September 4, 2012

Letter to Martha Woltman 1941

Letter from Elizabeth Deislinger to her Sister Martha Woltman 1941

Letter from Martha Woltman to her Sister Elizabeth Deislinger 1941

Speaking German

I'm German. Born American, born Texan, and proud of both. But the blood in my veins is German.

When I was growing up, my mother's parents and siblings frequently would speak to each other in German. They most often did so when any of the children were around and the adults didn't want us to know what they were saying.

At our family Christmas gatherings, the adults would sing "Ihr Kinderlein Kommet" (O, Come Ye Little Children) while I would sing "Oh Kinder and Comet, la lah, la la lah." They would sing "Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht" (Silent Night, Holy Night) while I would sing "Still a knot, la lah-ah a knot." And then there was the perennial favorite, "O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum" (O Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree), which I sang out as "O tannin bowm, o tannin bowm, la la la lah bletter, O tannin bowm, o tannin baum, la la la lah oh summertime..."

Certain German phrases were common in our household, though; we thought nothing of it. Words and phrases like Gesundheit (bless you), das ist gut (that's fine), vas ist das (what is that?), bitte (please), danke (thank you), danke schön (thank you well), ach du liebe Güte (roughly, oh goodness gracious), and, the one that has persisted through the generations and the family tree, schlaf gut (sleep well) and it's companion, du schlaf auch gut (you sleep well, also).

My father's nickname for my mom was Schatz (sweetheart, darling), and whenever we asked my mother "how much?" of something, particularly when we were learning to cook, she'd say, "dumme Junge, bis es genug ist!" (dumb young one, until it's enough!). I never could say that one, though, so I'd ask, "how much? the hibiscus thing?"

I always assumed that when I entered high school, I would learn the German of my heritage and be able to converse with my family. As my two older sisters went to our neighborhood high school, though, we were horrified to learn that the school did not offer German! My cousins were happily learning the German language in their school, however, which was hardly fair.

But then a strange revelation occurred. When my cousins tried to speak to their parents and especially to our grandparents, they discovered they could not be understood! It was not poor pronunciation. It was not poor teaching. It was almost like, well, a different language.

That's when I learned that there were apparently two German languages: high German and low German. Apparently the American schools taught high German, and my family spoke low German. (I understand that now low German is called Swiss German). My great-grandparents, and their parents before them, were born in Germany, but, as an adult, my great-grandmother prepared French cuisine for a wealthy family in Switzerland, and my grandmother and her two younger sisters were born in Switzerland before the family moved back to Germany and then immigrated to America.

After my grandmother joined her Heavenly Father, and my grandfather could no longer speak due to strokes, my mother and her siblings gradually stopped speaking German. By the time of my mother's Homegoing at the age of 78, she could barely translate a few words of spoken German and spoken Russian.

So here I am. Now a genealogist, struggling with correspondence and newspaper articles and recipes that the translators such as Bing and Google don't seem to know how to handle. And I still can't speak low German. Or high German. Or any German.

But you know what? I can still hear, on the outermost edges of my consciousness, the tenuous voices of my Nanny and PaPa singing, "irh Kinderleine kommet..." To all my German-speaking family who are now with God in Heaven, Ich erinnere mich an Sie.

(Addendum 09/10/2012: It appears I may have the low German and high German reversed according to Wikipedia. I just need some help to figure out what my documents are written in and which aspect of the language I want to learn).

Maria Heid Deislinger's 1950 Death Certificate

Gotthard Deislinger's 1938 Obituary

June 11, 2011

Jacob Deislinger m. Maria Kammueller 1868

"Germany Marriages, 1558-1929." index, FamilySearch ( accessed June 11, 2011. entry for Jacob Gotthard Deislinger and Maria Barbara Kammueller, married 30 April 1868; citing Marriage Records, FHL microfilm 1189435; Index entries derived from digital copies of original and compiled records.

No image.

