Sunday, May 15, 2016

Where There's a Will...August F. Buschick Set His Hand 14 Dec 1883

I was excited when I found my great grandfather's will and two other documents pertaining to his death on Yet, when I started reading, the hope of getting a lot of information from the will didn't come. Usually there are names and relationships, but August Ferdinand Buschick didn't mention siblings or children except for his daughter from his first marriage, Catherine W. Norris. She was the only one left of three children born to August and Catherine his first wife. He mentioned his current wife, (my great grandmother) Susan A., but didn't mention any one I didn't know about. Bummer...

August F. Buschick
I August F. Buschick of the City of Chicago, in the County of Cook and State of Illinois, aged fifty eight years and being of sound mind and memory do hereby make, publish and declare this to be my last Will and Testament hereby revoking any and all wills by me heretofore made.~
First: It is my wish that my Executrix hereinafter named shall pay my debts and funeral expenses as soon after my decease as conveniently maybe. 
Second: After the payment of said debts and funeral expenses I give, devise and bequeath to my daughter Catherine W. Norris the sum of four thousand dollars in cash to be paid out of my estate by my executrix as soon after my decease as conveniently can be.~ 
Third: Subject to the fore going provisions I hereby give, devise and bequeath to my wife Susan A. Buschick all my property real personal and mixed of whatever name and nature and wheresoever situate including all partnership interests, her heirs, executors, administrators and assigns Forever.~ 
Fourth: I hereby nominate and appoint my wife Susan A. Buschick Sole Executrix of this my last Will and Testament and it is my wish and I hereby direct that she be allowed to administer my estate without giving Bond or Surety of any kind. 
In testimony where of I have herewith set my hand and seal this fourteenth day of December A.D. 1883August F. Buschick {seal}
August signed his will on the 14th of December and died on the 15th of Pleuro-Pneumonia. By the 21st, the Letters of Testamentary were filled out and signed. This is a document granted by the court which simply states Susan as the legal executor/executrix and she has the ability and responsibility to act as such.

On the same day two more documents were filled out and signed: The Executor's Oath which makes sure Susan will carry out the provisions of the will as specified.

The other is Executor's Bond which is a specific type of probate/fiduciary bond that ensures estates are handled appropriately after individuals pass away. In the "fourth" point of the will, August specifically requests that his wife "be allowed to administer my estate without giving Bond or Surety of any kind." But here is one. Could that just be a formality? I have no idea. On this bond, there is a "penal sum" of $16,000 which is the maximum amount the surety will be require to pay in the event of any default by Susan. At first I thought it was the amount of money left to Susan, but I had to look it up to find out what it really meant.

It is interesting on this Bond, Susan's residence is shown: 394 Orchard Street which today would be 2217 N. Orchard St. which is on the first block north of Oz Park. There is a three-story apartment building numbered 2215 where I think the house should have been. Since there is no number 2217 there must have been some more changes made since 1909 when the city's house numbers were renumbered. This residence isn't too far from an earlier residence of 1870 when they lived near Hurlbut (now Cleveland Ave.) and Lincoln Ave. located east of Oz Park. Funny thing...a few years ago, I was on a bus touring the highlights of the Chicago Fire of 1871, and towards the end of the tour our bus went through this neighborhood where both residences were but I didn't know my Buschicks lived in the area until recently when I started my research on them.

[Google maps image]

There may be other papers/documents, but I haven't found any so far. If I do, that will be on another post.

August and Susan had eight children between 1864 (when they got married) and 1883 when August died. Of those eight, at the time of his death, my grandfather, Edwin Luther, (age 18) and his sister Jennie Maude (age 12) were left, so why didn't he mention them?  

I was hoping great grandfather would have named his siblings possibly just as token receivers in his will, but to my dismay he did not. One sibling I know of is Gustavus Emil who was his partner in the steam boiler business. Gustav lived until 1902. There is a possibility of at least three more, but only two I'm aware of were also alive at the time of August's death, but none were mentioned in his will. That makes it hard to be sure they are part of the family.

