FFF~Week #1

Ancestor: Me


  1. Going to be a new aunt in the summer of 2015!
  2. Love statement necklaces!
  3. Love to read mysteries/thrillers, the more twists and turns, the better…like historical fiction too (I read Gone With The Wind as a senior in high school in AP English)!
  4. Starting Genealogy Do-Over today and I think it will be on my 3rd-great-GF, John Ford.
  5. I’ve visited 28 continental states in the US, hoping to add New York State this summer!

Home Sources

From the NGS American Genealogical Studies course, home sources are a great place to start your research. In fact, a home source of mine is what got the ball rolling, so to speak, for my love of family history. My maternal grandfather had written out a family tree of sorts for his paternal side. I found it and it sparked my curiosity. Since then, I’ve found other important and interesting documents and pictures. Here is what is listed in the course and whether or not I’ve had success in my own home:

Diaries, Letters, Postcards: No, yes, and yes (a boxful of postcards on my Ford side).

Deeds and Wills: Not found in home documents but filed at the courthouse.

Religious records: Not found in home documents but through the church where they are held.

Organizational papers: I know ancestors were members of organizations yet I have found no documentation at home.

Military records: No actual records, but my paternal grandfather was a POW during WWII in Germany and brought home “spoils of war” (a silverware set and bayonet) that my Dad sold. He does have medals.

Photographs: A good number of them, I’d say. I’d give anything for a photo of Paul Mayer or any of the Lichtenfels.

Newspaper clippings: As you can tell from past posts, I have a number of newspaper articles. Clippings, however, I have a few of those. My paternal grandmother saved the paper from JFK’s assassination and an article about my grandfather’s POW status.

Naturalization papers: None in my possession unfortunately.

Books: The course mentions baby books or wedding books, yearbooks, address books, autographs books, etc. I have 2 books that were given to my 3rd-great-grandmother in 1828, probably my 2 most prized possessions in my family history. See pictures at end of post.

Family Bible: My paternal grandfather wrote down some family history information from a book he said was written in the hand of his grandfather. Unfortunately, I have not found that book. My grandfather was thorough, recording what he copied as being from the “scripture memoranda pages of the book: ‘Bible Readings for the Home Circle’.” I have my paternal grandparents’ Bible where my grandmother recorded where she and my grandfather were married and by whom. Other than that, I have no other knowledge of family Bibles in my family.

Current family records: NGS is referring to pedigree charts and family group sheets. I have been working on those diligently the past year or so, including noting sources, making hard copies of those sources and also digitizing them.

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Pictures in author’s possession.

This is how I discovered my 3rd-great-grandmother’s middle name!


I have no first cousins on my Dad’s side of the family as he was an only child. The first cousins on my maternal side of the family are either 10+ years older than me or 6+ years younger than me. The closest kid in age to me was my younger sister! At family gatherings, I was pretty much cast aside since my younger sister would play with the younger cousins. For whatever reason, that has always disturbed me, and I decided to write about it. And, out of the older cousins, only one was a girl who was a teenager during the 1970s while I was still under 10 years of age. Today, though, she is the closest of my cousins.

It was no one’s fault, just the roll of the genetic dice, I guess.

Caroline (Lichtenfels) (Hammann) Mayer

You might’ve noticed in my posts about Paul Mayer  and the Lichtenfels that when Paul Mayer married Caroline she had a second surname, Hammann. Caroline had in fact been married before marrying Paul, to Christian Hammann. Caroline and Christian were married 27 February 1862 in Richmond, Indiana. They had 4 children, 2 of whom survived. The two who died were listed in the local newspaper. Only one child was identified, Emma, age almost 5 at her death in August 1866. The second child was not listed as male or female, no age, died in August 1867. The surviving 2 children were daughters, Mary Otilia, born 2 December 1862, and Mary Anna, born December 1866. I am not sure what the correct birth order is. It almost seems as though Emma and Otilia might’ve been twins, then the third child was born and subsequently died, and Mary Anna was born last.

