Hallo an alle! According to my trusty translation app, that means “Hello everyone” in German. If not, it may be time to invest money in an app instead of going with the free ones every time. This week began my Court Records class and German class. One of the first things I learned is that I really need to make it to Munich for Oktoberfest! And who knew that The Cat in the Hat has German roots?
Previously, while discussing my findings for the Blake family to my grandfather, he mentioned that he would be interested to learn of his mother’s line, which had German roots. All I knew at the start was that my Great-grandmother’s name was Dorothy Klenzendorf before she married my Great-grandfather, Harry Blake. I remembered her from when I was a child, but I didn’t know much about her. I interviewed my grandfather and did some initial digging on Ancestry.com to gather the basics. I learned that Dorothy was born in the Chicagoland area in 1905 to Frederick John Klenzendorf and Adeline Ganschow. She was the third of five children. Frederick was born in Chicago around 1880 to John Klenzendorf and Fredericka Warner. Clearly my Great-great-grandfather, Frederick John Klenzendorf, was named after both his mother and father. John and Fredericka were born in Germany and immigrated sometime between 1860 and 1880. This would place them in the “Second Boat” of German immigrants. Immigrants from this “boat” came for any number of reasons: business opportunities, the chance to marry, etc.
My grandfather confirmed most of these facts when I interviewed him, but he also mentioned a family story passed down that said one of the female ancestors on his side as potentially born out of relations between a king and his servant (my ancestor). He said that prior to the 1871 unification of Germany, there were many kings, or people that governed the many provinces of the land. I hope at the end of this class to be able to know when they came to the US, where in Germany they came from, and if I’m lucky, to know if the story of the king is true or not.
I’ll keep you posted! Have a great week everyone.
Family Tree Firsts is an ongoing blog series featuring newbie genealogist Brian Parotto of Hampshire, Ill.
Here are some of the tools Brian is using to launch his genealogy education. Check them out: