Middle

I can look through my file and find all sorts of “middle children” to write about. Famlies with an even number of kids makes it a little awkward, but it’s still doable.

I’d gotten into my head that I wanted to write about my Bruder line—in particular, Mathias Bruder, younger brother of my great-grandmother, Anna Bruder Haws, making him my great-granduncle. He had an unusual story, and I wanted to look into it further.

It turned out he fell into the “middle 4” of 8 children of John M. Bruder and Elizabeth Jost. I considered that as “middle enough” and decided to plunge forward.

First, I needed to look at what I already had on him. The original information I’d received in 1975 from my dad’s cousin, Lorraine (my grandaunt, Teresa’s, daughter), consisted of:

  • Lorraine’s list of 7 Bruder children, with Mathias as 2nd oldest, but no birth or death dates for him. She wrote a note: “He just disappeared and no one ever heard from him. At one time he was in St. Louis, Mo.”
  • photocopied newspaper clippings of obituaries:
    • John M. Bruder, Mathias’s father, 1915, “Matthias of St. Louis
    • Nicholas Bruder, Mathias’s brother, 1934, no mention of Mathias

It wasn’t much. Somehow, St. Louis seemed to be the city our family “disappeared to” (Uncle Leo Schweiger was reported to have gone there, too!). I’m not sure why, nor am I sure it was accurate, but that was generally how the stories went.

As I cranked through census microfilm in 1975, I found the Bruder family in 1880¹, with Mathias, age 9. That bumped him farther down the child list, younger than Anna and Katy (Katherine), and placed his birth year around 1871. When I found the family in 1870, I didn’t expect to see Mathias, though there was a 3-month-old “Martin”—a name I didn’t recognize.

That was as much of a trail that I could find. His presence in the 1915 obituary (and absence in the 1934) didn’t really provide any solid evidence that Mathias was still alive (and in St. Louis) in 1915. He could have already died, without anyone knowing. The family may have simply been optimistic. Nor can we assume he had died by 1934. The family may have given upon him by then, so left him off the list of survivors.

So I left Mathias alone for 4+ decades, while I searched other family lines. But I feel bad ignoring people on my tree, and this seemed like a good time to revisit his information, to see if I could find anything new.

An Ancestry search found the 1880 census, but then suggested the Wisconsin, Births and Christenings Index, 1801-1928.³ Twice, actually, from two different Family History Library microfilm reels. Two records for him must have been microfilmed from different sources.

Those indexed records had a couple issues. The birth date was 25 August 1869—two years earlier than the birth year calculated from the 1880 census. While the parents’ names were correctly “John” and “Elizabeth,” the surname for all three of them was “Breider.” Sigh.

Unfortunately, because these were simply indexes, I had no images. I checked at FamilySearch, in case they had the images on their site, but no luck. I’ve seen enough poor handwriting and poor transcription/indexing examples to realize that the “ei” in Breider, could easily be a sloppy “u.” Could I find anything else to bolster that hypothesis?

The 1870 census for my 2nd-great grandparents, John & Elizabeth Bruder. The child order and ages (at least, relative to each other) were correct, but the enumerator had some problems. “Michael” (line 12) should be Nicholas—or some variation of that. Some records had him as “Nickel,” so “Michael” isn’t that far off. Mathias, age 19, at the bottom, was actually John’s younger brother, Marcus, who was crippled from birth, and always lived with his brother’s family. John and Elizabeth were both born in Germany, so probably still had their German accents. See more in the 2nd paragraph below.

I looked back at the 1870 census—the one with 3-month-old Martin. For children born in the previous census year, there was a column for the specific month of birth. It was September. August 25th isn’t that far from September, so I’m willing to wager either the birth month, or the baby’s age, was mis-remembered, and everything else based on that information.

Another consideration is that the enumerators copied the original census sheets, submitting the copies to Washington. That’s usually what was microfilmed. If he did not record their names wrong on the original, it’s still possible he made an error in the copy. Either he didn’t notice he had flipped the names, or he did, but didn’t want to spoil his sheets with a cross out and correction. He may not have thought it critical that the correct names went with the correct ages, as long as each person was counted. To me, it seems likely the “Martin” in the census record is the same as the “Mathias” in the birth index, and later (with an incorrect age) in the 1880 census.

1880 census for John & Elizabeth Bruder —this time the head of household, John, is listed by his middle name, Mathias! We see all the kids, except for Mary, who isn’t married, but must be working away from the farm. Teresia and John have been added to the family. Markus is still there, and Elizabeth’s father has moved in.

Can I prove that theory? Well, no, not the census inaccuracies part. If I could locate and view the original birth record, that might clarifiy whether the handwriting was misread.

Are there other possible explanations? Sure. The birth record could still be the one for Martin, but maybe Martin was a middle name that didn’t get on the birth record—even though that’s the name his parents used. And then Mathias was born in 1871 (as suggested by the 1880 census), but Martin died some time before 1880. Whew! That’s a lot going on. The misspellings, etc. suggested earlier are more likely (in my opinion) than the 2nd, more complicated scenario.

Unfortunately, Elizabeth died before the two enumerations where women were asked how many children they gave birth to, and how many were still living. That has often helped me find “missing” kids, but wasn’t available this time.

The information I received from Lorraine came from people who knew John & Elizabeth’s kids as their aunts & uncles. In 1975, they were all pretty sharp, despite their age. Other children who died young were remembered and included in what Lorraine sent. Even if their names weren’t always remembered, their existance was. Lorraine’s list did not have a Martin, or a child who died young.

To eliminate other possible explanations, I looked for the Breider surname in the 1870 census. Was there another family with a baby born in August? There were a couple families, but no John & Elizabeth, no new babies. I checked for more Breider children in the birth index, again, with very few, and none of the right parents. I also searched the index for:

  • first names only (Mathias, John, Elizabeth) in Manitowoc County for 1871–no other likely surname variations came up.
  • repeated, changing for each of John & Elizabeth’s other children’s first name and birth year. None of them showed up in the index.

It doesn’t seem there was another similar, but different, family in the county that could have been confused with mine.

I searched for Mathias in 1900 and later census records. No luck. I unsuccessfully tried an Americanized “Matthew” variation. Without more details about where he might have been, when, I’m searching for a needle in a haystack! He could be anywhere during those years: Chicago, St. Louis, Milwaukee, or even closer to home, like Green Bay or Sheboygan. Where would I even start?

