Monday, December 5, 2011

Caught in the spirit ...

... I found myself flipping through the TV channels this evening and stopped at Charlie Brown's Christmas program. Did you know that this first aired in 1965, and focuses on holiday commercialism, but at a child's level.

So, I asked myself, is the lady who pepper sprayed shoppers on Black Friday also watching Charlie Brown tonight? I hope that she finds the holiday spirit and for all the right reasons.

May you all have a wonderful holiday season!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Mammaw (Myrtle Groft's) parents and grandparents


Meet Jerome Henry Groft and Annie Marie Smith, parents of Myrtle (aka Mammaw) Groft Staub.  I don't know the exact date that the photo was taken but it had to be before 1897, as Annie died that year.  The occasion for this photo also is not known.  What I do know is the generous contributor of this photo ... Gloria Staub.  Thank you, Gloria, for sharing your heritage with everyone.

The photo below is of Myrtle's grandparents John Henry Smith and Anna Maria Groft - yes, the Smith/Groft connection!  I am sure that you can determine who John and wife Anna are, but do you see Annie Marie?  She is standing to the left rear of her mother.  Well, at least I think that would be her.  Impressive to say the least. 

And note the Smith/Groft connections.  Same families both times.  When I printed a pedigree chart, it was awesome to see how the three families came together.  And, the data that I have entered into my database is quite confusing at times. 

What I need now are photos of Helen Wilt and husband Joseph Smith, Vitus Joseph Smith with wife Margaret Ann Murren, and Francis James Smith with wife Agnes Fleshman.  Can anyone help to find these photos, or tell me who to contact? 

Monday, November 14, 2011


Change alone is eternal, perpetual, immortal. ~ Arthur Schopenhauer

It was time that I made some changes to my blog site.  Why?  Well, my Staub research and data has become rather extensive ... no, huge!  Family members are crossing over with other family lines, namely the Grofts and the Smiths. My database is 19,000+ records large and still growing, along with my anxiety over connecting the correct people and families.

I struggled with how to keep the family blogs separate. I can't justify nor manage four separate blogs.  So, I reconfigured my blog page to incorporate four separate family pages and one home page.  My next change will be to reconfigure the Family Connections contact list on Facebook.  But not today. 

I hope that you will like the subtle changes that have been made to the blog design. Later ...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The good 'ole days ...

... well, to our generation the days back in the 1950s may not have been so great.  Try living without Facebook, computers, cell phones, the microwave, dishwashers, and cable TV.  These are a few of the things that we take for granted.  But in 1959, to Mammaw and your aunts and uncles those days were great.

A few weeks ago I posted this photo of Mammaw with her grown children on my blog, Blogging through History.  I asked if anyone could name the people in the photo.  A few of you did, but not too many that I am aware of.  So, the names of the Staubs in the photo are:  (back row left to right)  Marguerite Stuller, Ethel Felix, Ann Klunk, Lillian Stuller, Clyde, Raymond, and Earl; (front row left to right) Mary Keefer, Joan Riser, John, and Carroll.  How well did you do?

Doing genealogy research has grown to be quite a habit.  Everyday I learn something new.  One thing that I did learn, and probably has not changed much from the 1950s, is that Mammaw's family would gather on Sundays for a picnic and a pickup baseball game, girls vs. boys.  The first Sunday in July was their annual family reunion, and the uncles would play a 'World Series' baseball game.  These Sundays were spent in Aunt Ethel's orchard in Mount Misery.

My research continues on the Adam Staub, who immigrated from Germany, and of his ancestors. As soon as I have this data in my computer, I will post a PDF of the family tree for you to view.  Would you believe that there are over 14,000 people in this database, and I haven't researched the Grofts, Smiths, or my family in depth yet. 

Share this blog with others in the family.  In a few days you may see changes to the Family Legacies link on my Facebook wall.  All of this is being done with the hope of finding your global ancestors who have roots to Ludwig Staab, Frederick Krafft, and Charles Smith.

Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Is this really me?

I know that I spend a lot of time on my computer, linking to new Facebook friends, entering lots of information given to me by Jean Staub, and Googling, but I can assure you that I know when to call it quits! 

However, I probably look just as crazed when I find interesting links between the Staub, Smith, and Groft families.  I had no idea that this hobby was so addicting.

I also get excited when I can trace a family back to Germany and when they arrived in America.  Right now I have the Staub family traced to Ludwig Staub, born circa 1646 (John Lawrence Staub's family line).  Adam was the man who at age 21 sailed across the ocean to start a new life and bought land in what is now Brushtown.  I traced Mammaw's family (Myrtle Groft and John's wife) back to the mid-1700s when Fredrich Krafft (no, not the food giant), arrived to the Port of Philadelphia with his pregnant wife.  And Charles Smith (Glady's family) who arrived about the same time and through the Port of Philadelphia.   

All of this has been backed up with facts and family research, so I feel certain that I am on the right track.  Once I figure out how to reduce the size of the ancestry chart (it is over 8 sheets of 8.5"x11" pages) to add to my blog, I will share it with you. 

I have learned so much in a little bit of time - about the early Catholic church in Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Germans, the German Palatine movement, and the bridging of these families.  I have come to respect their hardships and successes.  To imagine leaving one's family to sail to another country, not knowing what to expect, is inconceivable.  Would I have let my kids do this?  Probably not. 

Time to shut down the computer and give it a rest.  Until next week ...

P. S.  You may share this blog link with other family members who may also have Facebook.  The idea is to grow the members and continue to learn and increase sharing.  You may send me a personal email to share, add, or to ask me a question.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Searching for the greatest treasure - our ancestors!

Myrtle and John Staub's descendants gather each July for an annual reunion.  In my last blog post, I asked if anyone could remember when the reunions began.  A reliable source mentioned that they could remember back to the early 1970s and Mammaw's orchard in Mt. Misery.  So, if you were born before the 1980s, you may not remember this.

Myrtle, aka. Mammaw is pictured above and a bit of her life history follows:
  • She was born to Jerome Henry Groft and Annie Maria Smith on June 26, 1890, and died on December 11, 1986.  FYI...Annie is a Smith link. 
  • Mammaw married John Lawrence Staub (January 24, 1890-May 21, 1948) on August 26, 1913.  They are pictured sitting in the wedding photo to the right. Her sister, Violet and husband Charles Henschke are shown standing.
  • Mammaw's father, Jerome (June 14, 1861-June 28, 1947), was the son of George H. Groft and Mary Ann Storm. 
  • At age 18, Jerome worked as a farm hand for the John and Jane Jenkins family in Mt. Pleasant Township, Adams, PA, USA. (1900 U. S. Census)  Later, he worked as a cigar maker and was a member of the Irishtown Fire Company.  On December 28, 1886 Jerome married Annie Maria Smith (June 29, 1866-May 4, 1897) at the Conewago Chapel.  Annie died at age 31 from tuberculosis.  (The New Oxford Item, obituary publish date May 7, 1897)  Annie's parents, Mammaw's grandparents, were John Henry Smith and Anna Maria Groft.  FYI ... this is one of the Smith/Groft family connections.
  • Jerome, age 45, lived in New Oxford, Adams, PA, USA with daughters Myrtle, age 19, and Violet, age 17. (1910 U. S. Census)  According to the Conewago Chapel Book of Baptisms another daughter, Marguerite Emma, born on October 1, 1894 to Jerome and Annie.  I found in a newspaper archives that Marguerite Emma died on January 21, 1909 following surgery for appendicitis at the York Hospital.  (The New Oxford Item, publish date February 3, 1949, page 10, '40 Years Ago Today' column)
One Sunday afternoon I visited the John Timon Reily Society in McSherrystown to learn more about the Groft family.  Research by the Harold Groft family showed that Mammaw and Violet may have had a brother, George John Groft (November 2, 1887-April 26, 1889).  I must research this further.
  • At age 68, Jerome lived with his daughter Violet and her husband Charles F. Henschke. (1930 U. S. Census). 
I know little about John Lawrence Staub except that his parents were James Augustin Staub and Mary Catherine Weaver. 
  • Would anyone have a photo of Jerome and wife Annie to lend me for a future blog?
  • What do you remember about Myrtle and John so I can share with everyone?
You may send your memories and scanned photos of Jerome or John or Myrtle to me directly to my email Inbox by clicking here

