Brief update on Joseph Ortmann

So far, my attempts at finding more information on Joseph Ortmann (EDC's great-grandfather) have come up short.  I exchanged emails with a very nice man at the Jersey City Public Library, but he was unable to find any further information on Joseph's death.  He did say that obituaries were fairly uncommon until the mid-20th century.  He gave me information on how to order the death certificate, since I know the date and place; I'm going to do that and hope that it gives his place of birth.

I also joined the Hudson County Genealogical Society, and conversed with some very nice people there.  I discovered that the webmaster of the HCGS site has a Joseph Ortmann in his family history, but we quickly figured out that they were not the same person :(

So, I went back to familysearch.org and decided to take a kind of backwards approach -- since I'm pretty sure Joseph's father's name was Augustus, what could I find searching on Augustus Ortmann?  I found two possibilities, and am asking for help on following these on several of the German email lists (requiring me to write messages in German, which always winds up giving me a headache . . . ).  I found an "Augustus Wilhelm Ferdinand Ortmann" who was born in Brandenburg, in a year that fits the time frame, but no christening records suggesting he had a son named Joseph.  Brandenburg is near Pomerania (Pommern), where Joseph said he was from, but it's not in Pomerania itself.  We'll see if anyone there comes up with anything connecting Joseph and Augustus -- since it's relatively close, perhaps Joseph was born in Brandenburg then moved to Pomerania at some point?  The other one is a very long shot, because that Augustus is in Westphalia, which isn't near Pomerania at all.

I do feel hopeful about the Brandenburg one, in that two of Joseph's sons were called "Augustus" (the first son -- named after his grandfather?) and "Wilhelm," though that could be just a coincidence, I guess -- 

I did find Joseph's Navy enlistment record during the Civil War -- which gives the interesting information that he was 5'5" and had hazel eyes, light hair, and light complexion -- wish we had a picture!!  Anyway, here's the record:





He's 12 lines up from the bottom.  Hope you can read it.

I forgot to mention that when I was at the conference in Sacramento, I was passing by the table where the "Daughters of the Confederacy" were giving out information.  When I paused for a second, they asked whether I had any Civil War ancestors.  I said yes, but on the Union side, and they said that was fine, they could sign me up for the "Daughters of the Union Army" too.  I realized, when I thought about it, that Devin could be a member of both groups (well, Sons of . . .) because through his dad he has an ancestor, Louis Fate Earthman, who served in the Confederate army, along with his great-great grandfather (Joseph) who served in the Union Navy.  Pretty interesting, right?  You Ohioans might have the same situation through the Johnson family . . . 

I'll keep searching!  I just ordered four microfilms from the LDS Library in Salt Lake City that have Lutheran church records from Bremerhaven -- hoping to find more information on Grandma Sophie Berneburg's family, the Langers.  I'm looking forward to seeing those microfilms!




 

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