walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

This Week in Genealogy

Great-Uncle Elmer and his lovely daughter continue to be a source of awe and astonishment. I wish Elmer had been my grandfather. He's way cooler than either of mine was. But family is ever thus. Also, with her help I now have a pretty good idea what happened to all of the descendants of that grandmother siblings.

R. called his dad and talked to him a little, getting more names. This allowed me to definitively identify some of his family in the Canadian census so that's cool, altho the American side continues to confuse me.

I stumbled across another Abbenhouse, with a marriage certificate witnessed by my great-grandfather Abbenhouse and my great-grandmother's brother Poldervaart. No way in hell is that a coincidence, but that branch of the family seemed to be missing records in Genlias. After a wild goose chase to the Amsterdam Stadsarchief, I realized I really ought to be looking in the Gelderland Archief, which turns out not to have a separately searchable database -- but which has not yet entered anything other than marriage records and a few death records into genlias. In sum, the mysterious C. Ph. Abbenhouse left no dribbles in genlias for me to find, because he was neither married nor died in the Netherlands.

Weirdly, as I was trying to piece all this together, I stumbled across a Jennie Abbenhouse that I initially mis-identified as another hypothetical sibling (or cousin or other kin). It didn't dawn on me until after I looked at some really screwed up dates that I was actually looking at Mother Abbenhouse. You _really_ have to wonder about a woman born in 1848, leaving behind a married daughter, to follow her two sons to the US in the very early 1900s. But she did, and she lived into her 80s (her husband substantially predeceased her). Can't have been much fun for her over here, tho. I have left a message with my cousin who was raised by an Abbenhouse daughter (her grandmother) in hopes she's got some stories to pass along. It's weirdly like trying to listen hard and hopefully hear an echo of some sound made long ago. Mother Abbenhouse died right around the time her son she was living with (my great grandfather) was getting a divorce. Doesn't there have to be some family legend lying around about that? Perhaps this is the kind of thing that is mercifully forgotten 80 years later.

Wonderfully, the sons of C. Ph. Abbenhouse are still alive, nearly a hundred each, and each have had numerous descendants some of whom I found on facebook. So, yet another branch of the family found. One of them regularly writes letters to the editor at the Seattle Times.

Oh, and as a result of my husband's Quebecois ancestry, I'm stuck deciphering cursive baptismal and marriage records. In French, obviously. It's a weird sort of miracle that by the time I started this project, I had at least _some_ facility in all the languages I have needed to be able to read.
Tags: genealogy

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