Sunday, March 29, 2015

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Newspaper Headlines on My Father's Birth Date - March 26, 1916

Oh Shoot!  I almost forgot.  I wanted to participate in the Saturday Night Genealogy Fun at Randy Seaver's blog: This Saturday was the perfect one for me - my Dad's birthday would have been two days ago and Randy chose "Newspaper Headline On Your Father's Birthday" as this week's mission.  Even though it's a little past midnight (and I'm typing with a sore finger that I smashed in the washing machine lid)  I really want to get into this Genealogy Fun!  
It's Saturday Night,
time for more Genealogy Fun!!

For this week's mission (should you decide to accept it), I challenge you to:
1)  What was your father's birth date?

2)  Find a newspaper from his hometown, or a nearby larger town or city, that was published on that date.  What was the major headline on page 1 of that issue of the newspaper?

3)  Share your headline with us in your own blog post, in a comment on this blog post, or in a Facebook or Google+ post.

    My Dad, Frank J. Niehaus, was born March 26, 1916, in Indianapolis, Indiana.  I am choosing to use the March 25, 1916, Indianapolis News for my headlines since he was born on a Sunday and they published the News Monday through Saturday.    I am partial to this paper as my brother, sister and I all carried the paper in our neighborhood.  Besides…maybe his mother, Louise Albers Niehaus, began her delivery of Frank on the 25th!
     The headlines for that day center mostly on conflicts around the world.  Of course, in 1916 the big stories were about World War I: 
           "Americans on Damaged Ship - Cause is not Determined -- Opinion Divided As To Mine or Torpedo." 
           The_Indianapolis_News_Sat__Mar_25__1916_"Disaster To Ships Annoys Capital --  State Department Awaits Additional Facts - Situation Declared Acute"
   "Correspondent On Board The Sussex Quotes Three Americans As Saying They Saw Torpedo coming Toward Vessel"
   "Verdun In Flames, Berlin Reports"
     On another front, the southern border of the United States, there were American troops involved in pursuing Pancho Villa:
          "Villa Reported Fleeing West -- Outlaw Said To Have Eluded American and Carranza Forces Surrounding Him"
     And another interesting report that may or may not pertain to Pancho Villa:
         "Ore Deflects Radio Waves, Affects Wireless at Border" (Columbus, New Mexico) -- Enormous ore deposits in the mountains of     northern Mexico have been responsible for much of the trouble experienced with the army wireless apparatus……….
      The local headline of note involved a unsuccessful bank robbery attempt in a "sleepy town" 20 miles south of Indianapolis.  I wasn't aware that Greenwood was yet established:
          "Greenwood Bank is Partly Wrecked -- Interior of Citizens National Bank Is Damaged In Attempt To Blow The Vault"
    At first review, a few items aside from the headlines caught my attention in this Indianapolis News.  First, right up front there is a list of about 30 people who were on board the ship named the Sussex that is reported to have been "torpedoed" crossing the British Channel.  I wonder if we would publish those names in the newspaper so quickly today. And also, the newspaper costs Two Cents - Five Dollars Per Year.  For being almost 100 years ago, I guess that computes.
     It's always interesting to read old newspapers, especially those that connect directly with a family event. At this point in our history, people were most definitely nervously watching the events unfold in Europe. But I would imagine that Louise and John Niehaus had little on their minds on March 25 or 26 except their third child arriving. 
     Thanks for letting me participate in Saturday Night Genealogy Fun.  I think I'll try to get in earlier next Saturday.  I've enjoyed myself.
    Thanks for visiting Indiana Ties,
copyright © Nancy Niehaus Hurley

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Martha's Heritage Quilt - Treasure Chest Thursday

        There are many remembrances that spring up whenever these unique quilts unfold.  Faces, personalities, celebrations - they all start flowing into our heads. Now I have Marti looks at the handiwork by cousins, aunts, uncles, and youngsters in the family.another heirloom brimming with memories to preserve here in our virtual Family Treasure Chest.
       Speaking of memories, last week I had a delightful birthday celebration with my sister, Marti.  The two of us had a fun sister day. Our gabbing during those kinds of visits can be expected to cover nearly everything.  Somehow Marti brought up my latest posts about quilts for Treasure Chest Thursday.  Oh super!!  That's what I was trying to remember -- to take photos of the family heritage quilt that she has in that special place at her house.  So now I can feature  another beautiful creation by Peg (Weber) Stull.   Here's the Niehaus reunion quilt that belongs to my sister Marti (Martha Niehaus Fleetwood).
    In the photo on the left top Marti's reading the inscriptions, probably the 100th time she's looked them over.  I know that different thoughts come to mind on each occasion.  We smiled as we read several that day and remarked about the people included in those memories.
     These heritage quilts are touching in many ways. Over the years they all connect to one another, yet are distinctly different. They hold history of the family, each square carefully prepared by someone attending that particular reunion. The pleasure/skill/ingenuity/care is evident to everyone who participates.  I think they wrap everyone together - Much appreciation goes to Peg for crafting the family quilt every year.those family Marti's Quilt Square: Donald, Martha, Nancy Rose, Nance Carole & Linda; Children of Frank & Rosemary Niehaus; Grandchildren of John & Louise Niehauswho take time to gather each year with those that began and carried on the reunion tradition all those years ago.  
     Also in these photos are two perfect examples of how we carry our loved ones along with us in this way.  Peg made the square on the right remembering her husband, James Stull (Shad) and his mother, Josephine (Niehaus) Stull. 
     Pictured on the bottom left is the quilt square personalized by my sister.  She included the four sisters and one brother in our family, our parents and Niehaus grandparents. Those six family members who've passed on (and someday the rest of us) are now memorialized in this heirloom.  That's nice.
     I appreciate Marti letting me tuck her family heritage quilt inside our Family Treasure Chest on Indiana Ties. 
Thanks for visiting,
Copyright © Nancy Niehaus Hurley

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Weber Scrapbook - Marbles and Memories

     I came across another fantastic old photo in my Weber files. This one says a great deal on its own - sibling rivalry, kids having fun, games of the 1930s, etc.  But as I was putting together the bits of information about this captured moment in time, there seemed to be more there than the obvious story to tell. 
     MarblesHere's brother and sister, Harry and Dolly Weber, intensely involved in a game of marbles.  The vintage is approximately 1935, making their ages 8 and 9.  Love the wool hats anchored on their heads as they stare at the marble game they have drawn in the dirt. Dolly gets ready to take aim and Harry might be giving her pointers.  They are completely oblivious to the photographer, their brother Bob.  Who do you think won this round of marbles?
     But, I have a few more pieces of this story because of where I got the photo. There's no doubt who these two kids are because Bob Weber marked their names in his scrapbook next to the photo. He also wrote the word "jiggs" near the photo.  I presume that's the name of the game they're playing.  Couldn't find jiggs on the Internet, but I did find a page that has everything about marbles games and types of marbles. Did you know there has been a National Marbles Tournament since 1922?  That was fun reading and watching videos, but I needed to get back to my photo. If you'd like to go into the world of marbles, I'm posting a link to this fun page below.
     Anyway, preparing this photo to post on Indiana Ties became more interesting.  Since I scanned Bob's scrapbook page as a whole, containing two other photos, I don't have this marbles photo as a stand alone copy.  Don't know what I was thinking!   So, here I was trying to make a "good copy."  My first thought was to use a computer program to separate this one and straighten it out.  It didn't work - too crooked. So, I did the best I could.  My copy is kind of sideways and still shows the corners holding it into the scrapbook. But after thinking more about the people involved, I think I like it this way.  This version shows the flavor of how Uncle Bob stored these keepsakes.  He also included on the page a photo of their father, Harry, with a huge fish that he caught.  And sister, Gin, is pictured in the middle of a knitting project. (More on those at a later date.)  If I had taken each photo out and scanned them separately I might have lost an ingredient -- Uncle Bob's handiwork and his memories of his family. 
     I believe the Weber Scrapbook has a place all it's own at Indiana Ties.  Stay tuned for more lasting impressions from this scrapbook.
     Thanks for visiting Indiana Ties.

If you would like to have some fun with marbles, here's that website:
Click here for Weber Family slideshow. 

copyright © Nancy Niehaus Hurley

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Niehaus Heritage Quilt - Treasure Chest Thursday

