Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Blacksmith/Spring Maker Found in New Haven Connecticut

Anton Ditt is found again in another town!!! Thanks to the U. S. City Directories on City directories, in particular, have been very helpful in tracking this man who moved frequently across the United States. He was listed in the New Haven, Connecticut Directory in 1849, 1853-54, 1854-55, and 1856-57 editions. This is the earliest documentation for Anton Ditt in the United States. In 1849, Anton would have been approximately 21-23 years old.

No other Ditts are listed in the New Haven directories.  It makes one wonder if he came alone to the United States from Baden, Germany or did he come with a relative from his maternal side. He sometimes is listed as "Anton" and sometimes as "Anthony" in the directories. Anton may have been living near his wife's relatives. He married Catharine Margaret Fischer on November 4, 1851 in Bridgeport, Connecticut. There are several Fishers listed in the New Haven directories. It is interesting to note that the Anglican spelling of "Fisher" is used and not the German spelling of "Fischer". Of those Fishers listed, Charles, John and Joseph are of particular interest. These three men all had professions that involved metalwork. Although Anton's had various professions, they ALL were skilled labor involved with metal.

Another social factor to keep in mind, is that most of Anton's associates were German born or of German descent. Anton lived German speaking neighborhoods and attended German speaking churches.

The New Haven Directories are another clue; but Anton's parentage, hometown and immigration date still have not been found. It is time to obtain the church records from Connecticut and to track down any Fischers/Fishers that may have traveled or moved with Anton and Catherina.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday

H D Clark Cemetery Plot

Here are the internments for a plot purchased by H D Clark in Woodmere Cemetery in Detriot, Michigan. They are in Section G, lot 149. There are no individual markers. The stone is covered with pollution from the nearby Rouge Plant.

1. Bela B. Clark b. 1859 Ohio d. 4 Jan 1893 Detroit, Michigan (Cleveland, OH) aged 33 years 1 month 26 days s/o Bela B. and Clara Clark

2. Marshall E. Smith d. 20 Jul 1899 Detroit, Michigan aged 3 months 1 day s/o Burke Nelson and Josie Smith

3. Emma [Ermina] S. Clark b. 8 Jul 1833 New York d. 16 Sept 1902 Detroit, Michigan d/o George and Claria Smith

4. Lewis O. Clark d. 22 Jun 1905 Cleveland, Ohio aged 50

5. O. [Ogden] C. Clark d. 18 Nov 1905 Ohio s/o Henry and Ermina Clark

6. Anna Eliza Bell b. 11 Oct 1835 New York d. 14 Aug 1911 Detroit, Michigan d/o Chauncey Bell and Eliza Taylor

7. James W. France b. 22 Jan 1869 New York d. 19 Jul 1912 Detroit, Michigan aged 45 years 5 months 27 days s/o Cyrus France and Sarah Bell

8. Anna M. Clark b. 18 Sep 1860 New York d. 27 Sept 1917 Detroit, Michigan aged 57 years 27 days d/o Elte Bouse and Eva Livingston

9. Henry Devall [De Walt] Clark b. 6 Jun 1831 CT d. 30 May 1919 Detroit, Michigan s/o William Clark and Harriett Sprague

10. Bela W. France b. May 1894 d. 9 Oct 1918 killed in action (WWI?) buried 22 Oct 1921

11. Robert Benjamin Meer d. 10 Nov 1921 aged 10 months 20 days

12. Hattie Bell France b. Jan 1864 buried 30 Oct 1943 d/o Henry and Ermina Clark

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday

A special thanks to Gail D. Hershenzon, genealogist and author of Images of America Detroit's Woodmere Cemetery for helping to locate these records and graves in Woodmere Cemetery. And for bringing the shovel and wet wipes!

