Saturday, November 22, 2008

Web Cards updated

Posted by Craig on 11/22/2008 2 comments
Today I updated the Web Cards on my website with my latest findings, including my royal line back to Charlemagne.

These cards include more than 2,000 people - all the ancestors I've found to date, plus their spouses (some had more than one) and children.

Also updated the color scheme and general design of the cards. Used to have a dark blue backdrop with white text and I went to a brown pastel color scheme, not much different from the light blue and yellow/gold scheme throughout my site.

To flip through the Cards, updated surname directory, or index, start here:

Friday, November 21, 2008

Bulger/Hilburger success and pondering a book

Posted by Craig on 11/21/2008 2 comments
In the last few weeks, I've connected with two distant cousins who have helped me update the family tree to 2008 on a few extended lines.

Have established contact with my 3rd cousin, twice removed, Terry Bulger of Nashville, Tn. Our common ancestors are Thomas Carson Bulger (born 1826 Co. Wicklow, Ireland) and Ann Fitzsimmons (born 1824 Co. Cavan, Ireland), who both died in Cobourg, Ontario, Canada in the early 1900's. I come through their daughter Catherine born 1856 Cobourg; he through their son James born 1858 Cobourg.

Also made contact with - interestingly - another 3rd cousin, twice removed, Mark Hilburger of the Washington, D.C. area. Our common ancestors are Tobias Hilburger (born 1819 Kaimling, Germany) and Anna Messer (born 1828 Kaimling, Germany), who both died in Buffalo, New York in the early 1900's. I come through their son John born 1854 Buffalo; he comes through their son Martin born 1856 Buffalo.

The power of the Internet is just amazing because I wouldn't have found them without it. I found Terry, while Mark actually contacted me after seeing some of my Hilburger posts on the Web.

In other genealogy news, I'm thinking of writing a book on my Grundtisch family. I have a wealth of data on this line, back to about 1530 in Saanen, Switzerland, a small village in the Alps Mountains. I believe all Grundtisch's and Grundish's in the United States are related and I'm nearing closer to my goal of linking them all together (at least all of them in the phone book). Once I do that, it may become a book after all. Among other things, I could write about the origins of each line (the Buffalo Grundtisch's, the Findlay Grundtisch's, the Pittsburgh Grundish's, the Dayton Grundish's, etc. - all of which are related by the way). Just an idea; we'll see where that goes!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What I am exactly

Posted by Craig on 11/19/2008 0 comments
While my paternal grandfather's family was from Canada, and much of my family is from the United States, I wanted to see what my ancestors were before any of them set foot in North America.

I looked at each of my 32 great-great-great-grandparents. Each is 3.125% of my blood. That's based on me being 50% my parents, 25% my grandparents, 12.5% my great-grandparents, etc.

Most (nearly all) of these 32 were born in Europe. Others were either the children or grandchildren of immigrants with the exception of one: Margaret Hart. While her father Arthur Hart was born in Ireland, her mother Mary Moore was born in Canada and most of her family goes back to Colonial America.

I broke each of the 32 into percentages as well, based on what they were, then put those results into each 3.125, and added it all up.

Here were my results:

39.418% German, 25% Polish, 22.2655% Irish, 7.813% French, 2.3435% Scottish, 1.629% Swiss, 0.969% unknown, 0.195% Austrian, 0.195% Belgian, 0.094% English, 0.094% Dutch

I broke the German/French down by region: 19.887% Bavarian, 12.5% Prussian, 4.297% French Moselle, 3.906% Wuerttemberg, 3.125% French Alsace, 3.125% Hessen, 0.391% French-mainland

Just an interesting little look into what I am. :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My link to royalty

Posted by Craig on 11/12/2008 9 comments
After 10 long years of researching my family history...and one month...I've finally confirmed a lineage from Charlemagne to myself.

I've long sought to find that elusive genealogy goldmine that I think all genealogists hunt for at some point or another.

Genealogies of European royalty and nobility are well-documented, very well-documented by European archives and there are some great sites on the Web with royal pedigrees/charts galore from both professional genealogists and state/nation archives.

