Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Wordless Wednesday (Almost) - Ed and Gin Niehaus’s Cabin at Prince’s Lake, IN

Continuing my "Almost" Wordless Wednesday photo posts with another great memories place:
This cabinPrince's Lake cabin in early years. at Prince’s Lake in southern Indiana was the site of many good times for Ed and Gin Niehaus’s family.  Uncle Ed, his son Bill, and Ed’s brother Larry built the cabin in the early 1950s.  This photo is of those early days.  Sisters, brothers, cousins, grandchildren and friends all have fond memories of floating on inner tubes on the lake, fishing from the shore - enjoying the company and surroundings.  It wouldn’t be right to make this post without including a second photo of my Uncle Ed Ed Niehaus enjoying his relaxing time at Prince's Lake.relaxing on the deck that he added to the cabin.
Ed and Gin’s daughter, my cousin Marilyn, shared some thoughts with me of her memories of Prince’s Lake:
There were many memories built at this cabin over the years not only by our family, but also by our friends and extended family members. I remember the times that Uncle Robert and Aunt Emma and their girls and later their grandchildren would come and fish and spend weekends. Jerry and I spent our three day honeymoon there as well. Mom and her sister, Peg, spent many weekends down there together after Dad and Shad had passed away.

Thanks for the memories! What’s your Prince’s Lake story?

Copyright © Nancy Niehaus Hurley

Sunday, March 23, 2014

52 Ancestors Challenge: Carrie Gabe -- Another 3rd Great Grandmother Search

     Carrie Gabe,image I wonder where exactly she was born and how long she lived.   Did she have any siblings?  How many children did she have?  I have more questions than answers about this third great grandmother.  Time for another family history brainstorming session to give me a push on Carrie’s history.
     Let’s start with what I do know about her.  From her daughter, Caroline Mischky’s, death certificate I learned that Carrie’s maiden name was Gabe; she was born in Germany and married Carl Mischky.  I’m estimating her birth year between 1820 to 1830, based on the birth of her daughter in 1851.  Perhaps Carrie Gabe Mischky was Lutheran. Also a speculation due to the fact that her daughter is buried in the Lutheran Cemetery in Indianapolis.  
     The only clue to the part of Germany where Carrie may have called home is from the second-marriage record of her daughter’s widower, Wilhelm Marsischky.  In 1905 he reported that his birthplace was Stolp County, Germany.  This area of Germany wasEvelyn Ellis relationship chart to Carrie Gabe known as Pomerania in the years he would have lived there, 1852-1875.  Wikipedia reports that Landkreis Stolp was an administrative district of the Prussian Province of Pomerania in Germany, existing from 1816 to 1945.  This is a link that may bring me to more records for Carrie Gabe.   So now I have the research goal for this 52 Ancestor Challenge: find more Stolp County, Pomerania records.  Also, how many Lutheran church records exist for this time frame and location?  Following up on Carrie Gabe is now significantly on my To-Do List.
     Does anyone reading this family history connect to me through Carrie Gabe Mischky?  Would love to hear from fellow researchers with ideas for finding more about her.
     In case the information of have to date will assist anyone else researching in the Gabe, Mischky, Marsischky lines, I am including a family sheet for Carrie Gabe in this post (above). Also posted here are two relationship charts.  Instead of including only my direct line, this time I produced a chart mapping my cousin, Evelyn Ellis, to Carrie.  Evelyn and her sisters and brother are very generous in helping me to complete our Niehaus genealogy through their immediate family.
To make this story Nancy Niehaus relationship chart to Carrie Gabe.about Carrie as thorough as possible, here’s a link to my Family Lines page that includes her Descendant Report .    Carrie Gabe Mischky lives through the generations of great grandchildren of our family in this report.   
     Thanks for visiting Indiana Ties!  Come back often and leave me questions or suggestions in the comment section below.

     Related post that may interest you:
     Ladies In My Line:  Martha Marsischky Albers

Copyright © 2014  Nancy Niehaus Hurley

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Wordless Wednesday (Almost) -- Weber Kuhn Cabin at Lake McCoy