Gravestone of Alice L. Kennard nee Warner
Buried with Child
Wife of Frank Benjamin Kennard
Resident of Billings, Yellowstone, Montana
Woodmere Cemetery, Detroit, Michigan
Section G, Plot 221

Gravestone of Laura Warner nee Oakes
Wife of Dr. Benjamin Y. Warner who died in Vermont
Laura died in Cleveland, Ohio
Woodmere Cemetery, Detroit, Michigan
Section G, Plot 221

View of both graves together in Woodmere Cemetery.
Only a small portion of the stones were showing.
We dug out the grass to view the whole stones.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Mrs. F. B. Kennard Identified

Finding the maiden name of woman can be challenging. Once the final resting place of Alice Kennard was found, so was her parents identities revealed. Of course, it was not that simple nor easy.

Mrs. F. B. Kennard died on 31 July 1886 in Detroit, Wayne, Michigan. Her death record can be found by using Pilot Search of Not much info so I wrote to the state of Michigan and ordered her actual Certificate of Death. Both records state that she was born in Vermont. Neither give her first name. Both state that she was 36 years old. The Certificate of Death says that she was a housewife and her parents were unknown and were living in Detroit. Her cause of death was "Confinement". To me it sounded like she was sick, either physicially or mentally and was in an hospital or institution. But, her parents were living in Detroit. This getting closer. The Certificate of Death was filed about 10 months after Alice died. This may explain the lack of details.

Heritage Quest has digitized the Detroit City Directories. I checked for the last names of Goss, Lord and Stanley. Nothing jumped out at me. So then I looked at the churches and cemeteries. I googled a couple of the cemeteries and found that Woodmere Cemetery has some of their internments listed. There she was listed under "Alice Kinnard"! And much more information about her was given. The cemetery records indicate that she died from peritonitis. Her last address was 479 Congress St. And the records indicate that she was buried with her child. Alice must have been pregnant and was in Detroit to have her baby or because she was sick. We probably never know the answer to that question. Billings, Montana, where Frank and Alice had been living, was still a relatively young town that was formed in 1882. Most likely, there was a lack of physicians and hospitals.

After contacting the cemetery, I found that two other people were buried in the same plot, Laura Warner and a child of O. C. Clark. A quick check of the R. L. Polk's 1886 Detroit City Directory indicates that both Ogden Clark and Laura Warner, widow of Benjamin Y., were living at 479 Congress St.

The 1880 Federal Census in Newton, Middlesex, Massachusetts, ties all of these relationships together. Laura Warner, widow, is listed as head of household. Her daughters are listed as Charlotte Atherton, widow, Alice Kennard (not how it was transcribed but looks like how it was written), married, and Jennie Warner, single. Ogden Clark is living next door as a boarder. Where is Frank in 1880? Good question. He still has been found in the 1880 census.

Dr. Benjamin Y. Warner is listed on the 1870 Mortality Schedule as dying in October 1869 in Chittenden, Vermont.

There are still loose ends but Frank and Alice's story is getting fleshed out.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Birth Place of Martin Christoph Taute

Ahhh..... when one dives into German research, step one is finding the ancestral town or village of your ancestor. From the book, Freidstadt and the Lutheran Immigration published by the Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church of Freistadt, Mequon, Wisconsin about many Old Lutherans who settled near Milwaukee, Martin Taute's place where he was from is listed as Magdeburg, Langensalza. I do not believe that Magdeburg and Langensalza are part of the same place but rather two separate places. In 1956, Langensalza became Bad Langensalza. In 1815, Langensalza was part of Saxony. Today, Bad Langensalza is located in the state of Thuringia and the district of Unstrut-Hainich-Kreis. Today it has a population of approximately 18,000.

Magdeburg on the other hand is, east of Berlin, Germany and north of Bad Langensalza. It is in the state of Saxony-Anhalt and in the Urban district. In 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars, Magdeburg surrendered to French forces. Today it has a population of approximately 230,000.

My best guess from the information that I have seen, Martin was born in Langensalza and later moved to Magdeburg before immigrating to the United States in 1839. The above mentioned book states that his parents were Philipp Taute and Balatte Exold. I believe that I have found a birth or baptism record for Martin Christoph Daute 5 March 1799 in the church books for St. Bonifacii in Langensalza. Joh. Philipp Daute is listed as his father. The "t" and "d" in German can be interchanged. Also, spellings circa 1800 were not set in stone as they are today. There are several other listings that indicate that Martin had brothers. Unfortunately, the books from this time frame do not name the girls nor are the mothers listed. In the duplicate books, the date is listed as 7 March 1799. I did not find either the name "Daute" nor "Exold" in the family book film. However, I did find the name "Ewald". There are more films to research and hopefully, there will be answers.