Ancestry member trees (16 of them!) included him, but no one had information I didn’t already know. Some had information they took from my tree. (You’re welcome!). Everyone had the 1880 census, but no photos of him, or additional details. At least I felt a little less inept . . .

It’s been a frustrating weekend. At first glance, I didn’t seem to accomplish much. Other than the birth index information, I didn’t find anything new. On the other hand, I DID look more closely at the 1870 census, and its issues, developing a potential explanation resolving those issues. I also took time to clean up my citations for the 1870 and 1880 census, attaching them to the appropriate facts for each person. I also merged Martin with Mathias in my file. Even though some question marks remain, I think the two census records and the birth index all refer to the same child. I’ll make a note to remind myself, in case later information appears, proving that not to be correct.

Reviewing my old correspondence didn’t turn up anything unexpected, but it could have. My brain doesn’t always fully process information that doesn’t fit with prior knowledge. It’s like a jigsaw puzzle piece floating in an empty space—I can’t attach it anywhere, because I have no idea which way it should be oriented. With more information acquired over time (more puzzle pieces), it suddenly fits somewhere—but only if I remember it! It’s hard to make time to review old documents with fresh eyes, but it can pay off, sometimes. Just not this time . . .

I may never learn anything more about Mathias Bruder, but I moved him a little closer to the middle, and feel better for having looked for new information about him.

#52Ancestors


¹1880 U.S. census, population schedule, Wisconsin, Manitowoc, Kossuth, e.d. 66; Page 12; dwelling number 104; family number 108; line 8; Mathias BRUDER household; accessed 3 February 2019. Mathias BRUDER, age 9; NARA microfilm publication T9, roll 1434; digital image, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com). 

²1870 U.S. census, population schedule, Wisconsin, Manitowoc, Town of Two Rivers; Page 19; dwelling number 134; family number 139; line 16; John RINDER [BRUDER] household; accessed 2 February 2019. Martin BRUDER, age 9/12, born in September; NARA microfilm publication M593, roll 1723; digital image, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com).

³”Wisconsin, Births and Christenings Index, 1801-1928″, database, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com), accessed 28 June 2020, citing “Wisconsin Births and Christenings.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake CIty, Utah, USA, 2009, 2010. FHL microfilm 1,305,081. Mathias BREIDER [BRUDER], Mischicott, Manitowoc County, Wisconsin; parents John BREIDER [BRUDER], Elisabeth BREIDER [BRUDER].

Popular

“POPULAR! You’re gonna be popular!”–Glinda, in “Wicked” (sung by Kristen Chenoweth, written by Stephen Schwartz)

When I go to Ancestry.com and look at my tree, it tells me I have 24,766 record hints. Photos, stories, and member trees hints add another 4,000+. With 6,040 people in the tree, it averages to 4 record hints per person. Of course, many people do not have hints (only 3,530, or 58%), so the average becomes 7 record hints per person, 8 hints, if you count trees, photos, etc. Actual numbers are much higher for some, obviously. And not all hints are created equal; I know some don’t belong to my people.

It got me thinking, though, about who was my most popular person, with regard to hints. Was there an easy way to find that person? It wasn’t as easy as I thought.

No report exists in Family Tree Maker allowing me to list people by the number of hints they have. If I go to the corresponding online tree at Ancestry.com, I can look at all my hints. I can even sort them by surname, though paging through 1,239 pages of hints and counting them up didn’t seem like a good plan. I could pull up a name list, but that had only name, birth and death dates; not the number of matches. So I wandered around my Ancestry tree, clicking on leaves to see how many hints they had.

It was slow, tedious, and not efficient. I decided to focus more on direct ancestors, sometimes their siblings. I found plenty who had hints in the upper teens, with a couple at 20 or 21. The winner, with 23 hints, was my great-grandmother, Anna Bruder Haws. You’ve met Anna before, with her husband Frank Haas/Haws, in The Old Homestead. They were also the parents of the children in Close to Home and So Far Away.

Anna Bruder Haws in her bedroom at her daughter, Teresa’s house, some time between 1946 and 1952.

Looking at her list of 23 hints:

  • 10 were member trees (one is my cousin’s). With my subscription currently lapsed, and libraries closed, I cannot check those out. Ancestry only counts them all as one, however.
  • 6 were photographs. Four of those were from my cousin’s tree, that I had sent to her. Two (technically one, because the second one was a closeup of the first!) are from an unknown person, probably a Bruder cousin. Why do I think that? Sitting next to Anna & Frank is a person identified as Ben Bruder.
  • 3 were newspaper clippings added by a different unknown cousin, referring to Anna’s funeral after her 22 October 1952 death. One mentioned Aunt May returning home to New York, afterwards.
  • census records:
    • 1870 (Anna Rinder)—had this
    • 1880 (Anna Bruder)—had this
    • 1900 (Annie Haws)—had this
    • 1910 (Anna Harr)—had this, misspelling and all
    • 1930 (Anna Haws)—had this
    • 1940 (Anna Haws)—Didn’t have this—sheer laziness on my part . . . I don’t even need a subscription for 1940!
    • Wisconsin state census—possibly 1905 (no subscription, remember?). I’d found my grandfather, Edward, hired out in Two Rivers in this census, but hadn’t found Anna & Frank. The surname is indexed as HAERS, so that explains why I may not have found it.
  • Find A Grave—I have personal photos of her headstone, but haven’t harvested her Find A Grave memorial, yet
  • city directory—don’t have this, not sure of the year or location.
  • Chicago & North Western Railroad Employment records—don’t have this. Her oldest son, John, worked as a section foreman, so likely this is from his employment
  • Wisconsin, Births & Christenings—don’t have. It’s probably for one of her children, but I don’t know which one.
  • Social Security Applications & Claims—don’t have. From a child’s application, but don’t know which one.
  • New York, Passenger & Crew Lists. This is the only hint I think is bogus.

WHEW! That was quite a list! It was somewhat reassuring that only one hint (last one) seemed to be wrong. Anna was born in Wisconsin. While both her parents emigrated from Germany, they arrived as children, with their parents. Anna had no grandparents to travel back to visit. Might there have been other relatives still in Germany? Sure. But they wouldn’t have been anyone she knew personally, or had a close relationship with, so I seriously doubt this is her. There are a lot of Bruders and women/girls named Anna.

Will I ignore that hint? No. I will take a look at it, next time I have the chance. I’ve had long shots pay off, before. What about the other hints?

