Wednesday, June 26, 2013


                                                 ADOLPH NEBGEN AND FAMILY

Monday, June 24, 2013


Sometimes, old family friends seem to feel more like family than just friends of your grandparents or parents. Adelaide Mayer was one of those people.  According to my Grandma Theresa (Nebgen Sherlock), she was her oldest and dearest friend.  She told me that they had been friends since they were girls. I don't know if they went to school together or met after that.  I decided to do some research and see if I could possibly pinpoint when their two paths first met.  Is that even possible?

All I knew about Adelaide was that she was about Grandma Theresa's age and that her current last name was Mayer.  She had been married when she was younger but that marriage hadn't lasted and there were no children.  I located a marriage certificate for Adelaide.  How lucky is that?  So, according to the license, her maiden name was Mayer and that is also the name she returned to after her divorce.  Adelaide married Adolph G. Haberstroh, Jr. on Dec. 31, 1919 (which was New Year's Eve).  They were married by the Assistant Pastor of Queen of the Angels Parish.  The license lists Adolph as 22 years old and Adelaide as 20 years old.  I wished they would have listed witnesses on the certificate because I would bet that Theresa was her maid (matron) of honor.

Now, to located Adelaide Mayer in the US Census. According to the 1900 US Census, Adelaide was living in Chicago with her father Bernard, her mother Marguerite, her older sisters Marguerite (age 8) and Veronica (age 2).  Adelaide was listed as one years old, but her birth date was listed as May 1899.  According to the 1910 US Census, Adelaide lived in Chicago with her father, mother, and older sister Marguerite and younger brother Bernard.  There is no mention of her older sister Veronica, who would have been 12 years old at the time. I wonder if she died between 1900 and 1910.  The organist from the church, William Esswein, also lived with them. The 1920 US Census lists Adelaide (now with the last name of Haberstroh) living with her parents and her spouse and younger brother Bernard.

Back to my research and more news about Adelaide in my next post ...

Thursday, June 20, 2013


I love this photo of my Grandpa Charlie (Sherlock) in Germany (I think!) in 1961.  This was a part of their month-long trip to Europe.  Whenever I see this photo, I think it looks like it is from one of his movies when actually  it was from his life.

On that trip, they took a cruise down the Rhine River and visited cities along the Rhine.  I am thinking that this is from one of those side trips. I have a photo of Grandma Theresa also with this officer, but of course, hers is  much more the typical pose of two people looking at the camera.

What is also typical of this photo of my Grandma and the German officer is that they are not posed in the middle of the photo.  Grandpa Charlie always took photos like this. He would say that he already knew what his family members looked like, he wanted to get the scenery as the focus point.

I do love how they were dressed up in all of the photos of this trip.  I guess that was custom in that time while now we are much more casual. Sometimes, I do yearn for those days ...

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


                                                 About 1890's, possibly Bridget Chambers

Sunday, June 16, 2013


How can I not post a photo of my Dad on Father's Day?  This is a photo of my Dad (Donald Sherlock) and me in Palm Springs when I was a baby.  My Grandparents had friends in Palm Springs so I am assuming it was at their house. My Dad would have been 26 years old at the time.  He looks very young.

Happy Father's Day, Dad!  Thinking of you today and always!

Friday, June 14, 2013


This is a follow-up to my Wednesday post.  My paternal grandmother Theresa Nebgen Sherlock's mother Theresa Homrich Nebgen (confused yet?) had a twin sister Josephine Homrich Schmidt.  According to family legend and the newspaper clipping, their father Sebastian Homrich couldn't tell them apart until they were 14 years old.

I remember Grandma Theresa telling us kids the story often that her mother was one of a set of twins.  I think that was a big deal in those days.  Now with the help of fertility pills and IVF, twins and other multiple births are a lot more common.

Theresa Homrich married Peter Joseph Nebgen while her twin sister Josephine married Joseph Anthony Schmidt. Theresa's older sister Helen was married to Peter Nebgen's older brother Nicholas.  Yeah, it is fun doing my family tree!

