This page contains information regarding source materials I am using from across the Internet to conduct Henss/ Rich family research. These links and pages will change ‘automagically’, over time, as I add, change, and delete materials in Mendeley.
If you wish, you may also join the group and contribute to the research library.
For those interested in following my Anabaptist information gathering process/ results, I will publish my Mennonite Mendeley related folder contents on this page. Because of the rather extensive listings, over time I will create numerous sub-pages that will be accessible from here. These links and pages will change ‘automagically’, over time, as I add, change, and delete materials in Mendeley.
If you wish, you may also join the group and contribute to the research library.
Based on email traffic I have seen lately, it seems to me that all too many people think they are doomed to failure with their German genealogical research simply because they are unfamiliar with the German language (dialects) or unaware of German speaking peoples’ histories. Knowing something about German and “the history of German speaking people” can certainly be very useful in conducting research. But in all honesty, there are simply not that many folks out there, no matter their daily language skills or history knowledge, who are familiar with everything about ‘old Germany’. The Germans, like most European ethnic groups, have a long and complex history, one which is well matched to their handwriting, alphabet, short hand, and past-dated terminology.
Truth be told, almost everyone, at one time or another, needs help. It makes little difference whether they need help deciphering old documents, be they German, French, English, Latin or in figuring out what documentation might be available for genealogical and historical research. As my Oma (grandmother) used to tell me, “Deutsche Sprache, schwere Sprache” (The German language is a difficult language.) And so it is. Germany’s history is long, varied and complicated as well, encompassing many turns and nuances. There is simply a lot to learn.
As with many knowledge challenges, there are quite a few excellent tools available on the Internet, these days, to aid in solving language and other knowledge deficiencies or difficulties. When you are in need of help with your German research, I highly recommend the following documents and sites. Whether you are a expert or novice, remember almost everyone needs help at one time or another.
Obviously, there are many more content expertise providers. If you use other tools, sites, or help that are “freely” available to those of us poor folk, please let me know and I’ll augment this document with your pointers.
I think that in the past almost all of my postings on Ancestry member hints have been negative. Well in the interest of fairness and sharing, I think this posting is perhaps a bit past due. I have to admit that as with most observations, there are many perspectives possible. So here is a personal tidbit offering a counter-point to my earlier Ancestry Member Tree Hint observations.
Like most genealogists, I make mistakes. I think it is safe to say that my mistakes are almost always simple accidents. At least, I can not think of a single situation where I have made an error on purpose. I don’t like admitting that I make errors but in all honesty, I do. Maybe others are more highly thorough and skilled than I and have a differing view. However, I digress.
Back to my story… today I found myself looking at my Senger family tree; and as you may already know almost none of my Senger data has been sourced from Ancestry (almost all of it has been obtained by my reading of West Prussian church records and my maintaining a photographic log of findings). I do, however, keep an FTM version of my family archive on Ancestry both on the chance that I might get a Historical Record clue as well as for redundancy and backup purposes. Although in all honesty, I never seriously thought I might actually find someone else in the Ancestry universe rummaging for information on my family members who lived in what was once West Prussia.
Well, I was wrong. I not only found one person, but, I found two. The second person was researching the Baarenhof Evangelische (Lutheran) Kirche (Church) and had found a second Anna Ziemen. Yes, it turns out there were two Anna Ziemen’s alive and attending the Baarenhof ev. Kirche in the late 1700s. Who’d a thunk! Not only were there two Anna Ziemens, but I had mistakenly used the data from the second Anna Ziemen for my Anna Ziemen (wrong husband, wrong death date). Oops!
Needless to say I have removed my error from my files. And, tomorrow, I intend to plow through the church records once again, page by page. This time I hope to find the correct version of my Anna Ziemen’s death record. Whether I do or not is, as yet, undetermined. But what I know for certain is, if I had not received this Ancestry Hint from another member’s tree, it might have been years before I ever stumbled on my mistake.
I guess it pays to read those hints. They can be helpful. But tread carefully and analyze thoroughly!
First off I want to apologize for the few month hiatus in ManyRoads Newsletters. You are right, this has happened before. Maybe I should just admit to my unreliable nature but on the other hand the good news is, I am not drowning you in spam!?!
For those interested in what I have been doing lately, this news will hopefully come as an informative update. For the rest of the world, all this will continue to remain hidden and obscure.
As a few of my preceding ManyRoads posts indicted, I have been both testing new genealogy software tools and working on my family genealogy, primarily on my mother’s Prussian branch. Based upon my endeavors, here is what I can report by way of progress:
It seems that I have stabilized my FTM 2012 for my PC environment, and it now works reasonably reliably. Most importantly, I am able to synchronize my databases and media between my PCs and Ancestry.com. This means my documents are now sharable, more secure (from a redundancy perspective) and are now available to all my computing platforms… Linux, IOS, and Windows. I have also published a couple of reports on my adventures in getting this environment operational and stable you may read them here…I have successfully gathered and archived a significant amount of information on my Prussian Friesian Mennonite forebears. I have also provided both the Schepansky Family Archives and the Grandma Mennonite Database access to all my materials including quite a few which were previously unrecognized, unknown. The Schepansky Family Archives has indicated receipt of the materials, some 800 MB.
I have, in conjunction with my Mennonite research, updated my Senger Family Tree and documents. I have also conducted some additional research which has made it possible for me to make significant updates to my family tree. what began originally with fewer than three dozen family members in 4 generations is now at 250 plus family members going back as many as 8 generations. I am feeling very fortunate! All are now published here on ManyRoads.
As before, I continue to use RootsMagic, now in version 5, to publish my genealogical information ( Family Trees ) on ManyRoads (see). Although, I am now augmenting RootsMagic html documents with edited versions of select FTM reports to complete my detailed family reports, posts (see: Hermann Schepansky Family & Cornelius Schepansky Family(ies) ). Yes, this means I now use two different tools, interfaced via Gedcom 5.5 adherent files for both my public, published documents.
I’d like to say that I will be writing the Newsletter more regularly, but I might not. The bottom line is, I apologize for the hiatus in my newsletters, as well as for the shortage in my Blog posts. With any luck, I hope to get more information gathered and published over the next few months. Who knows, I may even be able to stick to my plan… So as always, I’ll promise to write Newsletters as time and schedules permits and wish you all the very best. As always, thank you for visiting ManyRoads and please remember we always appreciate reciprocal web site links!
At this point, we believe that our research has produced a rather complete image of the Families and Children of Hermann Schepansky. If you know of additional source materials or information, we would love hearing from you.
HERMANN1SCHEPANSKY was born about 1754 in Kerbshorst, Westpreussen, Germany1. Herman Schepansky was baptized in 1802 in Marcushof, Westpreussen, Germany2. He died on 18 Dec 1824 in Schwansdorf, Westpreussen, Germany1.
He married (1) CATARINAANNAHEINRICHS (daughter of Jacob Heinrichs and Miss Koeller) on 06 Nov 1800 in Kerbshorst, Westpreussen, Germany1, 2. She was born on 05 Aug 1781 in Kerbswald, Westpreussen, Germany1, 2. Catarina Anna Heinrichs was baptized in 1797 in Marcushof, Westpreussen, Germany2. She died on 13 Jan 1857 in Ellerwald, Westpreussen, Germany1 .
He married (2) MARIACLAUSSEN on 13 Mar 1785 in Kerbshorst, Westpreussen, Germany2. She was born about 17642. She died on 25 Feb 1800 in Kerbshorst, Westpreussen, Germany2.
Hermann Schepansky and Catarina Anna Heinrichs:
They had the following children:
MARIA2 SCHEPANSKY (daughter of Hermann Schepansky and Catarina Anna Heinrichs) was born on 17 Sep 1812 in Kerbshorst, Westpreussen, Germany2. She died on 09 Aug 1825 in Schwansdorf, Westpreussen, Germany2.
JOHANN SCHEPANSKY (son of Hermann Schepansky and Catarina Anna Heinrichs) was born on 12 May 1819 in Kerbshorst, Westpreussen, Germany2.
HEINRICH SCHEPANSKY (son of Hermann Schepansky and Catarina Anna Heinrichs) was born on 09 Jan 1811 in Kerbshorst, Westpreussen, Germany2. Heinrich Schepansky was baptized in 1827 in Marcushof, Westpreussen, Germany2.
CORNELIUS SCHEPANSKY (son of Hermann Schepansky and Catarina Anna Heinrichs) was born on 11 Feb 1806 in Kerbshorst, Westpreussen, Germany2. He died on 27 Feb 1861 in Ellerwald, Westpreussen, Germany3.
