June 2018

Before visiting a courthouse, it is a good idea to do some planning.  Here are some things that may be good to know about before your visit:

  • check out the wiki of the county at FamilySearch.org
  • what office are at the courthouse? are there other county offices located off-site?
  • what are the hours of operation of the courthouse, and for what days of the week?
  • is the courthouse closed for lunch?
  • is it permissible to bring a scanner or phone (for photos) with you?
  • can copies be made of records, and if so, what are the charges?
  • if traveling a distance, where will you spend the night?
  • is it possible to contact someone for assistance before your visit?


Last year, I visited several counties in New York.  My ancestor’s family had resided in the area for several generations.  Before visiting, I contacted people at courthouses, historical societies, and libraries.  And, I created maps so that driving between various counties would be easier (GPS was not always available).  There were even some people who pulled records ahead of time so that I would not have to wait for records to be pulled!

A little planning makes a big difference!



Since I have researched much on this Wolter family, and I feel a little confused about what information I have, I think it is time to do a re-start on the research.

I decided to see what German records I could find on FamilySearch.

First, I decided to see what I could find concerning Greifswald, Pommern.  (Remember, in the database, Hamburg Passenger Lists, 1850-1934, it was shown that the Wolter family was from Greifswald, Pommern (Wolter Family – 10)).

I found a record of the marriage of Johannes Wolter and Martha Bringe (Germany, Preussen, Pommern, Greifswald, Zivilstandsregister, Heirates-Index [Marriages], 1885-1892, digital images, FamilySearch (http://www.familysearch.org : accessed 18 May 2018), Current no. 12, no. 92, Johannes Wolter-Martha Bringer, 1888; FHL microfilm 1705949, item 1.).  According to the image, they were married in 1888, and the information is in record 92.

Then I found the actual marriage record for John and Martha (Germany, Preussen, Pommern, Greifswald, Zivilstandsregister, Heiraten [Marriages], 1888-1890, digital images, FamilySearch (http://www.familysearch.org : accessed 18 May 2018), Current no. 12, no. 92, Johannes Wolter-Martha Bringer, 1888; FHL microfilm 1705944.).

I am including these two images as well.  I am in the process of translating, but it is slow going.  If anyone can help, that would be much appreciated!












More in my next post.


My direct ancestor is Mary Ann Charlotte Cordelia Cole.  She was adopted by Daniel and Tryphenie Jones Burroughs when she was but an infant.  For a long time, I knew who her siblings were.  However, I had not researched them.

Then, I decided to begin that research.

Her brother was Asahel Cole.  He was very active in politics.  And, he supposedly lived in Wellsville, NY, where “Cordelia” lived with her daughter and son-in-law.

A newspaper article in The Buffalo (New York) Express (dated 16 July 1889) gave quite a bit of information about Asahel.

The article is an obituary for Asahel.

According to the obituary, Asahel died in Wellsville 15 July 1889, as his residence known as “Home-on-the-Hillside”.  His full name was Asahel Nichols Cole, and he was born in Freedom, Cattaraugus County, New York.  Along with this information, the obituary gives information on his father and mother (and their ancestors).  And, much more information is given as well!

What a find!



Since I have researched much on this Wolter family, and I feel a little confused about what information I have, I think it is time to do a re-start on the research.

In this post, I will “bring together” what is now known concerning the relationship between Martha Wolter and Albert Bringe.

  • According to the birth record for John and Martha’s daughter Katherina, Katherina’s parents are John Wolter and Martha Bringe. According to the record, both John and Martha were born in Griefswald Pomerania Germany.
  • The death record for Martha Wolter shows that she was born 28 August 1865 in Hanover, Germany. Her father’s name was John Bringe (the informant was Martha’s daughter, Charlotte).
  • Shown in “Wolter Family – 9” is that Martha Wolter was the same generation as the first-marriage children on Christian Friedrick Bringe, the father of Albert.
  • The ship manifest that shows the Wolter family departing 15 April 1892 from Hamburg, shows that the family was listed as being from Griefswald, Pommern.
  • According to his death certificate, Christian Friedrick Martin Bringe (Albert’s father) was born in Stralsund, Germany.
  • In the letter dated 12 April 1925, Martha Wolter calls Albert Bringe “cousin”, and Marie Hahn Bringe “Auntie”. The same letter states that Marie was “the last one who really knew us back home”.  The letter is signed “Your Cousin Martha Wolter”.
  • In the letter dated 2 March 1935, Esther is writing to Albert and Sophia Bringe concerning the death of Martha Wolter. Esther is sure that “If Uncle Fred had been living he surely would go”, and that her mother (Anna Maria Bringe Rahe – sister of Albert) would go to the funeral if it wasn’t for Anna’s bad health.


So, how close is Griefswald, Pomerania, to the birth place of Christian, Stralsund, Germany?  Could it be that Martha Wolter’s father, John, was the brother of Christian?

Any thoughts?


You just found that all-important newspaper article that mentions your ancestor.  Wonderful!

Now, save the article!

You may be using a fee-based website that may not always be accessible to you.  Websites change!

And, when you save that all-important article, make sure you attach to it the citation so that you will know from where it came.

And, as I have said many times, save in more than one place.  I save everything in three places!  Computers can fail, external hard drives can fail, CD-ROMs can fail.


Since I have researched much on this Wolter family, and I feel a little confused about what information I have, I think it is time to do a re-start on the research.

Now is known who was Miss Charlotte Wolter, who resided at 2125 S. 40th Avenue in Chicago, Illinois. She was the daughter of John and Martha Wolter, immigrants from Germany.  We know that John at one time resided at this address, and it is known where the Wolter family resided for the census years 1900-1940.

In my last post I posted the first of two letters that I had found.

The second letter shows possible relationship between the Bringe family and the Wolter family.









As you can see, the letter was written by Esther, at 2004 Calumet Ave., Toledo, Ohio. (This is where Esther Rahe, daughter of Anna Maria Bringe Rahe (sister of Albert Bringe) resided in 1935.)  The letter is addressed to Mr. Albert Bringe, R.F.D., Martin, Ohio.  And, the letter is dated 2 March 1935 (postmarked 4 March 1935, Toledo, Ohio).  In the letter, Esther is writing to Uncle Albert and Aunt Sophia about the telegram she had received the previous evening.  The telegram was from Lottie (Charlotte) Wolter, notifying her that Martha Wolter had died the previous Thursday.  (If you recall, in a previous post, I posted how Martha had died 28 February 1935 in Chicago, Illinois.)  In the letter, Esther writes about how her mother (Anna Maria Bringe Rahe) would have attended the funeral except for her bad health.  And, also mentioned in the letter is, “If Uncle Fred had been living he surely would go.”  Uncle Fred would have been Fred Bringe, the brother of both Anna Maria and Albert.  Fred had died in 1933.







So, the two letters confirm a family relationship between the Wolter family and the Albert Bringe family.

In my next post, more about their relationship.


Church records are usually private records.

So, if the church allows you to view their records, please ask permission before you transcribe or take a photograph of the record.

Many churches will allow people to transcribe and photograph their records, but some will not.

Remember, they don’t have to.


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