German Emigration Notices

German government-sponsored newspapers often carried notices of intention to emigrate. These notices include the name of the emigrant, his or her place of residency, and occupation or status. Sometimes they contain additional information on the emigrant’s family. More and more German newspapers are being digitized and placed online.

1845_emigration_Intelligenzblatt
1845 German newspaper emigration notices of several of the original settlers of Frankenmuth, Michigan.[1] Their town of origin as well as occupations or statuses are given.
This notice from 1845 contains the names and additional information on several of the original settlers of Frankenmuth, Michigan who came from Roßtall, Bavaria. It lists Martin Haspel, master weaver, with his wife and one child; Johann List, single journeyman carpenter; Johann Leonhard Bernthal (my second great-grandfather), single journeyman weaver; Johann Bierlein, single tenant farmer’s son; Kunigunda Bernthal, single wagon-maker’s daughter; and Anna Margaretha Walther, single ropemaker’s daughter.

Stern_1847_emigration_notice
1847 German newspaper emigration notice including the Johann Michael and Anna Sophia (Stern) Stern family of Brombach, Mittelfranken, Bavaria.[2] This notice provides the maiden names of the women emigrating with their husbands.
Another notice from 1847 includes the family of Johann Michael Stern (my third great-grandfather). It provides his residency as Brombach. It also provides the full name of his wife, including her maiden name. It states that Johann Michael was a Gütler, or smallholder/farmer, and that he was emigrating with his wife and four children.

Gugel_1859_emigration
1859 German newspaper emigration notice for the Georg Gugel family.[3] This notice provides full names and the birthdates of Georg’s children.
This notice for the Georg Gugel family who immigrated to Frankenmuth in 1859 is particularly valuable as it lists the full names of all of his children who are emigrating, as well as their birthdates.

Several websites include some of these newspapers where the emigration notices can be found including Google Books, Internet Archive, and Bavarica for papers specifically from Bavaria, Germany. These government-sponsored newspapers are usually titled “Intelligenzblatt” or “Amtsblatt.” Searching for one of these titles plus a locality (such as “Mittelfranken”) will return several results. Searching with the surname of interest may or may not return results; optical character recognition (OCR) is not perfect, and in my experience, even less-so with the Fraktur font used in these publications.

A helpful and amazing finding-aid for emigration notices published in newspapers in Mittelfranken, or Central Franconia, Bavaria from 1837-1874 was produced by the City of Gunzenhausen, Germany. Staff of the Frankenmuth Historical Association translated and compiled the information they provided. The finding-aid is published on the Saginaw (Michigan) Genealogy Society, Inc.’s website. This index includes not only immigrants to Frankenmuth and the surrounding Franconian colonies but throughout North America. Included in the index are the emigrant’s name, status and/or occupation, place of residency in Bavaria, North American destination when known, possible additional information on the emigrant’s birth or family, and, importantly, a reference to the newspaper where the notice can be found.

German newspapers are a great source of information on one’s ancestor’s immigration to North America, particularly when ships’ manifests can not be located or are extant. Emigration notices may hold the key to the ancestor’s village or town of origin, as well.

Reference Notes:

1. Königlich Bayerisches Intelligenzblatt für Mittelfranken: 1845 (Ansbach, Bayern: Brügel, 1845), 26 February 1845, cols. 361 & 62, item no. 8; digital images, Google Books (https://books.google.com : accessed 13 February 2016).

2. Königlich Bayerisches Intelligenzblatt für Mittelfranken (Ansbach, Bayern: Brügel, 1847), 24 February 1847, cols. 331 & 32, item no. 8; digital images, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Bavarica (http://bavarica.digitale-sammlungen.de : accessed 13 February 2016).

3. Königlich Bayerisches Kreis-Amtsblatte von Mittelfranken 1859 (Ansbach, Bayern: Brügel, 1859), no. 4, 15 January 1859, cols. 60 & 61, item no. 5; digital images, Bayerische StattsBibliothek, Bavarica (http://bavarica.digitale-sammlungen.de : accessed 17 February 2016).