He married (1) CORNELIA MARTENS on 14 Aug 1831 in Wengelwald, Westpreussen, Germany2 . She was born on 23 Nov 1795 in Campenau, Westpreussen, Germany2. She died on 11 Oct 1831 in Wengelwald, Westpreussen, Germany2.
He married (2) CATHARINA MARTENS (daughter of Leonhard Martens and Susana Funck) on 04 Mar 1832 in Wengelwald, Westpreussen, Germany2. She was born about Jan 1809 in Marcushof, Westpreussen, Germany 2.
He married (3) MARIA MARTENS (daughter of Jann Martens and Susana Funck) on 18 Jul 1837 in Neuheide, Westpreußen, Germany2. She was born on 16 May 1816 in Marcushof, Westpreussen, Germany2. She died on 30 Oct 1849 in Ellerwald, Westpreussen, Germany3.
He married (4) ESTHER WILHELMINE SAENGER (daughter of Michael Saenger and Esther Euphrosine Landig) on 19 Feb 1850 in Zeyer, Westpreussen, Germany3. She was born on 17 Jan 1828 in Zeyersniederkampen, Westpreussen, Germany3. She died on 05 Mar 1858 in Ellerwald, Westpreussen, Germany3.
He married (5) RENATE MIERAU on 26 Apr 1859 in Zeyer, Westpreussen, Germany3. She was born about 1823. Cornelius Schepansky was baptized on 19 May 1823 in Marcushof, Westpreussen, Germany2.
DAVID SCHEPANSKY (son of Hermann Schepansky and Catarina Anna Heinrichs) was born on 06 Jul 1821 in Kerbshorst, Westpreussen, Germany2.
CORNELIUS SCHEPANSKY (son of Hermann Schepansky and Catarina Anna Heinrichs) was born on 02 Aug 1801 in Kerbshorst, Westpreussen, Germany2. He died on 26 Oct 1801 in Kerbshorst, Westpreussen, Germany2.
CORNEELIA SCHEPANSKY (daughter of Hermann Schepansky and Catarina Anna Heinrichs) was born on 14 Oct 1817 in Kerbshorst, Westpreussen, Germany2.
CATHARINA SCHEPANSKY (daughter of Hermann Schepansky and Catarina Anna Heinrichs) was born on 06 May 1824 in Kerbshorst, Westpreussen, Germany2. She died on 02 Jan 1825 in Schwansdorf, Westpreussen, Germany2.
ANNA SCHEPANSKY (daughter of Hermann Schepansky and Catarina Anna Heinrichs) was born on 18 Jul 1804 in Kerbshorst, Westpreussen, Germany2. She died on 27 Jun 1807 in Kerbshorst, Westpreussen, Germany2.
ANNA SCHEPANSKY (daughter of Hermann Schepansky and Catarina Anna Heinrichs) was born on 09 Jan 1816 in Kerbshorst, Westpreussen, Germany2.
Hermann Schepansky and Maria Claussen:
They had the following children:
JOHANN2 SCHEPANSKY (son of Hermann Schepansky and Maria Claussen) was born on 04 Sep 1794 in Kerbshorst, Westpreussen, Germany2. He died on 06 Sep 1794 in Kerbshorst, Westpreussen, Germany2.
HEINRICH SCHEPANSKY (son of Hermann Schepansky and Maria Claussen) was born on 05 Sep 1792 in Kerbshorst, Westpreussen, Germany2. He died on 09 Feb 1801 in Kerbshorst, Westpreussen, Germany2.
HERMAN SCHEPANSKY (son of Hermann Schepansky and Maria Claussen) was born on 24 Dec 1785 in Kerbshorst, Westpreussen, Germany2.
Thiensdorf- Marcushof Kreis Marienburg Mennonite Church (primarily: Mennonite Church USA Archives – North Newton, Kansas (Bethel College); also FamilySearch.org (LDS Church)).
ev. Kirche Zeyer, Zeyer Evangelische Kirche (Zeyer, Westpreussen, Germany) (published and accessed via LDS (Familysearch.org)), Family History Library, 35 N West Temple Street Salt Lake City, Utah 84150 USA Salt Lake City, Utah 84150 USA.
Perhaps, it was Friday or maybe the day before… Becky (my wife) and I were discussing why I do genealogy work. More precisely, the question we were discussing focused on what advantages or benefits I (the genealogy fanatic) actually attain from my endeavors. Because, wealth most certainly was not among them.
But in all seriousness, this posting is really nothing more than a catalog of my thoughts on this question/ topic. It is simply a topic I thought our readership might find interesting. And, I thought it might be worthwhile for me to archive my ponderings here, as well.
Perhaps my reasons might provide others with some food for thought; or heaven forbid, these thoughts might even provide a bit of fodder for an argument or discussion. Having set the stage, here goes my initial list:
I guess the primary benefit I derive from my genealogy work is the opportunity for self examination, introspection. In the time I spend doing this work, (endless hours, Becky might say) I have an opportunity to analyze how I feel about my life, my family, and my hopes for both. I have time to focus and contemplate on what was, and what might be. Obviously, I don’t get any of the answers in “the what might be” category. But, I do see or think of patterns that I never thought of before I did this type of work…
Secondarily, genealogy affords me both the circumstance and time to examine my feelings about and towards others. I especially value my opportunity to examine the breadth and diversity of the human experience and existence, especially as it has involved and consumed my family over time. I enjoy examining the culture, history, and mores of those times and places I never knew, nor ever experienced.
Thirdly, genealogy allows me to speculate upon the hows and whys around life’s twists and turns. How did we get to be in those circumstances? Why did things turn out that way? I am not certain that I ever arrive at an answer, but I enjoy the process of examination.
I relish the opportunity to discuss and rationalize the options, dilemmas, problems and joys faced by my predecessors. I find their situation, when combined with the historical situations of their home place, adds depth and meaning to my view of history’s progress. This research also helps me examine the complexity of the options they faced as individuals, societies, and families. Interestingly, this thought process also helps me appreciate the levels and depths of their sacrifices and choices, even when I personally might have an intellectual disagreement with what they did or chose…
Ah yes and then, there are the joys of mystery and discovery, followed closely by their child, investigation. I continually marvel at what information and insight there is to be found. Not to mention my joy and amazement at the vast number of options available to assist in genealogical and historical research. As a perennial data gatherer, there is a lot to be found and a dizzying array of tools being created daily, it seems, to support this discovery.
Yes, for me the discoveries can be amazing and the joy exhilarating.
Oh and did I mention, you also might find pieces and parts of your family and it history???
Over the past few weeks, I have been mulling over the significance of history, war, and the ravages of time. Quite the happy thoughts I know.
I suppose this stream of consciousness was initiated by my review of some photos from my mother’s family church in Zeyer, Westpreussen, in what is today Poland. Then today an Internet friend sent an article from today’s Elblag, Poland (what used to be Elbing, West Prussia, Germany) regarding their German past.
Here are the photos and articles that prompt my thoughts.
The first set are recent photos of the Zeyer Evangelische Kirche- Zeyer Lutheran Church. I guess more precisely these are photos of what is left of the church and graveyard where more than 200 years of my forebears were baptized, married and buried. I have included a photo of what the Church, built and established in 1774, looked like in the early 1900s for comparison purposes. There are also photos of the 2010 re-consecration of the ‘old’ graveyard; along with the placement of a ‘new’ memorial stone.
These next links will take you to some images and postings on German graves recently unearthed in Elblag/Elbing.
All of this brought to my mind the importance of understanding. Understanding history, perspective, motivation and the passage of time. Each of these factors have a significant impact on who we are, who we were, and how we perceive our surroundings. Nothing is static. Societal artifices and institutions which seem permanent are not; they are transient. Place, home, family, and even our burial are dynamic and evolving.
I guess the bottom line is we never really are; but rather, we are always becoming. As living sentient beings we can chose what, we can even chose who, we allow ourselves to become. And I suppose, we are best when we remember that life is a journey from our collective past into our shared future.
We are extremely pleased to report that last night (3 June 2012) ManyRoads received its 200,000th visitor. We know that does not put us in anything like “a high traffic mode”. But, we are pleased to have gathered and perhaps even sustained a loyal readership.
Thank you very much for visiting our site; we look forward to your continued and on-going presence. Obviously, we are extremely pleased that 200,00 visitors have stopped by. We will continue to do our best to provide information and knowledge as we accumulate it.
As always do not hesitate to contact us with your comments or requests for information and/or pointers. Your interaction is always welcomed.