Monday, September 30, 2013


"Who's on first ... What's on second?   I inherited a bunch of photos from my Grandpa Charlie's years in the movies.  Some of the photos are stills from actual movies while others are publicity shots for individual movies.  Some of the photos are labeled as to the name of the movie and the actors shown in the photo, while others give no information.  So my job is to be able to identify the actors and the title of the movie.  I am trying to compile a book of these photos for my family and all this information would be very helpful.  Since I am also on a quest to watch as many of Grandpa Charlie's movies as possible, I am thinking that watching the movies may also solve some of my photo mysteries.

Over the weekend, I watched a "mini" marathon of Abbott and Costello movies, focusing on the ones that Grandpa Charlie had a role in.  I watched "In Society" (he played a policeman), "Here Come the Coeds" (he played the assistant sports announcer), and "In the Navy" (he played one of the marines on the ship).  So far no scenes like the photo above.  Then I watched "It Ain't Hay" which I doubted would be the candidate but I was wrong!  Grandpa Charlie plays the bouncer for the loan shark that Abbott and Costello are visiting for a loan.  It was so great to hear Grandpa Charlie's voice again.

I am really loving this old movies.  Let's see, which one to watch next?

Friday, September 27, 2013


                                                                 1961 in Los Angeles

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


                                Anthony Schmidt and Josephine Homrich Schmidt

Sunday, September 15, 2013


I have had this photo for about 12 years and always thought that it was the photo of my great grandfather (Peter Joseph Nebgen) with his siblings and his parents.  Since I knew his brother Nicholas was older than him, I assumed that he was the tall fair haired young man in the back row (the taller one).

I have another photo of 4 siblings with some names written on the back.  It read, "Uncle Clemenz, Uncle Emil, Uncle Pete and Aunt Maria.

Since my great grandfather was Peter Joseph, again, I assumed that he was "Uncle Pete" with his siblings. Only two of the siblings, Nicholas and Peter, immigrated to the US so they are the ones that I have the most information about.  The obituary for Peter's mother Anna Wittayer does mention that she had 7 children, but 2 of them died before she did in 1919.  I assumed that the 2 children died as babies.

I have a cousin Bernd, who lives in Germany, and his wife Susanne not only does family research but she graciously shares the information with me (otherwise I would be totally lost on the Nebgen family history).  So, with the information from the 1890 census of Duisburg that she sent me, I realized that I had been mistaken about my photos and my assumptions!

According to the 1890 census, there were 5 children living with Anna and Balthazar --
1. Peter (born in 1863) -- making him the oldest
2. Peter (Clemenz) -- born in 1867
3. Emil - born in 1876
4. Maria - born in 1880
5. Joseph Laurentius - born in 1884.

They have 2 other sons -- Nicholas who immigrated to the US in 1885 and my great grandfather Peter Joseph, who immigrated to the US in 1887.

So, let's re-visit that 1st photo -- Nicholas and Peter Joseph are not in that photo.  It was probably taken some time between 1886-1887.  Nicholas was in the US and Peter Joseph was either serving on a naval ship or also in the US.    Now, photo #2, that Uncle Pete in this photo is the eldest brother Pete, not my great grandfather Peter Joseph.  They could have made it easier by not naming all the boys Peter!   My last assumption about two of the boys dying as babies.  Incorrect, too!  You are probably not surprised by now!Nicholas died in 1915 (at age 50) so he was one of the children who died before his mother.  The other one was Joseph, who probably died in 1917 during World War I (found some records on this).

Lesson learned is "don't make assumptions without all the facts!"

Tuesday, September 10, 2013



Continuing on with my Genealogical Travel Bucket List , #4 would be Wirges, Germany.  I should have noted before that these aren't in any particular order (most important to least, alphabetical, close to far, etc.). Wirges is a collective municipality, located in the Westerwaldkreis District of Rhineland-Palatinate in Germany.  There are about 10 local municipalities within the collective municipality of Wirges, including Dernbach, Bannberscheid, Staudt, Helferskirchen, Leuterod, Moschheim and Wirges.

Most of the roots of my German family history originated (or at least to how far back I can go now) within these municipalities.  My 7th great grandfather Christian Hommerig was born in Moschheim as was his son (my 6th great grandfather) Johann Adam Hommerich.  The family then moved to Wirges, where my 5th great grandfather Christian Hommerich was born.

Christian's wife Anna Christina Hober (my 5th great grandmother) was born in Staudt, Germany.  Both of her parents, Johann Hober and Sophia Maria Sabel were also born there. Anna's paternal grandparents, Gregarin Hober and Maria were also born in Staudt, as was Gregarin's father Oster Hober (my 8th great grandfather).  The cemeteries of Katholische Friedhof Wirges (in Wirges) and Katholische Maria Himmelfahrt (in Helferskirchen) are the burial locations of a great many of my ancestors.

So, how could I not want to visit this place -- basically the birthplace or ancestral homeland of my German roots?  Now if I could just figure out a way to combine this pilgrimage to the homeland with a river cruise on the Rhine River, I would be thrilled!

Thursday, September 5, 2013



Continuing on my "Genealogy Travel Bucket List", I head back to the United States and to the town of Byron Center in the Kent County, Michigan.  In 1847, my 2nd great grandfather Sebastian Homrich (see above photo) immigrated to the US from Germany.  He was 17 years old at the time.  Sebastian married Catherine Herzeg and they had 3 children.  Catherine died after giving birth to the 3rd child, who didn't survive either.  Then in June 1863, he married my 2nd great grandmother Anna Simon in Byron Center, Michigan. I consider Sebastian the Patriarch of the Homrich family here in the US.  Sebastian and Anna had 14 children, including my great grandmother Theresa.

Sebastian was a farmer during his many years in Byron Center. I would love to see his former property, where Theresa grew up with her many siblings. Sebastian and his family attended Mass at Saint Sebastian's Catholic Church in Byron Center. I would definitely want to visit the church as well as the church's cemetery, where a lot of my ancestors are buried.  Sebastian and Anna are buried in Mt. Calvary Cemetery in Grand Rapids, so I would need to make a trip up to Grand Rapids, too.

My great grandmother Theresa Homrich Nebgen is buried in Chicago.  Hmmm, wonder if that is going to be my #4 location?

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


Last week, I started creating my "genealogical travel bucket list" of places where either my ancestors lived or traveled to.   Continuing on that list today, #2 is County Meath, Ireland.  While I have visited County Mayo on my trip to Ireland last year, I did not get the opportunity to visit County Meath. Grandpa Charlie's mother's family (the Chambers) were from County Mayo, while Charlie's father's family came from County Meath.

According to my Dad's cousin, the Sherlock ancestors lived in Lady Rath and then later in Demailestown in County Meath.  I located both of these town lands on a map.  They are very close to one another.  They are west of Drogheda, east of Kells and north of Navan and Kilmessan.   According to the cousin, there are Sherlock family members still living in County Meath.  I would love to not only meet these relatives but also see the house in the photo below.  I believe that is where my Great Grandfather Edward Sherlock grew up.  The problem is I don't know if this house is located in Lady Rath or in Demailestown, which I guess mean I need to visit both places.

In the above photo, is the property of another of my grandfather's cousins.  I think some serious research is needed before taking this trip but how wonderful would it be to step on the former property of my ancestors  ... to see the house that my great grandfather lived in as a child (hoping that they haven't torn it down since 1961) ... to meet fellow Sherlocks, Caffreys and Everards (new ancestor name given to me by my cousin)?