Christmas on the German Front — 100 years ago

One hundred years ago, my great-grandfather Glenn Kaiser wrote a Christmas letter home to his mother. He had just received his Christmas box that his mother sent. Below is a transcription of that Christmas letter.

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(Click on the image above or this link to read the full letter.)

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The long life of Metta (Hagenah) Tietjen

My 3rd-great grandmother, Metta Hagenah, was one of my longest-living direct ancestors. She lived to be 95 years old, living the first third of her life in Germany, and the last two-thirds in Benton County, Missouri. This is a quick look at her life. Continue reading “The long life of Metta (Hagenah) Tietjen”

Louise’s first grade class

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“Mamma (Louise Nahrstaedt Mueller) 1st Grade in Germany 1885” Source: Mueller family photo

Autumn is in full swing already, and school is well underway. I recently re-discovered this old class photo amongst my scanned family photos. My 2nd great-grandmother, Louise Marie Nahrstaedt, was born in Sandau, Germany, in 1879. As far as I know, her family lived there until 1891 when they emigrated to the United States, settling in Chicago, Illinois. This image is a class photo from 1885, when Louise was in first grade. She is the girl circled in the front row. She seems to be very good friends with the other three girls in the front row, because they are all sitting close to each other, holding hands or linking arms. I wonder if she was still friends with them when she was 12, leaving for the United States, and if they were, did they ever have a chance to write to each other and remain friends? Would she find close school friends here in the United States? Only time will tell!

A genealogical brick wall… torn down in a few days

As I promised in my previous post, I’m excited to share what I uncovered during my trip to Salt Lake City last month. I was thrilled to finally break down this “genealogical brick wall” after so many years. Let’s start at the beginning…

My great-grandfather, George Weil, was born in 1889 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Conrad and Louisa (nee Metz) Weil. He had several siblings close to his age. His mother, Louisa, died when he was 9 years old. At this point, he and three of his siblings were sent to an orphan’s home where they were educated and grew up. When he was an adult, George and his sister Marie searched for their parents, trying to find out what happened to their father and discover more about their German heritage. Through the years, his son and grandson searched occasionally for information about Conrad and Louisa, and recently I also took up the search.

Continue reading “A genealogical brick wall… torn down in a few days”