Category Archives: Personal Family History/Research

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday – Wedding Day

Today my Aunt and Uncle celebrate their 54th wedding anniversary! Here’s a scrapbook layout with their wedding photo. (Used a scrapbook kit that I am currently working on.)

Anna Maria Who??

Although it’s way late, today’s post was inspired by Randy Seaver’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – Who is Your Third Most Recent Unknown, as well as an email I received from a lady whose husband is also a descendant of Anna Maria and David.

Rather than just a plain vanilla blog post, I decided to work this in to a project that I’m doing in my “other life” as a digital scrapbook designer. My latest venture there is into the world of Art Journaling – which I’m doing with a vintage/heritage flair.

So here’s the page I made:

Anna Maria Who scrapbook page

And here is the text:

One of my 4th great-grandmothers was Anna Maria (nee Unknown) Reinert. She was the wife of David Rienert and mother of Elizabeth Reinert who married Matthias Levengood (my 3rd great-grandparents).

Anna Maria was born circa 1765 and likely died prior to 1820. Her first name is known from her children’s baptismal records. David and Anna Maria lived in Colebrookedale, Berks County, Pennsylvania. David died between 10 Mar 1840 (when he wrote his will) and 13 Sep 1842 (when his will was proved). Early census data appears to indicate that Anna Maria died prior to 1820, and, indeed, David does not mention a widow in his 1840 will.

So who were Anna Maria and David’s FANs (Family, Associates and Neighbors)? Well the census records for Colebrookedale in the early 1800s were (loosely) alphabetized, so we can’t say for sure who were their close neighbors without looking at land records.

Most of David and Anna Maria’s children were baptised at New Hanover Lutheran Church. The surnames of Davidheiser and Gilbert appear most often as baptism sponsors. Among the Davidheiser sponsors were Henry and wife Catherinne in 1790 and again in 1794. Online trees show a Henry (1732-abt 1810) married to Anna Catherine (1735-1795). Tax records and early census records show a Henry Davidheiser living in Colebrookedale – presumably the same Henry Davidheiser that was married to Anna Catherine.

Henry and Anna Catherine are known associates (through the baptismal records) and potential neighbors (per census and tax records). They are also of the age to be potential parents of Anna Maria. Unfortunately I cannot find a comprehensive list of their children. None of the online trees include an Anna Maria; however, there is a gap in the named children where she could fit. In addition, there is no estate file listed for Henry Davidheiser in Berks County and no baptismal records have been found for his children – yet.

So the search continues and the question remains — Anna Maria Who??

As always, if you are related to Anna Maria and David Reinert or have any further information on this couple, I would love to hear from you!!

Fun with Surnames

Too many elusive ancestors caused me to need a little “creative” break. So I used wordle to create the surname collage, added a background and a couple of embellishments and voila — a surname graphic!

Brick Wall – Jacob Garber/Garver/etc born about 1800 in Pennsylvania

After finding the maiden name and parents of Mary Swavely Dilliplane, I am now down to one 3rd great-grandparent for whom I have not been able to identify either parent. This one is Jacob Garber (aka Gerber, Garver, Carver, Garvey). As you can see, one of the problems is the various spellings of the last name as recorded in various church and civil records for him and his children.

Jacob was born about 1800 in Pennsylvania, probably Berks County. He was married to Ann Campbell in 1825. They had five known daughters and one known son: Mary Ann (b. 1825), Rachael (b. 1827), Elmira (b. 1829),  Catherine (b. 1832), Harriet (b. 1836) and Samuel (b. abt 1842). Jacob was enumerated in the 1850 census in Amity, Berks, PA with daughter Elmira and son Samuel. Ann was not with the family and may have died in March of that year. The 1860 and 1870 census show a Jacob Carver in the area, but I am uncertain if he is my Jacob.

I have more detailed information about this brick wall on my website [link]. Any information is greatly appreciated!

PA Probate Records on FamilySearch — YEAH!

CRASH! BANG! That’s the sound of another brick wall breaking down!  Last evening, after clicking send on an email to two cousins who also descend from Thomas Dilliplane and his wife Mary, I went to my GoogleReader and saw the Genea-Musings post from Randy Seaver on a new database available on the FamilySearch.org website [link]. I was absolutely stunned to see that Pennsylvania Probate Records are now online since the email I had just sent was regarding getting a hold of the Berks County, PA estate file of Adam Swavely. We were suspecting that Mary was a daughter of Adam and were hoping that she would be named as such in the file.

Talk about pay dirt – this was the genealogy equivalent of hitting the lottery! Despite the Probate Records being browse-only, it was fairly easy to locate Adam Swavely’s file – all 25 pages! And yes, we now know that Mary Swavely, daughter of Adam and Esther, was indeed the wife of Thomas Dilliplane. (See my previous post on this topic [here].) And as if that wasn’t enough, since Mary died before her father, we also know the names of all of Mary’s children. There were actually twelve — which was a few more than previously identified.

And the best part is that with these probate records now available online  I am positive that additional brick walls and uncertain linkages will be confirmed and sorted out!

If you also have PA ancestors, you are going to love having these records online! Here’s the [link].

Thank you FamilySearch for hosting these records and thank you Randy Seaver for posting about them the first day they went online!