Friday, March 23, 2012

Birth Dates Make a World of Difference

My cousin Boomer sent me birth and death dates for his Mother and some of her siblings last night. Boy Howdy, does that change the tide as far as the research goes. I plugged in those dates and little green leaves started popping up everywhere! Now to disprove, The Naked Genaologist at says the best thing to do is instead on working to prove the record is of your ancestor, work to DISPROVE it. That way you are making the list smaller instead of adding more possibilities to your search....I just love Crista Cowen:).

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sisters Picture Update

My friend Rob in New York emailed me a link to a phenomenal website where they will analyze your photograph and help you find out when it was taken. I emailed the photo of the sisters this morning and just now (not even an hour later) got a response from Gary. He was able to tell me that this was taken between 1880 (when the process became popular) and 1905 when it started to die out. I know that my Aunts were born in 1894, 1896 and 1899. This means the picture was taken between 1899 and 1900 which would explain why my Aunt Maddie is not in the picture. So my cousin Arlene was right, this is indeed her mother and Aunt and my cousin Warren can rest his brain that this is not a photograph of his mother and her sister. That still leaves the question though.....what happened to Jean?

To check out the awesome website and Gary, the dude that helped me, go to:

They are awesome!!!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Update: The Sister that Existed....But Didn't

My cousin Heather and my cousin Warren and I keep bouncing back and forth. Is the photograph Arlene and the missing sister Jean OR is it really my Aunt Flo and my Aunt Hattie? I can't believe that my Great Grandmother would have a photograph taken of just them when she also had Aunt Maddie. I keep dreaming of the girl with big brown eyes, I feel like she is trying to tell us who she is but with so little information and stories that were taken to their graves, how do we find her out? I have asked a friend in New York to do some research on the Photographer that took the photograph. If we can pinpoint when the Photographer was in business, we should be able to figure out if it's Arlene and Jean or Flo and Hattie.......OY!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Sister that Existed....but Didn't

Take a look at this photograph, what is your first thought? Two sisters, sitting side by side, having their portrait taken for their parent's? Cousins or even friends perhaps? It is more likely the first, sisters, one with what could be soft hazel eyes, one with piercingly dark, brown eyes. Both dressed the same, hair the same, they look different but very similar. My cousin Heather has had this picture out in her home for years, not quite sure as too who the younger girl is but always believing that the older child (on the right of the photograph as you are looking at it) was her Grandmother (my cousin Arlene). While researching our Hess Family history, I came across the 1930 Federal Census for Heather's Great Grandparents (her Great Grandmother is my Great Aunt). The names match, the profession of the man match the profession of her Great Grandfather. The name of their daughter (her Grandmother) matches and yet there was a shocking surprise. Underneath her Grandmother Arlene's name, another child, a daughter aged 6 is listed. How could this be? How could they have had a child that NO ONE living knows about? And yet there it is in black and white. Jean Loeb, aged 6, born about 1924 (probably 1923). I spoke with Heather on the phone and she had me pull up this photograph. This photograph of two beautiful little girls, this photograph that is the only image we have of the younger child. How can it be a possibility that our family never spoke of her? The reality is between 1930 when the census was taken and 1942 when my Great Grandmother (Heather's Great Great Grandmother) passed away that this little girl disappeared? I cannot tell you how excited I am that the 1940 census drops in 15 days because I am hoping that I will be able to have an answer for her. What happened to little Jean? Was she institutionalized, did she pass away as a young girl? All we know is that in the 1942 obituary for my Great Grandmother Matilda, my Aunt and Heather's Grandmother are mentioned as Matilda's grandchildren....but Jean is not. Is this because she passed away or was she a dirty little secret of the family that no one talked about? Heather and I both feel that we are Jean's voice, that whatever happened to her, we must find out, we must tell her story and we must honor her existence. As a mother, I cannot imagine having a child and then never speaking of them. I cannot imagine being gone from this world and having no one know that I was ever even here. I am putting some of my other research aside so that I might spend more time trying to find our Jean.....our Jean....that is what she is, she is ours. My cousin, Warren's Aunt, Heather's Great Aunt. We will find her and we will honor her.....she has been forgotten for too long.


Saturday, March 10, 2012

Rough Night

I tossed and turned all night, restless with dreams of my Great Grandparents. I am overwhelmed, I feel like they don't want me to know anything about my family. I am thrilled to have found their marriage record last night but instead of bringing me peace, it leaves me with more questions. To find any records about my Great Great Grandparents named in the marriadhe record, I have to search German records which aren't that great. How do I even do that? It looks like I am going to have to physically go to the Family Research Library, I am hoping that there is a sweet little volunteer man or woman who will take pity on me. Someone who lives to unlock family mysteries and will volunteer to help me with my research.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Great Great Grandmother and Grandfather on Paternal Grandfather's Side

This evening, right as I was about to shoot my computer in frustration with came across the marriage record of my Great Grandfather and Grandmother (my Grandfather's parents). Oddly enough I did not find the information on Ancestry, instead I found it on Not only did it give me the date they were married, but I now have my Great Grandfather's Father's name and my Great Grandmother's Mothers name. Now, this also opens up more questions like 1. Why is Great Grandpa's Mother not named and Great Grandma's Father not named. 2. While knowing they were married in New York in 1892 is great, why can't I find any record of them individually in 1892 in New York since both of them arrived prior to that? I am giving up for the night, I am going to take my little piece of research success, hold it tight and have sweet dreams. At least I can now give my Mom, Aunt, Cousin and his daughter names that no one in the family had ever known.