Relating the Two Stern Families of Frankenmuth

My curiosity in the Stern families of Frankenmuth, Michigan stems from my paternal grandmother who was a Stern. She was a descendant of Johann Michael Stern and his wife Anna Sophia (Stern). (To clarify, Anna Sophia’s maiden name was also Stern.)[1] They were the parents in the second Stern family to arrive in Frankenmuth, emigrating in 1847.[2] The first Stern family to arrive there was headed by Georg Martin Stern and his wife, Anna Sophia (Kraus). They emigrated in 1846 aboard the Brig George Duckwitz with the second wave of settlers to Frankenmuth.[3]

Early into my genealogical endeavors, I began to wonder how and if the two original Stern families of Frankenmuth were related. Odds are they were; both families originated nearby one another in Mittelfranken, Bavaria (see following paragraph). They both immigrated within about a one year span to the same settlement in North America.[4] The two families shared not just a surname but many given names, as well.[5] The challenge was finding evidence that the two families were indeed related. No examined North American sources provided this evidence. It would likely be necessary to explore German documents to find the answer to the research question.

Articles from a German government-sponsored newspaper provided emigration information and the names of the villages of origin of the two Stern families. Georg Martin & Anna Sophia (Kraus) Stern hailed from the village of Gräfensteinberg, Landgericht Gunzenhausen, Mittelfranken, Bavaria.[6] Brombach, Landgericht Gunzenhausen was given as the place of residency for Johann Michael & Anna Sophia (Stern) Stern.[7] Brombach lies approximately 1.3 kilometers south of Gräfensteinberg.

Grafensteinberg_Brombach_map
Detail, 1893 map depicting Gräfensteinberg and Brombach (upper right).[8]
Since civil vital-record registration did not begin in Bavaria until 1876, it was essential to consult German church records in an effort to determine the relationship between the two families.[9] The 1801 birth and and 1832 marriage records for Anna Sophia Stern, wife of Johann Michael Stern, revealed her parents as Johann Michael Stern and Anna Sophia (Stotz).[10] The 1797 birth record for Georg Martin Stern indicated the same parentage as that of Anna Sophia Stern.[11] Both children were born at Gräfensteinberg in house number 22.[12]

Thus, the two original Stern families of Frankenmuth are related. Georg Martin Stern, father of the Stern family to immigrate in 1846, was brother to Anna Sophia (Stern) Stern, wife of Johann Michael Stern and mother in the family to immigrate in 1847.

In an effort to construct my Stern pedigree, I continued research in the parish records of Gräfensteinberg. Stern proved to not be a particularly common surname within the parish records (which also includes the records for Brombach). It was plausible that Anna Sophia (Stern) Stern was related to her husband outside the bonds of marriage.

Johann Michael Stern, the husband of Anna Sophia (Stern), was born in 1806, the son of Leonhard Michael Stern and his wife.[13] Records show the parents of Leonhard Michael Stern as Johann Conrad Stern and Anna Margaretha (Huber).[14]

Parish records disclose that Johann Michael Stern, the father of Anna Sophia (Stern) Stern, was also the son of Johann Conrad Stern and his wife Anna Margaretha.[15] This results in Johann Michael Stern, the 1847 emigrant to North America, marrying his first cousin Anna Sophia Stern.[16] This Johann Michael Stern was also therefore a first cousin to Georg Martin Stern, the 1846 emigrant and brother to his wife.

Research is presently on-going to reconstruct the German lineage of the Stern families of Frankenmuth. Thus far, investigation reveals a continuous line of Sterns residing in the Gräfensteinberg parish from the middle-1800s extending back into the 17th century.

Reference Notes:

1. Elaine Huber, translator, “St. Lorenz Lutheran Church (Frankenmuth, Michigan), Book I: (1847-1857),” (typescript, 1990, St. Lorenz Lutheran Church Office, Frankenmuth), no. 41.

2. “8. Bekanntmachung beabsichtigter Auswanderungen nach Nordamerika,” Königlich Bayerisches Intelligenzblatt für Mittelfranken (Ansbach, Bayern: Brügel, 1847), 24 February 1847, cols. 331 & 32; digital images, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek München, Bavarica (http://bavarica.digitale-sammlungen.de : accessed 13 February 2016).

3. “7. Bekanntmachung der beabsichtigter Auswanderungen nach Nordamerika,” Königlich Bayerisches Intelligenzblatt für Mittelfranken (Ansbach, Bayern: Brügel, 1846), 31 January 1846, cols. 165 & 66; digital images, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek München, Bavarica (http://bavarica.digitale-sammlungen.de : accessed 13 February 2016).

“New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957,” digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : 7 February 2014), manifest, Brig George Duckwitz, Bremen to New York, arriving 9 May 1846, p. 2, Martin Stein [sic] family; citing National Archives microfilm publication M237, roll 61.

