I got to thinking about nationality and ethnicity, and how they don't always mean the same thing. They sometimes do - my Irish ancestors are from Ireland, my Norwegian ancestors are from Norway, my English ancestors are (as far as I know) from England. But my German ancestors, they're from all over:
My Wagner line seems to come from Mecklenberg, now in northern Germany.
My Sitzman/Zitzmann line comes from Bohemia, now in the Czech Republic.
My Joseph line comes from Ulanowka, near Zhitomir in Ukraine, and from Kepa Kikolska, Poland
My Beilstein line comes from the Grand Duchy of Hesse (now the state of Hesse in central Germany).
My Waechter line comes from Alsace-Lorraine (now part of France).
My Kruger ancestors gave their country of origin as Prussia and Mecklenberg. Not sure about the distinction (if there is any) between the two, or where exactly they were from.
Anyways, I think you get the point. Maybe other ethnic groups are just as complex, I don't know. But it seems to me that you can't just say your ancestry is "German" when there are so many different places those Germans seem to come from!
And in case you were wondering, yes I am more German than anything. As far as I know so far, at least. :)
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
|Obituary for Augusta (Joseph) Gibson|
1. My sister was contacted by a relative named Delores on our Bergstad side, and passed her name and number on to me. I called Delores last Sunday and talked to her for over an hour, and found out she is my first cousin twice removed, and she has a lot of info on the Bergstads I didn't, including pictures!! I still need to sit down and really sift through the notes I took while talking to her.
2. While going through my Joseph family files, I noticed I was missing obituaries from a lot of people. I got the feeling I might be able to find some of these on my own, so I went to Newspaper Archive, and looked for the edition of the local paper for their localities (Butte, Anaconda, and Helena) that came out the day after they died. Instead of relying on the indexes, I actually read through the paper quickly (first time that I've done it this way). In just an hour or two, I had obituaries for my 2nd-great-grandaunt Tina (Joseph) Leistiko, my great-grandmother Augusta (Joseph) Gibson, and my great-great-grandmother Catherine (Cain) Gibson. The one for Catherine was really hard to see, but I was able to read most of it. But it just amazed me how quickly I found these, and the details and info about each person were priceless.
|Obituary for |
Christine (Joseph) Leistiko
3. My grandmother made a huge breakthrough on our mysterious American Indian ancestor Lisette Rainier, by finding out a relative (son or brother are the most likely relationships) of Lisette's named Joseph Rainier bought some land in Montana in 1904. His last name is spelled Reynier in the land record. I'm still trying to find him in the 1900 and 1910 censuses, but no luck so far. The only other records I have on him are a mention in the journal of Lisette's husband Thomas W. Harris, and the 1860 census where he and Charles Rainier are listed as living with Thomas and Lisette. Nothing else is known about him, so the land record is huge!
4. Upon hearing about Joseph Rainier's land purchase, I went to the BLM GLO website (which I admittedly haven't used much at all till now) and starting poking around, searching for ancestors in different parts of the country. In just a few minutes, I had copies of patents from several ancestors! So far I've found patents and other records for Alexander B. Shute, Thomas W. Harris, James E. Craddock, Knut J. Bergstad, Turby (Bergstad) Cornell, and the previously-mentioned Joseph Rainier. And that was just the ones I found on random searches. Can't wait to see what a thorough search will reveal!
5. Last night, I came across a link for Black Sea German Research group. These wonderful people have gone through German Lutheran church records for the Trinity German Lutheran Church in Winnipeg, Manitoba, indexed them, and linked the people together in family groups. Trinity church was associated with Christ Lutheran Church, also in Manitoba, where many of my Joseph relatives lived. I did a search for the surname Joseph, and came back with 43 hits, many of whom I recognized as my relatives right off. I sent away for those church records last night, and am waiting anxiously to hear back on them.
|Land patent for Alexander Blood Shute|
The only downside to all of this genealogical goodness is that I have a ProGen assignment due next week, and I'm trying to finish that, and keep up with all the stuff I keep finding. I mean, once I find a little something on one of my lines, I can't help but dig and keep digging until I find everything I can. But I have literally been overwhelmed with everything that has come my way this week. I almost wish I had an assistant or something just to help with the filing and organizing. :) But it's a happy problem, one I will never seriously complain about. Just hope I can document everything before I lose track of where I found it.
Sunday, January 8, 2012
|Sylvester the Cat, courtesy of Wikipedia.org|
After finishing my last blog post, I started reviewing a newspaper article that I thought might contain a reference to John Adolph Leistiko, a German immigrant from eastern Europe and first husband of my great-great-grandaunt Christine/Justine "Tina" Joseph, but wasn't sure if the Adolph Leistiko it mentioned was him. The article (more like a paragraph in the "Society Notes of the Week" section) was about a fraternity I'd never heard of called the Sons of Hermann, celebrating something called "Sylvester abend". The only Sylvester I know is a cat who says "thufferin' thuccotash." After a little internet research, I found that Sylvester is the German name for New Year's Eve, because that's the night of the feast of Saint Sylvester, a Catholic Pope who died on December 31, 335. Abend turned out to be German for 'evening', so Sylvester abend would be New Year's Eve night. That made sense, as the issue of the paper was dated 5 January 1902. So a German New Year's celebration sounded like a pretty good connection for Adolph Leistiko.
|Tina Joseph and Adolph Leistiko |
on their wedding day
|Tina and Adolph Leistiko, |
with their son Alfred
|Montana Standard article - |
3 Jun 1938
I came across one very interesting person on the first day I started doing the Joseph records - Adolph William "Bus" Leistiko. He's my first cousin three times removed (he was my great-grandmother Augusta Joseph's cousin), and had a short but eventful life. He was born in 1915 in Anaconda, Deer Lodge, Montana to John Adolph Leistiko and Justine/Christine Joseph. Bus was the youngest of the seven children born to his parents, though Tina, as his mom was often known, later had a daughter with her second husband, John Levick. He and his half-sister Mary Levick married their respective spouses, Lucille Bailey and Michael Frankovich, on the same day, 18 June 1934, both in Anaconda, Montana, by the same Justice of the Peace, William Lorenz. Mary's mother-in-law, Helen Frankovich, was a witness to both weddings. Sadly, Bus's marriage to Lucille was short-lived, as he married Rose Richards less than three years later, on 18 May 1937, and gave his marital status as divorced.
Shortly after his marriage to Rose, Bus was traveling with two friends (one of whom was a brother-in-law of his half-sister Mary), driving near Anaconda. Bus was at the wheel and his friends were in the back seat, examining a .22 pistol, when the pistol went off. The bullet went through the front seat and hit Bus in the back. Apparently they avoided crashing somehow, as Bus was taken to a hospital to receive emergency treatment for the wound, and was released the same day and allowed to go home to recover.
|Montana Standard article - |
19 Nov 1950
So that was the life of Adolph "Bus" Leistiko (or what I've found of it in a few vital records and newspaper articles). Short, kind of rough, and a pretty sad end. But I'm glad I was able to piece together this much of his life, and retell the story. It makes what genealogy research so much more meaningful when I can find some of the stories behind the names, dates, and places. It's one of the reasons I do this research - all of our ancestors had stories like this, some longer, some shorter. But finding these stories makes me feel connected to these people, and hopefully I'll be able to pass that connection on to my descendants and relatives before my story ends.