Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial to Aunt Clara - Clara Elizabeth Kuhn, 1894-1947

Clara Kuhn at 18 years old in her sister, Tillie's, wedding.
   Who was Clara Kuhn?  She was a grandaunt of mine and a "grand" aunt to her nieces and nephews.  The children of Harry and Tillie (Kuhn) Weber have fond memories of Aunt Clara. She touched their lives considerably.  I've chosen to remember her on this Memorial Day, 2015. Tomorrow is the 121st anniversary of her birth.
    Clara Elizabeth Kuhn was born on 26 May 1894 in Indianapolis, Indiana, the eighth child of Charles A. and Mary Anna (Risch) Kuhn.  She was the only one of Charles and Mary's six children who lived to adulthood that didn't marry.  Clara was a lifelong resident of Indianapolis, working as a forelady for Eli Lilly company for at least 33 years.  Her grandparents were Martin and Katherine (Birkenstock) Kuhn and Mathias, Jr. and Julianna (Leppert) Risch, all immigrants from Germany to Indiana.  She died on 28 August 1947 at the age of 53.  For about the last 20 years of her life she lived with her widowed sister, Julia (Kuhn) Hinz, at 1514 South Talbott Street, near the church where their father's family held a membership since its establishment in 1875, Sacred Heart Catholic Church. 
    Clara Kuhn's nieces, daughters of Tillie (Kuhn) Weber, spoke to me of Aunt Clara. Following are a few of those memories from Gin, Peg and Rose.  First I'm including excerpts from the interviews I was fortunate to have with Gin and Peg about the family's history:
During our interview I asked Aunt Gin “Do you have any particular memories of any of your aunts or uncles?” She replied, “Yes, of my Aunt Clara, our maiden aunt. She lived with her sister’s family on Talbott Street near Sacred Heart. She worked her whole life at Lilly’s and never married. She gave us things we didn’t get otherwise. She was the one who would take us  downtown and do other things with us.”
And my piece of history from Aunt Peg goes this way: "Peg recalls Aunt Clara taking her and cousin Pauline Hinz downtown to Blocks for knitting lessons. They rode the streetcar downtown for these events since that was the way most people commuted. Not too many had cars in the 1920s and 30s. Aunt Clara was somewhat of a caretaker for the Weber children; I would surmise……perhaps gave moral support and some teaching in life skills. Peg says: 'She wanted to learn to knit. And she liked to take us along.  So we got to have lessons too.' "The Kuhn/Weber family enjoyed family outings to the many parks in Indiana.  This one was near what is now Cataract Falls State Park, in Spencer County.
I also remember that my mother, Rose Weber Niehaus, enjoyed her Aunt Clara.  The photo at above is from Mom's scrapbook.  It includes a nephew, niece and sister,  clowning with Clara.  They all seem to be enjoying some ice cream and a few laughs during an outing to Owen Park (Spencer County, Indiana) in September, 1936. I'm going to make a guess that another nephew and the son of Tillie, Bob Weber, took this photo. Bob would many times have been with these folks taking the snapshots. From left to right in the group is Dick Sauer, nephew of Clara; Rose Weber, niece of Clara; Clara Kuhn and Tillie (Kuhn) Weber, Clara's sister and Rose's mother.  

      It's clear to me that Clara Kuhn left good memories with her family and friends.  To take her family history two more generations, I'm including a relationship chart onimage the right for her great grandniece, Nikki Marcum, daughter of my sister, Linda.  I've enjoyed making memories with this niece, too.  Nikki has a birthday this week, May 28, so I'd like to say: 
Happy Birthday Nicole Denise!!

Thank you for visiting Indiana Ties,

You can find more on the Kuhns at this link: Family Lines - Kuhn.
Or, Click here for another photo story about Clara and her sisters.
Copyright 2015 © Nancy Niehaus Hurley

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Five Family History Pointers I Gathered at NGS

     Last week at the National Genealogical Society Family History Conference in St. Charles, Missouri, was plentiful!  The selection of educational sessions was generous, the exhibit hall was bustling with the latest info20150512_181943 and the attendees were friendly. Overall, I feel I came away a better researcher and enjoyed doing so. St. Charles, MO. I wrote on our Hurley Travels blog about the personal interaction that I felt was a special ingredient.  ( 
     The NGS conference overlapped with the annual celebration of  Lewis & Clarks Expedition up the Missouri River in 1804.  St. Charles is a lovely historic town and I enjoyed the brief time I had to explore there.
     Here at Indiana Ties I plan to share some of the techniques, websites and skills that I picked up during the conference.  I'm sure those new pieces of knowledge will continue to come forward in the next few weeks. In fact, a few are prominent in my mind already.  For now,  it occurred to me that I could share a few of these kernels of knowledge.  Here are Five Family History Pointers I Gathered at NGS:
1.  From Warren Bittner's program, "Pity the Poor Phul: Proving Immigrant Identities" --  He reminded us that a name you think is unusual may be very common in Europe.  We have to be sure to learn as much as possible in U.S. records so we  don’t misidentify someone in Europe as our ancestor.  Be sure to investigate all of the family members so that you know you are following the right person.  Don't be anxious to leave the country until you have found every record that completes the picture after they immigrated.
2. Also from the above Warren Bittner program: When using church records in Europe, he explained that confirmation and first communion records are often your best clue for people who were “from” a town, but not born there.  Meaning, if they are listed in the first communion and/or confirmation records of the church records that you are searching, but you don't find them in the baptisms, that might indicate  they weren't born there. You should continue searching for the birth in a neighboring town's church.  It's possible the family moved.  The birthplace may be lurking down the road.
3. From Anne Staley's program, " The Everyday Life of Your Ancestors" --  Anne covered the how's and whys of creating timelines to put your family members into context. What was going on in their lives?  She shared a long list of websites to help find research assistance and historical input.  For instance, under the category of Home life, Weather and the Farmer's Almanac, a website I've explored a little is  There are links to sources from Bankruptcy Records to the Freedom of Information Act to a list of Telephone Directory Search Tools and Voter Registration Records. The link for Genealogy Resources led me to, a source new to me.  If nothing else, there are fun links there.  It will be a place I'll save, along with many others that Anne included. 
4.  From Tom Jones' program, "Proven Techniques for Finding Your Ancestor's European Origin" -- Tom reminded us that ethnic newspapers are better than English language ones for finding our ancestors because they could relate more closely to the people.  Even though we may have a few challenges translating them, they contained the details about those particular ethnic people in the neighborhoods where they were living after immigrating to the U. S.  The local German newspaper could contain personal information about a family member that would help to find their origin in Europe.
5. From Lisa Louise Cooke's program, "Tech Tools that Catapult the Newspaper Research Process into the 21st Century" -- Lisa revealed a totally cool website called Stanford Newspaper Data Visualization.  All I can say is go there!  The historical map covering U. S. newspapers, including foreign language papers, is a super resource for finding publications from 1690 to 2011. AndNGS post, 23 May 2015 the visual is fantastic.   You  can play with the map and find lots of great tools.
      To keep our libraries and computers up to date, the 2100 registrants could roam in the large exhibit hall during breaks. After all, we just have to see what new software, services and other cool stuff's calling our names. And, of course, I had to make a few purchases to add to my library. Or maybe I'll create hangings for our walls in the new genea room. 
Hope  these family history pointers are helpful and entertaining.  Thanks for visiting Indiana Ties.

Copyright 2015 © Nancy Niehaus Hurley

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Bring Out the Balloons and Champagne! May 12, 2015 is the Third Anniversary of Indiana Ties

Thanks to Alan Cleaver at for the photo.How to celebrate a third blogiversary? Hmmmm.  Would you do a recap of the best and worst subjects you’ve covered?  Why and how? Is there a way to examine successes and failures to gain some insight for the future? Maybe that idea would be more worthwhile. But really, what is a failure for a family history blog? After all, I'm thinking that if I kept making posts fairly consistently that's the measure of success. Right?! It’s time for me to look to where I might like to go in the future.
But first, it is kind of fascinating to look back at a few of the blog stats: This is the 162nd post. That makes 4.5 posts per month. I’m okay with that. There were over 40,000 page views in the history of and the audience comes from ten countries. I’m not versed in evaluating those statistics. But even though we all know the Internet is putting the world in touch, isn’t that amazing that there are folks in France and Germany and Ukraine taking their time to view the stories of my Adam Weber and Joseph Niehaus!? Mostly, it’s nice to know someone is looking.
In a completely unscientific analysis of this 36-month experience, I did think of a few of my own “non-numeric stats.” I’ve benefited from this generous community that’s ready to take on challenges, to share and to assist other genealogists. And they’re having fun doing this crazy stuff at all times.
I’ve also realized that these three years of blogging brought me to cousins I might never have known. Some are not the breathing kind you can talk to but they are still family I get to know. Others are very much alive, extended family that found me here and got in touch. And finding that a cousin, uncle, daughter, sister or niece is interested and excited about the family history I am sharing is fantastic. Thanks you guys!
There is definitely success in learning new research techniques and applying them. I’ve had fun taking the time to create these stories, to share with anyone who’s interested and to learn more about the family history by the process of gathering the details together.
I guess I should be looking down the road now. As far as goals, I plan to put more effort into becoming a better storyteller, adding context to the events I am documenting. We all have reasons for what we do. If I can understand what reasons my ancestors had their histories will be more meaningful, and especially, more interesting.
Another of my directions for this blog is giving back. I’ve learned a great deal from those who are sharing their knowledge on blogs and websites. Maybe I could step it up on the sharing of my experience and knowledge.
And, of course, there’s the forever goal — Have Fun!!!
Thanks for celebrating Indiana Ties third blogiversary with me,
 Copyright 2015 (c) Nancy Niehaus Hurley
Thanks to Alan Cleaver at Freestock on for the celebratory balloon photo. 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Weber Scrapbook - The Kuhn Sisters, 1900, Indianapolis, IN

Otillia Weber and sisters-1
     Family photos seem to generate added curiosity as the years go by.  This photo of the Kuhn sisters is an example.  I have several versions of this one that I've created after I scanned the original.  But the one I'm posting shows it just as it looks in person, no cropping or editing.  I borrowed this from Aunt Peg (Margaret Weber Stull, daughter of Tillie Kuhn, the girl on the right).  It's taken about  1900 and includes four of the daughters of Charles and Mary (Risch) Kuhn of 1050 High Street, Indianapolis, Indiana.  The girls are, left to right, Lillian, Clara (in front), Anna and Otillia. 
     About those curiosities I mentioned, do you wonder how many other copies of this photo were distributed to descendants of the other three girls?  Do we know what the occasion for the photo was, if any?  There's a faint photographer studio name on the front.  It looks like Loebman or Lichmann. That's something for researching when I have time to get another look at the original, I guess. I don't know of any stories passed down that would provide answers.  Maybe someone else with another copy has some details. 
     Estimating from the birth dates that we know for all four Kuhn children, Tillie is about nine years old at the time she went with her sisters to have this portrait made.  13 years later she marries Harry L. Weber and the family story continues from there.
     This is a keepsake of Peg's and she'll take good care of it.  As many people do, she's written the names of the girls on the photo.  The family won't have to question which young lady is which as more time passes. And including this special photo in our Weber Scrapbook is yet another record of the lives of these ladies and their family connection. Do you have curiosities or information to add?  You're welcome to leave a comment below.
Thanks for visiting Indiana Ties,

Copyright © 2015, Nancy Niehaus Hurley

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Announcing Nancy's Finding Aids at Indiana Ties

     How could I possibly pay forward some portion of the helpful assistance I've had in family research?  One way would be to share the resources I use in finding family history and improving on my research.  That's the idea!!  So, I've been building a "Nancy's Finding Aids" page here on Indiana Ties.  It's above this post, on the right.  There's much more to be added to the page.  But I believe it's time for me to announce my new resource.  These are websites and locations that I consult online or visit in person.  Hopefully, others will find them of interest as well.
     There are many ways I could introduce Nancy's Finding Aids.  But my choice is to feature two of my favorite websites that provide a great deal of assistance and are both treasure troves of fun, each in its own way.  
     Geneabloggers is Thomas MacEntee's popular online group (at the link below). This resource brings family history bloggers and readers a plethora of blogging ideas and events.  The Geneabloggers, of which I am a member, is a fantastic resource for networking.
     Genealogy Gems is Lisa Louise Cooke's website (at the link below). Lisa provides podcasts that share researching tips, interviews family history experts and educates on ways to locate ancestors.  There is a portion of the site that's paid, the premium area (I am a subscriber and love it!), but she is very generous with the free assistance and materials.  For instance, to read from her library of shared information on the website go to the Select Content by Topic button and you'll find lots to keep you occupied. 
     I could say much more about each one of these two family research aids because the websites are overflowing with benefits.  But I'll let everyone explore.  
     And don't forget to click on my new link above at Nancy's Finding Aids.