The search continues as well as the struggle reading Old German Script!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Gravestone of Mary A. Curtis

Thanks to Sherry Wilson for posting a picture of Mrs. Mary A. Curtis' gravestone on memorial number 39500138. This gave me additional information about Mary A. Curtis. She was buried in Hough Cemetery in Almont, Lapeer, Michigan.

Born 13 Jan 1823 maiden name Strong
Died 14 Mar 1881
Married Eben S. Curtis(s).

Eben S. Curtis
Born 22 May 1820
Died 02 May 1898

From Eben's second marriage record to Julia Wells nee Van Cleek on Feb 26, 1884, his place of birth is listed as Genesse County, New York. See Michigan Marriages 1868-1925 on

Interestingly, three records down is the marriage of Joseph Russell and Carrie [Cora] Wilbur on April 9, 1884. Eben and Mary Curtis had a son, Linus Curtis who married Rena Wilbur, sister of Cora Wilbur. After Cora died, Linus and Rena adopted one of Cora's daughter's, Sadie Russell.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Mary A. Curtis Bridal Gift Bible

The property
Mrs. Mary A. Curtis
bridal present
Rev. Elijah S. Smith
of Darien
[New York]
given on the event
of her marriage
Mr. E. S. Curtis
at Darien
Sept. 25th 1845
"Search the Scriptures
for in them ye think
ye think have eternal life
and they are they which
testify of me"

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Value of Google

In the past six months, I have found so much online with the assistance of Google. I am certainly no expert on Google so I have been trying to read as much as possible about its searching functions. And the tips have paid off. A great book that I have reading is "Google Your Family Tree" by Daniel M. Lynch. He has great tips for maximizing your google search.

By using the search term "Jotham * Viles", I found an article about his third wife, Laura Scutt. Apparently, her first husband, Silas Smith was not dead when Laura married Jotham Viles in 1879.

But Happy Dance find was found from "Frank * Kennard". My research has a twenty-one year gap in Frank's life. He is found in the 1870 census in Parsonsfield, York, Maine but then not again until his marriage to Sarah Ellen (Sadie) Kennedy in 1891. Frank was in Billings, Montana for some of this time. According to his obit, he was a contractor for the Northern Pacific Railroad. My google search found a 1883 City Directory for Billings with Frank listed AND the Billings Gazette carried some articles about his marriage to Sadie, the birth of Eveleen, and the death of another child.

Read an article or book on how to use Google and find your ancestors!

The Brewery Connection

Max (Mattaeus) Fueger b. 1832 in Kuelsheim, Baden, Germany immigrated to the United States in 1847 with his parents and siblings. They first went to New York so that Max could work for a brewery there. Then, in 1849, they settled in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where Max became a successful brewer. In 1851, he married Margaretha Schreck presumably in Wisconsin and had three children, Juliette (Julia) b. July 1852, Gustavus b. 6 Apr 1857, and Edward b. 1862 all born in Wisconsin.

In 1853, Peter Schreck and Friedericke (Fredericka) Heiliger immigrated to the United States and settled in an unknown place. Peter and Friedericka seemingly tied the knot and became Mr. and Mrs. Schreck. Peter was also a brewer. Peter was found in the 1855 Wisconsin Census in Milwaukee and in the 1857-1858 Milwaukee Directory as a malster. In 1858, he was given $500 by the Swiss Colonization Society of Tell City, Perry, Indiana to start a brewery. The Swiss Colonization Society also gave Peter two lots on April 18, 1859: Lot No. 4 in Block No 249 in Tell City, Indiana and Lot No. 11 in Block No. 101 in Tell City, Indiana both on recorded June 2, 1859. It was not a successful business. In 1863, Peter paid income taxes for his brewery in Shawneetown, Gallatin, Illinois. Apparently, Peter died. Fredericka then married Anton Ditt in Evansville, Vanderburgh, Indiana 16 October 1867. Three out of four cities where Peter and Fredericka have been found were along the Ohio River. No children between this union have been found.

