And now the ‘in-laws’… Stroempl

I have decided I will start addressing some of the allied (or in-laws) our Pimsner’s married and oh there are many! As I mentioned in other posts, some of these allied surnames appear many times and that is one of the reasons I want to start looking at some of these surnames.

I think the first surname I am going to look at is near and dear to my Pimsner/Dittmer connection. Anna Marie Pimsner, daughter of Andreas and Anna (Schmidt), married Johann Dittmer in Cleveland Ohio at St. Stephen’s Catholic Church. [Did you know I have transcribed various marriage documents for Cuyahoga County OH and placed this resource on-line?? Here you will find many of our kin listed with links to my on-line family tree website!!) The witnesses to this marriage were definite ‘kin’. Best Man honors went to Franz Stroempl and Maid of honor was Katherine Broestl.

Franz (later Americanized to Frank) Stroempl married Johann Dittmer’s sister, Henriette! THAT bit of news was exciting for me as you can guess 🙂 I have a wedding photo showing not only the bridal couple but also their two witnesses!!

Franz and his wife, along with their 3 children (yes, there WERE 3) came to America and settled in Pittsburgh PA. [I have found repeated references to Franz/Frank Stroempl as a ‘witness’ for others seeking to become American citizens.] Frank is listed as a ‘confectioner’ and eventually he and his son, Johann/John, owned and operated more than one bar in Pittsburgh. Both Frank and Henrietted died in Pittsburgh and are buried at St. Michaels Cemetery.

Daughter, Augusta, eventually joined the Sisters of St. Francis nursing order. She eventually took the name of Sister Mary Henrietta in 1910. She is buried in Millvale, Allegheny County, PA.

Son, Johann/John, relocated to Cleveland Ohio along with his wife, Theresia (Stark) and 6 of their 10 children (the other 4 were born in Cleveland). I am going to try and find a connection to some of the Cleveland Stroempl’s – I feel it is there but I need to ‘prove’ the connection… **

Son, Joseph, seems to have disappeared! He was born May 1889 in Hamburg Germany and was there on the ship manifest but I am unable to find any later reference to him.

From what I can find, there is another indirect Stroemple connection to the Pimsner tree… This one ties in a variety of oft seen surnames of Brostl, Gloszner, Koteles and Schwartz. (Anna Schwartz married Martin Pimsner. Anna’s sister, Margaretha married a Lorenz Stroempl  – son of Joseph Stroempl and Helena Brostl. **  Is THIS the Cleveland connection for Johann/John Stroempl??)

I few years ago, I was contacted by a lovely lady from Germany who is a Stroemple descendent! And it is because of Mika Strompl that I was able to ‘find’ more information on Franz and his brother, Joseph – both who were born in/near our favorite Slovakia city of Metzenseifen. Their parents are listed as Jacob Stroempl and Rose/Rosa Galofski. [At this point I have found multiple spellings for Stroempl as well as Galofski – I am going to stick with these two…]

So this is the first entry for allied families. If you have a connection to the Dittmer’s or Stroempl’s, please let me know! Ta ta for now!

Published in: on April 21, 2016 at 10:15 pm  Comments (2)  


I have been following another blog for about a year which has been all about searching for ‘kin’ and relying totally on using DNA results (as well as awesome detective work!). I confess, I have quite a bit to learn about just how autosomal DNA results ‘work’ but I have recently submitted another DNA sample to 23andMe. Goodness gracious! I am totally blown away at just how different DNA and 23andMe DNA results turned out to be.

Both have identified ‘kin’ there is no doubt. But I confess, Ancestry’s DNA results are cute, prettified, and somewhat lacking. On the other hand, 23andMe is almost overwhelming with DATA!

With that said, I need to tell you I am ‘finding’ so many more Medzev connection on 23andMe and the only reason I can think of is that, simply, those who submitted DNA chose 23andMe instead of If YOU have submitted a DNA sample to 23andME, please, please let me know!

