Julie's Genealogy & History Hub

Julie's Genealogy & History Hub -

What’s Your Number? Revisited, Again!


Back in 2012, I wrote What’s Your Number? (…and an Epiphany), which prompted me to evaluate known ancestors in my direct line. I revisited the numbers again in 2015  in What’s Your Number? – Revisited. The point of the posts was to illustrate that genealogy is never “done.” There are always new ancestors and collateral relatives to discover. Also, there’s always more to learn about the individuals that make up your tree.

I thought it would be nice to check in and see where my numbers are at today and compare that to the 2012 and 2015 numbers. Keep in mind that I have only counted ancestors that I have identified and am comfortable with the proof, excepting any unknown non-paternal event(s). I know I haven’t lost any ancestors (whew!), but how many (if any) did I gain. Let’s take a look.

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Researching My Luxembourg Roots: Using Luxemburger Gazette & Luxemburger Club Records


It’s been awhile since I’ve been able to do any research on my Luxembourg roots. A little over a week ago, I was able to attend a lecture entitled “Luxembourgers in Aurora,” presented by Sara Jacoby, the executive director of the Luxembourg American Cultural Society. Since my Luxembourgers settled in Aurora, Illinois, I did not want to miss this presentation, so I made arrangements to go. And since the lecture was held in Aurora, I had to get in some research time while I was there.

My first stop was the Aurora Public Library. I haven’t been there since 2011, when they were in the old building. The new building has a special, climate-controlled room for their local history and genealogy collection. Here I was able to explore a wide variety of sources I didn’t get to look at on my last trip in 2011. I was also able to dip my toes into the Luxemburger Gazette, which they have on microfilm. This was my first experience with this newspaper, and only my second experience in German newspapers (you can read my post Checking Out Chicago’s Old German Newspapers for information and tips).

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Checking Out Chicago’s Old German Newspapers

Wait…what?  Julie’s working on her own genealogy?  Yes, it’s been quite some time since I’ve been able to work on my own family history, much less blog about it.  Sadly, I’ve been sitting on this find since May 2014, yikes!  But today, with actual free time (I know, shocking!!), I decided to work on my ever-growing pile of “stuff” accumulated from various research trips over the last few years.  It’s a neat find and I thought I’d share it with my genealogy buddies.

Over the last few years (when I have time, that is), I have been working on a few of my German lines, using German records both in the United States and abroad.  Stepping into this land of records is challenging due to the fact that the language AND the handwriting/text is foreign.  While I don’t have total command over this obstacle yet, I continue to grow.  Heck, I found this tiny little notice about my second great-grandfather’s death, despite the fact that his name was spelled wrong.  How often have we overlooked a short notice in a newspaper that’s written in our native tongue?  (I’ve got my hand raised!)  What’s more, I haven’t seen this newspaper clipping (or much else in German script) for almost a year, and I could still glance at it and find what I needed!  Boy, if I can do it, anyone can!!  Though I’ll admit, I had my cheat-sheet with me, that has all of my surnames shown in the German script used in the newspaper so I could easily identify them.  I blogged about doing the same thing for German handwriting while perusing German church records (see Tip for German Research – Write it Out…in GERMAN!).

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What’s Your Number? – Revisited

Back in August 2012, I had read an interesting post that prompted me to evaluate known ancestors in my direct line.  I wrote the blog post What’s Your Number? (…and an Epiphany), which showed my numbers as well as what I discovered about past and present (at the time) research habits.

I have seen a few people posting about this recently, and I thought it was time to do an update and see if any of my numbers went up as a result of the research (albeit minimal) I had done since August 2012.  I am happy to report that I have discovered 10 additional direct-line ancestors, mostly confirming suspicions I previously set out to prove or disprove (side note – a research plan can be a great thing!).

My new numbers are…

What's Your Number - Direct Line Ancestors.xls

My increases occurred in generations 6 through 8.  I’d like to be able to complete the sixth generation.  Most of those left to discover are the parents of my fifth generation immigrant ancestors.  Knowing the parents and the place of origin for these fifth generation ancestors will likely open new doors to the seventh generation and possibly beyond.

