Monday, September 28, 2009

My Ancestors from: Neckargemund, Germany

Neckargemund, Germany
Home of my Sommer/Rusch ancestors
I have recently been working with a wonderful woman, Nancy Grossman, who I learned about from the Newberry Library here in Chicago. Nancy does genealogy and history research and she specializes in German genealogy both here and abroad. LUCKY ME!!
I contacted Nancy and via email sent her four of my many, many, many German documents. These four I believed were birth and death Church records of my Sommer relatives from Neckargemund, Germany. Being that I am always on a budget regarding my genealogy quests I was thrilled that Nancy's fee for translating all four documents was minimal. Better yet, I had the translations in less than two days!
So, I thought I would share two of those documents. This translation is my GG grandmother Katharina Juliana Sommer's birth certificate. It reads as follows:
In the year of 1849 on the 18th of January at two o'clock in the morning, a girl was born. She was baptised on the 24th of January and named Katharina Juliana. The parents are: Gottlieb SOMMER, local citizen and flour dealer and his wife Elisabetha nee RUSCH. Witnesses and Godparents are: 1) Friederich RUSCH, baker from here and brother (of Elisabetha), 2) Jacob KNORR, local citizen and baker.
***Notes: from Nancy Grossman
Flour dealers go hand in hand with the baking industry! (Thank you for this note Nancy!)
Now, Katharina immigrated here to the Chicago area in the early 1880's with her widowed mother Elisabetha and her sister Juliana. Here is Juliana's birth certificate translation.
It reads as follows:
In the year 1851, here in Neckargemund on the 8th of January at eight o'clock in the morning, a baby girl was born. She was baptised on the 3rd of February at two o'clock in the afternoon, and named Katharina Juliana. The parents are: Gottlieb SOMMER, local citizen and flour dealer and his wife Elisabetha nee RUSCH. The witnesses and Godparents are: 1) Jacob KNORR, local citizen and master baker 2) his wife Katharina, 3) Friederich RUSCH, the unmarried brother of the mother of the child, a baker from here (Neckargemund).
Neckargemund, the 3rd of February, 1851
***Notes: from Nancy Grossman
Another relative...Friederich RUSCH, Elisabetha's brother! Jacob KNORR may have been a relative as well, possibly an in-law on the mother of the father's side.
***Additional Notes: from Nancy Grossman
I wouldn't say it was common for siblings to have the same name, but it was not unusual. The sisters had the same Godparents too. This may have something to do with it. For example, both were probably namesakes of their Godparent Katharina KNORR, Jacob's wife. Re. the name Juliana, I can't say yet. The sisters may have been named after the same person, or two different people with the same name.
When I find siblings with the same name, it is customary like in your family, for each sibling to take a different part of the name as their dominant one;i.e. one became Katharina and the other, as Julia.
Again, much thanks to Nancy.
So, did I learn anything NEW?? Yes, I did! I now have the names of Godparents, the exact dates of birth, father's occupation, and yet another family connection with Friederich! I could not be happier!
I also can't wait to scan more documents to Nancy for translation! YIPPEE!!

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!