November 6, 2012

Update and some corrections

Posted in Hildebrand, My Family tagged , , , , at 7:35 pm by indianajane

Women at Brachts


I have been trying to figure out who all of the people in this picture are for a long time. I was recently given a sheet with the names of the women in this picture. The person who identified them is Emma Dettlinger Worthman, born in 1903. Emma is my half-first cousin 2x removed.

As I wrote before, the first thing that I knew for certain was the identity of the tallish woman in the middle holding the baby. That is my great grandmother Flora Bracht Hildebrand. The little girl in front of her is, we are fairly certain, her oldest child, Irene, who was born in October 1910. The woman standing just to the left of her is her mother-in-law, Wihelmina Kruetzman Hildebrand, who lived with them. She is holding Walter, who was born in September 1912. The baby Flora is holding is Marie, born in January 1915. My grandmother, Helen, would be born in April 1917, and there is no sign of her.

We now know that the picture was taken before February 1916 because the woman second from the left is Sophia Peck Kruetzman, my 3rd great-grandmother, who died in February 1916.

From the left: Katharine Spies Peck; Sophia Peck Kruetzman; Mrs. Engleman (wife of the pastor at Salem Church, Magley), holding one of her children; Wilhelmina Kruetzman Hildebrand with Walter Hildebrand; Flora Bracht Hildebrand holding Marie Hildebrand (Grether), with Irene Hildebrand (Peck) standing in front of her; Emma Kruetzman (Beineke); Susanna M. Conrad (Reppert);Rosina Hildebrand (Scherry) (behind Susie Conrad);  Martha Kruetzman (Reppert); Susie Kruetzman (Bloemker) holding Irene Bloemker (Blume); Mary Kruetzman (Bracht); Sophia Kruetzman (Conrad) Children: an Engelman, Cordelia Engelman, Emily Bracht, an Engleman child, Martha Conrad (Peters), Sarah Engelman, Lois Engelman









Beyond that, I was completely on the wrong track.



February 6, 2012

A big frustration

Posted in General Genealogy tagged at 8:59 am by indianajane

As I’ve gotten back to my research, I keep running headlong into a major frustration. There is ever-more bad information floating around on the genealogical internet. Questionable data of unverified veracity is presented as fact. Some of it is impossible; some improbable; and some credible, but still wrong.

There is one researcher with whom I have a number of common ancestors who has her trees published in several spots and often shares information. This sharing of information is one of the lovely things about the genealogy community. But she persists in several errors, even after she has been sent the documentation of the correct information. One small example: She persists in publishing information about my grandfather’s family that shows him as a female.

I have one ancestress who is a puzzle that several people are working on, but the birthplace that is generally ascribed to her makes no geographical, historical, or genealogical sense. It was only after I looked critically at that one widely published “fact” that I started to make progress.

A large number of trees have one of my progenitors married to the wrong woman. It was written that way at some point along the line. Even though it is contradicted by marriage records, census records, and other bits and pieces of evidence, it still persists.

Because I’m a perfectionist about these things, I have never published my tree or my data, especially since a computer crash about twelve years ago wiped out all of my source citations to that point.  I’ve shared things with interested individuals, but never widely. But I know how frustrating it is for me when I am searching and find a bit of information presented that is new to me, or perhaps perplexing or intriguing, that is un-sourced, making tracking it down extremely difficult.


January 30, 2012

Four generations-1965

Posted in Beery, Hildebrand, My Family, Photos at 5:03 pm by indianajane

My  mother, Grandmother Helen Hildebrand Beery, Great-Grandmother Flora Bracht Hildebrand, and me.

An eventful year

Posted in General Genealogy at 4:51 pm by indianajane

This past year was eventful enough that I had very little time to even think about research, let alone do any.

–My daughter became engaged.

–We moved into a 90+ year old house that needed extensive work. (Far more than expected.) I am currently doing some research on its history.

–My daughter got married.

–We sold our former house and my husband began a long-distance commute.

But it’s a new year and I’m ready to get back with it. I had lost access to my blog and it took me a few weeks to regain it, but now that I have I plan to be posting here a lot.

