Monday, October 17, 2016

Transcription and Translation of a Church Record Written in German

Sometimes church records are an entry in a ledger without a formal document.  That is the case with this death record for Carl Kropp from the Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church (which became the Zion United Christan Church) in Steubenville, Ohio.

It is written in German but not in one of the more-difficult-to-translate old German scripts such as Suetterlin or Kurrent.  Yet because the handwriting and German words are unfamiliar to me it has not been a quick transcription nor translation.  Google Translate has been helpful, especially because I could try out possible spellings.

Below is a transcription of the handwritten German words and beneath that is a translation from German to English.
Kropp Carl geb. [geboran] am 2c ten Januar 1835
Kropp Carl born                 on  2nd  January 1835

in Heiddersdorf, Hannover, verherheiratet c. Sophie
in Heiddersdorf, Hannover,      married    with Sophie

Meintzen am 14 ten September 1863.  Gestorben
Meintzen on  14th   September 1863.   Died

am 30 ten Mai 1905 an, ["]general debility" Abends
on  30th  May 1905 of,  ["]general debility" in the evening

6 [???], beirdigt am 2 ten Juni auf dem
6 [???],  buried  on   2nd  June on  the

Union Friedhofe.  Die Hinterbluebene:  Seine
Union Cemetery.  The     survivors:         his

Wittwe und 5 lebende Kinder:  Wilhelmine
widow  and 5  living  children:  Wilhelmina

Schuette, Wilhelm, Heinrich, Karl Kropp,
Schuette,  William,   Henry,   Karl Kropp,

und Sophie Spahn.   (Geweindeglied)
and Sophie Spahn.      (Member)

Notes and Comments
On the German words and translation:  Google Translate sometimes gives different translations for the same word.  I am unclear whether "am" is "on" or "of" in English.  I used whichever made sense.   And there is that word at the beginning of the fifth line that I was unable to decipher or translate.  The "6" after it may indicate the time at which Carl died.

The location of Carl's birth looks like it could be Huddersdorf but I was unable to locate a town by that name.  However there is a town named Heiddersdorf.  The minister's dots over his "i's" are barely discernible or are higher than usual, making the handwriting uncertain enough that I went with Heidersdorf.   I'm aware that villages and towns can disappear over time and that in 1835 there may have been a town called Huddersdorf which now no longer exists.

This document gives Carl's date and location of birth; his wife's name and their marriage date; his death date and burial location; and the names of living children at the time of Carl's death.  This record is a page from a journal and has no date on it.  I have no other information about it than the church from which it came.  The citation will be minimal.

While Carl is not the collateral ancestor in question -- his wife, Sophie Meinzen Kropp is -- the location named on this record may be helpful in finding where they were married which could, in turn, be helpful in finding Sophia's city of birth (and by extension, possibly her brother Henry Carl Meinzen's city of birth, too).  (That's me:  ever the optimist.)


Copyright ©2016 Nancy Messier. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

No Record for Sophia - Church Record Sunday

I wrote to Zion United Christian Church in Steubenville, Ohio, a few weeks ago.  I wrote with the specific request to learn if the home towns of Henry Meinzen and Carl and Sophia (Meinzen) Kropp had been recorded when they began attendance at the church, at the times of their deaths, or at any other time.  I gave specific beginning and end dates for searches.  I received a response within two weeks.  Quick work by the church historian there.  In total I received five photocopied pages.

Two undated pages were handwritten lists compiled, the historian said, to invite individuals to church reunions.  They include the following two individuals:  Mr. Henry Meinzen, 933 Sherman Ave. City (Calif.) and Henry Kropp, 1216 Plum St. City (Conf.).

I believe Henry Meinzen is the son of Henry Carl Meinzen, though as far as I know he never lived in California.  Henry Kropp is probably Carl and Sophia's son.  I have not looked at Steubenville city directories to know where Henry and his wife, Katie, lived.

Another undated page had a numbered list of marriages.  In the margin of the one of interest was written "1905" and, in German, "Kropp Henry W und Katie Spahn ??????? [looks like getraut] am 22 November 1905.  Zeugen:  John Spahn und Fau Minnie Schuette."  I understand it to mean that Henry W. Kropp married Katie Spahn on November 22, 1905, and that the witnesses were John Spahn (Katie's brother) and Minnie Shuette (Henry's sister).

