Tuesday, April 30, 2013


After visiting Ireland and England on what I like to term their "Great European Tour", my Grandparents Charles and Theresa Sherlock flew to Brussels and then by bus to Amsterdam.  Once in Amsterdam, they boarded a steamship for a river tour down the Rhine River.   Yeah, I told you it was an amazing trip and this was only 8 days into the trip.  Their first stop on their river cruise was in Cologne, Germany.  Now, I have heard of the city of Cologne before but had no idea what a magnificent cathedral is located there.

The Cologne Cathedral was started in 1248 but the construction was halted in 1473.  Then in the 1800's the construction was once again started and finally completed in 1880.  You can't tell from this photo (or any of the other ones that I have) but I have seen other photos online of this cathedral and it is incredible.  I think you might have to be either across town or in airplane to get the entire cathedral in one photo!  The Cologne Cathedral is the largest Gothic church in Northern Europe.  This cathedral alone has motivated me to put "a Rhine River cruise" on my bucket list.

Grandma Theresa (she's in the light red coat in the far left of the photo) wrote in her travel diary, that this was the "most beautiful cathedral".  I have read that this is the most visited spot by tourists in Germany.  I can understand why!

Monday, April 29, 2013


"Oh, the Wells Fargo wagon is a coming ..."  Yes, the year was 1962 and the movie "Music Man" premiered, starring Robert Preston and Shirley Jones.  The movie takes place in the fictitious town of River City, Iowa.

I am scanning "slides" of Grandpa Charlie and Grandma Theresa's trip to Europe in 1961 when a few "slides", like those above appear.  Immediately, I start to try and figure out what movie this was.  Grandpa Charlie Sherlock, as I have mentioned in several past posts, was a character actor in the 1930's through the early 1960's.  I remembered that Grandpa Charlie was in a crowd scene in this movie and more specifically the "Wells Fargo wagon" scene with that adorable Ronnie Howard.  We went to see that movie as a family and I specifically remember my Dad pointing out Grandpa ... "Wait for it ... wait ... wait ... oh, there he is!"

I always loved that movie ... all those great songs and dancing and the band that played by the "think method".  I may just have to watch it again!

So, when I found this photo, I researched the date of the movie release (1962) and knew that the photo was taken in 1961.   Most of the other movie photos I have are of Grandpa Charlie but in this one, he was behind the camera.  Thanks, Grandpa, for the behind the scenes photos!

Saturday, April 27, 2013


I promise this will be my last post about my grandparents' photos of their 1961 Ireland trip, at least for awhile!  I have at least 3 photos of Charles and Theresa with unknown (to me) Irish relatives.  I would love to know who they are.  So, I am posting these photos with the hope that someone may recognize them and share their information with me.  One can always hope!

In the above photo (somewhere in probably County Meath), I can identify two of the people -- Pat Sherlock (who is at the far left) and Grandpa Charlie (who is behind the red headed women).  I don't know who any of the women are.

In this photo, Pat Sherlock is cut-off [Put on my to-do-list to re-scan slide].  However, I have no idea who the couple is with Grandma Theresa.  This is the only photo that this couple is in.  In addition to Sherlocks (or people from the Sherlock tree), my Grandparents could have visited members of the Caffrey family too.  Charlie's paternal grandmother was Margaret Caffrey.

In this last photo, Grandma Theresa is with two unknown women.  I am thinking perhaps they are mother and daughter (love the red hair).  I hope the luck of the Irish is with me and that some day I will be able to identify these Irish relatives of mine.  In the meantime, back to researching ...

Thursday, April 25, 2013


      In my last post, I was discussing my Grandparents' (Charles and Theresa Sherlock) trip to Ireland in 1961. Even though they only spent two days there, they met a lot of relatives and visited a number of their homes. Charles and Theresa  visited the old homestead of Bryan Sherlock and Margaret Caffrey Sherlock in Demailestown, Meath, Ireland where Charles' father Edward Sherlock was raised. Edward died when Charles was just a baby so I am sure that this visit to the old homestead was rather emotional for Charles.

      According to Grandma Theresa's diary, after visiting the homestead, they went to Pat Sherlock's home for lunch.  They saw his land and cattle.  The above photo shows Pat and Theresa out in the field with some of his cows. Then they visited the Carey's and Lady Ruth's home [I have no idea who these people are].  After stopping to pick up Pat's wife, they went to visit Agnes, her husband and their 9 children.  [I think Agnes is Agnes Sherlock mentioned earlier in the diary].  Finally they visited Mary Glacken [who was also mentioned previously in the diary] in Navan, Meath, Ireland.

