Sunday, January 14, 2018

More Risch Family Connections --- A Surprise Cousin Emerges From My Childhood

     My latest cousin connection has an extra layer of curiosity.  A few weeks ago I was contacted through email by someone who found family history at Indiana Ties that he thought linked us together.  That alone is always reason for excitement.  But then I read on further in his message to find that we had really been connected many years ago in another way.  Joe reminded me of his name and that we had attended St. Roch’s  elementary school on Indianapolis’s south side together.  He gave me the family connection that made us 3rd cousins through Mathias Risch and Julianna Leppert.  Well knock me over!  All those years in the classroom together and we never had any inkling we were related.
    Of course, the messages have been flying back and forth between us.  We’re having a great time sharing stories and photos and talking through our knowledge.  There are family stories that Joe has passed along and some he’s still gathering from living individuals.   I plan to write them down for anyone who would be interested.  This Risch line is very large and I know there are others out there who would enjoy the history as much as we do. 
     For now, I thought I would share this wonderful family photo that Cousin Joe was kind enough to forward to me.  The lady in the center is Caroline Risch Busald, my great grand aunt and Joe’s great grandmother.  Her husband, Frank Busald, is seated on her left.  The entire family group is listed under the photo.  I believe this photo is taken around 1910 – 1915, judging from the ages of the family members.  Frank and Caroline moved from the farm in Dearborn County to Indianapolis, Indiana, in 1914.  Maybe that was the occasion when they decided to get everyone together for the family photo.
Frank & Caroline Risch Busald family, Dearborn County, Indiana and Indianapolis, Indiana, about 1914

Busald Family
Front row, left to right:  Clara Busald Strack, Caroline Risch Busald, Frank Busald, Julia Busald, Joseph Busald
Back Row: Addie Busald Wetli, Michael Busald, Elizabeth Busald Volz, Samuel Busald, Mary Busald Willett, Albert Busald, Flora Busald

     If you are another Risch cousin happening onto this family history, we'd love to hear from you.  Send me an email at nancyhurley1 at   Join the crowd!
Thanks for visiting Indiana Ties,

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Christmas Past 2002 – Wow! How Could It Be 15 Years? --- Wordless Wednesday Almost

2002 Christmas, Sisters: Linda May, Nancy Hurley, Marti Fleetwood

       I’m in that mode…reflecting with wonderment at the number of years that have passed as I sort through the multitude of old photos on my computer. Yes, it's the same old tune....yada, yada, yada. You know how it goes.  I’ll just take a few minutes to find a couple of photos to share at our family gathering. Then, the next thing you know the sun’s going down and your still “sorting.”
            So now, of course, I have another folder and too many ideas for using this group of photos.  Anyway, I'll get started by a selection for Wordless Wednesday (Almost).  Appropriately, I'm going 15 years ago to Christmas 2002 with my two sisters: Linda, Nancy and Martha.   We were enjoying our time at our annual holiday get-together. They'll be glad to see us all.💗😏

     Thanks for visiting Indiana Ties,

Copyright © 2017, Nancy Niehaus Hurley

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Expanding the Keen, Kraut, Kunkel and Kaufmann Family Connections With Church Records

     In my Keen, Elizabeth, Tombstoneearlier posts on Kraut Family Research I was so psyched to have found the church marriage record online of Elizabeth Kraut and Lawrence Keen in Baltimore, Maryland on 20 June 1847.  And OHHHH how those records brought abundantly fruitful family expansions. It’s time to elaborate on how those church records went even further in growing this family history.         Keen, Lawrence, Grave
     First Strong Hint:  Anton Kunkel is listed as a witness for the marriage of Elizabeth and Lawrence at St. Alphonsus church in 1847.  Since I had seen the Kunkel name before in a record, I knew I should go further investigating a possible family connection.   In the naturalization record for Lawrence Keen that I located last year,  a person named Anna Maria Kunkel was the witness. He had a sister named Anna Maria, but that’s all I had at that time.   And that’s why the Anton Kunkel name on Lawrence’s marriage record lit the light bulb for me.   From these two records,  I suspected that Anton Kunkel is married to Lawrence’s sister, Anna Maria Keen.   But I needed to find more back up for this family tie to be confirmed.  That’s how these church records assisted.
     More Interesting Hints:   As I combed through the Catholic church records posted online in Baltimore, I ran into multiple baptismal records at the St. James Catholic Church that contain the surnames Kunkel and Keen (with various surname spellings).  The family relationships started to fit into place and provide more cement for building this piece of the family structure.  Posted here are the baptisms in 1844 – 1846  that bring together these Kunkels with the Keens, as well as Kaufmanns.  I’ve created a chart that lists the four baptisms for Friedrich Lorenz Kaufmann, Antonius Kunkel, Joannes Kunkel and Anna Maria Kaufmann. 
Baptisms, Keen, Kunkel, Kaufmann, Baltimore, MD
     The Tangled Web: These church records have resulted in a tremendous web of family ties that would be frustrating if they weren’t so wonderfully helpful.  If anyone takes the time to read them on this posted report they might see that Lorenz Kihn (Lawrence Keen) is the sponsor for Friedrich and Antonius, who are children of Susanna Kihn and Anna Maria Kihn respectively.  These are Lawrence’s two sisters.  The brave reader would also find that Susanna Kaufmann is the sponsor for John Kunkel, son of Anton Kunkel and A. M. Kien.  And lastly, Anna Maria Kunkel is the sponsor for Anna Maria, daughter of Susanna Kihn Kaufmann.  Perfect examples of family ties!

Baptisms, Keen, Kunkel, Kaufmann, Baltimore, MD., 1844 - 1846


     As I said, this information could result in some confusion, maybe screaming, if the result wasn’t so great. The discovery of the Catholic church records online in Baltimore, Maryland, was a leap ahead for my family research.   With these revealing  segments of life I believe I have woven strong ties in the Keen, Kraut, Kunkel and Kaufmann families in Baltimore, Maryland in the 1840s.  Now I’ll be tracking them all to see how many of them migrate west to Ohio and Indiana with Lawrence and Elizabeth Keen.
   Thanks for visiting Indiana Ties,

Kraut Keen Marriage source: Archdiocese of Baltimore City, MD (Baltimore, MC), Church Registers, 1847 Marriages, page 10, Marriage, Lorenz Kihn, Elizabeth Kraut, 20 June 1847; FHL microfilm MdHr M1598, MdHr, M1598.
Link to Baltimore, Maryland, Catholic Church records online:,_Maryland#Online

Copyright © 2017, Nancy Niehaus Hurley

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Internet Archives Brings Us Voice of Will Rogers & More…. Treasure Chest Thursday

     I recently meandered down a path on a somewhat-indirect-but-intriguing journey while reading my family research related emails.  You see, Internet Archive has a newsletter with enticing tidbits that make you want to go see
Will Rogerswhat the story is behind each subject introduced.  And before you know it you’re exploring their collections.  I feel as though you open a treasure chest of information each time you visit.  So I’m bringing a short Treasure Chest Thursday note here to share another piece of the website that’s so rich with historical resources.
     On my latest trip into these intriguing archives,  I found myself listening to old recordings and discovered several witty Will Rogers sound bites.  There I was mesmerized in the 1920s and 30s.  Probably the fact that my Mom was a big admirer of his played a role in my curiosity.  Just one very brief example of what I found is in the link below to his brief, but entertaining,  “address to bankers” upon their gathering for a convention in 1924.  Somehow in his humorous comments he winds together bootleggers, congress and vice presidents.  Not only was the rhetoric somewhat ironic to the politics and general public feelings of today, but I thought it even closer to home perhaps.  While hearing the actual unique tenor of Will Rogers witty insights, I couldn’t help but wonder what my mother would’ve been thinking since her father, Harry L. Weber, was a banker during this time frame and beyond.  But, of course, Harry wasn’t of the ilk mentioned!
     Will Rogers persona was completely unguarded and transparent.  He summed up his personal philosophy this way: “Live your life so that whenever you lose you are ahead.”  (His statement in July, 1931. Quoted in the book “Will Rogers Says” that’s also available through Internet Archive’s website.) 
     This website has thousands of choices for browsing in text, audio, video and images.  That’s where I found the photo of Will above as well.  The recordings I referred to earlier include this link to “Will Rogers Talks To The Bankers.”  Another very entertaining and interesting overall philosophical Rogers collection is included in these 18 recordings where he gives his views on many issues and circumstances, such as, “Never miss a good chance to shut up.”  
     So, I’ll make this a short post for today since there’s a mess of places I have yet to visit in that storehouse at Internet Archive.

Thanks for visiting Indiana Ties,

Copyright © 2017, Nancy Niehaus Hurley

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Surprise Weber Photo Shared By Generous Cousins -- Wordless Wednesday Almost

     I’m grateful for my cousins who are generous in their sharing of photos of our Weber family.  At our reunion this summer I was given this beautiful wedding photo that turned out to have an extra bonus. 
     Several of us were sitting around the family history table soaking up photo albums owned by cousins Janet Weber Jenkins and Carole Ditlinger Greer.  Well, one of the photos kept falling out on the table, and then eventually on the ground.  Janet and Carole decided that I should have that photo.    The identification said “Lieland Wedding.”  We all knew the name referred to the wedding of Mary Stella Weber and John Lieland in 1921.  But the individuals weren’t listed on the photo.  So, of course, I gladly saved the photo in my box and returned home to do the research in my files.  Well, a pleasant surprise soon popped up.  I was reminded that my mother, Rosemary Weber, was the lovely little flower girl standing  on the right in the front row.  Lieland Wedding, John Lieland, May Weber, 1921
    The handsome group posing for this wedding that took place in St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Indianapolis, on 6 Sept 1921, are:
    First row: Fern Grace Lieland, May Stella Weber, bride;
   Lillian Weber, sister of bride; Rosemary Weber, niece of bride.
   Back row: Herbert Weber, brother of bride; John Lieland, groom; Clarence Weber, brother of bride; Leonard Paetz, cousin of bride