On another handwritten dated list under "1890" I found "Sophia Kropp    Mrs. John Spahn."  There's no information about the purpose of the list.  I know that Sophia Kropp and John Spahn married in 1899 but this doesn't seem to correspond to that.  The previous dates on the page were 1889 and 1888.

There was no record of Sophia's death; however, there was a death record for Carl Kropp which tells the location of his birth.  I'll share and translate it in another post.  It was handwritten in German but (thankfully) not in old German script.  I may still struggle to get an accurate translation but it will be less difficult than if it were in old German.

One of the challenges with these church records is that I can't accurately cite volume and page for the photocopies I received.  The closest I can come is to state that they came from the archives of the church and they date they were provided to me.

I am disappointed that there was no church record for Sophia, neither of her arrival  nor of her death.  Steubenville had a German newspaper (available on microfilm at the Ohio State Archives Library) but it ceased publication in 1916 and Sophie died in 1920, so no help there (not that I'd be able to translate enough pages to determine whether there was an obituary, anyway).  I must keep looking for her location of birth and confirmation of her relationship to my great-grandfather Henry Carl Meinzen.  An obituary stating him as her brother and her death certificate with her father's first name different than the first name Henry gives for his father are not enough.  The search continues.


Copyright ©2016 Nancy Messier. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Surname Saturday:  Meinzen Surname Variations

My occasional Surname Saturday posts focus on surname variations found while researching.  Surname variations are a staple of any genealogist's research, not because we're searching for them and want to find them but because they exist.  They can appear in nearly every type of document, from birth records to census reports to obituaries and everything in between.  When found, the researcher must decide whether the surname is a variation of an individual or family already known or pertains to someone not related to the person/family of focus. 

Below are the surname variations for Meinzen found while searching for Sophia (Meinzen) Kropp and her family.  The results provide a nice variety. 

MEINZEN (searching for Sophia (Meinzen) Kropp and family)
  • Meintzen - Church records of Zion United Christian Church (previously Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church), Steubenville, Ohio, noting Carl Kropp's death and his wife's maiden name and marraige date
  • Minsinger - Obituary of Carl Kropp published in The Steubenville Daily Gazette, Wednesday, May 31, 1905
  • Meingen - Obituary of Minnie (Kropp) Schuette, Sophia's daughter, in The Herald-Star (Steubenville, Ohio), Monday, May 20, 1946
  • Meinsen - Ohio Death Certificate of William Henry Kropp, Sophia's son, September 27, 1945, and Marriage application of Sophia Kropp, Sophia's daughter, and John Spahn, December 5, 1899
  • Meinzen - Ohio Death Certificate of Sophia (Meinzen) Kropp, September 27, 1920

Previously noted surname variations:

MEINZEN (searching for Henry Carl and family)
  • Minson - 1870 U.S. Census, Steubenville, Jefferson County, Ohio
  • Minzen - 1880 U.S. Census, Steubenville, Jefferson County, Ohio
  • Mincin - 1920 U.S. Census, Steubenville, Jefferson County, Ohio
  • Meinzer - 1926, obituary in The Steubenville Herald Star, December 30, 1925

Notes and Comments

Had I found Meingen or Minsinger when I first began family history research I would have completely discounted them as not my family.  In fact, I wasn't sure Minson, Minzen, Mincin, and Meinzer were mine during those early months.  It didn't take long to learn that surname variations abound.

I often think that the spelling of a name - first, middle, or last - is at least partially the result of language and accent, especially in the days before most people were literate.  Meinzen can become Meintzen when spoken with a strong German accent, Meinsen when spoken with a less strong accent.  Bell can become Beall with a southern accent.  Armitage became Armiddage with a British accent or a lazy tongue.

Other contributions to spelling variations can be hearing impairment on the part of the person recording the name and illegible handwriting if a document must be transcribed for publication or for some other reason.


