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Posts Tagged ‘Spiegel’

Before Facebook there was the Cigar Maker’s Journal

August 1st, 2010 Comments off

cigarmakersjournal It is pretty amazing when you think about how we keep in touch with friends and family today. It is equally amazing when you think that social networking sites have only been around for a few short years. The "Internet" came about in the early seventies, but was not until the mid-nineties when most of us began to first touch the internet through access to the world-wide web (WWW) and email. Before that people wrote letters to each other, but that only worked if you had someone’s address and there was not a way to search for someone before advent of search engines such as Google. Yet that is not entirely true… Recently while searching Google Books for an ancestor of mine I ran across a primitive form of social networking known as the Cigar Maker’s Journal (Cigar makers’ official journal, Volumes 27-29 published by the Cigar Makers’ International Union of America). This particular set covered the years 1902-1905.

I was searching Google Books for my great-great grandfather, George C. Spiegel, and very surprised that I actually got a hit. George C. Spiegel, also known as George Von Spiegel, was born in 1839 in Sachsen (Saxony), Germany and came to the USA in 1850 when he would have been around ten years old. Where his family first settled is still a mystery, but he, his wife, and young son show up in Savannah, Georgia in the US Census of 1870 where George, Sr’s occupation is listed as Cigar Maker. Sometime between 1871 and 1872, the family moved to Dallas, Texas where my great-grandmother was born in November of 1872.

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Beyond the Brick Wall

August 18th, 2009 Comments off

In my book Gathering Leaves, in the chapter titled Brick Walls and Puzzle Pieces, I talked about how I found the parents and family of my maternal grandfather’s mother, Helen Spiegel. From census records and city directories, I was able to assemble the family of my great-grandmother as it was before she married my great-grandfather in 1901, and I also was able determine what became of her parents and siblings to at least the end of the 1920s. Yet, I recently found information while visiting the Family Search Records pilot that brought into question or conflicted with some of the information that I found previously. One of the databases hosted by the Records Pilot site provides access to images of death certificates issued by the state of Texas between 1890 and 1976. Here I found three death certificates that each contained some information that was not only contradictory but also confusing.

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