Family and travel…

As I am heading out to Salt Lake City for my annual research trip tomorrow, I thought today’s post would be most appropriate. It is about family and travel. Hence the title.

Frieda Isserstedt, born 1882.

Frieda Isserstedt is my 1st cousin 3 times removed. Or to be less confusing, she is the daughter of my gg grandmother Amelia Isserstedt Hamm’s brother, Fritz. I hope that helps. She was a graduate of the University of Chicago and was a teacher. From all accounts a very much respected one too. According to her students no one could stump her on a historical event date.

In 1929 Frieda decided to take a European tour.

This article is from the Sheboygan Press.

That sounds like quite a trip, she never visited the family’s hometown, but it looks like she might not have had time.

Here is the Olympic, the ship she sailed home on:

A postcard version of the ship. As you can see it is a White Star Line ship, the same as the Titanic, and no, the ship made it home just fine.
This is the passenger list for the Olympic, Frieda is number 8 on the list.

My trip won’t be as exotic. But I do hope to have a good time. At least the restaurants are usually excellent. I can’t wait to head to my favorite sushi stop, way better than anything we get here.

I won’t be posting anything next week. Unless I have a really big find, but I have my doubts about that. So until the next post, stay cool. Aloha.

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Another generation…

I had a surprising email waiting for me this last weekend. It was a notification from ancestry.com that someone had left a messsage for me with my account. As it has been quite a while since anyone has contacted me through Ancestry I was eager to see what it was about.

A gentleman from Germany was asking me if I was still interested in information on my Isserstedts in Hassleben, Germany. My first thought was, ‘hell yeah!’

Friedrike is German and has been helping out folks with ancestors from Hassleben, because he has an ancestor from there. He has photographed all the pages from the St. Michael’s church books and sends them out to folks who are in need of copies. As the Mormon Church hasn’t microfilmed any of these church records, this was an excellent opportunity to get those church records.

Unfortunately, the book earlier than 1798 was burned in a fire and the one between 1824ish and 1843 was stolen, but as least there was one record he could send me:

Whole page of church book with Friedrich Carl Isserstedt entry.

Close up of Fred’s church entry, 1822, p231
Here Friedrich, my German acquaintance, translated the information so I would be sure to know what it means.

The translation (with a few grammatical corrections to read easier):

5. Friedrich Karl, Mister Johann Heinrich Isserstedt and his wife Magdalene Regina (born Grosse) 4th child, was born the 26th of February [1822] and baptized the 3rd of March through his godfathers 1. Johann Felix Mälzer Chirurgus = doctor 2. Adelgunde Sophie Grimmer wife of Johann Nicol Grimmer in Werningshausen [is a small town some miles north of Hassleben].

In case you haven’t figured it out by now this is Fred Isserstedt’s birth record from Germany. According to the church record Fred had three siblings and I am hoping to get their names. I don’t know if I will be able to find out much more on his parents as the church books needed are missing. Not having done much research with records still in Germany, it will be interesting to see if I will be able to find anything else about the family.

In remembrance of things past…

As today is Memorial Day, I thought it only appropriate to share this. It is a wonderful little find from last week.

In preparation for my trip to SLC this coming Saturday – yes, it is coming up fast – I was going over my game plan to make sure I was properly prepared. One of the surnames I will be researching this time is SMITH, this SMITH line will be Susanna Smith Shepard’s. I know her parents names and most of her siblings. One of her brothers was a gentleman named Kinzey Smith. Because of the more unique nature of the name I was checking to see if I could find anything online about him.

One of the hits in my search was FindAGrave, an excellent resource. There was a Kinsman “Kinzey” Smith listed, whose date of birth matched what I had in my records. So when I clicked on the link, up popped his entry, which included a picture of two men.

Here’s the kicker.

One of the men in the picture, looked exactly like one of the Shepard pictures I had scanned a few years ago and uploaded to Flickr. Not similar, exactly. So a read of the caption told me that this was a picture of brothers Charles and Kinzey Smith, both veterans of the Civil War. Charles had fought for the Union side, Kinzey joined the Confederates.

One can only image the family conversations on that subject. I haven’t done any research on either man yet. But in honor of their service I present them to you.

Charles is on the left and Kinzey is on the right. You will notice Kinzey has a hand missing, the result of a Fourth of July celebration gone wrong. You know what they say about playing with fire-crackers.

Here is the image that our family has had passed down to us:

I had thought that maybe this was Hartley Shepard, but now I know different.

And now I have pictures of three of the Smith family. Here’s Susanna my ggg grandmother:

This was pulled off the Deem Family website. It is an extremely bad copy, but the best I can do.

