Brick Walls

In the ON Templates Section of the Surname notebooks, there is a template for a Research Plan. (A special thank you to Christine Sisko Clause for letting me borrow heavily from her original template to create mine all those years ago.) It’s rather fancy-pants and I have used it on occasion. I like using it when I am trying to solve just one problem for a person or family group and will be presenting the information to others to view. I filled one out when I was researching the death date for a Zittel ancestor. Trees online at Ancestry have his death and burial in Sheldon, New York. But a change to his FindaGrave.com memorial put that information in doubt. I did some digging and found my answers. I detailed it in a Research Plan that I turned into a PDF to attach to his Ancestry profile. I’ll save for show-and-tell in another post.

What happens when I am doing research in most cases is everything is gathered onto a page at the top of the Section for the person or family group where I am doing research. I call the page Initial Research. Everything I find gets cited and linked to that page and I make notes to myself about my findings. Sometimes it begins to be a bit of a jumbled mess, and sometimes I can take it and rearrange it in chronological order so I can create a Timeline as the next step in my research. (I find timelines extremely helpful to show me what I know and what I still need to find out.) There have been a few times when I got a little carried away and just kept on adding research to the Initial Research page and all the details where getting lost and confusing. I have started to break down the Initial Research pages into smaller chunks of research starting with one main objective and a conclusion. I will then start a new page if I need to do more research.

I decided to do show-and-tell with one of the easier genealogical conundrums I’ve been working on. This one was solved when I broke through a brickwall for one of my paternal 3rd-great-grandfathers. [Easier isn’t the right word to use in the last sentence…] This brickwall has been standing for a long time. [A less involved conclusion to the genealogical conundrum might be better wording. Easier sounds better than “a less involved conclusion to the genealogical conundrum” though.] (Yes, I am talking to myself in my blog post. I’ve been locked away in my room for far too long!)

The day after I sent CousinB the information I had gathered for her Zittel line, I woke up with an epiphany on how to try to find the place in France that my Buisch line came from. From there, I was hoping to find a marriage record that would lead me to my 3x-great-grandmother’s maiden name.

A little back story:

When I first started researching in 1993, I concentrated on my dad’s lines. His (supposed) father’s line was from England and his mother’s line was from France. Back then you had to order films in to be viewed at your local family history library. You paid a fee to rent or purchase a copy for the library, waited for it to come in and then studied the heck out it to find everyone and everything you could — especially if you were just renting it. If you didn’t know where in the censuses to start searching, you used the Soundex Index films to give you some clues as to where to start your searches. (More Soundex info here.) From my Soundex search I found there were several Buisch families in the Lyons, Wayne, New York area. I never could connect my line to the families in Lyons. Years later a clue in the 1870 census marriage schedule about my great-grandfather’s marriage would lead me to Buffalo, Erie, New York where I finally found my family line.

Basic information from mid-February 2020:

I had managed to track my 3rd-great-grandparents through most of the Buffalo censuses and city directories. I had the ship manifest from their arrival here in the U.S from Havre. I had naturalization records confirming the family was from France. Buisch was sometimes spelled as Buesch, Büsch or Busch and Bisch or Bish (how it sounds when pronounced). I knew researchers on the Buisch line in Lyons, Wayne, New York had figured out where that line emigrated from. They came from Kutzenhausen, Bas-Rhin, Alsace, France. When I woke up that morning, I had the thought that even though I was never able to match my line to the families in Lyons, perhaps they met up some way in the same area in France.

Getting started on the Initial Research page — always start with what you know:

George Henry Buisch was born about 1778 in Alsace, France. He married Catherine Barbara (LNU) before 1815. He passed away in 1844 in Buffalo, Erie, New York.

Catherine Barbara (LNU) was born about 1789 in Alsace, France. She passed away between 1875 and 1880 probably in Buffalo, Erie, New York. I originally thought her given name might be Barbara Catherine.