Copyright ©2016 Nancy Messier. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, October 14, 2016

My "Blogs of Interest" Sidebar Gadget Disappeared

I've read several posts by blogging experts who recommend that a blogger not have sidebar gadgets so his/her blog has a clean, unified look focused on the blogger and his or her own interests.  Perhaps I'm a bit of a non-conformist.  I think having a list of other genealogy blogs is one small way I can foster community among genealogy bloggers. 

But my sidebar list disappeared in recent days or weeks (on this blog and my others, too).  Maybe blogger decided to take it into its own hands and remove it, or perhaps blogger is making other changes and those were one of the casualties.

I didn't remember which blogs were in my sidebar.  Enter the WayBack Machine at Internet Archive.  There I found versions of my blog preserved from previous dates, including all the gadgets in the sidebar.  Thank you, Internet Archive! 

I'll return the gadget and will include a few more blogs.  I have no idea how often people click through to other blogs but I hope they do.

Has your blog link gadget disappeared (if you had one)?


Copyright ©2016 Nancy Messier. All Rights Reserved. .

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Sophia (Meinzen) Kropp in the 1900 U.S. Census - Census Sunday

Because Sophia's obituary stated that immigrated to the U.S. in 1887, I knew I might be able to find her and her family in the 1900 U.S. Census, especially after finding her in 1920 and 1910 where both years she was living with her daughter and son-in-law.

Her 1920 obituary also indicated that her husband, Carl, had died fifteen years earlier.  I was interested to see if he would be on the 1900 census.

I know that the 1900 U.S. Census asks married women how many children they've had and how many are living.  From Sophia's obituary in 1920 I learned that three were living.  I was interested to learn if she'd had more children. 

In 1900 Sophia and Karl Kropp were enumerated in Steubenville Township, Jefferson County, Ohio, S.D. 15, E.D. 75, Sheet #7, Page #221A, Dwelling #119, Family #119, lines 9-14.  Image is from FamilySearch.  (Click image to enlarge.)

Below is a partial transcription of this census record.
  • Spahn, John, head, white, male, born Oct. 1874, 25 years, married 0 years, born Germany, immigrated 1889, in the U.S. 11 years, naturalized, Daryman [sic], 0 months unemployed, can read, write, speak English, rents farm, #69 on farm schedule
  • -------, Sophia, wife, white, female, born Jul 1876, 23 years, married 0 years, mother of 0 children, born Germany, immigrated 1887, in U.S. 13 years, can read and write, speaks English
  • Kropp, Sophia, mother, white, female, born Sep 1842, 57 years, married 38 years, mother of 6 children, 4 living, born Germany, immigrated 1887, in U.S. 13 years, can read and write, does not speak English
  • -------, Carl, father, white, male, born Jan 1835, 65 years, married 38 years, born Germany, immigrated 1887, in U.S. 13 years, 0 months unemployed, can read and write, does not speak English
  • -------,  William, brother, white, male, born Oct 1866, 33 years, single, born Germany, immigrated 1885, in U.S. 15 years, naturalized, dary [sic] laborer, 0 months unemployed, can read and write, does not speak English
  • -------, Henry, boarder, white, male, born Dec 1868, 31 years, single, born Germany, immigrated 1885, in U.S. 15 years, naturalized, green grocer, 0 months unemployed, can read and write, does not speak English

Observations and Comments

Sophia's birth information (September 1842) is the same as on her death certificate.

Her immigration year (1887) is the same as in her obituary.  Previous census records give different immigration years.

Sophia's and Carl's "married 38 years" suggests a marriage year between 1871 and 1873, but her obituary states she and Carl were married in 1861.  Perhaps the person responding to the census taker's questions counted backward (like I occasionally do) and miscounted. 

The birth years of the children in this census are 1866, 1868, and 1876.  Children could have been born between 1862 and 1865 and between 1869 and 1875.  Did the others immigrate to the U.S. or stay in Germany?  Did they die here or in Germany and if in Germany, did they die as infants, children, or adults?

It's interesting that William's relationship is recorded as "brother" and Henry's as "boarder."  I believe both are brothers.  It seems that they immigrated two years before their parents.

Finding Carl Kropp, Sophia's husband, on this census and not on the 1910 census suggests that he probably died between 1900 and 1910, and that the "fifteen years ago" of Sophie's 1920 obituary may be accurate.