4. Ibid.

“7. Bekanntmachung der beabsichtigter Auswanderungen nach Nordamerika,” cols. 165 & 66.

“8. Bekanntmachung beabsichtigter Auswanderungen nach Nordamerika,” cols. 331 & 32.

5. Ibid.

“New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957,” digital images, Ancestry.com, manifest, Brig George Duckwitz, Bremen to New York, arriving 9 May 1846, p. 2, Martin Stein [sic] family.

Huber, “St. Lorenz Lutheran Church (Frankenmuth, Michigan), Book I: (1847-1857),” no. 41.

6. “7. Bekanntmachung der beabsichtigter Auswanderungen nach Nordamerika,” cols. 165 & 66.

7. “8. Bekanntmachung beabsichtigter Auswanderungen nach Nordamerika,” cols. 331 & 32.

8. Reichsamt fur Landesaufnahme, Karte des Deutschen Reiches: Sheet 577, Gunzenhausen, composite (n. p. [Germany]: Reichsamt fur Landesaufnahme, 1893); digital image, David Rumsey Map Collection (http://www.davidrumsey.com : 2 March 2016).

9. Holly T. Hansen, compiler, German Research Guide (Morgan, Utah: Family History Expos, Inc., 2015), 88.

10. St. Martinskirche von Gräfensteinberg (Gräfensteinberg, Bayern, Germany), Taufen [Baptisms] 1753-1836, p. 407, no. 15, Anna Sophia Stern (1801); browsable images, Archion (https://www.archion.de : 11 February 2016).

St. Martinskirche von Gräfensteinberg (Gräfensteinberg, Bayern, Germany), Trauungen [Marriages] 1812-1870, pp. 6 & 7, no. 3, Stern-Stern (1832); browsable images, Archion (https://www.archion.de : 11 February 2016).

11. St. Martinskirche von Gräfensteinberg (Gräfensteinberg, Bayern, Germany), Taufen [Baptisms] 1753-1836, p. 377, no. 8, Georg Martin Stern (1797); browsable images, Archion (https://www.archion.de : 17 February 2016).

12. St. Martinskirche von Gräfensteinberg (Gräfensteinberg, Bayern, Germany), Taufen [Baptisms] 1753-1836, p. 407, no. 15, Anna Sophia Stern (1801).

St. Martinskirche von Gräfensteinberg (Gräfensteinberg, Bayern, Germany), Taufen [Baptisms] 1753-1836, p. 377, no. 8, Georg Martin Stern (1797).

13. St. Martinskirche von Gräfensteinberg (Gräfensteinberg, Bayern, Germany), Taufen [Baptisms] 1753-1836, p. 473, no. 47, Johann Michael Stern (1806); browsable images, Archion (https://www.archion.de : 11 February 2016).

14. St. Martinskirche von Gräfensteinberg (Gräfensteinberg, Bayern, Germany), Taufen [Baptisms] 1753-1836, p. 163, no. 25, Leonhard Michael Stern (1774); browsable images, Archion (https://www.archion.de : 11 February 2016).

15. St. Martinskirche von Gräfensteinberg (Gräfensteinberg, Bayern, Germany), Taufen [Baptisms] 1753-1836, p. 130, no. 18, Johann Michael Stern (1768); browsable images, Archion (https://www.archion.de : 3 March 2016).

16. In genealogical terms, this illustrates what is known as pedigree collapse; that is, a reduction in the number of distinct ancestors of an individual. (And before the jokes begin, let me remind you that pedigree collapse exists in the family trees of every human.) For more information see “Pedigree collapse,” Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pedigree_collapse : 2 March 2016).

Review : Archion : A Portal for German Church Books

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Archion start page, English version; screenshot, Archion (https://www.archion.de : accessed 14 February 2016).

If you’re as anxious to search for your German ancestors in original German records as I am, you will want to check out Archion. Archion is a relatively new German subscription website that provides digital images of church books (records of baptisms, marriages, burials, etc.) from Germany. I’m a recent subscriber, and it is keeping me busy!

Archion’s holdings are extensive but by no means comprehensive. At this time it appears only Evangelisch (Protestant) records are available. Many of their church book images are not available elsewhere outside the holding institution, although I have noticed that some had already been made available on microfilm via FamilySearch. FrankenGen readers may be interested to know that the site does include some holdings from the Mittelfranken region of Bavaria, from where many of the settlers of the Saginaw Valley’s Franconian colonies emigrated. Records from Gunzenhausen are offered, for example.

