Brick Wall Update

I've been thinking it's time to update my Brick Walls. The first time I posted, I posted about three brick walls, each of which have had a slight bit of progress, and I thought today I'd add a fourth.

Brick Wall 1 – The Hillinger/Senefts

This is the line I despair ever getting any further back, between name-changes, location changes, and a war that tried to wipe out anyone of this side of my family's background, it is difficult to find any records at all.

However…in going through the paperwork my grandparents left behind, I found a document proving my grandfather's date of birth—but it was not the only document attached—it also had my great-grandparents' wedding announcement, their declaration of marriage, and all of my grandfather's siblings birth records.

In the paperwork, both are listed as having been from a place that I had never heard of before, but now know a surprising amount about even though the country itself no longer exists: Galicia, or as spelled in the documents in the German, Galitzien. It wasn't a pleasant area to be from, so I can see why both families ended up in Frankfurt where my great-grandparents eventually met and married.

I've also learned that the name definitely is Seneft, and not Senft, as I had begun using at one point, though I still have found nothing else showing the name (spelled either way, really) outside family paperwork. At least, nothing that connects with a Germanic-Jewish family line. I've also learned that in Germany, the name is Hilinger with one L, not two. So that might make a difference in that search.

Still working on the names of the towns they came from, but hopefully I'll find them at some point. And once I do, I have hopes that I might be able to connect to someone with the same or similar surnames…

More on this family:
> Brick Wall Posts
* Brick Wall Ancestors
* Brickwall Updated—The Senft/Hillingers
> Surname Sunday Posts
* Hillinger
* Senft
* Kresch
* Reich
> Other Posts
* The Life of Sam Hillinger
* Visual Family Tree I – The Hillingers
* Searching for Galician Town Names

Brick Wall II – The Hansen family (from Seland, DK)

On my Grandmother Oline's side of the family, I've learned a bit more, enough to basically extend back another generation before her, but only barely. I found a census record with a Rasmus Hansen that seems to be the right age and in the right location, but I'll need more documentation to verify it. And I found a birth record for a Maren Sofie Olsen born in the right town at the right time, so I believe I have her parents as well.

And through a transcript of a chat my grandmother and her siblings had with Oline's younger brother, I have also learned that her grandfather, Maren's father, was in the US before my great-grandmother and her brother were. Along with a son. So I have more to go on there—in Minnesota, of course. But Ole Larsen isn't exactly an uncommon name—unfortunately.

I'm still looking for more information verifying Rasmus and Maren's parents, but I have started to extend my search to find more about their parents as well, now that I'm more certain about them.

More on this family:
> Brick Wall Posts
* Brick Wall Ancestors
> Surname Sunday Posts
* Hansen II
* Olsen
* Rasmussen
* Schrøder
> Other Posts
* The Story of Oline
* Visual Family Tree II
* New Discoveries
* Interview with Uncle Hans

Brick Wall III – The Park/Curran family

I've not gotten any further on this side since finding my great-great grandparents' death certificates listing their parents. Thomas Curran and Jane or Jeannie Blair elude me, despite their apparently many children, as do John Park and his wife, the former Dunlop.

I'm thinking that Robert's mother's full name is likely Mary Dunlop, as I found a death certificate for an infant that was likely my great-great grandparents' that was named Jean Blair Park (or it might have been Curran instead of Blair), so it makes sense to me that they would name another daughter after the other grandmother. But as of yet, I still don't have a birthplace for Robert beyond "Ireland," so I can't narrow down my search quite enough to be sure.

I'm also beginning to wonder if there might be a Scottish connection here, given that Dunlop is a very well-known Scottish name, but not as much in Ireland.

More on this family:
> Brick Wall Posts
* Brick Wall Ancestors
* Brickwall Update #2
> Surname Sunday Posts
* Park
* Curran
* Dunlop
* Blair
> Other Posts
* The Bordewick Family
* Four Generation Photos
* New Discoveries

Brick Wall IV – The Welsh branches

This side is still a bit less organized than the rest. For one, I've apparently misplaced the original tree I got all my information from. I'm still hoping it will turn up sooner or later. For another, most information doesn't go back more than a generation or two before my great-grandparents. And when it does, the information is limited at best.

This is my mother's mother's side of the family. It consists of three branches:

First is my Grandpa Jones's side, from Southern Wales, whom I have little about aside from his parents and his siblings:
* Benjamin and Hanna (nee Griffiths) Jones,
+ Daniel (my great-grandfather)
+ David
+ Joseph
+ Jack
+ William
+ May
+ Sophia
If I had dates for his siblings, I have lost them—I suffered a hard-drive crash a few years back, and had to re-enter everything by scratch, and no longer had the originals that listed their names.

Daniel came to Canada for a trip with some friends, and met married Eliza Howells in Vancouver BC, and only returned to Wales once that I am aware of.

Then there is my Nain, Eliza Jones, nee Howells. Eliza was one of six children of Gabriel and Selina (nee Roberts) Howells, who were both apparently born in Northern Wales, according to the records I have.
* Gabriel and Selina Howells
+ Selina
+ Winnafred
+ Hugh
+ Eliza (my great-grandmother)
+ Catherine
+ Edward

Gabriel was descended from a line of farmers and craftsmen according to the paperwork I have. His parents names were Hywel Gabriel (the Welsh use a patronymic system to name their children) and Catherine Jones. They had eight children, of which Gabriel was the oldest. Hywel's parents were named Gabriel Howel, and if my recent search is right, Gwen Evan. He is the only child of theirs I am certain of, though I have found a record for a possible second son.

Catherine's line is even less certain. I have her father listed as Evan Lewis (which seems off for the Welsh naming system, so I'm not sure what's going on there), and that her grandfather's name was Lewis (or Lewys) Edwart, who was apparently part of the Quaker movement in Wales at the time, around the time most of the Quakers came to America.

And last, there is Eliza's mother Selina and her parents, the Roberts family. All I've ever had was a picture of them, and their surnames. Except either someone remembered wrong, or there is more to the story. Selina's father's name was Hugh Roberts, and according to my great-great grandmother's death record, her mother's name was Ellen Pugh, though I had always had her listed as Ellen Griffiths according to a note I had scribbled from talking to my grandmother. I'm thinking she just got her name mixed up with her maternal grandmother. And really, that is all I have of Selina's family.

I suppose that the Howells branch doesn't quite count as a brick wall, given how much I have on them—except for the fact that the information before Gabriel's parents is so sketchy. I'm hoping to find wives and firm up links before I consider that a true line, mostly. But anyone who has any knowledge about genealogical research in Wales who would like to help me get started, I'd love to hear from you.

More on this family:
> Surname Sunday Posts
* Jones
* Howells
* Griffiths
* Roberts
> Other Posts
* The Bordewick Family
* Four Generation Photos


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About this blog

This blog is maintained by two sisters who have had a life long interest in geneology.
Mika writes here mostly about our family (Hansen, Hillinger, Bordewick, Park, etc), and her search for more information.
Shannon mostly uses this space as a place to make the many stories written about and by her husband's family (Holly, Walker, Walpole, etc) available to the rest of the family, present and future.

Our blog is named Oh Spusch! mostly because Shannon is bad at naming things. The first post I put up includes a story about the time Walker's great grandfather took his whole family out to see a play and the littlest kept saying "Oh! Spusch!" No one ever figured out what she meant by that.