to finally finish collecting the records needed to finish my daughter’s application to the Daughters of the American Revolution. I did it! My daughter will be sworn in as a member in January, 2020. Her application will act as a springboard for my son’s application to the Son’s of the Revolution.
I signed up to participate in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks again as a way to inspire me to continue my blogging. I was less successful this year, only writing half as often as I did in 2018. I hope to do better in 2020.
In 2019, I discovered “Virtual Education” and have taken several classes from the comfort of home. One of the classes I took, through the Utah Genealogy Associations, was “Intermediate Foundations” and was very intensive. This has led me to other classes both virtual and in person.
I am a member of Gina Philibert- Ortega’s book club and have managed to read all of the books for the past year.
I have also remained at program chair for our local genealogy group and maintain the group website.
I am happy with my accomplishments in 2019 and plan additional challenges for 2020. Tomorrow I will write about my goals for 2020.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 37 Mistake



All of us make mistakes on a regular basis. I made a whopper when I first began doing genealogy. It was based on an assumption and proved that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing!
Grandfather Adolph H Hansen

I was researching my father’s Norwegian line and knew about the patronymic naming system so I made the assumption that the father of my great-grandfather Adolf Hansen was Hans [  ] and entered it as such in my family tree. Several years later as I became a more experienced genealogist and learned to evaluate records more critically, I discovered that my ancestors no longer used the patronymic system when my great-grandfather was born in Oslo in 1852. The actual name of his father was Martin Hansen!

By now others had copied my tree with Hans as the father and it was that way on ancestry.com, familysearch.org and wikitree among others. How could I fix it? It was my original error and now it had multiplied over and over. 

Great-grandfather Adolf Hansen b 1852
Christened Johannes Adolf Waldemer Hansen
son of Martin Hansen b 1827
After hearing Cyndi Ingle's talk on “Copy and Paste Genealogy”, I decided to implement one of the suggested solutions! I wrote and published a blog post detailing the records that led to the correct answer to Adolf’s correct parentage.
After publishing the blog post, I have attached a link to it in my tree at ancestry.com and just hope for the best! Here is the link. http://hangingwithdonna.blogspot.com/search?q=Martin+Hansen