Friday, August 31, 2012

Iowa Brewers

I found Joseph Heisler's name on a U.S. Civil War Draft Registrations in June, 1863.  Both Joseph and his brother, Christian, are listed.  Joseph's age is listed as 28, and Christian is 31.  Curiously, both are listed as "married," but only by use of ditto marks.

Christian is in the 1860 Census in a separate household with his wife, Catherine.  His age is given as 28, and his  occupation is "Brewer."  Joseph is included with his father's household, his age given as 23 (or possibly 25), and his occupation is "Farm Labor."

At the time, brewing was a major industy in Dubuque County, Iowa, owing to the many German immigrants to Iowa in the 1840s and 1850s.  According to  the "History of Dubuque County, Iowa," published in 1880 by Western Historical Co., there were four breweries in existence in 1863:
  1. Dubuque Brewery, established in 1846, with major additions in 1856 and 1860;
  2. Key City Brewery, established in1852 as "City Brewery";
  3. Western Brewery, established  in1846; and
  4. Iowa Brewery, established in 1855.
So yes, at one point, Joseph could very well have been a brewer!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Gravestones, Part 2

Anna Maria Hammer
Richmond, MN

Anna Maria Hammer, my great-great grandma.

The marker is freshly painted and decorated, so there must be nearby relatives!

"Here rests in peace Anna M.
born December 28, 1824
dies May 11, 1889

Michael Hammer, Sr.

Michael Hammer, Sr., my great-great grandfather.

Born August 9, 1824; died May 23, 1913.

Michael remarried after Anna's death.

I have a rubbing of this stone so I can translate his epitaph.

Sabina Gaughen

Pinched from -- presumably, from a cousin.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Gravestones, part 1

Headstone for Nicolaus and Josephina Heisler
St. Martin, MN
The Catholic cemetery in St. Martin, MN is behind the church.  There is a grave finder posted at the gate, which was very fortunate, since this stone is mostly illegible.   I took a rubbing, and it is no help; the stone is old and broken.

On the left is Nicolaus; Josephina in on the right.  She is also called Sophia in many documents, so Josephine may be her baptismal name, and Sophia the name she used.  You can make out her maiden name "Rubly" just above the date of her birth, 1805, and the date of her death, Dec. 10, 1869.

Likewise, Nicolaus was born in 1805.  He died much later, in   .  It does not appear he remarried after Josephina's death.

Next to this stone is the marker for the Loosbroek's, Margaretha and Henry.  Margaretha was a daughter of Nicolaus and Josephina.

Margaretha Loosbroek, nee Heisler
 Margaretha was born on April 13, 1844.  The information I have says she was born in Pennsylvania.

She died on January 19, 1898.

I made a rubbing of her stone so I can add the epitaph when I translate it. 

Henry Loosbroek

Henry Loosbroek's stone.  Born February 13, 1838; died Sept. 24, 1921.

"O God, give me eternal rest."

I don't know anything about Henry -- or Margaretha, for that matter.  I don't know if they had any children, but it looks as if Henry, like Nicolaus, did not remarry after his wife's death.

Stearns County Churches

My ancestors from Stearns County, MN were Catholics, German immigrants from Bavaria and Alsace-Lorraine.  There was a very high concentration of Catholics in the county and, consequently, Catholic Churches.   Driving along the county roads, you could see a stand of trees and a steeple from the town's Catholic church poking through the canopy.  The churches were large and impressive, for the most part.

Most of the remaining churches were built after my ancestors had passed on or moved away.  It was still lots of fun to tour these churches (all open, except for the closed St. Catherine's) and take some photos:

Sts. Peter and Paul, Richmond MN

The Hammers lived in the area around Richmond.  Michael Hammer, Sr., my great-great grandfather, was buried from this church.  There are several Hammer graves in the Catholic cemetary in town. 

The church appears to be a thriving parish, building an addition to the main building, and supporting a grade school.

Original church, errected 1884

Portrait of St. Vitus, one of many painted on the ceiling.

Sanctuary, from choir loft

St. Martin's, St. Martin, MN:

The old Gothic-syle church was replaced in 1969 with a modern structure which was larger and more easily accessible -- no stairs.

It's a round church, and I only took a photo
of the sign out front.


St. Margaret's, Lake Henry, MN
The parish was established in 1882; the present church was completed in 19??.  Grampa Martin Leo Heisler was born in the Lake Henry township, and was likely baptised in the Catholic Church in the village.

