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