Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Esther McCann Reuther was my Grandma Theresa Nebgen Sherlock's cousin but exactly how were they related?  I discussed the first part of my research on Esther in a previous post but hadn't found the connection.  I did find Esther in the Minnesota Birth Index.  She was born on October 30, 1898.  Her father's name was William Frances McCann and her mother was Annie Simon.  Grandma Theresa's maternal grandmother was Anna Maria Simon so "Simon" must be the connection but where in the Simon tree is the connection?

After months of searching, I did find out that Grandma Theresa's grandmother Anna Simon had an older brother Phillip Simon who was just a year older) who was born in Germany in 1845 but died in Ramsey, Minnesota on 31 Jan. 1910.  Phillip had a daughter named Annie.  I have yet to find out the name of Phillip's spouse and Annie's mother.  I will just put it on my "to do" list.  The good news is, however, that I now know that Esther is my 2nd cousin twice removed.


                                   Unknown ancestors -- Dublin -- between 1880 & 1914

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


I remember my Grandma Theresa (Nebgen Sherlock) having a cousin Esther who I met several times in the early 1970's.  Esther was married to a man named Atus Reuther (although she was a widow most of the time that I knew her) and she was related to my Grandmother (or so the story goes!)  I also remembered that  Atus was an attorney and that they lived in San Fernando, California.  So, with this information, it should be pretty easy to research her, right?

Well, I found Atus (actual name Liberatus Peter Adelbert Reuther) in the California Death Index.  He died in 1969.  So far, so good!  I found Atus and Esther in the 1940 census which said they were living in Los Angeles at the time (El Cerrito).  It also said that Esther's birthplace was Minnesota. What???  We never had any relatives in Minnesota or did we?  

Then I found Esther and Atus in the Illinois Marriage Index.  It said that they were married in Chicago.  Okay, now that is sounding more realistic to me.  Grandma Theresa was born in Chicago.   But how did Esther and Atus get from Minnesota to Chicago?  I think I need to do a timeline for Esther.

1898 -- Esther was born in Minnesota
1900 -- Esther was living in Chicago
1910 -- Esther was still living in Chicago with her parents and siblings
1920 -- Esther was living in Chicago with her parents and siblings
1921 -- Esther married Atus Reuther in Chicago
1930 -- Esther is living in Minnesota with Atus, 2 kids and her widowed father
1940 -- Esther is living in Los Angeles with Atus and her three children

So now that I have her timeline, I have one more big question -- How is Esther related to Grandma Theresa?  Where do the trees intersect?

Note: in the above photo, Esther is the woman 3rd from the left.  My Little Grannie (Lillian Stachowiak) is sitting to her left.  I tell stories about Little Grannie on my other blog --

Monday, May 20, 2013


Continuing on my quest to watch as many of Grandpa Charlie's (Sherlock) movies in the next few years, I watched four of them this weekend.  Hey, maybe I will be done in a year!  I started off the weekend with the movie "Confessions of a Nazi Spy" (1939), starring Edward G. Robinson. The story is about Nazi sympathizers in the US trying to overtake the country in the early days of World War II.  Grandpa Charlie played the role of FBI agent Fred Young.

Then to change it up a bit, I watched two Abbott and Costello movies.  Now, those movies were funny!  Although, I did find it a bit odd that in three parts of each movie, all of sudden there was this formal song or orchestra number (in the middle of a slapstick comedy)!  In the movie "In Society" (1944), Grandpa had a tiny role of a detective at the house. In "Here Come the Coeds", Grandpa also had a tiny role -- he played the assistant announcer.  Parts of the movie were filmed at my Alma mater UCLA and I loved seeing the campus in 1945.

I have several photos of Grandpa Charlie in a movie called "Task Force".  They are fun photos (that I love) like the one I posted above.  In fact, not only do I have photos, but I have the actual scarf worn in those photos.  While I was disappointed that these photos weren't actual clips from the movie but more likely publicity shots or just shots of the cast members goofing off, I did enjoy the movie.  The movie was about naval aviation and the development of aircraft carriers and definitely more somber than my photos.  Discussing it with my son, we decided it probably was much more meaningful to have photos that weren't scenes from the movies but rather "glimpses" of the actors behind the scenes.  Another positive note, I saw my first Gary Cooper movie!

Thursday, May 16, 2013


           In 1965, just before baseball season, my Dad (Donald Sherlock) took us kids to see the newly built Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California. My Dad and his father and brothers were big Chicago Cub fans since they lived at least a bit of their lives in Chicago.  My Grandpa Charlie was born there and lived there for 29 years, while my Dad was born there but moved to Southern California when he was 6 months old. So being Cub fans, they couldn't (or wouldn't) cheer for the Dodgers.  [I loved the Dodgers but what did I know -- I was born in LA!].  Anyways, but the Angels was a team that they did cheer for the rest of their lives.

         It was exciting to see the brand new stadium.  Each year, my Dad would take us to watch the Angels play the Dodgers in the Freeway Series. Through the years, I would see baseball games there, a few concerts there and of course, football games played by the Southern California Suns of the World Football League.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


For years, I have been wanting to watch the old movies that my Grandpa Charlie was a cast member.  It is not as easy as it would seem.  My Dad did give me some of the old movies but they are on VHS and BETA, so that is not real helpful.  Then I saw Grandpa Charlie (Sherlock) on the big screen in "J Edgar" when they showed a clip of "G Men".  So, of course, I had to come home and watch the "G Men" movie.

This week I took the "plunge" and started my quest to watch as many of Grandpa Charlie's movies as I can in the next few years. Of course, since they number over 300, that is quite a task.  And then of course, trying to get access to all these old movies from the 1930's to the early 1960's, is much harder than one would anticipate.

