Apr 242019

One of the mysteries in my family is what happened to my great-great-grand parents, the parents of my great-grandmother, the mother of my maternal grandfather.

They likely came from Germany in the 1860s or early 1870s, though I cannot find them in the 1870 census.

The couple had two daughters, the first, my great-grandmother. She had a sister, younger by three years. My great-grandmother remembers both her parents dying from tuberculosis. She remembers their bodies being carried out of the house, days apart.

But I couldn’t find anything about them.

A couple of weeks ago I called the church where my grandfather was baptized, and I feel the family may have attended. Bingo. The pastor, within a day, found a baptismal record for my great-grandmother which listed her parents names.

Interestingly enough, my great-grandmother’s death certificate (a good source for parent information) listed her father’s name as Frederick and her mother’s name as Unknown. The baptismal certificate lists her father as Carl (my grandfather, her first child’s name) and her mother as Friederika.

But the big get was that the entire family has been spelling the name incorrectly for more than a hundred years. My great-grandmother was about five when her parents died, and she was taken in by cousins. How could she know how the name was spelled? And the relatives? Who knows if they were literate?

I’m already finding new information with the correct spelling. Who knew?

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