The search continues.  I wish I knew now whether this Sophia and my Henry Meinzen are siblings.


Copyright ©2016 Nancy Messier. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Remembering My German Ancestors on German-American Day, 2016

In 1983, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed October 6 as German-American Day in honor of 13 German families from Krefeld, Germany, who arrived in Philadelphia three centuries earlier, on October 6, 1683, and created the first German settlement in the original American colonies in Germantown, Pennsylvania.  Read more about the holiday here.

In honor of German-American Day I'm spotlighting my known German immigrant ancestors.  As far as I know, all became citizens of the United States, hence, were German-Americans.  Below are their countries of origin as I've found in my research.  I continue searching for information to locate their cities of origin.

Henry Carl Meinzen ➞ William Carl Robert Meinzen ➞ Audrey Victoria Meinzen ➞ me
b. 25 July 1837, d. 30 December 1925
  • Prussia.  Naturalization document of 9 October 1871, Jefferson County, Ohio
  • Prussia.  1870 U.S. Census, Steubenville, Jefferson County, Ohio
  • Hanover.  1880 U.S. Census, Steubenville, Jefferson County, Ohio
  • Germany.  1900 U.S. Census, Cross Creek Township, Jefferson County, Ohio
  • Germany.  1910 U.S. Census, Steubenville, Jefferson County, Ohio
  • Hanover, Germany.  1920 U.S. Census, Steubenville, Jefferson County, Ohio

Frederick K. Gerner ➞ Beulah Gerner Doyle ➞ Lee Doyle ➞ me
b. 28 September 1848, d. 26 March 1926
  • Germany.  Passenger list of ship "Cotton Planter," arriving in New York in June, 1853.  Fried., age 4, traveled with [uncertain name], 26, farmer; Anna Marie, 6; Elisabeth, 2; and Carl, 1/2.
  • Prussia.  1860 U.S. Census, Fairview Township, Butler County, Pennsylvania
  • Prussia.  1870 U.S. Census, Fairview Township, Butler County, Pennsylvania
  • Germany.  1880 U.S. Census, Putnam County, West Virginia
  • Germany.  1900 U.S. Census, Butler County, Pennsylvania
  • Germany.  1910 U.S. Census, Mercer County, Pennsylvania
  • Germany.  1920 U.S. Census, Butler County, Pennsylvania

John Froman ➞ Tressa Froman ➞ Gust Doyle ➞ Lee Doyle ➞ me
b. ~1841, d. December 1871
  • Hessen - Passenger list of Bremen ship "Julius," arriving in Baltimore, Maryland, on 4 August 1856.  Surname spelled Frommann.  Johann (as he was identified on the passenger list) traveled with Werner, 54; Maria, 21; Anna, 12; Elisabeth, 7; Heinrich, 5; Caspar, 4; and Christiane, 23.  To date I have been unable to document a familial connection between John and the Frommann passengers.  Werner could be the father or uncle of John and the rest.  Or not.
  • Hesse Cassel - Naturalization document, Mercer County, Pennsylvania, 9 October 1868
  • Germany - 1860 U.S. Census, Hickory Township, Mercer County, Pennsylvania.  Living with Werner, 58; Henry, 10; and Casper, 7
  • Prussia - 1870 U.S. Census, Pymatuning Township, Mercer County, Pennsylvania

Catherine Saylor ➞ Tressa Froman ➞ Gust Doyle ➞ Lee Doyle ➞ me
b. 5 June 1844, d. 20 December 1928
  • Baden - 1870 U.S. Census, Pymatuning Township, Mercer County, Pennsylvania
  • Rhine-Bonn - 1880 U.S. Census, Pymatuning Township, Mercer County, Pennsylvania
  • Germany - 1900 U.S. Census, Lake Township, Mercer County, Pennsylvania
  • Germany - 1910 U.S. Census, Lake Township, Mercer County, Pennsylvania
  • Rhineland, Germany - 1920 U.S. Census, Stoneboro, Mercer County, Pennsylvania

