Thanksgiving Musings

Expressing thanks to those who have helped me on my journey of family research seems an appropriate thing to do on this Thanksgiving Day 2006.  Mentioning everyone will be impossible.  So this is a sampling, one that provides anyone reading this an idea of the remarkable range of assistance available.

My heartfelt thanks to:

The New Holstein Historical Society,  for publishing informative books about the people from Schleswig-Holstein who established the new community in eastern Wisconsin in 1848 and built it into an area with prosperous industries and farms.

Barbara Weber, directory of the New Holstein Public Library, who helped me with their obituary index to the New Holstein Reporter and made sure I read about the town and some of my ancestors in the centennial book.

Debie Blindauer, webmaster of the Calumet County genealogy and history site where I found so much about ancestors who were among the early settlers in New Holstein, located in that county.

The Milwaukee Genealogical Society, that indexed and put online a large collection of Additional Milwaukee Marriages from 1822 to 1876, most not found elsewhere.  Here I found the marriage dates of some of my early family in Milwaukee including:

  • In 1857: Joachim Speich and Marianna Stocker, both from Switzerland
  • In 1859: Sherman A. Bradley, from Connecticut, and Hannah M. Church, born in Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Historical Society, that has put a wealth of genealogy resources online including a new Virtual Records Index to many early births, marriages and deaths.  Searching the Wisconsin Name Index showed that a biographical sketch had been prepared on Benjamin Church in the 1930s as part of the Federal Writers Project, at the time his Greek Revival house was being rescued and made into a museum.  What a treasure to have about one’s ggg-grandfather, born in New York and my earliest ancestor to arrive in Wisconsin — in 1835.

Ellen, who with volunteers has built Links to the Past – Milwaukee Web site with truly extraordinary resources. The transcribed City Directories for 1848-1849 and for 1857-1858 are one examples of special resources. In the latter volume, several ancestors were found, including:

  • Sherman A. Bradley, carpenter, boards with Mrs. Luscomb
  • B. Church [Benjamin], builder, Fourth, between Cherry and Galena, W
  • John Speich [surely Joachim based on the 1860 Census] , grocer, North Water, between Milwaukee and Odgen, W

Ira May “Tootie” Sharp Dennis, who for more than 30 years has devoted herself to tracing all the descendants of Isaac Sharp and his wife Mary Woolverton Sharp — including daughter Rebecca Sharp who married David S. Conger, among my maternal lineage. In the summer of 2006, she confirmed that I had correctly figured out that an old biography of old Isaac was wrong about Rebecca’s husband, an error picked up in genealogy databases.  Tootie has developed a Sharp Family Web site where I learned even more about my Sharp and Conger ancestors.

And, mostly recently, Robert Roesler of the Greenfield Historical Society who has sent a plat map showing where the Jacob and Samuel Stocker farms were located in Greenfield, Milwaukee County, when the properties were bought and sold, and much more. The two men were Marianna’s father and brother.

And last but not least, family members! Mother, sister, uncle, cousins — and relatives I did not know I had — all had pieces of the puzzle that is slowing fitting together into our family saga, our part of America’s history.  Thank you all!

Published in: on November 23, 2006 at 6:44 pm  Leave a Comment  
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