My “dateline mystery”

Here are the comments I posted on records for two individuals in Ancestry.com. I know it isn’t important to the reader but I hasten to say “this is my journal.”

The Moore/Galeener/Underwood F.T. (Ancestry) comes closest to answering frustration I’ve experienced working with the Dresher family. Everything pointed to Catherine Dresher being a member of this family: Location, dates, etc. Most Census records only listed “Caroline.” ~~ I’m persistent; I kept searching records. Let me hasten to say, I only document “sources” because I’ve found errors on some Ancestry Member Trees. ~~ Catherine Dresher, age 18, was “domestic help” for the George Morningstar family just down the road (same page 1870 Census) from Nicholas Dresher. ~~ Reader/researcher, “sources” would be appreciated.

~~~~~~ later ~~~~~~

OK, kept searching, found her in the 1860 Census but dates are confusing. John Nicholas Dresher (1810-1878) reportedly married Margaret Siefreit on 18 Oct 1852. Catherine was born 26 Apr 1852. Right now I have to say this is a “dateline” mystery. That’s a pun because there is a Saturday night NBC-TV program titled Dateline Mystery.

~~~~~~ even  later ~~~~~~

This “mystery” holds my attention. Please note the 1920 U.S. Federal Census (see original document). It indicates she is a widow, living with her son Chester. She is 67 years old which matches other information birth data. She indicates born in Wittenburg, Germany. The immigration year is listed as 1842–ten years before her documented 1852 birth date. Help me figure this one out?!

Sometimes I have to  walk away (figuratively speaking) from Ancestry. It is so addictive; I can’t tear myself away. Then I find a “problem” and I can’t “walk away” until I’ve resolved the situation. Honestly, it is relaxing to move to preparation of a blog.

I’m thinking about contents for an article titled “Those ‘Frantz’ Women.”  While documenting on my Ancestry family tree, I find a Frantz female on every branch. I would believe I’d finished with Dresher (for example) and there would be a Frantz wife. Likewise: Arnold, Brubaker, Crist, Myers, Neff (most recent family surnames).

True: Many of these families are documented in Frantz Families–Kith & Kin. While “working in Ancestry,” I have the Frantz Families–Kith & Kin website open and I move back and forth with details.

The thought for another article “Paying It Forward.” Dozens of “cousins” provided information in the 1980’s and 1990’s for the book I edited and later published (1996). All but one of my cousins have gone to their heavenly reward. I feel compelled to advance their research, their generous gift (to me), into the twenty-first century. Fact: The sources in Frantz Families–Kith & Kin came from original research. The actual details from the families! (Likewise, all the “source” information is documented in the books [three volumes, 3180 pages].) Sadly, I find “armchair researchers” are not invested in sources, and accuracy.

Would it be egotistical for me to say my Heavenly Father ordained me for this task of documenting His children of faith–the Old German Baptist Brethren? I felt an anointing in the 1980’s and 1990’s. It was nothing short of a miracle to publish, in 1996, when I knew nothing of my ancestry in 1987. The information fell like manna from Heaven; it was a joy to open large manila envelopes and enter the details into my computer. (Material I have been scanning and posting on Digitized Library of Family History.) Then (as now) I felt driven to publish before I dropped dead. Mr. Dore M. Frantz researched in the 1930’s and 1940’s but his material gathered dust after he died. There is no question in my mind, God my Heavenly Father opened doors and led me to Dore’s research. His research could not be duplicated in the 1980’s and 1990’s (or 2017); he had first-hand information, he tramped the cemeteries and documented tombstones.

Six weeks ago, I published a blog message titled Torn Between Two Worlds. Today I confirm that I am one of “those ‘Frantz’ women” leaving an indelible mark in family history. Please keep me in your prayers because my energy is low and the heat and humidity (in southeast Texas) is high!!

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