The website is in German, of course; however, an English translation is available for parts of the site. The majority of records available are written in German Gothic script. There is no digitized index for the records. Images of hand-written indexes created by the record-keepers are available for some parishes. It will likely take some persistence for users to find their desired records.

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Archion church book record example; screenshot, Archion (https://www.archion.de : accessed 15 February 2016).

Archion is easy to navigate, and the website allows viewers without a subscription to see what parishes have records available. Record sets highlighted in green are available to search; records highlighted in white have not been digitized.

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Archion record sets highlighted in green are available to search; screenshot, Archion (https://www.archion.de : accessed 15 February 2016).

The current subscription cost for individual users is 19,90Euros (currently about 22.00USD) for a month’s access including up to 50 image downloads, or 178,80Euros (currently about 200.00USD) for a year’s access including up to 600 downloads.

I’m very excited about my family history discoveries via Archion, and I hope to share some of them on FrankenGen soon.

Tracking Your [German] Ancestors : Ohio Genealogical Society Conference 2016

OGS2016conference

If you’re looking to hone your German genealogical research skills, it may be worth your while to check out this year’s offerings at the Ohio Genealogical Society’s annual conference. This year’s theme is “Tracking Your Ancestors.” The conference will take place April 28-30 at the Great Wolf Lodge in Mason, Ohio, just north of Cincinnati. The conference includes six simultaneous lecture tracks to choose from, including an all workshop track, as well as an exhibit hall and several banquets and social events. And it’s located at a pretty sweet indoor water park.

I have attended the OGS conference twice, and both times found there to be an impressive variety lectures and nationally recognized speakers. There is no such equivalent conference offered in Michigan, so it’s a great opportunity for those of you who live in that state to attend a large genealogical conference nearby. Presumably, most of my readers are interested in German and German-American research. This year’s conference is rich in these offerings. The following lectures and workshop have a German research focus:

  • Elizabeth L. Plummer: German Resources at the Ohio History Connection.
    Find out what the Ohio History Connection’s archives/libraries have to offer that will help you with your German family history research.
  • Teresa McMillin: So, You’ve Found Your German Town of Origin, Now What?
    If you’ve found the name of your ancestor’s German town of origin but are new to researching in German records, this will get you started.
  • Teresa McMillin: He Took Her Name: Understanding German Farm Names.
    In certain areas of Germany, a man had to change his surname to inherit a farm. Learn about this custom and its impact on research.
  • Michael Lacopo: German Genealogy on the Internet: Beyond the Basics.
    Learn about online sites that all German-American genealogists should be aware of. There will be a strong concentration on lesser-used German sites.
  • Sharon MacInnes: Desperation, Displacement, Determination, and Deuteronomy: Colonial Germans.
    Leaving one’s home behind was a momentous decision. Why did they leave? Why did they come here? How? What records did they leave?
  • Jenni Salamon: From Deutschland to Ohio: German Newspapers at the Ohio History Connection.
    Learn about the German-language newspapers at the Ohio History Connection and how you can access the vast amounts of family history information they hold.
  • Teresa McMillin: Read the Tabloids: German Church Records.
    German church records sometimes deliver extra information, like modern tabloids. This talk is an entertaining learning experience, providing insights into our ancestors societies.
  • James M. Beidler: German Handwritten Script and Fraktur Font. (Workshop/3 hours/additional fee).
    This skills workshop teaches vocabulary and formats so participants can read tombstones and church records of German-speaking people. Included is practice writing and deciphering.    
  • Robert Rau: Reading German Church and Civil Records.
    This presentation will discuss some of the aspects of old German handwriting, and give many examples of church and civil records used in studying German ancestry.
  • James M. Beidler: Online German Church Registers, Duplicates and Substitutes.
    Many German church records are coming online. Learn whether you’re looking at originals, duplicates or extracts from these records and why you should know the differences.
  • Robert Rau: Eissfeller Vorfahren – Searching for Gertrud Eissfeller and her Ancestors.
    This presentation is a case study of the search for a distant ancestor and extending her lines back three more generations in a small village in Hessen.
  • Teresa McMillin: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Hanover Military Records.
    Learn about the Kingdom of Hanover’s military records available to researchers in this country. This collection spans 1514-1866 and includes nineteenth century conscription lists.

All session descriptions are taken from the conference brochure. More information is available on the OGS Conference website, including the full conference brochure.