Another summer vacation at a lake cabin sounds so nice as this brutal winter is winding down!  So, I thought I would continue my Wordless Wednesday (Almost) posts in that mode.  This is a photo that I scanned from my Uncle Bob Weber’s scrapbook via the generosity of my cousin, Janet Weber Jenkins. 
Lake McCoy Cabin
The Weber and Kuhn families took vacations from 1925 into the 1940s to Lake McCoy in Decatur County, Indiana.  The families would rent cabins, such as this one where we can see them enjoying the porch and hammock. These vacations included mostly fishing and swimming, and as the children got older they went to dances with other teenagers. Even after growing up, they brought their spouses and friends to good ole Lake McCoy.  This scene looks to be around 1926. The man standing against the railing is Harry Weber and Tillie (Kuhn) Weber is seated behind him on the porch.  They are the parents of three of the girls in the forefront: on the hammock on the left is Gin and next to her is Peg.  Just behind them is Rose.   The other girl on the hammock, on the right, is Helen Kuhn, their cousin.  Helen’s mother, Lillie (Stumph) Kuhn is barely visible on the porch. 
I’m happy that Uncle Bob saved this special memory and appreciate that Janet shared.  
Thanks for visiting Indiana Ties.  Let me know if you’d like to share a family photo here.  Or do you have one of your parents’ or grandparents’ memories of Lake McCoy to pass along? 
Copyright 2014 © Nancy Niehaus Hurley

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Wordless Wednesday (Almost) -- Niehaus Vacation Cabin

I love it when a cousin sends me memories straight out of their family scrapbook!  This photo is from Patsy Niehaus Cracraft, daughter of Bernard and Ruth (Holliday) Niehaus.  Patsy shared this photo that’s just perfect to add to my series of Wordless Wednesday (Almost) photos that bring back memories of places. 
Niehaus cabin at Cross Lake MN
     This is the cabin at Cross Lake, Minnesota, where Bernie and Ruth went in the early 1930s, sometimes with Bernie’s brothers or cousins, to fish and enjoy the surroundings. There’s a photo of Bernie and Ruth on their vacation, preserved in the scrapbook right along side this cabin photo (to be shared later).  As well as the good times this little home represents, the scrapbook compilation says how important these memories are to the family. Patsy knows the stories of these fishing trips because her parents saved them. Thanks for sharing Patsy!
     See additional Wordless Wednesday posts in the column on the left.  If you would like to contribute a photo for our family history, send me a message at nancyhurley1 at gmail dot com.  Thanks for visiting Indiana Ties.
Copyright 2014 © Nancy Niehaus Hurley

