Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – Your 16 Great-Great-Grands

It is time again for Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – thanks to Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings. Somehow by the time Saturday night rolls around, I’m much too tired to assemble one of these — but they’re just as much fun on Sunday afternoon, when I have more brain cells available.

1) List your 16 great-great-grandparents in pedigree chart order. List their birth and death years and places.

2) Figure out the dominant ethnicity or nationality of each of them.

3) Calculate your ancestral ethnicity or nationality by adding them up for the 16 – 6.25% for each (obviously, this is approximate).

4) If you don’t know all 16 of your great-great-grandparents, then do it for the last full generation you have.

5) Write your own blog post, or make a comment on Facebook or in this post.

Well, I’m missing 3 of my 16 great-great-grandparents still, but it’s safe to assume they’re all Puerto Rican, so without more ado–

16. Eloy Diaz y Gotay (8) was born at Penuelas, Puerto Rico, USA. He married Edwigés Yrigoyen y Márquez de Diaz (441).

17. Edwigés Yrigoyen y Márquez de Diaz (441) was born circa 1869 at Puerto Rico, USA.

18. [Belen’s husband, surnamed Silva, is unknown as yet, but most likely Puerto Rican.]

19. Belen Fernandez (498) was born circa 1870 at Puerto Rico, USA. She married Silva (953).

[20 and 21 are missing but can be safely assumed to be Puerto Rican.]

22. Marcelino Gonzalez (1003) was born at Naguabo, Puerto Rico. He married Petrona Valentin y Roman (1004) at Puerto Rico. He died before 15 Apr 1910 at Naguabo, Puerto Rico.

23. Petrona Valentin y Roman (1004) was born circa 1860 at Puerto Rico.

24. Lott J Tierney (635) was born on 15 Aug 1833 at Clare, Ireland. He married Margaret Connell (496) on 27 Nov 1860 at St. Mary’s Church, Lowell, Middlesex, Massachusetts, USA. He died on 9 Apr 1915 at Dayton, Montgomery, Ohio, USA, at age 81.

25. Margaret Connell (496) was born on 1 Aug 1835 at Tipperary, Ireland. She died on 6 Dec 1918 at 1526 Richard, Dayton, Montgomery, Ohio, USA, at age 83.

26. John Kelly (684) was born on 24 Nov 1840 at Tipperary, Ireland. He married Johanna Leahey (75) circa 1865. He died on 16 Feb 1905 at North Union St, Union City, Randolph, Indiana, USA, at age 64.

27. Johanna Leahey (75) was born in 1848 at Tipperary, Ireland. She died on 9 Aug 1894 near Union City, Indiana [but I don’t know which side of the Ohio-Indiana state line].

28. John Kohl (693) was born in Aug 1840 at Hesse Darmstadt, Germany. He married Gertrude Berg (580) circa 1867 at Germany. He died on 5 Jan 1903 at 320 W North St, Springfield, Clark, Ohio, USA, at age 62.

29. Gertrude Berg (580) was born in Feb 1843 at Hesse Darmstadt, Germany. She died on 14 Apr 1908 at Springfield, Clark, Ohio, USA, at age 65.

30. Philip John Weyrich (812) was born on 17 Feb 1844 at Hesse Darmstadt, Germany. He married Mary Engel (397) on 20 Dec 1870 at Dayton, Montgomery, Ohio, USA. He died on 10 Jan 1906 at Dayton, Montgomery, Ohio, USA, at age 61.

31. Mary Engel (397) was born on 15 Jul 1851 at Dayton, Montgomery, Ohio, USA. She died on 1 Dec 1919 at 1232 Xenia Ave, Dayton, Montgomery, Ohio, USA, at age 68.

…. for a grand total of 50% Puerto Rican (16-23), 25% Irish (24-27), and 25% German (28-31). Which I could have told you before doing this exercise, but as Randy points out, it’s nice to have your tree published so searchers can turn it up.

The numbers in parens in the list are each individual’s ID in my TMG database.

Finding John KOHL (1840-1903)

Early in my genealogy career, I ran into a third cousin (hi, Craig!) who was a gem with sharing information and photographs. This naturally inclined me to pay more attention to our shared line, the TIERNEYs. When I turned my attention to my grandmother’s German lines, I was feeling distinctly intimidated (maybe it was the umlauts). And as my mother reminded me, KOHL is KÖL in German (the city of Cologne begins with this syllable, I’m told) and can be transliterated as COLE or any number of things. Eek! (Need I add that I’ve never studied German?)

I had been reading quite a lot of what Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak had to say, and she mentioned Progenealogists more than once. I was curious about what a pro could deliver, so after doing my due diligence, I engaged them for a four-hour “taster” project, namely, finding John KOHL‘s parents.

I supplied the information I had to that point, which was death certificates for John’s two oldest children, the household’s appearance in the 1880 and 1900 censuses, and (my gem) spotting them on the 25 Jun 1872 passenger list for the Hansa, via All the sources were unanimous in placing them in Hesse Darmstadt, but nothing more specific than that.

The wait for the report seemed endless (but was delivered in the time frame promised; it wasn’t late. Waiting is just hard!) It was educational, both for what was searched, what wasn’t searched that I had found in the intervening weeks, and (best of all) the suggestions for further research.

In short, the strategy was to locate the record of the death of John KOHL. Ohio’s state collection of death certificates, Clark County probate records, county histories, and the available cemetery transcriptions all came up empty. They did find a record of the death of his wife, Gertrude BERG KOHL, and succeeded in narrowing the window for John’s death from 1900-1910 to 1900-1904.

Their recommendations for further research were to look up Gertrude’s obituary and investigate Catholic church records in the hands of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. In the interval, I had found the RB Hayes Presidential Library and their obituary index, and the Clark County library came through with the obits of both John and Gertrude. Alas, no more specific information about their origins came with them. So I turned to their second suggestion, writing the Archdiocese, and after another breath-holding wait, I had a grand pile of photocopies, some quite faint (and annotated with apologies by the archivist). Buried in someone’s baptismal record was my answer:

Kimbach, Darmstadt, Germany.

Speaking of buried in records, those photocopies have found somewhere in my house to hide. I keep slashing at mounds of paper, and the recycling bin gets fuller and fuller, but I haven’t turned them up since I started working through Dear Myrtle’s monthly organizational checklists. I found the empty envelope, today, so I know I’m not just imagining it!

My next stop was where their pointer to navigating the Meyers Gazetteer has me staring at a location in Google Maps and thinking “Hmm!”

But then, there’s a reference in the HESSE-L mailing list that there are four separate Kimbachs in Hessen, so perhaps I’m not done yet.

Edit: I found those papers and turns out my memory was bad. That’s the origin of a different German ancestor! Clearly there’s a new post to write.

Written for the 16th edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy.