Ancestry.com was my “drug of choice” (figuratively speaking). Some folks spend hours on their Smart phone; many individuals play Sudoku or work crossword puzzles. I spent hours documenting the Frantz family, and collateral lines, on Ancestry. Morning til night; I’d think I’d just “do” for a couple of hours but there was never a stopping point. This could not continue because I have genealogy to scan and publish to the Internet. I have a garden that has been neglected. Laundry has piled up!!
“Cold turkey”; I’d go “cold turkey” off Ancestry! For two days, I focused on all the things on my “to do” list. On Friday, August 11, 2017, I watched the interview of Ruby Bridges on the 700 Club (Christian Broadcasting Network). Here’s a link to that interview; I encourage you to watch: Ruby Bridges and the William Frantz Elementary School (https://www1.cbn.com/ruby-bridges-shares-key-overcoming-racism). My curiosity was tweaked about “William Frantz Elementary School.” Who was the man behind the name? I did a Google search. Lots of information about Ruby Bridges as she was the first to integrate the previously all-white elementary school. I read information on figuratively dozens of websites but found nothing about “William Frantz.”
“Detective Shirley Homes” jumps into action. Next step: Search Ancestry.com. “William Frantz” is a familiar name; hundreds of potential matches. I used the guesstimate of 1880 for a birth year and narrowed the search to New Orleans, Louisiana. I focused on residential directories because occupations are often listed. I was looking for a teacher. There were listing that identified “jeweler” but I skipped over them. Hours searching Ancestry and I was no closer to the answer I was seeking.
Talking to myself (permissible for an old lady?): “Lorraine, check Google for a link to a library in New Orleans.” That was effortless. Yes, there were many replies to my query for William Frantz. Only catch: I had to subscribe to a newspaper website to read the information. Out came my credit card (I was “in it to win it”). I lost track of the number of newspaper links I opened, visually scanned, and rejected. Later I found “Vice President William Frantz” mentioned when “Mayor Dedicates Lakeview School” newspaper article dated 4 Dec 1915. I was finally on the right trail. I “got the hang” of the website I had subscribed to, and narrowed my search. Suddenly I had several hundred newspaper articles to review. (So much for going “cold turkey.” True, I wasn’t spending hours on Ancestry but I was spending hours doing research.)
Armed with the information I gleaned from newspaper articles, I returned to Ancestry and successfully located–and documented–William Frantz, his wife, and children. He owned a successful jewelry business but devoted time to school and civic projects. His dedication to the community led to the school named for him. At this point I state that I am proud to bear the same surname. However, the search proved we are from two separate “family trees.” William, and his parents, immigrated from Wiebersville, Lorraine, France in 1857. My ancestor, Michael Frantz, immigrated from Germany arriving at the Port of Philadelphia 30 Sep 1727.
The information I found during my research was added to William Frantz on my Ancestry Lorraine Frantz family tree. I felt I made a contribution to my Digitized Library of Family History website. “Yes,” I had problems attaching the information; I tried multiple routes. “Sources” and “accuracy” are extremely important to me. I went to a public computer to check the links.
Here’s the SAD NEWS. I paid to access all the newspaper information. While checking and double-checking data, I discovered you, the reader, will be forced to subscribe to GenealogyBank in order to read the details. I spent three days researching with the intention of sharing the information “free” to fellow researchers–and the World Wide Web. GOOD NEWS: You can subscribe to GenealogyBank “free” for thirty days. Check William Frantz and then cancel??
With the best of intentions, I attempted to go “cold turkey” from Ancestry. To my credit, I wasn’t “doing” Frantz, Brubaker, Crist, Ebersole, Flory, Metzger, and other collateral lines. I had an insatiable appetite to learn details about a man named William Frantz, a man who seems to have gotten lost in history.
“Tepid turkey”: I’m spending less time on Ancestry.com.