Built in 1922, well after family left area

One of the many beautiful windows in the church.

St. Catherine's, Farming, MN

The church was closed by the Diocese of St. Cloud in May, 2011.   There are some spectacular stained glass windows, according to a Flickr posting here.  Great grandparents Joseph and Anna Heisler lived in the surrounding area and had two of their daughters succumb to diptheria.  I suspect they are buried in unmarked graves in the church's small cemetery.

Missing a steeple?

Front door

Friday, June 1, 2012

Spelling Variations for "Hefenieder"

Among modern Hefenieders in the US, there are a variety of spellings:  Hefeneider, Hefeneader, etc.

Looking through the German Personnel Rosters for WWI, additional possible spellings are abundant:


These would be a branch of the family that stayed behind when the immediate ancestors pulled up stakes for Russia.

I also found some Hefeneders immigrating to Buenos Aires, Argentina in the early 1900's -- possible relations, too, perhaps. 

Friday, April 6, 2012

1940 Census -- Hefenieder

Because I was fairly sure where the Hefenieders lived in 1940, I searched the newly-issued 1940 Census for them.  I was surprised to find so many peopoe in the house!  In addition to my grandparents, dad, and an uncles' family, I also found my aunt and her family!  I don'tknow if they were living there, or just happened to be visiting on census day.

Hefenieder, Adam, head, 65
Hefenieder, Anna, wife, 54
Hefenieder, Adam Jr., son, 24
Hefenieder, George, son, 31
Hefenieder, Amelia, daughter in law, 27
Hefenieder, Vivian, granddaughter, 5
Hefenieder, Carol, granddaughter, 3
Hefenieder, Ether, granddaughter, 1


Knowles, Roy, head, 46
Knowles, Marie, wife, 34
Knowles, Carol Jean, daughter, 17
Knowles, ? Henry, son, 14
Knowles, Phyllis Jane, 14
Knowles, Kenneth Lloyd, 13
Knowles, Joanna Marie, 4

I grew up in this house, and it was tight with four kids.  I can't imagine having 15 people there.

Grandpa was on line 29, which called for supplementary questions, but someone else was asked those questions.   I suppose because Grandpa's English was poor.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Anna Marie Hefenieder Obituary

Published in the Billings Gazette, morning edition, Tuesday, July 5, 1966  Addresses omitted.  This is my grandmother; it was the first funeral I ever attended.

Mrs. Anna Marie Hefenieder, 84, died Sunday in a Billings hospital.

She was born May 17, 1880 in Russia.

They came to Billings in 1907, living in this area since.  Mr. Hefenieder died in 1944.  She was married to Adam Hefenieder May 26, 1900 in Norka, Russia.

Surviving are three sons, George, William, and Adam, two daughers, Mrs. Roy Knowles, and Mrs. George Keiser, 17 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

Smith's Funeral home is in charge.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Anastasia Brigid Curran Obituary

From the Billings Gazette, dated in pen May 16, 1997

PLENTYWOOD -- The funeral liturgy for Anastasia Brigid Curran will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Saturday. Father Jerry Connolly will celebrate the Mass at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Plentywood; a vigil service will be at 7 p.m. Friday at Fulkerson's in Plentywood. Interment rites will be in St. Patrick's Cemetery at Minto, N.D. at 10 a.m. (CDT) Monday, May 19.

'Stasia died early Wednesday morning at Billings Deaconess Medical Center in Billings.

Anastasia Brigid Curran was born in Walsh County, near Minto, June 16, 1906, the youngest of five children of Timothy and Anna (McHugh) Curran. She grew up on the family farm and attended rural elementary schools near the family farm. She entered high school at Minto when she was 12 and completed a high school program that earned her a second-grade certificate to teach in rural schools. She stayed home for a year, then moved to Montana, where she taught in a McCone County school near Vida. Her father became ill, and she returned to North Dakota's Walsh County, where she taught for four years. She then took two quarters of college at Minot, qualified for Montana Teacher's Examinations, and taught in two rural Montana Schools before she returned to college for a year, now earning a "Standard" certificate. She then taught at Munson school, south of Plentywood, for two years; for five years at Redstone; a year in Augusta; and 27 years at Miles City, where she retired in 1970. Summer school sessions at Missoula, UCLA, and Greeley, Colo., earned a bachelor's degree in education from the University of Montana at Missoula.