March 24, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday

Posted in Cemetaries, Harrod, My Family tagged , , at 1:07 pm by indianajane

I’ve decided it’s time to join in the fun genealogy memes that are out there! Which tombsone should I pick?


This is the stone of my GGGreat-granparents Anna Ulery Harrod and Joseph Harrod. They are buried in the Hoagland Cemetary in Hoagland, Indiana.

March 21, 2009

Trying to knock through a brick wall

Posted in Beery, My Family, Steele tagged , , , , , , , at 1:06 pm by indianajane

My mom’s GGGrandmother on her father’s side, Sarah Serring Steele,  is listed as Sarah Serring in the marriage records of Adams County, Indiana. We have her birthdate in 1824. The birthplace that we had for her was a county in Ohio that didn’t exist yet when she was born. We know that, as a teen, she came to Adams County with William Shady and his family and that when he died, he left inheritances to her children in his will.

Over the past several years I have searched for her family in the counties that her birth county was derived from for some sign of her family. I found a couple of Serrings,or similar names, but no one who looked likely to be related to her.

I spent today at the Allen County Public Library, focusing solely on the Sarah Serring brickwall, how to connect her to William Shady and his family. I made a list of the ways she could have been related, including through his wife, Susannah Grim.

As I was looking over the maps and all of the information that I had on her to this point, it occurred to me that there is a town, Ashville, in Pickaway Co. and that Pickaway County is where William Shady and Susannah Grim were married several years after her birth. Maybe the reports of her being born in Ashland Co. were really confusions about her having been born in Ashville. (Which would explain why my searches in the counties that now make up Ashland have yielded nothing.) In addition, Ashland County didn’t make as much geographic sense.
So I decided to focus on Pickaway County, and began poring through every book that addressed the early 19th century in that county. I searched for over four hours. Finally, in the 5th and final hour of my search, I found what may turn out to be a clue. In a book with inscriptions from three old cemeteries I found a number of  “Zehrung” graves. Several of which are unreadable, including two that seem likely to fall between 1811 and 1850. I made a note of it, because it was easy to see how the pronunciation of Zehrung could end up as Serring. However, when I turned the page I got really excited. I got the “you’re on the right path” chills. In that same very small cemetery was buried Susannah Grim’s mother, Deborah. Also, in that cemetery and the one nearby are  Steeles.

So now I will set back out through the Pickaway County records looking for Zehrung/Zehring (as it was in the nearby cemetery.) I’ll start my search for her family all over again. It may be a blind alley, but it has definitely brought some renewed energy to my search!

January 15, 2009

Need to get to work

Posted in General Genealogy tagged , , at 11:55 pm by indianajane

I really want to try to finish my D.A.R. application this year. I need to pick a family line to prove and stick with it. Tomorrow I’m hoping to get some research done that will help me decide which is the most practical.

August 13, 2008


Posted in General Genealogy tagged , , , , , at 5:21 pm by indianajane

Yesterday morning was a rare treat. I spent the morning in the genealogy department at the library surrounded by family history books and my trusty Pinky.

I’m working on gathering my documentation for my DAR application, and did find some more specific place names and times yesterday that should help with that process. Of course, I kept heading off on rabbit trails. It’s almost impossible for me not to! I love history, and my favorite part about family history is the way that you can see the larger historical events play out in a family or community.

As I worked on my Harrod history yesterday–my great-grandmother was Alta Jane Harrod Ruhl (in the picture with my great-grandfather)–I kept getting pulled into peripheral lines reading about soldiers and pioneers. It’s so cool when disparate family lines criss-cross and I find that my fifth great-grandfather on my father’s side, Levi Harrod, who fought in the revolution, and his brothers knew my first cousin nine times removed on my mom’s side, Daniel Boone.

I found my husband’s grandmothers maiden name, Garriott, intermingled with some Harrods in southern Indiana and several other names that are significant in my research, giving me more rabbit trails to follow.

Bethany and I are going to Salt Lake City at the end of the month for a convention, but I am hoping to be able to squeeze out a little bit of time to visit the Family History Library, although I don’t have any illusions that I’ll actually have time to get any research done.

