Signatures of My Ancestors

One of my favorite genealogical finds is the signature of an ancestor. Imagine my excitement when I saw four at the same time! My 2nd great-grandfather’s probate record contained signatures of all three of his children and that of his daughter-in-law: Jacob Koebe Mueller (1844-1910) was the father of Otto Victor Mueller (1868-1912), Alfred Jacob Mueller…

Mariage de François Schmitt et de Elisabeth Grosse

One of my favorite online resources for French records is Archives de la Moselle. Many of my Schmitt ancestors hail from the village of Hellimer in Moselle, Lorraine, France. Records for Hellimer are free (!) and available online from 1737 to 1791. When I want to see records from the period after 1791, I visit my local Family History Center. Which is…

Morgan Henry Clark 1830-1910

Morgan Clark intrigues me. My 3rd great-grandfather was born in Maryland 25 Feb 1830 to Rebecca Margaret (nee Ridenour) and her husband Mathew Clark. Morgan followed in his father’s footsteps (no pun intended) and made his living as a shoemaker. Both father and son were politically active according to newspaper accounts of the time. But…

Elise’s Divorce Lawyers

“And now on this (21st) twenty-first day of November 1874, comes the complainant by Jussen and Anderson, her solicitors…” The statement above was transcribed from my 2nd great-grandmother’s divorce papers. It made me wonder: Why would a 20-something German-speaking French woman from Ohio seek a divorce in Chicago? How did Elise Biedenharn (nee Schmitt) choose these particular lawyers? I started…

Who is Aunt Tillie?

A newly found (and positively wonderful!) cousin recently shared a photograph taken in Chicago of our Schmitt ancestors: When we first saw the photo, there was some discussion about who Aunt Tillie might be. Years ago, my new cousin’s aunt had guessed Aunt Tillie might be the sister-in-law of one of the women in the picture. We poured…

Remembering Our Veterans

Thank you to all the young men and women who are missed by their families as they serve our country. Follow this link to see photos I posted from my dad’s Army scrapbook on my old blog. Or search this site using the word “Army”. Perhaps one of your ancestors will be in some of the…

Touring Chicago’s Oak Woods Cemetery

Timing is everything. Rough draft plans for a mid-October road trip were on the table. Chicago, Door County Wisconsin, and Mackinac Island Michigan were the top contenders. I was Google-ing our options when I saw the “Civil War to Civil Rights” tour offered by the Chicago Architecture Foundation. At Oak Woods Cemetery. A place I’ve…