It was reassuring to know that I’d found most of her census records, but this exercise pointed out 1920 is definitely missing. I’m not sure why, but if Ancestry isn’t finding Anna & Frank, my guess is that the surname was seriously mangled. It begs for a page-by-page search for them.

The state census should place them on the farm, with some of the kids (like my grandfather, Edward) already moved out. It will make gaps in the timeline smaller—always a good thing. The city directory may not provide any new information, though it could help pinpoint more precisely where they were, when. Or not, depending on the year.

The railroad employment and Social Security records will provide corroboration that yes, she really is the mother of whichever child the record was for. It’s helpful to have a different type of record indicating a parent-child relationship. The birth or christening record accomplishes the same thing.

It was kind of fun seeing who is the most “popular” in my file. And it was actually useful to check out the record hints. It helped me locate a few new pieces of data—or will, once I have access to Ancestry. I wish there was an easier way to do it. It would be nice to create a list of names with the number of hints for them. I could print it, or save it to a spreadsheet, allowing me to keep track of who I have checked out. Currently, it’s too difficult, so I’m likely to miss someone, or check them out twice.

I also wish there was as better way to handle the hints, both with Ancestry and in Family Tree Maker. The choices available in Family Tree Maker are:

  • Merge—the software decides what facts should be generated from the record. I have a little control over how they are handled, but it doesn’t seem intuitive to me. The source citations created aren’t necessarily set up the way I would. I can change them, but it seems like it takes more time. I tried the merge with a couple record matches, but wasn’t really thrilled with the results. I prefer creating the facts I want, and the sources I want.
  • Ignore—the hint disappears from the list and is added to the “ignored hints” list. I can go back and recheck that list of ignored hints.

From my online Ancestry tree (which is synced with Family Tree Maker), my hint choices are:

  • Ignore—Like in the software, the hint moves to the ignored hint list, and can be reviewed again, at a later time.
  • Review—Reviewing the hint asks me if the person in the record matches the person in my tree. I can answer:
    • Yes—The fact(s) associated with that record will be added to my Ancestry tree.
    • No—The record is treated the same as “ignore”
    • Maybe—the record is added to an “undecided” list, for additional review, later.

I don’t like any of those choices. Like accepting a hint in Family Tree Maker, if I click “yes,” my Ancestry tree will have a number of new facts created, based on the information in the record. They may not be the facts I want. It also creates a situation where I have to update my Family Tree Maker file with changes from Ancestry. While syncing works in both directions, my personal method is to make changes only on the tree on my laptop, and sync to the online tree. One direction changes, only.

Last fall I was traveling, and needed to check my file from my phone. Being able to view my Ancestry tree was a huge convenience! Unfortunately, phone screens are small, and I thought I accidentally made a change to that tree—only I didn’t know exactly what got changed (small screen, remember?). When I got home, I deleted the online tree and uploaded a fresh copy from my laptop, just to be sure I didn’t corrupt the data on my laptop. I do not like syncing down from online!

What I would like is for Ancestry to offer another option for both the online trees and the Family Tree Maker trees: “accept the hint (or “yes, it’s the same person”), but I’ll enter my own facts, thank you very much!” Why? Ancestry’s algorithm looks at the data in my tree, and the data in the record, to calculate if they probably are the same person. I’m pretty sure if I answer “yes,” Ancestry will use that informaton to locate additional records for that person. If I answer “no,” it uses that information to eliminate other records as being a match. The algorithm gets smarter, based on my answers.

SO, I’d love to tell them all those census records are correct! It might help Ancestry figure out where Anna is in 1920. Hints also come only from the more common databases. If I process through existing hints, it may prompt the algorithm to look into additional databases that it isn’t checking now, because I have so many hints.

For now, though, I’d settle for a simple list of people with hints, so I would know who to look at, first!

#52Ancestors

Harvest

“Gather ye rosebuds while ye may”–Robert Herrick

June 2017 harvest from my 2nd cousin, once removed, Maria. Used with permission. She graciously helped me out when I had no photos of my own!

With all the farmers in both Mike’s and my ancestry, one would think there’d be a good “harvest” story out there. But no, there’s no plague of grasshoppers marching through the fields, no crop wiped out by a hail storm or tornado, or even a harvest pulled into the barn just in the nick of time. I don’t have old photos of filled hay wagons, family working in the fields or other harvest time images. Heck, I even had to bum a photo off my 2nd cousin (once removed), Maria, because all my garden photos had been purged!

The best I can manage is this description of my 2nd great grandfather, John M. Bruder, losing part of his arm in a farm accident (Military):

“for loss of left arm above the Ellbow . . . said Arm he lost on August 23, 1884 while sitting on a Grain Reaper intending to cut his Wheat, and while he was unable to notice and see an obstruction in his way . . . was thrown from the Reaper and in the cutting part of said Reaper.”

John M. Bruder (Pvt., Co. D, 6th Wis. Inf., Civil War), pension no. S.C. 859,952, Case Files of Approved Pension Applications …, 1861-1934; Civil War and Later Pension Files; Record Group 15:  Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs; National Archives, Washington, D.C.

It was harvest time, and was somewhat dramatic, but that brief mention in his pension application file doesn’t paint much of a picture. The week was winding down, and I still didn’t have a plan. As I harvested the crabgrass in my yard, so I could sow some real grass seed, it occurred to me that I frequently find myself harvesting records for my ancestors.

Now, the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS) strongly encourages us as genealogists (professional or otherwise) to follow the 5 components (below) of the GPS as we research:

  • reasonably exhaustive research;
  • complete and accurate source citations;
  • analysis and correlation of the collected information;
  • resolution of any conflicting evidence; and
  • a soundly reasoned, coherently written conclusion.¹

Since 2000, the Board for Certification of Genealogists has compiled and refined detailed standards in each of those areas for us to use as guideposts as we research. Their goal (I assume) wasn’t to be rigid, demanding, elitist, or judgmental—it was to provide “a guide to sound genealogical reserch and a way to assess the research outcomes”² produced.

Many of my blog posts utilize those 5 components as I work through a question about particular person’s life. I expand my research, make sure what I have is correctly documented, analyze what I’ve found (or haven’t!), try to resolve conflicts or gaps, and write a (hopefully?) semi-coherent explanation of where everything stands, regarding that. Even without a full resolution or decisive conclusion, I usually feel pretty good about what has been accomplished.

The recommended research process is to create a well-defined question and stay focused on that. The 52 Ancestors challenge lends itself to that, since I am usually focused on one person or story. Sometimes, though, I fall off the wagon while researching and find myself harvesting information as quickly as I can, instead of following a more logical research plan. Why would I do that?

Sometimes the situation simply demands it. If a subscription site has a free access window, I need to get in there and be as efficient as possible, locating and retriving source records in that brief time. If it’s Find My Past, I’m looking for Mike’s Irish and British documents. Even if I’ve searched there before, new databases may have been added, so I need to search those.

Similarly, if I’ve made the 5½+ hour trip to the Manitowoc, Wisconsin, courthouse, I need to process through as many on-site records as possible in my limited time there. I need document images, source citations, and a quick assessment of whether there are additional records to look up, based on new information. Serious analysis is pushed to the back burner, after I’ve returned home.

Occasionally, I find myself researching a family I know very little about. In that situation, I need to sift through the various families to see who is connected, and how. Pulling all the matches for a particular name, from a particular database seems to work for that. I harvest everyone, but keep them unconnected until a solid connection appears.

Example: I was trying to piece together a cousin’s family—the side we don’t connect on. I knew very little about them, but there was another very large family with the same surname, not far away. Were the two families related? I had no idea, but the surname was unual enough to make it worth checking, I thought. I searched for the surname in Cook County, Illinois, documenting everyone in a brand new file. The databases?:

  • 1930 census (free access at the time) to create family groups and obtain addresses
  • WWI draft records—to get actual birth dates for a lot of the men. Also picked up some parents’ names
  • 1920 census, for more family groups
  • 1910 & 1900 census —at this point, some of the family members were younger and living with parents, instead of on their own
  • obituaries. Those linked together some of the families (which were mostly islands) when children were listed as survivors. Or parents were listed for them. Islands merged left and right. I also obtained maiden names for a number of wives, which helped when I started looking at . . .
  • marriage record databases. There were a lot of Marys and Louisas, so having a maiden name helped!
  • Social Security Death Index—having exact birth dates from WWI draft or obituaries helped confirm I had the right person’s record
  • birth indexes were made meaningful now that I had maiden names for mothers, and addresses from census records.
  • the 1880 and 1870 census records

As I finished harvesting each of the databases, the family tree shaped up better and better. But my ancestors wouldn’t harvest their crops and let them lie in the fields. They needed to haul the crops into the safety of a barn. Neither could I keep on harvesting, forever. I also needed to “do something” with all my new-found data. Where were the gaps? Who was missing? Where did I need to look, next? Was I making a mistaken assumption?

That project is a still a work in progress. I have islands I cannot connect, yet. I haven’t found a relationship between the two families, either. It may not exist! If it does, I believe it will be in Germany. The two emigrant ancestors could be siblings, cousins, an uncle/nephew combination—or no relation. Having sorted through the databases so thoroughly, I have dirctions I can go for later searches. I have established their FAN clubs, giving me other people whose records may contain the information I need.

I used a similar technique in Detroit, with Mike’s Kuklers. I was unaware of other family members possibly emigrating with his ancestor, so I hoped looking at all the Kuklers I could find might help me find answers. I’d settle for a town in Bohemia, but no luck, yet.

So even though wholesale harvesting may not the *best* genealogy research strategy, it has its place and uses. We need to recognize its limitations, and compensate for them with additional analysis and research.

#52Ancestors


¹ “Ethics And Standards”, Board For Certification Of Genealogists, 2019, https://bcgcertification.org/ethics-standards/; accessed 6 October 2019.

² Board for Certification of Genealogists, Genealogy Standards, second edition (Nashville, TN: Ancestry, 2019), xxiv.

Easy

“It’s so easy . . .”–Linda Ronstadt (1977)

No, I’m not writing about falling in love, and I’m not related to that Linda! This week’s prompt lodged the song into my head, and I just couldn’t shake it . . .

There are ancestors we think will be easy to research and track down: those with distinctive names, for instance. Unfortunately, an unusual name is no guarantee of being easy to find, because it’s so frequently misspelled. In addition to the “i-less” version of Meintzer (Mentzer), I’ve run across:

  • Mintzer
  • Menzer
  • Mentcer
  • Menzer
  • Menser
  • and so on!

Even less “complicated” names, like Mike’s Kuklers, have a dizzyingly wide variety of spellings, as vowel and consonant sounds swap at will:

  • Cukler
  • Kukla (minus Fran and Ollie!)
  • Cookler
  • Keckler
  • Geckler
  • that’s just the tip of the iceberg . . .

So if neither the unusual names nor the simpler names are easy, is anyone easy? The answer is no. Yes. It depends.

Clear as mud, right?

I’ve discovered searching becomes “easier” when I know more about a person or the family. That seems really obvious, but it’s trickier than it sounds! Just because I know lots of details, doesn’t mean I can use them all for searching. Sometimes I need to, sometimes I don’t. How to decide??

When too many search parameters are used, the person I’m looking for is often eliminated because one or more of the details is:

  • Missing
  • Unreadable/misread
  • Too specific
  • Not specific enough!
  • Way out in left field
  • Flat out wrong (yes those last 2 are technically different!)

in the record I am looking at. A search using fewer fields reduces the odds of someone not making the cut.

I finally found Mike’s 2nd great grandparents by searching for their 3-year-old son¹ with just his name, age, and county. It was a long shot that paid off. I had no idea where they lived in Detroit in 1870, so a page-by-page search would have taken forever.

Searching with less, I ended up with a relatively short list of kids, from whom it was easy to pick out the misspelled, sound-alike, surname. Reading with my ears is very important!

The two sets of 2nd great grandparents on my dad’s side, in Manitowoc², were found the old fashioned way, cranking reels of microfilm by hand (pre-internet). They lived in a rural area, with fewer families, but both their last names were recorded wrong! If I’d relied just on their names, I never would have found them!

Luckily, I knew their wives’³, as well as their children’s, names and birth years. Even when the surname didn’t look right, my eyes still picked up on the entire family unit. It slowed me down enough to take a closer look at the dads and realize they were the right ones. Without that information, those details, it would have been easy to miss, and difficult to make a case for those misspelled names.

Sometimes the small details keep me from chasing down a rabbit hole. Wrong occupation? Wrong location? It might be my person. Or not. People did change occupations and locations, but usually not as often as they changed their shirt. Does everything else fit? It may be fine, then.

Right wife, wrong kids? That always raises a huge red flag for me. While older kids move out, and younger ones are born, between one census and another, there is usually some carry over. A wholesale kid-swap is unlikely, but same-named, similarly-aged couples are more common than we think. I usually end up researching that family for quite a while to determine if they are mine. Most times it fizzles out.