Saturday, March 8, 2014

52 Ancestors Challenge -- The Elusive Elizabeth Kraut

    The lady I’ve chosen as this week’s 52 Ancestors Challenge is Elizabeth Kraut, one of my maternal second great grandmothers. I’m calling her “The Elusive Elizabeth Kraut” because a period of her life prior to marriage and motherhood seems just out of reach.  I’ve come to some dead ends, but I’m not giving up on her. Fortunately, these Ancestor Kraut ChartChallenges are developing into helpful brainstorming sessions.  As I write what I know and don’t know, ideas start to form about where to find more pieces of the story.  It’s fun!
    Elizabeth was born in Sombon (or Somborn), Bavaria on 9 June 1824. This information is recorded in the St. Mary’s Catholic Church records in Indianapolis, Indiana,  where she was a member for the last ten years of her life.   Sometime before 1848 she emigrated to America and married Lawrence Keen. These early years, birth to 24 years of age, are the “elusive” ones.
    I do know that Elizabeth and Lawrence established their home in Zanesville, Ohio, and welcomed their first of nine children into the world in 1848.  On a research trip to Zanesville I located eight of the Keen children’s baptisms in the St. Nicholas Catholic Church records. This church was established around 1845 as the German population of the area was growing.  Unfortunately, these church records had no marriage of Elizabeth Kraut and Lawrence Keen. None that are still surviving and legible anyway.  Since Lawrence immigrated through Baltimore, Maryland, the marriage may have taken place there.  But I have not come across a record of their marriage….yet.
    The Keen family grew considerably during the Zanesville years. Elizabeth gave birth to eight children between 1848 and 1864. Their seventh child, Mary Anna Keen, born in 1860, became the mother of Harry Lawrence Weber and the grandmother of my mother, Rosemary, and her five siblings, Robert, Virginia, Margaret, Dolores and Harry Weber.
    Elizabeth and Lawrence moved their large family to Indianapolis before the ninth child was born in 1867.  Their home was at 175 South New Jersey Street, within the area of the city where a great many German immigrants lived. I wrote about Lawrence’s occupation and more details of the Zanesville to Indianapolis story in another 52 Ancestors post. (The link to that story is at the end of this post.)
    On June 1, 1877, Elizabeth died in their home at 175 South New Jersey Street inElizabeth Kraut Keen's tombstone in St. Joseph Cemetery, Indianapolis, Indiana. Indianapolis just 18 days before her 53rd birthday. My great grandmother, Mary Anna Keen, would have been 17 years old and Elizabeth’s youngest child, Clara, was just ten. Elizabeth’s death certificate indicates that she died of “inflammation of the bowels.”  She is buried in the St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery on Indianapolis’ south side in the Keen family plot.  The tombstone is marked with both the German spelling of  her married name,“Kihn,” and the Americanization of the name, “Keen.” 
    So, this is where this story stands. The chapters of Elizabeth Kraut’s story are shaping into the often told tale of the immigrant from Germany making a new life in the U. S.   I feel fortunate to have learned all I have about her marriage, children and my descendancy.  So, why would I still say she’s “elusive?”  Because I have enough of the picture of her life to make me wonder where those other details are hiding.  So, I’ll be digging deeper for the Kraut family. Where exactly is Sombon, Bavaria anyway?  When and where did Elizabeth come to America?  Who were her parents? Siblings?  Also, where did she and Lawrence marry?  Was the marriage in Baltimore, where Lawrence immigrated in 1840?  How long did they live in Baltimore, if at all? 
    The first research question that pops into your mind is about the census, right?  If she was in the country could I find her in the 1840 census? I won’t be identifying Elizabeth, a 16-year-old female, in this census without knowing her father’s name, since this census only lists names for the head of household. But okay.  I’ve searched the 1840 census anyway, just to see who’s there.  And there are Kraut families living in New York and Pennsylvania. Who knows if Elizabeth’s family is there though.  So, I’ll save that information for a later date. 
    And, what about finding the immigration of Elizabeth Kraut from Bavaria to America?. There are two people on the records at of immigrants to America that have my attention.  One person on a ship’s passenger list is a  5-year-old Elizabeth Kraut arriving in New York in 1833 with other Krauts, possibly her family.  Is this her?  Another passenger list includes a 22-year-old named Louise Kraut, arriving in Baltimore in May 1847 from Somborn. (Remember the church burial record above providing her birth place?) Could be our girl traveling without family. Maybe her first given name is Louise?!  But, I can’t confirm yet that either one of these females is our Elizabeth.  Again, these finds may fit into the puzzle later.
    A young child traveling from Germany with her family to live in a strange country?  A young adult leaving her family thousands of miles away to find her own opportunities in America?  What do you think of these records?  No matter how she came to be in America or who came with her, my second great grandmother traveled a German immigrant’s path familiar to so many in the mid-19th century.  But yet….she’s unique.   They all are.  Elizabeth Kraut is both unique and elusive…so far.  That’s what keeps me curious. 
After this brainstorming session, I have these research goals:  
-- The marriage of Elizabeth Kraut and Lawrence Keen (Kihn) should be my priority because it’s where my documentation keeps leading me.  Recent searching online uncovered a possible resource:  Indexes to marriages in Maryland newspapers in the Maryland Department of the Enoch Pratt Central Library in Baltimore. Since I don’t have any plans to be in Baltimore soon, I’ll be looking to make inquiries online or to find a local genealogy researcher. 
-- I’ll also be doing more research on Sombon/Somborn, Elizabeth’s birthplace.  If I were to find others from her town, it could lead me to her family.
Are there cousins who know and would share more about Elizabeth Kraut? Are you thinking of other places I should look? I am happy to provide more background or resources for the family history above. Leave me a message below by clicking on Comments.
Thanks  for visiting Indiana Ties. And thanks again to Amy Johnson Crow at for sponsoring the 52 Ancestors Challenge.  I am enjoying my participation very much.
Here are some related stories and genealogy:
Lawrence Keen, The Shoemaker
Keen/Kraut Descendants
Copyright © 2014 Nancy Niehaus Hurley