Christian was a partner in a brewery in Richmond, called Hammann & Winterling.  On the 1860 census for Richmond, I found a “Christopher” Hammann living with a John Hammann and his family plus a Henry “Winderling.” Christian fell ill with consumption and returned to Germany in 1867 in hopes of finding a cure. He died there, however, in August 1867. It is interesting to note that John Hammann died in August 1866 from cholera, as well as Caroline’s youngest sister Sarah. No cause of death was listed for Emma Hammann, but she also died in August 1866.


I must mention here that I had to look up what a Leiderkranz was. In Richmond at that time, apparently it was a Beethoven Liederkranz, a German musical group.

Unfortunately, I have found no record of burial for either Hammann child who died young. In studying the history of St. Andrews Cemetery (St. Andrews Catholic Church is where they attended), I did find out that there was a first cemetery located just south of the church, but it was soon found to be too small and the cemetery is now at its present-day site. The info, however, did not state if the burials at the first cemetery had been moved or if that small first cemetery is still present. I need to work in more time for research in Richmond!

To me, it sounds as if the mid 1860s were kind of rough for both Paul and Caroline. In my mind, they knew of one another before their respective spouses died, probably moved in the same circles in the mid 1860s, what with going to the same church and being employed in the same line of work and living in the same neighborhood. At some point between January 1868 and January 1869, they must’ve kept one another company in grief. They were married on 4 February 1869 and expanded their family to include:

Joseph Fred, b: Sept 1869 (Joseph on the 1870 census and Fred on the 1880 census), d: 1900

Caroline Elizabeth, b: February 1871, married to Henry Lennard, d: 1906

Albert F., b: December 1874, d: 1929

George William, b: June 1877 (Willie on the 1880 census, George on the 1900 census), d: 1907

Eva P., b: May 1879, married to Joseph Sauer, then Frank Egley, d: 1963

Thomas, b: May 1881 (he was 4 years old when Paul, his father, died), d: 1930

(Of note, on the 1870 census, Caroline’s daughters with Christian Hammann are listed as Otillia [sic] and Anna; on the 1880 census, they are listed as Hannah and Mary. Neither Hannah/Otilia or Mary Anna had any surviving children. Otilia’s marriage certificate to Frank Macke lists her as “M. Otillia” and on censuses with Frank she is listed as “Mary” and “Mary O.” I’m not sure where Hannah came from.)

(Of note, on the 1900 census, the last census Caroline was listed on as she died in 1902, she is noted as having had 10 children, 8 surviving.)

(Of note, I found Otilia’s obituary/death announcement! Three things: She is listed as the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Christian ‘Hammon’, went by ‘Tillie’, and her birth date was listed as 2 December 1862!)

(Of note, I’ve requested death certificates on some of the individuals above, so I might add more specific dates in the future.)

Another Brick…Busted!

I was reviewing copies of Catholic records I had requested and realized that John C. Lichtenfels’ middle name was part of his last daughter’s baptism record…Conrad. His will has a middle name of Henry. My best guess for his name would be John Conrad Henry Lichtenfels, or Johann Conrad Heinrich Lichtenfels. I mentioned that a Conrad Lichtenfels immigrated to Indiana about the same time as my John C. Lichtenfels and the family story was a younger brother immigrated with him. In doing some German research, I found Conrad’s father was Conrad who had a brother Philipp. I’m wondering if my John C. was Conrad’s cousin and his father was Philipp?

A quick search on FamilySearch.org for Johann Conrad Lichtenfels brought up a christening record for a boy born 17 July 1800 to a Philipp and Magdalena (Mueller) Lichtenfels in Langensteinbach, Karlsruhe, Baden.  I’m excited to be moving my research closer to Germany!

The Lichtenfels

Paul Mayer married his third wife, Caroline (Lichtenfels) Hammann on 4 Feb 1869, making her my 2nd-great-GM. She was born in Indiana in 1844 to parents John C. Henry and Eva (Baetz) Lichtenfels.