Anton and Fredericka then have their first and only child, Juliette Wilhelmina Ditt together in Milwaukee, WI on 16 November 1868. Juliette was named after her baptismal sponsors, Wilhelm (William) Heitmann and Julia Fueger, daugher of Max Fueger, the brewer in Milwaukee. William and Julia married in 1871. They had three daughters, Alma b. Jan 1872, Flora b. 1874 and Clara b. 8 Jan 1876.

The question becomes, is Margaretha Schreck related to Peter Schreck? And if they are realted, how? Obviously, there is the brewer connection between Peter and Max. The question is did they meet in Germany or the United States. There is a Peter Schreck listed in the 1855 Wisconsin census living in Milwaukee. Further research needs to establish the connection between Margaretha, Peter and Fredericka.
To further establish the familial relationship, the son of Julia Ditt and Theodore Eberle, Alfred Max Edward Eberle b. 8 Aug 1892 in Chicago, Cook, Illinois is named after Max Fueger and Edward Fueger. The Alfred may have come from Alfred Van Eweyk, the husband of Flora Heitmann. Alma Heitmann was the baptismal sponsor for Alfred Eberle.

Biography of Max Fueger - Milwaukee

Lawrence and Margret Fueger were the parents of Max Fueger; he was born at Kuehleheim on the Tauber [Kuelsheim], Baden, Germany. He received a thorough common-school education. He had a wish, from boyhood, to become a brewer, and his father assisted him in his inclination. After leaving school he remained at home for nearly two year, working in his father’s shop as cooper.

He then went to learn the brewing trade, with Mr. Max Faeth, with whom he remained two years. He then traveled and worked in different breweries for four and a half years, in the various towns of Wertheim, Heidelberg, Miltenburg, Wuerzburg and Bischofsheim. This was in accordance with the German law requiring three years’ travel and journeywork before beginning any business as proprietor.

In July, 1847, Mr. Fueger came to New York, where he found work, and for a year and a half was employed in what was then the largest brewery in the country, on Washington street, in the old State’s Prison Building. In August, 1849, he came to Wisconsin and settled in Milwaukee, where he has since resided. He has been engaged in brewing all the time, and has worked in nearly all the large breeries in the city. He worked for Best and Co. for eleven years, eight years of which he was foreman. He has a thorough practical knowledge of his trade, careful and watchful of the process. He succeeded in producing a very superior beer, that has given to Best and Co. a more than national name and reputation. They feel and generously acknowledge this fact, and have often expressed their indebtedness to him.

Mr. Fueger left Best and Co. to purchase the interest of Benedict Caspari, in Obermann’s brewery, and entered into partnership with Jacob Obermann, with whom he is still associated. The business has increased steadily, and their progress has been great and constant. When Mr. Fueger entered the business, they were occupying a small frame building; they now have a large brick building, eighty feet long and forty feet wide, besides a large malt-house. Their business has become great and their capital has grown with the business.

Mr. Fueger was brought up a Catholic, but has since become more liberal in hi religious view.

He attributes his success to his thorough knowledge of his trade, to an ever watchful attention, and the cooperation of an excellent wife.

Source: The United State Biographical Dictionary p. 19

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Who Is Mrs. F. B. Kennard aka "Alice L."?

When Frank Benjamin Kennard married Sarah (Sadie) Ellen Kennedy in 1891, he was 40 years old. It would be logical to assume he may have had another wife or two. Frank was a civil engineer who received his education in Portland, Maine circa 1874 based on his engineering guide book. The part where Frank moves from Maine to Billings, Yellowstone, Montana is still a mystery.

From several written accounts, Frank worked on the Northern Pacific Railroad in Montana as a contractor. According to The Yellowstone Genealogy Forum, the third building built in Billings, Montana was for FB Kennard. Frank and his wives, Alice and Sarah, bought and sold many pieces of property in and around Billings, Montana from 1882 into the 1890s. In the early to mid 1890s, Frank and Sadie were located on ranch in Kinsey, Custer, Montana near Miles City.

