Saturday, February 13, 2016

Serendipity Times Two - Unexpected Finds!

Things you find on the way to somewhere else!  I am taking the "Family History Writing Challenge" from Lynn Palermo and decided to write the story of my Great-Great-Grandmother Catherine Caspary and her decision to immigrate to the United States in 1856.

Catherine's story begins in 1851 in Villmar, Hessen-Nassau, Germany.  She is married to Georg Burbach and has a young son Adam.  How and why did this young couple decide to leave Germany and go to America and why Milwaukee, Wisconsin?  This is the basis of the story I am writing.

While researching their method of travel to America, I realized that I didn't know their port of departure.  What did I know?  I knew from Georg's naturalization papers that they arrived in New York in July of 1856 and Georg was born in 1824.  So I went to and selected the New York Passenger lists.  I entered the following criteria:  Name Georg; birth year 1824 +- 2yrs; place of birth Germany; arrival 1856.  I got only 26 returns!

There they were Georg and Catherine SUMBACH and their sons Hermann and Johann.  Traveling with them is Anna Caspari who is likely Catherine's sister and Anne Marie Becker.  They had sailed on the ship "Mary Ogden" from Le Havre, France.

Later I went to to see if there were any records for my Georg Burbach that would be of help with my story.  Imagine my surprise to see his name on a marriage record in New York state!  He is listed as the "father of the groom".  This is the record of the marriage of his second son John (Johann) to Steffonia Grumber in 1875 at Brooklyn, Kings, New York.  I knew about John and Stephanie's marriage since they and their children lived close to Georg and Catherine in Milwaukee.  I hadn't yet looked for their marriage other than the 1880, 1900, and 1910 census returns.  I am glad since I would have wasted a lot of time.   I had no reason to believe John had ever left Milwaukee after his arrival as a two year old in 1856.  The next mystrey to solve is why did he go to New York for a bride?
Job training, arranged marriage, they met in Milwaukee and her family moved to New York for work?  What do you think?