Sunday, March 2, 2014

52 Ancestors Challenge - Gerhard Heinrich Beerman: Linen weaver or hay farmer - Or both?

We hear in the 21st century of people who leave their careers as lawyers or CEO’s to become a surfer or a missionary.  But I wonder if someone born in 1790 in the tiny town of Bergeshovede, Westfalen, might reinvent himself in that way.  Would a man be a linen weaver at age 20 and by 33 years later be a hay farmer? Or perhaps he might be both at once.     
Gerhard Heinrich Beerman was the person in question.  I wrote about this third great grandfather in a Beerman - Surname Saturday post that contains family history. (Click here to read that post and/or see the summary in the graphic below.)  Individual Summary for Gerhard Heinrich Beerman
So, why write about this Beerman ancestor again?  Well, there are these questions about Gerhard’s occupations just hanging out there. Maybe writing about him could open up more channels of information and, perhaps, get the research juices flowing. I guess you might say: “It helps to talk about it.”
Based on the church records I have from St. Kalixtus Catholic Church in Riesenbeck, Westphalia (Prussia), Gerhard Beerman was a linen weaver at age 20 and a hay farmer at age 53. His marriage record in 1811 provides the first occupation and the marriage record of his daughter in 1843 provides the second.
Oh great!  This talking/rethinking stuff is helping. Possible answers and research ideas are coming to mind already.
First, there could be a mistake in the translations that I received.  I know that the translators who assisted me at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City are very skilled.  But, a second opinion would add credence to this research conclusion.  And, that’s where an idea came to me. I could ask the helpful people at the German Genealogy Facebook page who have assisted me with translations in the past.  I’ll go ask immediately.   
Meanwhile, here are the Beerman marriage records from 1811 and 1843:
Beerman Seigbert Marriage 1811
Marriage in 1843:  Joseph Niehues and Maria Anna Beerman.
Second possible explanation that I should investigate: The person completing the St. Kalixtus Catholic Church register of marriages could have written down the incorrect information for one of Gerhard’s occupations.  How could I gather more data to help confirm these records?  Answer: I need to study the FHL microfilm of this church’s records once again to determine if there are records of additional family members or events in the life of Gerhard.    Did Gerhard and Anna have additional children whose baptisms and marriages are recorded? Is there a death record for Gerhard in these church records that could also complete his story?   Is there a register for the families in this parish that might contain related information? 
Third: Could Gerhard have actually had two occupations at once?  Maybe the church only recorded one or the other for the record, a different one on each marriage..  I’ll have to ask about that also on FB.
Update:  The German Genealogy FB group responded very quickly to my question about the two occupations listed for Gerhard Beerman. I inquired as to the translation of the church record from Riesenbeck and the probability that he would have had two occupations.  They confirm that the linen weaver and hay farmer occupations are correctly translated.
And, as you may have suspected, I received the following response about the different occupations listed:  “In some small villages, people tend to have two occupations, especially if their homestead was small and wasn't sufficient to feed them. So you can then find such combination as weaver+day laborer/ weaver+farmer, blacksmith+farmer, etc.”
After considering these answers and reading more on the topic, it’s logical that Gerhard worked at two occupations at once.  He and Anna lived in the small town of Bergeshovede in Westphalia, and he was likely making ends meet as a weaver and a small farmer.  I haven’t yet uncovered anyone in my family lines that were other than of the peasant category, as were 95% of people in Western Europe in the 19th century.  In searching for information to better explain Gerhard’s situation I came across a website that contained the following information:  “ The majority of the Western European population made their living off the land in nineteenth century and before. They worked either as farmers of their own land or as laborers for others who owned land. However, a significant number of people earned their living by performing trades or working as craftsmen. These people varied in type, skill level, and economic well-being. Many lived in cities, but most rural communities had a couple of craftsmen as well. There were many types of craftsmen including blacksmiths, tailors, weavers, shoemakers, bricklayers, clockmakers, bakers, butchers, and brewers just to name a few.” (1)
This has been great fun progressing on the Beerman history..  Gerhard must have been a hard-working man.  Now, I’m even more curious to enhance this family story.  Did he and Maria have more children? Who were his parents and did they live in Bergeshovede also?  Sounds like I’ll be searching that microfilm soon.    
Thanks for reading Indiana Ties.
You may be interested in the following:
Beerman Descendants Report
Beerman Family
1. Understanding Your Western European Ancestors:Daily Life: Class and Occupations .
Copyright © Nancy Niehaus Hurley

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wordless Wednesday (Almost) - Niehaus Home - South West St, Indianapolis

Niehaus Home, S. West St., Indianapolis, Indiana.
The above home is where Joseph and Gertrude (Wilmsen) Niehaus and various numbers of their twelve children lived on South West Street in Indianapolis from approximately 1890 to each of their deaths, 1895 (Gertrude) and 1921 (Joseph).  Their daughter’s family, Ralph and Rosa Lark, owned the home into the 1950s.   The address changed from 567, to 1117 to 1135, as the city expanded. This photo was taken around 2000. The last time I checked the home was still standing. Although the city’s growing road system has claimed many of the neighboring homes. 
My last Wordless Wednesday (Almost) post of the Weber home sparked an idea.  I’m going to string together photos on these Wednesday posts of homes, churches, schools and other locations that play a part in our family history.  It will be fun to see what develops.  I have a few ideas already.  But I encourage all my cousins out there to send me contributions of your family’s homes, maybe a place your Mom or Dad worked, a school or whatever location had a role in the family’s history. 
Thanks for visiting Indiana Ties!
copyright © Nancy Niehaus Hurley