Getting back to Alice. She bought and sold land with and without Frank in Billings from 1883 to 1885. Where did she and Frank meet? Where did they get married? Did they have children? Maybe such questions could be answered if they were found in the 1880. But .... I have looked for years for Frank even before I knew about the existence of Alice. They were most likely in some very desolated part of either Dakota Territory. Many of their associates were in Bismarck, Dakota Territory (now North Dakota) in 1880.

Sadly, Mrs. F. B. Kennard (Alice L.) died on July 31, 1886 in Detroit, Wayne, Michigan. Figuring out where she died, took more than a little deducing. The following is the obituary for Alice L. Kennard published in “The Daily Gazette” in Billings, Montana on Friday, August 6, 1886:

Alice L. Kennard

The people of this community are greatly bereaved in the death of the dear woman whose names stands at the head of this sketch. Word comes to us through Mrs. Judge Goss who is now visiting in the East, that Mrs. Kennard was borne to the grave on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1886.
She was one the first ladies to arrive in Billings, and was well and favorably known by most of our people. She was a woman of exceptional conversational powers; bright, sprightly and animated. Always interesting, always consistent and kind, with a pleasant smile for all. She was willing beyond her strength ready to help and engage in every good work. She was eminently sociable in her instincts, and habits of thought and life; warm in her friendships, craving sympathy and love. She was also religious in her feelings and beliefs; a member of the Congregational church of this place, and as her pastor I can testify as to her Christian and womanly worth. She was a rare, good woman, and her loss is nearly irreparable. It gives me great pleasure to bear this emphatic testimony, of one so near and dear to us, and to all the people of this place, and I know they will heartily respond to the sentiments and feelings expressed.
Alice L. Kennard is dead. Her memory is blessed; her name a benediction and many of us will be better men and women from the recollections of her sweet and quiet spirit, her beautiful character and noble life. And while our hearts are sad, and our loss great, we sorrow not as those who mourn without hope.

S. A. Wallace
Billings, Mont., Aug. 6, 1886

I am very moved and touched by S. A. Wallace’s sketch. These kinds of finds make genealogy real and interesting. But, as a genealogist, S. A. Wallace did a poor job telling us WHO Alice L. Kennard was. Without the deeds from Billings, I may not have known that she was Frank’s wife. Since Pastor Wallace did not help much, the detective work had to begin. Clue one – Mrs. Judge Goss. Many genealogy doors are opened if one will research every name on the document. It turns out that Judge James R. Goss married Florence Lord who was born in Jackson County Michigan. James R. Goss was the witness on several Kennard deeds from Billings. Clue two – “now visiting in the East”. Apparently Florence Goss had not been in Montana at the time of Alice’s death but “in the East”. Well, maybe that meant that Florence was with Alice when she died. Alternatively, why would Florence know before others that Alice had died? And last but not least, WHERE is “East”?

Well, has posted Michigan Deaths 1867-1897. A search using the Search Record Pilot on “Kennard, death, 1886, Michigan” revealed that Mrs. F. B. Kennard died on July 31, 1886 in Detroit, Wayne, Michigan. She was female, 36 years old, estimated year of birth 1850, born in Vermont, married, no names for father or mother, housekeeper. p 354 rn 2922.

So Alice died on 31 July 1886, and was buried on 3 August 1886. Next question, where was she buried? Not in Montana. In Michigan? In Vermont? Elsewhere? … Born in Vermont … close to Maine and to where Frank was born and family lived. But because Florence Lord Goss reported Alice’s death, and she was born in Michigan, was Florence a relative? A quick search of the census indicates that Florence’s parents, George and Delia Lord were both born in New York. Hmmm …… an online book indicated that a Lord family from Vermont removed to Michigan. Perhaps there is a connection. This is all speculation at this point. And of course, the death record of Mrs. F. B. Kennard has raised more questions that need to be investigated.