Maybe the other two siblings had enough money they didn't need to be named. Maybe there wasn't really that much money left since August had gone through bankruptcy in 1875 and he was still recovering. Who knows.

At this time, I'm in the process of researching this Buschick family and have some clues, but the trail is starting to go cool. I won't name any names because I don't want anyone to put them on their family tree as if they were proved. All I can say is one of them seems to be on the same immigration index card. Curious? Me, too. I'll save it all for another blog post when I am more sure of my puzzle pieces.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Coffee Drinkers - It's All in the Family

I like and drink my coffee black. 

As far back as I can remember I wanted coffee black. My mom drank hers black -- no sugar, no cream, but occasionally a dollop of vanilla ice cream would find its way into her cup of coffee when we could afford ice cream. I guess I wanted my coffee to be like my mom's. Children often mimic one parent or another. I occasionally put vanilla ice cream in my coffee, too, and think of my mom.

We lived with my grandma, dad's mom, and she would always drink her "milchkaffe" which is what could be known as Boston-style, i. e. more cream or milk then coffee. When I was too young to make my own decisions, grandma would fix me a milchkaffe. I think all children who wanted coffee at a very young age were given this type.

I never liked more milk in my coffee, but grandma insisted. She would say if I drank black coffee, my feet would turn black! I didn't want that to happen, so I drank what she fixed.

I swore to myself when I was old enough to make my own coffee, I was GOING TO DRINK IT BLACK! And I have done just that, except when it comes to "instant" coffee. Then I have to put a little bit of sugar in it. I think that stems from the 1950s instant type; it was horrible. It was best to stay away from it. Sugar was my salvation when someone would offer me a cup of instant. Now the instant coffee is much better, but I still put a bit of sugar in it out of habit.

My dad drank is coffee with sugar. Well, actually he drank my mom's coffee with sugar. He didn't like the way she made it. I guess it was too weak. He liked strong coffee. I like strong coffee. He would drink the coffee black which I would make.

My husband, Bob, now drinks his coffee black. I got him to switch, no calories added with black coffee. He sometimes falls back on his old "just cream" habit, but not often. 

Both he and I love the coffee we get in Germany. The only problem with ordering coffee in have to pay for a refill! Their coffee is dark and rich, but not really bitter. Try duplicating that particular taste here in Illinois. The closest I've come has been Whole Foods' Pleasant Morning Buzz and another is Tim Horton's. Even their decaf is good.

My son and daughter drink their coffee with sugar and artificial creamer. That's how their father and his mother drank theirs. 

I haven't noticed which way my grandchildren drink their coffee (if they do at all). I just hope at least one of the three will take after me!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Aunt Annette Buschick Stapleton: Revisited

Please ask permission to use these images.

POSTED: Aunt Annette Buschick Stapleton - Monday, April 28, 2014 – it has been quite awhile since my blog post about my aunt Annette Buschick. I have been waiting that long to get a picture of her headstone. Finally my young cousin Kristin, who lives out in California, took the picture and sent it to me; it is now on Find A Grave memorial #158134266. Earlier Kristin had found uncle Cluese's headstone in a military cemetery. I also put his on Find A Grave memorial #3755322. Aunt Annette wasn't buried with him, so we had to find hers and that is why it has taken so long to have both images.
Annette Matilda [Buschick] Stapleton
Woodlawn Cemetery, Santa Monica, California.
Photo by cousin Kristin.
Cluese Isaac Stapleton
Los Angeles National Cemetery, Los Angeles, California

Photo by cousin Kristin.
The silliest thing, actually it is more like a "dah!" thing, occurred last weekend. I was looking at the picture I had posted on the first blog about aunt Annette and it dawned on me "Bob" is her son! DAH! Where was my brain? It was so so obvious if I had paid attention to the scope of the family! DAH! 
Back from left: mystery man, aunt Annette Stapleton, Linda, Juanita [Stapleton], and Harry Stockwell, Sr.; front from left: Sharon Stockwell and Bob Stapleton; boy with the doggie is Harry Stockwell, Jr.  (family photo)
As for the handsome young man standing next to my aunt... I still don't know who he is and neither does Annette's great granddaughter! I would suspect this picture was taken in the very early 1950s. I don't think the mystery man can be Annette's husband because Cluese passed away in 1947. Besides mystery man really looks too young to have been born in 1885, but I could be wrong, too.