Christian Gerner (father of Fred Gerner)
b. ~1820, d. 16 February 1899
  • Prussia - Passenger list of ship "Hungarian" departing from Havre, arriving in New York on 10 May 1852.  He traveled with Th. Daniel, 28, and Elisabeth, 25.
  • Prussia - 1860 U.S. Census, Fairview Township, Butler County, Pennsylvania
  • Prussia - 1870 U.S. Census, Fairview Township, Butler County, Pennsylvania
  • Prussia - 1880 U.S. Census, Fairview Township, Butler County, Pennsylvania

Elizabeth (or Mary) Stahl (wife of Christan Gerner, above)
b. ~1824, d. after 1880
  • Prussia - Passenger list of ship "Hungarian" departing from Havre, arriving in New York on 10 May 1852.  She traveled with Christian, 32, and Th. Daniel, 28.
  • Prussia - 1860 U.S. Census, Fairview Township, Butler County, Pennsylvania
  • Prussia - 1870 U.S. Census, Fairview Township, Butler County, Pennsylvania
  • Prussia - 1880 U.S. Census, Fairview Township, Butler County, Pennsylvania

Jacob Saylor (father of Catherine Saylor)
b. abt. 1812-1816, d. ~1870
  • Baron, Germany - A Twentieth Century History of Mercer County, Pennsylvania
  • Germany - 1850 U.S. Census, Hickory Township, Mercer County, Pennsylvania
  • Germany - 1860 U.S. Census, West Greenville P.O., West Salem Township, Mercer County, Pennsylvania

I'm grateful these ancestors chose to come to the United States of America and become citizens.  I hope to learn more about their cities of birth in Germany.


Copyright © 2014-2016 Nancy Messier. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Travel in Steerage - Websites to Learn More

The Steerage by Alfred Stieglitz
Sophia (Meinzen) Kropp is the first person I've researched who was clearly identified as having travelled steerage class, but I suspect most of my British and German immigrant ancestors travelled "between-decks."

Steerage is a word I understood to mean a less than luxury means of travel in cramped quarters with no privacy and little fresh air, usually used by those without the means to purchase more expensive accommodations.  I was right but my understanding was narrow.  I decided to research and gain a better understanding of the experience of travel in steerage.

I found several excellent websites, some with detailed information, which will add another level of interest to the social history of my immigrant ancestors.

Gjenvick-Gjønvik Archives, GG Archives, is rich with information about the immigrant experience aboard ship, primarily from the mid-1800s through the early 1900s.
The website's major collections include:  Passenger Lists (1880-1954); Vintage Brochures; Steamship Tickets; Passenger Contracts; U.S. Immigration Archives; Passenger, Crew, and Voyage Information; Vintage Fashions; U.S. Navy Archives; U.S. Army Archives; and WPA Works Progress Administration.  My interaction with the site was primarily to learn more about immigration in steerage class accommodations.

In the section Steerage Class - The Immigrant's Journey are several sub-categories
●  Voyages in Steerage - Enduring Hardships
●  Steerage and Immigrants:  An Intractable Problem
●  Examples of Steerage Passenger Lists
●  Examples of Steerage Passage Contracts / Tickets
●  Examples of Steerage Passenger Documents

If you're interested in learning more about the steerage experience, you won't want to miss the three articles below.

Another site, Norway Heritage, offers a section about travel in steerage as well as other topics of immigration/emigration.

While their focus is primarily immigration from Norway the site offers several great articles about immigration in steerage and the ocean travel experience in general.  You'll also find passenger lists, immigrant ships, an image gallery, and more. 

Two great articles are Steerage Passengers - Emigrants Between Decks and By sail across the ocean - daily life aboard (which includes a list of ship rules).

And, of course, The Steerage at Wikipedia offers additional information, too. 

The more I learn about the living situations of my ancestors and the conditions they sometimes endured, the more I admire them.

If you know of other websites that provide information about travelling by ship in the 1800s, please share.  Thanks.


Copyright ©2016 Nancy Messier. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

October Celebrations Among Relatives and Ancestors

Among my farming ancestors this would have been the last month of the harvest and the beginning of colder weather.  How much harder it would have been to keep an infant warm during the fall and winter months than during the late spring and summer.  And harder to wash and dry diapers a century or more ago than now.  I give great credit to those early mothers.  I know they knew nothing of the conveniences we have but not knowing didn't make the work any easier.  They -- and their husbands, too -- probably knew little of leisure time.

