I recently went through a file which came from my dad’s house, labeled “Kircher Genealogy.” In it was a photo copy of the letter I have transcribed below, written on the stationery of Stella Olcott as shown in my transcription. But it seems from other papers in the file, that there are two related letters. One is a type-written letter from Thelma Van Alsytne to “Dear Aunt Agnes,” dated February 22, 1965. The second paragraph of the typed letter says “One of the things I have been wanting to do is to send you a copy of a letter from Stella Olcott that came to us in January. I’m just wondering if you may have asked her about our ancestors. If so, perhaps she meant to write this information to you…”
The second letter which is undated, appears to be written in the hand of Stella Olcott to “Dear Agnes” in which she says “Thelma Van Alstyne wrote me that she sent you a copy of the letter I wrote her, in answer to her request to know something about our grandparents…”
I infer from this that my grandmother, Agnes Bradley Kircher, might have written to Stella Olcott, requesting information on the Kircher family, Agnes’ in-laws, and perhaps Stella got mixed up in her correspondence and thought Thelma was the one asking about the family. Regardless of who asked the questions, I am glad I have the snippets of family history presented below.
I have transcribed the letter as written. The footnotes are my educated guesses, based on my research, as to who Stella is referring to. After the completion of my transcription, I have written some notes and ideas for further research, should any Kircher or Frühauf descendant wish to follow up.
Jan 4, 65
1055 North Kingsley Drive
Los Angeles, California 90029.
Dear Thelma: When I say Grandfather it will be your Great Grandfather.
Grandfather’s grandfather was of the educated or intellectual class, but his son married a commoner, uneducated woman. Had 2 sons. When grandfather was a small boy his father wanted to show him off to his father so with the boy walked (I don’t know how far nor where to). A snow storm came up. The father took off his coat and put it on the boy. The father caught cold which developed into quick T.B. and he died. The grandfather helped the mother raise the 2 boys and when my grandfather was old enough sent him to college. He had a silver dueling sword. A college relic. It was given to Uncle Gustave. He gave it to your grandfather I think. [Aunt Helen doesn’t remember having seen it, though. T.]
During that 1st year in college my grandfather’s mother married a commoner and maybe Grandfather didn’t do too well in college, however being a good reader, when he visited us he brought a history of one of the French-German Wars to read.
However his grandfather was disgusted & did nothing more for the boys.
Some way, Grandfather became a dressmaker and his brother a tailor.
Grandmother was a commoner and worked as a servant for Emperor W’s mother. She was born in Berlin.
When she and Grandfather married they lived in Hamburg.
Mother told me these things so long ago I am not sure of them. From here on I am sure.
Both Grandfather & his brother had some rentals. One of the many French-German wars was in the air. GrandF & his brother & the husbands of two of Grandmother’s sisters discussed going to America. Those 4 men and some (I don’t know how many) others decided to go. They got their money into cash, bought their tickets, Grandmother had a baby. Grandfather knew some people who had gone to Rochester, being (at least thinking) he was the boss of the group he said they would go to Rochester, a commercial city. [my pen has gone dead). They got the tickets were leaving at Hamburg. The day they were leaving government men came to draft any man over 21. The men gave the tickets to the wives, told them to get on the boat and that they would not show up until the boat had left Eng. A sail boat they were on the water 6 weeks. Grandmother’s baby died & was buried at sea. When they moved to the farm in walking distance from Lake Ontario Grandmother would fix picnic lunches for them, but she never went to the lake.
While they were on the boat some of the men were farmers & had heard of the fine farm land in So. Illinois & decided to go there. Grandmother’s 2 brothers-in-laws were among these farmers. So when they reached (I have got a pen) N.Y. the farmers bought tickets to S. Ill. Grandfather said to Grandmother “You will never write to them.” She never did. Grandmother’s name was Fruauf (? sp) means Early up. Mother did not know what the brother-in-law’s names were.
Grandfather & his brother bought apt houses. Did well with their tailoring. But grandfather, having drunk beer in Germany, got to drinking hard liquor. When sewing machines were invented, they either had to buy a sewing machine or get land. Neither knew a hoe from a spade, but Grandmother wanted to get Grandfather away from the drink, so told Mother to tell her Father to get a farm. Mother said she wouldn’t do it. She didn’t want to be a (I have forgotten what she called farm people, not hillbillies, but something like that). But in Germany anyone who owned land was some body. Having no idea how to pick land, Uncle Chas & Julius said he got the stoniest 80 in NY state.
Then the Civil war came on. Grandfather had left Ger. to escape war, he wasn’t going to fight in U.S.A. So he paid $300.00 for a substitute. It was then they knew what it was to be hungry.
From there on I guess you know it as well as I do. If there are any other questions ask them. Oh yea, I guess I’ll tell one more thing. When they moved to the farm Grandfather got to gambling, then some Lutherans had a revival in the school house. Grandfather went joined the church, never drank nor gambled after that, went to church every Sunday & Grandmother taught a S.S. class. The whole service was in German. When Grandfather (after Grandmother died) came to Kansas for a winter my father said “Stella wouldn’t you like to take Grandfather to Vassar (about 3 miles north of Lyndon) there are 2 German churches there.” “Oh yes” said I. On the way I asked Grandfather which church he wanted to go to. “Oh it doesn’t make any difference” said Grandfather. “In one the reacher wares a white tie, in the other he wears a black tie.”