I really didn't know much about Robert (Bob). I found he had passed away December 21, 2007 and his memorial is on Find A Grave memorial #72889107. Robert was in the Navy during World War II and his father was in World War I. Robert is buried in the San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery, Santa Nella, California.

I found and contacted the owner of an family tree which included the Stapleton family. She sent me a link to Robert's obituary which then lead me to finally know if he had married and had children. Robert and his wife Adele had three children. I know it is a good tree because there is information on it I got from another Stapleton descendent (not on still living in Georgia where Cluese was from.

Robert's sister Jaunita S. and her husband Harry M. Stockwell are buried side-by-side in the Riverside National Cemetery, Riverside, California. The headstone image is on Find A Grave memorial #1225430. All three of their children have also passed away.

So now I have been able to fill in several blanks and I will stop now with this family's history. If I come across more bits and pieces, I will certainly add them. It was good to get as far as I did since I knew all these people when I was much younger. It is good to get reacquainted and finally know what happened to them.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Thoughts on Trees in Lincolnshire, and the County of Norfolk, England

It's been awhile since I last posted, but I haven't been doing much research lately and I have had the lack of something to write about -- just plain couldn't think of anything! Then I thought of our last couple trips to England. 

My husband and I have visited parts of England in search of ancestral haunts and visiting friends and cousins. We usually try to do a little sightseeing, too, which kind of breaks up the monotony of so many churchyards, parish churches, archives, etc., -- mostly in Lincolnshire.

Beginning of one trip, we visited with Porteous friends in Aylsham, Norfolk. While there we were thrilled with a visit to Blickling Hall. It's possibly the birthplace of Anne Boleyn, the wife of King Henry VIII, but no one knows exactly when she was born, so if she were born before 1505, then Blickling would be the place. 

The building which now stands was built on the ruins of the original standing during the reign of James I. The Boleyn family owned the original hall around 1500. No matter, the house, as it is now, was being restored when we visited. You can see the scaffolding on the center tower. In back of Blickling Hall there are remarkable gardens which seemed to go on forever and a nice-sized lake. We were there in early spring when it was cold and dreary, but color was starting to fill the gardens as the spring flowers were coming out. The hall's beauty didn't suffer in our eyes either.

Blickling Hall, Norfolk, England a Tudor house.

We had a wonderful few days with our friends and then we went on to Lincolnshire to do the priority reason for the England visit -- family history. We were in Lincs for a little over a week. A day or two before we left for our trip home, we visited Doddington Hall which is just west of the city of Lincoln. This building (below) was completed around 1600. It is considered an Elizabethan house with walled courtyards and a gabbled gatehouse. The inside had been updated around mid-1700s. It has always had a family living in it. The gardens are in the back and are quite stunning. Besides the formal knot garden, there were extensive "wild" gardens to explore. We were there when the trees were in blossom; birds and bees filled the air with a wonderful sound of their activities. Ducklings paddled around on the little pond next to the kitchen garden; their mom watched as they were showing a little independence.

Doddington Hall, Lincolnshire, England an Elizabethan house.

These two "halls" are certainly stately and each is distinctive in its own right, yet, the thing that most fascinated me and sticks in my mind from visiting these stately mansions were the very interesting, old, huge trees with giant limbs stretching out from the trunk like serpents in the sea. I guess one wouldn't think that is something to remember, but my imagination still lingers over there.

What dreams the children of these houses must have had. Those kids didn't have tv or videos to rob them of their imagination. Their fingers weren't attached to a smart phone either. Can you imagine what a small child would have seen looking out a window during a thunder storm? Those trees would be moving up and down, swaying in the wind with lightning flashing like fire from a dragon's mouth!

