February 2016

I am going to be out of the office for the next week.  So, if you reply to a blog during this time, March 1-7, don’t be surprised when I do not respond for a while.

Thanks, Maggie


If you have been following my blog for a while, you probably read a “Comment” to my blog posted in January of 2015. This comment was posted by a new relative of my husband’s.

As previously posted, Roderick responded to my blog in January 2015. He explained of how he and my husband are related. His father, Paul, was the son of Ferdinand and Wilhelmine. Wilhelmine was the daughter of Christian and Maria Semlow Bringe. Christian is my husband’s great-grandfather, and Maria was Christian’s first wife. The two known half-brothers of Albert (my husband’s grandfather) were the brothers of Wilhelmine.

Roderick and I have continued to email each other. He has sent to me several photos of his father, Paul, and also of Paul’s parents. Paul’s mother, Wilhelmine, would have been the half-sister of Albert Bringe (my husband’s grandfather). I have similarly sent him photos of those thought to be of interest to him. Also, he has sent some photos that his father received from the United States in about 1945. One of the photos is that of my husband’s grandmother – Albert’s wife. The other photo is one which my husband is not sure – maybe a daughter of Albert’s wife (her first husband died and then she married Albert).

Another gem that Roderick has sent is a “family tree” of sorts, showing information he knows about Christian Frederick, CF’s first wife (Roderick’s grandmother), and each of their parents.

In our chatting, my husband and I have been wondering how his mother would have found the information that we now know about her father’s family. We both think that she would be so happy to know the information. Years ago, when I discovered on which ship her father had taken to the United States (Albert was a baby), I gave her a photo of the ship. She began to cry. We are certain, then, that she would be doing the same when being told what we have found.

As Roderick and I discover more, I will let you know!


When researching census records, be careful about the relationships of those listed in the household.

Recently, there was an 1850 census record that I found for someone I was researching. He was the head of the household, and there was a woman (presumed to be his wife) and younger people mentioned as well. The census taker had used the ditto mark (“) for continuing the last name of each in the household.

I thought it was interesting about some of the middle names of the children – their middle names were all the same name! There were dittos marks after each of these supposedly middle names, making their last name to be the same as the head of the household.

What I later discovered is that the woman in the household was the second wife of the head, and these children were her children, not his. The census taker had recorded the children’s real last name as their middle name. What made this even trickier is that the names of the head’s first wife and second wife was the same!


I want to thank each and every one of you who is following my blog! Whether you are following at my website, on my Facebook page,  on Twitter, or on LinkedIn, it would not be a blog if it wasn’t for you!

If there is a particular topic that you would like for me to address, please do not hesitate to let me know!


You probably are used to this definition for “late” – dead.

But “late” does not necessarily mean dead. In one Civil War pension file, the widow was referred to as being the “late widow” of the veteran. In this case, “late” more than likely meant that sometime after the veteran died, she married again.

Be careful!


Pension files – those hopefully-large pension files. We always hope for much information – information that will help to get through that brick wall.

Remember to look not only at the front of each sheet of paper, but also the back. It is amazing the information that I have found on the back!


Remember when we all used to use a “tree” when we were beginning our research?

Well, if you are stuck at a brick wall, drawing a tree may help. This will help you to get re-organized and learn everything that you know.

Try it!


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