Have an excellent Memorial Day. We plan on ribs and great weather.

Pencils, protractors and rulers, oh my…

When you are researching land records in this country there are generally two kinds of property descriptions you will run into ‘metes and bounds’ and ‘rectangular survey’

The latter type is pretty easy to understand, everything is divided into squares or rectangles with specific acreages in wholes, halves, quarters. But metes and bounds is a whole other animal. 
Below is an example of each of property type. The first was owned by GEORGEs (Virginia/West Virginia) and the second was owned by CONNELLYs (Wisconsin):

BEGINNING at a beech and sugar tree on the south bank of McClery’s fork, and running thence
S45 degrees E55 poles to a hickory on a ridge
E344 poles to a white oak on the side of a hill
N100 poles to a black oak on the side of a point
N53 degrees, W180 poles to a stone on a hill near some white oaks
S82 degrees W184 poles to a white oak in a narrows, and thence
S20 degrees, W160 poles to the BEGINNING

and

sw1/4 sw1/4  s23  t18  r19 (translated this means – the southwest quarter of the southwest quarter of section 23, township 18, range 19.)

I made the metes and bounds property description easier to read by separating each description, normally you would see it as one long paragraph. You can also see the difference between the two methods in the description of each. The rectangular survey method is much easier to read and figure out.

So while I have understood for many years how to figure out what sections look like on a map. I had never tackled metes and bounds, until a few weeks ago, at which time I decided it was time to learn something new by practicing with my GEORGE family deeds. These deeds are all located in Tyler County, West Virginia.

Here is my first attempt:

This one came out pretty close, the poor quality of my tools affected the outcome.

The second one:

The trick is pretty simple, you need a protractor or something with degrees on it, a pencil, and a ruler. Put a dot on your paper center the dot on your protractor mark the first degree in the proper direction, then measure out the poles or rods. Next. Well, I won’t go into any more detail, after all it is actually something you have to do to understand better and once you learn the procedure, it is pretty easy and fun.

Once you start drawing out these property descriptions you also start finding out where the errors are in the surveyors measurements or the register of deeds copying talents, because over time errors do appear, as can be seen in this property I drew out:

Something is definitely wrong with the deed in the above drawing, now I just have to figure out where the mistake is. The squiggly line on the bottom is in fact a ‘meander’, this line actually follows a creek.

Here is another example of a bad deed. The numbers were very hard to read on this one and I believe the clerk writing it out made a couple of mistakes. I have drawn four versions of what the property looks like in this one drawing, none of them line up properly. I was going by what the numbers could be in the deed.

Guess I have some more work to do in Salt Lake City.

Doctor Palgrave…

I remember the old joke, that wasn’t really a joke, more of a riddle – 

A father and his son are in a car accident. The father dies instantly, and the son is taken to the nearest hospital. The doctor comes in and exlaims “I can’t operate on this boy.”
“Why not?” the nurse asks.
“Because he’s my son,” the doctor responds.
How is this possible?

Well the answer, of course, is because it was the boy’s mother.

I bet you thought I was going to talk about Dr. Richard Palgrave.


Well, it is the best image I could find. Even though it is earlier that the 1600s it is still appropriate.

While investigating the Palgrave family in Massachusetts, I can across an interesting entry in a TAG1 article regarding his daughter Sarah.


Sarah was the second youngest daughter of Richard and his wife Ann, She was born about 1621. When she was about 27 years old she married Doctor John Alcock, a 1646 graduate of Harvard. She only lived to be about 44 years of age, but in those 44 years, she had devoted herself to following in her father’s footsteps and became a physician, although most likely not officially sanctioned as such. According to her death entry in the Roxbury church records she was skilled in medicine and surgery.

It is doubtful that she had any formal schooling, because women weren’t allowed to attend any medical schools. Her father, and possibly her husband, are mostly like the ones who taught her everything she needed to know. Women at this time provided health services that consisted mostly of sick- and wet-nursing, midwifery, minor surgery and general physicals. Of course, even then, men were doing their best to butt into the business of birthing babies, and other female related health concerns by dismissing the expertise of female medical practitioners and midwives in publications, calling their methods unscientific, consisting of nothing but folk medicine.

Thankfully those days have changed.

I was quite thrilled to find this information about a female ancestor. Here’s one who wasn’t content to just sit at home and raise the babies, she wanted to make a difference in the world. Cool.


1 The American Genealogist, volume 18, page 209, “Dr. Richard Palgrave and his family.”


A little nachtmusik…

Here’s a fun one. I actually found this picture last fall and while cleaning out my iPhoto image library was reminded that I had it.

