Monday, November 25, 2013


While many of my ancestors and relatives have served in the military, there is probably only a handful who actually died while serving their country.  One of those relatives is Charles James Chambers.  Charles Chambers was a first cousin of my Grandpa Charlie Sherlock.  Charles Chambers' parents were Michael Chambers (brother of Charlie's mother Bridget Chambers) and Winifred Callahan.  Like my Grandpa Charlie, Charles James Chambers was born in Chicago, Illinois.  He was 19 years younger than my grandpa, being born on 22 December 1919.

Charles J Chambers was a Staff Sargent in the 324th Infantry Regiment 44th Infantry Division during World War II. He died on 13 November 1944, probably somewhere in France.  Charles received the Purple Heart Medal of Honor.  He is buried in the Epinal American Cemetery in Lorraine, France.  This cemetery was opened in October of 1944 to bury those Americans killed in combat in campaigns across northeastern France to Germany.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


When I visited Innsbruck, Austria at the beginning of October of this year, I brought this photo along with me on my IPAD.  I so wanted to re-create the photo -- have a photo of me under the same sign that Grandma Theresa posed under in 1961.  Well, I looked around at various spots in Innsbruck and to my chagrin I never found that spot.  Of course, 52 years later, things can look a lot different.  So, I had to settle for sign below.

Reading Grandma Theresa's travel diary, I did notice that she visited the Castle Heidelberg (received by King Ludwig I) on that trip. Since we didn't go to Heidelberg, I did not have the opportunity to see the ruins of that castle.  Instead I had the opportunity to visit on of my favorite castles (if not my favorite) the Neuschwanstein Castle, built for King Ludwig II.  It was definitely one of my top reasons for the trip and I was not disappointed. Not only is the castle majestic, but the surrounding area is absolutely beautiful.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


Typically I talk a lot about my Grandpa Charlie on this blog but not as much about my Grandma Theresa.  Well, today would have been her 114th birthday so I decided to devote this post to her.  I think she looks very glamorous in this photo.

Theresa Nebgen was born on 13 Nov 1899 in Chicago, Illinois.  She had two older sisters -- Helen and Ann -- and a brother Emil (who was just 2 years older than her).  Theresa finished her formal education after the 10th grade. According to the 1920 US census, she worked for a bank and the best that I can decipher the handwriting of the census taker, she was possibly a "switchboard operator".

Theresa married Charlie on 23 March 1918 in Indiana.  Charlie was 17 at the time and Theresa was 18.  This may have been the reason why they went to Indiana to get married vs. marrying in their hometown of Chicago.  I think they eloped and that their families were not so happy to hear the news.  In fact, the parents made the loving couple (while still married) live apart for a few years.  I believe the story goes " they were told if you are still in love in a few years, then you can live together".

Not only were they still in love a few years later, but they celebrated their 50th Anniversary to a lot of fanfare 50 years later on 23 March 1968, surrounded by family members and friends.   They would go on to celebrate their 60th anniversary in 1978 and Grandpa Charlie would die just a few months after their 65th anniversary in 1983.

While looking through my photos of Theresa, I found this one below that I just love.  It is not a great photo of Theresa but I love the emotion that is shows -- pure joy and excitement.  I don't know when or where it was taken but I would love to know the story behind it.

Happy 114th Birthday, Grandma Theresa!

Monday, November 11, 2013


Veteran Day Tribute --

I am very proud of my Dad (Donald Sherlock) and his two brothers, Edmund and Charles "Chuck", who served in the military.  Edmund Sherlock (2nd from the left) served in the Navy during World War II.  He enlisted in 1944 when he was 18 years old.  Eldest brother Chuck (4th from the left) also served during World War II, but he served in the Air Force.

 Donald served in the Army during the Korean Conflict in 1951 to 1953.  Below is a photo of him (on the right) with his section leader Keith Daily.  This photo was taken in Korea.

Happy Veteran's Day to all of those who have served in the military (both past and present -- including my nephew Wally) and a huge debt of gratitude to all of you  for your service to our country.