      So, I now know who they visited and where they went but the question that remains is how are these people related to my Grandpa Charlie [and therefore to me]?   Let me do a quick review of the family tree -- Bryan Sherlock and Margaret Caffrey Sherlock had at least 8 children -- Nicholas, Mary, Bernard, Christopher, Edward, Bridget, John Joseph, and Patrick Joseph.  According to my research Nicholas died at age 36 in Australia and Bernard died at age 20 in Ireland, while both Christopher and John Joseph immigrated to Boston. I don't have any further information (except for birth dates) for Mary and Bridget.  Patrick had one son named Patrick or Paddy.  I think the Patrick that graciously chauffeured my grandparents around Ireland was Paddy. I don't know how Christian Sherlock, Mary Glacken, Agnes Sherlock or other people in my photos are related to me.  Perhaps posting some of these photos on my blog might help me find answers. One can hope!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


      The past two days I have been reading Grandma Theresa's travel journal and trying to match her entries with the photos that I have of their trip to Ireland.  Now, I know that I did complain a lot about "slides" in a previous post, but there are distinct advantages.  One advantage is that the picture for the most part has not degraded as much as those "lovely" photos from the 1970's and 1980's.  You know the ones that have that orange color!  A few of the slides do have some black dots on them but I can live with that.

        Another advantage is that they have the number of the image on the back of the slide.  So, while I can't tell what roll of film they belonged to, I can put them in order according to image number.   Now, why is that important?  Well, when Grandma Theresa mentions she has visited several people and several locations, I can try and see if I can determine the location by the order of the images. For example, she wrote on 5/26/1961 that Patrick Sherlock picked them up and went for a ride in the country.  Then they visited more Sherlocks (Christian and his wife).  Since Patrick was their "chauffeur" for their Ireland trip, he must be the guy in almost all of the photos.  After visiting Christian and his wife, they went to visit Charles'  father's family old homestead.

     When I read they visited the childhood homestead of Edward Sherlock, I was delighted.  I absolutely love to see photos of the houses my ancestors lived in.  In the journal, Theresa continues, "The people who lived there did some changes, but the lady let us take pictures and look around. There was over 60 acres and what land all green."

      Okay, that gave me some more clues -- there would be multiple photos of this house as compared to only a few of some other relatives' home.  There would be a lot of land around the house.  There would probably most definitely be a photo of Grandpa Charlie next to this house since it belonged originally to his grandparents.   With all of these clues and some jiggling of the puzzle pieces on my part, I deduced that the above photo is of  Patrick Sherlock, Christian's wife and Christian and Grandma Theresa at the old homestead in Demailestown, Meath, Ireland.  The photo below of Charles at the homestead confirms to me that this is indeed the house. It obviously was so important to him that he was the only one in the photo.

      One more comment before I go -- Without knowing, the photo I selected for my last post was taken at the old homestead.  I have posted the photo again below.  Grandma Theresa was right, it was absolutely beautiful and green!

Monday, April 22, 2013


       This is one of many photos that I ran across while scanning the "slides" from my Grandparents Charles and Theresa Sherlock's trip to Ireland in 1961. I wish it had notes on the slide as to where exactly they are in Ireland and who are the rest of the people.  Grandma Theresa is in the light blue dress with the red coat but I have no idea who the rest of the people are.  I hope they are relatives since we do have relatives in Ireland and it would be great to have a photo of them. There are photos of these people in this location and a few other locations in Ireland in my collection.

       Now Grandpa Charles's ancestors were all from Ireland -- his mother's side (the Chamber's and Kilroy's) were from County Mayo while his father's side (the Sherlock's and Caffrey's were from County Meath).  My Dad's cousin recently told me that we still had relatives in Meath.  I think we may also have some on the western coast -- in Westport or Newport.

      Hold everything!  While rummaging around while writing this post (I think it is called either multitasking or being unorganized -- I'll go with the first one), I just found a travel diary that my Grandmother kept during this trip.  Okay, this is exciting ... I may be actually able to discover who these people are and much, much more about their trip.

      Stay tuned!

Sunday, April 21, 2013


          The above obituary is for my Great Grandmother Theresa Nebgen Homrich.  She was born on 10 Sep 1870 in Byron Center, Michigan.  Her twin sister was Josephine Nebgen.  Theresa married Joseph Peter Nebgen on 3 Feb 1891 in North Dorr, Michigan.  Soon after their marriage, they moved to Chicago, where they raised 3 daughters and a son.  They belonged to St. Mathias Parish in Chicago.

         Her husband, Peter Nebgen died on 26 Feb 1944 in Chicago.  Ten months later, Theresa went to Los Angeles to live with her youngest daughter Theresa Nebgen Sherlock, who was living with her husband Charles Sherlock in the Hollywood Hills.  Theresa Nebgen died while in Los Angeles on 7 May 1945.  They shipped her body back to Chicago for the funeral (since most of the family lived in Chicago) and for burial at St. Boniface Cemetery.

Friday, April 19, 2013


       Until recently, I did not know very much about my 2nd great grandmother Anna Maria Wittayer.  I had a photo of her, her husband Balthasar Nebgen and their 5 children (one of whom was my Great Grandfather Peter Joseph Nebgen).  My grandmother Theresa Nebgen (youngest daughter of Peter Joseph) passed this photo down to me. I was thrilled to have the photo but really wanted to know more about her.

       Well, thanks to my German cousin Bernd and his lovely wife Susanne (who loves genealogy as much as I do) I now have a few more photos of Anna Maria and her dying card (the above photo).  Yes, Susanne did translate the card for me since I speak no German and even less Old German (which is what the card was written in).

         Typically on most "dying cards" or funeral cards, there is some genealogical data along with the prayers.  Anna Maria's card shows her birth date as 23 Oct 1841 and her date of death as 6 Jan 1918.  It also mentions that she and Balthasar had 7 children with two of them preceding her and Balthasar in death.   In my family photo of her and Balthasar, there are five children which begs the question, "Did those two children die as babies or die before the photo was taken or perhaps even after?"  As usual, I have much more research to do but am very grateful to Bernd and Susanne for all their contributions to my genealogy research and family photo collection.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


     Charles Sherlock and Theresa Nebgen Sherlock (my paternal grandparents) went on this incredible European trip in May/June of 1961.  I am trying to piece together their itinerary with the help of a diary and all their photos.  Yes, I am still scanning all their slides.

      This photo above, I believe was taken in Nice, France.  Their photos of Nice look similar to our photos of Marseilles (which we visited in 2011), which makes sense with them both being French coastal cities on the Mediterranean. I can't say for sure this is of Nice, but they did visit Nice and Monaco, among many other places on that trip.  I love the grass cut into nautical shapes.

Monday, April 15, 2013


        When my Dad died, I "inherited" some small boxes of "slides" that had been my Grandpa Charlie's and Grandma Theresa's.  "Slides" used to be a popular option to standard photos back in the 1960's and 1970's.  Instead of holding a photo in your hand, you put the slides in a round carousel and then projected the image onto a large screen.  Personally, I always liked holding the photo in my hand better.  Plus, you can't paste a slide into a scrapbook.  So, what to do with these slides?

        I purchased a slide/negative scanner.  Who says that I am "technologically challenged"?  Well, besides my kids!   So, now with this scanner I can actually see the image and save it onto a memory card.  I then transfer the memory card images to my computer.  But, I have another problem now -- no information.  People sometimes will write names, date or places on the back of the photo.  Very few, if any, will write anything on the edge of a slide.  So, I have various slides of my grandparents and other people but don't know where they were (there are a lot of travel ones), when they were there (only a few have a date printed on them) and on more than one occasion who are the people in the image (were they fellow travelers or somebody actually related to me?)   I guess like with everything else in genealogy, this just means I need to do a lot more research.

        I do have to laugh at the image above.  Yes, that is from one of my "slides" and while it looks like there are 5 people in the image, there really are only 3.  You see it has been "overexposed" -- one photo taken on top of another.  No, it is not a trick but rather either a faulty camera or a faulty photographer (not adjusting the camera to the next frame).   I will say there are more of these "artistic" shots among my slide collection.  I think Grandpa Charlie was much better in front of the camera than behind it!

Thursday, April 11, 2013


       In 1965, my Grandparents Charles and Theresa Sherlock decided to move to a retirement community in Hemet, California. They had been living in the San Fernando Valley, nearby their sons and grandchildren and thought they needed a change.  Charlie was retired from his second career (acting) and thought living with other active seniors would be a nice lifestyle.  So, they bought a house in Panorama Village (rather ironic since 2 of their sons lived in Panorama City) on the 3rd hole of the golf course.  You can see the 3rd hole in the above photo.  Theresa is standing in her small backyard.  Luckily, no golfers were out there when the photo was taken.

       We visited Grandpa Charlie and Grandma Theresa several times when they lived there.  We would go swimming in the community pool.  I remember the drinking fountain at the pool had the coldest water I had ever drank, which was a good thing because it was very hot there.  Of course, we typically visited during the summer months.   Being a retirement community, there wasn't a lot to amuse us kids besides the swimming pool, so my sister and I would visit the ducks at the pond.