May 7, 2008

Significance of family history

Posted in Bracht, General Genealogy, Hildebrand, My Family, Ruhl, Surnames tagged , , , at 3:16 pm by indianajane

This post is from my main blog, but I thought that it would be good to post it over here, too.

I knew when I posted my last post that I might get a response like I got from one friend. I just didn’t think it would be so fast. “What difference does it what their great-great-grandparents were doing? I don’t even know who mine were.”

Maybe you have to be into family history to understand why the reality that someone owned my friends gg grandfather was so significant to me. Maybe not.

I know who my gg grandparents were. I know details about their lives. I’ve spent time searching for facts, details, stories, pictures, and places related to their lives. The decisions they made about where to live, how to live, and how to raise their children made an impact on their families that still goes on.

Louis and Wilhelmina (Pracht) Bracht were both born in Germany, married in Ohio, and moved to Indiana. Louis was a farmer. His last farm sat at what is now the corner of Coliseum & Lima in Fort Wayne. The house where he spent his last days is still standing in a Fort Wayne neighborhood. They had 11 children and were active in the German Reformed Church.

Heinrich and Wilhelmina (Kruetzman) Hildebrand were both second generation Americans, born in Allen & Adams counties. Their parents were among the founding members of the German Evangelical & Reformed Church in Magley, Indiana. Heinrich fathered seven children and also raised an orphan girl. The family still farms the same farm and my grandparents lived on land passed down from Henry. Henry died young-ish and Wilhelmine lived out her life in the home of her newly wed son Otto and his wife Flora, my great-grandparents.

Reuben and Margaret (Steele) Beery both came from families that have been here since before America was a country. On his mother’s side, Reuben was descended from Kings George’s Virginia land agent. Daniel Boone was his sixth cousin. They were active in the Brethren church and Reuben was a prosperous farmer. Reuben was born in Ohio, while Margaret was born in Adams County, Indiana. They had 11 children.

Joshua and Nancy (Mowery) Bright also came from Ohio. Joshua’s family had been in America sine the early 1700’s and he was also a farmer. His will was a beautiful confession of faith and hope that his family would continue in that faith. They had 14 children, with only three dying in childhood.

This is just one side of my family. I “know” my other four great-great grandparents, too. They were all farmers. My gg grandparents, Colonel Ellsworth and Samantha (Hubler) Ruhl were Lutheran and I’m grateful that I have ended up with that heritage.

These aren’t some people from the past who are of no further importance. Their lives impacted mine. When my friend mentioned, so matter of fact-ly, that she had found some information about her gg grandfather’s owner it made the whole reality of slavery seem even more awful than it always has.

October 26, 2007

I love cemeteries

Posted in Cemetaries, Harrod, Indiana Counties, My Family, Photos, Ruhl, Surnames tagged , , , , , , at 11:30 am by indianajane

Okay, I may not love all cemeteries, but I love the country cemeteries where earlier generations of my family are buried.

For a history buff like me, who is also part of a close family, family history is a natural interest. I have been researching for over 10 years now, but moving to northern Indiana five years ago really reinvigorated my searches. Both of my parents are from the county to the south of Fort Wayne, and the last immigrant ancestors of mine arrived there in the late 1840’s. Our families were among the early settlers of three northern Indiana counties: Adams, Allen, and Wells.

This gives me an enormous feeling of connection to this part of the country. I love finding the homes that family members lived in, seeing the churches the attended–and often helped build–and walking through the cemeteries where they were buried. I love finding newspaper snippets about their comings and goings, reading their letters, and seeing their names on old plat maps.

I love the cemeteries for their serene country settings. I love the signs of the faith that was an important part of their lives. Their are eight of them that I know pretty well, now, but each time I go I seem to make a new connection. There are a few I have yet to find. A beautiful fall day is the perfect time to go search.

My great-great-great grandparents, Joseph and Anna Harrod moved here from WiIlliams County, Ohio.

Their son Enos and his wife Hester have one of my favorite headstones. Enos and Hester’s daughter, Alta Jane Harrod Ruhl was my great-grandmother and I was named after her.

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