New Blog

Well folks, I have been a busy, busy, bee. Only I have not been doing much genealogy. Ack! No I have been working on getting a blog setup for my beadwork. And today I finally finished getting my first post published, which is my intro post.

It took me a while to find a template that worked and decide on a look that I was happy with, but I finally did. Welcome to Warped Designs a trade-name I have been using since the 1990s. (Although, it appears others have unimaginatively co-opted the name, and so I have had to make a slight, annoying, change to the url.)

If you are interested have a look. If not that’s cool too. I still plan to post genealogy stuff. Unfortunately, time is in short supply these days, as is access to data. I haven’t been able to get to Salt Lake City for research, and travel elsewhere is going to be non-existent for the next year, at least.

Stay safe, wear a mask!

Letter January 20, 1900 Peter Klaus To George Hamm

‘Isserstedt’ is totally mangled in this printed invite.

                                                                                                                Schwabsburg [Germany], January 2, 1900

Dear Georg!

I received the invitation to your silver anniversary. I was pleased to be invited and might have come, but it was already December 20 when I received the letter, so I would have gotten there too late, and the sea voyage is also not very pleasant in the winter. I gave the letter and card to your brothers and sisters to read. Last winter we had neither snow nor ice, and the vintage year 1899 was very good for us. Grain, wine, fruit, and potatoes were all plentiful.

We had about 3 weeks of cold weather, but now its warming up. Your brother-in-law Eigelsheimer has become a policeman. He and your sister are doing well and send their regards. Grandmother is also still well and sends her regards. You didn’t say anything about the picture that I sent you. You can probably still sing it. I can’t think of anything else in particular to write about. Best regards from all of us, especially to you,

                                                                                                                from your friend,
Peter Klaus         

Letter August 22, [18]97 Fritz Hamm To His Brother George Hamm

Nierstein [Germany] August 22, [18]97.

Dearest brother, sister-in-law, and family,

Since I have not yet been able to speak with all my brothers and sisters and it will be too long to wait until I get together with them, I want to write in the meantime to let you know that your pictures arrived here safely, which you already knew from Johann Müllers letter. I therefore also delayed writing, since sister Lieschen and Peter Claus were going to write to you right away too, and I didn’t want all the letters to reach you at the same time.

We were so very happy to receive your pictures. You are still very much recognizable, and your children definitely show a resemblance to you. Your wife has also not changed much, for you had sent us her picture to our departed father earlier. I recognized her at once. I will reciprocate next summer. When our Elischen is stronger, I want to have my picture taken with the whole family too. Brothers Carl and Andreas seem a little miffed because you didn’t send along any pictures for them. I will now get in touch with our other siblings by mail. I have no time to talk with them in person, for I am here at Senfters and I have to be there on Sundays if needed not for nothing, of course. In any case, the others plan write to you right away, as far as I know, and there is no hurry anyway.

Now to change the subject. How did your harvest turn out? And are you finished with your building work? Is everything back to normal? The harvest is over here, and the fruit was abundant. Potatoes also seem to have done well, and the grape harvest seems to be an excellent one, plentiful and good. The grape harvest was good last year too, at least plentiful, but this year its much better and more plentiful, that much we know already. We had a very hot summer, alternating with favorable rains. In many areas of our fatherland, the people were sorely afflicted with lightning, hail, and flooding. In Bavaria, Württemberg, and Saxony it was very bad. Many houses there were carried away, and many people lost their lives. We live in a good area here, and therefore the crop prices have risen colossally. We can drink wine cheaply this year – you can get a bottle for as little as 15 pfennigs 5 kreuzers in our old currency. Last year I had also put up a 100-glass keg of wine for myself, for I had laid in several of them in the yard. But this year I’m getting even more. If some time you feel inclined to visit your old homeland, I will see to it that you can refresh yourself with a glass of this pure wine. If I had the money, I would have looked you up in your new home totally unexpectedly. Well, life’s not over yet. Your contemporary Johannes Jung from Schwabsburg died two weeks ago. He had been sick for an entire year. But if you were to come here, you would be amazed at how everything has changed. All our fathers old friends and comrades and even some of the younger ones are no longer around.

I must close, with many brotherly regards,
Fritz and family

Greetings from all of us.
Please forgive me for waiting so long to  write.
I’ll count on hearing from you soon.


7 This is hard to translate without knowing the situation being alluded to. Fremde Leute means other people (not family or close friends).
8 footnote * I don’t know what part of the village is the back, but my guess is its the side furthest from the nearest center of commerce.
9 I have no idea what this word means, but it seems to refer to the poem that follows (yes, it rhymes in German). Because of some unusual spellings, I’m not sure I’ve interpreted all the words of the poem correctly.