Different wife, right kids? I start looking for the first wife’s death (or a divorce) and another marriage. I’ve found more than a couple later marriages that were a complete surprise! Fortunately, no bigamists. Yet.

So, easy? I don’t think it really exists in genealogy. Every once in a while there’s a situation when a new bit of information allows a number of other seemingly random pieces to suddenly fit together and make sense. I may delude myself into thinking it was easy, choosing to forget the blood, sweat, and tears; banging my head on the keyboard; and the wailing and gnashing of teeth (done quietly, so as not to wake Mike!); that transpired prior to that.

But then, its being easy wouldn’t be nearly as satisfying, would it?

#52Ancestors


¹1870 U.S. census, population schedule, Michigan, Wayne, 2nd precinct, 6th Ward, Detroit; Page 33; dwelling number 288; family number 292; line 5; Frank GUCKLER [KUKLER] household; accessed 4 September 2017. Frank GUCKLER [KUKLER], age 9/12; NARA microfilm publication M593, roll 713; digital image. Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com).

²1870 U.S. census, population schedule, Wisconsin, Manitowoc, Two Rivers Town; Page 15; dwelling number 108; family number 113; line 10; John HORS [HOSS] [HAWS] household; accessed 2 February 2019. John HORS [HOSS] [HAWS], age 44–surname enumerated as HOSS, sometimes getting mis-indexed as HORS. Should be HAAS, HAASE, OR HAWS; NARA microfilm publication M593, roll 1723; digital image. Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com).

³1870 U.S. census, population schedule, Wisconsin, Manitowoc, Two Rivers Town; Page 19; dwelling number 134; family number 139; line 10; John RINDER [BRUDER] household; accessed 2 February 2019. John RINDER [BRUDER], age 33; NARA microfilm publication M593, roll 1723; digital image. Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com).

Road Trip

Are we there, yet?

I’ve had more than my share of road trips, racking up 50 states, and 32 countries so far. When my dad was a kid, though, road trips were were much rarer. It’s likely that until he joined the Navy, he traveled only between Wisconsin and Illinois!

He was born in Wisconsin, not too far from his paternal grandparents, Frank Haws (The Old Homestead) and Anna Bruder Haws, but that would soon change.

His family returned to Illinois not long after my dad was born. They appear in the 1922 city directory, living in Glencoe¹ with Victoria’s recently widowed mother, Dorothea Harry Schweiger (Back to School). By 1925, they had moved to a rental house (25 East Webster) in Highwood,² while my grandfather, Edward Haws, built their house on Rosemary Terrace, in Deerfield. They now lived a long way from Dad’s paternal grandparents, so couldn’t see them often.

Once, though, on a trip to Manitowoc or Door County when I was a teenager, Dad reminisced about his trips up there when he was a kid. It was Ed, Victoria, and 4 kids piled into the family car. I’m not sure if it was a Model A or a Model T, but my money is on the Model T, being a more reasonably priced car. Dad said they always had at least one flat tire on the trip—maybe more!

If I’d thought about it at the time, I’d have pressed him for more details, and written down the answers. Ah, the foolishness of youth!

Frank Haws and Anna Bruder Haws outside their house at 508 Birchwood Drive, Francis Creek, Wisconsin, after he retired and sold the farm. They are with 6 of their grandchildren: my dad (little guy on right), his siblings (George & Henry next to Frank, and Marie next to Anna), and two of their cousins: Paul and Lorraine, I think. I’d estimate the year to be 1926 or 1927, based on my dad’s size. That’s a couple years earlier than the 1929 date I have for Frank and Anna moving from the farm, but that year is estimated from Frank’s obituary—not necessarily the most accurate source! Dad looks 5 or 6 in this photo.

This week’s prompt jogged my memory, so I started thinking about those trips up north. According to Google maps, it’s 164 miles from Deerfield to Manitowoc, and takes 3 hours 47 minutes on non-interstate roads. The roads in the late 1920s/early 1930s were not as good as roads today, and the cars slower.

The top speed for a Model A was 28 MPH; 40-45 MPH for the Model T. I’m sure neither car drove those speeds on the roads of that era, but let’s be generous! If the Model T went 30 miles per hour, that’s a 5 hours and 28 minutes trip, minimum.

Then there’s stopping for gas, bathroom breaks—4 kids, remember?— lunch at a “roadside park,” slowing down for towns, plus time to fix a flat tire. We’re looking at an all-day trip, each way. If they went up to visit, it probably wasn’t for a day, or even a weekend; a week is more likely, maybe two.

I suppose Ed could have driven Victoria and the kids up, and gone back home to work during the following week, then come back for them, but that’s a lot of driving for him. Besides, most of his siblings lived in the area, so it would have been one of his few chances to see them.

As frequently happens when checking the facts for a blog post, either I find something new, or I unearth a detail I’d forgotten about. This week was no different! I’ve always known they spent time in Highwood—my dad remembered (and talked about) living there before moving into the house in Deerfield. I just assumed that was the only other place they lived in. So I was surprised last fall to discover them at Dorothea’s house so soon after dad’s birth! I always thought Dad lived in Wisconsin for at least a couple years.

While he told stories about Grandma Schweiger’s house, I always thought they were from visits there. Indeed, he may have had no memory of ever living there. Regardless, when I found and documented the 1922 directory listing, I didn’t really think about it, or fit it into a timeline for the family. I was hurrying to harvest as many records as I could, and didn’t mentally process it properly.

Thank goodness I decided to enter it in my software, anyway, instead of blowing it off! I could have easily dismissed it as, “Oh, that’s Dorothea’s house, I don’t need to record that.” That would have been a mistake—I’d be missing dots I needed to connect.

So, what had started as an innocuous road trip story, ended up filling in more dates and places in my dad’s, grandparents’, and great grandparents’ timelines. That’s always a good thing!

#52Ancestors

__________________

¹”U.S City Directories, 1822-1995″, database, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com), citing R. L. Polk & Co. Evanston City and North Shore Directory, 1922-1923. Entry for Edw. HAWS, p. 630, accessed 7 September 2018.

²”U.S City Directories, 1822-1995″, database, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com), citing Polk’s Waukegan City Directory, 1925. Entry for Edw. M. HAWS, p. 685, accessed 7 September 2018.

At the Library

“When in doubt, go to the library.” —J. K. Rowling

Like any genealogist, I have put in time at many libraries. As a fledgling genealogist in the mid-1970s, my first guide book (Searching for Your Ancestors by Gilbert H. Doane, if I remember correctly) would have come from our local library. I think it was the lone geneology title on the shelf! Everything I knew about researching came from that book, until I received a paperback copy of Finding Your Roots by Jeane Eddy Westin for Christmas in 1978 or later. That book still sits on my shelf, non-acid-free pages yellowed with age.

Flipping the pages was a stroll back in time. I saw the parts I underlined (who used highlighters back then?) and paused at the section talking about Chicago’s Newberry Library. I knew the “LDS Salt Lake City Library” (as Ms. Westin referred to what we now know as the Family History Library) was not in my future. I did not live where my ancestors had, so “local records” were not nearby. Manitowoc, Wisconsin, was far enough away (3 hours) that a trip wasn’t really feasible. But the Newberry Library was only a half hour away, and would have more resources than a local library or historical society.

So somehow I managed to con persuade my dad to make a trip to the Newberry with me one Saturday. I knew my parents wouldn’t let me venture into the near north side of Chicago on my own! When we walked into the library, it was obvious that I was the youngest person in the building. My dad, in his early 50s, may have been the next youngest! I knew I had only a few hours there, so needed to make the most of it!

I do not have a research log from that visit. I was a teenager — I didn’t know any better. But I remember looking through the card catalog for anything about Manitowoc County. I’m pretty sure the stacks were closed, so I had to fill out a request slip and wait for them to retrieve the books for me.

While waiting, Dad and I went into the microfilm room to look for census records from Manitowoc County. With two of us there, we could cover twice the films, right? Of course, neither of us knew what we were doing! I found a couple reels for 1880 and we set to work looking for John Bruder¹ and family, and John Haase and family. You met some of them in The Old Homestead.

We knew they were in Manitowoc county, and knew some town names to start with, but it was still a page-by-page project. We learned the joys of cranking the microfilm handle, pausing to scan the page, then repeat. Luckily, neither of us experienced motion sickness, as some do!

I probably don’t still have the notes from that day, having transferred them to Family Group Sheets and Pedigree Charts. But the lessons learned that day have stuck with me. Things I had only read about, became glaringly obvious:

  • Spelling is flexible. For Haase, I found:
    • Hoss4
    • House
    • Hasse
  • For Bruder, I found
    • “Brother” (yes, “Bruder” translated to English!)
    • “Rinder” in the 1870 Ancestry index (name misread by the indexer)
  • First names were not exempt!
    • Johann Mathias: Mathias, John, Johann, or John M.
    • Elizabeth: Elisabeth, Elisbeth, or Lisabeth,
    • Nicholas: Nicklas, Niclaus
    • Catherine can be “C” or “K”, with or without the “e” in the middle, and even “Katy”
  • Age is relative! As long as the gaps between children were consistent with what I expected, I learned to roll with it. And adults were given wide latitude with their ages, too.

I quickly realized I could not rely on reading last names, and needed to look at the entire family — parents and kids together! The kids’ names weren’t particularly unusual, but the odds were low that, even if the last name was wrong, there probably weren’t two families with Elizabeth, Dorothy, Frank, Bertha, John, and Henry (or whoever) in the right order, with the right age gaps. That probably was the beginning of my learning to “trust my gut” about whether the person or family is “right.” Sometimes the leeway or accommodations I allow are greater than others, and people whose names might seem very wrong, are very right, and people with the “right” name are so very, very wrong! It’s an art, not a science, and not infallible.

So after cranking through the 1880, 1870, and 1860 censuses, we returned to the reading room to see if the books I’d requested were waiting. That was when I learned my next lesson: Farmers are not written about in the county histories! To me, the mid-1800s seemed “early,” but when History of Manitowoc County, Wisconsin Volume I talked about the pioneers, it meant the early 1800s. I headed to the chapters for the towns the Haase, Bruder, Jost, and Nachtwey families lived in — no mention of any of them.

Another memory from that trip, was seeing my first plat maps. I’m not sure how I found them, but I remember seeing names I recognized. Those may have been in another book. One thing I did not come home with, was photocopies — of anything — not even the census pages. All that information was written down in old school notebooks! At the time, copies cost fifty cents a piece! College expenses were looming, and I did not have a “genealogy budget.”

As so often happens while writing a blog post, I learn something new. This time I discovered it can be harder to find census records online, than cranking through the physical microfilm! Looking for Bruders in 1870, I couldn’t find them. I knew they were there, and I could find the FamilySearch image, but not the Ancestry one. The two databases have different indexes, and Ancestry misread “Bruder” as “Rinder.”³ It took some creative searching to locate it, and then a helpful cousin with an Ancestry subscription (thanks, Barb!) to confirm it was the right page. Searching online databases is faster only when the names are indexed correctly!

As I verify information, I sometimes find gaps in it. I realized I’d never located the Haase family in 1880. I finally found great-great-grandma Elisabeth, misspelled Hasse, with the three youngest kids.² My great-grandfather, Frank (b. 1858) is not with them, however. I can’t find him anywhere. He doesn’t marry Anna Bruder until 1885. Presumably he’s nearby, working for someone else — though he could be in another county, too! It looks like I need to do a page-by-page search online for him.

So many dead people, so little time, and always more questions than answers . . .

#52Ancestors


¹1880 U.S. census, population schedule, Wisconsin, Manitowoc, Kossuth, e.d. 66; Page 12; dwelling number 104; family number 108; line 3; Mathias BRUDER household; accessed 3 February 2019. Mathias BRUDER, age 45; NARA microfilm publication T9, roll 1434; digital image, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com).

²1880 U.S. census, population schedule, Wisconsin, Manitowoc, Two Rivers, e.d. 78; Page 13; dwelling number 112; family number 112; line 25; Lisabeth HASSE [HAWS} household; accessed 3 February 2019. Lisabeth HASSE [HAWS], age 55, widowed; NARA microfilm publication T9, roll 1434; digital image, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com).

³1870 U.S. census, population schedule, Wisconsin, Manitowoc, Two Rivers Town; Page 19; dwelling number 134; family number 139; line 10; John RINDER [BRUDER] household; accessed 2 February 2019. John RINDER [BRUDER], age 33; NARA microfilm publication M593, roll 1723; digital image, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com).4

4 1870 U.S. census, population schedule, Wisconsin, Manitowoc, Two Rivers Town; Page 15; dwelling number 108; family number 113; line 6; John HORS [HOSS] household; accessed 2 February 2019; NARA microfilm publication M593, roll 1723; digital image, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com).

