Monday, May 6, 2013

Hornberger family

I had planned a trip to the Ohio Genealogical Society's 2013 conference being held in Cincinnati, Ohio for April 2013.  Mom and I were talking about my upcoming trip and we talked about the fact that Mom has a first cousin who lives just north of Cinn in Blue Ash, Ohio.  I had found a photo among miscellaneous papers that were in my mother's home before she moved to a retirement community.



Mom and I had talked about who it is in the picture.  Mom thought that it was her grandfather's second wife.  I thought that the photo looked a great deal like my grandmother, but I had some hope that mom would say that it was my gr-grandmother instead.  But Mom thought that perhaps her cousin might know.  So I planned a visit with my mom's cousin, Nancy.  The trip was made even more fun by the fact that Nancy's brother, Bob and his wife came for the visit as well.  I could fill this entire blog post with all sorts of things that we talked about.  It was absolutely great getting a new perspective on my mother's mother's family.  This is a family on which I have done VERY LITTLE research!

The first thing that Nancy and I did was decide that the photo was definitely not the second wife of her grandfather.  Nancy remembered that the lady was heavy and would have been older when she married.  I now believe it very likely that the photo is an early picture of my grandmother.  I just need to do a bit of research to see if the dress that she has on would have been likely for the time period around 1920 give or take a few years.

Genealogically speaking, the highlight of the visit was a comparison of my research with a family tree that another sister to Nancy and Bob had done in as a high school project many years ago.  I would have to guess that this sister had access to information from family members who would now be long dead.  My information agreed with most of what was in her report leading me to believe that I am on the right track.  So here is the information about our shared Hornberger family.

All three of us descend from a man named Frederick Hornberger.  Fred was Nancy and Bob's grandfather and my great-grandfather making us first cousins once removed.  Fred was born 22 Aug 1865 in Alsace Lorraine, France.  Remember that Alsace Lorraine is a region that is sometimes a part of France and sometimes a part of Germany, so one needs to look at the date of the evnet to identify the right country when the event happened.  Fred was a barber for much of his life in Ironton, Ohio.  He died 16 Nov 1959.  ( an area of NE France, comprising the modern regions of Alsace andLorraine: under German rule 1871-1919 and 1940-44)

  Frederick Hornberger appeared in open court Nov 2, 1886.  “Frederick Hornberger, an alien, who being duly sworn, says that he is a native of Germany and came to the United States on or about the day of July 1880, under the age of eighteen years; that he is twenty one years of age and upwards; that it boni fide his intention to become a citizen of the United States and to renounce forever all allegiance ....to the Emperor of Germany whose subject he is....”....”Also at the same time, personally appeared in open court Michael Scherror who resides at Ironton, Ohio and Jacob Scherror who resides at Ironton, Ohio and being duly sworn, sat that they are citizens of the United States and are acquainted with Frederick Hornberger an applicant for naturalization and know that he has been in the United States for five years last,....”  attached to this paper is a certificate of Naturalization of minors.  and Naturalization dated the 17th day of April 1928 from the probate court of Ironton, Ohio.81-ctx-.tiff
   The home in which Grandmother was raised by Frederick Hornberger is at the corner of 5th St and Spruce.  The address in Ironton is 1303 South 5th St.  Later when just Frederick and Emma were left, they rented or sold the big house and  lived in the little house behind the big house at that address. 



I think it very likely that this is indeed the door that is in the photo of the young woman that I was trying to identify.  I feel very certain that it is my grandmother, Clara Margaret Hornberger Sammons.
and the below is likely the smalll house that Fred and Emma lived in when all of the other children were gone.
These house photos were taken by me in 1997.

Frederick Hornberger is buried with both wives in the Woodland Cemetery in Ironton. 


  Lawrence R. died at birth and Maggie died in childbirth..  Lawrence R. and Maggie are buried side by side along with Frederick Hornberger and Anna Hornberger (Frederick’s second wife).  Close by is Emma Hornberger (grandmother’s older unmarried sister who lived with their father until his death.)  Also buried there is William F. Gravenkemper, a baby of Aunt Frieda’s.  Close by in Platt A is Eleanor Haney and her husband, David--She was also a daughter of Frederick Hornberger.  She is buried among many Haneys.

 In the cemtery in Ironton. there is a small monument with Lawrence Schmidtt’s name on it.  Then there are headstones for Lawrence, his wife Margaret, and her father, Abraham Rauch all together.