As I stated in my first post, this doesn’t mean I am done with the known ancestors.  I am still working to understand their lives and the times and places in which they lived.  I’m pleased that I was able to add 10 direct-line ancestors to my family, but I am also enjoying the things I’ve learned about the other people I’ve been studying, including collaterals.

I plan to check in at the end of 2015 to see where my numbers are at.  The family I am currently working on the most, if the mystery can be solved, has the potential to add two more people to the seventh generation.  Perhaps by the end of 2015 I will be up to 102 total known direct-line ancestors.  But even if the number stays at 100, even for several years, I’m okay with that.

A Breakthrough in the Emil Müller Case

How appropriate—it’s been four years to the day that I last wrote about any progress on the case of my second great-grandfather, Emil Müller.  Sadly, it’s taken about that long to make much progress, but I have made some major breakthroughs that I thought I’d share.

Last March, Archives.com released a collection of Evangelical Lutheran Church of America records.  To say I was ecstatic would be an understatement, as I knew I wanted to get my hands on those records, knowing the Müller family attended a church in Chicago that eventually became a part of the ELCA (I also knew that the records were a part of the ELCA archives).  Armed with a seven-day trial, I managed to find some records.  No real breakthroughs at that point, although I uncovered a possible second marriage for Emil (which was confirmed).

Several months passed, and by August, I decided to set aside some time to do more work on this family by going though all the church records.  So I signed up for a one-month subscription to Archives.com and got to work.  I knew the family had been associated with the church through at least three generations (now I know it is actually four), which meant a lot of record browsing.  I went through nearly 100 years of baptisms, marriages, and deaths.  I looked at each entry, concerning myself not only with the Müller surname (as either primary participants or witnesses) but the surnames of witnesses I found in Müller events.

Cluster genealogy is a wonderful thing, and to make a very long story short, by late October, I was able to give Emil a mother and a brother.  Additionally, I learned the whole identity of his mother, thereby giving Emil an uncle and some first cousins.

Fortunately, back in September 2012, I had identified a potential area in Prussia where Emil came from.  I had it narrowed down to Bromberg, Posen, Prussia.  Bromberg is a city, and “county” and a “state” so who knew what would come of this information.  Another fortunate find was a village name listed in one of his mother’s church records.  The village of Maximilanowo, situated in Bromberg Kreis (county) suggested that Emil was probably from this smaller village.

Anyway, back in October 2013, I actually found an index entry for him in the Germany Births and Baptisms, 1558-1898 database at FamilySearch.  No doubt it was him, and I also found an entry for his brother and his mother.  I couldn’t wait until January to walk into the Family History Library and retrieve the records. 

I don’t know when this family got so easy!  Really, it didn’t, or at least it wouldn’t have, if I hadn’t taken the time to comb through all those church records using the cluster genealogy technique.  And while I did obtain those baptism records and more, I also uncovered some additional information that I was not expecting, but that’s a story for another time.  In the meantime, here are the three baptism records I obtained.

Emil August Müller Baptism Record

MILLER, Emil Baptism Register (Page 1)

MILLER, Emil Baptism Register (Page 2)

Source:  Evangelishcen Gemeine zu Bromberg [Evangelical Congregation of Bromberg] (Bromberg, Bromberg, Posen, Prussia), “Taufen [Baptisms], 1862-1864,” entry no. 1310, p. 486, baptism of Emil August Müller (1863); FHL microfilm 245,344.

Entry no. 1310  /  born 15 December 1863  /  Legitimate male  /  born in Bromberg  /  baptized 27 December 1863  /  given name, Emil August  /  Pastor Romberg  /  father, Friedrich Müller  /  mother, Maria Wojan  /  parents both of the Evangelical faith  /  father’s occupation, tailor  /  witnesses:  Gottlieb Wojan, a potter, and Albertina[?] Thiede, a single female.

