Wednesday, July 16, 2014

True birth location for my Van Horn immigrant

This one has been battered around for literally decades. Early family histories and a series of article published in The American Genealogist, had Christian Barentsen Van Horn (this is one version of his name) as Hoorn, Holland. Then things shifted to another location. Now we have this from Van Horn cousin Del Van Horn, was has pursued this to a final resolution listed below. Thank you cousin Del for taking the time and energy to get this information as we say in the Navy -- "squared away."

Sent to me via a FAG correction from Del.

"Christian Barentsz was born 1625/1626 in an area of East Friesland today known as Horum that is located in the German District of Friesland on the northeast corner of the East Friesland peninsula.  There is a town called Horumersiel that is probably the closest we can come to locating the original Hooren.

"The mix-up was a result of originally using a translation of the marriage register instead of the actual scanned record which changed some of the punctuation that resulted in mis-identifying Hooren as the one in North Holland and not the one in East Friesland.

"Christian Barentsz marriage register of 1647 states he was from "Hooren in Oostland" which was identified back in the 1960s by Mr. Simon Hart (Chief Archivist for Amsterdam) as "Horum, Niedersachsen".

"I have a scanned copy of the original marriage register as well as a copy of Mr. Simon Harts book with all of his notarial document notes (complements of Mr. Cor Snabel in Amsterdam) if anyone is interested.

"Bottom line - Christian Barentsz was not originally from Holland but rather from East Frisia which at the time was part of the County of Oldenberg which in turn was part of the Holy Roman Empire."

Again thank you Del.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Profile: John Redus - Texas Cattle Trail Driver

Will share this bit of Redus history for the younger members of our Redus family. The Redus family was deeply involved in the cattle business in Texas. Here is one account from Sally McLemore-Redus, wife of John Redus, courtesy of the old Trail Drivers of Texas book.

JOHN REDUS (Trail Drivers of Texas page 811-813)

Mrs. Sallie McLamore Redus

John Redus was born in Athens, Alabama, December 25, 1833, and moved to Mississippi when a boy. He lived there until he was about twenty-two years old, when his health failed and he got in with a party coming to Texas. His father furnished him with a buggy and negro driver, and on the way he was so sick he had to be helped in and out of the buggy. When they reached Austin, there was a big crowd from San Antonio to hear General Sam Houston speak, and he met up with some people from his home town, Aberdeen, Mississippi.

My father and some others from Mississippi had bought land and settled on Hondo Creek, ten milers west of Castroville, then the county seat of Medina county. I don't know how he ever found us, but he did, and came right out and joined us. This being a stock country, he soon got in with the stock men, and his health improved so rapidly that he decided to stay and go into the stock business. His father sent money with which to buy land and cattle, and he purchased land from the Adams brothers, who had a big ranch on the Hondo, thirteen miles south of us.

John Redus was soon joined in his undertaking by his brothers, William and George Redus, and they started business on a small scale. I was the first girl Mr. Redus got acquainted with in Medina county and naturally we had to be sweethearts, and on December 11, 1859, my twentieth birthday, we were married, and the next day we went to our new home as happy as any couple could be, although I knew I did not have a neighbor nearer than four miles. The Indians came in every light moon and stole horses, killed a man occasionally, and were very troublesome, but all went well with us.

John Redus and Sallie McLemore-Redus
We were prosperous until the Civil War came on, and all the white men joined the army, and the negroes and I had to go back to my father's place near the German settlements. When the war was over the men came home and we went back to our ranch and began anew. The men had to be out on the range for weeks at a time to round up the stock, which had had but little attention during the period of the war, only our nephew, Tallie Burnett, and the negro boys would go once a week to put out salt and look around. But all hands had to hustle.

The Indians were bad for a long time, and we always had to keep guns handy, although luckily we never had to use them. Notwithstanding these troublous times, we prospered. Mr. Redus would buy more cattle every year and locate more land, and finally he bought the Adams brothers' land when they went west to get larger holdings. About this time the drives to Kansas started. Mr. Redus was one of the first to engage in trail driving and one of the last to stop. He was successful for awhile, but got to speculating, buying remnants of herds wintered in Kansas, and when the great panic of 1873 came on, and so many banks failed, he had to sell for less than he gave, and we went broke.

I made one trip with Mr. Redus to Kansas, taking along my baby boy, Robert. I have always regretted that I did not go every year, for I could have gone if I had known it. At that time the railroad came only as far as Luling, and we had to go there by stage from San Antonio. In looking back it seems a long time, and many changes are noticeable, but really I believe we had better times and were happier then than now. Everybody was your friend, and were glad to entertain you.

In reading the first volume of the old Trail Drivers' book I find many familiar names, people I knew personally, and many who did business with my husband, but most of them have passed on, and some, like us, had lost everything they had accumulated. Mr. Redus died July 25, 1895, of the same disease he had left Mississippi to escape lung trouble. I am now eighty-two years old, am in good health, keep house and do all my work. I have written this by request of my friend, Mr. W. B. Hardeman.

The landscape picture below is a mural in a local Castroville restaurant of the John Redus ranch and stagecoach stop. I originally saw this picture in George Redus "Redus in America" history, and I had my dad go out to C-ville and take a fresh picture for me. Hope you enjoy this bit of Redus family history.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Found my Great Great Aunt Mary Pamelia Van Horn - Finally!

You know it is interesting when you sit down and look over old genealogy records and stuff you have accumulated over the years after not touching them for awhile. Sometimes what wasn't obvious back in the day you first got them jumps off the page on a second or subsequent look.

Case in point, for years I have been looking for anything on Thaddeus Damascus Van Horn's oldest daughter from his first marriage to Mary Ann Faust - Mary Pamelia Van Horn.

The first major record I received as a genealogist came from my aunts Helen and Elizabeth and it was the Sketch of an Old Citizen, The Life and Times of TD Van Horn published in the New Orleans States newspaper sometime around 1890 (never have been able to locate it). See article via the link on this blog at In this article typed abd passed on to me by my aunts it stated: "Mary Pamela, wife of Issac R. Harley of New York" as a child from his first marriage.

One of the earliest records I searched for and found was TD's 1905 obituary in the New Orleans Times-Picayune. The first part of the article appears below.

It is in the second part of that obit that was below the fold that holds the clue to solving the mystery of aunt Mary Pamelia. I wish I had a nickel for every time I have seen this obit but didn't pay close attention to the children's list below.

Mrs. D. Harby of Winnsboro, S.C. Who is that? Well that folks is Aunt Mary Pamelia. Not sure about the D. since her husband is Isaac Randolph Harby, but there is now no doubt that this is her. Not sure if my aunts mistyped the Harby into Harley or if the reporter for the Daily States heard it wrong, but I know I have finally found my great great aunt Mary P.

One of the first records I uncovered now that I have her married name straight was her Find-A-Grave (FAG) memorial (54068297). She is buried with her husband in the Saint Johns Episcopal Church cemetery yard in Winnsboro, Fairfield County, South Carolina (tombstone pic below thanks to Herman Ruple Durr, thanks buddy).

Mary Pamelia and Isaac Randolph had four children as follows:

Alice Eugenia Harby b. 21 Jan 1867, d. Dec 1871 (FAG memorial 54068295)
Gertrude H. Harby b. Nov 1867, d. 21 Jul 1952 (married Henry Bascom Refo)
Maude Eulalie Harby b. Feb 1871 d. Mar 1871 (FAG memorial 54108945)
Charles Henry Harby b. 19 Sep 1876 d. 1 Jun 1969 (married Laura Edith Smith)

I found this picture in a 1920s NC newspaper of him thanks to a good search at GenealogyBank.

Charles Henry Harby 1926

At this point I do not have any children for Gertrude H. and Henry Bascom Refo. Charles Henry and Laura Edith Smith had one child that survived to majority age, a daughter named Gertrude Maude Harby who married Thomas Bernard Autrey. This North Carolina couple had two sons: Thomas Bernard Autrey Jr who married Helen Margot Rhodes, and Harby Penn Autrey who married Mary Margaret Grimes.

If you are an Autrey family member from around Charlotte, we are probably related and I have some goodies for you if you contact me at the email address in the masthead.

So just going back and revisiting a record or two opened up a line of descendent from old TD Van Horn that had been a mystery to me for a number of years. Keep that lesson in mind and it may help you down the road someday.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Genealogy Family Profile: Friedrich Paul Schmidt and Auguste Leitsch

Private Friedrich Paul Schmidt, CSA and Auguste Leitsch


Meet Private Friedrich Paul Schmidt, CSA and Auguste Leitsch. They are  my 1st Great Grandparents (Photo from family collection of Larry Van Horn)

Friedrich Paul Schmidt, commonly called "Paul," son of Friedrich Gottlob Schmidt and Wilhelmine Chrisitiane Ullrich (their Genealogy Family Profile is on this blog at, was born February 22, 1837, in Frankenhausen, Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt, and died December 26, 1921, at Smithville. He was buried in Brushy Creek Cemetery, behind St. Mary's Catholic Church at String Prairie, Bastrop County, Texas (Find-A-Grave #37358914).

Paul was nine years old when his parents immigrated to Texas and must have found the journey quite an adventure in spite of the hardships travelers faced in those days. He grew up in Seguin and probably received his schooling there. Other than being listed in the 1850 census with his parents, his name does not appear in the public records of Seguin during this period of his life. It is interesting to note he is listed as "Powell" on the 1850 census, indicating the way "Paul" was pronounced.

After the family moved to Comal County, Paul appears on the tax rolls in 1860 when his father and he were jointly taxed for 37 cows and 150 acres of land. On August 30, 1860, he registered a mark and brand in New Braunfels (page 420 #55).

On February 23, 1861, Comal County voted 239 to 86 for Secession from the United States. Later that same year, Paul enlisted in Henry McCullough's Regiment of Cavalry, serving about 12 months (His military page in my Hall of Heroes appears here).

In August 1862 Paul enlisted in Company K, 3rd Regiment, Texas Infantry under Captain Julius Bose and was enrolled at Camp Terry on the Colorado, eight miles south of Austin and two miles above the mouth of Onion Creek. He remained with this unit until he was paroled on September 2, 1865 at New Braunfels.

The company's activities during the war can be traced through the letters of Captain Bose and other news items printed in the Neu-Branfelser Zeitung throughout the war. The unit was temporarily stationed at San Antonio at Camp Herbet until early 1863, when they marched to Fort brown on the Rio Grande. The journey took five months.

In late June they moved through Columbus on their way to Galveston or some other point on the Texas coast. By December 1863, the regiment had been ordered to West Texas and was located at Camp Lubbock. Captain Bose letters record some of their activities, but mentioned no engagements up to this point.

On May 6, 1864, from Camp near Camden, Arkansas, Captain Bose reported on the Battle of Jenkins Ferry, which his unit had participated in April. The company had been assigned to Scurry's Brigade at Shreveport and were ordered to go to Camden, then held by Federal troops under General Steele. Arriving near Camden, they found the enemy had fled. During the night, the Confederate troops built pontoons they used to cross the Ouachita River. The solders were ordered to take a blanket, 40 cartridges, and rations for two days, but were unable to bake enough cornbread for two days with the utensils they had with them. Bose said their wagons did not arrive till well into the night.

They followed the enemy to Princeton and had stopped to rest when a storm blew up, soaking them. The next 17 miles to the Sabine Bottom - where the battle was in progress - was marched in a constant rain, frequently wading in hip-deep water. Some of the men lost their shoes in the mire. The men formed a battle line at 400 yards from the enemy lines, which opened fire. With a "Texas Yell," the 2000 rebels charged, only to find themselves confronted by 7000 enemy. Scurry attempted to turn his men back in the face of such odds, but "our regiment saw its advantageous position and charged forward thereby earning the praise of the entire brigade..." Of the Comal County company, one was killed and four received flesh wounds. Their next destination was Little Rock.

In December 1864, Captain Bose wrote from Camp between Shreveport and Minden, Louisiana, detailing the hardships they had faced due to rain and cold. The company had received a box of clothing and medicine sent by the people of New Braunfels for which they were most grateful, promising to participate in the first round dance at the end of the war. "There also were special packages for Sarasin, Stoetzner, Heimer, Gass, Nehls, Metz, Wesch, Schmidt, Pfeiffer, Boerner, Kraetzer, Rauch, Donsbach, Friesenhahn, Butz, Fromme, and me."

The war continued into the following year, but on April 9, Lee surrendered at Appomattox to Grant, and on April 26, Johnston surrendered to Sherman. By May 26, the last Confederate troops had surrendered, and as stated above, on September 2, 1865, Paul Schmidt received his parole at New Braunfels, as did other soldiers and officers of the Confederate Army. The men were probably glad to get back to a normal life.

In 1914 Paul was granted a pension (#28887) by the State of Texas for his service and he continued to draw the pension until he died.

Paul Schmidt after the civil war (Photo from the family collection of Larry Van Horn)

After the war, Paul returned home and engaged in farming. On December 31, 1866, he was married to Miss Auguste Leitsch by the Reverend August Schuchard, pastor of what is now the First Protestant Church (Church of Christ) in New Braunfels. The marriage was recorded in the church and county records. The old church record books are still held by the church, but a four volume, indexed, typewritten transcript entitled Kirchenuch der Protestantischen Gemeinde Neu Braunfels, Texas is deposited in the University of Texas Archives in Austin. The transcript was made in 1938 and 1939 as part of the WPA historical records work project.

Auguste Leitsch and came to Texas with her parents about 1852. She died at Rosanky on January 9, 1930, and is buried beside her husband (Find-A-Grave Memorial #37358910).
We know very little about Andreas Leitsch, the father of Auguste Leitsch-Schmidt, and nothing at all about his relatives. He married Justine Ludwig, probably about 1848. Auguste Leitsch is their only known child, was born December 10, 1849 according to her death certificate, in Tegwitz (or Tegnitz), probably in Sachsen-Altenburg.
Tradition says that Andreas became ill and died soon after their arrival in 1852. No passenger list has been found nor has the name of the ship been determined. His widow, with her daughter, made their way to New Braunfels where on September 11, 1853, she married Michael Heimer, a widower with two small children. Robert Heimer, a grandson of Michael's first marriage said that Michael had immigrated on the same ship as the Leitsch family, and that his first wife died at Victoria, as did Andreas Leitsch. Both died of yellow fever.
In census records and in church records, both Michael and his second wife are listed as natives of Saxe-Altenburg. Michael's oldest child, however, was not born in the same village as Auguste Leitsch was. A search of place names in Germany showed only one town with a name similiar to "Tegwitz" listed in Mullers Grosses Deutsche Ortsbuch (1958 edition). The town, actually a small village, is Tegkwitz with 531 people, near Altenburg in present Bezirke Leipzig, Germany (former East Germany), located 3 km from Kostitz and 6 km from Grossroda, which are also listed as villages near Altenburg.
Altenburg itself was a market town from as early as the 1125-1165 period. It lies about 40 km south of Leipzig in the Central Uplands. Through this area ran the historic frontier between the Germans and the Slavs, established by Charles the Great, King of the Franks from 771 to 814. In the 12th century, the region was ruled by Henry the Lion, Duke of Saxony. The portion surrounding Altenburg later became known as Sachsen-Altenburg, taking its name from the principal city.
An examination of the church records of central Europe (incomplete) that are recorded on microfiche as of October 1976 in the LDS Stake Library revealed no Leitsch entries, but there were numerous entries for the spellings Leisch, Leish and Leich (however, none in Tegkwitz). It is possible the spelling in the Texas records is incorrect, but since "Leitsch" is used in both the church and the county records here, that is the one followed in this account.
Not very much is known about Justine Ludwig, Andreas Leitsch's widow. She is known as "Gustine" on the county marriage records and as "Auguste" on the 1860 census. She was born about 1826 in Saxe-Altenburg, the town not given. She seems to have died between 1870 and 1880 as she is not listed on the 1880 census. No marked grave has been located. Ludwig is not an uncommon surname in Germany and there were in fact several families of this name who immigrated to Texas.
Auguste Leitsch probably grew up in Comal County as her stepfather is listed in the tax rolls beginning in 1853, and on subsequent censuses through 1880. According to Robert Heimer, Michael brought a ranch at Crane's Mill, now the community of Canyon Dam. The tax rolls during the 1880s show he owned 275 acres in the M. Bosque survey and 320 acres of school land.
Michael Heimer was granted citzendship in the District Court at New Braunfels, in the fall of 1858, on the affidavits of John Heilmann and georg Friedrich Kunz, who said they had known him for five years past during which time he had been aresident of the United States of AMerica. Michael renounced his allegiance to every foreign prince, particularly to the Duke of Saxe-Altenburg, of whom he had been a subject.
In the 1860 census, Michael was listed as a farmer with $800 worth of real estate and $630 worth of personal estate. His eldest son was listed as a wagoner. Robert Heimer said that Michael had been a tailor in the old country, but he appears to have remained a farmer the rest of his life in Texas. His exact date of death is not known, bit it may have occurred about 1888, the last year he appears on the tax rolls. He was not listed in the 1900 census.
According to the 1920 Federal Population Census Schedule, neither Paul or Augusta were naturalized citizens.

