46. A glimpse of my genealogical work.


Posted on Facebook on 6 February 2018.

I deem it quite likely that most people - including many friends of this facebook page - have never visited an archive or a vicar's office to look for data about their ancestors. They have little inking of where and how to start the quest for knowledge about their ancestors in the 19th century and earlier. How do I come by clues as to where to search?

Last week I took yet another look at the American Weis(s)enborn families that originate from Hesse-Kassel. One of the families had been looked at by several interested persons, as I could see in the threads on Ancestry's message board. They apparently had gotten stuck. My data, which I have taken from the website familysearch.org, started with a Carl/Karl/Charles W Weisenborn, born 1866 in Sgemmern in Hesse-Kassel, who had immigrated in 1895, last place of residence Borken. His wife Eliza/Elisa Philipina Josephina Grosshurte/Grooscourt/Groskerth, born 1866 in Hesse-Kassel, had followed him in 1896, last place of residence Hohengrue in Hesse-Kassel.

A village by the name of Borken does exist in Hesse-Kassel, but in several other locations as well. Villages with the names Sgemmern and Hohengrue do not exist, and the wife's family name - whichever was the correct spelling, if any - didn't help either. I had left my examination there. I had no really hopeful clues on where to search in the archive for Hessen in Kassel.

This particular morning I decided to look at the original records of the immigrations. The record for the wife (Baltimore, 19 February 1896) gave her last place of residence as Hoheneiche. That sounds proper German, and Hohengrue must have been a misreading. Indeed Hoheneiche does exist, a village 13 km due west from Wei▀enborn near Eschwege. What about her family name? Does it exist in this area, or anywhere? It seemed to me that it could have been Gro▀kurt - meaning big Kurt - spelled phonetically. When I typed in this name and Hoheneiche in Google, the first hit was the phone book entries for Dieter Gro▀kurt and two other Gro▀kurts in Hoheneiche. A catch!

I now have good reason to first examine the marriage register of Hoheneiche. It was customary until quite recently that marriage would take place in the village where the wife-to-be was born. If I do not find the marriage entry, I will verify whether Eliza Gro▀kurt was born there in 1866, and if yes, examine the surrounding villages with the realistic expectation that Carl Weisenborn originated from one of them. This is a proper plan.

I have a fair list of Weisenborn descendants from Carl and Eliza who are alive today: the 6 children of Eugene L (1929-2012) and their children, James Edward (1957) and his children and grandchild, Shannon Kay (1973), the 3 children of Dennis Dean (1948-2017), his sister Jayne, brother Dana Fred and daughter and sister Jill D (1963), Donald Duane (1929) and his children and grandchildren and the 3 children of Darrell D (1938-1998) and their offspring. Some of them may like to hear what I find in Kassel, when I go there in the first week of October.