Thanks for visiting Indiana Ties,

Copyright © 2017, Nancy Niehaus Hurley

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Wordless Wednesday Almost -- Our Niehaus Group

     Last week I posted photos from the recent Niehaus Reunion of our family here in the Indianapolis area.  At that time I didn’t have the photo of the entire group assembled for that September 10 gathering.  So, I’m thinking…why not a Wordless Wednesday post for just that photo!?   Here’s the beautiful bunch of Niehaus descendants of Joseph and Gertrude Niehaus:         2017 Niehaus Reunion Group Photo, September 10, Pioneer Park, Mooresville, IN
       The representatives ranged from a few months old to a lovely 93 years of age.  I won’t try to name everyone right now.  But, the youngest at less than one year, Cuyler Brenchley, is about fourth from the right in the second row.  He’s being held by his great grandfather, Bo Buis.  The eldest family member attending at 93 is Peg Stull, who’s seated in the front row on the left.  Seated on the ground next to her are three of her great grandsons and her granddaughter, Connie Walters, is on her left.  My count of this  particular Niehaus clan is 65 and a few more were present earlier for a yummy meal and lots of friendly chatter.
     Thanks for visiting Indiana Ties,

See the Niehaus Reunion Page in the above tab for more updated photos.

Copyright © 2017, Nancy Niehaus Hurley

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Niehaus Reunion, Then and Now

Niehaus Reunion, About 1955, Probably at Longacre Park in Indianapolis.
     This past Sunday, September 10, was our annual Niehaus Reunion day.  A favorite cousin (second cousin actually), Gib Hickman, remarked to me that we surely must hold some kind of record for continuous family reunions.  I would agree.  By all the records I am aware of this is the 78th Niehaus Family Reunion.  I believe these events stand as a salute to the foundation provided by the 11 brothers and sisters who were children of Joseph and Gertrude Niehaus who made the journey from Germany to Indianapolis in 1886. 
     I hope that the tradition continues down through many more generations.  We don’t organize too many games or take counts of the attendees (maybe we should).  But we have all kinds of friendly conversation and good food and a family heritage quilt raffle that's outstanding. There’s always a nice mix of reminiscing about those who used to be with us and sharing updates on our latest moves or the kids activities.  Of course you also will hear some Colts or other NFL chatter in the mix.  And, of course, we all  stuff ourselves with the pot luck ingredients that include more fried chicken, special casseroles and salads and delicious desserts than any family can stand. 
      And now....I really want to make note of something special that happened to me at this reunion.  My cousin, Dianna Pugh, sorted through her family album recently and turned up a Niehaus Reunion photo from approximately 1955. She decided to bring a copy to me.  I’m so happy to have this.   Pictured above sharing some treasured family time are the five Niehaus brothers and sisters alive at the time of the 1955 family reunion.  They are seated facing the camera, left to right: Lena Niehaus Kleinsmith, Annie Niehaus Donahue, Minnie Niehaus Kirn, Joe Niehaus and John Niehaus (my grandfather).  I would guess this is taken at Longacre Park on the south side of Indianapolis.  I'd be interested to know what others in the family can say about the photo.
     This is a rare photo in my collection and I appreciate Dianna thinking of me, especially to take the time to bring a copy for me.  I know these sisters and brothers would be happy to know that 62 years later we’re carrying on their family tradition.
      Below are photos of a few of the John Niehaus (man on right in above photo) descendants celebrating their family heritage in 2017.  First photo below: Evelyn Ellis Simmerman is in the middle of some of the fun members of her clan.  Evelyn’s one of John Niehaus’s granddaughters.  She’s flanked by (left to right) Brenda Henigan, her daughter; Kim Mannix, her daughter-in-law; Kevin Mannix, her son and a granddaughter whose name I’m sorry to report I’ve forgotten at this time.  She’a a good sport and a friendly great great granddaughter of John's. (I promise I'll remember your name in the middle of the night!)

Evelyn Ellis Simmerman's Family, 2017 Niehaus Reunion

     Below are members of my own family representing us well at the reunion.  Here’s my husband, Jerry Hurley, my sister, Marti (Niehaus) Fleetwood, John Niehaus’s granddaughter and my daughter, Krissy Underwood, John’s great granddaughter.  What a great photographer took this one.

Nancy Niehaus Hurley"s Family: Jerry Hurley, Marti Fleetwood, Krissy Underwood, 2017 Niehaus Reunion
     Thanks from me to everyone of my relatives who made a point to be a part of the 2017 Niehaus Reunion.  You'll find lots of fun photos, including the beautiful heritage quilt created by Marti, if you click here:  Niehaus Reunion Page

     I appreciate your visit to Indiana Ties.  If you have family history to share, feel free to leave me a message and I’ll be sure to include your story or photos here. 
     Come back soon,
     Copyright © 2017, Nancy Niehaus Hurley