Triplets in the family??

John Boll & Barbara Platzer tripletsThis haunting photo was found in a Bible that originally belonged to my great grandmother Lena Wilhelms Kohler.  It was passed on to her only child, my grandmother, Emma Kohler Boll and then came into my family with Grandma Boll’s death.  Grandma Boll recorded family information in this Bible for both her family and her husband’s family so I hope that the pictures that were inserted in the Bible could be from both families also.  In 2010 I sent this photo in to Maureen Taylor, the Photo Detective to see if it would interest her enough to write about in her blog for Family Tree Magazine.  I believe that it is a photo of my great grandparents John Boll and Barbara Platzer Boll holding my grandfather, Charles Matthew Boll, his twin? brother George, and maybe a third baby who did not survive long enough to be baptized with Charles and George 15 days after their birth. For one segment of Maureen Taylor’s analysis of the photo see it    here .  My sole basis for this identification of the photo is because my grandfather’s was the only multiple birth I have discovered in any of the family.  If this is indeed a photo of Charles Matthew Boll and his siblings, it would make sense that it would be found in a place of honor in his wife’s Bible.

Many people in the 1800’s and early 1900’s had professional photos taken as their only memento of a deceased loved one.  The collection of photos in Grandma’s Bible includes several photos of obviously dead people.  Now, with the proliferation of cameras we have multiple pictures of all our family members, some people even have videos of their children’s birth and in the case of a still born baby the hospital will take photos and the family often will also, even with their phones.  At the time of this picture people did not have their own cameras, they had to pack up and trek down to a photographer’s studio or have a photographer come to their home.  It was not a casual thing.  The reverse side of this carte-de-visite size photo has an advertisement for the photographer.

SpZS9dQ5mEKYKv1Fkp7vJDSQ6lgt-RuYJvMHD2soNFo   Tobias & Co specifically addresses mothers and heads of families regarding the difficulty of obtaining “good and permanent Pictures of Babies”  and advertising that they have a patent on a new process to facilitate this.

Maureen Taylor could not absolutely confirm a date for this photo because they are just wearing everyday clothing that did not change according to fashion trends. But, as I am writing this I have thought of 2 other avenues of research to pursue to better nail down a date for this photo. 1.  I will go back to the baptismal records and check the 15 days between the 8th of Dec 1883, their birth, and the 23rd when the baptism of Charles and George took place.  Possibly the 3rd baby was baptized immediately at birth because of his/her weakness or still-birth.  When the baptismal records were originally obtained, many years ago, I had not even thought to look for another birth/baptismal right around the same time.  My eye was immediately drawn to the one for Charles Matthew and I found it although the surname was Bohe rather than Boll (subject for another post sometime).  Lesson 1-  always look on pages surrounding your record, this especially applies when looking at Census records.   2.  I will research patents obtained by Tobias & Co.  If this patent was not registered until 1900, then it could not be on the reverse of a photo printed in 1883.  Now, care needs to be taken here because either the photographer could have applied for the patent, but not have had it issued already officially, but still advertised it as “secured”  or this photo could be a later reprint of a negative taken in 1883.



Carolinas Research

I’m currently on an airplane heading back to the Charlotte, North Carolina area for a month long stay.  It will be genealogy heaven!  Living  in the Western United States for the past 42 years of my life I have always had to travel to explore the places where ancestors left their records, even if it was only travelling to Salt Lake City to view microfilms from around the world. I’m looking forward to being surrounded by State Archives and county court houses just  a couple hours drive away in any direction.  A few months ago I was able to spend a wonderful day in the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library’s Robinson-Spangler Room and found so many interesting things on my husband’s Penney and Barclay lines there I can hardly wait to go back!    Several years ago we made a short stop at the South Carolina Department of Archives and History in Columbia, SC.  to research his Bamburg line.  We only had 2 or 3 hours there, but in that time I was able to locate the probate file of his 5th great grandfather, Johann Georg Bamburg who died sometime before 1802, and that of his 5th great grandmother Mary (LNU) Bamburg Orth, who died before 1822.  This is a page from his probate file showing the sale of his possessions, many of them being purchased by his widow, already remarried to George Orth.



Johann Georg Bamburg fought for the British during the Revolution, but whether he was a mercenary hired by them, was born in Pennsylvania and was a Loyalist, or maybe was sent over by Frederick the Great to check on the welfare of the troops as a memorial stone contends is still hotly contested.  Maybe the definitive answer lurks in the South Carolina Archives, but requires a little more than 2 hours to uncover.  I’m looking forward to searching for that answer.  Whatever the truth is regarding how he came to be in the British army, he, like so many others,  remained in the newly independent United States of America.  He started several Lutheran churches in South Carolina and Bamberg county of South Carolina was named for a grandson of his who fought in the Civil War.