Young and old, shy and boisterous, skinny and plump, male and female, talented and challenged — The members of the Niehaus family contributed to this unique treasure. 2012 Niehaus Family Heritage Quilt
This is the second in what I can imagine will be a “quilt series” on Treasure Chest Thursday. There are too many great possibilities in this category, right?
This time I’m featuring the Niehaus Heritage Quilt that I acquired by winning the annual family reunion raffle in 2012. It contains quilt squares written by hand by those attending the Niehaus reunion in 2011, as well as a photo of Gertrude (Wilmsen) Niehaus (1847-1895),my immigrant great grandmother. The fall colors motif reminds me of the oranges and yellows of the leaves in Indiana as they float off the trees each year.
Again, the quilter is Peg (Weber) Stull. This special piece is brimming with love and history that is threaded through it from here and there. Peg uses the squares created on-site by family members attending each reunion for the foundation of the quilt. Once the reunion is over and she takes stock of her stash of signed squares, she hunts carefully for the unique fabric to work into that particular year’s quilt. In the past few years I’ve also contributed family photo squares to bring a sampling of the ancestors into the picture. Peg then prepares her layout and gets to work. She has been known also to call on nieces or daughters Martha Niehaus Fleetwood quilt squareor sisters to help with the final stitching of the backing. For instance, you can see on the square in one of these photos that my sister, Martha, helped out. Peg’sSampling of squares on Niehaus Heritage Quilt. creativity and skill bring the project to fruition.
The singularity of these quilted mementos is unmatched. There’s a personal tale told on each 6x6 piece. And they all intertwine into our shared history. I was so happy to have my number drawn for this jewel. It will be preserved and cherished.
Send me your quilt story and photos if you would like to see it featured here.  Or any item that you are keeping in that special place in your house to someday be handed down.

Thanks so much for visiting Indiana Ties,

copyright 2015 © Nancy Niehaus Hurley

Thursday, February 26, 2015

My Special Quilt From Aunt Peg - Treasure Chest Thursday

    What should be in a family treasure chest?  Of course, it would contain items of value in various ways from a variety of people.  These treasures should bring thoughts of a person or an event, or maybe a tradition of some kind.   Not necessarily monumental memories of monumental events.  Just those little pieces that give the color and life to our stories.  And there would be some additions that are more important to some than others. Overall, the ingredients of this treasure chest when gathered together would paint a family story. 
     I have a few items already in our family's treasure chest here on Indiana Ties. (Click on Treasure Chest Thursday in the left column to see them.)  Now, it's time to fill it some more.  IMG_4387
     My special ingredient to add to the treasure chest today is a quilt made for me by Aunt Peg, (Margaret Weber Stull, daughter of Harry Lawrence Weber and Otillia "Tillie" Kuhn).   I remember clearly the day she surprised me with this lovely creation.  I was visiting at her Nancy and so that she could look over the quilt squares made with family heritage photos that I put together.  She adds them to the family's signature blocks to create our family reunion quilt.  It's so beautiful how she puts it all together.  I have absolutely no quilting knowledge.  Aunt Peg is an expert.  For me, to be able to have some small part in these family heirlooms is a joy. 
     Well anyway, about two years ago she decided that she would make me a quilt as a thank you.  I was flabbergasted when she presented me with this handmade piece.  The quilt is made of denim squares, some of them she has salvaged from old blue jeans. Over the years Peg has used this denim for various quilts and I love the idea.  To complete this gift she added a personal message on the back with her signature.
     I will always love this quilt and the memories that are a part of it.  It's priceless.
       I'm making plans for the Indiana Ties website for 2015 that involve having more fun with the family.  Wouldn't it be great to reach 100 special family treasures in this treasure chest?  Glad you agree.  Winking smile  I've started already looking more closely for those important pieces in my boxes and shelves.  And I have a few ideas. But the fun would really begin with stuff I don't know about yet.  So here we go cousins!  Do you have something that should go inside?  Maybe it's a photo of a favorite vacation, or a car that your dad restored or your son's prize-winning soap box derby entry.  Send me a photo.  What's the story behind it? Just include a few words that give the background and show the value to you.  It doesn't have to be expensive or elaborate or museum quality.  Just valuable to you.  There's room in this virtual chest for all our family treasures.
     Thanks for visiting Indiana Ties.

copyright © Nancy Niehaus Hurley

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Tribute to Janie (Stull) Hickman -- 1919 - 2015