Groom's Name: Jacob Gotthard Deislinger
Groom's Birth Date: 30 Jan 1835
Groom's Birthplace: Kandern, Loerrach, Baden
Groom's Age:
Bride's Name: Maria Barbara Kammueller
Bride's Birth Date: 06 Feb 1842
Bride's Birthplace:
Bride's Age:
Marriage Date: 30 Apr 1868
Marriage Place: Kandern, Loerrach, Baden, Germany
Groom's Father's Name: Wilhelm Deislinger
Groom's Mother's Name: Susanne Koebel
Bride's Father's Name:
Bride's Mother's Name: Anna Maria Kammueller
Groom's Race:
Groom's Marital Status:
Groom's Previous Wife's Name:
Bride's Race:
Bride's Marital Status: Unknown
Bride's Previous Husband's Name:
Indexing Project (Batch) Number: M93413-5
System Origin: Germany-EASy
Source Film Number: 1189435
Reference Number: P234 CN4

Wilhelm Deislinger m. Susanna Koebel 1829

"Germany Marriages, 1558-1929." index, FamilySearch ( accessed June 11, 2011. entry for Wilhelm Deislinger and Susanna Dorothea Koebel, married 20 April 1829; citing Marriage Records, FHL microfilm 1189435; Index entries derived from digital copies of original and compiled records.

No image.

Groom's Name: Wilhelm Deislinger
Groom's Birth Date:
Groom's Birthplace:
Groom's Age:
Bride's Name: Susanna Dorothea Koebel
Bride's Birth Date:
Bride's Birthplace:
Bride's Age:
Marriage Date: 20 Apr 1829
Marriage Place: Kandern, Loerrach, Baden, Germany
Groom's Father's Name: Martin Stoecklin
Groom's Mother's Name: Anna Maria Deislinger
Bride's Father's Name: Johann Koebel
Bride's Mother's Name: Dorothea Ruder
Groom's Race:
Groom's Marital Status:
Groom's Previous Wife's Name:
Bride's Race:
Bride's Marital Status: Single
Bride's Previous Husband's Name:
Indexing Project (Batch) Number: M93413-5
System Origin: Germany-EASy
Source Film Number: 1189435
Reference Number: P15 CN4

June 8, 2011

Robert C. Perkins, 1920 census

"United States Census, 1920." index and images, FamilySearch ( accessed 8 June 2011. entry for Robert C. Perkins, age 33, citing Census Records, FHL microfilm 1821831; United States Census Office, National Archives, Washington, D.C.

Name: Robert C Perkins
Residence: , McLennan, Texas
Estimated Birth Year: 1887
Age: 33
Birthplace: Texas
Relationship to Head of Household: Self
Gender: Male
Race: White
Marital Status: Married
Father's Birthplace: Texas
Mother's Birthplace: Texas
Film Number: 1821831
Digital Folder Number: 4390895
Image Number: 00601
Sheet Number: 24
  Robert C Perkins M 33y
Spouse Laura Perkins F 25y
Child Lula Perkins F 2y2m
Child Vivian Perkins F 1m

Louis Canright, 1933-2006

Remembering "Chaplain Catfish" on his Heavenly birthday.
Rev. Louis Franklin Canright
Lancaster, Texas
About 2002

advice needed: headstone photographs

For decades I have been passionate about photography. I've also loved cemeteries and ghost towns. My late cousin and I took several "cemetery weekends" over the years, and I photographed probably hundreds of gravestones as an artist.

In February of this year, I became interested in genealogy and family history. I'm very disappointed in myself in that I never documented the cemeteries in which I took photographs. I mostly know the states, and the general geographic areas within the states, but not enough to put the photos on Find-A-Grave or similar sites. Many of my photos are too "artsy" to be of significant genealogical value.

So my question is this: is there a website where I can post these photos for genealogists to search?

The photos are all physical prints, so it will take a while to scan them all, but I want to make them available to anyone researching their family history.

Any advice will be appreciated.

June 7, 2011

Gustav Woltmann, 1861-1940

Gustav Ferdinand Woltmann was born November 29, 1861, in Wronczyn, Posen Province, Prussia, Germany. He was the son of Michael Woltmann and Henriette Heth.

All of Gustav's siblings were also born in Posen Province, Prussia, Germany. They were Julius Theodor Woltmann (July 11, 1854 to March 30, 1935); Caroline Ottilie Woltmann Reinke (December 23, 1856 to March 25, 1917); Auguste Emilie Woltmann Grams (August 17, 1859 to September 23, 1925); Michael August Woltmann (July 25, 1869 to after June 1, 1930); and Emma Woltmann Jahnz Grams (January 8, 1872 to February 23, 1949). Gustav's parents, siblings, and other close relatives all immigrated to the United States, specifically to Texas, at various times. (After the world wars, country boundaries were shifted; the area in which Gustav and his siblings were born became Prov. Poznan, Poland).

Gustav immigrated to the United States aboard the S.S. Donau, arriving at the Port of Galveston in 1884. The woman who was to become his wife, Mathilde Emilia Sauter, arrived alone at the Port of Galveston about 1885 at the approximate age of 17. Gustav and Mathilde met while both were working for a wealthy farm family by the name of Vogelsang, and Gustav and Mathilde married on January 14, 1890, in Austin County, Texas.

Gustav and Mathilde soon rented their own farm, and by 1900 they had had six children, four of whom were living. By 1907, they had nine living children: Alma Woltman Zipperlen (February 6, 1890 to May 19, 1949); William "Will" Woltman (October 1, 1895, to May 7, 1991); Olga Juliana Woltman Bletsch (September 11, 1897, to May 4, 1982); Wanda Augusta Woltman Hamby (June 18, 1899, to June 1982); Arthur Guss Woltman (July 18, 1901 to April 18, 2001); twins Eduard Erick Woltman (December 26, 1903 to March 30, 1982) and Meta Sophie Woltman Van Dyck (December 26, 1903, to March 25, 1990); Bernhard "Ben" August Woltman (December 4, 1904, to April 16, 1982); and Albert William Woltmann (May 5, 1907 to unknown).

In 1910, Gustav moved his large family to Falls County, where he continued to farm on rented land. He became an American citizen on June 2, 1914, and by 1920 he owned a farm with a mortgage. Seven children were still at home. In 1930, all Gustav's children had left home, but his daughter Alma and son Albert lived on neighboring farms with their families.

On May 6, 1939, Gustav's wife of 49 years, Mathilde, passed away from a cerebral hemorrhage caused by hypertension. Less than a year later, on February 5, 1940, Gustav died of tuberculosis. They rest together in the cemetery of St. Paul Church in Falls County.

Roy Taylor, 1900-1914

Roy Franklin Taylor was born in Johnson County, Texas, between Joshua and Cleburne, on July 22, 1900. His parents were William Franklin Taylor and Mary Elizabeth Bullard, who had married in Mills County on August 25, 1895.

Frank and Mary already had two children when Roy was born: Mary Myrtle (1896) and Martha Elizabeth "Mattie" (1898). After Roy came James William Mannon (1902), Lydia Estelle "Stella" (1903), Laura Thelma (1906), Raymond Lesley (1908), John Calvin "J.C." (1912), and Ernest Madison (1914).

Myrtle remembered having diphtheria when Roy was about five months old, and she also remembered Roy being ill, although if it was from diphtheria is unknown.

In 1902, the family moved to Arkansas, where Frank's family was living at the time. James was taken ill after a fall and died at the age of nineteen months. Twelve days later, Stella was born, and when Stella was two weeks old, the family moved back to Texas, to Cleburne. In 1904, they moved on to Mills County, to a ranch where Frank worked as a hired hand.

So when Roy was four years old, his mother set up her sewing machine and made a tent (about 8'x10') out of heavy canvas, where the family lived for a while until a room was built. Later a second room was built. The structure had a fireplace but no flooring.

In early 1906, Thelma was born. By now the family had a nice garden on land they had cleared by hand, and the ranch owner had given them a cow to milk. They had a 600-ft. deep well, from which they would draw 5 gallons of water at at time using a mule. At six years old, Roy was, of course, an active participant in family chores. In late 1908, Raymond was born, and the family moved on to work on another ranch near Priddy.