Tombstone Tuesday : Johann Georg Veitengruber

Post edited 1 March 2016 to correct name of birth mother.

In honor of tomorrow’s Veterans Day commemoration, this posting remembers a Frankenmuth veteran.

Johann Georg Veitengruber grave marker, St Lorenz Lutheran Cemetery, Frankenmuth, Michigan; 2012.
Johann Georg Veitengruber grave marker, St Lorenz Lutheran Cemetery, Frankenmuth, Michigan; 2012.

Johann Georg Veitengruber was born at Gräfensteinberg, Mittelfranken, Bayern (Bavaria) on 11 August 1836, the son of Johann Michael Veitengruber and Anna Margaretha (Bartel).[1] He died at the Eastern Michigan Asylum, Pontiac, Oakland, Michigan on 12 December 1894.[2] He was buried at St. Lorenz Lutheran Cemetery, Frankenmuth, Saginaw, Michigan on 16 December 1894.[3]

Johann Georg immigrated to the United States accompanied by his parents and siblings with the second group of settlers that came to Frankenmuth. They sailed from Bremen aboard the Brig Georg Duckwitz which arrived at New York on 9 May 1846.[4]

At 25 year old, “George” enlisted with the U.S. Army on 23 September 1861 in Company M, 3rd Regiment Michigan Calvary, during the American Civil War. He served the company as a farrier/blacksmith. While serving he became sick and was discharged for disability on 26 August 1862. He suffered from chronic rheumatism.[5]

Following the Civil War, George farmed at Frankenmuth Township.[6] By June 1890 he was housed at the Eastern Michigan Asylum at Pontiac where he died.[7] George did not marry.

How we are related: George is my second great grand uncle.

Reference Notes:

[1] St. Martinskirche von Gräfensteinberg (Gräfensteinberg, Bayern, Germany), Taufen [Baptisms] 1753-1836, p. 66, no. 17, Johann Georg Veitengruber (1836); browsable images, Archion (https://www.archion.de : 10 February 2016).

[2] “St. Lorenz Lutheran Church (Frankenmuth, Michigan) Burials 1858-1916” (typescript, 1993-, St. Lorenz Lutheran Church Offices, Frankenmuth), 1894: 4, Joh. Geo. Veitengruber.

[3] ibid.

[4] “New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957,” database and images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 9 November 2015), manifest image, Brig Georg Duckwitz, Bremen to New York, arriving 9 May 1846, p. 2, Joh. Mich Veitengruber family; citing National Archives microfilm publication M237, roll 61, list no. 280.

[5] Compiled service record, George Veitengruber, Co. M, 3 Michigan Calvary; Carded Records, Volunteer Organizations, Civil War; Record Group 94; Records of the Adjutant General’s Office, 1780s-1917; National Archives, Washington, D.C.

[6] 1870 U.S. Census, Saginaw County, Michigan, population schedule, Frankenmuth Township, p. 19, line no. 28, dwelling 119, family 120, J. Georg Veitengruber; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 9 November 2015), citing National Archives microfilm publication M593, roll 702.

1880 U.S. Census, Saginaw County, Michigan, population schedule, Frankenmuth [Township], enumeration district (ED) 308, p. 13, line no. 21, dwelling 108, family 109, Johann George Veitengruber; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 9 November 2015), citing National Archives microfilm publication T9, roll 602.

[7] 1890 U.S. Census, Oakland County, Michigan, “Special Schedule: Surviving Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines, and Widows,” Eastern Michigan Asylum, ED Special, p. 1, no. 11, John G. Veitengruber; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 9 November 2015), citing National Archives microfilm publication M123, roll 18.

Connecting the Hufnagels of Bay and Saginaw Counties

Recently, I received a message from a woman inquiring about a potential DNA match with her mother. We had both tested through AncestryDNA and were a high confidence match. A couple of weeks ago, my potential cousin and I connected via the telephone and discovered our shared ancestry through the Hufnagel line.

Three years ago, I began my Hufnagel research only knowing the name, birth and dates of my great-great grandmother Anna Elisabeth Hufnagel (1855-1942)[1] who had married George Michael Stern. This information had been recorded on a slip of paper by my grandmother which she had presumably written for my father. Beyond that, I had no knowledge of her or her family. The civil marriage record for the couple indicated Elisabeth Hufnagel was born in Germany and living in Bay City, Bay County, Michigan at the time of her marriage to my great-great grandfather on 15 July 1877.[2] This led me to search for her family origins which in turn led me to other Hufnagels in Bay and Saginaw Counties.

