Saturday, August 10, 2013

Uncle Heinrich Margheim, I Never Knew You

Last weekend my husband and I attended the Colorado Family History Expo in Colorado Springs. I ate up every word spoken in his classes by James Tanner, Genealogist in Mesa, Arizona and author of Genealogy's Star blog. James is a wonderful resource for keeping up on developments at the rapidly changing FamilySearch.org. While listening to one of James's presentations, I got the idea of gradually transferring all the data in my RootsMagic database into the Family Tree at FamilySearch.org. My purpose for this is to preserve it for my descendants, who I'm sure will not update or even open my database after I'm gone. But someone down the line in the future may find it on FamilySearch. I also have my family tree on Ancestry.com but one of these days I will probably delete it and manage only one online tree.   

To follow up on my new plan, I signed into FamilySearch Tuesday evening, August 6. I quickly began attaching Records to my ancestors, starting with my Margheim family, since I was born Mary Rebecca Margheim. I discovered that family members or changes had been submitted to Family Search by two different individuals besides me: (1) Lisa Hagner and (2) SchenemenCharleneRenee1.

Before I went to bed (who could sleep?) I sent an email to Lisa Hagner asking about her identity and relationship to 'my' Margheim family. I grew up knowing my grandfather John L. Margheim (1900-1978) very well and had heard mention of each of his brothers and sisters. 

To my amazement, as I checked my email from my ipad late Tuesday evening, August 6, after writing to Lisa H., I found a letter of inquiry from Charlene West-Scheneman. The same name I had just read two hours earlier at the Family Search site! This is the opening of Charlene's email: "Hello, I am working on my family tree in FamilySearch and found that some of the info I am needing was entered and completed by you." Now I could have written those same words to HER the same evening! 

I knew the George Jacob and Katie Margheim family who is shown in this family portrait:
My grandfather is the youngest, shown above in the front center. 

My heart nearly skipped a beat as I was reviewing the family members listed on FamilySearch because they included a Heinrich, born August 6, 1891, died June 8, 1892. That had to be wrong! I'd never heard of a Heinrich in this family, nor had I ever heard of a son dying as a one year old child. 

When I visited my Dad yesterday I asked him if he ever heard that Grandpa Margheim (his father) had an older brother who died as a one year old. He had not. The reply I got by email this morning from the Lisa who had listed this child in the family told me she got the information from two other public family trees on Ancestry.com.  

I didn't have time to follow up on that today as I was busy teaching a Family History lesson to teenagers at our church. But this evening that was my top priority. Before I went to the trees on Ancestry.com I did a Google search for Heinrich Margheim. Related links led me to FindAGrave where I found a listing for all of the Margheims in the Milberger (Kansas Cemetery). I can't tell you how surprised I was when I saw a listing for Heinrich "Henry" Margheim, born 1891, died 1892. This information is added to his memorial and is very significant: "Death Records for Milberger Lutheran Church
Janet Laubhan Flickinger
(transcribed by Janet Flickinger) has an entry that reads: Heinrich Margheim (sic, they used the German spelling), died June 8, 1892. Child of Jacob and Maria Kath. Winter (geb Kunz) Margheim. He was born Aug. 6, 1891."
So he was real. I digested this information as my husband and I fixed our dinner this evening. After eating, I went back to the paragraph from FindAGrave and re-read it carefully. I also finally added Heinrich to my database and entered the paragraph into the personal notes for Heinrich. 


Another surprise!!! "geb Kunz" was translated "born Kunz". Well, what do you know?! Does this tell me that my great-grandmother Mary Katherine Winter Margheim was born a Kunz? This story is just full of surprises. Does anyone else in the family know this? Can it really be true? It must be, as it was recorded in the church register at the time of her infant son's death. I'm employed as a Parish Administrator in the local Episcopal church and regularly make entries into the Parish Register. When death information is added, it is provided by family members. 

So now I have a lot more research to do on the Kunz family. That's going to have to wait for another day.
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