Military

“War is hell.”—William Tecumseh Sherman

The photo below is my 2nd great-grandfather, Johann Mathias Bruder, in his Civil War uniform. You met him in The Old Homestead, married to Elizabeth Jost, and the father of Anna. I obtained this print from relatives in Wisconsin while in my teens. As you can see from the printing on the right edge (inverted), it was printed in July 1977. Technology at that time required you to take a photo of the image to get a negative, then prints could be made from that. Unfortunately, this one looks a little blurry, plus the negative was inadvertently placed upside down during printing. But I figured I’d get grief from everyone if the belt buckle was backwards, so I flipped the image. It’s really hard for me to look at him with the gun in his left hand, though! Perhaps some day I’ll cross paths with the original and can get a clearer scan.

Bruder uniform
John M. Bruder, 1834-1915, Civil War service photo.

His records (including military) use a lot of variant names, which I won’t discuss, now. Some other blog post! I’ll simply refer to him as “John M.” to be consistent.

He and his parents emigrated from Bavaria before 1847 (sister’s birth in Wisconsin), and his father died some time between 1855 (Wisconsin State Census) and the 1860 Federal Census. John M. served two terms as a volunteer:

  • 5 February 1863 – 8 September 1863, Company I, 34th Wisconsin Infantry
  • 30 September 1864 – 6 June 1865, Iron Brigade, Company D, 6th Wisconsin¹

If you looked at the sources, I can hear you saying, “Hold on! different names; different guys!” Not so. Fortunately, despite the 1890 census being almost completely consumed by fire, the 1890 veteran’s census survived.² While it lists his 2nd service date in the top portion, the lower section documents the earlier stint, too. He also applied for a pension. That paperwork lists both enlistments. More on that, later.

Tracking military activity of a unit is not terribly difficult. Based on his service dates, in 1863 he primarily served in the “west.” The 34th moved to Fort Halleck, Columbus, Kentucky. His Company then moved to Cairo, Illinois, at the end of April. It appears he stayed there until he mustered out in September, returning home. None of the information I found gave me the impression that area of the country saw much action.

In 1864 he was drafted and sent further from home. He was involved with parts of the Petersburg seige (June 1864-April 1865). The 6th Wisconsin was at Hatcher’s Run (Boydton Road and Dabney’s Mills), then continued on with the Appomattox Campaign, 28 March – 9 April 1865. They fought near Gravelly Run, Five Forks, and then pursued Lee to Appomattox Court House. After Lee’s surrender, the unit took part in the Grand Review on May 23rd, then moved to Louisville, Kentucky, finally mustering out in July.

You’re wondering about the pension, aren’t you? I’d read articles about the wonderful “finds” in pension packets: birth/baptismal certificates, marriage certificates, family Bible pages, photos. In 2000, before the cost to request it increased, I sent away for his. I heard back a year later, and sent my $10.

It was a little disheartening when the envelope arrived. The photocopies contained none of those precious treasures. Even the application was uninspiring: “Are you married? Yes but dead.”³ No name, marriage date, nothing. Apparently he figured she wouldn’t be entitled to anything, so didn’t waste his time. Same thing with the section for children: “All over 16 years of age.” No names or birth dates. Nothing to confirm what I thought I knew.

But then I delved deeper. He began the pension process in 1887, and it continued until 1912. Initially he was rejected, but finally was granted a $12/month pension (just shy of $300, today) “for loss of left arm above the Ellbow . . . said Arm he lost on August 23, 1884 while sitting on a Grain Reaper intending to cut his Wheat, and while he was unable to notice and see an obstruction in his way . . . was thrown from the Reaper and in the cutting part of said Reaper.”³ He received payments until he died, 8 March 1915. I don’t know if he received “back pay.”

The pages detailed his claim, in his words and those of neighbors and fellow soldiers, giving us a glimpse of their military experience. “While . . . in the line of duty at near Petersburg . . . while on a heavy marching . . . crossing and wading  through a River and swamps up to their breast, and thereafter marching all day in their wet clothes, and it being at the time cold and inclement weather, he contracted a cold, wich caused a Rheumatism, of wich he then and thereafter eversince is suffering and affecting and weakening his Eyes . . . that sometimes he cannot see any person or object if only 10 feet before him”³ No wonder he couldn’t see the obstruction!

Joseph Wetor’s affidavit describes “6th and 7th day of february 1865 before during the battle of Hatchers run . . . disagreable wether of wich we was exposed them times, without tents and blankets, wich we had to leave in camp lasted for some weeks after.”³ John Entringer’s relates a similar experience, adding, “in the mourning being sometimes being covered with Snow or wet allthrough from heavy rain.”³ General Sherman knew what he was talking about!

Filmmaker Ken Burns has spent the last forty years teaching us to observe history from a personal perspective. The pension packet may not have given me the “vital facts” I initially looked for, but I found something far more important.  I saw a partial picture of John M. Bruder’s war experience; one I wouldn’t have, otherwise. I also have his signature. Thank goodness he was initially denied, or the additional descriptions from his comrades in arms wouldn’t have been needed! As far as I know, he didn’t keep a diary, so this paperwork is all we have of that period of his life.

When we visited Appomattox Court House with our kids in December, 1999, I had no idea my 2nd great grandfather had been there before me. I realize he was a lowly private, and not in the parlor with Lee signing the surrender to Grant. But knowing that he was one of many participants to a pivotal day in history makes that day hit closer to home.

Best $10 I ever spent.

#52Ancestors

1884-1894 BRUDER John M JOST Elizabthe
John M. Bruder and his wife, Elizabeth Jost, possibly taken between 1884 and 1894. While it’s not obvious his left arm is missing, it easily could be.


¹Wisconsin. Adjutant General’s Office, Roster of Wisconsin Volunteers, War of the Rebellion, 1861-1865, Volume II, https://books.google.com, State Historical Society of Wisconsin, p. 544. 34th Regiment Infantry, Company I; name: Brüder, Mathias.  and   Wisconsin. Adjutant General’s Office, Roster of Wisconsin Volunteers, War of the Rebellion, 1861-1865, Volume I, https://books.google.com, State Historical Society of Wisconsin, p. 509. 6th Regiment Infantry, Company D; name: Bruder, John M.

