Saturday, September 08, 2007

The Search for the Fisher Children

This past Wednesday and part of Thursday was spent searching the census records for the children of Michael and Christenia Fisher. As expected, the search was more successful on some than it was on others. The surname Fisher being a fairly common one didn't make it any easier. And then there is the Ringenberg, Ringgenburg, Rinkenburg, Rinchinburger, Ringenbarger surname that was a challenge. In total I downloaded 76 census pages on these families! Now I need to evaluate them, transcribe the information and get it entered in my genealogy software.

One of the daughters, Leah Fisher, moved to Rochester in Fulton County, Indiana and in 1863 married William Ream. If you have ancestors or other family in Fulton County you're in for a real treat! Judge Wendell C. Tombaugh and his wife Jean have donated a copy of their data files to the Fulton County Public Library and those files have been put online. These include cemetery records, death record indexes, poor farm records, obituaries, newspaper excerpts, will abstracts, school enumerations and more. Click on the "Local Genealogy" link on the left side of the library home page to access these files. Some of them are available as PDF only but most are also available as HTML files.

The obituaries, from 1914 to 2007, are full transcriptions of the newspaper articles. Each year is a separate file. I don't know how many hours I spent searching and copying late into the night on Wednesday! I already had transcriptions of her obit and that of her husband, but I now have obituaries for Leah's children and many of her grandchildren. 29 obituaries! It's going to take some time to sort through all of that information but what a treasure trove of material it is.

Leah's 1916 death record does not provide the names of her parents but her obituary stated that she had one sister surviving, Mrs. Lydia Conroy of Trinidad, Colorado. The online transcription gave Lydia's surname as Conrad but my previous transcription shows it as Conroy. I didn't make a copy of the obit when I first researched the family so now I'll have to get a copy to see which is correct. Anyway, confirmation that this is the right Leah also comes with this little tidbit found on the Library's website and published in The Rochester Sentinel on Wednesday, April 26, 1899: "Mrs. William REAM went to Nappanee yesterday, because of the death of a sister, Mrs. RHINKENBERGER, who resided there." The grave marker for Caroline Ringgenberg in Hepton Union Cemetery in Kosciusko County (about a mile south of Nappanee, which is in Elkhart County) shows that Caroline died on April 23, 1899. The Ringgenberg plot is near that of Jacob and Louisa Fisher Phend.

The search goes on. . .

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