Letter [early 1897?] Fritz Hamm To His Brother George Hamm

Dearest brother and family,

Your letter came as a big surprise on February 27, for I expected it to take longer. I was able to determine from it that it took just 13 days. When I was out walking and the mail carrier told me he had delivered a letter from America to my house, I couldn’t help but go straight home and see what news there was from you. I’m pleased to see from your letter that you are doing very well over there. That is not the case with us here, for when you have a family here, its all you can do to get them through. You know how it is here. I don’t need to point it out any more. But we are all well, thank God, and the children will soon be big. Then, God willing, we will make more progress than were making now.

You wanted to know where all your brothers and sisters are, so I’ll begin. Andreas lives in Nierstein and cultivates vineyards. He has 4 children. Jakob is in Büttelborn and has one daughter. He is doing very well. Maria lives in our fathers house and has one son. Johannes keeps moving. Usually he goes to Wiesbaden in the summer to work in the brick factory. He has one daughter. Karl, in Schwabsburg, married one of shoemaker Staabs daughters and has no children. Then I’m next. Kretche [Gretchen] lives in Frankfurt. She has a husband from Switzerland who runs a delicatessen. They have 3 children. Kätche lives in Bodenheim. Her husband is employed with the railway, and they have 5 children. Heinrich has gone to his eternal rest. Lieschen is married to Erhard Müller and has 7 children, 3 of whom are deceased. So most of them have quite large families.

I also want to tell you that when our late father died, several of the siblings came into conflict with each other. Sister Maria talked our father out of the house for 1400 marks on his deathbed, when he was no longer thinking clearly. Today its worth 2000 marks, and [she] also hauled off a lot of other money and everything. And brother Andreas, once back when he was working, got 150 M from him to pay his debt at Bayerthal. He had this made out to him, and all the other siblings are at the back of the line. So I, for one, can never forget what they did, and I stay out of their way entirely.

This week I spoke with Peter Claus. He said you were going to send your family picture to him too. He plans write to you again soon. This summer we will have our picture taken too and then well exchange with you. So go ahead and send us your picture soon.

Johann Müller could hardly believe that you had sent him your regards until I showed him the letter. But even from a distance, he recognized your handwriting. He plans to write you a few lines too, in the near future.

Well, that’s all for now. I look forward to an early reply.

With fond brotherly regards,

                                                                                                                Fritz and family

Also, best regards to your wife and children.

I am enclosing my picture as dragoon. Its faded, but still quite a good likeness. I had it hanging on the wall for 17 years. I am the only one who served in the cavalry.

This is the picture that Fritz sent to his brother George. It is still in the family. Fritz is the second one from the right standing with his hand on the gentleman sitting, and what looks like a cigar in his mouth, but that could just be a scratch in the picture. You can tell that this picture was cobbled together, some of the men have distinct white outlines where they have been cut and pasted in .

Sarah M. Goble 1853-1937

Sallie Goble Shaw 1914

Sarah (Sallie) was born on the 15th of March 1853 in New Richmond, Clermont County, Ohio. The youngest daughter of Alice Brown and Stephen Goble.

The picture of Sallie at left is the earliest photograph I have been able to find that our family owns. She is in her 60s at the time it was taken.

Sallie grew up in a Baptist household of 5 siblings until the youngest child, and only boy, William, died at the age of 8. Then there were only 5 girls left.

Her father work on the river as a steamboat engineer for over 40 years, and also farmed according to the census records. I am not sure how he found time for both!

New Richmond, where she grew up, was a hotbed of abolitionist activity. In the 1830s a man started an abolitionist newspaper in Kentucky, much to the outrage of pro-slavery citizens. Because of the violence perpetrated against himself and his shop by pro-slavery rioters he had to move his operations to a safer location. He looked to New Richmond, which welcomed him with open arms. Many prominent folks in the town were squarely on the side of anti-slavery and suffered outrages from pro-slavery rioters for a while, but the offenders were eventually persuaded to leave. The town itself was composed of a very diverse population, which was made even more so by the fact that it was a major stop on the steamboat trail of folks traveling on the river.

Sallie’s education would have been pretty decent, if she had a mind to learn. New Richmond found education to be an important part of their community, so didn’t stint on putting money into its maintenance. We don’t know to what grade Sallie attended, possibly it was just to the 8th grade. And, of course, if she was done with school, then it was full time household and farm work.

As I mentioned before, while her father worked on the river, he also farmed. I am sure that Sallie spent many a day keeping the chickens alive, the plants weeded, putting the food up for winter, helping to get dinner on the table, doing the laundry, making butter. The usual. Or, they could have been a more prosperous family, who could afford to purchase a few of those household goods already made or hire help in the house. Although there is no evidence of such a thing happening. Census records are a good indicator of ‘help’ in a family and none of the census records found indicate such a person living in the household.

When she was 22 Sallie accepted a marriage proposal from a local lad by the name of John Charles Shaw.1 His family had been settled in the area about as long as hers, so they possibly grew up together. The marriage was performed by Pastor Seigfried on 27 Oct 1875. I do not know where they married, it could have been in the Baptist Church, or in the bride’s parent’s home.

Here is the church today:

From the church’s website: “The original section of the church was built in 1842, the same year that the congregation avowed “not to fellowship with those who sustained or countenanced” the institution of slavery.”

The couple made their home around family by staying in Clermont County where they purchased property and farmed, first in Ohio Township, then eventually moving to Monroe Township. They raised a family of three children consisting of 1 daughter and 2 boys. (Tragically, their 3rd son Stephen died at the age of 1). Their youngest son grew up to become my great grandfather Montral Goble Shaw.

Sallie and John were married for 49 years when he died in 1924. By 1928 Sallie was living in Los Angeles County, California. I know this because she sold property in Ohio that she inherited from her husband, and the deed stated her location at the time of the transaction. However, she didn’t lived there a long time. She was probably just visiting with relatives for a long visit when the land was sold.

By the 1930 census, Sallie and her daughter Viola, who never married, were living together in Columbus, Ohio, at the house seen in the picture below. Although, I am sure it didn’t look like that when they lived there in the 1930s.

1509 Lincoln Road, Columbus, Ohio. The home was owned by Sallie. Viola appears to have inherited it after Sallie died in 1937, because she was still living there in the 1940 census.

Sadly that is really all I know about Sally. We have a few pictures and no stories, just pieced together official documents that inform us of a tiny bit of her life.

The 55 acre farm was just past the curve on Jett Hill Rd., heading up in this photo.
I believe that this is the road to the old Shaw farm. It was about here that John and Sallie had 55 acres. The house probably was demolished, unless it is further back on this road. Everything around here is pretty flat. (But then they owned a lot of property over the years, so I could be barking up the wrong tree.)

Sources:
1. Copy of Marriage Certificate in possession of researcher, no source as to where it came from. Reads: “This is to certify that John C. Shaw of New Richmond, O and Sallie Goble of the same place were by me united together in Holy Matrimony on the 27th day of October in the year of our lord 1875 in the presence of Ruth Goodwin, Jennie Goss, Simeon Seigfried.” Very ornate border around edge, which means copy that was given to couple and not the registration seen in a register of deeds office.

Letter July 7, 1897 Elizabeth Hamm Müller To Her Brother George Hamm

Schwabsburg [Germany], July 7, 1897

Dear brother, sister-in-law, and family.

We received your picture and note and were very pleased that you finally thought of us.

I would have written you earlier, but didn’t have a proper address. We have often spoken of you, and Erhard keeps saying, ‘Doesn’t he remember the prank that he played in our house? If he could write to Peter Glaus [Klaus], he could write to us some time too.’

I didn’t know but what our father had written to you that I am marred to Erhard Müller. Dear brother, please excuse me for not writing right away. On July 1 we were blessed once again with a little son. Now we have 2 boys and 3 girls, and 3 have died. Our oldest girl is 12 years old. We have had a heavy burden of illness with our children. 

We had your name recorded with our little one. I hope it will be fun for you to have another godchild in Germany.  My brother-in-law Heinrich stood in for you at the baptism. We don’t want to burden anyone else, because if you have too many, you probably know very well how it was with us earlier. I heard that our sister Maria was miffed at me because she didn’t get a picture. What an ass she is. We haven’t spoken a word to each other for 13 years. She didn’t want me to marry Erhard. I couldn’t have gotten a better one. But we agree. That’s the main thing. Brother Fritz has probably already told you, one by one, where our other siblings are. We live in Erhards fathers house, and we have made a lot of changes. And when you have a lot done, that costs a lot of money right away. But it was necessary. You remember how it was before.

Dear brother you probably know very well that as long as the children are still small you don’t have anyone to help you. It must have been that way for you too. But now you are a wealthy man, so I hear.

I have shown your picture to various friends, and they don’t even believe its you. But Erhard said right away that if you didn’t have the beard you would look the same as ever. Our aunt Mrs. Matter complains that you’ve never even sent her a greeting. She and Christina are still alone, i.e. not yet married. When I showed them your picture, they laughed again and said I should remind you about the time when there was such a severe thunderstorm that you and her Johannes prayed, but you were holding the prayer book upside down.

Dear brother, I wish I could talk with you in person, but that cannot be. Were too far apart.

If our father had allowed it, perhaps I might have been with you right now. When Mothers Lischen was in Germany, she absolutely wanted to take me with her. She even wanted to pay for my passage. But he wouldn’t give in. I was 18 years old then. That would have been the best age, and I would have gone at once. If our little one stays healthy, we are thinking of having our picture taken this fall, and then well send you our picture too.

My sister-in-law, Eva Müller, sends you her best regards and also would like you picture. I wont need to write you our address. There is only one Erhard Müller in Schwabsburg. Erhard wants to write to you next time. He is currently working in Nackenheim, where they are building a dam. He comes home so tired at night that he doesn’t get around to writing.

Dear brother Georg, Ill close now, until next time. But don’t keep me waiting as long as I did you.

[Elizabeth/Lieschen Müller]

Sketchy Relations?

Over the years I have tried to find records in Germany for George Hamm in particular, but really any other German ancestors that I have, including the Isserstedt and Sachs families. Some states in Germany have more easily accessible records than others. Although, to be honest I have had very little luck with any of my ancestors’ places of origin. Looks like I need to hire a German researcher.

One way that I have tried to expand on the Hamm family was to make a database of all the persons of interest found the baptismal entry of George Hamm, and his siblings, in an effort to suss out relatives of the Hamm and Knobloch families. This is what I came up with:

Of course now I have to figure out how these folks are related, keeping in mind that sometimes close friends of the family are made Godparents.

So I started researching the surnames found in the database. I haven’t made much progress so far, but I did run into one interesting document using the Bing search engine. [I use !Google, !Bing and Duck Duck Go as my search engines, that way I cover more bases, you never know what one search will emphasize over another.]

Großherzogtum Hessen/Regierungsblatt 1849/505
9) a. Adam Krebs, b. Johannes Eller, c. Johann Dilg, alle drei Taglöhner, d. Peter Eimermann, Wingertsmann, sämmtlich aus Schwabsburg, wegen Meineids durch Urtheil vom 28. April 1849 ein Jeder in eine Correctionshausstrafe von 2 Jahren.

TRANSLATION:
List of criminal judgments of the courts of the province of Rheinhessen which have become legally binding and are to be published in accordance with Article 20 of the Criminal code. The following were condemned:

Grand Duchy of Hesse / Government Gazette
9) a. Adam Krebs, b. Johannes Eller, c. Johann Dilg, all three day laborers, d. Peter Eimermann, Wingertsmann [this word didn’t translate, it’s an occupation], all from Schwabsburg, because of perjury by judgment of April 28, 1849 everyone in a Corrections house/facility for two years.

http://wiki-de.genealogy.net/Gro%C3%9Fherzogtum_Hessen/Regierungsblatt_1849/505

This record is from the German GenWiki site where it appears that they are putting up all kinds of out of copyright books, church registers, directories etc.

It appears that these gentleman all perjured themselves in court and paid the price. Eller, Dilg, and Eimermann are all names I have seen in relation to the Hamm family. With some of these names appearing in the baptismal records. I have no clue at this time what the case involved, but I hope their perjury was worth the price.

As this case happened in 1849 all the men involved were probably of George Hamm’s father’s generation, especially since two of them were soon to be godparents to some of Jakob and Elizabeth Hamm’s children, George’s parents.

I am not surprised that the Hamm’s are cozy with convicts, criminal behavior appears to streak through the Hamm family too.

Hopefully, in the near future I will be able to go through those Schwabsburg church records again in Salt Lake City to see if I can find more Hamm and Knobloch family.

Letter January 24, 1897 Fritz Hamm To His Brother George Hamm

This is Nierstein, just a hop and a skip from Schwabsburg. [Image from Wikipedia entry for Nierstein.]

Nierstein, January 24, [18]97

Dear brother and family,

I presume you can remember that you also have a brother in the old homeland named Fritz. I was just a boy when you went to America, and because I am now the youngest of your brothers, I  have a mind to reach out to you in that faraway world by mail. Because of a change in mail carriers in Nierstein, it so happened that, one year before our fathers death, a letter from you came into my hands. In it, I read that you intended to give your old homeland the pleasure of paying it a visit in 2 years. But I did not find your address in this letter. I would have liked to write to you back then that you should not put off your visit for so long. For I knew that our father was already suffering badly from the weakness of old age. From that time on, I kept asking him for your address, but he always had an excuse. Once he said I just don’t have time. Another time he said, I’ll send it to you. And the third time, he said, I’ve already written to Georg. To this day, I don’t know what his problem was. You know this was just a quirk our father had. He never let us read one of your letters. He would just say George wrote thus and so, and that was all. Well, to get beyond all that now, I want to write and tell you how I’m doing.

I have been married for 15 years and live in Nierstein out on the Kreutz [cross; name of a street?] in the former Gabel house. So far, I have the pleasure of being the father of 7 children. I will tell you their names: Kätchen is 15 years old, Lenche is 11, Karl is 8, Fritz is 6, and Elischen is 3 months old. Jakob and Lieschen, who come after Fritz, preceded us in death, to our great sorrow, so now we are a family of seven. I have lived here seven years and am employed at Senfter, where brother Andreas used to work. I make good money and get free living quarters. I have just begun my fortieth year of life, and my wife, née Lenche Wild from Erfelden, is 38 years old. I don’t know how big a family you have. You can tell me the details.

You probably already know where all your other brothers and sisters are, but if you are uncertain about anything, you can ask me about it in the letter that I hope to get from you. I would be glad to provide you with information.

I’ll have to stop writing, for, as you can see, I’ve run out of space. If I were to write you everything that has happened since your departure for America, it would be far too much and take a lot of time. I’ll tell you more next time.

[Fritz Hamm]

Sheriff Or Bust!

I know, I know. It has been quite a while since I have posted anything. I apologize to my readers. Happily, ever since being on furlough, I have been able to renew my passion for beading. Projects are bursting out of my head onto the computer then coming off the loom. Unfortunately this has caused genealogy to become less of a priority. Well, I have been doing genealogy pretty consistently for 20 years now, I guess I can take a bit of a break.

This means that my blog has also suffered the consequences of this neglect. I will try to do better in the future. I am even thinking of adding another part to my site where I post my bead projects, that way I can share both of my interests.

On that note, I actually have a smidgen of gossip to share today.

I mentioned in an earlier post about Gertrude Cain John that her husband Victor had been sheriff in 1919 for two terms. Recently I found a notice in the newspaper that I thought was pretty fun.

This is Victor’s notice posted in the Wabeno Northern Advertiser addressed to the citizens of Forest County, Wisconsin that he was running for sheriff. Now, things were not going to be easy for him in this election, two other men were also running. All of them were from Crandon.

But, (spoiler alert) his fellow citizens decided to take a chance and Victor won. In fact, he won twice.

January 21, 1893 Letter Peter Klaus to George Hamm


I am sure that everyone is getting bored with Herman’s letters, so I thought I would change things up again. The Hamm Family letters, that I had professionally transcribed and translated, about 15-20 years ago, are a good choice. These letters were shared with the family many years ago, but I feel they deserve a re-visit.

These letters are correspondence to George and Amelia Hamm who lived in Medford, Wisconsin. They are from: siblings of George’s who lived in Germany, a friend of his from the old stomping grounds, and his Godfather, both of the latter from Schwabsburg, Germany.

Scan of original letter in our family’s possession.

Schwabsburg, 21 January, 1893

Dear friend,

I have owed you a letter for a long time. But I wanted to wait until our new church was dedicated. The enclosed sheet shows you our church [this sheet was lost]. The tower is in the exact spot where our spray house [?] used to stand. The other little tower is precisely at the corner of our old church. The gable and entry are directly facing your father’s house.

I have several other news items to tell you about. The mason Franz Horn died on January 4, 1895. He was the first person to be buried in the new cemetery. He was also the first one for whom the new bell was tolled, the first one buried by the new pastor, and the first one to have his funeral held in the new church.

Your brothers and sisters are all still well and happy. Especially your sister Mari and her husband are doing very well. I would consider it a pleasure if you would come to see us some time soon. It is now wintertime. We’ve slaughtered our pigs and the cellar is full of wine. If you were at our house, you could enjoy yourself and it would be a pleasure for us as well.

Kaspar Franke Andreas and I are pals. He is present even as I write and sends you his best regards. His wife also died five years ago. My father died on the first day of Pentecost. He was 87 years old.

You promised to send me a picture of your family, and I’m going to hold you to your word.

I’ll close now. Our warm regards to you and your entire family.

Peter Klaus.

NOTE: Peter is an old friend of George’s. By 1893 George had been in America for 20 years, having arrived in 1873. He never went back to Germany, and no one else in his family emigrated to America. He had 11 brothers and sisters.