Thursday, April 12, 2012

Curiosity won - and So did I...

Quite often I get frustrated with using online trees, particularly those on but I continue to use them for clues. And sometimes you get lucky if there are sources attached, which doesn't happen all that much.

At the time I was checking these trees last week, I already had a record of Dietrich's baptism but decided to click through to see what the record was because it looked like a different source than what I had.

I was surprised to see an image. Other records of baptisms I'd seen on ancestry were like the above but without images. I was a bit disappointed because it appeared to be the same document in my files. But I clicked on through anyway.

The above is a portion of the page. The entry for Joh. Dietrich is 3rd from the bottom. Looking at it closely I noticed that his sponsors were different than the record I had. The copy I already had shows the sponsors to be Dietrich Schadler and wife while the sponsors for Johannes (just above Joh. Dietrich) were Joh. Schwenk and Regina! This is apparently another transcription of the records. But how could I know which is correct?

The other thing I noticed, which I've circled in red in the above screen shot, is the number of images for this record set. Curiosity got the better of me and I started “jumping” through the images a hundred at a time. Image 150 looked like a journal or diary as was image 250. But image 350 displayed baptism records written in German Script! I had landed on baptisms for the year 1758 so started going back 20 pages pages at a time. Image 310 was for August 1751 so back one more page and there in the lower right corner was the entry for Dietrich! How cool is that!!

Above is a portion of image number 309 with the year 1751 at the top of the page. The entry for Dietrich is on the second line. It shows that his parents (in the first column) are Michael Hofmann and Maria Engel. The second column shows Joh: Dietrich born 22 June baptized 21 July. In the third column are the sponsors Dietrich Sch├Ądler and wife. No, I don't read German but this was, luckily for me, quite legible. And of course, having the transcriptions helps.

If you have an ancestry account and are logged in you can click on this link to get to the full image. There are two pages per image and Dietrich's entry is at the bottom of the second page.

This is part of a larger collection of “Pennsylvania Church and Town Records, 1708-1985” which ancestry added and which Randy Seaver wrote about in January. Being a little more curious, today I took a look to see what all was in the Montgomery > New Hanover > New Hanover Evangelical Lutheran set. You have to have an account to view the images.

A List of Baptisms from 1740 to 1825 as they appear in the records of the congregation. New Hanover Lutheran” begins with Image 1.

A Diary or Journal begins with Image 141 which is dated 1865 Cheltanham, Montgomery Co. Pa. I didn't take the time to determine the writer. It begins in 1865 and goes through 1893. There were names written throughout. The first few lines of the first image: 6th mo 8 oh 1865. Our wedding day, were married at Germantown Meeting. A warm tho. pleasant day. A good many friends to dinner, more to tea, about 50 beside our family. Our bridesmaids and groomsmen all went home with us and spent the night. They were Enos Laikin and Mary Ann Imes, William Taylor and Mary A. Ogborn, Morris Ogborn & Susan Leattergood.

Miscellaneous Documents starting with Image 267: Permission to microfilm, then documents relating to the incorporation of the German Lutheran Congregation. Some documents in German Script, later ones in English.

Baptism Records in German Script begin with image 280. They start in 1744 and continue through 1878. Marriages begin with image 683 and go from 1809- 1882.

Deaths start with Image 721. The year 1886 is on the first image and 1884 on the last of 10 images so they aren't in any kind of order.

There's a bit of the history of the congregation, lists of Members and Communicants 1855-1919, Baptisms of Infants 1885-1912, Marriages 1887-1912, Burials 1886-1913 with a notation on the last page that there were “500 funerals at New Hanover to date”, more Communicants 1906-1921.

There are 20 images of German Script dated from 1744-1765 appearing to be congregation history and old records as well as several pages of signatures (in German) dated 1765-1790. And finally, Miscellaneous Records in German Script 1766-1796 (marriages, lists of trustees).

It's truly amazing the various types of records found in this data set. Most of them are of no use to me since my ancestors were gone from Pennsylvania by the late 1790s but what I found there (the baptism record of Dietrich Hoffman) is absolutely fantastic!

Published under a Creative Commons License.
Becky Wiseman, "Curiosity won - and So did I," Kinexxions, posted April 12, 2012 ( : accessed [access date])

1 comment:

Carol said...

OHHH, Man, I am gonna have to have a lookie see! LOL