Sunday, March 25, 2012

Genealogy: Collecting dead relatives and sometimes a live cousin!


Since I was a young girl, I knew my great-grandfather’s name was Adolph Diehl.  I knew he was born in Norway and came to Chicago in the late 1880s where he married my great-grandmother Marie Westby.  I knew of their 9 children because many of them were still alive and living in the Chicago area.

It was later that I learned that Diehl was actually a German surname.  So why did my Norwegian grandfather have a German name?  I will say that it made searching records a bit easier – Diehls from Germany were not of my line.  It also made it harder – most Diehls were from Germany!

I started using computers in the early 1990s to keep track of my family tree.  Once the Internet gained popularity, I made use of it.  I found the Norwegian Census on-line for 1865 and there I found my Diehls in Kristiania (Oslo today)!
Census year: 1865
Municipality: Kristiania
Municipality number: 0301
Street: Toldbodgaden
Town quarter: Vor Frelsers Menighed

Name
Family Status
Occupation
BirthYear
Birth place
Adolph Diehl 
Husfader
Skrædder
 (Tailor)
1814
Darmstadt  (Germany)
Marie Diehl
Kone

1823
Christiania
Wilhelm Diehl
Søn   

1843
Christiania
Carl Diehl  
Søn

1845  
Christiania
Fredrik Diehl
Søn 

1847
Christiania
Sophie Diehl   
Datter

1852
Christiania
Siegward Diehl
Søn

1865

Conrad Diehl 
Søn  

1860
Christiania

This discovery was the first crack in this “brickwall” for me.  It ultimately led to finding cousins in Finland, Sweden, and Germany.  I also found other Diehl family members that emigrated to the United States.  You can see some of them on the Family Diehl web site!

I would like to invite other Diehl cousins to post their memories and early discoveries on this blog.   How did you get started researching the family history?  Share your memories and pictures of the older generations.


Painting of Adolph Diehl, owned by Donald Diehl
Believed to have been painted from a photograph

3 comments:

  1. My mother was a Sophie Marie Diehl Her mother was DOra (Griesman) and her father was Conrad Diehl chicago born in 1860 kpittro@yahoo.com

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    Replies
    1. My mother recently passed so now I'm trying to find out what country did her mom and dad come from. Her dad was Conrad Diehl who pased away when he was around 40ish? I believe he was born in 1860 or so....He married Dora (Griesman)

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  2. Your Conrad Diehl is not related to my Diehl line, as I far as I can tell right now. I looked around a bit on Ancestry.com and found the following information:

    Conrad Diehl (Konrad Diel/Del/Dell) was born Feb 20, 1883 in Krasinjar, Russia, his parents were Caspar Diehl and Elizabeth Griesman
    He came to the US in about 1908
    he married Dorathea/Dora Griesman on May 31, 1911 in Cook County IL
    Conrad died Oct 26, 1931 in Cook County, IL.

    Dora Griesman was born about 1883 in Krasinjar, Russia and came to the US in about 1908.

    They had Children:
    Emily/Amelia
    Frederick/Fritz
    Kenneth/Conrad
    Anna/Annie
    Dorothy/Dorathea
    Sophie
    Caspar/Kasper

    In the 1930 Census there was a Henry Griesman, age 22, born in Wisconsin, living with the family - most likely a relative.

    Records indicate that that Conrad and Dora were ethnic German living in Russia and may have entered the US by way of Canada.

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