And no, I haven’t yet found another PIMSNER researcher in this group but my my my – so many of the same and familiar surnames I have mentioned in other posts!!  Just like home 🙂

Published in: on January 26, 2015 at 3:54 am  Comments (1)  

Catching up… certificates and their value

It’s been awhile since I last posted…  For those of you who have requested some type of ‘certificate’ you can understand my anxiety — I am waiting for 3 death certificates from Pennsylvania!  I have been awaiting their arrival for about 10 weeks now and daily look for that much anticipated blue envelope!  (I had to include a self addressed, stamped envelope so I made it blue.)  The arrival of the 3 death certificates will help me better place a ‘connection’ to the Stroempl line I currently have running in and out of the Pimsners!  Franz Stroempl married my great grandfather’s sister (a Dittmer from Hamburg Germany) so I have a kind of ‘double’ connection!! Johann Dittmer married Anna Marie Pimsner 🙂

It seems this Stroempl family also emigrated from Metzeinsefen.  Some stayed in Germany and others, like Franz, traveled further and came to America.  The problem is, I can’t identify who the parents are for Franz (who changed his name to Frank…) and am pretty sure this missing puzzle piece will be included on his death certificate!!!  Franz and his wife, Henriette, lived in Pittsburgh PA and that is where they died and are buried.  Their daughter, Sister Mary Henriette, is also buried in a Pittsburgh suburb cemetery and son John, left Pittsburgh with his wife and children and moved to Cleveland where he is buried…

I still have one additional ‘child’ to find of this union.  Franz and Henriette had 3 children according to two census reports – only problem is, I don’t know whether this 3rd child was born in Germany and stayed there or, was he/she born in the US…  (Another puzzle piece to find!)

Because I know Henriette died after Franz, she may be listed as the ‘informant’ on his death certificate.  They were married quite a number of years so she probably was able to supply ‘correct’ information (i.e. parents names, place and date of birth, etc…)  The problem with MOST death certificates, unfortunately, is that they are usually completed by someone who doesn’t really KNOW the information!  They ‘think’ they remember and yet, when in the midst of a very sad time, they are expected to actually recollect…

Birth certificates are beyond a doubt your best source of information solely because they are usually completed by the mother!  Yeah for mothers, huh??

Now marriage certificates are not the same as marriage licenses just in case you thought they were…  The license is where the bride and groom complete, to the best of their knowledge, information about themselves and their parents.  (I can not imagine NOT knowing where my parents were born much less their birth dates but that often happens where children just don’t pay attention and/or take this kind of data for granted…)  So the marriage certificate is what we usually receive when requested and it just states that Mr X and Miss Y were married on this date by Mr/Rev Z.

My bet is on birth certificates as the TOP choice when trying to find someone!!!

Ta ta for now…

Published in: on June 4, 2012 at 6:22 pm  Comments (5)  

Welcoming a cousin who’s not a cousin …

I have been having an email correspondence with a cousin who is not a cousin – really.  Joe and I are ‘related’ only because one of MY people married one of HIS people…  Okay, so that makes us related by marriage, right?

No – solely because the people married are not necessarily related by birth…  just by an act of marriage. Let me explain.

My great grandmother had a great uncle (Martin) who had a niece – Margaret – on his wife’s side. So other than being ‘related’ to Martin, Margaret is NOT a Pimsner descendant.

But, in a very convoluted way, I think Margaret IS related and I will have to see just how!  After all, her maiden name is STROEMPL.  Yep, there’s one of those surnames we see many times ‘connected’ to Pimsners!  Add to that mix are the surnames Schwartz, Gloszner and BROESTL!

This is one of the reasons I continue to not only add but encourage others to add a couple generations of in-laws to their database records.  It really is NOT uncommon for siblings or cousins to marry.  By limiting your research to JUST your direct line limits the ability to ‘find’ the other connections out there!  And as we know, our Pimsner’s are connected to many of the same surnames multiple times!!

Published in: on October 1, 2011 at 1:36 am  Leave a Comment  

Where did they go?

2011 Metzenseifen

Modern Metzenseifen

An acquaintance and his wife (Heinz Schleussner of the Metzenseifen website) are ‘visiting’ Metzenseifen right now.  How exciting is that??  I am posting one of the photos Heinz took…) The sad thing, from my perspective, is that after speaking with the Metzenseifen mayor, there are NO residents of this beautiful village with the surname PIMSNER!  Darn!  Where did they all go??