The Hufnagel surname was not particularly common in the Saginaw Valley and a variety of census, marriage, death, church, newspaper, probate and other records indicated the following additional Hufnagels born in Germany and residing in either Saginaw or Bay Counties, Michigan:

  • J. Michael Hufnagel (1842-1887)[3]
  • George Adam Hufnagel (1851-1920)[4]
  • Anna Maria (Hufnagel) Schreiner (1857-1922)[5]
  • Johann L. Hufnagel (1860—1896)[6]

Given their common surname, birthplaces of Germany, and proximity of settlement in the Saginaw Valley, it seemed likely they were all related. Multiple on-line family trees had them all listed as siblings, although none had adequate sources supporting this. Through the various records mentioned above, I found connections as siblings for George Adam, Anna Elisabeth, Anna Maria, and Johann L.[8] No records indicating J. Michael Hufnagel’s relationship to any of the other Hufnagels or their common parents were located.

A church record for Anna Maria (Hufnagel) Schreiner indicated her birthplace was Windsbach, Baiern.[7] This led to a search for records from the town of Windsbach, Bavaria. This then led to the discovery of The Brenner Collection of family group sheets extracted from parish records in and near the district of Ansbach, Mittelfranken, Bavaria. These records include Windsbach parish. The Family History Library (Salt Lake City, Utah) holds microfilms, 764 rolls to be exact, of the Brenner Collection. I ordered a film potentially containing records for my Hufnagels of interest.

A family group sheet from the collection confirmed the parentage, birth dates and places for the Hufnagels I had already identified as siblings:

Children of Gg Andreas Hufnagel and Eva Els Böhm married 26 November 1848 in Windsbach:

  • Georg Adam, b. 20 December 1851, Schwalbenmuehle [bei Windsbach]
  • Anna Elisabeth, b. 29 August 1855, Schwalbenmuehle
  • Anna Maria, b. 8 October 1857, Schwalbenmuehle
  • Johann Adam (aka Johann L.), b. 2 June 1860, Schwalbenmuehle [9]

Schwalbenmuehle lies to the east of Windsbach. It translates as “swallows mill.” The record lists Gg Andreas as a “Mühlgutsbesiter,” a mill landowner.[10] The record also listed these additional children of the couple:

  • Anna Elisabeth, b. 28 August 1849, Windsbach; d. 1 January 1850, Windsbach
  • Georg Michael, b. 21 October 1850 Windsbach; d. 15 November 1853, Windsbach
  • Margareta Barbara, b. 25 March 1853, Windsbach [11]

J. Michael Hufnagel, born 1842, about six years before Georg Andreas Hufnagel and his wife were married, was not a part of this record. Still theorizing he must be a relation, I continued to search the Brenner Collection. Another family group record potentially identified his birth:

Child of Gg. Andr. [Georg Andreas] Hufnagel and M. Barb. [Maria Barbara] Böhm married 4 June 1838 in Windsbach:

  • Johann Mich. [Michael], b. 11 January 1842, Windsbach [12]

This couple also had several other children between 1839 and 1846.[13]

Based on his proximity in time and location to the other Windsbach area Hufnagels in the Saginaw Valley, this Brenner Collection record is probably the correct record for J. Michael Hufnagel of Bay County, Michigan. This was the only record from the Windsbach area that proved to be a possibility for him.

The Brenner Collection is a derivative source and the information provided by the records is out of context and error-prone, thus making it difficult to ascertain the definitive connection of Johann Michael Hufnagel of Windsbach to the Hufnagels of Bay County, Michigan and Frankenmuth, Saginaw County, Michigan; however, I offer this hypothesis:

There is not enough information from both family group records cited to state that the father Georg Andreas Hufnagel is certainly the same man. There is no death recorded for Maria Barbara (Böhm) Hufnagel, but her last children were twins born 12 May 1846.[14] The other family group record for a Georg Andreas Hufnagel shows his marriage to have taken place on 26 November 1848.[15] It is possible that the Georg Andreas Hufnagel of both family group records is the same man if his first wife died sometime between the birth of their twins and his potential second marriage. Moreover, there do not seem to be records for Hufnagels in Windsbach prior to the 1838 marriage of Georg Andreas, lessening the likelihood that there were several Hufnagel families residing there. This would make Johann Michael Hufnagel a half-sibling to the other Hufnagels of Bay County and Frankenmuth, Michigan; however, the original church records of Windsbach should be examined in context to possibly prove this. American church records for J. Michael Hufnagel have not yet been located; they may provide further insight into his identity.