My dad and his sisters attended the Crandon, Wisconsin school system when they were younger. The county library has been digitizing their yearbooks from the schools. This image popped up during one of my searches:

It is of interest because my Aunt Claire is in this picture. She is in the third row from the bottom about in the middle of the line. I never knew she was musically inclined.

A love story…

Richard FitzAlan and Eleanor of Lancaster

Tomb of Eleanor and Richard.

Richard FitzAlan was married when he was just a child to Isabel le Despenser, not an unusual event fore the time period. Together they eventually they had at least one son. After several years together as husband and wife Isabel’s father was executed as a traitor by the Crown. Isabel had become political poison for Richard, which was fortuitous for him, now he could get rid of his wife whom he didn’t love and marry the women he had been having an adulterous affair with for a few years. Although, that is not the reason he gave the Pope when he requested an annulment, he claimed that he was underaged and unwilling at the time of his marriage.

Eleanor of Lancaster, the women with whom he had been having an affair was his true love. Further complicating matters was that Eleanor and Isabel were first cousins, which meant that they had to have special papal dispensation to marry. Which they did get.

King Edward attended the wedding, as he was a kinsman of Eleanor’s, but he was also very interested in the vast wealth Richard had rebuilt for his family. This wealth was probably what greased the wheels of the church in granting him his dispensation. This was Eleanor’s second married, her first husband had been killed in a tournament in 1342 after 12 years of marriage.

Eleanor died about 1370. Her husband survived her by four years, and was buried beside her. In his will Richard requested to be buried “near to the tomb of Eleanor de Lancaster, my wife; and I desire that my tomb be no higher than hers, that no men at arms, horses, hearse, or other pomp, be used at my funeral, but only five torches…as was about the corpse of my wife, be allowed.”

FitzAlan died an incredibly wealthy man, despite his various loans to Edward III. Adjusting his fortune to modern standards, FitzAlan was worth about $118 billion (in our dollars), making him the fifteenth richest person in history.

They have a beautiful tomb, which is much visited today and is the subject of the Philip Larkin poem,  An Arundel Tomb.

Where’s a copper when you need one…

Frederick William Hamm was a cop. Well he was one for at least 2 years in Duluth. His hiring occurred when a 15 year veteran of the department decided to retire.

October 1906, Duluth newspaper article. William H. Hamm is actually Frederick William Hamm. I know this because the address is the same as my great grandparents in Duluth in 1906.
Duluth Police Department image from 1900. This was the closest I could get to Fred’s time in service. But I doubt the uniforms changed much by the time he was hired.

The above newspaper article was printed the day before he was hired which occurred on October 13, 1906. When he became a patrolman they took his statistics which appeared thus in the record:

Fred W.  Hamm, born at Plymouth, Wis., Aug. 16th, 1876, height, 5ft. 11 3/8 ins; weight, 166 lbs.; chest expansion, 3 ins.; occupation, carpenter. Oct. 13th, 1906, appointed patrolman.1

Barely a month after he hit the streets he was wounded in the line of duty:

November 1906, Duluth newspaper article
Possibly because he was a lousy shot, although the newspaper copy is pretty bad there could be a number missing. Well, I certainly hope that is the case:
July 1908, Duluth newspaper article.
November 1907, Duluth newspaper article

There was another entry in his service record at the archives:

Jan. 13th, 1908, by order of Mayor Cullum, suspended from duty for (15) fifteen days without pay for neglect of duty on early morning of Jan. 5, 1908, in not arresting Richard W. Thoreson, Mabel Cullen and Anna O’Hara for drunkenness and disorderly conduct on Raleigh St. in West Duluth, to take effect Feb. 1st, 1908.1

According to his record he was discharged on Nov. 1, 1908, but it must be an error because when he was in court on November 19 for non-support of his family, it was indicated that he was discharged from service at that time. Either way he was definitely no longer a police officer by the end of November and by 1910  he had run away to Montana and was working in the woods there for a few years before heading back to Minnesota.
Fred was possibly using this paddy wagon by 1908. Before that they had the horse pulled wagons.

1 Northeast Minnesota Historical Center Collections, Archives and Special Collections, Library University of Minnesota Duluth. S2272 Duluth Police Department records, Box 4, Personnel Record 1894‐1920, p.213.



What do you do…

What do you do when in the course of your ancestral hunt you bag a couple of Kings and Queens? Do you keep mum or do you talk about it? If you talk about it, will folks think you are bragging or showing off?