As with much of my previous research, I have discovered many of our Pimsner ancestors married into or married someone from a multitude of Metzy families.  Other than coming to America, where did they go to?  If they married into a family then the female Pimsner became some other surname!  (As an example, on the Metzenseifen web page, Heinz pointed out a Terezia Schurger whose maiden name was Pimsner.  Schurger and all its spellings are one of the many ‘common’ Metzy surnames our Pimsners are connected to!)

It is sad to think our Pimsners have disappeared from Metzenseifen!

I had a fun conversation with Arlene Pimsner last week-end. (She is the granddaughter of Simon Pimsner; brother to my great grandmother, Anna Marie (Pimsner) Dittmer… I mentioned I would be sending Arlene copies of the 1920 and 1930 Census. The 1930 Census shows a ‘lodger’ named Stephen Pimsner! (I also happen to have the death certificate for this Stephen…) It turns out, Stephen is NOT related. I know, his surname IS Pimsner and I said, before, all Pimsner’s are related!!! Well, no one knew Stephen’s surname. At the time he was a hobo, transient, itinerant worker, etc and stayed with this Pimsner family for a few years… When he died, the Cuyohoga County Coroner required a surname in order to handle all the necessary paperwork. Since no one KNEW the surname the family ‘bequeathed’ their name – thus Stephen Unknown became Stephen Pimsner 🙂

Published in: on September 7, 2011 at 6:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

Records – Civil or church?

When do you know what records to look for when researching your family tree?  Many times, it is helpful to know what church your family might have been affiliated with.  Why you ask?  The majority of church records (whether in America or Europe) tend to be a literal list of your family’s history!  But each minister/pastor handled entering data into the church book(s) differently than the next.  It is not uncommon to see references of a parents marriages and/or occupation and ages when seeking baptism/christening information.

Civil records tend to be a 50/50 proposition as far as either gaining a lot or a little data.  This depends on the document you are seeking as well as the time frame involved.  As I mentioned in my previous post, I have been obtaining quite a few marriage records from the City of Cleveland.  Depending on the time involved, the marriage license contains either just the bride and grooms full names, the date of their marriage and the date the marriage was registered.  Other years the marriage license contains ages of the couple, their birth places, their parents names – including the maiden name of the mothers!!  Occupations are sometimes listed as well as, again, when the marriage took place and when it was registered.

This is one of those times when ‘less is NOT more’!  If you have the opportunity to look at church records then by all means, do so!!  But you can ‘amend’ your church record data with civil record information when it comes to marriages because ALL ‘modern’ marriages must be recorded in modern cities/towns/counties/states!!

Take some time and look at the website (Library catalog) to see what ‘vital’ records might be listed for the location you are researching.  You might be pleasantly surprised to see films are available for you to view at your local Family History Center!!  (An example: I was able to view my great grandfather’s baptism records from the Cook County Diocese!  Having known their birth dates it was relatively simple to find them in the copies of the actual church records!  I got to see the godparents names as well which was really cool!)

Unfortunately for those of us doing Pimsner research of Cleveland, the Cleveland Diocese does NOT have its church books available on microfilm.  If a church has been closed, you will be able to contact the Diocese Archives and ask for a search – it will help greatly if you already know the parish your ancestors attended.  If the church is still part of an active parish, like St. Stephen’s, then you will probably have great difficulties obtaining data.  The parish secretaries are many times over worked and have next to no ‘free’ time to do research for something a frivolous as genealogy…  Darn!~

Published in: on May 3, 2011 at 6:01 pm  Leave a Comment  

Cleveland OH marriages …

Over the last year I have been requesting (and receiving) quite a number of  documents for marriages that took place in Cleveland.  What is ‘interesting’, from my perspective, is that depending on the year – you can be either pleasantly surprised with the data found on the document copy or somewhat disappointed!

I’m still trying to get information from St. Stephen’s Church for a particular wedding but,  as I research a surname I just request a variety of documents with similar spellings.  How exciting when the documents arrive and there IS a connection in one form or another and finding the person, entering data in to the Archives database, was unable to read the handwriting.  THAT’S why there are so many different varieties of spelling a surname!!  I’ve only encountered 2 for Pimsner but there are any number for Gedeon, Stroempl, Ballasch, etc…

As you research these Slovak names, don’t limit yourself to how you KNOW the name is supposed to be spelled!  I know, it’s somewhat difficult to imagine a different spelling but you will be quite surprised!!