Thanks for visiting my blog! 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Blogging through history ...

I began my research journey this past February.  Ultimately, I envisioned publishing the research online, and eventually in print.  For now, I settled on a blog.  

Writing a blog is easy, but my problem was where to start, how to tell the story in a way that it is an interesting read for the various generations, and to keep it short.  So I started by giving a brief overview of part of the Staub history by mentioning Adam (Staab) Staub in my first blog post.   FYI … there is more to this history to share! So I began with Myrtle (aka. Mammaw) and husband John Lawrence Staub.

Every July the Staubs meet in Brushtown for an annual reunion.  Do you remember Mammaw and her sister, Violet, who came to the reunions until they died?  So when did these reunions start?  Was Mammaw’s husband, John Lawrence, still living when the reunions began? Can anyone tell me this?  I would love to know, and so would others.  Add what you know in the comment box below. 

This photo is dated July 1959, and is of Mammaw and John’s children.  (Another FYI, John Lawrence died May 21, 1948.) Sitting center is Mammaw, of course.  Now, how many of you can identify her children?  This is not a contest but a walk down memory lane.  Enjoy! I will post the names in a later blog post.
Watch for next week's blog to learn more about John Lawrence, Mammaw and your German roots.  Until then …

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Generations ...

... On Saturday, August 6, 2011, three generations of Raymond and Gladys "Nell" Staub's family held its first of many family reunions.  I am sure that Raym and Nell were watching over everyone, and enjoying their grandchildren and great-grandchildren from above.  (I wonder what they may have been thinking.)  The little ones don't quite understand what happened that day, but someday they will.

A few years ago I began to research our family history, and life got in the way.  I recently resigned from my job and found my unfinished projects.  Genealogy was one of those projects.  Several months later, over 200 clocked hours, and a database of 7,000+ people (and it continues to grow), I am finding interesting facts about Raymond's parents, John Lawrence Staub and Myrtle Groft, not to mention their ancestors who date back to the mid-1600s.  To share this with everyone at the reunion would have been challenging. 

So I will use this blog to share what I find, and to perhaps connect to distant relatives.  I hope that you will find it as interesting as I do.  For those of you who use Facebook religiously, this blog is connected to a page on my Facebook.  Feel free to help with this research by sharing your memories and photos of your grandparents, Myrtle (aka. Mammaw), and even asking your cousins about the family and what they remember.  Please know that I respect your privacy and will not post personal information of living relativesConsider this your family portal for continuing our legacy.

History lesson number one: At age 21 (and as far as I can find, he sailed without relatives) and in 1738, Johannes Adam Staab arrived in the Port of Philadelphia on the passenger ship, the Winter Galley, and settled in Berks County, PA.  His wife Catherine Bewertz, arrived a year later on the Loyal Judith with her father and siblings.  They met and married a few years afterward.  He moved his family to what is now known as Adams County, mainly Brushtown.  In the image below, you can see McSherrystown towards the upper right corner of the image.  If you follow Rte. 116 to the left you will see three tracts of land (highlighted in yellow).  These three tracts were owned by Johannes Adam Staab and his wife, Catherine.  A complete story of his unfortunate struggle to hold onto his land rights can be found by clicking here.

Please let me know what you think of my postings and of this research.  Until the next time ...