The problem is finding yourself going back to one of those individuals that link to these charts. But if you do, then you've truly hit the goldmine.

Before yesterday, the furthest back I could trace any line of my family was about 1450, when my ancestor Hengin Wanmecher of Darmstadt, Germany was born. He was a wealthy landowner according to older records, so I long suspected he could somehow go back to royalty.

But it wasn't his line that I found the connection. It was through a large German family who specialized in basketmaking (and brought their craft to Buffalo, N.Y., where they settled) of the tiny village of Bierbach, Germany. Go figure, right?

My ancestor Catharina Gräbel, born June 4, 1846 in Bierbach, was part of this family. She immigrated to America with her mother Eva Catharina in about 1855, after the death of her father Jacob Gräbel (1808 Mimbach-1854 Bierbach).

Jacob's great-grandmother was Anna Catharina Moser Gräbel (1713 Wattweiler-1783 Wattweiler). Her mother was Anna Elisabeth Dessloch Moser (abt. 1694 Wattweiler-1760 Wattweiler). Now things get interesting.

Her father Karl Friedrich Dessloch was born Nov. 8, 1674 in Ransweiler, Bavaria, Germany. What I learned yesterday, he was born of a very religious family - his father and his grandfather were both Protestant ministers, as were many of his uncles and cousins -, and his paternal grandmother Sara Sybilla Candidus Dessloch was born of lower nobility status, which could be traced back to European royalty.

Previously, I only had back to Karl Friedrich's father Friedrich Melchior Dessloch. I knew he lived for some time in Wilgartswiesen per my own research. (I presumed he was born there, but did not know for sure, just knew he was "of Wilgartswiesen" at some point.)

A simple Google search of "Dessloch Wilgartswiesen" linked me the genealogy research of Klaus Zimmer, who notes that Friedrich Melchior Dessloch was a Protestant minister at Duisburg, Bremen, Wilgartswiesen, and Ransweiler, at different times. He adds that he was born in Meisenheim.

That was the piece of the puzzle I needed, coming upon several reliable Web sites and genealogies (though many in German and I had to use Google Translate) documenting the Dessloch family of Meisenheim and more importantly the Candidus family of Zweibruecken (Sara Sybilla Candidus Dessloch became the "goldmine" for me, again the one proven to European royalty/nobility genealogies).

Sara Sybilla Candidus' father's side is interesting. Her grandfather was born in Austria as Pantaleon Weiss in 1540, the youngest of 14 children. He became a student of the Reformation at a young age and was imprisoned with a Protestant minister at age 10 for their beliefs. He escaped prison, fled to Hungary with the minister, and subsequently migrated to Germany. He adopted the surname Candidus, the Latin version of his name, and became a well-respected theologian, author, historian, and poet. He was a key leader of the Reformation movement in Zweibruecken, Germany.

But it's her mother's side that goes back to kings, queens, and all the rest. Her mother, Anna Kessler, was the daughter of Werner Kessler and Elisabeth Baldwein. The Baldwein family is documented back to several noble lines, including the Von Rittenhofen and Von Sponheim families. These bring me back to Gottfried Von Sponheim (b. 1120 Sponheim, Bavaria, Germany) and Mathilda Von Lothringen (b. abt. 1123 Lorraine, France). Mathilda's lineage has been well documented. She descends of Baldwin I of Flanders (837 France-879 France) and Judith of Flanders (844-870). Judith's father was Charles the Bald, King of West Francia, her grandfather was Louis I, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, and her great-grandfather was none other than Charlemagne (742 France-814 Prussia).

I had already confirmed my girlfriend's line of descent to royalty through her ancestors Edward Fitz Randolph and Elizabeth Blossom and William Spencer and Agnes Harris - Edward and Agnes were American colonists who both have been definitively linked to royal ancestry. Now I've confirmed a line from my own family.

By my best estimation, she and I are 27th cousins, twice removed based on my latest findings! We descend of Baldwin V of Flanders and Adelheid, Princess of France, who married in 1028 in Paris - me of their son Baldwin, she of their daughter Matilda. How about that?

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