By 1869 Friedrich Paul Schmidt was taxed for 10 horses, 24 cows and 80 sheep. He also paid a poll tax that year, but was not taxed for land. As previously shown, he and his young family were living with his parents in 1870, and it was during that same year that his father transferred 150 acres of the E. Dale survey to Paul. This portion of land probably included the house.

Paul and Auguste continued to live near New Braunfels until about 1878 when they bought 160 acres in Guadalupe County. They sold this land in 1882 (Deed Book U-447), but purchased 100 acres from Philip Alston on December 28, 1883 out of the Patrick Lynch League in Guadalupe County on the Sandies Creek about 25 miles from the town of Gonzales (Deed Book 1-350).

On November 27, 1882, Paul Schmidt, a resident of Guadalupe County registered a brand and mark (p 163).

The land on the Sandies Creek was sold on November 20, 1889 (Deed Book 6-48), but they continued to live in the county until after 1893 when Paul was assessed taxes on a wagon, six horses, 10 cows and seven hogs. He paid a poll tax, but was not taxed for land.

On July 20, 1896, Paul bought 150 acres of land in Bastrop County in the S.H. Reid survey, about 24 miles south of the town of Bastrop, near present String Prairie (Bastrop County Deed Book 35, page 353). Here he farmed and taught school. He paid taxes on the land in 1897 and 1898, and still owned the land when he died in 1921, when it was listed in his inventory as community property, 150 acres, part of the R.H. Reid survey and valued at $1500.00.

He had a written will on December 7, 1908, and it was probated on November 18, 1922. It was recorded in Minute Book N, page 466, Bastrop County, Texas estate #1478.

According to the 1920 Federal Census Population Schedule, neither Paul or Augusta were naturalized citizens.

Paul and Auguste had 11 known children listed below:

1. Frank Schmidt
Birth 29 Oct 1867 Comal County, Texas, United States.
Marriage       1896 Emma Elizabeth Griffin (b. 17 Jul 1867, d. 13 Feb 1954), daughter of George Little Griffin and Amanda Jane Summers
Death 22 Oct 1937 Houston, Harris County, Texas, United States.
Burial 24 Oct 1937 Brookside Memorial Park, Houston, Harris County, Texas, United States.

2. William Schmidt
Birth 12 Nov 1870 Comal County, Texas, United States.
Marriage       1907 Emma --?-- (b. 1886)
Death 26 Mar 1961 Austin, Travis County, Texas, United States.

3. Charles H. Schmidt
Birth 12 Sep 1872 Comal County, Texas, United States.
Death 27 Feb 1959 Austin, Travis County, Texas, United States.
Burial 1 Mar 1959 Austin Memorial Park, Austin, Travis County, Texas, United States.

4. Emilie Schmidt
Birth 25 Dec 1873 Comal County, Texas, United States.
Marriage circa __ ___ 1894 Ferdinand Joseph Seideman (b. 17 Jan 1870, d. 27 Oct 1948), son of Peter Seideman and Jennie V. Hosziager
Death 2 Apr 1948 Fort Worth, Tarrant County, Texas, United States.
Burial 3 Apr 1948 Rose Hill Cemtery, Fort Worth, Tarrant County, Texas, United States.

5. Albert George Schmidt
Birth 1 Jan 1876 Comal County, Texas, United States.
Marriage __ ___ 1901 Matilda Margaret Behring (b. 4 Oct 1885, d. 22 Aug 1956), daughter of August Behring
Marriage __ ___ 1918 Emelia Caroline Grohman (b. 1 Aug 1884, d. 30 Dec 1961), daughter of Frank August Grohman Sr. and Mary Anna Meuth; Texas, United States.
Death 13 Apr 1944 509 Pleasanton Road, San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, United States.
Burial 15 Apr 1944 Mission Burial Park, San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, United States.

6. Max Emil Schmidt
Birth 25 Oct 1879 Seguin, Guadalupe County, Texas, United States.
Marriage 15 Apr 1902 Mary Emma Grohman (b. 23 Jan 1883, d. 20 Oct 1974), daughter of Frank August Grohman Sr. and Mary Anna Meuth; Bastrop County, Texas, United States.
Death 2 Mar 1932 San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, United States.
Burial 4 Mar 1932 San Fernando Cemetery #2, San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, United States.

*7. Henry James Schmidt (This is my maternal grandfather)
Birth  16 Dec 1882 Seguin, Guadalupe County, Texas, United States.
Marriage 16 Feb 1904 Lillian Margaret Grohman (b. 1 Jul 1886, d. 14 Jul 1911), daughter of Frank August Grohman Sr. and Mary Anna Meuth; Bastrop County, Texas, United States.
*Marriage 17 Nov 1914 Hattie Grohman (b. 16 Dec 1885, d. 30 Jul 1962), daughter of Charles Grohman and Sarah Frances Smith; Justice of the Peace, San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, United States. (This is my maternal grandmother)
Death 18 Nov 1949 San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, United States.
Burial 19 Nov 1949 San Fernando Cemetery #3, San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, United States.