Yes that is all.
Will answer the rest of the Xmas card next Xmas.
Love, Stella Olcott
My hand has a little arthritis that’s why my writing is so scratchie.
This is the end of the transcription. Below are some brief notes about further research:
Also in the file is a transcription of a record, written in German, translated as follows:
“According to the statement of the baptismal records in the Sophien Church, a daughter was born to the shoemaker Mr. Samuel Christian Frühauf by his wife Dorothee Friederike nee Althof on the eigth of June in the year One thousand eight hundered twenty-two at 4 a.m. She received holy baptism on the 23rd of August and the names Wilhelmine Rosine Auguste. Baptismal witnesses were: 1. Shead? Shittag 2. Frau Bangerman 3. ??? Petzoldt This is hereby certified to be authentic and lawful. Berlin the 27th of January 1848 and the first preacher in the Sophien Church”
I have begun to research in some German church records I found on FamilySearch.org and found an index record for a christening on 8 May 1825 at the Sophien Church in Berlin for Marie Amalie Freuhauf, daughter of Christian Samuel Freuhauf and Marie Dorothee Althoff. https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/NF7J-329?from=lynx1 Another record from what appears to be the same church is for a christening on 25 January 1824 for Johann Samuel Freuhauf, son of Joh. Christian Freuhauf and Dorothea Friedericke Althoff https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/NF7J-N82?from=lynx1
I do not have the original records, but it may be that these people are siblings of my great-great grandmother, Wilhelmine Rosine Auguste Frühauf, and might be “Grandmother’s 2 brothers-in-law” (or the sister who is married to the brother-in-law) who went to farm in Southern Illinois. I think it would be worthwhile to search for a marriage record for Marie Amalie Freuhauf and see if she and her husband could be located in southern Illinois in the 1850s or 1860s and to see if Johann Samuel Freuhauf might also have become a farmer in Illinois.
I would also suggest searching in family trees on Ancestry and FamilySearch to try to locate researchers looking at Freuhauf family members. And DNA testing may prove fruitful in finding additional family members.
I would like to thank Melissa LeMaster Barker, Terri O'Connell and Shannon Combs-Bennet from The In-Depth Genealogist for their comments and suggestions about my transcription and further research.
 Stella Olcott, born 9 August 1881, is the daughter of Anna Kircher and Elisha Olcott.
 Thelma is Thelma May Wooster VanAlstyne. Her mother was Stella Mae Kircher Wooster. Stella Wooster was the daughter of Charles Conrad Kircher, born 21 Jun 1852, and Frances Abelone Springer (my great-grandparents.) Stella Wooster is the youngest sister of my grandfather, Charles Arthur Kircher’s.
 The “Grandfather” Stella Olcott refers to in this letter is her maternal grandfather, Carl Conrad Friedrich “Charles” Kircher, born 17 Nov 1821 in Germany and died 1 February 1899 in Webster, Monroe, New York
 I think this is Fredrich Kircher’s father (see footnote 5 below) but I have no idea what his name is.
 I believe this son must be the father of Carl Conrad Friedrich “Charles” Kircher (CCFK). CCFK’s father was Friedrich, born circa 1792 in Germany (ProbSonderhausen, Kr. Sonderhausen, Thueringen, Germany. I have a baptismal record which states "On the seventeenth of November one thousand eight hundred and twenty-one --- 17th November 1821 --- a son was born to the ??? Friedrich Gottlieb Kircher by his wife Elisabetha nee Schonemann. He was baptized on the 9th of December and was named Carl Conrad Friedrich. That this corresponds with the church-book is dutifully witnessed. Sondershausen the 18th January 1848
 I believe this is Gustave Kircher, born 17 Nov 1860 in Monroe County, New York and died 24 March 1935 in Los Angeles, California. Gustave was the son of CCFK and his wife, Wilhelmina Rosina Augusta Freuhauf Kircher.
 This would be Charles Conrad Kircher, “Uncle Gustave’s” brother
 The note in brackets appears to be in a different hand, and given the “T” at the end of it, I think Thelma wrote this note. The Aunt Helen she refers to is Helen Louisa Kircher Hilfiker, daughter of Charles Conrad Kircher and Frances Abelone Springer Kircher.
 This woman would be the wife of Freidrich Gottlieb Kircher. Her name was Elisabetha Schönemann
 “Grandfather’s” brother is Julius Kircher, born circa 1824 in Germany/Prussia and died 16 August 1863 in Rochester, Monroe, New York
 “Grandmother” is Wilhelmine Rosine Auguste Frühauf, born 8 June 1822, daughter of the shoemaker Mr. Samuel Christian Frühauf
 Anna Kircher Olcott
 This child was born 6 April 1848 in Mittenwalde near Berlin. She received holy baptism by deacon Federmann of St. Moritz Church and given the name Agnes Emma Laura
 I believe this refers to the farm on Basket Street near Webster, Monroe, New York
 I presume this refers to a Sunday School class
Mary Kircher Roddy is a genealogist, writer and lecturer, always looking for the story. Her blog is a combination of the stories she has found and the tools she used to find them.