Monday, March 2, 2015


Today would have been my Dad's 86th birthday -- Donald Joseph Sherlock was born on March 2, 1929 in Chicago, Illinois.  He is the baby in this photo.  It reminds me of how I looked in my baby photos. His brother Eddie is also in the photo and I am not sure who the woman was.  My Dad and his family moved to Southern California when he was 6 months old so I am assuming this photo was taken in Southern California.

The above photo is my Dad and his date to some high school dance.  Don attended Loyola High School in Los Angeles.  After all of us kids graduated from high school, my Dad stopped attending our high school (St. Genevieve's) football games and went back to attending his high school (Loyola) football games with an old friend of his from his high school days.

My Dad and his oldest brother Chuck went on an annual fishing trip.  They did this for years after us kids were grown. Then they started inviting my oldest brother Danny.  Next thing you knew my husband was joining them on their trips.  In 1998 they rented a houseboat and fished the California Delta.  The above photo shows my Dad on the boat with his Notre Dame shirt.  My Dad was a true Notre Dame fan -- even though we lived in California, he would receive a copy of the South Bend Tribune newspaper every day during football season and spring football.  Our mailman was not a happy person carrying all those newspapers, especially the very large Sunday paper.  We left a candy bar and soda for him in our mailbox while he walked his route.  Such fun memories!

Happy Birthday, Dad!  We love you and miss you!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Gregarin Hobers and His Descendants

Gregarin Hober (the son of Oster and Afra Hober) was my 7th Great Grandfather.  He was born in Staudt, Rheinland Pfalz, Germany.  He and his wife Maria had 2 children -- Andreas (1690-1750) and Johann Adam (1698-1742).  Since there is a big gap between the births of Andreas and Johann Adam, I wouldn't be surprised to find some other siblings.

Andreas married Katharina Ida Posch  and they had 3 children -- Katharina (1724-1786), Afra (1728-1742) and Valentin (1733-1797).

Johann Adam married Sophia Sabel (born in 1705) and they had 6 or 7 children -- Johannes Wandelin (1723-), Anna Christina (1725-), Christian (1728-), Maria (1731-), Katherina (1734-1790), George and Andreas (1735-1748).  I am not sure whether George and Andreas are two separate people or are twins.  Information on Find A Grave shows that they were born in 1735 and died in 1748.

Anna Christina Hober was my 5th great grandmother.  She married Christian Hommerich (1719-1765).  An interesting fact about her was that her younger sister Katherina married Christian's younger brother Anton Hommerich (1734-1797).   My great grandmother Theresa Homrich had a sister Helen that married the brother of my great grandfather Peter Joseph Nebgen.  I think it was much more common back then for sisters to marry men who were brothers.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


According to, Hober is an occupational name for someone who lifts heavy loads.  "Heben" means "to lift" in German.  I don't know if one of my ancestors had the job of lifting heavy loads or not, but I can trace the Hober branch of my family ancestry back to my 8th great grandfather Oster Hober (1625-1690).   Oster was married to Afra (1630-1693) and looking at their dates, they must have had some good genes to live that long in the 1600's.  Oster and Afra lived in the town of Staudt (see photo above) in the Rheinland Pfalz area of Germany (not too far from the Rhine River).  Yes, I do have a cruise on the Rhine River near the top of my "bucket list".

Oster and Afra had 8 children (or at least 8 that I have found in my research):  Johann (1650), Johann Georg (1653), Peter (1655), Margaretha (1660), Christian (1661), Andreas (1663), Gregarin (1670) and Elizabeth (1675).  

Some of the eldest son Johann's descendants changed the spelling of their surname to Hoefer and immigrated to the United States, settling in Iowa and South Dakota.  The midwest was not the final destination of some of the Hoefers, who also eventually moved West -- to Oregon, Washington, California and Colorado.  Other surnames of these descendants were Merkes, Muehl, Tressel, Koenig and Velder.  I have a lot of information and a lot of names for Johann's descendants, possibly because they immigrated to the US.

For the other siblings of Johann (except for Gregarin), I haven't been able to trace their descendants for more than a 2 generations and the trail stops in Germany.  It will be interesting to find out if any of them also immigrated to the America.