Favorite Genealogy Sharing Blogs:
Geneabloggers, Thomas MacEntee:
Genealogy Gems, Lisa Louise Cooke:

Thanks for visiting Indiana Ties,

Copyright 2015 (c) Nancy Niehaus Hurley

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Genealogy Society of Marion County (Indianapolis) - Treasure Chest Thursday

Genealogical Society of Marion County, 9350 E. Washington Street, Indianapolis
Time for a variation on my Treasure Chest Thursday post.  I usually have an heirloom or other treasured family item to add to the chest.  But this time I'm going to include an organization that offers ways to find family history treasures.  I'm talking about the Genealogy Society of Marion County (GSMC), ( The goal of the GSMC is to contribute to the growth of genealogy in the Indianapolis area. All family history researchers are invited to participate. 

Jerry (my hubby) and I volunteer at the library on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays each month, keeping it open for anyone who wants to stop in to do research. We've noticed the considerable efforts that the board members and committee volunteers are putting towards fine tuning the resources offered by GSMC.  The library's new location is at 9350 East Washington Street, Indianapolis, in the Memorial Park Cemetery.  It is open to the public on Wednesday and Thursday from Noon to 4 pm. And genealogical programs are planned at various other times, such as the annual conference and monthly meetings, organized by volunteers.  One new program is Webinar Wednesdays, featuring a different topic once a month that's an online educational program that researchers can watch together at the library.  June 3 is "Using Google Earth for Genealogy" presented by Lisa Louise Cooke.

I plan to feature on Indiana Ties a selection of the books, information and various types of services and programs available through GSMC.  For instance, the other day I was browsing through the Germany-related shelves and came across this book entitled Germanic Ancestors that contains a good deal of research assistance. So I scanned a few pages with my phone to share. In addition to the history of German immigration, German settlement patterns and causes of emigration from Germany, there are sections on How To Read Germanic Records, including an extensive alphabet chart and a German Letter Writing Guide with suggested wording for requesting records.  Here are some examples from Discovering Your Germanic Ancestors, by Chris Anderson and Ernie Thode:
Germanic Ancestors, a research book available at the GSMC library

  Who knows what treasures could be lurking at the GSMC.  Go to the website to read more about the activities and benefits offered: You are invited to attend a program or just stop by on a Wednesday or Thursday to say hello and take a look around. 

Thanks for visiting Indiana Ties,

copyright 2015 (c) Nancy Niehaus Hurley

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Will Records: Amelia (Micol) Weber, Died: 25 Aug 1913, Indianapolis, IN

     I wish I had diaries or memoirs from at least one of my great grandparents! It would sure be nice to know their thoughts about the events in their lives.  But until that diary's discovered,  I am finding intriguing details in court documents and other pieces of the family history.  It seems to me that sometimes there are personality traits or hints to their circumstances, if you do a little more analyzing of what's there.  The will of Amelia Weber is one example.  See if you agree when you read the transcription below.

    First, just a few words about Amelia. I wrote just the other day about her two children who died of diphtheria in 1876, Amelia Marie and Herman Joseph.  Amelia was a widow for 40 years and lived the  last 15-20 years of her life with her son, Harry Adam's family, on South Alabama Street in Indianapolis.  You'll see below that Harry is the executor of her will.

Following are her Probate Records:

-- Amelia Weber Will recorded in the Probate Court of Marion County, Indianapolis, Indiana, 16 March 1912.
-- Affidavit of death, Proof of Will and Certificate of death filed in Marion County Indiana Probate Court on 15 Sept 1913.
-- Final disposition of will on 23 Jan 1915., Marion County, Indianapolis IN, Docket 43, Estate #12158.

Amelia Weber, Will, 1912


Transcription: Last Will and Testament of Amelia Weber

I, Amelia Weber, of the City of Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana, being now of sound and disposing mind and memory and desirous of making a disposition of my estate to take effect after my death, do now make, publish, declare and ordain the following as and for my last will and testament.

Item I.
  It is my will and I hereby direct that all my just debts be paid as speedily as possible after my death, including the payment of the expenses of my last sickness, funeral and cost of administration upon my estate,

Item II.
   It is my will and I hereby direct that all the rest and residue of my estate, remaining after the payment of the matters in item I hereof, be used in payment of the expenses of saying masses for the repose of the soul of my deceased husband, Adam Weber, and for the repose of my own soul.

Item III.
   I hereby appoint my son, Harry A. Weber, as executor hereof and hereby revoke all other wills heretofore made by me.

   In Witness Whereof, I, Amelia Weber, the testatrix have hereunto set my hand and do declare the foregoing as and for my last will and testament this 10th day of March 1912.

                                (Signed)  Amelia Weber

   We, the undersigned, hereby certify that the foregoing instrument was this 16th day of March 1912, signed by Amelia Weber and was by her declared to be her last will and testament in our presence and we at her request, in her presence and in the presence of each other have signed the same as witnesses.

                                (Signed) Anna M. Cheseldine
                                (Signed) Jacob Buennagel


Affidavit of Death

State of Indiana, Marion County,

Harry A. Weber, being duly sworn, on oath says that Amelia Weber departed this life on or about the 26th day of Aug 1913, and at the time of her death was a resident of said County and State.

        Subscribed and sworn to before me this 15 day of Sept A. D. 1913

                                (Signed) Harry A. Weber
                                        John Rauch, Clerk


Proof of Will

Before the Clerk of the Probate Court of the County of Marion, in the State of Indiana, personally came Jacob Buennagel subscribing witnesses to the foregoing instrument of writing, who being by me first duly sworn, upon oath deposes and says that Amelia Weber testatrix names in the instrument of writing purporting to be her LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT, did sign, seal, publish and declare the same to be her last will and testament, on the day of the date thereof, that she said testatrix was at the same time of full age of twenty-one years, and of sound and disposing mind and memory, and that she was under no coercion, compulsion or restraint, and that she was competent to devise her property.  And that she said testatrix so signed, sealed, published and declared the same to be her last will and testament, in manner and form as aforesaid, in the presence of affiant, and of Anna W. Cheseldine, the other subscribing witness..thereto, and, that each attested the same, and subscribed their names as witnesses thereto, in the presence and at the request of said testatrix and in the presence of each other.

                                (Signed)  Jacob Buennagel

                                    15 day of Sept 1913

Document note in margin:
Probated in open court this 15 Day of Sept 1913
Frank B. Ross, Judge of the Probate Court of Marion County, Indiana


Final Disposition of the Will:Amelia Weber, Will Settlement, Jan 1915

General Entry, Claim and Allowance Docket, Docket 43, Probate Court of Marion County, Indianapolis

No. of Estate 12158
Name: Amelia Weber
Executor: Harry A. Weber
Attorneys: Means & Buenting
Bond: Jacob Buennagel, C. W.  Means, $200
Date of estate: 9/15/13
Date of death: Aug. 25, 1913

Reports for the court are filed

Sept 15, 1913 - Open the Will -   $2.50

                         - Bonds & Letters    3.50

Oct 9, 1913 - Indianapolis News   2.50

23 Jan 1915 - Proof of post,

   Final report, Estate Closed


        The need for Amelia's will isn't clear.  She lived in the home of the only remaining member of her immediate family, her son Harry.  She, undoubtedly, had no assets to speak of at the time she passed away.  Her Civil War widow's pension files make that clear.  She had lived on that pension since 1890, having no other means of supporting herself.  Perhaps the official documentation was involved with the government pension. Or maybe she was a lady who just kept everything in order in her life.  It seems obvious that her Catholic faith was important to her as she included "saying masses for the repose of the soul of my deceased husband, Adam Weber, and for the repose of my own soul."  Do you see any other hints or have thoughts about Amelia based on the will?  After all is said,  Amelia weathered many storms throughout her life and it seems she left with everything under control.

Thanks for visiting Indiana Ties,


Links to the above two Will documents at my Scribd account:

Other stories that involve Amelia (Micol) Weber:

Amelia's Mother:Julianna Weber Micol: She's Our Third Great Grandmother & Third Great Grand Aunt

What Was Our Family Doing When President Lincoln Came Through Town?