Frederick  Hornberger's parents were George and Barbara Schweikart Hornberger.   I was told that Frederick’s father died when Frederick was fairly young.  He had fought under Napoleon.  Barbara married a Mr. Unger after the death of Frederick and they came directly to Ironton because they had relatives there--the Schweickart’s who were in the lumber business.  They moved when Frederick was about 16.  Frederick had one sister that I know about who was named Lena.  I was told that Lena lived and died in Coal Grove.

The Children of Frederick and Maggie Schmidt Hornberger were:  Emma b. Feb 1889, Clara Margaret b. 5 May 1890, George b. Jan 1892,  Frieda b. 26 July 1895, Eleanor b. 1897, Carl b. Feb 1899, Lawrence who died at birth in 1901. From

Margaret Schmidt Hornberger's parents were Lawrence Schmidt and Margaret Rauch.  Lawrence was born 10 August 1824 and died 9 Jan 1883.  Clara Hornberger Sammons (my grandmother told me that they lived on a farm in Hanging Rock.  She would point out the church on the side of the road and say that they had attended church in that building when we would drive by Hanging Rock on our way to or from Ironton and Huntington.


  On June 30, 1997 I visited the genealogy section of the ironton Library on 5th ST.  I was unable to find lawrence or any of his family in the 1870 census for lawrence County.  However in the 1880 census for Hamilton Township in Lawrence County (which is where Hanging Rock is located) I found Lawrence as head of his family on p122c.  I made a copy of this record.  Living with Lawrence who is 57 at the time is Margarete, his wife, who is 45, Emma who is 19, Loucinda who is 14, Albert who is 13, Margarete who is 13, and Kate who is 10.  Also Abraham Rauch who is his father-in-law who is 82 and Frank Kassick, a boarder who is 23 and a farm laborer.  So Lawrence must have moved his family to Lawrence County and specifically to Hanging Rock sometime after 1870 but before 1880.  Both Lawrence and his wife list their place of birth as France and list both sets of their repective parents as also having been born in France.  All of their children were born in Ohio.  So the puzzle is: If there 19 year old was born in Ohio, they must have come across the ocean before her birth.  That means that they immigrated before 1861.  I need to check censuses in other areas of Ohio for 1860 and 1870 to see if I can find them.  I might also look at land records to see when Lawrence bought the farm at Hanging Rock--probably between 1870 and 1880.  It is also possible that I missed the census record back in 1997...now it is much easier to check censuses.....I should take care of this....

From the family information that Nancy and Bob's sister had gathered while in High School comes the following:  Abraham was born 1798 in Strasbourg, France.  Died 1885  Abraham was the father of Margaret Rauch Schmitt Note the spelling of Schmitt in an older transcription.  I should drive to Ironton to see how it is spelled on the tombstone and also see if there is a death certificate with the spelling on it... Bob had asked me what the correct spelling is.  




In the above map one can see where Strasbourg was located.  Jack and I visited there many years ago.  I would like to add some photos of the area.  We were driving and it was very interesting to see that Hornberger was a VERY common name in the area.  We visited Strasbourg and I have photos that I would like to add here.  I did not have the information that Lawrence Schmitt was born in Strasbourg when we made our visit.  

One more comment before I quit for the night.  My mtDNA results show me to be:  Haplogroup H.  According to Brian Sykes in his book the Seven Daughter's of Eve, this group has origins in the white area shown on the map below that is marked Helena:  

As you can see, the area is absolutely right for my maternal lines...very close to where my mother's mother's family lived as late as the 1800s.  My "clan mother"  lived 20,000 years ago when the ice age was at it's most severe.  These were the people who had pictures of "the hunt" on cave walls. Brian Sykes has nicknamed the clan mother for Haplogroup H Helena.   As an additional aside from Brian Sykes' book:

"Over successive generations the clan that began with Helena became easily the most successful in Europe, reaching every part of the continent.  The reference sequence with which all mitochondrial mutations are compared is that of Helena's sequence.  Forty-seven per cent of modern Europeans are members of her clan.  We do not know whether this remarkable success is because her mitochondrial DNA possesses some special quality that gives its holders a biological advantage, or whether it is just chance that makes so many Europeans trace their direct maternal ancestry back to Helena and the freezing winters of her Ice-Age."  (taken from p. 233)



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