What I found very interesting was not that Theresa and Josephine died 6 years apart -- Theresa in 1945 and Josephine in 1939, but that it was 1 day apart -- Theresa on May 7th and Josephine on May 6th.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


                                                Theresa and Josephine Homrich

Saturday, June 8, 2013


So for the past week, I have been researching the names of the 212 people listed as being buried at the Katholische Friedhof Wirges cemetery in Wirges, Germany (according to  I have learned some new things both about the town of Wirges and about my ancestors who lived there.

Wirges is located in Westerwaldkreis in Rhineland-Palatinate area of Germany (western Central area of Germany -- not too far east of the Rhine River).  Its population is now about 5,000.  I have no idea how many people were living there when my ancestors were alive.  I need to find some history of Wirges.   To the southwest of Wirges, is the town of Dernbach (birthplace of my Nebgen family members), to the southeast is the town of Staudt (many of my Hober relatives lived there) and to the east is Bannberscheid and Moschheim (where Hober relatives also either moved or were born).  Actually it was rather exciting to find so many ancestors in such a small area.

Of the 212 names listed for this cemetery, I can prove some family relationship with at least 107 of them.  Now there are 28 additional people who have the name Hober but I can't quite fit them into my family tree yet.  What I find interesting is that these Hober's are more current (from the 1800's) vs. the Hober's I know that are related to me (who are from the 1600 and 1700's).  Usually I have the opposite problem -- can see the relationship of more current people but not so much those ancient ancestors.  I guess it is a good problem to have!

Wirges (and even more specifically this cemetery) is now on my "bucket list".  Supposedly the graves of my 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th great grandparents are located there.  How could I not want to go?  I could also visit the nearby town of Dernbach (home town of my Nebgen's) while I am there.

Well, back to my research ....

Monday, June 3, 2013


Over the weekend, I was double checking some facts that I have on Sebastian Homrich (whom I like to call my German family patriarch) when I see a "hint" (yes, a fluttering leaf) for his mother Anna Katharina Heibel. It said that she was listed on in a cemetery named Katholische Friedhof Wirges.  This cemetery is located in Wirges, Westerwaldkries, Rheinland Pfalz, Germany (not too far from Cologne, Germany).  So, as I tend to do, I decided to peruse the names of the other interments in this cemetery.  I found not only people with the last name of  Heibel and Hommerich (the German spelling of Homrich) but also Hobel (which is the maiden name of Anna Katharina's mother Maria Magdalena.

After a few hours, I realized that I have hit the "jackpot".  I found three more "probable" generations back from what I currently had and therefore found my 8th great grandfather and grandmother Oster and Afra Hober.  Okay, what is really weird is that it was not from tracing Anna Katharina and her mother Maria Magdalena's ancestors but rather from tracing Sebastian Homrich's father's ancestors.  By now, my head is spinning!  I feel like I am in a giant jigsaw puzzle!  I am finding "first cousins 8x removed", which for me is a big deal since for some of my family lines I can only trace them back a few generations.  So, "8 generations" is winning the lottery for me!

So, here's what I can piece together now --

8th great grandparents:     Oster Hober and Afra (Hober)
7th great grandparents:     Gregaren Hober and Maria
6th great grandparents:     Johann Adam Hober and Sophia Maria Sabel
5th great grandparents:     Anna Christina Hober and Christian Hommerich
4th great grandparents:     Christian Hommerich and Anna Bast
3rd great grandparents:     Johann Adam Hommerich and Anna Katharina Heibel
2nd great grandparents:    Sebastian Homrich and Anna Maria Simon

So far, I have found a connection between 80 of the 200 people buried at that cemetery and my ancestors (either ancestors or spouses of ancestors) but still need to work on the ancestors for Anna Katharina Heibel, which is what I thought I was doing originally.  Welcome to the wonderful world of Genealogy!