Since originally examining The Brenner Collection on microfilm, I found that Ancestry.com has recently digitized the collection as “Ansbach, Germany, Lutheran Parish Register Extracts, 1550-1920.” The collection is also still available on microfilm from the Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Reference Notes:

1. “Michigan Death Certificates, 1921-1952,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 26 August 2015), Anna E Stern, 29 November 1942; citing Michigan Division for Vital Records and Health Statistics, Lansing.

2. Bay County, Michigan, Marriage Registers, 1877, p. 58, no. 1594, George Michael Stern-Elisabeth Hufnagle [sic]; digital image, “Michigan Marriages, 1868-1925,” FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 26 August 2015); citing Michigan Department of Vital Records, Lansing.

3. History of Bay County, Michigan With Illustrations And Biographical Sketches of Some of Its Prominent Men And Pioneers (Chicago: H. R. Page, 1883), 203.

Bay County, Michigan, Death Registers, 1887, f. 80, no. 386, Mike Hufnagel; digital image, “Michigan Deaths, 1867-1897,” FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org : accessed 26 August 2015); citing Michigan Department of Vital Records, Lansing.

Bay County, Michigan, probate case file no. 2172, J. Michael Hufnagel (1888); “Michigan Probate Records, 1797-1973,” digital images, FamilySearch (http://www.familysearch.org : accessed 7 August 2015).

4. “Death Records, 1897-1920,” Michigan History Foundation, Seeking Michigan (http://seekingmichigan.org : accessed 30 August 2013), death certificate image, Bay County, no. 164 (stamped), George Adam Hufnagel, 8 September 1920; citing Michigan Department of State, Division of Vital Statistics.

5. “Death Records, 1921-1947,” Michigan History Foundation, Seeking Michigan (http://seekingmichigan.org : accessed 26 August 2015), death certificate image, Saginaw County, no. 73 736 (stamped), Anna Maria Schreiner, 31 December 1922; citing Michigan Department of State, Division of Vital Statistics.

6. Find A Grave, database and images (http://www.findagrave.com : accessed 26 August 2015), memorial 116845299, Johann L. Hufnagel (1860-1896), Fremont Cemetery, Bay County, Michigan; a photograph by FELIX 5574 provides a legible image of the inscribed data including full birth and death dates.

7. Elaine Huber, translator, “St. Lorenz Lutheran Church (Frankenmuth, Michigan), Book II: Baptisms (1857-1885),” (typescript, 1995, St. Lorenz Lutheran Church Offices, Frankenmuth), p. 253, Schreiner no. 298.

8. 1884 Michigan state census, Bay County, Monitor Township, population schedule,  p. 20, lines 9-12 , household of Adam Hufnagel; digital images, “Michigan State Census, 1884-1894,” Michigan History Foundation, Seeking Michigan (http://seekingmichigan.org : accessed 30 August 2013).

Bay County, Michigan, Marriage Registers, 1895, f. 174, no. 4800, John Hufnatel [sic]-Mary M. Kraft; digital image, “Michigan Marriages, 1868-1925,” FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 27 August 2015); citing Michigan Department of Vital Records, Lansing.

“Death Records, 1897-1920,” death certificate image, Bay County, no. 164 (stamped), George Adam Hufnagel (1920).

“Obituary,” obituary for G. A. Hufnagel, The Bay City (Michigan) Times Tribune, Friday, 10 September 1920; digital images, GenealogyBank (http://www.genealogybank.com : accessed 09 November 2013).

“Death Records, 1921-1947,” death certificate image, Saginaw County, no. 73 736 (stamped), Anna Maria Schreiner (1922).

“Michigan Death Certificates, 1921-1952,” database, Anna E Stern (1942).

9. Tobias Brenner, compiler, “The Brenner Collection,” type- and manuscripts, n.d., family group record for Gg Andreas Hufnagel and Eva Els Böhm, married 26 November 1848; FHL microfilm 541,585. The birth date for Johann Adam matches that of tombstone record for Johann L. (see reference note no. 6).

10. Ibid.

11. Ibid.

12. Tobias Brenner, compiler, “The Brenner Collection,” type- and manuscripts, n.d., family group record for Gg Andr. Hufnagel and M. Barb. Böhm, married 4 June 1838; FHL microfilm 541,585.