It was here that Roy spent most of his life. His family cleared the land for farming and cared for cattle. He and his sisters and brother had 300 acres for their playground. They were members of New Hope Baptist Church, and sometimes they would have camp meetings, taking food and bedding to church and staying two or three days at a time. Frank would go home now and then to care of the stock. By early 1912, J.C. had come into the family.

In the early part of 1914, some of the school children came down with German measles. Before the older children were well, Frank, Mary, and the two baby boys, Raymond and J.C., came down with them. Mary was expecting a baby in the summer. Frank relapsed into pneumonia, as did J.C., who nearly died: he weighed 11 pounds when he was two years old.

Roy was never well after having the measles. He and Myrtle were caught in a rain shower in April of that year, and Roy had lung trouble after that. Roy turned 14 in July, twelve days after Ernest was born.

One Saturday in November, Roy gave himself a tuberculosis skin test according to the doctor's orders. This would have been the von Pirquet test, where two drops of tuberculin were placed on the forearm a small distance apart, then the skin was scratched and covered with cotton wool. A positive result, which Roy had, would be a red, hard raised spot on the skin within 24 hours.

The next afternoon, Sunday, Roy played ball with his friends for several hours. Monday, he went to the doctor who gave him a new medication named, by Myrtle's recollection, Tuberline. Roy was to take 2 drops in 1/2 glass salt water, which he did on Monday. His instructions were to then take 3 drops in salt water mixture on Wednesday, and to increase each dose by 1 drop until 15 were given. (Although extensive research has not revealed information on Tuberline, tuberculin was indeed given orally in a salt water mixture in those days as a treatment for tuberculosis).

Roy fell ill soon after the first dose, and he was very sick all day Tuesday. Frank had gone to Comanche for supplies, so another family member summoned the doctor, who would not come.

Roy died at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, halfway between his first and second doses of Tuberline. Although his death certificate has not yet been located, his family will always believe that it was the medication that killed him.

After hearing that Roy had died, the doctor came out to the ranch, bringing another doctor with him.

It began to rain. Myrtle remembered going to the church house at Priddy Cemetery and walking through the water and the black gooey mud. By the time the funeral was over, it was well after dark. The date was November 24, 1914. Roy had lived 14 years, four months, and two days.

No photographs of Roy are known to exist. His grave is marked only by a Wilkins Funeral Home marker whose dates are unreadable.

Jerome Walker, 1862 letter

Letter to Catherine Canright from her son Jerome Walker

Sunday Nov 24 1862

My dear mother I have quit work at Sheridan and now I am to work in the north  wood for a man by the name of Cary on Flat River  for thirty dollars a month.  I have been here about three.  I went from Stanton out to woods and a Gilbert lumber camp and worked days and when I asked for the foreman to give me a order for my money and get me some shirts and drawers abut he said that he nothing to say if I wanted my money go to the (?) wood and get it so I went down to  Stanton and asked for Mr. Wood for it and he asked for my order I told him that the foreman, a said he said that he had aught to give me my time he didn’t know anything about it I went back and told the foreman about it and he give me my time and I went and got my money and quit.  If I stay here I shall have some money for Bertize and you I shall send my letter to Saranac. I want you to us right to me as soon as you get this well I must close from you son, Jerome R. Walker.

PS The snow was about 4 inches deep yesterday last night it rained so that the snow was about gone this morning but it is snowing now. Direct your liters to Westville Mount Calm Co.

June 5, 2011

and I am the face of genealogy!

Faith Louise
July, 2009

and these are the faces of genealogy . . .

Lydia Woltman Canright
Ruth Woltman Perkins
Falls County, Texas
About 1930

this is the face of genealogy . . .

Leslie J. Canright, Sr.
Somewhere in France
About 1918

Robert C. Perkins, 1942 death certificate

"Texas Deaths 1890-1976." index and images, FamilySearch ( accessed 5 June 2011. entry for Robert C. Perkins, died 5 October 1942; citing Death Records, FHL microfilm 2137184; Texas Bureau of Vital Statistics, Texas Department of Health, Austin, Texas.

