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Welcome To My Blog! Family Mysteries

by: Kathe Richards

Wednesday 23 March 2011 at 5:21 pm.

Most people who do family history research find mysteries -- situations where the data is conflicting, the data is missing, or the data is confusing.  I find these to be an exciting part of doing research.  Sometimes I don't find the answers, but when I do, it's a thrill.

I'm hoping to use this space to post some of the mysteries that I'm still puzzling over.  I'll tell you what I know, or think I know, and work through my reasoning.  If I find an answer, I'll post that as well.  And if you have suggestions or answers or mysteries of your own you'd like to share, I invite you to join in.


The basic sources become known pretty quickly as we research.  There are the church records, census records, some famous internet sites, for us Texas Wends the Ben Nevis passenger list by Pastor Kilian, and the wealth of information found in the archives of the Texas Wendish Heritage Society in Serbin.  Beyond that there are cemetery records and obituaries, civil records available at the county, state, and national level, published histories, and maybe personal papers from people in your family.

The mysteries show up as I dig through these sources and find the contradictions and ambiguities.  Various spellings of names are a cause, but even more so are multiple people with exactly the same spelling.  In early church books the writing is often in German.  In older documents, even if they are in English, the writing is not what we easily recognize today.  Some people have gone by more than one name in their lifetimes.  And pastors and other official recorders sometimes make mistakes.  Mixed up dates and places cause trouble, especially when the same place has been called by several names.  How many times have you thought "That just doesn't make sense" or "I wonder what happened to him after that?"

The process of finding additional sources and untangling the puzzles is revealing and sometimes exciting.  Join me as I attempt to sort through my family mysteries.

Q3: Where can one find the highest Lutheran church pulpit in Texas?
A3: St. Paul Lutheran Church, Serbin, Texas

Q4: What is the color of the steeple roof on St. Paul Lutheran Church at Serbin?
A4: Green

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