8. Louisa P. Schmidt
Birth 21 Apr 1885 Guadalupe County, Texas, United States.
Marriage 29 Jul 1907 Frank Zimmerman (b. 23 Jan 1876, d. 17 Jun 1965), son of George Zimmerman and Augusta --?--; Bastrop County, Texas, United States.
Death 31 Dec 1979 
Burial     Jan 1980 Hollywood Cemetery, Houston, Harris County, Texas, United States.

9. Catherine Schmidt
Birth 9 Feb 1888 Guadalupe County, Texas, United States.
Marriage 3 Nov 1907 Frank Kunshick (b. 12 Jan 1880, d. 26 Mar 1958), son of Joseph Kunshick and Theresa Schmidt; Bastrop County, Texas, United States.
Death 20 Feb 1962 Austin, Travis County, Texas, United States.
Burial 22 Feb 1962 Austin Memorial Park, Austin, Travis County, Texas, United States.

10. Augusta Mary Schmidt
Birth 15 Apr 1892 Seguin, Guadalupe County, Texas, United States.
Marriage 17 Feb 1914 Edward Paul Meuth (b. 19 Jun 1893, d. 1 Oct 1972), son of Andrew Edward Meuth and Anna Bruger; Bastrop County, Texas, United States.
Death 23 Aug 1962 Brazoria County, Texas, United States.
Burial  25 Aug 1962 Greenlawn Memorial Park, Rosenberg, Fort Bend County, Texas, United States.

11. Edward Schmidt
Birth 5 Sep 1892 Guadalupe County, Texas, United States.
Death 21 Mar 1987 San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, United States.
Marriage  Edna Williams
Divorce   Edna Williams

Genealogy Family Profile: Friedrich Gottlob Schmidt and Wilhelmine Christiane Ullrich

This genealogy family profile originally appeared in my late cousin Bettye Schmidt Rathbone's book Schmidt-Leitsch-Grohman-Meuth, Europe to Texas, 1846-1861, privately published. This profile is on my 2nd great grandparents Friedrich Gottlob Schmidt and Wilhelmine Christiane Ulllrich. I now have two autosomal DNA matches which confirms my lineage to this couple. Now if I could just extend the line I would be a happy camper.
Friedrich Gottlob Schmidt and Wilhelmine Christiane Ullrich
Friedrich Gottlob Schmidt, our first proven ancestor in this family line was born about 1796 or 1797 in what was the former East Germany (now Germany), and died after September 1, 1870, probably in Comal County, Texas, near New Braunfels.

He emigrated from the town of Frankenhausen in 1846 and may have been born there. He was a subject of Prussia when he signed an Immigration Contract in Bremen on August 25. The contract was made with the Verein zum Schutze Einwanderer in Texas, which at that period was bringing many settlers to Texas, and is filed with the German Immigration Contracts at the General Land Office in Austin, Texas.

It is frequently difficult to identify the town from which a Central European ancestor came, but a comparison of the information in Mullers Grosses Deutsches Ortsbuch (1958 edition) and the maps detailed inMitteldeutsche Forschungen, Gerschicte Thurigens indicates this particular town of Frankenhausen is the one now known as Bad Frankenhausen (Kyffhauser), located in the Bezirk, or district, of Halle, about 40 kilometers north of Erfurt.

The Bezirk of Halle lies on the northern edge of the Central Uplands of Germany and is drained by the tributaries of the Elbe River. In the 10th Century, the region was occupied by the Thuringians, one of the traditional German Volkstummen. Frankenhausen was a market town before 1125 and was sold by the Count of Beichlingen to the Count of Schwarzburg in 1340 for 6500 silver Marks. Thereafter, it belonged to the Courts of Schwarzburg and of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt until the area was subjugated by Prussia.

In 1483, Martin Luther, the son of a Thuringian miner, was born in this region and later became the founder of the German Reformation. He was educated at the University of Erfurt, entered the Augustinian Order in 1505, and broke with the Roman Catholic Church in 1517. One result of this Reformation was the Peasants' Revolt which broke out in 1524-1525 in southern Germany. A leader of the revolt, Thomas Muenger, was taken prisioner at Frankenhausen. The town was also the scene of unrest during the Revolution of 1848-1849, after Gottlob and his family had left for Texas.

The tower of Bad Frankenhausen's Oberkirche is claimed to be the second most crooked tower in Germany.

Friedrich Gottlob Schmidt married Wilhelmine Ullrich who was born about 1798 in the Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt, the principality which included Frankenhausen. While the place and date of marriage are not known for certain, they may have been married in Frankenhausen before 1830. the three known children all seem to have been born there, As was customary, Wilhelmine had at least one other given name: Christine, but whether this was her first or second name is not known. She was listed in the household of her daughter and son-in-law in Guadalupe County, Texas, and may be buried in the Schuchardt family burying ground. No gravestone was found for her, but there were several unmarked graves in the area.

As previously stated, Friedrich Gottlob Schmidt signed an immigration contract in August 1846. In April of that year, Franz Wilhelm Hruger, apotheker of Frankenhausen wrote the Central Administrator of the Verein at Mainz and in his letter mentioned Knauer and Schmidt "v. hier." Since Kruger and Gottlieb Knauer both immigrated to Texas on the same ship that brought Gottlob Schmidt and family - the Elisa Charlotte . It is reasonable to suppose that Gottlob is the "Schmidt" referred to in Kruger's letter.