I started with the 1942 "All Through the Night" movie, starring Humphrey Bogart.  The story is about a guy (Bogey) who is a bit of a hustler, but who loves his mama.  When his favorite baker gets killed, his mama wants him to find out who the murderer was.  The plot thickens when it involves Nazi sympathizers trying to take over in the US.  Grandpa Charlie played the henchman of Ebbing (the bad guy).  I guess that may be redundant -- Don't only bad guys have henchmen?  Anyways, it was a delightful movie!

Then last night, I watched "Mr. Skeffington" starring Bette Davis, who plays a self-centered woman who lives for the attention of male suitors, ignoring the needs and affection of her husband and daughter.  Grandpa Charlie plays the waiter.  In one scene, they show him slowly opening a bottle of champagne (you got to love these old movies).  Grandpa is not credited on as being in the cast of this movie, the only way I found it was because I had the photo above and did some research.  I guess there could be other movies out there that he played a role that I don't have on my list of 300.  

Let me check the film archives to see what I will be watching tonight!

Monday, May 13, 2013


Over the weekend, I was researching on, trying to get more information on my Sherlock line.  After looking at the historical records, I decided to try the "newspapers" section.  I definitely found some treasures there!  Grandpa Charlie (Sherlock) was in the movies from the 1930's to the early 1960's and who knew they were talking about him all over the country!

In the February 26, 1938 edition of the Cochocton Tribune (Ohio), I found the above article. I am guessing that someone didn't like the fact that Grandpa Charlie was the only native (US) born member of the cast of "Confessions of a Nazi Spy".  Below is a photo from that movie. That is Grandpa Charlie on the far left.

Hey, pass the popcorn!  I think it is time to watch a movie ...

Thursday, May 9, 2013


One of the many places my grandparents (Charles and Theresa Nebgen Sherlock) visited on their whirlwind European tour of 1961 was Rome.  Practicing Roman Catholics their entire life, the Vatican was a "must see" destination for them. Theresa wrote an interesting story in her travel diary about their trip to Rome.

Charles and Theresa were staying at this hotel in Rome as part of their tour.  Monsignor Thomas Ryan came to the hotel to visit another couple who were on the tour.  Charlie heard the Irish brogue from the monsignor and stopped to talk to him. Monsignor Ryan was teaching the Pope (Pope John XXIII) to speak English.  They discussed the monsignor's secretary and found out that she was found County Mayo in Ireland (where  Charles' mother grew up).  Then Charles found out that he was related to the monsignor's secretary on the Kilroy (Charles' maternal grandmother) side.  Hey, Grandpa Charlie was doing genealogy way back then!

The next day Charles and Theresa visited many of the sites of Rome and Vatican City -- Quirinal Palace, Sistine Chapel, lunch at Alfredo's, Coliseum, St. Paul's Gate, Tomb of Keats, Basilica of St. Paul and Palace of Caesar (Circus Maximus).  On the following day (Sunday), they hadn't heard any word about an audience with the Pope but then at breakfast heard that 7 members of their group were having an audience with the Pope.  So, Charles called his "newly found' relative [the secretary of the monsignor] and the monsignor said that they should meet him at St. Peter's.  The monsignor took Charlie and Theresa through a private entrance  to see the Pope.

According to Theresa's diary, "we were sitting on his [the Pope] left side, we touched his steps, [he] made nice talk in Italian, then gave us his blessings.  After that he said the Angelus and gave blessings to all the people in the square so we had to two blessings.  Then we went to the 12:00 Mass and Communion at St. Peter's".  How exciting that must have been for Grandpa Charlie and Grandma Theresa!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


                                               Theresa Sherlock along the Rhine

Friday, May 3, 2013


After my Grandparents (Charles Sherlock and Theresa Nebgen Sherlock) visited the Cologne Cathedral, they continued their river cruise down the Rhine.  According to Theresa's travel diary, they visited St. Goar [Sankt Goar -- a town on the left bank of the Middle Rhine], Bonn (the capital of Germany) and Heidelberg.  They stayed overnight in Heidelberg and visited the Heidelberg Castle (which has still been only partially re-built), attended Mass since that day was a holy day (Corpus Christi) in Germany and visited the University of Heidelberg.  During my research, I learned that not only is the University of Heidelberg the oldest university in Germany but was the 3rd university founded in the Holy Roman Empire.  Now that is impressive!

On their way to Switzerland, Charlie and Theresa visited Freiburg im Breisgau, a town in southwestern Germany. They then visited the Rhine Falls, which is the largest plain waterfall in Europe.  I believe the photo above has the falls behind Theresa.  From the Rhine Falls, Theresa and Charlie visited the city of Lucerne, Switzerland.  They saw one of the famous landmarks, the Chapel Bridge (a covered wooden footbridge that crosses the river) and Mt. Rigi (also known as Queen of the Mountains).

Theresa wrote in her diary "Switzerland is beautiful so far I don't know which country [Germany or Switzerland] I like the best."

Thursday, May 2, 2013


      Okay, so this isn't exactly diving off the famous cliffs in Acapulco but it is in Baja California. This photo was taken of my Dad (Don Sherlock) on his honeymoon in 1951 in Ensenada.  Since he still has his sneakers on, I hope he didn't exactly jump.  I never did ask my parents why they selected Ensenada and then fishing at Lake Wohlford in San Diego County for their honeymoon. I have a feeling that Ensenada was probably quiet, relaxing, had a beach and was probably inexpensive at the time which are all good attributes for a destination for a young married couple without much money.  The fishing is a harder one to explain!