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  

How are we related?

I recently received an email message from someone living in Cleveland whose ancestors were PIMSNERS and who came from Metzenseifen.  Are we related? she asked?

It took me a few minutes of searching my database before I could give her the answer I just guessed – YES!

I then explained ‘how’ we were related.  WAY back, towards the beginning of my family records, were two brothers.  I am descended from one and she is descended from the other. (I had to put on paper our ‘exact’ relationship, and it came out to be either 6th or 7th cousins with one or two times removed…  I hadn’t received where SHE fit in at that time…)

How fun, for me, to share the information I have already gathered to help someone fill in blanks they didn’t even know existed :->

As I’ve mentioned before, ALL Pimsners are related (with the exception of one ‘line’ I am aware of…)!!

Published in: on July 11, 2010 at 6:31 pm  Comments (1)  

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  

Family – what that really means

I recently started an email correspondence with a ‘distant’ cousin.  Yes, Katherine IS a cousin – probably a 2nd or 3rd without getting my paper and pencil to figure it out.

Katherine has been sharing with me some family photos as well as the all important ‘information’ and through our furious email messages, I have added MORE names to my database.  But – to me, this is MORE than just names or data – this is about family.  After all, in some respect, everyone in my database is somewhat/somehow related.

Sure, many of the names I add to my database are not related to me by birth but, I add them anyway thinking that someone will see ‘their’ surname and ask me how I am related to them. We start a dialog and before you know it, we share information which helps me and helps them.

As I have mentioned in previous posts, many of the families from Metzenseifen are connected – in some way or another…  And as such, the family grows bigger and bigger which in some ways makes the world a littler smaller.

Published in: on February 28, 2010 at 11:18 pm  Leave a Comment  

Allied families

If  your ancestors came from Metzenseifen then you probably have kin to many of these families.  In my research on the Pimsner family tree, I have seen often mentioned surnames that include Gedeon, Ballasch, Bodenlos, Mellar, Frantz, Schmidt, Broestl and so many more!  And over the years, the spelling of these names have changed – some have added letters or, like Ballasch, removed letters; in this case, differing generations have removed the ‘s’ so that the name is now spelled Ballach.

My Pimsner ancestors have found ways to marry all these families.  The big question for me is just how are all these various families related to each other?

Metzenseifen was not a particularly large village from what I can tell. According to Duncan Gardner’s web page “… The town of Metzenseifen was founded in the 1300s by German-speaking settlers, apparently from the lower Rhine region. The German dialect, known as Mantakisch, is still spoken today by older residents of Medzev and their children (though the majority population is now Slovak speaking). The population in the two parts of town in the late 1800s (and today) was 3500 (Unter-Metzenseifen) and 1500 (Ober-Metzenseifen, a half-mile north of Unter-Metzenseifen).”

Finally, Mr. Gardner’s website states the following: “… Surnames of German-speaking families from Metzenseifen: Gedeon (Gedeohn), Wagner, Tischler, Goebl, Broestl, Schuerger, Schuster, Ballasch, Stroempl, Tomasch, Bodenlos, Froelich, Eiben, Kundt (later Kundtz), Schmiedl, Sorger, Antl, Muellner; Stefany, Tache, Kovats, Friedl, Glosner, Imling, Koosch, Malicsky, Schmidt, Flegner, Krupitzer, Poehm, Boehm, Ruehrkraut, Schmotzer, Hennel (Hoenl), Holop, Pimzner, Ruzsbaczky, Lazar, Schenk, Filakovszky, Franz, Frint, Gallus, Hoffelder, Huebler, Klein, Kozman, Kuchar, Lengyel, Lepesch, Majer, Poser, Progner, Pukelnik, Quallich, Roob, Roth, Schmeer, Scholtz, Streidl, Szedlay.

In Ober-Metzenseifen the most frequent names were: Eiben, Schmotzer, Meder, Frindt, Gedeon, Stark, Antl, Grentzer, Zawatzky, Jalsch, Lang, Mazorlik, Mueller, Schuerger, Tohol, Tomasch.”