Were there monsters coming into a child's bedroom as the moonlight casts shadows through the window? Just look at that tree in the picture below...can't you see a dragon or a giant serpent? 

Trees or monsters in the gardens of Blickling Hall.

I wonder what kind of scary story came out of this hedge interior?

I think a child's imagination could run wild looking at these trees. In the moonlight they could look like monsters or giants. Maybe one of those low branches is a witch's boney finger. How many children over the many years wouldn't go near the edge of the wild garden for fear of the three witches? 

I can't begin to tell you what all a child's imagination could conger up, but I'm sure if there were, mom and dad would hear the stories in the morning! How many of these children grew up telling about what was lurking out their bedroom windows? 

Witches in the gardens of Doddington Hall?

Think of the stories a children's storyteller could come up with, too. How many adventures have we read about that possibly started with trees similar to these? No one knows, but I'm sure there must have been a few. We might have seen the animation of some trees in Disney films of the old classic fairy tales...hmmmm.

When I was a little girl, we had a standalone stove in the next room from where I slept. My dad would get the fire going on the cold nights -- just to "take the chill off" before we went to bed. I remember there was a small door on the burn chamber with a little window for monitoring the flames inside. Well, those flames would cast a shadow that looked like a bear walking towards my bed. It was very frightening indeed. I stayed as still as I could and before the bear had a chance to reach me, I'd quickly yank the covers over my head hoping the bear wouldn't see me and he would go away. By morning the bear was gone. Only the thought of a warm kitchen would get me up and out of bed and downstairs away from my chilly bedroom. At breakfast I'd tell my parents about the bear and  my dad would always promised to chase him away before I went to bed again.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Clarification on Boom Boom...

For years the cannon was only shot off to bring in the New Year, but one summer’s night it was another story...

Family stories always have a "shred" of truth and the previous story I told "They Called Him Boom-Boom" is how I "thought" it happened from what I remember. Most of it did, but today my brother told me the cannon wasn't normally used to bring in the new year.  I thought it was.

My brother did verify that dad shot off his shotgun to bring in the new year. 

Another thing he mentioned...he didn't remember being called Boom Boom. To this I said, I remember our neighbor who called the cops dubbing him that and my dad saying that, too. But after all it was almost 60 years ago, so anything could be true as we "remember it."  Maybe it was the way I wanted it to have happened. Anyway, I just wanted to clarify.

Thanks to my brother for clarifying also.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

They Called Him Boom-Boom!

I've been thinking about the new year's celebrations which will take place around here. There will be a lot of noise at the stroke of midnight in our neighborhood. Horns will be blowed. Clappers will be shaken. Backyard fireworks will burst and bang.

Our family celebrated, too. My brother's birthday was New Year's Eve and New Year's Day was my father's. We'd look forward to the noise on the eve and the freshly killed pheasant dinner  dad would bring home the next day. If dad was lucky and got a rabbit, we would also have Hasenpfeffer that grandma would make. Oh, those were the days.

From what I remember of one time during my childhood back in the '50s when, come December 31 evening, my father resurrected the family New Year's noise maker from the dark reaches of our basement. Dad would empty a few shotgun shells and wad up some paper methodically shoving both down the barrel of a small, cast iron cannon not much bigger than a foot long. I don’t know where we got the cannon, but it was fairly old and possibly was used to scare birds out of the fields — who knows, it could have been my grandfather’s for the matter. Anyway, this small cannon would be readied to be set off at midnight on New Year’s Eve…simultaneously my dad would aim his shotgun up in the air and fire it as the cannon erupted its round! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! And we would all cheer “Happy New Year!”; the cannon got cleaned and put away, and that would be the end of our celebration that night, but not the end to the future firing of the cannon.

For years the cannon was only shot off to bring in the New Year, but one summer’s night it was another story...