While I’m here in the Carolinas I will be visiting archives in both North and South Carolina and several county courthouses, libraries and universities.  If anyone has any research needed back here, I can take care of it for you without charging for any travel time since I will already be there.  My plans at this time include Mecklenburg, Cabarrus,Yadkin, Rowan, Surry and maybe Pitt counties of North Carolina and Orangeburg, Barnwell and Bamburg counties of South Carolina.  There will not be time for all of them of course, when is there ever enough time, but my priorities can be altered it it meshed with your research requests.



Association of Professional Genealogists

The Association of Professional Genealogist is an organization that you should check out if you are in need of a researcher in a specific locale or for a specific topic.  All members are committed to continuing education and subscribe to a code of ethics. Please check out my listing.

RootsTech Blogging with Lisa Louise Cooke

Sitting here at RootsTech right now in a class called “The Blog Blitz: Create Your Own Genealogy Blog in one Session” with Lisa Louise Cooke of Genealogy Gems.  I thought that I needed some help developing my new blog even though I will not be creating a whole new Blog in this Session.  She is using Blogger, but hopefully some of the information will transfer to Word Press.  I love listening to Lisa Louise Cooke because she has such useful information and she presents it in such a easy to understand manner.  I’d better get back to paying attention, more later.

BTW RootsTech has been amazing!  I have learned so much about YouTube videos, screen capture, powerpoint and other things that will be benefitting this blog in the future.   Hopefully there will be some informational webinars coming soon to this channel!  Look at my new attempt at   It will be changing by the minute as I sit here.

Please see my primary FindingYOURhistory webpage .

Welcome to my new Blogger hosted blog.  I am at Lisa Louise Cooke’s Blog Blitz Workshop at RootsTech 2013.  This is right now a practice blog to learn more about blogging.  Be sure to check out my other blog and website at  That one was designed by the wonderful folks at and they help me design and post there still .  This one, I am attempting on my own, with Lisa’s help, of course.

Here is a photo that I just wanted to post somewhere.  This photo was in with a box of photos from my Grandmother Boll’s house.  His name could be Boll, Kohler, Platzer, Wilhelms or someone associated with those families probably in St Louis, MO.  Looking at the ax that he is holding I have wondered if maybe he was a fireman.

RootsTech 2013

Excited to be going to RootsTech 2013 this week!

St Louis Genealogy

Of all the places that your ancestors could have lived I would wish for you that they lived in St Louis!  I began my research there because St Louis was my family’s home for 4 generations. I now know just how fortunate that was!    There are many reasons why St Louis is one of the most research friendly places on earth, but the first and foremost is the work of the St Louis Genealogical Society.  Their members are among the leading genealogists in the nation.  I was fortunate to be able to attend all three of the Research Institutes that have been held to date and each one added so much more to my St Louis research skills.  Their website is and even without joining there is a wealth of information available.  For those with St Louis ancestors, the $35 annual fee to join is well worth it.  There are many databases that are accessible on the site and it is the first stop for those who want to know more about the home of their St Louis ancestors.  I searched  their Naturalization Records database for my great –grandfather, Valentine Pogorzelski and found the reference for the date and court where he became a citizen of his adopted country. With that information in hand I was able to search the correct film from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City to find the actual document.

pogorzelzki naturalization

I might not have found it so easily had I not searched on this more localized site because his name was indexed as Poyorzelski, his first name was sometimes Valentine, sometimes Walenty and a few other spellings also.  He renounced his allegiance to the “Emperor of Germany”  on  13 October 1892, so using Polish or Poland in my search would have eliminated this entry.  In fact when I first searched under Pogorzelski, even using the Soundex option, there was no entry for Valentine. There was however an entry for a Stephan Pogorzelski, which I looked at as you should always do, especially with unusual names.  There I found Valentine Pogorzelski testifying that Stephan Pogorzelski had come to the United States as a minor and had been there 5 years and so was eligible for citizenship. Now, I had another person, who was quite likely a relative, born outside the US. Following Elizabeth Shown Mills’ FAN principle (Friends, Acquaintances, and Neighbors) I have learned that one of the best tactics for “jumping the pond” is to get as many people as possible that could have come from the same place.  Even if your ancestor did not leave any records naming their birth village, maybe someone else did. Stay tuned for more articles about the many resources available for St Louis research.

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St. Louis, Missouri

My favorite city for genealogical research is St. Louis. As the home of my ancestors for over 150 years, St Louis is full of treasures. I will bring you a wealth of knowledge in your search for ancestors in St. Louis.

Natchitoches, Louisiana

My husband’s family has taken me to in-depth study of the Natchitoches, Louisiana area from the time when it was the border between French held and Spanish held territory, to the Carolinas, where Bamberg county was named for a relative, and to New York and Holland Land Purchase research.

Early Boston Settlers

Another line led to research in Puritan Boston in the 1630s, to a brother-in-law of both Rev. John Cotton and Rev . Richard Mather. He was numbered among the early Baptists in spite of his relations. Lutheran church planters and New Light Baptists in the Appalachians, LDS pioneers and Catholics, church records yield some of the most interesting insights into their lives.

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