If you go to the Cuyahoga County OH GenWeb page for marriages, you will see quite a few I have added to their list! (Just look for the ‘usual’ family names!!)


Published in: on March 30, 2011 at 10:39 pm  Leave a Comment  

Genealogy software – dilemma…

I decided to try a different genealogy software to both track my research and update my website.  Why?  Well, you know the saying of ‘The grass is greener on the other side.’  I took a look at this new software and its reporting capabilities.  Holy cow!  MUCH better than the software I am now using!  (I will also admit, I really love the ‘glitsy’ kind of graphics :-> )  Now I am perfectly happy with the software I have been using for quite a number of years!  I understand it so well and can quite easily modify the web product when I need to…  But this NEW software!  I am rethinking whether I really want to use it or not!

I plan on paying a visit to the software website and providing some feedback – whether they like that or not won’t matter but atleast they will either be able to use my suggestions or tell me they can not make changes to their software.

One of the MAIN sticking points, for me, is their having an ‘event’ folder.  These events include the usual: births, marriages and/or deaths.  Divorces are also included as an event.  That’s well and good but – each person has their very own event ‘page’ and there is next to nothing included on the page other than a repeat of the very same event name and date as found on the family page and/or the person page…  What a pain in the neck when trying to eliminate this link from the new ‘possible’ website pages! (I promise you, you WILL like the new look if I can only get past all this html housekeeping! Sheesh!)

I’ve also noticed that instead of using the word ‘spouse’ the way my old software does, this new software uses the word ‘partner’.  I guess that IS politically correct but I don’t like it – I’ve done a global find/replace to change every html record from using partner to spouse.

As I have been ‘editing’ pages, I can tell you, it has been MOST interesting to again ‘discover’ kin I have forgotten about!  I’ve also run across names I wanted to research more and neglected. (Note to self: get back to it!)

This new software is supposed to help me determine what I still need to research per person so I’m thinking I may just use both for awhile.  After spending countless hours cleaning the html coding for the potential new web pages I’m taking a break!

So if YOU are contemplating entering your piles and piles of research into your computer, I highly recommend you first decide what it is you want once the data has been entered!  PC or Mac – there are many choices!  As a Mac user, Reunion has been my software of choice for many years!  It is clean, it is logical and it handles a download for web viewing with ease and grace.  I just wish they had better ‘charting’ with more graphics!  Ta ta for now!

Published in: on March 30, 2011 at 10:27 pm  Leave a Comment  

Cousins – relatives all the same

I have been in contact with someone NOT related ‘directly’ yet we share a common ancestor.  Once again, we have a Pimsner to thank for bringing us together!  HIS surname is Bodenlos.  Yes, this IS a Metzenseifen surname.  In my database there are a few Bodenlos individuals – Anna Bodenlos married John Pimsner.  It is Anna’s sibling who Bill is descended from.

Thanks to the internet, more people are searching – not necessarily for their ‘roots’ but just querying Google, or Bing or…  What’s out there and who can I find?

I like adding additional ‘links’ to my family information for just this reason! If I include the parents of someone who married into my family or maybe even the siblings of the in-law along with their information then when someone is querying and the name pops up they have an inside track on where their family might have been at that point in time.  That’s pretty cool!

Published in: on August 13, 2010 at 1:49 am  Leave a Comment  

Reunions – what does that mean?

My spouse and I recently participated in a family reunion.  We met people we haven’t seen in awhile; people we had never met before and gladly shared information collected over the years of ancestors that came before us.

Though we all descended from the Pimsner line, the emphasis of this reunion was on all those people descended from Frank Huetter and Anna Marie Ballasch.  (Anna Marie was the daughter of John Ballasch and Theresia Pimsner…)

From what I could tell, there were atleast 4 generations represented and possibly 5 – many people were strangers and I needed someone else to put all into perspective and how ‘we’ were related!

I don’t envy the person (or persons) responsible for coordinating such a gathering but think this is a marvelous way for families to get together!  (It sure beats the obvious gathering event – funerals!)

Published in: on April 19, 2010 at 1:55 am  Leave a Comment