My brother took the cannon into the backyard, and placed it on the driveway not too far from the house. It was very dark out; the only light was from the bug light next to the backdoor and a little light casting down from the back kitchen window where I was sitting to watch. We had a big backyard and an empty school yard in back of us, too. There was plenty of space to shoot off the cannon. Shooting off this cannon wasn’t dangerous, but you still had to be careful. 

Where did my brother get the gunpowder? It could have been made from a chemistry set he got for Christmas one year, or with my dad being a hunter, he could have emptied some shotgun shells as dad has done previously. There were no cannon balls or anything like that being loaded into the cannon. The most dangerous projectile coming out of this cannon were wads of wet fabric balls. Gunpowder and wet fabric balls was a combination not to be reckoned with when the fuse was lit and it sizzled down to the explosive.

It was the loudest and most powerful percussion of any shot felt yet! My brother, with a startled look on his face, quickly took the cannon back into the house and hid it. Dad came out the house to the back yard as backup — just incase there was any trouble. I guess they both knew what would happen next. A few minutes later a squad car came down our driveway to the back of the house. The officer leaned out the window and said to my dad... What the #^%$#^$%!!! Your neighbor up the street called us about a noise that almost shook him out of bed. He said Boom-Boom was at it again! The policeman didn’t look angry at all, I think he was trying to not laugh. My dad and brother were warned not to do any more of "that"; the policeman didn’t confiscate anything — besides he never saw the cannon that night to take it away.

From that night on, my brother was dubbed Boom-Boom by a few of our neighbors. Curiosity must have gotten to that policeman, too, because sometime later I saw him out in the backyard with my dad checking out the cannon…and the policeman was laughing! He knew there was always something happening in our backyard that was just pure fun. 

My brother would live to dream up more capers in our backyard of which there were many crazy goings on over the years.

Happy new year! 
Hope 2016 brings good health and prosperity to everyone!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Crossing The Pond: A Stadt in Württemberg Yields Grandma's Maternal Ancestors

Saturday night’s were special to me as a very little girl, because I could sleep with my grandma and listen to her family stories. I loved those times when I would crawl into her bed and snuggle under the pink and cream-woven cotton blanket and she would talk about her parents and grandparents who in the early 1840s settled in Fremont Township, Lake County, Illinois. She would talk about the turkeys roosting in the trees and the snapping turtles coming out of the pond down the hill from her house. And of course in the winter the snow piled so high she could climb out her upstairs bedroom window and slide down the snow hill. 

These were my dad’s maternal German families. In February, I wrote a blog about the claim grandma's mother being born at sea: “1832: The Smith Family Comes to America; Great Grandmother Born At Sea

Grandma also talked about her grandparents coming from Germany to America. I don't remember particulars, but do I remember laughing at the cities named Frankfurt and Hamburg. Aren't those places where hot dogs and hamburgers came from? I didn’t think about any connection of a place my ancestors could have come from. Now it’s starting to make a little more sense, but how does it fit into my family story? Where exactly did they come from? I think it is time I found out, but where to start?

Both sides of grandma's family – the SNYDERs and SMITHs came to Lake County, Illinois, between 1840 and 1850. Grandma said SMITH wasn't really the correct spelling and she pronounced it Smidth or something like that. She also mentioned the name Johann was actually "John" in German, but I thought she was talking about my brother John so I started calling him Johann.

I revisited all the notes and documents I accumulated over the years and reviewed all I knew about my fraternal grandparents. It didn't take long because I really didn't have much at all – a scant few pieces. 

I found the "Smith"s on the 1850 Federal Census for Fremont, Lake County, Illinois. The "place of birth" column just shows “Germany” which doesn’t pinpoint a region or a town for that matter. So a lot of good the census is to produce a place name or area. I want to know in what parish the records are kept. My great grandfather's name is just Jacob on this census. What happened to Johann?

1850 Federal Census for the Township of Fremont, Lake County, Illinois.
Shown on a February blog posting
1832: The Smith Family Comes to America; Great Grandmother Born At Sea
On this ship list (below) he is also Jacob, but his surname is now spelled SMIDTH. We know spelling doesn't count. As I go along in my research it will change again.

