I have bits and pieces on one branch of my family gathered by my father’s first cousin, Thelma. She sent Dad a packet of information including copies of letters and other random documents. Few of them have any sources attached. With some, a little research may lead me to the source. With others, all I have is a (poor) photocopy of a clipping, maybe from a newspaper, or perhaps from some other source. Some items are translations from German-language documents, with no indication the translator’s identity.
The genealogy professional in me cringes at the lack of sources for these documents, but the great-great granddaughter in me needs to share with my siblings and cousins the tiny bits of information I have about our intrepid ancestors who braved an ocean voyage to settle in a land where they didn’t speak the language and came with only a few resources. They bought land and started businesses. They raised families, and educated their children. Because of their courage and tenacity I am where I am and who I am today.
I only recall meeting Thelma once. She was a sweet and kind lady. The summer after I finished graduate school, my husband and I set off from San Rafael, California on an epic 10,000 mile trip across the country, and one of our stops was in Webster, New York, Thelma’s home and my paternal grandfather’s birthplace. I didn’t want to impose so Mark and I headed to Thelma’s for dinner only after setting up our tent in the local campground, knowing she couldn’t insist too hard that we stay the night with her if it would mean leaving our belongings unattended overnight. As we drove into the campground after a lovely dinner and a skunk crossed our path, I had a twinge of rethinking our strategy. What were we in for?!!!
Alas, I was young and foolish and not the least bit interested in genealogy. Oh, if only we’d agreed to stay the night and I’d had the chance to hear all the family stories Thelma had to share…
Below is one document from Thelma’s packet to my dad. A 17-line faded clipping written in German, printed in gothic type accompanies the translation. It appears to be the obituary of my great-great grandfather, Johannes Springer.
“Brother Johannes Springer of Kappeln, state of Bavaria, died in Liverpool, New York on October 3 in his 42nd year. The one who passed away looked for and found about 14 years ago the forgiveness of his sins by the blood of the Lamb. Also, since then he has been a devout member of our church, beloved and respected by everyone in the community. Sickness over the years had a few times before brought him close to death. This time nerve fever caused his death. He lived as a Christian and endured his burden as it is expected of a believer. He passed away peacefully and blessed in Christ Jesus. His widow, three minor children, four brothers and sisters, and many relatives mourn his death. May the Lord comfort all with his healing grace.
A note on the page beneath the translation says “Above is the translation of the German account of Great Grandpa Springer’s death. Louise Sutter has the original clipping.”
What I know and what I have discovered so far:
I will continue to research this family and share what I discover with my family and friends I welcome input from any cousins who want to join in on the fun!.
 Cemetery listing for Liverpool Cemetery, Liverpool, Onondaga, New York found at http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~nyononda/CEMETERY/Liverpool_Cemetery.html Note, the FindAGrave memorial 23987756 for him lists a death date of 3 October 1864, but he appears with his wife and three children in the 1865 New York Census in Salina.
 1865 New York State census, Onondaga County, New York, Salina, p. 36, dwelling 281, family 284, John and Margaret Connell; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 14 August 2016); citing Census of the state of New York, for 1865. Microfilm. New York State Archives, Albany, New York. Note, although “Frank” is identified as a male, she is actually a female, my great-grandmother Frances who later married Charles Conrad Kircher of Webster, Monroe, New York.
 1870 U.S. census, Onondaga County, New York, population schedule, Salina, p. 13 [penned], dwelling 110, family 110, Louisa Springer; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 30 April 2017); citing NARA microfilm publication M593, roll 1061.
 Cemetery listing for Liverpool Cemetery, Liverpool, Onondaga, New York found at http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~nyononda/CEMETERY/Liverpool_Cemetery.html
 "United States Census, 1880," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MZXK-96L : 14 July 2016), Nicholas Springer, Liverpool, Onondaga, New York, United States; citing enumeration district ED 193, sheet 235B, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 0906; FHL microfilm 1,254,906.
The Gift That Keeps on Giving
In 1999, stuck for thinking of a Christmas present for my father, I sent him a letter, a tape recorder and some blank tapes. The letter contained, among other things, a list of questions I wanted to know about his childhood, family, education and more. (Who exactly was this present for?? I was putting him to work, filling cassettes with stories he could send back to me!) But Dad filled several tapes with stories and I transcribed them. From time to time, I’ll share some of these stories. My siblings have the book I transcribed of all these stories, but perhaps my cousins and others would enjoy reading them.