     There are certain people that add their own special ingredient to our lives.  You know the ones.  They have a lasting smile that reflects in their eyes.  They have a quiet strength, so that you know you can always count on them.  And their sense of humor is ready to bubble up at any time.  These are among the qualities that I would list as Janie Hickman's.    I can see her now helping Jane (Stull) Hickman and her husband, Kemome fill in the blanks in our Niehaus family history.  Any time she could name the people in an old photo or provide details of a family story, she'd sit down and chat.  I even interviewed her a few years ago from Arizona during the winter so that I could complete a story for our newsletter.  Above all, she had a caring nature.  I know that my dad was happy to have her as a cousin and so am I.
     Janie left this world on February 11.  My condolences to her children, grandchildren and all who cared for her.  I feel sure there's a card game in heaven with a seat open for her.  May she rest in peace.
Obituary published on, 2/13/15:
Jane G. Hickman,
age 95, a life-long resident of Indianapolis, died February 11, 2015, peacefully with her loved ones by her side. She was born on August 19, 1919, to Albert and Josephine Niehaus (Van Benthuysen) Stull. She attended Bluff Avenue Grade School and was a 1937 graduate of Southport High School. She was married to Gilbert L. Hickman, Sr. for 34 years until his death in 1976. Jane and Gilbert were Libbe (Hickman) O'Connor, Jane (Stull) Hickman, Gib Hickmanparents to four children, Gilbert "Gib" L. Hickman (Tina), Trudy Harbison (William), Jacksonville, FL, Elizabeth "Libbe" O'Connor (Kieran), and Mary Graham (deceased).
Jane worked at Bluff Avenue Elementary School and retired from J C Penny as well as Indiana Heart Physicians, but managed to dedicate her time to volunteer at St. Francis Hospital off and on for over a period of 30 years. She loved to be involved where she could in making others lives a little bit easier and all the while making life-long friendships along the way.
Jane's life was centered around her love of Jesus and her love for her family. She was known for her great hugs and sense of humor. She was blessed to have eight grandchildren: Ann McDavitt, Mahomet, IL, Chris O'Connor (Cindy), Nathanial Grow (Peggy), Jasper, IN, Jill Hickman, Heather Harbison, Charlotte, NC, Darby O'Connor (Dana), Brooke Graham, and Kelley Hastings (Eddie), Jacksonville, FL. Great grandchildren include Ryan McDavitt, Olivia McDavitt, Kellen McDavitt, Mary McDavitt, Shalyn Grow, Gabriel Grow, Emma Grow, Lydia Grow, Darrick Teague, Jr., Holly Dray, Fairbanks, AK., Chloe O'Connor, Addie O'Connor, Caleb O'Connor, Alice O'Connor, Henry O'Connor, Ethan O'Connor, Will Hastings, Wyatt Hastings, Declan O'Connor, and Daelyn O'Connor. Her great-great grandchildren are Remi, Mossy, Kimber, and Steele Dray.
She continued throughout her life to spread as much love as she could to those whom she met...always for the underdog and always trying to be kind and giving, even at the end of her life. She was thoughtful of others, usually before herself, and had a sensitivity for trying to Niehaus Reunion 2003 (19)understand others and their problems. She had many trials in her long life, but managed somehow to stand up to them, being an example to others of her strength, her faith, and her will.
Those family and friends that she leaves behind will never forget her as her legacy of love will live on in all who were blessed to have known her.
Visitation will be held on Friday, February 13, from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at Faith Community Church, 6801 S. East Street, Indianapolis. Additional visitation will be held on Saturday from 12:00 p.m. until the time of service at 1:00 p.m. at the church. Arrangements have been entrusted to G. H. Herrmann Madison Avenue Funeral Home.
Jane will be laid to rest in Washington Park East Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to One Body Ministries, Inc., 3132 Carson Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46227. Online condolences may be shared with the family at

Janie is pictured in the above photos as follows:
-- with two of her children, Libbe and Gib, at the 2013 Niehaus family reunion. 
-- with her husband, Gilbert L. Hickman, Sr., Kemo.
-- with her cousin, Norris Niehaus, at the 2005 Niehaus family reunion.

You are more than welcome to leave your thoughts about Jane Hickman as a comment below. Thanks for visiting Indiana Ties. 

copyright © Nancy Niehaus Hurley

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Ferdinand Marsischky -- The Wagon Maker From Pomerania (Pommern) --- 52 Ancestors Challenge

