Sunday, February 26, 2012

German Language Class - Learning more than words!

Guten Tag!

So, last month, I signed up for a German language class with the intention of learning some German to help with reading genealogical records and for another potential future visit to Germany.  After I met our instructor, a German-born retired teacher in his 70s (who couldn't quite give up his teaching, as evidenced by this class!), and explained why I was taking the class, he was interested in hearing about my German ancestors.  Excellent!

First, I asked about the term "Pfründnerin" that was listed as the occupation of my 3x great grandmother Maria Margaretha Bauer at her death.  He did a little research and found that these were people who lived in a Pfründenhaus, a church-run home for the elderly and invalids.  They also took in widows and orphans, often as workers, and at the time, Maria was a widow.

After that first success, I told him about the Harburg bible and brought printouts of some of the bible pages as well as the loose papers from the bible to class:

Loose Papers from the Harburg Bible
I also sent him the link to the German bible page on my web site so he could see some more of the bible itself.  My teacher said this of the bible:  
It is an original full Luther-Bible, which came out for the first time in 1534, printed by Hans Lufft of Wittenberg. He reprinted it several times afterwards until 1584, selling something like 100,000 copies within these 50 years, a truly astronomical figure for those times. 
 That agrees with much of what the folks at the Smithsonian had to say as well.  :)


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Ancestry Connections

I may have just found some 7th and 8th cousins out on via my 7x great-grandparents, Johann David Steinbrenner and Anna Maria Breunig.  That is, if I did the family math right - I've never tried that distance before!  Assuming that the tree owners on are the home people in their respective trees*, then I may have found an 8th cousin and a 7th cousin once removed. 

My friend Shannon sent me a relationship chart to help work out the connections; I also found a different chart which gives a cool mathematical formula and has one more row & column!

* Which is an assumption - I just spent a good bit of time moving a lot of my cousins' family into a separate tree, with their father, my aunt's husband, as the home person, since I found a lot on his relations and have had several contacts with cousins of my cousins who aren't my cousins.