22 Oct 2013

Mapping 1890 German Ancestry is Tuesday’s Tip

Today’s post is about mapping 1890 German ancestry in the U.S. There are more Americans of German extraction living in this country today than any other ethnicity. At least seven million German natives emigrated to the United States between 1800 and the present. Most arrived between 1840 and 1914, with peak immigration to America in the early 1880s, as was the case with my German ancestors. Driven by limited opportunities in German-speaking countries of Europe, many emigrants settled in the Midwest, large cities in the East, the state of Washington, and parts of Texas and California.
Using data from the now-lost 1890 census, the map above shows relative population density of “natives of Germanic nations” across the U.S. Twenty individuals or more per square mile are the darkest areas; the lightest color shows fewer than one-half per square mile.
Cities and areas with sizable Germanic populations established German-language schools, churches, clubs and fraternal organizations, theaters, cemeteries, […]

13 Oct 2013

Nineteen Living Descendants of Oetzi the Iceman

Remember Oetzi (or Ötzi, if you prefer), the Copper Age Tyrolean Iceman, whose 5,300-year-old frozen body was found in the Austrian Alps? Thanks to ancient DNA, nineteen living descendants of Oetzi the Iceman have been found in the Tyrol.

Discovered in September 1991, Oetzi was named for the place where he was discovered, in the Ötztal Alps on the border between Austria and Italy. Scientists estimate Oetzi the Iceman lay undiscovered for 5,300 years.

The EURAC-Institute for Mummies and the Iceman uses minimally invasive “investigation methods, such as computer tomography, nanotechnology, molecular and biological approaches, as well as ancient DNA research.”

It’s that ancient DNA research that’s so cool to us genealogists. Scientists compared Oetzi’s genome with modern European populations and discovered 19 living descendants in the Tyrolean region of Austria. Yet, most interestingly, they believe the Iceman was most closely related to men from Sardinia and Corsica.


22 Jun 2013

Obituaries from Chicago German-Language Newspapers for Gottfried Hann

Today’s topic is obituaries from Chicago German-Language newspapers for Gottfried Hann (1861-1896), my great-grandfather, as I continue trying to read 19th-c. German without actually knowing any.

Gestorben: Gottfried Hann, geboren am 2. May 1861 im Ladis, Tyrol, 35 Jahre alt. Gestorben am 17. Oktober 1896. Hinterlasst Frau und zwei kinder. Beerdigung findet statt Montag, den 19. Oktober. Nachmittags 2 Uhr. von 21 Dayton Str. Tyroler und Vorarlberger Verein Chicago. F.A. Mathis, Sekretär. Daniel Kulin, Pres.

Died: Gottfried Hann was born on 2nd May 1861 in Ladis, Tyrol, 35 years old. Died on 17th October 1896. Leaving his wife and two children. Burial will be held Monday, 19th October. 2 o’clock in the afternoon. [Funeral party leaving] from 21 Dayton Street. Tyroler and Vorarlberg Club Chicago. F.A. Mathis, Secretary Daniel Kulin, President.

(I left the Victorian hearse ad in there because it’s cool. Gottfried’s family couldn’t afford a get-up like that. In fact, he was buried in a rented grave and when they family couldn’t pay, they buried him deeper and resold the plot at Saint Boniface Cemetery in Chicago.)


30 Dec 2011

Remembering Frieda Hann Loe (1896-1979)

Remembering Frieda Hann Loe, who was born 115 years ago today at 93 Webster Avenue in Chicago, Illinois.

Her Austrian father, Gottfried Hann, died two months before she was born. Her Swedish mother, Anna Lovisa Larsdotter Hann, raised my grandmother and two older siblings with the help of her sister, Hedda Larsdotter.

I found a baptism record for my grandmother in the parish records of St. Teresa’s Catholic Church, where she was baptized on 31 Jan 1897 as Friderica Carolina Martha Hahn.

Finding this record helped me with my Austrian brick wall because her godfather was her uncle, Ehrenreich Hann, who, unlike his brother, lived a long life and prospered in Chicago as a saloon owner.

Finding this record helped me with my Austrian brick wall because her godfather was her uncle, Ehrenreich Hann, who, unlike his brother, lived a long life and prospered in Chicago as a saloon owner.

Although she was raised […]