That’s my dilemma. You see when I was checking out Doctor Richard Palgrave, my 11xgrandfather on the Shaw side of the family, I ran into the issue of him being a descendant of Charlemagne. I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time wrapping my head around that one. Especially since it it so far back in time, it almost seems surreal. Counting back Charlemagne is my generation’s 41xgrandfather. Of course we are not alone in our connection, as there are tens of thousands of descendants of Charlemagne. In fact, some say that the majority of Europeans are a descendant of Charlemagne.

Now that’s cool and all but for me the more interesting bit is now we have Italian and French kings and queens in the mix (when I didn’t think we had any Italian in us), until we get to William the Conquerer and finally Henry I. Although, I have to admit that it is not that these were Kings and Queens that fascinates me, so much as that these were people who were the heavy hitters in history, they played a major part in shaping their respective country’s destiny. Being a lover of history-although not an expert-I am totally cool with that.

So, no, I won’t ignore the famous ancestors in order to seem modest or humble. They have as much right to be recognized by me as those not so famous ones. And no, I am not bragging or showing off, if they are my ancestors, it is my duty as a family historian to claim them. Even the famous ones.

All the images that I have posted below are suppose to be ancestors of mine. When one goes over the tree for this line of descent there are several illegitimate connections and an unfortunate lack of names for some of the women who are birthing these generations. The images are pretty much in timeline order from oldest to most recent ancestor/ancestress.

Charlemagne King of the Franks
Bernard King of Italy
Hugh Capet King of France
William the Conqueror King of England
Mathilda of Flanders, wife of William the Conqueror
Henry I King of England

Robert Earl of Glouster

Now for the line of descent. I have kept it pretty minimal:

Charlemagne, King of the Franks, Holy Roman Emperor b.742-d.813/14
Married
Hildegarde b.758-d.783
Son
Pepin, King of Italy b.781-d. 810 [Italy]
Married
Unknown
Son
Bernard, King of Italy b.~ 797-d.818
married ~814
Unknown d.aft 15 Jun 835
Son
Pepin of Peronne, Count of Senlis, Peronne, St Quentin and Vermandois b.Married
Unknown
Son
Herbert I, Count of Vermandois b.~840 France-d.902
married
Beatrice (Bertha) de Morvois b.France
Daughter
Beatrice de Vermandois b.~880-d.aft. Mar 931 France
married 895
Robert I, Count of Paris, King of France b.866-d.(in battle) Soissons, France 15 Jun 923
Son
Hugh Magnus, Count of Paris, Duke of France b.~895-d.Deurdan, France 16 Jun 956
married (3) ~938
Hedwig of Saxony b.~922-d.10 May 965
Son
Hugh Capet, King of France b.941 France-d.France 24 Oct 996
married 968
Adelaide de Poitou b.France 950/550-d.France ~1004
Son
Robert II, King of France b.France 27 Mar 972-d.Melun, France 20 Jul 1031
married 1002
Constance de Provence b.~986-d.France 25 Jul 1032
Daughter
Adele de France b.?-d.France 8 Jan 1078/79
married1028
Baldwin V, Count of Flanders b.Flanders, France 1012-died Lille, France 1 Sep 1067
Daughter
Mathilda of Flanders b.Flanders, France ~1031-d. Caen, France 3 Nov 1083
married ~1051 Flanders
William I, the Conquerer, Duke of Normandy, King of England b.France 1027-d.France 9 Sep 1067
Son
Henry I, King of England b.England 1068-d.France 1 Dec 1135
Married
Unknown
Son
Robert de Caen, Earl of Gloucester b.1190-d.Bristol 31 Oct 1147
Married
Maud Fitz Hamon
Daughter
Maud de Caen b?-d.29 Jul 1189
married ~1141
Ranulph de Gernon, Vicomte d’Avranches, Earl of Chester b.France ~1100-bur. England 16 Dec 1153
Son
Hugh Kevelioc b.England 1147-d.Stafford 1181
married 1169
Bertrade de Montfort b.?-d.~1181
Daughter
Mabel de Chester b.England ~1165-d.England
married
William d’Aubigny b?-d.1220/21
Daughter
Isabel d’Aubigny b~1183-d.?
married
John FitzAlan I b.?-d.~1240
Son
John FitzAlan II b.England-d.England bef 10 Nov 1267
Married England
Maud Verdun b.England-d.England 27 Nov 1283
Son
John FitzAlan b.England 14 Sep 1246-d.England 18 Mar 1271/2
Married England
Isabel de Mortimer b.England ~1248-d.England >1300
Son
Richard FitzAlan III b.England 3 Feb 1266/7-d.England 9 Mar 1301/2
married ~1285
Alesia de Saluzzo b.England-d.England 25 Sep 1292
Son
Edmund FitzAlan b.England 1 May 1285-d.England 17 Nov 1326
married 1305 England
Alice de Warenne b.England-d.England
Son
Richard FitzAlan b.England ~1313-d.England 24 Jan 1375/6
married 5 Feb 1344/5 Ditton, England
Eleanor Plantagenet b.England 1311-d.England 11 Jan 1371/72
Son
Richard FitzAlan b.England ~1346-d.England 21 Sept 1397
married ~ 28 Sept 1359
Elizabeth De Bohun b.England-d.England 3 Apr 1385
Daughter
Elizabeth FitzAlan b.England ~1375-d.8 Jul 1425
married Robert Goushill b.?-d.Battle of Shrewsbury 21 Jul 1403
Daughter
Elizabeth Goushill b.England ~1414-d.England
Married
Robert Wingfield b.England-d.England
Daughter
Elizabeth Wingfield b.England-d.England 28 Apr 1497
married Jan 1462 England
William Brandon b.England ~1425-d.England 4 Mar 1491
Daughter
Eleanor Brandon b.England-d.England 30 Jun 1480
married 1466 England
John Glemham b.England
Daughter
Anne Glemham
Married England
Henry Pagrave b.England ~1470-d.2 Oct 1516 – PALGRAVE CONNECTION
Son
Thomas Pagrave b.Married
Alice Gunton
Son
Edward Palgrave b.England 1540-d.England 20 dec 1623
Married
Unknown
Son – emigrants to AMERICA
Richard Palgrave b.England ~1585-d.Charlestown MA Oct 1651 –
married 17 Feb 1669 England
Anna Harris b.England 1594-d.Roxbury, MA 17 Feb 1668/69
Daughter
Mary Palgrave b.England ~1619-d.married ~1637 Watertown, MA
Roger Wellington b.England ~1610-d.Watertown MA 11 Mar 1697/98

It appears that the connection of Richard to these generation is legitimate, (while not all the births were). And while I haven’t done the research myself, many others have – I just hope they aren’t messing with me. The above list of ancestors is touted as the direct line down, I haven’t even begun to look into the lines of those who married into it. That would probably be another ten years of research. I will start here with little baby steps, with full intention of continuing to investigate to make sure this claim is indeed correct.

Great–now I have to bone up on my British history. As if I didn’t have enough to do.

A little spit goes a long way…

This week FamilyTreeDNA announced their new ‘myOrigins’ which is, according to their website, the new version of their DNA Population Finder. This is the test that gives you your ethnic makeup. If you had the FamilyFinder test done previously, then you will automatically see the new results. Apparently they have updated their database, so the percentages and breakdowns of one’s results, in some cases, will have changed slightly.

I have already seen one change, the 5% JOHN result that had Palestinian/Jewish/Bedouin is no longer there. But now I see Spanish/Italian/Greek in the mix instead, which is also seen with William Shepard’s results. Interestingly Bill has a slight bit of Middle Eastern showing up now, and no Germanic whatsoever. I highly suggest you click on the images to see them larger.

Vic’s results show very little of his German ancestry, but lots of his mother’s Norwegian and, possibly, George Hamm’s unknown father’s Northern Mediterranean heritage, (which probably showed up as the Jewish background before the update). There is also a bit of the JOHN’s Trans-Ural Plains.

Bill has mostly English/Irish/Scottish with good percentage of Northern Mediterranean thrown in, and that smudge of Middle Eastern, maybe the latter two came from the Roman empire’s invasion of the British Isles.

For myself, it looks like I got mostly the German DNA with about equal amounts Irish/English/Scottish and Norwegian. The surprise for me is seeing the Finnish added in the mix with our Norwegian, although I am not sure why I should be surprised.

Now for those Bumann relatives. No surprise here, with a guy who is half German and half Polish, these results were pretty well expected.

I didn’t put Robert Cain’s results on here because he is only related to us on one side of his family, the Cain side, so I don’t know what part of the results would be from his mother and what part his father.

Personally I find the new way of presenting the data very organic and more comprehensive, also colorful. And as purple is my favorite color, I am glad to see lots of it on the maps, even if it’s not on mine.

The study of the origins of the human race has always been of interest to me. As far back as high school I was most interested in those classes that taught DNA and Anthropology. Reading about the breakthroughs in science, that are helping us understand where we come from, has been a fascinating journey these last few years. And it seems that more and more of these breakthroughs are coming out everyday. I am glad that I am able to participate in the ride and I thank those of you who have joined me by donating your spit.

Science Rocks!