I didn’t know I was going to be able to do a lot of German research sitting right here in my kitchen at my laptop.
I couldn’t have foreseen when I gathered all the papers about this family line that so much would come to be available online. I thought, barring more trips to Germany, that I would have to spend long days sitting in the Salt Lake City Family History Library, poring over their vast microfilm collection at one of those towering machines, my head practically inside it to make out what the sometimes less-than-optimal film exposure was showing of old and faded pages of church registers and civil registers, land records and histories of towns. It’s hard to sit there, but when you pay for travel and parking to get there, you want to stay as long as possible to get as much out of the trip as you can. You develop a splitting headache and just keep going until the library closes and the staff comes around to check all around the furniture to be sure nobody’s hiding (I know they do, because I worked a few years at a branch of this library, and we had to be police as well as helpers!) to try to stay overnight and keep working. Genealogists can be a nutty bunch.
Yesterday I found out the microfilm reels for the town records I need to see are now digitized images and available online. Yay!
|26 December 1817 document|
The records combined gave me new information about Jacob and Gertrude, including their birth dates and birthplaces. The second record has the couple’s parents’ names clearly written; they are also in the first record, but the mothers’ names both disappear off the edge of the page due to fading ink, page decay, and camera lighting.
|13 Jan 1818 marriage entry|
Voila! A new generation found. Their parents are Peter Selgrad and Eva Bauer, and Ludwig Schmelzer and Elisabetha Kiefer. The fathers both signed the marriage document as witnesses or sponsors or something. (I should translate that Latin soon.)
I love that “armchair genealogy” is getting to be so relatively easy to do. (Pun intended.)
* It turns out that the great-great-grandmother was not the one from Ensdorf; it was the great-great grandfather instead, and his village was Endorf in Westfalen, not Bayern.