Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Charles and Katherine Ball

My great-great grandparents Charles and Katherine (Sommer) Ball are an elusive pair! I hit a "brick-wall" regarding everything about them except the date and place of their marriage and the birthdate of their daughter, my great grandmother Alma. They were married here in Chicago at Central Christian Church in 1885. This church no longer exists. I can find one or the other on the Chicago city directories until 1900 and then they both "disappear". According to my great grandmother Alma's birth certificate (which I was very LUCKY to get my hands on considering that documenting birth records at that time was not required) both Charles and Katherine were born about 1857, in Germany . I cannot verify when they came over from Germany, although I have a pretty good idea that Katherine came over by herself in 1880. There is no 1890 Census to check. Charles, Katherine and Alma do not show up on the 1900 Census.
We can all hit a "brick-wall" when searching for our ancestors, you just need to keep on plugging away looking for clues anywhere; in vital records, census records, and talking to any relative who may provide a clue to steer you in the right direction. Wish me luck!

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The Family

The family. We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another's desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together. ~Erma Bombeck

Genealogy Pox, author unknown


SYMPTOMS: Continual complaint as to need for names, dates and places. Patient has a blank expressions, sometimes deaf to spouse and children. Has no taste for work of any kind, except feverishly looking through records at libraries and courthouses.
Has a compulsion to write letters. Swears at mailman when he doesn't leave mail. Frequents strange places such as cemeteries, ruins, and remote desolate country areas. Makes secret night calls and hides phone bills from spouse. Mumbles to self. Has strange, faraway look in eyes.


TREATMENT: Medication is useless. This disease is not fatal, but gets progressively worse. Patient should attend genealogy workshops, subscribe to genealogical magazines and be given a quiet corner in the house where he/she can be alone.

REMARKS: The unusual nature of this disease is that the sicker the patient gets, the more he or she enjoys it!