Friday, November 8, 2013


I am not quite sure what this is.  The above document was given to me by Susanne while I was visiting Munich.  At first, I thought it was some organization that my grandfather belonged to while he was living in Germany.  However, Peter Joseph Nebgen came to the US at age 20 and he definitely looks older than that in the photo.  So, my next guess (I always like to have several options) is that is some group he was the President of while living in Chicago. From what I can tell (with my limited knowledge of German) that it was a group that was either planning a trip to Europe or one that was encouraging people to visit Germany. ( I did figure out that there is a Secretary, Financial Secretary, Treasurer and 2 Board of Directors also listed on the photo.)  Obviously it was aimed at German speaking Americans since it is in German.  Perhaps my Great Grandfather belonged to some civic group, like Kiwanis or Rotary, and was encouraging travel to Europe.

So, here is what I do actually know -- I have found documentation of his travels to the US from Germany on three different dates.  He came to the US on 8 Dec 1888 (still trying to figure out if this was his initial visit) on the ship Waesland.  The trip was from Antwerp, Belgium to New York.  The second trip was in 1914 -- he arrived in New York from Rotterdam on 18 Aug 1914.  He traveled with his wife Theresa aboard the ship Nieuw Amsterdam.  The last trip that I found happened in 1929.  On 1 Sep 1929, he arrived in New York from Bremen.  He, along with his wife Theresa, sister-in-law Helen, and niece Rose Roemer were aboard the ship Muenchen.

So back to my research because the more I find out, the more questions that I have ...

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


While visiting Munich on my Austria/Germany trip, my cousin's wife Susanne gave me a copy of the above document.  I brought the document home and did some research.  Hamburg-America Line was a transatlantic shipping enterprise established in Hamburg, Germany in 1847.   Did my German ancestors use one of their ships to immigrate to the United States in the late 1800's?

The SS Imperator was launched on 23 May 1912 and began its maiden voyage from Cuxhaven to New York in June of 1913.  Both the Imperator and the Vaterland were in service before World War I.  The Vaterland was caught in port in Hoboken, New Jersey at the outbreak of World War I and was interned by the US.  The Vaterland was seized, renamed the "Leviathan" after war was declared on Germany in 1917 and served as a troop ship. The Imperator was handed over to the allies as war reparations to Britain and sold to the Cunard Line.

My great grandfather Peter Joseph Nebgen did immigrate to the US in 1888 but he wasn't aboard a ship from this shipping line.  So, I still need to find the connection (if there is one) between PJ Nebgen and Hamburg-America Line.

Monday, November 4, 2013


It seems like I was either traveling or packing for a trip the entire month of October. I am definitely not complaining since I loved it -- from visiting various locales in Austria, the town of Munich and places in the Italian Alps (in the first third of the month) to the beautiful coastline of Ventura and Santa Barbara and the inland valley of Santa Ynez and the darling Danish town of Solvang in the Central Coast area of California in the latter part of the month.  After all of that, I spent this past weekend in the college town of Westwood, celebrating Parents Weekend at UCLA with my daughter.  So while I thoroughly enjoyed all my traveling, it did leave little time for my blogging.  So, now my task is to get back on track.   However, before I do ...

One of the highlights of my trip was definitely visiting with family.  While in Munich, I had the wonderful opportunity to meet my cousin Bernd and his lovely wife Susanne (with whom I share a love of genealogy).   Susanne gave me two documents that I had never seen before and will share on my blog in an upcoming post. It was delightful to meet Bernd and Susanne and they gave us a fun tour of Munich, giving us the opportunity to smell the wonderful Farmer's market, hear the music from the large glockenspiel and see the historic St. Peter's Church  (the oldest church in Munich).

On my sister Kate and my road trip to Central Coastal California, we visited with my brother Mike and his wife, daughter and his eldest darling little granddaughter in the Danish town of Solvang.  Okay, I will admit that Kate and I returned to Solvang the next morning so that we could eat some of those delicious Danish pancakes at Paula's Pancake House (it's always a must stop when I visit that town).  

Kate and I also visited our cousin Julie, who we hadn't seen in 20 years and got the opportunity to meet her lovely family.  It was just one fun day after another!

Now, however, I am home and need to get back to research, blogging and creating scrapbooks of my travels or I could sit at my computer and look at my photos one more time!