Saturday, April 6, 2024

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- When Has Someone Helped You Find A Record or Solve a Mystery?

  Calling all Genea-Musings Fans: 

 It's Saturday Night Again - 

Time For Some More Genealogy Fun!!

Come on, everybody, join in and accept the mission and execute it with precision. 

1)  We all need, and usually enjoy, a little help from our genealogy friends.  This week's challenge is to share a time when a genea-friend helped you find a record, or even solve a mystery.  It could be a recent help, or something from long ago.

2) Tell us about them in a comment on this post, or in a Facebook post.  Please leave a link on this post if you write your own post.

Here's mine:

I have had many genea-friends help me find a record, help translate a record, or even solve a mystery.  There are so many instances of this that I'm afraid I will leave someone out.  So I will mention the most recent time.

Two weeks ago, I mentioned on Mondays With Myrt that I had German migrants coming to America in the 1700s and 1800s and that I could not find parents for them.  Frank Jatzek, who is a panelist on Mondays With Myrt, lives and works in Germany, and is very active on WikiTree, asked me in a Facebook message for more details.  I told him that my wife Linda has several German migrants in the 1800 to 1850 time and Frank looked at my tree (I think on Ancestry, but I'm not even sure!), picked out several ancestors and started working on them.

One of the persons was Linda's second great-grandfather,  Frederick Schaffner (c1828-1899), who came to America in about 1850 and settled in New York City, married Susanna Hoffman (c1830-????) and had a son, Herman Schaffner (1851-1921).  In about 1855, Frederick married Martha Matilda --?-- (c1837-1875) in New York. They moved to San Francisco, California by 1857 and had five children born there.  Frederick married Dora Mossman (1838-1904) in 1876 in San Francisco, but they had no children.  

Frank found a record for Friederich Nicolaus Schaffner, born 20 November 1829 and baptized on 22 November 1829 in Darmstadt, Hessen records on FamilySearch (  The parents were named Christian Schaffner and Elisabeth Harth.  The male sponsor is Nicolaus Harth, perhaps a brother of Elisabeth.  Here is the record (I have isolated the particular record so it is semi-readable):

The source citation provided by FamilySearch with the record image and record summary is:

"Deutschland, ausgewählte evangelische Kirchenbücher 1500-1971," database and image, FamilySearch   ( : 22 March 2023), Friederich Nicolaus Schaffner, 22 Nov 1829; images digitized and records extracted by Ancestry; citing Baptism, Darmstadt, Kreis Darmstadt, Hessen, Deutschland, German Lutheran Collection, various parishes, Germany.

Frank is able to read these records because he is an expert in German records of this type.  He also found the baptism of a brother and a sister of Frederick Schaffner in the records (although the father's name was different for some reason).  FamilySearch indexed the mother's name as "Groth" but Frank reads it as "Harth."  

I am very pleased to add the birth and baptism of Frederick Schaffner, his two known siblings, and his parents to my wife's family tree.  

The genealogy world has many researchers like Frank who are willing to take the time to do a little research, even translate or transcribe a record, and provide the information by the goodness of their heart.  Thank you very much, Frank.  


Copyright (c) 2024, Randall J. Seaver

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Diane Gould Hall said...

That’s awesome Randy. How nice of him to search for that.

Lisa S. Gorrell said...

Here's mine.

Janice M. Sellers said...

That was so generous of him! And here's mine.

Linda Stufflebean said...

I still miss Ruth - she was a terrific person with a heart of gold:

jfossy said...

I was transferring some files to a new computer when I had a file a had for a while called "The Waller Book". My mom had received it from a cousin and gave it to me. We had a Waller reunion coming in six months so I decided I should start going through it.

More or less, everything lined up with what I had. Some things, the book had some extra detail, in other areas my tree had more detail until it came to my 2nd great-grandmother. The book and I had completely different set of parents and siblings for her. I started going though everything I had on her with a fine tooth comb and found out I had the wrong set of parents for her. I then looked at the book's info and something didn't quite fit either and I found out the book had the wrong set of parents as well. I contacted the book creator, she is my mom's 4th cousin, and it took six months, but together, we found her correct parents and siblings.

If I never received that book, or look through it all, we would have both been blissfully unaware that we both had the wrong set of parents for her.