It seems appropriate to share this story today, 6 March. My grandfather, Charles Arthur Kircher, passed away on 8 March 1952.
In Tom Kircher’s words…
“In Tiburon, Bobby Williamson always had a slogan for anything – “a stitch in time saves nine,” “a job begun is half-way done” and all that kind of stuff so now we’re into the business of a job begun.
It’s hard to figure out just exactly where to start, but one of the things about the questions you asked about my childhood and growing up and stuff, it has to start in, say, three different places – one of them, I think, is in Webster, New York, and you have to kind of understand what kind of a guy Charlie Kircher was.
He was a farm boy. His father was a farmer and they had orchards and they did their chores before going to school and I think he was probably one of the few guys at his age that was able to finish high school and he was bright enough to do that. He had one brother and two sisters and I think they were smart enough, too, but Daddy got out of high school in Webster, New York in 1898, I think, and went on to Dartmouth and graduated from there in 1902.
He was able, because of his grades to obtain a scholarship to Dartmouth. I don’t know whether it was a full scholarship or a partial. Among other things, he had a job to do on the campus, and that was to ring the bell for chapel in the morning to wake everybody else up to go to chapel, and he had to do the ringing. He then lived. He then lived off campus, I think, in a house that was a…that had a woman by the name of Emma Hahn, and she was his “other mother” and he spoke of what a lovely lady she was. And there are pictures in the album of Emma Hahn.
I’m sure as we continue on from time to time, I’ll b referring to what kind of a guy Daddy was, and how he did different things. I know that in later years when I spoke with Mary Frances, she sure had a good memory of the quirkiness and the clever wit and the twinkly eyes that Daddy had on certain occasions.
But being a farm boy, you had to be everybody, you had to do every single thing. You didn’t call the plumber. You didn’t call the electrician. As a matter of fact, when you were a farm boy, there was no electrician, you were still living with oil lamps, and he didn’t learn electricity until he came to San Francisco, to Marin County, probably, and became a homeowner and had to learn electricity. But when he was doing those things, he did it in the way a farm person would. You’d do it yourself, get your friends to help you, or your parents and get it done. So that’s the kind of guy he was.
He was, as you know, a pretty strict Methodist, that’s the way he was brought up. Said his prayers and sang the hymns. Years later he knew all the words to every hymn that I ever heard – most of them I didn’t hear either.”
I will share more of my father’s stories about his family in the coming months.
 I believe this to be Robert L. Williamson, son of Richard and Adna Williamson. The Williamson family was enumerated two households after the Kircher family in the 1930 US Federal census at Year: 1930; Census Place: Sausalito, Marin, California; Roll: 177; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 0044; Image: 352.0; FHL microfilm: 2339912
 Charlie Kircher was my father’s father, Charles Arthur Kircher, born in Webster, Monroe, New York in 1879 to Charles Conrad Kircher and Frances Abelone Springer.
 Irving Henry Kircher (1882-1974), Helen Louisa Kircher (1888-1970) and Stella Mae Kircher (1889-1958)
 I have Charlie’s diplomas and he graduated in 1897 from Webster Union High School, and from Dartmouth in 1902
 Out of curiosity on 27 February 2016 I looked on the 1900 census for an Emma Hahn in Hanover, Grafton, New Hampshire. I could not find any Emma Hahn. I could not find anyone by the name of Hahn that seemed to fit, living in Hanover. I did find an Emma Barnes who was a 42 year old widow in 1900 and ran a boarding house (Year: 1900; Census Place: Hanover, Grafton, New Hampshire; Roll: 946; Page: 17B; Enumeration District: 0060; FHL microfilm: 1240946) and also ran a boarding house in 1910 (Year: 1910; Census Place: Hanover, Grafton, New Hampshire; Roll: T624_861; Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 0087; FHL microfilm: 1374874) so perhaps my father was mistaken in his memory that her name was Emma Hahn.
 Mary Frances Kircher was my father’s oldest sister, born in 1909.
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.