19 January 2015

Cemeteries in Mulhouse, plus my new website

Yesterday I took the kids on a very rainy day to do some searching for dead relatives in cemeteries in Mulhouse.

From my research I had found that the old cemetery of Mulhouse had now become Parc Salvator, even though I thought that some of the graves remained. No, I was wrong. There were none. All the headstones had been removed, and I have no idea if all the occupants have been reinterred at the new cemetery, or whether there were some left in situ. Perhaps if I understood French I would know! So after getting to Parc Salvator and finding it a wasted trip, with the rain and all, I decided we would head home.

Of course, I got us lost on the drive home (I have a good map but I can't read it while driving, and I'm not sure of any of my kids' map reading skills), and ended up very close to the new cemetery, so I made the decision we would go after all. Serendipity!

We found a lot of family buried there, and we didn't even finish exploring before the kids' whinging got the better of my searching and we headed home.

Which brings me to the reason I wanted to see the graves: I have a new Weiss family website which I am working on. It covers my ongoing research into the Weiss family of Mulhouse, and brings all the information I have on each individual together. I hope there will be many people across the world who find the information I have put together useful. And now there are some photos of graves on the new website too!

See here for the new website: The Weiss Family of Mulhouse.

08 January 2015

Using a wildcard to search

A couple of days ago I was doing some research on Samuel Christian Frederic Baumgarten and accidentally discovered an extra child!

It turns out that Samuel Frederick Baumgarten was Samuel and Mary Baumgarten's first child - they were married on June 6, 1751, and he was born on March 4, 1752. I cannot find any record for what happened to him, but neither can I for most of his siblings, and can only assume that they died young.

But why hadn't I found him before? I'm pretty thorough with my research after all.

Spelling. The surname was spelled differently.

I've found Baumgarten transcribed as Baumgarton before, as a result of how they wrote the letter "e" in those days - which can these days be misconstrued as an "o". In this case though, it was recorded with an incorrect spelling - "Baumgerten", which could well have been transcribed as Baumgorton but amazingly wasn't! You can see the way they wrote the letter "e" below.

I found him by using a wildcard when searching for Baumgarten references. A wildcard is a symbol used to represent one or more characters. Usually the symbol used is a "?" or a "*" or a "%". On the off-chance that there might have been different spellings I used "Baum*" in my search, though usually I have used "Baumgart*" as I never expected them to get the second "a" wrong! And I accidentally discovered Samuel Frederick Baumgarten as a result.

So, if you're up against a brick wall, can I suggest you use wildcards in your searches. You never know what surprises you might uncover!