Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Where Do I Begin

Where do I begin to share the story of my journey in discovering my German heritage?

I have been researching my mother's side of the family history for several years. It has been a fun, and exciting journey of research and travel for me.

My problem is deciding how to organize it and share it in this blog.

It is my goal to document here my HAAS and GRIMM Family research with original documents and family photos. My friend Carsten Schermuly, who lives in Germany, and who can read the old style German Fraktur script, is translating documents for me that I have found on microfilm at my nearby Family History Center. My photos have been given to me by my mother. There are some photos that I will share that have been given to me by extended family members, too.

My journey with my German research began with stories from my Grandfather Julius George Haas whose father and mother both came from Baden, Germany. Johann Ludwig Haas immigrated from Neckarelz, Baden, Germany in 1882, and Mary Magdalena Bauer immigrated from Rosenberg, Baden, Germany about the same time as Great Grandfather Johann Ludwig Haas. The story goes that they were first cousins who met and married after both immigrated to America. My Great Grandfather came first and he is first documented in Harrison Co., Indiana where his Uncle Ferdinand Haas was living.

Mary Magdalena Bauer, whose father was Ferdinand Haas, immigrated to America to live with her father. She had her mother's maiden name as her father probably had not married her mother before she was born. I have not found a marriage document and children who were born out of wedlock were give the name their mother's maiden name.

This was the information that my Grandfather Julius Haas was able to remember to pass on to me. He did tell me that his Grandfather's name was Jakob. But, I was not able to know anything about that name until further research and a trip back to the Old Country to the village of their origination where there were baptismal and marriage records with family names on them. It is these records that confirm my German heritage.

I was able to find the village from a copy of the Naturalization document and a Citizenship Paper that my mother's cousin, Randle Lee Haas, sent to me. Randle Lee's father had given these documents to him.

The story will continue later...........

Wednesday, November 5, 2008