Next up:  Gregarin Hober

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


For the past 10 years, I have sorted my notebook collection of family history documents by first name.  Yes, I know that is a bit odd but it worked (or seemed to work) for me.  In December, I read a few blogs where the authors discussed re-visiting their family history information.  This got me thinking and I decided it was time to re-organize my 10 or so large notebooks and file the documents according to "family branch" instead of first name.  How much time could it take, right?

So, I started with the Chambers, and using my "Descendants of Thomas Chambers" document as a guide, I found that those documents fit into one large notebook.  Wow, this is easy, I thought! Next came the Sherlocks, and even though it took 2 notebooks for them, it was still rather easy.

Okay, so let's see what other small family branch I could work on next. I had completed (or at least was under the impression that I had) my "Descendants of Oster Hober" document, which was 27 pages so that should be relatively easy.  The problem, I found out quickly, was that I wasn't completed with a lot of the sub-branches in my research.  How can there be this many Hobers, Hoefers, Gebhards, Muehls, Koenigs and Yegges?  Every time I think I am almost done, a whole bunch more crop up!  Now that I have been working on this for the past two weeks, I am hoping it is now under control.

The good news is that I am finding some interesting stories.  Stay tuned for those in future blog posts!

Thursday, November 13, 2014


Merlin Nicholas Schuster (my 8th cousin), the son of Emil Schuster and Elizabeth Hoefer (descendant from the Hober line), was born on 25 Nov 1923 in Farley, Iowa.  He joined the service on 18 Jan 1949, after working on his family's farm in his teen years, and was discharged a year later.  Merlin, however, was called back as a reserve on 27 Sep 1950 (due to the Korean Conflict) and was sent to Korea in November of 1950.  Merlin was a radar man for the 82nd Anti Aircraft Artillery Battalion and 2nd infantry division.

On 13 Feb 1951, Merlin was taken captive as a Prisoner of War by the North Koreans while he was fighting near Hoensong, South Korea.  PFC Merlin Schuster died a few months later, on 6 Jun 1951, while he was a prisoner in a North Korean camp.  Merlin was awarded the Prisoner of War Medal, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal and the Republic of Korea War Service Medal.

Sources: WWI, WWII & Korean War Casualty Listings (
               US Korean War Casualties, 1950-1957

Note: I truly believe that it is important that we don't lose the stories of our family members, living and those that have gone long before us.  To that end I think that telling these stories and creating books with these stories will hopefully preserve their memories for generations to come.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


Every Veteran's Day, I think about my Dad and his two older brothers who served in the Armed Forces.  According to family history, Charles (known as Chuck and 2nd from the right) served in the Air Force while Eddie (with the white sailor hat) served in the Navy during World War II.  My dad Donald (on the far left) served in the Korean War from 1951-53.

My Dad never spoke with us kids about his time in the military.  Interesting enough, I probably have more photos of my Dad from 1951 to 1953 than I do from the rest of his life.  Every time I look at this photo, I have to laugh because my Dad probably wanted his photo taken with this sign not because it was on the border of North Korea but because it said Notre Dame on it.  My dad was a huge Notre Dame fan!

So, to my Dad, Uncle Eddie, Uncle Chuck, several of my cousins and 2 of my nephews as well as all veterans -- thank you so much for your service, we owe you a debt of gratitude!  Happy Veteran's Day!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


As a child, I remember waiting with much anticipation for the arrival of the Sear's Christmas Catalog. My siblings and I wore out the pages of the catalog, looking at all of the toys and making our lists after perusing that catalog.  

Imagine my surprise when I read Anton Vincent Hoefer's (a 6th cousin 3 times removed) obituary which mentioned the purchase of a house from the Sear's catalog.  What?  I had never heard they sold real houses!   "Florence and Frank (2 of his children) were born in the house that Anton bought and built from a Sear's catalog".  Then he later built another house -- this time it was a 2-story square house.

So, of course, I had to research this practice of "purchasing a house kit from the Sear's catalog.  How do they delivery it?  Who builds it?  I found out that 70,000 of these ready-to-assemble kit houses were sold through the mail order from 1908-1940.  These kits contained 25 tons of material with 30,000 parts and were shipped by railroad.

I wonder how many pages there were in the instruction booklet for these house?  Is planning on offering these house kits anytime soon?