Wednesday, April 27, 2011

What I Learned Wednesday: 27 April 2011

This week I am learning more about research in New York. I received a couple of scans of Fichtelmann family death certificates from another Fichtelmann researcher, and I took that as a sign that I need to get on the ball with getting documentation for some of my husband’s families. I e-mailed Evergreen Cemetery in Brooklyn for burial information on Katharina Scherer Fichtelmann but have not received a reply, yet. I also mailed out request forms for death certificates for Julius Koehl and Josephine Lochner Koehl. My next task is to get in touch with Green-Wood Cemetery to find out how to get burial information for all the family members listed in the Koehl family plot.

Most of this involves straightforward research procedures, but it is still a bit of a change of pace from researching my own family, most of whom lived in the southern states. Initially, my main goal in researching my husband’s family was not very ambitious: I wanted to at least document each line back to the original immigrant - and since the earliest immigrants seem to have come over around 1850, with the majority arriving between 1890 and 1910, that’s not terribly far back to go. I also hoped to get some clue as to where in Italy/Germany/Romania the various families originated, but I knew that I could not count on this.

Surprisingly, thanks to my fellow Fichtelmann researchers Mary Lou Benjamin and J. E. Felbinger and to my in-laws’ fortuitous discovery of my husband’s grandmother’s birth certificate (which led to my discovery of the ship manifest giving her home town in Italy), I now have at least two new points of origin in Europe; a third location, Moinesti, Romania for the Greenbergs, is already known.

However, I am still interested in documenting the families here in the United States. For instance, it is intriguing that my husband’s great-grandmother and her sister were going to meet a Vincenzo D’Arco in New Jersey; his great-grandmother married a Nicholas D’Arco, so this may be a brother.

In the coming weeks I am hoping to build up a decent section in my Genealogy Toolbox for New York and New Jersey research.


  1. Greta, good that you are doing the basics first. And, I assume you checked out FAG, and all the census records. Don't be scared off by NY and NJ, I've had very good luck. Maybe hubby might get interested enough to help you?

  2. Barbara - Yup, checked out Findagrave - that was after I had sent off for Social Security applications - the cemetery info gave me the information (plus a bit more) that I had paid to get in these applications. However, I think that the relevant photos and entries appeared on FAG after I got the copies of applications back. Nah - Hubby is more interested in MY relatives!

  3. How I love those ship manifests! Such good information lurking there. I've found the Hamburg lists tend to have more "European" spellings for the names (and even harder to read manifests) which has helped track down elusive kinfolk.

  4. Greta, it sounds as if you have been very busy and productive. Just wondering if you are finding NY/NJ research somewhat easier than southern research.