How We Found the “lost children”…

17 Oct

Screen Shot 2015-10-17 at 11.36.13 PMPoking through Puzzilla led me to August and Mary (Gilbert) Schuck. August is one of the sons of my great-great-great grandparents, Jacob and Elizabeth Schuck. I noticed that August and his wife only had two children listed, which wouldn’t be out of the ordinary except that they lived in the 1870’s when birth control wasn’t the norm, and having more than two children was. So, curious, I decided to try to see if August and Mary had more children that we didn’t know about.

I’ll make a long story much shorter…

I wound up in the 1910 US Census because I knew that it would list the number of children a mother gave birth to as well as the number of children that were still living in 1910. If there was a difference, then we’d know there were more children (assuming that she reported correctly). Here’s what I found:

Screen Shot 2015-10-17 at 10.49.03 PM Screen Shot 2015-10-17 at 10.48.55 PMNoticed that she has listed 6 children being born, but only 3 still living? There was the clue I needed. Now, knowing that three children weren’t still alive in 1910, I started searching death records with August and Mary as the parents. Very quickly I found two death records, one for Addison and one for George. Both died before they were 6,  but not as infants, so I’d like to find the cause of death, but I haven’t searched that far yet and I’m not sure I’ll be able to find the causes. Here are their indexed death records:

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I would imagine that 1879 and 1880 were tough years for the Schuck family. And, as you can tell from my story, I haven’t found the other two missing children. We’ll see what we can find in the coming weeks.

You’ll notice that the death record has a street address where the family lived when these two young boys passed away. Using Google Maps, I found the area and where their home would’ve been, but the house or building has been, sadly, torn down.

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A Helpful Military Record…

26 May

Yes, it has been a while. I had a string of good genealogical luck some time ago, but found myself frustrated and busy and thus my efforts tapered a bit. Also, my free Ancestry account ran out and I found it inconvenient to go to the local Family History Library to continue to access Ancestry.

But that all changed a week or two ago when I was invited to obtain a free Ancestry account! So, here I am, and I hope to be here more often…

Today is Memorial Day, so I decided to see what was out there regarding my uncle Leon Mickelson. I found the following record:


I knew everything on here, so no new information to report. But what is useful here are the newspaper article references that may share a little more about my uncle and his life and sacrifice. The newspapers listed are Herald Journal, Salt Lake Tribune, and the Deseret News. I don’t know which paper “Tele” refers to, or “Let” either. So, I’ll need to look that up.

Making Corrections in….

8 Sep

The new is a great website for family history. But along with all of the new features (which I won’t cover and probably don’t even know the half of) there are some negatives. Well, they are perceived negatives. Maybe they’re not negative at all…In fact, what started as a negative will probably turn out positive. Here’s what happened…

My son Parker was a little curious about our family history so I logged him onto his own account where he started searching around through our family tree. He bumped into John J. Roberts, who is my great-grandfather. I never knew him, but I know both of his daughters and his granddaughter (my mother). Parker noticed that there were two Elaines in John and Kate’s family. One is still alive (my grandma) and one died in 1994.

Doesn’t make sense.

I know some families had two children with the same given name, but this isn’t that family. I called mom just to confirm. I also checked the census, which confirmed only one Elaine.

So I deleted the relationship on FamilySearch, left a detailed note explaining why I deleted the relationship, and attached the census record. I also personally contacted the guy who added Elaine Fae to start a dialogue, just in case there is something I’m missing.

Though it is frustrating that anyone can just come around and add anyone they’d like with no documentation, I can also delete stuff and have a conversation about the issues in the family. I like that…

Long Lost Baby Charles! (not lost anymore…)

7 Feb

I recently discovered some things about Pauline. But that wasn’t all…

While I was searching for Pauline’s maiden name, I happened to notice this little tidbit of information on the 1900 US Census record for Charles and Pauline Ziesel:

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Notice the little “3” and “2”? Apparently Pauline is reporting that she had given birth to three children, but only two were living. In our records, we have that Charles and Pauline had three children (eventually), so the real report (10 years later) would be “4” and “3”, right? Right.

I didn’t pay too much attention because I was pretty focused on finding her maiden name. But, mental note

Later that day (the day I discovered Pauline’s maiden name, “Schafer” or “Shaffer”) I was meandering through some Pennsylvania town records, hunting down the Ziesel family name and I came across this:

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Hard to read, I know. But it says that a Charles R. Ziesel had died after living 10 weeks. I can’t tell what the cause of death was (influenza? cholera? I can’t read it). And if you look across the ledger you’ll find this:

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Parents are “Chas + Pauline” and the address is 1235 Huntington which is the address you’ll find them at in other documents.