Eduard Friedrich Müller  Baptism Record

MILLER, Eduard Baptism Register (Page 1)

MILLER, Eduard Baptism Register (Page 2)

Source:  Evangelishcen Gemeine zu Bromberg [Evangelical Congregation of Bromberg] (Bromberg, Bromberg, Posen, Prussia), “Taufen [Baptisms], 1859-1861,” entry no. 929, p. 405, baptism of Eduard Friedrich Müller (1860); FHL microfilm 245,343.

Entry no. 929  /  born 4 October 1860  /  Legitimate male  /  born in Bromberg  /  baptized 14 October 1860  /  given name, Eduard Friedrich  /  Pastor Romberg  /  father, Friendrich Müller  /  mother, Maria Wojan  /  parents both of the Evangelical faith  /  father’s occupation, tailor  /  witnesses:  Ottilie Michaeles[?], a single female, and Johann Lang, [occupation ?].

Maria Petronella Wojahn Baptism Record

WOJAHN, Maria 9413 - 1837 Baptism Register (Page 1)

WOJAHN, Maria 9413 - 1837 Baptism Register (Page 2)

Source:  Evangelishcen Gemeine zu Bromberg [Evangelical Congregation of Bromberg] (Bromberg, Bromberg, Posen, Prussia), “Taufen [Baptisms], 1837-1841,” entry no. 216, p. 41, baptism of Maria Petronella Wojahn (1837); FHL microfilm 245,338. 

Entry no. 215  /  born 30 April 1837  /  Legitimate female  /  born in Maximilanowo  /  baptized 15 May 1837  /  given name, Maria Petronella  /  Pastor [?]  /  father, Johann Wojahn  /  mother, Elisabeth Niemann  /  parents both of the Evangelical faith  /  father’s occupation, [?]  /  witnesses:  Michael Wichmann[?], [occupation ?]; Christian Potratz, ditto; Regine Ristau, [?], Maria Niemann, ditto.

A Little Help Deciphering German Church Records

245337 1831-1836 Church Book coverBack in January, I acquired several church records for my family from Bromberg, Posen, Preußen.  While I have had luck deciphering most of them (thanks to my handy book German-English Genealogical Dictionary and, of course, Google Translate), there are a few that I’m having trouble reading.  I thought maybe my readers would be able to offer a hand.

There are four records, which I will describe briefly below.  I have uploaded PDFs for each, which includes the full-page image as well as any close-ups.  The text I’m struggling with is highlighted.  Any help would be greatly (very greatly!!) appreciated.  You are welcome to leave a comment (which is nice so others can see) or you can email me privately.

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Genealogy By the States – Week 48 – Arizona


I don’t do a lot of research in Arizona, but I do have some family members who relocated there later in their lives.  I knew that my second great-grandfather, Herman Leppin, died in Phoenix, but I didn’t have an exact date or death record.  Fortunately, several years ago, the Arizona Department of Health has digitized and made available online, death certificates from 1861 to 1962 (as well as birth certificates from 1855-1937).

So back in 2010, I was able to obtain the death certificate for Herman through this website.


Arizona Department of Health Services, death certificate 1773 (1948), Herman Leppin; digital image, Arizona Department of Health Services, Arizona Genealogy Birth and Death Certificates (http://genealogy.az.gov : accessed April 8, 2010).

Every now and then, I run into other family members who moved to Arizona and this is the first place I look for birth and death records.  Many thanks to the Arizona Department of Health for providing these records online.

Genealogy By the States is a theme created by Jim Sanders over at the Hidden Genealogy Nuggets blog.

Genealogy By the States – Week 47 – New Mexico

New Mexico

Not too much in the way of family in New Mexico.  I have traveled through New Mexico a few times, staying in Tocumcari twice on said travels.  My husband’s grandfather died in New Mexico, the details of which I know nothing about.

Other than that, the only thing I can think of involves three other states.  That’s right, the four corners of New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and Colorado.  Below is my grandfather occupying all four states at one time.  I guess you can be in two (or three, or four) places at once.

Four Corners

Genealogy By the States is a theme created by Jim Sanders over at the Hidden Genealogy Nuggets blog.