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Archive for the ‘Ancestry’ Category

I spent part of last weekend in Frederick, Maryland, at the Schifferstadt architectural museum. Though I had never heard of it until a year or so ago, it turns out to be one of my many, I presume, ‘ancestral homes.’ It was built (1756/1758 ish) by the son of my seven-times-great grandfather, Joseph Brunner (Josef Bruner? there are various spelling permutations), and named after the German town in which he was born and from which he left for America. (The lineage, for those who care, is Joseph, Jacob, Johann Heinrich, Jacob, Elias, Othneil Sr., Othneil Jr., Haver, Haver Lyall, Marsha, me.)

The house is now preserved as an architectural museum, and as such is in a permanent and intentional state of disrepair (so one can see the way it was built and how it has been renovated), but is still a nice site to visit for general historical purposes. (And if architecture is your game, I have to assume it’s flat out awesome.)

As a descendent let me just say that it is decidedly odd to walk in the house your ancestors built over 200 years before you were born – years before the American revolution in fact. A picture of me leaning against a wall upon which my great great great great great uncle Joseph has scrawled something in old-german is self-evidently surreal.

(I attempted to include some pictures but it would appear that since my last image upload, yet another of the interminable ‘upgrades’ to the wordpress system has occurred. I’ll upload the pictures as soon as I figure out why it’s not working this time.)

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Odd coincidence.

In a combination of continued historical mindedness and absolute mind-crushing boredom, I started fiddling around with my Family Tree program this evening.  It’s a copy of the family history as assembled by the McMillan family, so it’s lopsided and has gaping holes which I felt like trying to plug.  Since all that is available to me is the internet at the moment, I did some searching around.

Lo and behold, a copy of the biography on my great grandfather, Haver Bruner, was recently sold on Ebay-Canada for $20.  Even being an antique buff, I somehow never expected to see a copy of that book for sale.  (I have one, so it’s not like I’m shopping for it.  I just didn’t expect to see it.)

Anyway, not much happened as far as online research goes.  The holes in the Family Tree are currently so large that I need access to my grandmother’s historical records so that I can flesh out the information before I try tracking anything down.  Typing in the names of 80 year old plains-state residents doesn’t get you very far on the internet.

Who knew?

Anyway, here’s the cover of the book via a shamelessly stolen auction photo.

Mr. Broadwater

He died when I was 53 days old.  No wonder he feels like such a completely distant stranger, though he was actually my mother’s grandpa.

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