Note: The 52 Ancestors Challenge is the creation of Amy Johnson Crow at  She's bringing together family history writers to share ancestral stories each week in 2014.   There’s a weekly update on Amy's blog where participants leave comments linking to their stories.  Although I've not been able to keep to the once-per-week goal, I've noticed how this challenge is motivating and lots of fun to read the variation of stories of others.  Thanks again, Amy.
     What's Pomerania?
     I've been exploring in Pomerania (German: Pommern) lately so that I could understand the region where my third great grandfather, Ferdinand Marsischky, lived.  What I have learned so far is that Pomerania history is complex!   As is the case with most of Europe, the governing powers, names and boundaries changed often as wars determined
new states.  In Ferdinand Marsischky's lifetime (approx. 1830-1900) and the timeframe that his children lived in the country, Pomerania was a province in the northeastern area of the Kingdom of Prussia (Germany).  The Baltic Sea creates its northern border. As I was saying, the history involves numerous invasions and changes in power. There are links at the bottom of this post where you can read more historic details.  For now, skip forward to a major upheaval that resulted in today's status: In 1945, long after the Marsischky sons emigrated to America and Ferdinand had died, the territory became part of Poland.
     Who were our Marsischkys?
     After looking at the history of Pomerania, I've decided that the Marsischky family could be Prussian/German, Polish, or Slavic.  In fact, there could be more ethnic possibilities since this region was under many rulers, even Sweden for a time. The surname Marsischky might be presumed to be Polish due to the spelling.  But, from the few pieces of information I have on the family, it appears that they were more likely German. The family was/is Lutheran, which also coincides with the history of many areas of northern Europe/Prussia after the Protestant Reformation and the Germanic influence.
    How and where did Ferdinand Live?  
Dumrose, Stolp, Pomerania
     On the map I am posting of Europe in 1866, you can see from my red arrow the vicinity of the Marsischky home - in the eastern-most region of Pomerania (called Hinter Pommern, Farther Pomerania).  In the 1850s, Ferdinand Marsischky lived in the Kreis (district/county) Stolp.  From Ferdinand's son's marriage records I know that he was born in Dumrose, a rural village in Stolp.  (Of course, due to more wars there are border changes in 1866-1871 that change this map somewhat. But Pomerania remains a part of Prussia/Germany.  After World War II, if there were any living descendants of Ferdinand in this same area, they most likely migrated to other parts of Europe when the Russian Army forced most inhabitants out and the Poles took over. The name of the towns and districts were changed when it became Poland; Dumrose is now Domaradz, and Stolp is Slupsk.)
      The economy in Kreis Stolp was supported by fishing and agriculture in the 19th century. In addition to wheat and other crops, the farmers had cows, sheep, pigs, geese, chickens and hives for bees.  The Kreis was sparsely populated, and had small villages through the countryside.  Ferdinand Marsischky supported his family as a wagon maker, providing an essential service to his fellow Pomeranians.  The forests of Pomerania would have provided a good supply of timber for his trade.  His wagons were necessary for transporting products for sale, both in the surrounding villages and a short distance north to the Baltic Sea for sale or shipping to other ports.  If you were driving one of Ferdinand's wagons in Stolp you would pass through rolling hills with forests and farms.  And as you reached the small town of Dumrose the countryside became moreMarket Wagon, ca. 1900, from The Carriage Museum in New York - flat.  That's when you might pass by the estate or manor house of the local nobility. I would guess that family purchased the upscale model of Ferdinand's wagons! 
     Here's a nice description of the area from  "In the rural countryside, everyone lived in small villages often centered around the landed estates (Guts). The Guts generally consisted of a large manor house, several huge barns and stables and often a flour mill or distillery.  A majority of the villages had one church, the Evangelical Church, with an adjoining cemetery.  Most had less than a few hundred inhabitants living in a few dozen houses or households.  In some villages, homes simply lined both sides of the road (a plan followed by the Wends); in others, homes were clustered around a central commons with the manor house at one end and the church at the other (Germanic plan).  These communal villages not only provided protection for the residents but facilitated easy access to the fields that radiated outward from the village."
      I don't yet know Ferdinand's exact life span, but an estimate would be approximately 1830 to 1900.   We know he was living in Stolp County in the mid 19th century, when he would have seen Pomerania get its first overland railways, including narrow gauge railways to transport crops.  The railroad and other eventual means of transportation, of course, impacted Ferdinand's wagon-making business.  He could foresee his trade disappearing.   And probably these cultural changes were an influence on how the Marsischky family looked for the next generation's livelihoods. These developments and others involving politics, economic hardships and wars must have weighed on Ferdinand's mind as a father.  Can we think of the conversations with his children about joining the huge number of fellow citizens leaving their homeland for opportunities in America?  Presuming that Ferdinand and his wife, Charlotte, were still alive in 1881, we can only imagine the family conversation as their son, Wilhelm, sat with them to discuss the decision that he and his wife, Carrie, made to travel with their four children to America to establish a new home. But that's another story.
     Ferdinand Marsischky, the wagon maker, most likely remained in Pomerania until his death.  I have no indication that he came to America with his children. But, did he migrate to Berlin or another larger city for employment?  Or to Russia?  This place called Pomerania has captured my attention. I hope to have more of Ferdinand's story in time.   
     To see the Family Group details for Ferdinand and Charlotte Marsischky, CLICK HERE.   Do you have a Marsischky story to share?   Thanks for visiting Indiana Ties

My sources on Pomerania and Wagons:

The Long Island Museum of American Art, History & Carriages
Michiana History Publications, South Bend, Indiana, Central Europe map/information
Germanic Genealogy Society Click here to read more about Pomerania.
Other related posts and genealogy from Indiana Ties:
Wilhelm (William) F. Marsischky -- Where Did He End UP?
Ladies In My Line - Martha Marsischky Albers

Copyright © 2014  Nancy Niehaus Hurley