While at the Wayne County Courthouse getting copies of marriage licenses, I happened to check the will book for the year John Henry Lichtenfels died (1853). Lo and behold, there was his will, listing the children from his first marriage and then the children with Eva. He named a daughter Christiana from the first marriage, so I did a census check for her since her given name was a bit unusual. On the 1860 census, I did find a Christiana Lichtenfels, age 55, living with a younger Christiana (married name Goehner)! My first hunch was John Henry divorced his first wife, Christiana, and married Eva. However, I haven’t found neither a divorce record for the first marriage nor a marriage license for the second marriage. It is possible that some of this might’ve happened somewhere in Ohio as John Lichtenfels lived there for a time (some of his children were born there), but I’m not sure where in Ohio at this point. Also, my guess is Christiana Lichtenfels is the mother of Christiana Goehner as the ages and places of birth fit.

So, here is what I have thus far:



His children with second wife Eva are listed in birth order and correspond with the 1850 census. Altogether, his children were:

Gottlieb (noted as ‘Goodlove’ in the will), b: 1826
Christiana, b: 1828
Christopher, b: 1829
John, b: 1835?
Martha, no known information
Caroline, b: 1844
Peter, b: 1845
Thomas, b: 1849
Sarah, b: 1851

Birth years taken from census reports.

Son Peter was a fairly well-known gentleman in Richmond, and a biography of him was published, giving a bit of family history:

“P Lichtenfels of the firm of P Lichtenfels & Co is a native of Richmond Ind born in 1845 a son of John C and Eva Baetz Lichtenfels natives of Germany who came to America in 1833 and to Richmond in 1842 His father was by trade a baker and established the first German bakery in the city He died in 1852 and his wife in 1878 They had a family of four children P Lichtenfels was reared in his native city In May 1879 he became established in present business at 622 Main street remaining there March 1882 when his business having increased he to the Hittle Block corner of Ninth and Main streets carry a stock of $25,000 and have a constantly trade Mr Lichtenfels was married in 1872 to Josephine Giltz born in 1850 in Philadelphia of German parentage They have a family of two sons and two daughters.”**Peter Lichtenfels, History of Wayne County, Indiana: Together with Sketches of Its Cities, Villages and Towns, Volume 2, pages 200-201, Inter-State Publishing Company, 1884

Needless to say, I find the Lichtenfels interesting. A lead I’m following is another Lichtenfels who came to Indiana during the same time period. His name was Conrad, and he was born in 1797 in Germany. He lived in a nearby county and was said to have immigrated with a younger brother. I think that might have been John C. Henry Lichtenfels, but, as yet, I have no proof of that.

ETA: On the 1850 census, John Litchenfelts [sic], age 49, is listed as married to Eve, age 39, with children George, age 18 and born in Germany, and Mary, age 12 and born in Ohio, plus Caroline, Peter, and Thomas (all of their ages correct as compared to other censuses and cemetery information). This makes me wonder if George is John and Mary is Martha? If so, the Lichtenfels were in Ohio in 1838 and in Indiana by 1844. So many answers that lead to many more questions!

Research Plan, Part 2

Research Plan


I visited the Wayne County Courthouse (Indiana) today to follow up on my research plan on finding naturalization/citizenship info on my 2nd-great-GF, Paul Mayer. First, I had checked some online info where the state of Indiana has digitized and indexed these records, but he wasn’t listed. At the courthouse, they had a card file, and he was there. We pulled the naturalization book and found the above. Underlined in blue is his declaration of intention, dated 7 Oct 1859. His certificate of citizenship was granted in 1867. I have yet to find a date of immigration or a date of arrival for him, but now I have a solid date of him being in Richmond. This certificate mentions him having 2 competent witnesses. Next up, when I have more time, is searching court records (if they exist) about his court appearance and checking city directories.

I like driving to Richmond. We take the National Road, and my favorite town along the drive is Centerville. In fact, I wouldn’t mind living there!

Centerville IN: