Friday, May 15, 2015


"Sometimes it's not about the journey or the destination ... but about the people you meet along the way".   -- Nishan Panwar

Before Charlie and Theresa started their journey over the Atlantic for their Grand European Adventure, they visited their friend Hazel Wilson in New York. I remembered hearing the name Hazel Wilson when I was a child. Wondering if Hazel and my grandparents were just friends or actually related, I did some research.

Hazel Anderson married John Wilson in 1920.  They knew each other 4 weeks when they eloped.  Based on the ancestry of Hazel Anderson, it seems most likely that she was a friend and not a blood relative of Theresa and Charles.  

Based on my research, Hazel sounds like she was a very interesting woman.  According to a newspaper article, She had traveled all over the world, except for Greenland, Iceland and Australia. Hazel also traveled all over the United States, visiting every state except for Maine and Washington.  Perhaps she even visited those before her death.  

Disclaimer: the photo above shows Grandma Theresa (2nd from the left).  I have no idea who the other people are in the photo.  It was taken in 1953.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015


Fifty four years ago, my grandparents (Charles Sherlock & Theresa Nebgen Sherlock) embarked on what I like to call "A Grand European Adventure".  They left Burbank, California on 22 May 1961 and arrived back home a month later.  I have my Grandmother's travel diary from that trip and color slides that my Grandfather shot.

Their European Adventure fascinates me for two reasons.  The first reason is the places that they visited.  I have traveled to Europe three times now and I just can't seem to get enough!  My travel "bucket list" now includes many of the places that they visited and wrote about in the travel diary. I am planning my own European Adventure later this year.  I have this burning desire to re-trace as many of their European Adventure steps as possible.  I know that I won't get it all done in one trip but that just means I will have take several trips which is just fine with me.

The second major reason their trip fascinates me is that they met many distant relatives on their trip -- both in Ireland and in Germany.  Some of them were mentioned by name in the travel diary and others were just described.  I also have photos of some of their relatives and traveling companions but since no identification is given, it will require some detective work on my part to discover the true identities of the people in the photos.

Let me end this post with a travel quote that sums up my opinion of travel from an unknown source --

"Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer".

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


Earlier this week (Monday, to be exact) marked the 97th anniversary of my grandparents' (Charles Sherlock and Theresa Nebgen) wedding.  I am not sure if they crossed state lines (from Illinois to Indiana) to get married because the laws were more lenient (my grandfather was 17 years old at the time) or because of the proximity.  Crownpoint, Indiana  What I have found from cursory research is that marriages in Crown Point were not publicly announced in Chicago.  Something else interesting -- marriage certificates from Indiana were not recognized in Illinois,  Why is it "the more I find out, the more questions that I have?"

I do know that their parents were not very happy when they found out about the marriage.  In fact, they made each of them live with their own parents for a few years (and that is where they were found in the 1920 US Census -- living separately with their own parents. ) I don't know when they actually started living together or if they had some type of church ceremony later.

50 years later (in 1968) they did have a church ceremony (renewal of vows) and a big party with their  family and friends.  The celebration included a cake, which I am sure was missing from that trip over the state lines in 1918.

Charles and Theresa celebrated 65 years of marriage before Charlie's death in 1983.  Happy Anniversary, Charlie and Theresa!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015


Of course, on St. Patrick's Day, I think about my Irish ancestors.  The above photo is my Dad, his eldest brother Chuck, his mother Theresa (she was 100% German), his older brother Edmund and his father Charles Sherlock (whose both parents were born in Ireland).  The photo was taken in 1945 or 1946.

While I don't have a photo of my Irish great grandmother Bridget Elizabeth Chambers, I do have a few of my Irish great grandfather Edward Sherlock. The one below is probably my favorite one of him. It is very sad that my Grandpa Charlie never got to know his father Edward since Edward died from tuberculosis when Charlie was just 1 years old.

Every St. Patrick's Day since my trip to Ireland in 2012, I think about seeing Croagh Patrick from Islandeady (the childhood town of my great grandmother Bridget).  While I loved seeing the remains of the old church in Islandeady, it was not the church that Bridget attended since it was in ruins in the 1600's.  She probably attended St. Patrick's Catholic Church, which is the current parish in Islandeady.  St. Patrick's is on my list of places to visit on my next trip to Ireland.

Well, enough musing for now, I think it is time to go eat some Guinness Stew, which is my family's St. Patrick's Day dinner tradition.

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