       After a few years, my grandparents decided they missed not being around their family and moved back to the San Fernando Valley and in fact, moved around the corner from our house so that they lived mid-way between us and our cousins who lived down the street.

Sunday, April 7, 2013


      I spend a lot of time staring at old photos, some how wishing the names of the people in the photo will magically become known to me. Yes, I have read those articles on how to decipher clothing and other tell tale signs that will let you know what year/era the photo was taken.  Personally, I prefer the "staring" method.  Look at this photo and then look at another photo.  Do the people look the same?  Would they look the same 20 years sooner or later?   Where is that age progression software when you need it?  More importantly, why couldn't my ancestors write the names on the back of the photos?   Of course, this photo had the names written on the back and I am still confused!

     You see when someone writes "Aunt Therese" and "Aunt Helen" and "Uncle Josef Nebgen", I assumed the Aunts were from the Wittayer family and had no clue who they were.  All I knew for sure was that the man in the 2nd row to the far right was my great grandfather Peter Joseph Nebgen (or Uncle Josef Nebgen).   I knew that the woman next to him was his sister Maria Rosina, even though the photo lists her as Mrs. Haus.

        So, after many stares at the photo, some discussion with Suzanne in Germany and a little research on passenger lists I discovered that my great grandmother and her sister were in the photo, too.  A 1929 passenger list shows that my great grandfather Peter Joseph Nebgen traveled with his wife Theresa [Homrich] Nebgen back from Germany to the US.  Suzanne had already told me that this photo was taken in Germany in 19129 and she had a matching photo.  So, that "Aunt Theresa" was actually my Great Grandma Theresa.  She is in the 2nd row standing to the left of Maria.

        Also, on that passenger list, it shows that Theresa's sister Helen Homrich Nebgen (yes, Helen had married Peter Joseph's brother Nicholas but he had died in 1915)  and her daughter Rose Nebgen Roemer were sailing back from Germany.  This means that "Aunt Helen" is actually my Great Aunt Helen Homrich Nebgen.  She is the lady sitting in the front row to the far right.  I won't even ask where Rose is.  Perhaps, she took the photo.

         I do know the names of the rest of the people in the photo but haven't figured out their exact relationship to Peter Joseph. I'm guessing cousins!  Their last name is Wittayer (Wittaner) -- the same as Peter and Emil's mother's maiden name but I need the connector to our tree (probably a sibling of Peter's mother).  Confused already?  I guess I need to do a bit more "staring" and a lot more research!

Thursday, April 4, 2013


      I am always afraid that I am going to run out of topics to discuss on my blogs.  Of course, if you asked my husband and kids, they would say that it was impossible for me to run out of things to say!  I guess my worry is due to my finite collection of photos. I always like having a photo with my post. So, what happens when I have utilized my entire collection. I forget, however, what other gems I have besides the traditional  photos of ancestors.

      A perfect example is this photo above of a note written by either my Grandma Theresa or perhaps even her mother, Theresa Homrich Nebgen.  On the page is listed all the descendants of Sebastian Homrich.  You see he married twice (his first wife died the day after giving birth to their 3rd child).  Sebastian then married Anna Simon, who gave birth to 14 children (including a set of twins).  Great Grandma Theresa was one of those twins along with her sister Josephine.  I always thought it was interesting that Theresa died six years and one day after the death of her twin sister.  

    This paper was filed in our family bible and I received it as the family bible was passed down to me.  It was a huge treasure find and started off my genealogy research of the Sebastian Homrich family very nicely.  It probably saved me many hours of research.

    Okay, maybe I need to do a bit organizing and planning and then won't have to worry about running out of topics!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


                      Don Sherlock and Theresa Nebgen Sherlock , circa 1949

Monday, April 1, 2013


       I was researching on Genealogybank.com and found this photo in a copy of the Morning Star (Rockford, Illinois newspaper) from Sunday, January 30, 1944.  Okay, first of all, the above photo is my photo since the photos in especially old newspapers are awful!  I think they more resemble ink blot tests than actual photos! So, if the newspaper had a good copy of the photo, this is what it would have looked like.

       Caption under the photo (from the newspaper) -- Charles Sherlock [yes, Grandpa Charlie], Cary Grant and Warren Douglas [the guy on the far left is cut out of the newspaper photo]  are shown above in a scene from "Destination Tokio" [don't they have spellchecker?], the Warner Bros. drama of the Tokio [yes, their spelling , not mine] attack, which will be presented at a half-million dollar war bond premier at the Coronado theater, together with a Camp Grant stage show, "Khaki Kapers" on Feb. 10.  Tickets for the show are being issued with each war bond sold at the Coronado theater.  Up to last night 900 of the 2,500 seats had been sold.