George, who sometimes went by Henry, and Barbara, who rarely used the name Catherine, emigrated with five children all born in Alsace, France:

  1. Barbara, born about 1815
  2. Elizabeth, born about 1819
  3. Henry, born about 1823
  4. George, born about 1827
  5. Phillip, born about 1830

I copied — not moved — over the Sections for George Henry Buisch and Catherine Barbara Unknown from the Buisch Surname notebook to the Research Quandaries notebook. I did not need all the details from their lives, just the basics to start researching in French records. At the start of my research in the Research Quandaries notebook, my Initial Research page looked something like what you see above. I included the information about the Lyons Buisch family originating in Kutzenhausen.

 

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Initial Research Page

A side note about the image above: I usually get rid of the red squiggle under uncommon words, names, place names, etc., that show up on pages in OneNote. A right-click with the cursor on the word will bring up the spell checker. You can choose to Ignore spelling or Add to Dictionary. If the word is a place name, first name or surname that will be seen often in my genealogy notebooks, I use the Add to Dictionary option. Otherwise I just click to ignore the spelling because I don’t like seeing all those red squiggly lines on my pages.

 

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The Bas-Rhin Archives has ten-year indexed record books of births, marriages and deaths for the local communes. The ten-year indexes at the Bas-Rhin Archives for Kutzenhausen cover the years 1813 through 1932. I started searching for the youngest children first in the Kutenhausen records.

Kutzenhausen Birth Index

I looked first in the index for the years 1823-18321. Not even a matching name.

Kutzenhausen Birth Index

Next I looked in the index for the years 1813-18222. There were matching names (Henry and George), but the birth years were off. Just to cross all my T’s and dot all my I’s, I looked at the birth register for Henry’s birth in 1816. His parents are George Henry Bisch and Salome Eyer. I also looked up the birth of George born in 1820. His parents are the same couple. This is one of the Buisch lines that ended up in Lyons, New York. The second George Bisch, born in 1821, was born to Frederick and Dorothee Bisch. No match there either.

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So I didn’t find any promising leads with the children’s names and birth years in either the 1813-1822 index or the 1823-1832 index. Yep, I was kinda bummed. I thought I’d had such a great idea when I woke up. According to Wikipedia, there are 514 communes in Bas-Rhin. Even if I narrowed it down to the arrondissment of Wissembourg — where Kutzenhausen is located — there were still 68 possibilities. Too many to search through individually. But then I thought… what if I could search at FamilySearch.com for the Buisch surname only in Bas-Rhin, France and narrow down the search even more? I searched using the German spelling of the surname, Büsch and searched records only in Bas-Rhin, France.

Family Search image

Well, well. Preuschdorf looks promising, yes?

 

Open source map Alsace, France

Oh, look. Preuschdorf is right next to Kutzenhausen on the map. Even better.

 

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With cautious optimism I went back to the Bas-Rhin Archives to search the Preuschdorf records. The Bas-Rhin Archives have the Preuschdorf ten-year indexes online from 1793 through 1932 with only one volume missing. Again I started with the ten-year index for births, marriages and deaths looking for the birth of the youngest son first — so the 1823-1832 BMD index3.

Preuschdorf Birth Index

There are births for a Phillip in 1830 and a George in 1827 that look promising. I added those to my Initial Research page. There was no 1823 birth for Henry though. Next a look at the 1813-1822 BMD index.4 & 5

Preuschdorf Birth Index

Preuschdorf Birth Index

There are birth entries for the other three children, and except for Henry, the birth years are close enough matches to the dates I have that I was pretty sure I had found my family! I should mention that the only record I had at the time for Henry Buisch’s age is the ship’s manifest where it is unclear what the number written for his age is supposed to be. The second number is written over and difficult to make out. I guessed that his age in 1834 was eleven, estimating his birth year as 1823, based on the scribbled notation on that ship manifest. He was actually two years older. I added those children into a chart on the Initial Research page. Now all I had to do was look at the individual births in the yearly birth registers to double check the parents’ names and look for a marriage record for the parents. (Also needed to do a genealogy happy dance!)

 

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Updated Initial Research page

Here is the chart I added at the bottom of the Initial Research page for the births of the children from the ship’s manifest where I added in the source citations. After I found the marriage record for George Henry Büsch and Catherine Barbara Cuntz, I realized there might be other children born to them. I made a note to search through the  decennial indexes again to search for children’s births in the gaps between their marriage and the birth of Barbara and the gaps in the years between Barbara and Elizabeth and George Henry and George’s births. There is information on the marriage record about the death of George Henry’s mother, Marie Margaret Pfeiffer and the death of Catherine Barbara’s father, George Heinrich Cuntz. These are things that will be noted on a new Initial Research page for the George Henry Buisch Section. This original Initial Research page now becomes Research Concluded 10 April 2020. I made a new note at the top of the page about what I was researching. You can see a PDF of the completed page here. (When I was checking the link to the PDF after I posted this blog, I realized I should have added some more information at the top of the page about where this PDF came from in case it gets copied to someone’s Ancestry tree or some such further down the line… So don’t forget to do that!)

 

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New Initial Research page

You’ll notice that the original Buisch Research Section is no more since I transferred the concluded research information to George Henry Buisch’s Section. I started a new Section for George Henry Cuntz to copy some of the research over to him on an Initial Research page. That’s what you are seeing above. There is information on the marriage record about the death of Catherine Barbara Cuntz’s father, George Henry Cuntz and I have information about her siblings from pages sent to me from Cousin TS. I kept the Section for Catherine Barbara Cuntz for now. She outlived her husband by more than 30 years and there are other records for her in Buffalo that I want to search through to see if I can narrow down the death date for her son, George Henry Buisch, my 2x-great-grandfather.

 

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The reason I decided to start new Initial Research pages rather than keep a running page of research was to keep the information more like you would see in a Research Report rather than a Research Log. I want the research page to have an initial research objective that is not too broad and something that is quantifiable so I know when my research can be concluded. I didn’t want my research pages to end up a long, confusing jumble of information. As witnessed by some of my blog posts, I tend to ramble and things can become a bit confusing so that is a distinct possibility! (LOL)

Until next time,

~Erin


1 “Kutzenhausen Decennial Birth, Marriage, Death Index 1823-1832” database with images, Departmental Archives of Bas-Rhin (http://archives.bas-rhin.fr/detail-document/ETAT-CIVIL-C253-P1-R162409#visio/page:ETAT-CIVIL-C253-P1-R162409-1042440 : accessed 9 April 2020), image 1 of 31 > Births for surname Bisch.

2 “Kutzenhausen Decennial Birth, Marriage, Death Index 1813-1822” database with images, Departmental Archives of Bas-Rhin (http://archives.bas-rhin.fr/detail-document/ETAT-CIVIL-C253-P1-R162407#visio/page:ETAT-CIVIL-C253-P1-R162407-1042417 : accessed 9 April 2020), image 2 of 24 > Births for surname Bisch.

3 “Preuschdorf Decennial Birth, Marriage, Death Index 1823-1832” database with images, Departmental Archives of Bas-Rhin http://archives.bas-rhin.fr/detail-document/ETAT-CIVIL-C375-P1-R219291#visio/page:ETAT-CIVIL-C375-P1-R219291-2414311 : accessed 9 April 2020), image 2 of 18 > Births for surname Büsch

4 “Preuschdorf Decennial Birth, Marriage, Death Index 1813-1822” database with images, Departmental Archives of Bas-Rhin (http://archives.bas-rhin.fr/detail-document/ETAT-CIVIL-C375-P1-R219289#visio/page:ETAT-CIVIL-C375-P1-R219289-2414295 : accessed 9 April 2020), image 1 of 13 > Births for surname Bisch.

5 “Preuschdorf Decennial Birth, Marriage, Death Index 1813-1822” database with images, Departmental Archives of Bas-Rhin (http://archives.bas-rhin.fr/detail-document/ETAT-CIVIL-C375-P1-R219289#visio/page:ETAT-CIVIL-C375-P1-R219289-2414297 : accessed 9 April 2020), image 2 of 13 > Births for surname Bisch.


Cite This Page:

Erin Williamson Klein, “Cuntz Closed Cold Case.” My Family History Files, 17 April 2020 (http://myfamilyhistoryfiles.com/research-plan/cuntz-closed-cold-case/ : [access date]).

Please do not copy without attribution and link back to this page.


 

Margaret Hausauer and her first husband, Henry Buisch are my great great grandparents. They are the parents of Henry George Buisch [52 Ancestors #1] according to his death certificate. The were both complete brick walls for me back when searching was more difficult and required waiting for microfilm to be ordered, delivered and then searched at the local Family History Library. Now with online indexes and records, searching is so much easier! And it helped me finally find Margaret. [Margaret’s life with Henry is still a bit of a mystery but I’ll detail that in a later post.]

Other Hausauer researchers on Ancestry.com that connected to the line that I suspected my Margaret was part of had no additional information on her other than her place and year of birth. What little I knew about Margaret when I began searching in earnest recently was what I had been able to gather from online trees and records at Ancestry. It included when and where she was born, when she arrived in America, her parents names, two places of residence for her parents and two places of residence for Henry Buisch’s possible parents. I took that information and did some creative searching.

  • Margaret Hausauer, born 1826
  • Parents: Michael Hausauer and Margaret Zittel
  • Immigration: 1833 from Alsace, France
  • Parents’ residences: Sheldon, Wyoming, New York [1840] and Wales Center, Erie, New York [1860]
  • Henry’s parents: George Buisch and Barbara LNU
  • Immigration: 1834 from Alsace, France
  • Henry’s parents’ residences: Sheldon, Wyoming, New York [1840] and Buffalo, Erie, New York [1850]

My preference for searching is at FamilySearch.org although I do use the search feature at Ancestry.com in tandem with what I uncover at FamilySearch.org. I just prefer the interface there over the one at Ancestry. Here is how I searched and found Margaret step-by-step.

FamilySearch.org Search Page

FamilySearch.org Search Page

On the main search page at FamilySearch.org [shown above] I left the Name fields blank. [Yes, you can do that.] I restricted records to United States and New York because my direct lines never left New York. [Or if they did leave, they returned later.] Then I put Birthplace > France and Birth Year (Range) > 1825 – 1827 and clicked Search. The number of records found was 17,735. Time to drill down the results into something more manageable.

FamilySearch.org Search Results 1

FamilySearch.org Search Results 1

As shown above, in the search parameters on the left I added Search with a life event > Residence Place > Erie County, New York. That narrowed the search down to 3,769 people. Still a little high.

Further down in the search parameters there is a filter for gender. I used the gender filter for female and narrowed down the search results to 1,678. Then I went back up to the top and added Refine your search > First Name > Margaret. [shown below]

FamilySearch.org Search Final Results

FamilySearch.org Search Final Results

That narrowed down the results to 127. Much more to my liking. Oh, and look, there’s Margaret (Hausauer) Buisch Bamberg in the #1 search result. Voila! And genealogy happy-dancing commenced. [In my head anyway.] In a later post, I will explain how I knew this was my Margaret and what else I have been able to find out about her since then.

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The following Ancestry.com Desktop Education videos were very helpful to me in learning how to do more effective searches at both Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org. Maybe you will find them helpful as well.

 

 

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Notes:

  1. This post was last updated/edited on 14 March 2014.
  2. If you have questions about or corrections to anything posted here, please post a comment or contact me using the form on my Contact Me page.

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Cite This Page:

Erin Williamson Klein, “52 Ancestors #4 How I Finally Found Margaret (Margaret Hausauer Buisch Bamberg).” My Family History Files, 26 February 2014 (http://myfamilyhistoryfiles.com/buisch/hausauer/52-ancestors-4-how-i-finally-found-margaret/: [access date]).

Please do not copy without attribution and link back to this page.

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A bit about me


Erin Williamson Klein
New York to Nevada
Started my research in 1993

Following the GPS!

Sourced Database Statistics:

2 of 2 people identified in 1st generation
3 of 4 people identified in 2nd generation
6 of 8 people identified in 3rd generation
12 of 16 people identified in 4th generation
22 of 32 people identified in 5th generation
26 of 64 people identified in 6th generation
20 of 128 people identified in 7th generation
8 of 256 people identified in 8th generation
8 of 512 people identified in 9th generation

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