I also noticed a larger-than-normal gap in the birth years for Pauline…babies born in 1886, 1891, and then 1902. 1894, the year of little Charles Raymond’s birth/death, is a perfect fit. I did eventually find baby Charles with almost no information, connected to a Charles and Pauline on, but there was no information otherwise, except a middle name. I don’t know how they found the middle name. There must be some other document out there with the info, but I don’t have it (yet). A birth record? Some church record?

Welcome (back) to the family little Charles!


Just found this:

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This must be the record where you’d find baby Charles’ middle name. The only problem is that Ancestry indexed the father as Charles Schaefer, which is Pauline’s maiden name, not Charles’ last name. I’ll go to the Family History Center and check it out this week…

Finding Pauline (I think)…

6 Feb

I’m not very good at finding the details about the women in my ancestry. I can hardly find last names for most of them unless there is a marriage certificate that is easily traceable. That’s how lame I am at genealogy. But I try hard, and periodically I’ll stumble across some success, usually due to someone else’s efforts. Take Pauline for instance…

William Ziesel had a brother named Charles M. Ziesel (1862) and I found from some census records that he was married to “Pauline”. I’ve just had the name “Pauline” sitting there on the family tree without any last name. Yesterday I found that they were married about 1885 because the census record (1910 US Census) asked how long they had been married (25 years). But I haven’t tracked down a marriage certificate or index or anything.

But, I did happen across the baptism registry for their daughter, Annette:

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I think it is recorded in German. Someone indexed it and I got birth and baptismal info. I’m having it translated by one of my friends who served an LDS mission to Germany, just to make sure I know what the who thing says. But I also found this little bit of info:

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Who ever indexed this record noticed “Schafer” as Pauline’s last name! Woo-hoo!! I was thrilled! I’d still like to see this information on a few other documents, but this is a good breakthrough. Especially because on the 1870 US Census I found a Pauline Shaffer in Philip and Frederica Shaffer’s family:

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I don’t know if it is my Pauline or not, but it has the right birth year and birth state. Not enough proof, but I’ll begin scratching around and see what I can find…Pauline lists both her parents as being born in Germany on later censuses, and Prussia was in Germany, right?

Henry Conrad Vanderbeek, the Minister…

31 Jan

Hey…there’s a minister/missionary in my family. Good. I like ministers and missionaries. Here’s the low down…

Henry Conrad Vanderbeek was born to Court Lake Vanderbeek and Mary Jane Vanderbeck on 6 March 1865 (ten months after their marriage) in Bergen County, New Jersey. Henry was the oldest of what appears to be three living children (more on that later).

Here’s an entry about Henry from The Ministerial Directory (1898) by Edgar Sutton Robison III

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We find that Henry graduated from Williams College with a BA in 1886 and from Union Theological Seminary in New York in 1890. He was licensed as a minister on June 13, 1890 and served in Newark, New Jersey starting in 1890.

Here’s an another entry about Henry from the Catalogue of the Delta Kappa Epsilon Fraternity (1910)

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We find from this record that Henry was also an organist and assistant librarian at Williams. Very cool stuff. I went to Union Theological Seminary’s website and found that it was founded in 1836 and is the “oldest independent seminary in the nation”.

in 1895, apparently, Henry travelled abroad. I don’t know the reason, but I have the passport. There is a some interesting info about Henry contained therein, regarding his appearance:

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He was 5′ 9.5″ (and so am I), with a high forehead, straight nose, brown eyes, brown hair and an oval face. That’s me exactly. Except, he had a dimpled chin and I don’t. Here is his signature:

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in 1900 we find Henry living in Newark as a boarder with the Simonson family. He is listed as a minister.

In 1910 we find him listed with his father and step-mother in Tenafly, New Jersey (listed as a son) and listed as a minister. But we also find him on the 1910 Census living in Williamstown, Massachusetts living as a boarder with the Adams family. He is listed as a clergyman. What gives?

Well, the censuses were taken a week apart. There is a chance that he was visiting home during the week and was listed by both families. There is a chance his dad just listed him because he had recently moved. Who knows. Either way, America counted one too many citizens (which through off the entire data set, I’m sure).

In 1920, we find Henry living in Sweetgrass County, Montana, in School District #5 (according to the census). He is listed as a clergyman and “Home Missionary”. I don’t know what that is (I mean, I’m sure I could guess I suppose), but I’d kind of like some info on that in the future.

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I can’t find a death notice or certificate, so I’m searching for that stuff. Until then, I don’t have a concrete death date…

Henry C. Vanderbeek

25 Jan

Henry C. Vanderbeek

Henry C. Vanderbeek’s US Passport


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