13. Ibid.

14. Ibid.

15. Brenner, “The Brenner Collection,” Gg Andreas Hufnagel and Eva Els Böhm (1848).

Getting a Genealogical Education : NGS & IGHR

Exhibit hall, 2015 National Genealogical Society Family History Conference, St. Charles, Missouri.
Exhibit hall, 2015 National Genealogical Society Family History Conference, St. Charles, Missouri.

If you follow my Tweets (and I know you are 😉 ), you’ll know I’ve been traveling recently including to the National Genealogical Society (NGS) annual conference in May and the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR) at Samford University this month. Both are excellent opportunities to learn and improve your skills as a genealogist.

The 2015 National Genealogical Society Family History Conference was held in St. Charles, Missouri, just north of St. Louis. This provided me with the opportunity to not only attend the conference, but to do some research, sightseeing and indulge in another favorite pastime: wine tasting. Look for a couple of future posts highlighting my experiences in the St. Louis area.

This was my first time attending the four-day NGS conference, and I’m happy to report it exceeded my expectations. I also attended a day-long pre-conference workshop on German genealogy. While some of the information presented in this workshop was not new to me, I still benefited from it. F. Warren Bittner’s primer on German history was informative and entertaining. If you’re researching German ancestors and not familiar with F. Warren Bittner, you should be. He is one of the premier genealogists in Germanic genealogy having performed fascinating original research in the field, as well as being an engaging speaker. You can find some of his work published in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly and hear some of his lectures recorded by Jamb Tapes, Inc. Although not presented at this workshop or conference, I particularly recommend his lecture “Understanding Illegitimacy: The Bittner Bastards of Bavaria.” Illegitimacy among our German forbears is not uncommon (yes, there is even one amongst my Bavarian ancestors!), and definitely not for the reasons you may expect. This lecture is available from Jamb Tapes, Inc.

In addition to the German pre-conference workshop, the conference also featured a German track. Baerbel K. Johnson’s talk “So You Think You Want to Get Married: Marriage Records, Laws, and German Customs” informed listeners of German marriage records beyond those created by the church. Town council proceedings include petitions to marry and may illuminate circumstances surrounding your ancestors’ marriages or indicate why they could not marry.

Cutting edge methodology was presented by Elizabeth Shown Mills in “The Problem-Solver’s Great Trifecta: GPS+FAN+DNA.” Here she demonstrated how she proved four generations of a maternal line for which no documents provided direct evidence of the relationships.

Other educators included Thomas W. Jones, Judy G. Russell, Julie Miller, Alison Hare, Angie Bush, and John Philip Colletta, cementing NGS’s distinction as the premier genealogical conference. The 2016 conference will be held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. More information can be found at the NGS website.

Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama; 2015.
Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama; 2015.

This past week was spent honing my genealogical skills at Samford University Library’s Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research in Birmingham, Alabama. Each year about ten different courses of study are taught by faculty distinguished in the fields of genealogical education and research. Courses include beginning, intermediate, and advanced methodology, genealogical writing and publishing, and specialties such as military records and research in the South.

This was my second year at IGHR. I was enrolled in Course 3: Advanced Methodology and Evidence Analysis. The course coordinator and main instructor was Judy G. Russell, J.D., CG, CGL. Additional course instructors were Pamela Boyer Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA; David E. Rencher, AG, CG, FIGRS, FUGA; Richard G. Sayre, CG, CGL; Craig R. Scott, CG, FUGA and Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D, CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS. In addition to having fancy post-nomials, they are all excellent teachers. Classes in this course included reasonably exhaustive research, conflicting evidence, legal foundations of genealogy, government documents, ethics and DNA evidence analysis, correlation, interpretation.

If you’ve been fortunate enough to see Judy speak, you’ll know she’s an excellent educator, and her teaching in Course 3 did not disappoint. So much so that she received a standing ovation from her students at the end of the week. I have no hesitations about recommending her course. If you are interested, be sure to register as soon as on-line registration opens. Course 3 fills up within a matter of minutes.

Unfortunately, after 51 years IGHR will no longer be hosted by the Samford University Library after 2016. Its future is uncertain, although IGHR is eagerly looking for an appropriate new “home” to continue its mission. On its homepage, IGHR has posted a video lecture titled “Time to Make the Doughnuts!” which addresses this issue. I will certainly miss the beautiful Samford University campus and the dedicated SU Library staff. If you’re looking for a solid genealogical education, I highly encourage taking advantage of next year’s IGHR offerings.