Showing posts from September, 2013

Signing off for a short while (I hope) --

Well, dear readers, I'm off to the hospital tomorrow for knee replacement surgery. I'll probably be in the hospital for three days or so (until Sunday), but then I hope to be back and posting soon, because there's lots to tell you about.  Here are a couple of teasers:

1)  I heard from the webmaster of the Erkeln website!  He wrote me a long email with lots of interesting information and other people to contact.  Seems there are still a few Ortmanns connected to Erkeln and to us, no doubt.  I'll give all the details in a few days, I hope.

2)  We have a kind of Y-DNA mystery, maybe, that could be very significant.  It involves a possible "non-paternal event," and I'll leave you with the job of figuring out what that is, until I'm able to post again.

3)  I've gotten farther back in the Ortmann line; though it's not documented yet, we are into the 1600's!  

4)  I've heard from a cousin in Erkeln!  Her name is Magdalena (last name not Ortmann),…

Further thoughts on Joseph, Erkeln, Brakel, etc.

I woke up at 6AM today, "too exthited to thleep," as the little boy in the Disneyland commercial says, and of course I was thinking about Joseph Ortmann and Erkeln and Brakel and so on.  One thing I was contemplating was the names -- in looking for Joseph in various locations, I was paying attention to the first names I was seeing, because often children were named for grandparents or other relatives and so on.  Interestingly, though Joseph's father's name was Conrad (and he was named for his father, Conrad), none of Joseph's sons has Conrad as a first or middle name.  His first son was Augustus J. (J = Joseph, I assume), but I see no Augustus anywhere in the family trees.  The second was Joseph Bernard, and Bernard comes from both sides of the family -- Joseph had an uncle named Bernard, and Annie's father was Bernard.  His third son was Herman Henry -- don't know where the "Herman" came from, but Joseph had a brother named Heinrich (Henry) and…

And one brick wall comes DOWN!!!

Well, the Joseph Ortmann story has suddenly broken wide open, everyone!  If you remember, I recently discovered the date and place of his death (June 10, 1911, in Union, New Jersey).  Having joined the Hudson County, New Jersey, Historical Society, I was advised by my new fellow researchers there to send away for his death certificate, in the hope that it would list his birthplace.  So I did, and it came today.

I was so nervous as I opened it!  I forced myself to read it slowly, bit by bit,taking in the information.  We see that his birthdate is recorded as July 27, 1848, but if we look at the other evidence, for example, his enlistment in the Navy during the Civil War, this can't be right.  If he was born in 1848, then his enlistment papers should have said he was 16 years old, but the papers actually say he was 20.  In 1864, he was much closer to his birth age than he was in later years, so believing he was correct in stating his age as 20 at that time makes sense.  I think it…