Last year I rediscovered this small cemetery just a couple miles from where I grew up. In the summer months it is almost hidden by crop growth. Bethel Lutheran Cemetery is located in Frankenmuth Township, Michigan.
Field Trip Friday is a new occasional series about various historic sites, locations, or other places of genealogical interest. Some posts will feature places in the Franconian settlement area and others will explore places farther afield.
I recently returned from a trip to southern Ohio. Along my routes there and back, I crossed the Miami & Erie Canal. Curious about the canal, on a previous trip I made a stop at New Bremen where the canal runs along highway Ohio 66. There I found another town that has deep German roots.
New Bremen lies in Auglaize County in central eastern Ohio. It’s a comely, small town that was founded in 1833 by “The City of Bremen Society” made up of Bavarian and Hanovarian immigrants who originally had settled in Cincinnati. The society purchased the land where New Bremen lies with the intention of founding a Protestant town.
The Miami & Erie Canal runs through the town. New Bremen’s portion of the canal was completed in 1845. The lockkeeper’s house is now home to the New Bremen Historic Society Museum. “Lock One North” is located adjacent to the museum. Nearby, the oldest bowstring girder bridge in Ohio, constructed in 1864, crosses the canal.
Visitors can also see a reconstructed pioneer cabin.
At last summer’s Sanford University’s IGHR I first heard, in passing, the term “genealogy education plan.” I was immediately intrigued; I knew I needed one.
I’ve found very little on a Web in the way of genealogy education plans except for this worthwhile recording on The FamilySearch Learning Center site: “Your Own Education Plan: Choosing the Best Continuing Education Opportunities.” The lecture was originally presented by Elissa Scalise Powell, CG at the 2010 APG Professional Management Conference. Although dated in regards to up-coming conference and institutes, it provides a good overall assessment of what genealogy educational opportunities are available and discovering what types of opportunities work best for you. A class handout is available for download from the video page and includes a self-assessment worksheet.
During my recent “week without Ancestry.com,” I spent some of my genealogy time crafting my own education plan. It builds on Elissa Scalise Powell’s “Your Own Education Plan Self-Assessment Worksheet” to incorporate overall genealogical goals, a curriculum of study, and a table for tracking educational objectives and opportunities. For those interested in a template, feel free to download a copy of my Genealogy Education Plan.
Georg Bernthal (09 November 1837-08 March 1913) was born in Roßtal, Bavaria, the youngest child of Georg Martin and Anna Barbara (Bloß) Bernthal. He immigrated to Frankenmuth in 1846, arriving with the second group of settlers. Georg studied for the ministry at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana. From 1859 to 1862 he served Zion Lutheran Church in Bonfield, Kankakee County, Illinois as their first pastor. He served as pastor of St. Michael’s Lutheran Church in Richville, Michigan for 50 years from 1862 until his retirement in 1912. He is laid to rest in St. Michael’s Lutheran Cemetery alongside his second and third wives and his daughter Magdalena.
A week ago I posted that I would be accepting the Week Without Ancestry.com Challenge. My simple reasons for taking part was that I felt it would be a good opportunity to spend my genealogy energies elsewhere for a few days. It also would be a chance to refocus my genealogy goals without getting sidetracked on Ancestry, as often happens.
Did I meet the challenge? Yes, no problem. What genealogy tasks did I accomplish? I finally labeled a heap of grave marker photographs from prior cemetery visits. I created a new database for the German church records I am researching and inputted the data. Was the challenge worthwhile? Yes, it was a healthy break. As mentioned, I spent time on organizational activities without the distraction of getting sidetracked from my main research goals.
Gera News : Sleigh Ride
Last Friday the teacher and school children of Dist. No 3, had a sleigh ride to Saginaw. They left at 8 o’clock and came in time to go to the Farmer’s Institute in the [Auditorium]. They say many things: silos, little chickens, apples, potatoes, corn, separators, automobiles, sewing machines, seed and so forth.
(One of the children).
An experienced man to work on farm, one that can speek [sic] both English and German, and is good at handling horses. To be hired either by the week or month. Good wages. Gottfried J. Hubinger, Frankenmuth, Mich.
Bridgeport has been described as the worst hell-hole in – - (no need to fill in the blank) each one can do that for himself. We sometimes wonder if hell-holes are not a condition of the mind. If we had a few more boosters in Bridgeport, and not so many people coming into town, looking down the back alley, and then rendering a verdict as to conditions, perhaps more people might seek our home town. Surely there is good most anywhere (if we are looking for it) and no one need come to Bridgeport to find all the evils that are known to all communities. 
The annual meeting of the Union Cheese company was well attended by the stockholders. After hearing the happenings of the year, which were read by John Nuechterlein, Secretary. C. Schwartzkopf, manager and salesman read his yearly report, which showed that 2,583,709 lbs. of milk were received at the factory, of which 262,686 lbs. of cheese was made and the total amount received for cheese was $36,340.11, besides $1073.14 worth of whey cream was sold, which showed a total amount received for 1914, cheese and cream, was $37,413.25. Officers were elected as follows: President, Steven Knoll; Treasurer, Fred Nuechterlein; Secretary, John Nuechterlein; Trustees, John Bierlein, Geo. Bierlein, Leo. Grueber, Geo. Nuechterlein; Carl Schwartzkopf was reappointed Manager and Salesman, and Wm. Bluemlein Cheesemaker.
“Gera News,” The Frankenmuth (Michigan) News, 05 March 1914, p. 1, col. 4; digital images, The Frankenmuth Archives (http://www.frankenmutharchives.org : accessed 12 March 2014).
“Local Happenings,” The Frankenmuth (Michigan) News, 12 March 1914, p. 4, col. 1; digital images, The Frankenmuth Archives (http://www.frankenmutharchives.org : accessed 12 March 2014).
“Bridgeport Doings,” The Frankenmuth (Michigan) News, 26 March 1914, p. 1, col. 2; digital images, The Frankenmuth Archives (http://www.frankenmutharchives.org : accessed 12 March 2014).
“Local Happenings,” The Frankenmuth (Michigan) News, 12 March 1914, p. 4, col. 1; digital images, The Frankenmuth Archives (http://www.frankenmutharchives.org : accessed 12
Johann Konrad Weber (01 Apr 1806-24 May 1861) was another of Frankenmuth’s 15 original settlers. At age 39, he was the eldest of the party. He was married to to Kunigunda Barbara Bernthal, 18 years his junior, on 20 April 1845 aboard the Bark Caroline. He passed away at 55 years of age from “dropsy of the chest” and a “lung ailment.” Although the original grave marker no longer stands, his burial location is marked with two commemorative plaques.
Manifest stamped no. 391, Bark Caroline, 09 June 1845; “Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, New York, 1820-1897,” Microfilm Publication M237, roll no. 058, National Archives at Washington, D.C.; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 21 January 2014).
Huber, Elaine, translator, “St. Lorenz Lutheran Church (Frankenmuth, Michigan, Book I: (1847-1857),” (typescript, 1990, St. Lorenz Lutheran Church Offices, Frankenmuth), No. 4.
Elaine Huber, translator, “St. Lorenz Lutheran Church (Frankenmuth, Michigan), Book II: Burials (1858-1885)” (typescript, 1993, St. Lorenz Lutheran Church Offices, Frankenmuth), 1861 p. 1, “Weber, Johann Konrad”.