Portion of the ship Hope's 1832 Passenger List. 
Shown on a February blog posting
1832: The Smith Family Comes to America; Great Grandmother Born At Sea
From the 1832 ship passenger list (above), I’ve narrowed their origin place name down to the Duchy of Württemberg found in the "where from column" to the far right of grandma’s maternal grandfather Jacob Smidth. I knew this was my family because it matches with persons listed on the 1850 census – Jacob, Barbara, and (Johan) George Werner. Jacob is 28 in 1832 and 18 years later he is 47. George is 66 in 1832 and 85 in 1850.

I know next to nothing how to research in Germany. I really need a break or some luck. Maybe serendipity will help, too. The few years I’ve dabbled in German research, finding no new clues and not getting any breaks. This summer I finally got one hint which was the closest I got to the Stadt (town) of my grandmother’s maternal ancestors! It came from some notes which accumulated in an old folder on my computer. 

Many years ago I had inquired about my great-great grandparents and the reply was they were married in 1830 in Beutelsbach, Germany. At that time I was so involved in my English side, I really didn’t take the time to root out any of my germanic ancestors, let alone in Germany! I wrote a note about it in my tree program under my grandma's name and forgot about it.

Last August a friend and I went to a LDS family history center in Schaumburg, Ill.; I resurrected my scant information just for the occasion including that bit of information about Beutelsbach. At the FHC I was able to search on for much more than I could at home. I didn’t think I would get anywhere; I was just keeping my friend company while she looked for her German ancestors. So I casually typed in "Barbara Werner” – my great-great grandma; her marriage to Johann Jacob Schmid came up. The town or stadt was Beutelsbach, Jagstkreis, Württemberg, Germany. Ah ha! That is what was in my old notes. Could this be confirmation?

With that find, I decided to wait and to do more research in September when I was at the Family History Library (FHL) in Salt Lake City, Utah. I would take a couple days at the end of my class on England to brave it on the International floor of the FHL. All those years of researching on B2 the British Isles floor I never wanted to venture out of my comfort zone and research on B1 the International floor. 

This year’s trip was a little different as I explained some of it in the Oct. 3 blog post. I was out there about 9 days for genealogy – five of those were in class on British Isles research, two Sundays no research, one and a half travel days, and the remaining two days plus a few hours before the shuttle to the airport I planned to spend on my new adventure in Germany on B1. 

My priority was to find the births and marriage for my great-great grandparents. I wasn’t looking for much more than that to take home. Since I wasn't familiar with research in Germany, I asked for help even though I was somewhat prepared with my scant bit of information and the new find. I knew who I was looking for, but didn’t know how to get into the German stuff held in the FHL. It is a little different – yet the same – the mechanics are the same but some of the records are different. Oh the information my helper came up with was amazing. Her tutoring paid off, so after awhile, she was confident enough to release me onto my own.

I used my camera and took pictures of the index pages on the computer screen as I cruised through’s database. That worked on their computers, but later when I got on my laptop, I could "clip" the images of the indexes using Evernote. I was feeling very confident I was going to find that marriage record and maybe a little more to boot. And I did! 

I was like a kid in the candy store with $10 to spend – I’ll take one of these, and one of those, oh, oh, and I’ll take that one, too! The names and records I found in that short morning made my head spin! One of the names I followed back to 1681in less than an afternoon! My gosh, I had enough information to generously fill my family tree bag than I thought I’d get. 

From the indexes on the computer to the microfilm in the stacks, I found myself deep in the depths of Beutelsbach church records. It was good working from the indexes which is unlike how I hunt and gather on the British Isles films. My priority was fulfilled in short order. I found my great-great grandparents’ birth and christening records, and their marriage record (Heiraten)! I had a lot of time left to gather more, and oh did I! I came to B1 floor with three names and left a little over two days later with almost a hundred! 

