Oh, the frustration -- Part 1

Every genealogist feels frustrated now and then (or maybe all the time!), which is why it's so exciting when a breakthrough happens, as it did with EDC's great-grandfather, Joseph Ortmann.  While solving that puzzle (where he came from in Germany) is wonderful, I still experience big frustration on the other side of the family -- the Berneburg/Langers.

My (one and only) cousin, Marianne, sent me some wonderful pages that her mother, Hilda Berneburg, had put together on that side of the family.  It gives some great names and dates -- Grandpa Berneburg's family names, birth and death dates, locations, and so on.  I've copied all the information I can into the family tree on ancestry.com.

But, while it's wonderful on more recent history, it hasn't helped me get farther back.  After getting  this information on the Berneburgs in Hannover, I hit a dead end.  I don't think I ever wrote about the charitable foundation I discovered in Hannover -- the Berneburg Foundation!  I thought that these people must be related to us, so I sent an email to the director of the foundation, wondering if anyone would know the family history of the Heinz Berneburg who started the company that led to the foundation.  He sent me a very gracious reply, saying he didn't know, but he would pass my message on to the nephew of the founder, to see if he knew.  I never heard back from the nephew.  Here's why I think we're related:  first, the rarity of the Berneburg name, and second, the founder, Heinz Berneburg, made his fortune in street-paving, an asphalt-works, and so on.  Could it not be more than a coincidence that Andreas Berneburg, EDCM's great-grandfather, was a stone-setter? 

The Berneburg Foundation in Hannover

I think that Heinz Berneburg was of a younger generation than Andreas Berneburg -- Heinz started his company in 1889, and Andreas died in 1898.  I'm assuming that Andreas was older when he died, but then, maybe not, since Grandpa Berneburg was born in 1884.  In any case, the possibility exists that they could have been cousins, or Andreas and Heinz's father could  have been brothers -- something like that.  But until I break through with some actual records, this will all be speculation.

I wish the nephew had contacted me, but I guess when a multi-million dollar foundation is involved, he probably thought I was some kind of gold digger.  Oh well.

We have more Berneburg/Langer mysteries, but I'll save them for another day.


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