The Brig Elisa Charlotte sailed from Bremen on August 28 and landed at the port of Galveston, with 120 passengers, on October 26, 1846. Her arrival was noted by the German consul at Galveston in a letter to the Verein. This letter is part of the Solms-Braunfels Archives transcripts which are in the University of Texas Archives in Austin (volume 14, pages 333-334).

Gottlob Schmidt and his family came inland only as far as Seguin and New Braunfels. On February 16, 1847, he assigned 320 acres of the 640 acres he was entitled to as an immigrant to the German Emigration and Railroad Company. He must have settled in the vicinity of Seguin about this time for on December 6, 1848, his daughter Louise Auguste Christiane Schmidt was married to Emil Carl Lucian Schuchardt by Louis Hipp, Justice of the Peace for Guadalupe County.

On August 27, 1850, "Gottlieb" Schmidt made his first purchase of land: four lots in Block Eight of the Town of Guadalupe (Seguin) - the cost was $38.00 (Deed Book C-266). He was taxed that year (as Gottlob "Smith") for three horses and two cows besides the lots.

The 1850 census shows them as family #185:

Frederick G. Schmidt, age 53
Wilhemener " 51
Rodolph " 20
Powell " 14

All listed Germany as their birthplace and Frederick's occupation was "farmer."

In 1851 he bought another lot in block eight and one of the timbered lots in the town, paying $125 for all of it (Deed Book D-226). The city lots are bounded north by Washington Street and west by Bowie Street and lie about three blocks west and a little south of the courthouse. No buildings dating from the 1850 are standing. The city lots lie mostly in a creek bottom.

By 1853 he was taxed for eight horses and two wagons besides his land. This may indicate he and his sons were engaged in some sort of freighting necessary to move colonists inland since he appears to have an extra wagon and more horses than would be necessary for a limited farming operation.

On March 11, 1854, Gottlob Schmidt and wife Wilhelmine sold to Michael Erskine, for a bond of $650, three lots in Seguin "Being the same where we live now...also a five acre river lot...the said Erskine has right to make any improvements on said lots at any time between this and November next provided he does not molest me in the enjoyment of the house and crop." (Deed Book F-312) Presumably they were preparing to move to Comal County.

In January 1855, Gottlob bought land in Comal County from E. Dale, on the Turkey Creek, a small stream about 15 miles above New Braunfels. The creek empties into the Guadalupe River halfway between Canyon Dam and New Braunfels.

Since the financial difficulties of the Verein had prevented him from locating his grant of land on February 22, Friedrich Gottlob Schmidt sold his interest in his land certificate number 220 (640 acres) to Thomas Dewees for $75.00. The witnesses were Carrol Billingsley and Rudolph Schmidt (File 3454, Bexar Third Class, General Land Office, Austin, Texas).

On February 23, 1855, he registered his brand and mark (No. 40) in Comal County, Texas. No mark and brand registration had been recorded for him in Seguin.

In 1855 the tax rolls showed he owned 360 acres in the Elijah O. Dale survey, seven horses, 18 cows and one wagon. he paid no poll tax.

When the 1860 census was taken on August 20, the family was listed as:

#523/500 Gottlob Schmidt, age 64 b. Schwarsburg Rudolstadt
Christiane " age 62 do
Paul " age 24 do
Herman Schuchard age 10 Texas

Both Gottlob and Paul were listed as farmers. Gottlob's real estate was valued at $500, personal estate at $600.

In 1869, Gottlob was taxed for 150 acres, 8 cows, and 1 poll, Rudolph paying tax on the balance of the land although the property was not deeded to him until 1870.

By the time the 1870 census was taken, on July 22, the family was listed as #667/687:

Schmidt, Gottlob 74 b. Prussia (no occupation list)
Wilhelmine 72 "
Paul 34 " farmer
Auguste 21 " keeping house
Franz 2 Texas
Wilhelm 8/12 " (born in November)

This time Gottlob was shown without real estate or personal estate, and Paul owned real estate valued at $500, personal estate at $400.

On September 1, 1870, F.G. Schmidt deeded to Rudolph Schmidt, 188 acres out of the E. dale Survey, deed #185 (Comal County Deed Book K-257). On the same day he deeded to Paul Schmidt, 150 acres "being part of land conveyed by E. Dale to Gottlob Schmidt by deed dated January 5, 1855," adjoining Rudolph Schmidt's land (Deed Book K-259, deed #186). No relationship was stated in either deed.

This was the last record found of Friedrich Gottlob Schmidt. He odes not appear on the tax rolls after 1869 and is assumed to have died before the 1880 census was taken, when Wilhelmine alone was listed in her daughter's household. No marked grave has been located.

The names of only three children of Friedrich Gottlob Schmidt and his wife Wilhelmine Ullrich have been established. It is probable there were others, but whether they died young or perhaps married before the 1850 census was taken is unknown. The children whose names are known were:

1. Rudolph Schmidt, born about 1830, married Friederike Heinricke Haag
2. Louise Auguste Christiane Schmidt, born Decemeber 10, 1830, married Karl Emil Luzian Schuchardt
3. Friedrich Paul Schmidt (my great grandfather and civil war vet), born February 22, 1837, married Auguste Leitsch.

Genealogy Family Profile: Karl Emil Luzian Schuchardt and Louise Auguste Christiane Schmidt

Here is a write up I just shared with a FAG member, so I thought I should post it here for family. This genealogy family profile originally appeared in my late cousin Bettye Schmidt Rathbone's book Schmidt-Leitsch-Grohman-Meuth, Europe to Texas, 1846-1861, privately published. This profile is on my great aunt and uncle, Louise Auguste Christiane Schmidt and Karl Emil Luzian Schuchardt.

Louise Auguste Christiane Schmidt, daughter of Friedrich Gottlob and Wilhelmine (Ullrich) Schmidt. was born December 10, 1830 in Frankenhausen, Sacha Rudolstadt, and died September 19, 1925 in Guadalupe County, Texas, being buried in the family cemetery the following day. As previously stated, she married Emil Carl Lucian Schuchardt on December 6, 1848 in Guadalupe County, Texas. Carl had come to Texas on the Brig Elisa Charlotte in October 1846 when Louise and her family came to Texas. He was born in Vehra, Prussia, on Ocober 31, 1818, and died in Guadalupe County, Texas, on August 5, 1892, buried in the family cemetery.

The young couple lived in Guadalupe County, Texas, for awhile, but moved to Comal County, Texas, about the same time as her parents did. On July 30, 1859 Charls Schuchard was granted citizenship papers in Comal County (Probate Minute volume C, page 250). On November 12, 1862, Carl registered a mark and brand in Comal County: No 62 (page 59).

They continued to live in Comal County till January 1880 when they sold their land to Martin Simon (Deed Book 0-542-544) and returned to Guadalupe County, texas. There they purchased land for a farm on which they lived till their deaths, and son which they and other family members are buried. This farm lies north of Seguin and southwest of the settlement of Geronimo, in the A.M. Esnaurizer league. In August 1967 there was an old house still standing on the property west of the cemetery.

Carl Schuchardt's will was filed in Minute Book E, pp 306-309. Louisa's will was recorded in Book N, pp 635-639 and filed on October 31, 1925.

In addition to their own children, they each mentioned their niece Anna Schmidt (presumably Rudolph's daughter).


Karl Emil Luzian Schuchardt, born October 31, 1818, in Vehra, County of Weissensen, Erfurt, Germany, came to Texas on the ship Elisa & Charlotte. The ship had embarked from the port of Bremen, August 28, 1846, and landed at Galveston, October 26, 1846, carrying 120 passengers.

The passenger list names another Schuchardt, Friedrich Ferdinand Schuchardt, from the same locality as Karl. Friedrich Schuchardt was listed as a widower with two children, Carl and Wilhelm. According to Reiner Gerda Schuchardt, a distant cousin and fellow genealogist in Germany, he was Karl's eldest brother. Reiner's Schuchardt Website traces the family history, in German, from Clauss Schuchardt, born 1613. This information will be posted here when translation is complete.

At Galveston, the passengers boarded a steamer which brought them to Indian Point, now known as Indianola. At Indianola, the immigrants endured many hardships, including the lack of food, shelter and safe drinking water, until they were able to secure transportation (ox-carts and wagons) in order to reach their destinations in and around New Braunfels. The MONKEN website quotes a first-person account of an extended family's tragic journey from Indianola to New Braunfels.

Louisa Katharine (and/or Christiane) Schmidt had been born in Frankenhausen, Saxony-Rudolstadt, November 10, 1831. Louisa came with her family, including her parents Friedrich Gottlob Schmidt, born about 1796 or 1797, and Wilhelmine Ullrich Schmidt, born about 1798 in Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt, and her two brothers, Rudolph Schmidt, born about 1830, and Friedrich Paul(sometimes spelled Powell) Schmidt.

Since the two families travelled across the Atlantic on the same small ship, it is easy to imagine that Karl and Louisa may have met and fallen in love during that voyage. However they met, Karl and Louisa were married in Seguin, Guadalupe County, Texas, December 16, 1848, by Louis Hipp, Justice of the Peace for Guadalupe County, Texas.

The new couple lived in Guadalupe County (in or around Seguin) for a while, but then moved to Comal County (New Braunfels area) after her parents moved there. Karl (this time misspelled as Charls Schuchard) was granted his citizenship papers July 30, 1859, in Comal County (Probate Minute Vol. C, page 250). He registered a mark and livestock brand in Comal County on November 12, 1862.

All but one of their children were baptized into the First Protestant Church of New Braunfels in 1868. These children were Anna, born September 25, 1851, married October 21, 1871, to Julius Wesch; Albert, born October 27, 1853; Robert, born December 23, 1855, married Annie Hanks (Hanke?); Carl, born March 15, 1858, Elise (named after the ship "Elisa & Charlotte"?), born May 6, 1860; Bertha, born August 7, 1862, married Theo Babel; and Pauline, married Edgar Babel (brother of Theo?).

Karl's Find A Grave Memorial number is 35760087 and Louise's memorial number is 35760072.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Update: The Brick Wall Got Knocked Down on My Carr Family

2nd Great Grandmother Elizabeth A. Carr-Meredith-Smith
Update: Thanks to Mike Harmer and Autosomal DNA testing I have been rewriting this 2008 post. Will be doing further updates shortly, but some of the info in my original post have been changed below and further changes are in the works.


Original 2008 Post with changes.

For several years now I have built a circumstantial case on the identity of the father of my 2nd great grandmother, Elizabeth A. Carr-Smith. She came out of Wilkinson County, Georgia, a burnt county, and it has been tough to do any research on this line. It has been painstaking to put this line together as some of the clues could have led me off on the wrong Carr generation, but the best evidence pointed to the following.

Elizabeth A. Carr
b. 1 Oct 1825, Georgia
m. (#1) Samuel Meredith Jr. 28 February 1847, Wilkinson Co, GA
m. (#2) John B. Smith, 12 March 1865, Caldwell County, TX
d. 28 April 1925, San Antonio, Bexar County, TX

Father: Aaron Carr, b. ca 1800 in either Georgia or North Carolina (This relationship was proven through circumstantial evidence, and in 2008 via a primary record source - her Texas Death Certificate)

Mother:  Still an unknown, but not Elizabeth Faulk-Brazeal-Carr that married Aaron in 1851.

Aaron Carr's father was Balis Carr. Some sources list his name as William Balus Carr, but I have seen no proof that it was his full name. He came out of North Carolina, probably Anson County. Evidence indicates that his wife's name was Ann Mann and not Charity as I once believed1.

In addition to 1. Elizabeth A. Carr, who was the oldest child of Aaron Carr and Elizabeth Faulk, she had the following siblings (all my second great grand uncles and aunt).

2. Charity Amanda Carr m. James E. Butler
3. Private Joseph A.J. Carr m. Elizabeth Stuckey
4. Private Balus Carr m. Elizabeth Sawyer
5. Private Thomas A. Carr m. Elizabeth ?

One source indicated that Joseph AJ Carr was with the 14th Georgia Infantry, Company B. That is not the case. I have now confirmed that all three of my 2nd great grand uncles served with Company I (Carswell Guards, orignally Wilkinson Invincibles), 3rd Regiment, Georgia Infantry of the Army of Northern Virginia under General Robert E. Lee, commanding.

Excerpted from Roster of Confederate Soldiers of Georgia 1861 - 1865 Compiled by Lillian Henderson, ca 1900

This company left Irwinton, Wilkinson County, Ga. August 27, 1861 and proceeded by railroad to Portsmouth, Va. Arrived there August 30, 1861, and on the evening of that day went into "Camp Gwynn". Mustered into the service of the Confederate States August 31, 1861. It was assigned to this regiment August 30, 1861, taking the place of Blodgett's company, which was transferred to artillery August 5, 1861.

Carr, Balus - Private May 5, 1862. Surrendered, Appomattox, VA April 9, 1865. (Died in Laurens County, GA in 1914.)

Carr, Joseph A. J. - Private May 5, 1862. Died, Strasburg, Shenandoah County, VA on October 21, 1862.

Carr, Thomas A. - Private August 21, 1861. Lost leg, Spotsylvania, VA May 14, 1864. On wounded furlough through the close of the war.

History of the unit from NPS CWSS website:

3rd Infantry Regiment was assembled at Augusta, Georgia, in April, 1861. Its companies were recruited in the counties of Clarke, Burke, Dawson, Dade, Madison, Baldwin, and Oconee. This regiment served in the Departments of Norfolk, North Carolina, and Middle and Eastern Florida before being assigned to the Army of Northern Virginia. Here it was under the command of General A.R. Wright and after November, 1864, General Sorrell. It participated in the difficult campaigns of the army from Seven Pines to Cold Harbor, then was involved in the Petersburg siege north and south of the James River and various conflicts around Appomattox. The unit reported 25 killed, 110 wounded, and 22 missing at Malvern Hill and had 10 killed and 129 wounded at Chancellorsville. It lost more than forty-five percent of the 441 engaged at Gettysburg, and there were 75 casualties at Manassas Gap. The 3rd surrendered in April, 1865, with 12 officers and 236 men. Its commanders were Colonels Edward J. Walker and Ambrose R. Wright; Lieutenant Colonels A.B. Montgomery, R.B. Nisbet, James S. Reid, and Claiborne Snead; and Majors George E. Hayes, John F. Jones, Augustus H. Lee, and John R. Sturges.

So is anyone researching my Wilkinson County, GA/North Carolina Carr family lines above? Would like to share some information. I hope that this line ties in to the Colonial Virginia Carr families.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Another bizarre family research story has emerged this weekend!

You are rolling along moving ahead in your genealogy research when something strange, maybe even bizarre, but wonderful happens and you get completely blown away. Genealogy is truly a remarkable pastime / hobby and if you aren't doing it, you should be.

I just had one of those bizarre, but wonderful genealogical moments over the last couple of days. It involves a local estate / probate case I'm working on for a local law firm, his ancestors, and dare I now say it my new ancestors. Oh yea, this one is a bit spooky for sure. But  then those of you who know me and have attended my many genealogy classes over the years know that this is more the norm than the exception. Speaking of classes you can see my complete Spring schedule of genealogy classes over on the Family Roots and Branches Blog.

The story is a bit long to relate here on the blog. So you are just going to have to attend one of my genealogy classes at Tri County during the upcoming Spring semester if you want to hear the whole thing.

What this whole event boils down to is a whole new set of ancestral lines off of my Van Horn family (paternal grandfather) that were early Chester County, Pennsylvania, Quakers that came from Ireland's County Down and England.
I now have a family connection to the Harlan Family in America (link to their website is over to the right in the resources section and captioned on the graphic.

It really is truly unique when these sort of things happen to a genealogist. I truly believe that if we keep our minds open that in many cases they (our ancestors) will lead us to were we need to be to find them and embrace them as our family and kin. Put plainly, they want us to find them and we just have to be willing to look where we need to accomplish that task.

So the next time you have a hunch, thought, or a nudge, get off that couch, grab your genealogy database/Internet connection and follow up on it before you forget to do so. You may be missing a golden opportunity to add to your family history and genealogy.
Oh yea, and don't throw away that family Gedcom file you think isn't related to your family. That may change as new information comes to light.