²”United States Census of Union Veterans and Widows of the Civil War, 1890,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:939V-R3SC-MZ?cc=1877095&wc=M628-XJQ%3A174322201%2C174474101%2C174320903 : 22 May 2014), Wisconsin > Manitowoc > All > image 15 of 58; citing NARA microfilm publication M123 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

³John M. Bruder (Pvt., Co. D, 6th Wis. Inf., Civil War), pension no. S.C. 859,952, Case Files of Approved Pension Applications …, 1861-1934; Civil War and Later Pension Files; Record Group 15:  Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs; National Archives, Washington, D.C.

The Old Homestead

Be it ever so humble . . .

I have lots of old homesteads in my life:

  • 2 houses in Glencoe, IL, built by Edward M. Haws (Grandpa)
  • 1 house in Deerfield, IL, also built by him
  • the house in Manitowoc, WI, where my dad was born
  • numerous houses in Northbrook, IL, lived in by my mom and her extended family members
  • the Nolan farmhouse in Smiths Creek, MI, from Mike’s family
  • assorted houses in Port Huron, MI, belonging to the other side of his family
  • 2 houses Mike grew up in, in Detroit, MI, as well as his grandmother’s
  • my parents’ 2 houses
  • my own 2 houses

I have recent photos of them all, but today’s winner is the farmhouse in Kossuth, WI–between Manitowoc and Francis Creek. My great-grandfather, Frank Haws, and his wife, Anna Bruder, lived there until 1932, or so, when they sold it and moved to a “house in town” in Francis Creek. It had been in the family since 1850, though.

Haws farmhouse new

Former Haws farmhouse, 6604 County Road Q (New Q), Manitowoc, Wisconsin. It’s north of Shoto Road, and just south of the intersection where the north end of Old Q connects with New Q, on the west side of the road. This photo was taken by my parents in 1999. My dad’s cousin (who grew up in the area) drove with them to find it. Google Maps street view shows the house still there in 2013.

The property was first owned by Nicholas Jost, who purchased it from the government in 1850:

1850 08 10 JOOST Nicholas land description

description of the land parcel purchased by Nicholas Joost [Jost], 10 August 1850: “the South East Quarter of the North East Quarter of Section twenty five, in Township twenty, North of Range twenty three, East, in the District of Lands subject to sale at Green Bay, Wisconsin, containing forty acres,”      https://glorecords.blm.gov/details/patent/default.aspx?accession=WI1410__.187&docClass=STA&sid=l42wzwfj.cni#patentDetailsTabIndex=1

The 1872, 1878, and 1893 plat maps of the area (see snips below) show the property transferring from Nicholas Jost, to John M. Bruder, to Frank Haws.

scan0017

Haws farmhouse in the 1920s, maybe? Frank Haws is probably the man in the hat (by right corner of the window), and Anna Bruder Haws is probably the woman sitting nearest the door. The two young women (standing) are probably grand aunts, but I’m not sure which ones.

1872 kossuth plat map

1872 plat map. The red box is around the N. Jost (hard to read) property described above. The green arrow points to the dot/square showing where the house is located on the property. The double line winding to the right is “Old County Q”–a road that is still there. http://www.2manitowoc.com/1872pl14.html

1878 kossuth plat map

1878 plat map showing the house still there and the property now owned by John M. Bruder. Old County Q is visible. http://www.2manitowoc.com/1878plt14.pdf

1893 Kossuth plat map snip

1893 plat map. The house is still there (green arrow), as is Old Q. Frank Haws now owns the property. http://www.2manitowoc.com/1893plt13.html

Nicholas Jost is found on the 1850 census.¹ I can’t tell if he’s living in this house when the census was recorded, since the land purchase was later than the census date. In 1860, he’s hard to find because his last name was written “Jose” and indexed as “Jase.” The 1870 census² lists his son, Mathias, as the head of household, with Nicholas living there as well. Nicholas still owns the property according to the 1872 plat map, but by the 1880 census, John Bruder is the head of household, with Nicholas (his father-in-law) still living there.

Of course, the 1890 census (mostly destroyed in a fire) provides no help, but Frank is in the house by 1893. I probably need a road trip to Manitowoc to help me nail down the exact transfer dates, but each one is well before the death of the previous owner.

What I find most curious, though, is that the property does not transfer down through the sons, as one would expect. Both transfers are to the spouse of a daughter. Nicholas’s daughter, Elizabeth Jost, was married to John M. Bruder, the next owner. It wasn’t

part of her dowry (if they even did that), because John & Elizabeth married in 1860–long before they acquired the property.

Why didn’t it pass along to her brother, Mathias? While he did work the farm at the time of the 1870 census, he moved his family to Marathon County after that. Why he didn’t stay around and wait to inherit, I don’t know.

Anna Bruder, one of John & Elizabeth’s daughters, married Frank Haws in 1885. That’s twenty years before her father’s death, so the property wasn’t an inheritance. The 1885 Wisconsin census³ still lists John Bruder in that neighborhood, so it wasn’t a dowry/wedding present for her, either. She had four brothers, all living to adulthood. Why were they passed over, for a son-in-law? I have no idea.

While several of the western states (Wyoming, Montana, Utah, among others) granted extensive rights to women long before the rest of the country, Wisconsin was not on the forefront for that. So I find it interesting that this family seemed to depart from the norm, and wish I had a better explanation for it. I’ll keep an eye out for anything that might give me some insight, but won’t hold my breath. Even so, it’s nice to see the old farmhouse still in use, even if it has left my family’s possession.

#52Ancestors


¹1850 U.S. census, population schedule, Wisconsin, Manitowoc, Manitowoc Rapids; Page 44 (written); dwelling number 207; family number 213; line 18; Nicholas YOST [JOST] household; accessed 21 March 2018. Nicholas YOST [JOST], age 54; NARA microfilm publication M432, roll 1002; digital image, FamilySearch Record Search (https://familysearch.org).

²1870 U.S. census, population schedule, Wisconsin, Manitowoc, Kossuth; Page 13; dwelling number 92; family number 85; line 2; Mathias JOIST [JOST] household; accessed 21 March 2018. Cathrine JOIST [JOST], age 35; NARA microfilm publication M593, roll 1723; digital image, FamilySearch Record Search (https://familysearch.org).

³Wisconsin State Census, 1885, Manitowoc, Kossuth; page 4 (center top), line 6; J. BRUDER entry; accessed 21 March 2018. digital image, FamilySearch Record Search(https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-6DH7-CS9?i=49&cc=1443713 free); citing State Historical Society, Madison.