I was the luckiest person in the FHL as I cruised through 250 years in only two microfilms, in only one town in Württemberg!

The marriage record is a little hard to see because it stretches across two big book pages. I did my best in Photoshop to pull them together. My little stick’em arrow points to the entry. Johan Jacob SCHMID / Barbare WERNER. [In German Barbare would be pronounced Bar-bar-ah.] 
(Citation: "Deutschland Heiraten, 1558-1929," database, FamilySearch <> : accessed 7 November 2015, Johann Jakob Schmid and Barbare Werner, 03 Nov 1830; citing Evangelisch, Beutelsbach, Jagstkreis, Württemberg; FHL microfilm 1,184,737)

This is the birth (Geburt) and christening (Taufen) for Barbara showing her father Johan Georg WERNER and her mother Magdalena BECKER. Barbara was born 4 Oct 1799 and christened on the 5th. 
(Citation: "Deutschland Geburten und Taufen," 1558-1898, database, <FamilySearch(> : accessed 7 November 2015), Barbara Werner, 05 Oct 1799; citing ; FHL microfilm 1,184,736)
This is the birth (Geburt) and christening (Taufen) for Johann Jacob Schmid showing his father Johan Friedrich SCHMID and his mother Johanna Christiana ROTH. Johann Jacob was born 8 Sep 1804 and christened on the 9th. 
(Citation: "Deutschland Heiraten, 1558-1929," database, FamilySearch < : accessed 13 November 2015>, Johann Jakob Schmid and Barbare Werner, 03 Nov 1830; citing Evangelisch, Beutelsbach, Jagstkreis, Württemberg; FHL microfilm 1,184,737.)
Now that I've found their birth and christening records in Beutelsbach along with their marriage records, I'm on the hunt for their death records and where they are buried here in Lake County, Illinois. That is for another chapter or posting 'cause I think it will take a little more time and a lot of luck.

My great-great grandfather Johann Jacob was a vintner as was his father-in-law Johann Georg. They came to the U.S. possibly to continue their occupation on their own land. There is no family history on this chapter, so we will never really know for sure. They were in Pennsylvania for about 13 years before coming to Lake County, Illinois (mid 1840s) where they bought a piece of land near Fremont Center, and farmed it. It was on this farm my grandmother Carrie was born in 1869. I think the reason my great grandparents John SNYDER and Wilhelmina took over the farm was because Johann Jacob had died. I don't know exactly that, but one of my notes says prior to 1870. I think my cousin Ruth gave me that information as vague as it was. 

On my first trip to Germany in 1994, Bob and I were about an hour north of this town and drove near Stuttgart, too, but I wasn’t doing genealogy back then and I didn't know the significance of this area. I am hoping we will be able to go back and visit this area of the Rems River Valley with it vineyards. When you see all the vineyards on the hills, that seems to be the only business in the area. Remsthal Winery is one of the largest in Germany.

Beutelsbach has a long history. According to Wikipedia, "Beutelsbach is a town district or Stadtteil within the town of Weinstadt in the Rems-Murr district, Baden-Württemberg, Germany.” As of March 2010 population in Beutelsbach was 8,464. “Beutelsbach was first mentioned in 1080 and was one of the oldest properties of the House of Württemberg.” Looking at the pictures, I would think maybe the area near Pittsburgh made them feel at home with the rolling hills and valleys. But they moved on to Illinois; land had just opened up to settlers not more than 10 years prior. Land wasn't that expensive either. I think that was the draw.

When you look at the pictures of the Rems Valley, you just wonder why they left this beautiful area.

Side note: According to some reports, President Obama’s sixth-great grandfather grew up in Beutelsbach, but is it true? Can we believe

Blick auf Weinstadt, Stadtteil Beutelsbach und die Stiftskirche.
(View of Wine City, District Beutelsbach and the Collegiate Church.)

The pointer shows where Beutelsbach is located. Stuttgart is about 14 miles west. [Google Maps]

Rems River and (below) Remittal [Rems Valley]. The Rems River is a tributary of the Neckar River.