One of the things I’ve been doing to keep busy this summer is work on family ancestry. I’ve always been interested in ancestry. My mom could tell you about when I was a little girl and I would spend hours looking through a Klaustermeier Family Tree book we had.
The Klaustermeier side of the family is not really much of a mystery to me, but every other side of the family is a little bit mysterious. I always knew a lot about the Klaustermeier side because I was the 5th generation to live on the Klaustermeier farm. My dad’s great-grandfather was the one who settled on that land. I also have a Klaustermeier book that’s nearly 450 pages of family history and ancestry.
I also knew a little about the Siewert side because of their prominence in Hamburg. I remember being little and my mom telling me about how so-and-so lived here or there or going to the cemetery and looking at headstones from relatives, etc.
Jeff’s family is another story. Jeff knows his grandparents names and that’s about it. So I set out to do some research of my own. His mom and aunts have been pretty helpful on his mom’s side of the family, but I don’t have nearly the availability of the extensive records on my side of the family. One of the things I’ve been spending so much time on ancestry.com is looking through census records. It never ceases to amaze me how many Frederick Finke’s there were born around the same time, or how many Jim Lewis’s (Jeff’s side) there could be married to Lizzie Ross’s. It’s made for quite a puzzle of things to put together. There should be census information out there on his family somewhere, at least back until the 1870 census, but it’s been a huge, frustrating, challenge. When I start to get frustrated I take a step back for a while but always get sucked back in! I know there’s a piece to that puzzle that will fall into place soon and things will start to come together if I stick with it.
So when my cousin, Gina, emailed me and asked about ancestry, I thought that maybe the best way to go about things would be to blog a little at a time about each person or married couple I’ve found. That way, those of you who are “in-the-know” about those people in our history could comment and add your own info, and we could all benefit.
Here’s a paragraph from an email I sent Gina a few minutes ago:
One of the things that has been the most confusing for me is the names. For example, on the Finke side we have:
Leonard Frederick Finke. Then we have William Frederick Finke. Then we have Frederick Finke (whose middle name was probably William). Frederick Finke had a brother named William Finke. Their mom’s name is Elisabeth. Frederick Finke also had a daughter, Lizzie, but she was probably “officially” named Elisabeth, too. Try keeping it all straight!
What do you think? Is that something you are interested in reading about? And adding to?