In nine days, I leave for a three-week trip to explore one quarter of my ancestry. (As I read that sentence I see a lot of numbers – is there any doubt I’m an accountant?!)
My paternal grandfather, Charles Arthur Kircher, came from good German stock. All four of his grandparents came from Germany. He knew three of them, and was lucky enough to live near them into his 20s.
My dad’s cousin Thelma had done some work in the 1970s compiling some family information. Thelma had a few documents created in Germany including a marriage record, details from a couple of baptism records, and a Prussian passport from Carl Conrad Friedrich Kircher and his wife Wilhelmine Rosine Auguste Frühauf, my great-great grandparents. Their oldest son, Charles Conrad Kircher was Grandpa Charlie’s father.
Thelma didn’t have quite so many records on Charlie’s maternal grandparents, Johannes Sprenger and Caroline Louisa Hartman, and little in the way of specific locations, but she had some brief stories about her parents and grandparents growing up near Syracuse and Rochester, and names of some family members.
From Thelma’s notes I had baptism locations for Carl and Auguste. Carl’s stated location was close to the actual place and Auguste’s was spot on, down to the church in Berlin where she was baptized. In the last couple of years, I’ve done some pretty thorough detective work, and found baptism records for the other two, Johannes and Louisa.
And in nine days, my husband and I, joined by Carl, Auguste, Johannes and Louisa – in spirit (and photographs if not actual flesh and blood) – will embark on an adventure to take them back to homes they left a century and a half ago.
Meet my ancestors...
Carl Conrad Friedrich Kircher, born 17 November 1821 in Clingen, Schwarzburg, Sondershausen; died 1 February 1899 in Webster, Monroe, New York.
Wilhelmine Rosine Auguste Frühauf, born 8 June 1822 in Berlin, Brandenburg; died 8 May 1897 in Webster, Monroe, New York.
Johannes Sprenger, born 30 January 1827 in Kapellen, Bergzabern, Pfalz, Bayern (Bavaria); died 3 October 1867 in Liverpool, Onondaga, New York.
Caroline Louisa Hartman, born 3 June 1834 in Mackensen, Einbeck, Hildesheim, Hannover, Preussen; died 1 May 1905 in Union Hill, Monroe, New York.
And one more bonus picture of Louisa... I believe the above picture was taken in her "widow's weeds" after Johannes passed away. I have a tin-type showing her in happier days with one of her children. I'm not sure of the identity of baby, but I'd like to think it's my great-grandmother, Franklin Abelone, Sprenger.
Read along in the coming days and weeks as I share my plans and discoveries.
 Evangelishe Kirche, Diözese Sondershausen, “Kirchenbuch fur die Stadt Sondershausen enthaltend die Listen der Gebornen und Getauften 1821” [Church book for the city of Sondershausen containing the list of the births and baptisms 1821], p. 69-70, no. 107, Carl Conrad Friedrich Kircher, birth 17 November 1821; filmed at Staatsarchiv, Rudolstadt; digital images, “Kirchenbuchduplikat, 1813-1846,” FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/154757 : accessed 26 February 2019) > Taufen, Heiraten, Tote 1821 > image 44 of 611.
 Monroe County, New York, Transcript of Death, issued 13 June 2017, Charles Kircher, (1899 death); citing unidentified information on file; Office of Vital Records, Rochester.
 Sophien Evangelish Kirche (Berlin, Brandenburg, Germany), “Geborne und Getaufte 1822” [Births and baptisms 1822], p. 42, no. 490, Wilhelmine Rosine Auguste Frühauf, born 8 June 1822; filmed as Sophien, Berlin, Brandenburg, Baptisms Evangelish, Vol. A837, Vol. I-III, 1822-1825; digital images, “Kirchenbuch, 1712-1874,” FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/285217: accessed 26 February 2019) > Taufen 1822-1825 > image 49 of 542.
 Monroe County, New York, Transcript of Death, issued 13 June 2017, Augusta R. Kircher, (1897 death); citing unidentified information on file; Office of Vital Records, Rochester.
 Evangelish-Reformierte Kirche Drusweiler, Taufen [Baptisms], Vol. 9, 1812-1839, unpaginated, 1827, no. 10, Johannes Sprenger, birth 30 January 1827; Family History Library microfilm 1,457,537, item 8.
 John Springer, burial details, ID no. 2902, “Cemeteries,” Onondaga County, NY USGenWeb (https://sites.rootsweb.com/~nyononda/cemeteries.html : accessed 24 November 2018). Website has links to two transcriptions of Liverpool Cemetery. “Liverpool Cemetery from James” shows plot-owner information.
 Detlef Bähre to Mary Kircher Roddy, e-mail, 25 February 2019, “Re: Christian Friedrich Gottlieb Kircher 1789 birth record at Kirchenbuchamt on Hildesheimer Str.,” Personal Correspondence Folder, [(E-ADDRESS), & ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE], Seattle, Washington, 2019. Note that a Find A Grave memorial indicates a birthdate of 3 June 1836. See Find A Grave, (http://findagrave.com : accessed 7 December 2018), memorial 25418634. Louisa Bauman (1836–1905), and digital image of Union Hill Cemetery (Webster, Monroe, New York), Louisa Bauman gravestone; memorial created 21 March 2008 by Russ Pickett, photograph added by Diane Schinsing Burlee. The baptism record found by Detlef Bähre close to the time of birth is more accurate.
 Monroe County, New York State death certificate no 1905-114, Louisa Bowman; Department of Public Health, Rochester.
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.