Tuesday, February 26, 2013

TRAVEL TUESDAY - Trevi Fountain

             I just ran across this photo recently of Grandma Theresa Nebgen Sherlock visiting the Trevi Fountain in Rome. I visited Rome and this famous fountain in the summer of 2011.  It was a bit more crowded during my visit than during Grandma's -- at least from what I can see in the photo. I think this photo is from the late 1960's.  I seem to remember my grandparents travelling a lot during that time.  I have photos of them in Mexico and Hawaii, too.
          It is fun finding photos of your ancestors in places that you love to visit too!  Maybe I could make a scrapbook of their travel photos!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


       My great grandfather Peter Joseph Nebgen and my great grandmother Theresa Homrich were married on 3 Feb 1891 in North Dorr, Allegan, Michigan.  According to the marriage license, Peter was 21 years old and Theresa was 20 at the time of the wedding.  Peter was born in Germany but resided in Chicago, Illinois while Theresa was a native of Michigan -- her birthplace and a resident of Byron Center, Michigan.

        Peter's occupation is listed as "boat header" -- not sure what that means.    Well according to Merriam Webster's dictionary it is " one that is in charge of a whaleboat or a small boat putting off from a larger boat in the cod or halibut fisheries; esp : an officer who stands in the stern sheets of a whaleboat and manipulates the steering oar and lances the harpooned whale".

        The official at the wedding was an Art Joseph Buchensenmann and was listed as a rector.  Theresa's sister Josephine was married to a Robert Buchensenmann.  I wonder if they are related.  Also, I find it interesting that they got married in North Dorr, rather than in her hometown of Byron Center.  The witnesses were William Homrich (she had a brother named William) and Mary Homrich (she also had a sister named Mary).    

Friday, February 15, 2013


           This is the funeral card for my Great Uncle Joseph Gary.  He was the half brother of my Grandpa Charlie Sherlock.  Uncle Joe and his lovely wife Jesse lived in Glendale, California which was within 10 miles or so of us so I have definite memories of him.  Of course, the one that comes most to mind is that he was born on Leap Day. My Dad and Grandpa loved this fact because it meant he only had 1/4 the amount of birthdays that he should have had.

Thursday, February 14, 2013


                 This is the house that my Grandmother Theresa Nebgen grew up in Chicago.  It is located on North Oakley. At the time of her birth in 1899, her parents Peter Joseph Nebgen and Theresa Homrich Nebgen and her siblings were living in a house on Noble Avenue in Chicago.  Some time before 1910, they moved 8 miles north to this house on North Oakley.  Theresa lived here with her parents until she moved in with her husband Charles Sherlock, probably about 1921.
             Theresa and Charles eloped when Theresa was 18 years old and Charles was 17 but then their parents made them live at their separate houses for a few more years.  In the 1920 census, Theresa is living with Peter and Theresa Nebgen while Theresa's husband Charles is living with his mother Bridget and his stepfather Joseph Gary and little brother Joseph Gary.  Peter and Theresa Nebgen (Theresa's parents) lived in this house until their deaths.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


              How did I not know that today was Pancake Tuesday?  I made a new discovery today.  In Ireland and the British Isles, they celebrate the Tuesday before Lent begins (which is tomorrow on Ash Wednesday) with Shrove Tuesday.  "Shrove", which is a derivative of "shrive" means to confess.  Of course, that makes sense since Lent is 40 days of penance and preparing for Easter.  Well, in Ireland, they eat pancakes on "Mairt Inide" or  "Shrovetide" Tuesday.  In fact, it is now commonly called "Pancake Tuesday".

            You may ask why pancakes on this day, why not some other food?  Since the people were going to fast for the next 40 days or at least not eat rich food, this was the opportunity to use up the eggs, cream, sugar and flour before Lent.  It makes sense to me -- sort of like cleaning out your refrigerator before you leave for vacation.  Don't ask my husband about this though!  He still remembers when we were dating and I fed him moldy hot dog buns as I was preparing to leave for a week long trip to Arizona.

            I can't believe that I have missing out on this great custom all these years!  It is not too late!  Tonight we are having breakfast for dinner.  We shall eat pancakes and drink Irish tea and plenty of meat (Irish traditional breakfasts have lots of meat!) and celebrate my Irish ancestry!

Monday, February 11, 2013



            Peter Joseph Nebgen served as a midshipman on a German vessel prior to immigrating to the US. I have two photos of him in his uniform.  However, I like this one the best because while the other one is a close up, this one shows the background and gives a better glimpse into those times.

Sunday, February 10, 2013



       Who are these people and why are they on my blog?  I thought I would switch gears a bit and discuss some of my German ancestors.  This photo was passed down to me from my Grandma Theresa.  On the back, it is written “Aunt Mary, Dad and Uncle Emil”.   Dad refers to her father Peter Joseph Nebgen, who was born in Dernbach, Germany in 1869.  Sitting in front of him are two of his siblings – Mary (or Maria) and Emil.

          My great grandfather Peter Nebgen served as a midshipman and arrived in the US in either 1887 or 1888 at the age of 18 or 19 years old.  I will discuss him in more detail in a future post.   Since both Mary and Emil did not immigrate to the US but rather stayed in Germany, it is harder to find information on them.  I did find some information that Maria Rosina Nebgen was born in 1880.  She married Anton Peter Haus on 10 Oct 1904 in Duisburg, Germany.  They had 3 children – Anna, Willy and?

          Of course, even though I have several photos of “Uncle Emil”, I cannot find any information on him – no birth date, death date or anything in between.  I think he lived his entire life in Germany but I can’t say for sure.  I do know that Peter Nebgen named his only son after his brother Emil. 

          There are also two more siblings – Nicholas Nebgen and Clemenz Nebgen.  Again I have some photos of Clemenz but no information.  I have fared much better with Nicholas Nebgen since Nicholas was the oldest brother and immigrated to the US first.  He also married the sister of Peter Nebgen wife.   Actually I think it was the reverse, in that Nicholas married Helen Homrich in 1888 – 3 years before Peter married Theresa. 

          Well, I guess I need to do some research on how to research German records and then I can find out more of the story!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013



        While my Great Grandma Bridget Chambers’ birth certificate shows that she was born in Islandeady, County Mayo, Ireland, she probably actually resided in the townland of Letter or Leiter.  According to the Griffiths Valuation of Ireland, Letter is the townland that is mentioned as to where her father Thomas Chambers was renting land. 

          So my quest is now to find out more about this little town known as Letter.  Answers just beget more questions in genealogy!  On the wonderful website AskaboutIreland.ie, there is a link to the Griffiths Valuation of Ireland.  Instead of only seeing the usual pages I typically find for Griffiths, this site also shows maps and all the great information about each place found in the back of the Griffiths Valuation book. 

          According to page 258 of Griffiths, Leitir means spewy hillside.   The town has aliases of Lettermore and Letterbeg.  I didn’t know that towns had aliases!  It is bordered on the north by Derrintloura and Cartoonduff, on the east by Derrycruv, on the south by Derrycooraun and Derrygowla and on the west by Kilmaclasser.   Now according to my map reading skills, it is about 3 ½ kilometers (as the crow flies) northwest of where I stood at the Islandeady cemetery.

          The townland of Letter includes about 230 acres of arable or land suitable for agriculture.  There is also Letter Station (not sure exactly what this is) that is located in the center of Letter 389 feet above low water (does this mean sea level?)  See what I mean, the more you learn, the more questions you have!

          My cousin Betsy was blessed to have actually stepped onto my 2nd great grandparents’ land in the town of Letter.  I am very fortunate that she has shared her photos of this area with me.