Published in: on January 25, 2010 at 3:05 am  Comments (2)  

Where are their descendants now?

I won’t say ‘everywhere’ but it’s almost as if descendants can now be found across the globe!

My husband and I recently drove from Northern California to Cleveland and met with three generations plus one.  (Grandkids of one generation…) During the same trip, we also met another descendant living near Buffalo New York.  I have been engaging in email dialogue with Pimsner  ‘kin’ living in Maryland, Virginia and Central California while in 2008 I spoke with someone in Arizona and emailed someone in another part of Ohio.

We are everywhere!  And we are all, to some degree, related!  That is so cool, don’t you think?

So – what’s next you ask?  My answer is really simple!  Find more!

I plan on detailing some individuals I have ‘found’ so far and maybe provide some research strategies as my mood strikes.  And in the mean time, I will keep looking.

I know you are out there!

Published in: on January 6, 2010 at 2:03 am  Leave a Comment  

How did they get to America?

Many of the Pimsner’s (and the multitude of allied families) came directly from Slovakia to America.  Others, like my great great grandparents and family, immigrated to Germany before emigrating to America.

Andreas and his family [with exception of daughter Theresia who was married to John Ballasch] all lived (and some worked) in Hamburg, Germany for about 5 years before finally booking passage for New York City in 1882.  Anna Marie worked as a maid.  I am guessing that it is during this time that she met her future husband, Johann Dittmer of Hamburg… How else would someone from Slovakia and someone from Hamburg become acquainted and eventually marry??

I have found ship manifests for a great many of the Pimsners and am only now starting to look for the ‘allied’ families…  Of course, knowing the very poor condition the ship manifests ended up means many travelors will NEVER be found!  The copies of the manifest for the ship (my web site says the SS Gellert but I think I found them on the David Hoadley) was in such awful shape before it was microfilmed – the Pimsner family, minus Anna Marie, were on the first page and right at the top.  Anna Marie might well have travelled with her parents and siblings but appeared later in the manifest which was eventually destroyed by neglect, rot, rodents, etc…

I’ve NOT been able to find when John Ballasch and wife Theresia (Pimsner) and their children came to the US…  I’ve also not been able to find the other spouses (like the Fleischers) coming to the US but I keep searching!

Published in: on December 31, 2009 at 3:17 am  Leave a Comment  

Where they began?

Germany – of course!  But, depending on who is writing history, many Germans migrated to Slovakia for whatever industry was being pushed by the ruler at that time.  And, depending on who you talk to, agriculture was not the main focus for this push to populate!

Our Pimsners were mostly wood workers though Andreas Pimsner (my ancestor) was a tanner. In Cleveland, many became machinests, mechanics, wood workers, etc.

The first Pimsner I have a record of is Martin(us) Pimsner.  I don’t have a birth or death date for him but I DO have a marriage date – 27 Oct 1754 to Margaretha Stefanin.  (No birth or death for her either…) This couple and their children is where the ‘line’ begins for ALL Pimsners with connections to Cleveland!


I pretty much guess (and this is ONLY a guess) the Pimsner name originates somewhere in Germany.  Why?  For two reasons.

  1. When corresponding with a descendant from someone I’ve NOT yet been able to connect to this family, she made mention of how the Russians considered PIMSNER to be a ‘German’ name during WW II and treated someone from Romania as a Germany prisoner rather than a citizen of Romania.
  2. There are quite a few resources on-line that document the fact that inhabitants of the villages of Ober and Unter Metzenseifen came from all over Germany. And, as such, a form of the German language was spoken by all!!


Last thought for the day, there is ONE ‘line’ I know is NOT related by blood.  How do I know this?  Joseph Pimsner died.  His widow retained the surname Pimsner yet gave birth to children, born out of wedlock, and these two boys carried the Pimsner surname.  Neither actually is descended from Joseph.

Published in: on December 28, 2009 at 9:16 pm  Leave a Comment