Living Relatives
October  6    Adam D.
October  8    Natasha and Jesse D.
October  9    Marsha P.
October  9    Bob and Jan D.
October 12    Hester and Tim Q.
October 15    Max Q.
October 23    Valerie D.

Parents and Grandparents
October 26, 1872    Mary Thompson
October 28, 1845    Elizabeth Jane (Bess) Laws

Among My Collateral Lines
October  1, 1862   George W. Proud
October  2, 1877    Thomas Charles Fletcher
October  2, 1916    Howard Meinzen
October ~3, 1904   Benjamin Hashman
October  3, 1942    Donald Gilbert Gerner and Arlene P. Persing
October ~6, 1806   Jane (Emma (Nelson) Bickerstaff's mother)
October  7, 1886    Charles Edward Sticker
October  7, 1888    Bertha (Birdie, Betty) Meinzen
October  9, 1895    Brendice Kathryn Gerner
October 10, 1864    Jacob Froman
October 11, 1847    Isabella Laws
October 16, 1846    Emma Gerner
October 18, 1870    Gust Froman
October 19, 1893    Hurd Hendrickson Campbell and Mary Ann Doyle
October 20, 1906    Andrew Earl (Andy) Bickerstaff
October 22, 1886    Christian Gerner and Amanda Daubenspeck
October 22, 1897    Elizabeth Meinzen
October 22, 1916    Lucille M. Gerner
October 23, 1873    Alexander Roe
October 27, 1904    Elvira C. Snair or Snare
October 27, 1926    Marian V. Bickerstaff
October 30, 1864    William Turner
October 30, 1948    Andrew Earl Bickerstaff and Iva M. Traichel

Happy Birthday, HappyAnniversary!


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Collecting Sophia's Immigration Information

Sophia (Meinzen) Kropp is my current person of interest.  She is my great-grandfather Henry Meinzen's (assumed) sister.  I'm slowly going through sources suggested by her obituary to see if I can find a source that connects the two individuals as siblings.  Immigration documents aren't high on my list for satisfying the relationship but I decided it's worth finding whatever information I can about her immigration to the U.S.  I've come to think of this experience as "collecting" Sophia's immigration information because not every source had the same information. 

I began my search based on the statement in Sophia's obituary that she and her husband, Carl, "came to America in 1887 and settled here [in Steubenville/Jefferson County, Ohio]."  I knew this date could be wrong or just as easily be right.  It was a starting point.

I haven't searched immigration records for a while and didn't realize FamilySearch had images and transcriptions, so it was not my first choice for searching.  Instead, I headed over to the National Archives website where I searched their passenger lists at Access to Archival Databases.  There I found this information for three different individuals named Sophia Kropp.  I noticed that two of them travelled on the same ship.  (Click images to enlarge.)

I clicked through to see information for the 44-year-old Sophie Kropp and found this:
I looked at the images for Sophia, age 44, and Sophia, age 11, then found a record for Carl Kropp, age 52.  These individuals seem likely to be the correct family, but the transcribed information is limited to generally personal information.  Additional, non-personal information:  Sophie travelled from Germany to the USA and planned to stay here and she travelled in steerage.  I did not learn the date of arrival nor the name of the ship.

I next searched the Castle where I found this information about the older Sophia.
This confirms the information from The National Archives but adds the arrival date of September 23, 1887; the town of departure, Bremen; and the name of the ship, Saale.   I found Carl Kropp, age 52, farmer, and Sophie Kropp, age 11, on the same ship with the same arrival date.

"Germans Immigration to the United States" at MyHeritage had a similar transcription with the same information and added the port of arrival as New York.

At Ancestry I learned that the Saale's port of arrival was, more specifically, Southampton, New York, and found an image of the ship, details about the ship, the name of the shipping line, and an image of the passenger list.  The passenger list was not very clear.

Last, I went to FamilySearch to see if perhaps they had passenger lists.  I found a clear image and a transcription.  The ship's name was given as something other than Saale but I could imagine how a transcriber could have made the error.  FamilySearch gave the arrival date as only 1887.

I looked at previous pages on FamilySearch, hoping to find detailed information on the first page of the passenger list but did not.  Does one sometimes have to accept the transcription as accurate when the handwritten source can't be found, or should we always question a transcription?

Considering the variety of information and the number of sources, when it comes time to add Sophia and her family to my RootsMagic database citing these sources for this one fact will be a bear.

Looking at search results for the same information from five different websites was an interesting exercise and reinforces to me the usefulness of searching several websites when the first doesn't provide the details you seek. 


Copyright © 2009-2016 Nancy Messier. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Sophie (Meinzen) Kropp in the 1910 U. S. Census

I'm working my way back in time searching for Sophia (Meinzen) Kropp, hoping to find information to support her relationship as sister to Henry Meinzen, my great-grandfather.  I moved from the 1920 U.S. Census to the 1910 U.S. Census.

Sophie (or "Siphie," as the census taker wrote) is at the tail end of the list of family and hired men who lived with Sophie's daughter and son-in-law.  She was already a widow at that time.

In 1910, Sophia and her family were enumerated in Wintersville Precinct, Cross Creek Township, Jefferson County, Ohio, on April 23, 1910, recorded in S.D. #18, E.D., #95, Sheet 4B, lines 56-67, Family #73.  This image is from FamilySearch.  (Click to enlarge images.)

A partial transcription for Sophia's family is as follows:
  • Spahn, John, head, male, white, 35 years, married 10 years, born Germany, immigrated 1889, naturalized, speaks English, dairy farmer, can read and write, owns farm with mortgage, #21 on farm enumeration
  • -------, Siphie M, wife, female, white, 33 years, married 10 years, mother of 4 children, 4 living, born Germany, immigrated 1887, naturalized, speaks Englihs, can read and write
  • -------, Wilhelmine S A, daughter, female, white, 9 years, single, born Ohio, attended school
  • -------, Carl J, son, male, white, 7 years, single, born Ohio, attended school
  • -------, John [?], son, male, white, 4 years, single, born Ohio
  • -------, William T, son, male, white, 1 3/12 years, single, born Ohio
  • Clendenning, LeRoy M, hired man, male, white, 33 years, single, born Ohio, speaks English, laborer on dairy farm, can read and write
  • Hoffstetter, John, hired man, male, white, 31 years, born Switz, parents born Switz, immigrated 1887, naturalized, laborer on dairy farm, can read and write
  • Nicelworth, Michael, hired man, male, white, 25 years, single, born Germany, immigrated 1904, Al[ien], speaks English, laborer on dairy farm, can read and write
  • Schuchter, Ignecz, hired man, male, white, 21 years, single, born Germany, immigrated 1907, Al[ien], speaks English, laborer on diary farm, can read and write
  • Wittstrom, John, hired man, male, white, 21 years, single, born Germany, immigrated 1904, Al[ien], speaks English, laborer on diary farm, can read and write
  • Kropp, Siphie, mother-in-law, female, white, 65 years, widow, mother of 6 children, 4 living, born Germany, immigrated 1889, speaks German, can read and write

Comments and Observations
I don't know if there was a prescribed order of recording individuals living in a dwelling but I've never before seen a mother-in-law listed after hired men.  The order I usually see is family, grandchildren, in-laws, hired/non-family members.  Might the order in this census suggest something about the mother-in-law/son-in-law relationship in the Kropp/Spahn family?

Because I'm working backward it makes sense that if Sophia didn't speak English in 1920 she wouldn't have spoken English in 1910 but one can never tell from census records.  It's possible the 1900 census may record something different.

Sophia's immigration year was noted as 1889 in this census, as 1899 in the 1920 census.  Her obituary gives her immigration year as 1887.   If Sophia immigrated between 1887 and 1889 she would have been between 42 and 44 years old.

From this census I learn that I should search for six children, four living and two dead (in 1910).  Did two die in the U.S. and/or in Germany?  Because Sophie's listed as a mother-in-law, the wife in this census, Sophie/"Siphie" Spahn, was likely born Sophia Kropp and is the older Sophia's daughter.  First child of six found.

The search continues.


Copyright ©2016 Nancy Messier. All Rights Reserved.
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