'Stasia was an educator: even though her summers were usually spent traveling, she always took along her nephews or nieces on her journeys ("they had to be taught, you know!") and her example of penmanship, correct English, and accurate spelling and proofreading made lifelong impressions on all of her family. She traveled extensively, and retirement from teaching gave her time to revisit favorite places in the United States and Canada, ant to take a "Circle Pacific Tour" with stops in New Zealand, Australia, Bali, Singapore, Bangkok, Hong Kong and Manila.

Since 1950 she had been a member of Delta Kappa Gamma, first as a charter member of Nu chapter, and since 1971 as a member of Chi chapter. Society activities helped her to follow trends in education during her retirement years, and to enjoy the association with other members. Her family remembers that she always made the pies -- especially apple -- for every family gathering, pies that no one else could equal.

After retirement, 'Stasia resided in Plentywood with her sister, Gertrude Heisler, until Gertrude's death in 1982. Since, she had spent her summers in Minto and winters in Plentywood.

Anastasia was baptized July 3, 1906, at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Minto and was a member there and at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Plentywood, where she was a member of St. Raymond's Guild.

The last survivor of her family of three brothers and two sisters, Anastasia never married; she is survived by numerous nephews, nieces and cousins.

Maria Curran Obituary

"1936" dated in pen. Newspaper not named; probably Grand Forks, ND

"Maria Curran, 62, Dies in Grafton"

Former Minto, Auburn Resident Since 1898 Succumbs Unexpectedly In Her Home.

Resident of Walsh County since 1898 and Grafton since 1931, Miss Marie Curran, 62, died unexpectedly last Friday in her home, near the armory, in which she lived alone.

Death was of natural causes, Dr. G.L. Countryman, county coroner who investigated the death, said.

Funeral services where conducted Monday morning in St. John's church with Rev. W.T. Mulloy in charge. Pallbearers were Theodore Larson, McCann Archer, Frank Tufft, Dan J. Callahan, Pete Keeley and Pat Burns. Burial was in the Catholic cemetery.

Relatives in attendance were Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Sefert, Greenbush, Minn.; John J. Curran, St. Paul; Anastasia Curran, Redstone, Mont., and Mary Curran, Argusville, N.D.

Miss Curran was born in Shelburne, Ont. in 1874 and came to Minto in 1898. She moved to a farm near Auburn in 1902 and in 1931 came to Grafton. She was unmarried. Her parents and five brothers, who lived in North Dakota, are deceased.

Jeremiah Curran Obituary

From the Grand Forks, ND newspaper, April 13, 1927:

"Local Farmer Passes Away"
On Monday evening occurred the death of Jeremiah Curran at his home four miles northeast of Grafton. Mr. Curren [sic] suffered a stroke about fivc weeks ago and his strength gradually failed until the end.

Mr. Curran was born in Dufferin County, Ontario, sixty two years ago. He received a common school education and followed farming there until 1898 when he came to Walsh County, buying a farm northeast of Minto. He farmed there for four years and then moved to a farm north of Auburn. In 1908 he acquired the farm that has been his home until his death.

Mr. Curren [sic] never married and and only sister, Mary, who survives him, supervised his household. There are also three brothers, Timothy of Minto, and John and Dan at the home of the deceased.

The funeral took place Wednesday morning at 9 o'clock from St. John's Catholic church. Father Corry officiating. The remains were buried in the local Catholic cemetery.

Friday, March 30, 2012

1200th Anniversary

Schlitz, in Hesse, Germany, is celebrating its 1200th anniversary as a settlement this summer.

From wikipedia:

The name Schlitz had its first documentary mention in 812.

Schlitz is known throughout Hesse for the town's five castles and is also called the Romantische Burgenstadt Schlitz (the Romantic Castle Town of Schlitz).

One peculiarity about the town is its so-called Burgenring, or Castle Ring, with the town built on a hill with its accumulated castles, towers, lords' houses, the town church and many half-timbered houses presenting a well preserved, compact, historic Old Town.

The Lords of Schlitz had built up their mastery in an autonomous fief from the Fulda Abbey. As of 1404 they were calling themselves Schlitz von Görtz (in documents also Gurz or Görz). After the Reformation came in 1563, and as a result of the Thirty Years' War, however, they broke away from Fulda. In 1677, they became Imperial Barons and, in 1726, Imperial Counts. In 1806, the area passed to Hesse-Darmstadt.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Sophia Hefenieder

Sophia came to America with her brother and his family -- My grandparents. Sophia is my great aunt.

From a tree published by Glenn LaRoy Sitzman, 2002
The family of Conrad Kinsfather
11.5 Conrad Kinsfather of Toppenish, WA apparently believed he was born in Lincoln, NE, since this was the birth information provided in his obituary. He was, however, born in Huck, Russia, and arrived at Ellis Island, NY on 14 June 1892, at the age of eight. He arrived with his mother, Justina (Hardt) Kindsvater and two older brothers, George and John. He is said to have been born on 15. Dec. 1884. This date cannot be verified because the records at Huck have not been preserved beyond the year 1858. He lived for several years at Lincoln, NE and then for a few years at Shell Lake, WI where his mother died a short time before his nineteenth birthday.

The two older brothers moved to Billings, MT about 1908, according to the obituary for John, and about 1907, according to the obituary for George. It is not clear whether Conrad went first to Billings or to Lincoln from Wisconsin. What is clear is that Conrad married Sofia Maria Hefeneider at Lincoln, and that Roy, their first child, was born in Billings in 1909. Sophia had come from Norka, Russia in 1906. Sophia was born at Norka on 28 March 1887, and died at Yakima, WA on 18 July 1951, at age 63 years, 8 months, 10 days. Conrad died in Yakima on 13 May 1959, at age 74 years, 4 months, 28 days.

I have taken information about Conrad and Sophia’s children from various sources: from their cousin, Rachel Kinsfater, from obituaries, and from a biographical sketch in the book “Germans from Russia in the Yakima Valley prior to 1940,” published by the Central Washington Chapter of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia and printed by Shields Printing, Yakima, WA 1990.

1. Roy Kindsfather, b. Billings, MT 1909; d. Yakima, WA 1973. Married Freda Harding
2. Leo Kindsfather, b. Billings, MT 12 Dec. 1911; d. 11 Dec. 1959 “He served in the military during WWII; he was a sergeant with the 358 Bomb Squad AAF.” Germans from Russia book
3. John Kindsfather, b. Billings, MT Lived in Lebanon, OR
4. Conrad Kindsfather, b. 29 Apr. 1917. Married Virginia Putnam; they lived at Yakima, WA
5. Elsie Kindsfather, b. in Toppenish, WA, 1919 “She married Mr. Burkhart.” She was called Mrs. James Hunt in obituaries for Conrad and Sophia.
6. Alfred Kindsfather, b. in Toppenish, WA, 7 Apr. 1921; d. 20 Apr. 1952
7. Clara Kindsfather lived in Portland, OR in 1990; she married Richard Owen.
8. Freda Kindsfather (Mrs. Alvin Charles) lived at Thorp, WA in 1990.

Elizabeth Hefenieder

From a Brehm family tree on-line:

Nicholas Krieger, born 30 August 1853 in Norka, Russia; died 1928 in Norka, Russia. He married Elizabeth Hefenieder on 15 Feb. 1900 in Norka, Russia. She was born about 1855 in Norka, Russia; died in Norka Russia

Pretty sure she's a relative, but what was her relationship to my grandfather? Aunt? Cousin? Elder sister? They married about the same time as my grandparents, but my grandparents were a generation younger.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Haffnieter in Colorado

Found the surname "Haffnieter" in the Colorado phone book. John and Doug in Boulder, and Karen in Grand Junction.

Possible descendants of John Hefenieder, my great uncle?

The 1940 U.S. Census

The digitized 1940 U.S. Census will be available on April 2, 2012. There is a lot of excitement in the genealogy community, as this census covers "The Greatest Generation" and their parents. I expect to find my parents and grandparents there.

What else will I find? The 1940 census collected information on:
Full name
Age (can be used to calculate an approximate birth year)
Relationship to the head of household (active military personnel in naval yards, army posts, etc. may use the term "Sailor" or list military rank rather than actual relationship to head of household)
Birthplace of the individual and the parents (included even if the parents were not members of the household)
Marital status (single, married, widowed, or divorced)
Year immigrated to the United States
Whether a naturalized citizen
Native language if foreign-born and whether can speak English
Whether a military veteran
Street address and house number