Image saved as: Bd PERK 001 Perkins, Robert Cleveland death cert 1942

 (Image added 09/04/2012)

Name: Robert C. Perkins
Death Date: 05 Oct 1942
Death Place: Mart, Mclennan, Texas
Gender: Male
Race: white
Death Age: 55 years 7 months 20 days
Estimated Birth Date:
Birth Date: 15 Feb 1887
Birthplace: Paris, Texas
Marital Status: Married
Spouse's Name:
Father's Name: Josh Riley Perkins
Father's Birthplace: Miss.
Mother's Name: Lou Walker
Mother's Birthplace: Miss.
Occupation: Labor - Water Dept.
Place of Residence: Mart, McLenan Co., Texas
Burial Place: Mart, Texas
Burial Date: 06 Oct 1942
Additional Relatives: X
Film Number: 2137184
Digital Film Number: 4030077
Image Number: 893
Reference Number: certificate #45952

June 3, 2011

Mary Taylor, 1880 census

"United States Census, 1880." index and images, FamilySearch: (https//]: accessed 8 April 2011). entry for Mary Taylor, age 38: citing Census Records, FHL microfilm 1254008; United States Bureau of Census, National Archives, Washington, D.C.

No image available.

Name: Mary Taylor
Residence: Saints, Colbert, Alabama
Birthdate: 1842
Birthplace: Alabama, United States
Relationship to Head: Self
Spouse's Name:
Spouse's Birthplace:
Father's Name:
Father's Birthplace: Alabama, United States
Mother's Name: Sarah Michael
Mother's Birthplace: Alabama, United States
Race or Color (Expanded): White
Ethnicity (Standardized): American
Gender: Female
Martial Status: Widowed
Age (Expanded): 38 years
Occupation: Keeping House
NARA Film Number: T9-0008
Page: 508
Page Character: D
Entry Number: 2853
Film number: 1254008
  Mary Taylor F 38
Child William Taylor M 9
Child Arthur Taylor M 4
Child Mary Taylor F 2
Parent Sarah Michael F 79
Nephew William Bennett M 24

realms mingle

 “We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.” - Anais Nin

June 1, 2011

webinar: twitter & tweetdeck

This was my first time to attend a webinar given by DearMyrtle, and my introduction to Twitter. The webinar covered the basics of both Twitter and TweetDeck. This was not a genealogy-specific presentation, but rather an initial exposure. I do remember seeing a post for a webinar some time ago on Twitter for Genealogists and perhaps I'll try to find it again and see if it can be downloaded. I understand now how Twitter works and how TweetDeck can streamline the hashtags you choose to follow. I will definitely be employing this tool in my genealogy research.

webinar: google forms

How was the webinar?
I've never used Google Forms, and I've never heard Thomas MacEntee present. After this webinar, my head is swimming with possibilities. And isn't that the hallmark of an excellent instructor? Mr. MacEntee moved seamlessly, both visually and verbally, between his presentation slides and live examples. He spoke in a very "down-to-earth" fashion without being condescending. The moderator only presented 1 of my 4 questions, but I think I learned enough to figure out the answers on my own. I'm now a follower and can't wait to hear more! This is the top webinar I've attended from any source.

How can Thomas MacEntee improve?
The slides moved too fast for me to take notes, which I always do during webinars, causing me to put aside my note pad and just watch. In this case, however, I may have learned more from just watching than from taking notes, because Mr. MacEntee used so many valuable, live examples and actions.

the elusive ancestor

I went searching for an ancestor. I cannot find him still.
He moved around from place to place and did not leave a will.
He married where a courthouse burned. He mended all his fences.
He avoided any man who came to take the U.S. Census.
He always kept his luggage packed, this man who had no fame.
And every 20 years or so, this rascal changed his name.
His parents came from Europe. They should be upon some list
of passengers to U.S.A., but somehow they got missed.
And no one else in this world is searching for this man.
So, I play geneasolitaire to find him if I can.
I'm told he's buried in a plot, with tombstone he was blessed;
but the weather took engraving, and some vandals took the rest.
He died before the county clerks decided to keep records.
No Family Bible has emerged, in spite of all my efforts.
To top it off this ancestor, who caused me many groans,
Just to give me one more pain, betrothed a girl named JONES.
by Merrell Kenworthy