Make your own free website on

August 1999


Today we sent letters to Pete Swainsen of Westakiwin, AB and Evelyn Brown Miller of Edson, AB. The primary gist of the letters was the strong possibility that Pete Swainsen was indeed the uncle of the Brown family of Edson. We included photographs to show the family resemblance and a family tree that included Mrs. Brown's parents.


Today we received a letter from Robert Westbury of Calgary. It contained a newspaper article on the Calgary Union Cemetery where June's grandmother is buried. It also contained a copy of an email from the genealogy society cemetery librarian. She indicated that the only Swainsons in their database was Herbert John and Isabella Thompson Swainson. They are the grandparents of the Browns in Edson, AB. I asked Robert to get copies for us. To this date we do not know the relationship between the Forbes and the Swainsons, but since they are both from Lancaster, England, it is a guess they are cousins or possibly family friends.


I finally got around to answering some of the genealogy mail I have received over the past month or so.

One of the messages was from Celia Mitschelen of Iowa. Celia's message was in response to a message that I had sent that included an outline list that shows the connection between the Helds and the Mitschelins. We share Mitschelin ancestors from the town of Malmsheim, about 5 miles south of Mönsheim. Celia responded by filling in some of my missing dates and some corrections on names. I have since reread the microfilm to get copies of those records.

Another message was from Murna Hawkins of the Riggle family. She was surprised to find that Les Riggle had her family information in his "Reigel/Riggle Family History." In fact, she was surprised that such a book even existed. I forwarded information on the other Riggle book and the newsletters, forums, and message boards. Apparently that part of the Riggle family is also having a family reunion soon.


On searching GenServ I found some more Mitschelins from Malmsheim. The submitter was Graig Bailey. Craig sent me an email with a small GEDCOM with some of his Mitschelins of Malmsheim. These are ancestors to his wife's family. They do not connect to the Mitchelins that I have from Malmsheim, yet, but I'm sure they do.


Received an email from Robert Westbury saying that they found some records giving more information about the Swainsons. Mrs. Swainson's mother was a Sandham, which ties to Mrs. Forbes' mother who was also a Sandham. It is probably a safe bet to assume they were sisters, making this generation of Swainsons and Forbes cousins.


Working on another genealogy mystery. Anna Guth, w/o Joachim Held, is from Bissingen (not to be confused with Biesingen where the Helds originated). In researching this branch of the ancestors, there are two mysteries.

The pages in the microfilm where Anna's father's wedding should be are totally blank (fogged). As a result I cannot determine the surname and father of Magdalena, Johannes' wife. This will only be resolved by writing to the church and asking for a copy of that page in the church book. An alternative is to go there and get the copy. Since our UMSL Community Chorus will be to Portugal, Spain, and France next year, that is a distinct possibility.

The second is related to the wife of Johannes' father, Matthaus. The wedding record is quite clear stating that Matthaus Gutt, s/o Jacob, from Tumlingen married Anna, widow of Christian ????. The fact that she was a widow was previously overlooked. It turned out there was only one Christian in that town in that time period. It was Christian Linckh. Anna and Christian had one child, Hans Jerg. Their wedding record indicates that Anna was the widow of Bernhard Wagner. Anna and Bernhard had three children. Their wedding record states that Anna was the daughter of Johannes Halbmayer. The birth record for Anna indicates her mother is Barbara. The church records start in 1650, and there are notes indicating that Johannes Halbmayer was born on 13 Jul 1625 and that his marriage to Barbara was in 1647. It took several weeks and a lot of microfilm reading to solve this mystery.


Searching through the newly received volumes 28 to 32 of World Family Trees, I discovered yet another Heppler-Held marriage. This makes the third one. The other two are in the Biesingen-Oberbaldingen-Öfingen area of Baden where our Helds originated. This one is to Anna Catharina Held, d/o young Johannes Held of Sersheim. I asked for and received the submitter and it turns out to be from a family not more than 150 miles from my home in Missouri.

There is another mystery in the Sersheim Helds. I had previously assumed that the entries for Johannes Held in the Sersheim records was a brother of our Michael from Biesingen in southern Baden. I have since found the Sersheim wedding record for Johannes which clearly states that jung (young) Johannes is from Biesingen and gives his birthday which corresponds with the last child of Hans Held and Anna Saltzmann of Biesingen. However, there are three Helds in Sersheim at this time: our Michael, young Johannes the brother, and a Hans (assumed alt or old Johannes).  There are no such descriptive statements about old Hans. Old Hans married an Elizabetha Barbara Werber on 22 Nov 1704 in Sersheim. There is no father for Hans identified on the wedding record, which is usually the case. At first I assumed that this might be Michael and Johannes' father. Then I found old Hans death record on 05 Sep 1735, which states he was 84 years 3 months and 9 days. This would put his birthday near 28 Jun 1651. Our Hans, father of Michael and young Johannes, was already having a family by that date. Old Hans could be an uncle or a cousin. However, since there is a 30 year gap in the records prior to 1651 in Biesingen, we will never know.

There is still the possibility that old Hans in Sersheim is the father of Michael and young Johannes and I have the record confused. The Biesingen records indicate that a Hans Held and Anna had 17 children between 18 Dec 1651 and 03 Mar 1690. That is nearly a 40 year span. This is recorded on one of the 40 Held family registers in the church book. Even if Anna was 15 when she married Hans, she would have been 55 with the last child. The church book has a 30 year gap prior to the 1651 entries, presumably because of the 30 years war, so there are no other children and no wedding recorded. There is a strange notation in this family register starting with the 11th child. It could be that this group of children with the strange notation, which includes our Michael and young Johannes, is actually from a another Hans Held and Anna. I have searched for a wedding record of another Hans Held and Anna in this time period and found none in the Biesingen-Oberbaldingen-Öfingen church book.

To confuse the issue even more, Hans and Anna are listed as having another Johannes on 18 Dec 1663 that also married and had a family. In addition, there are two Heinrichs in this list of children of Hans and Anna, both that got married. This strengthens the possibility that there are 2 Hans Held and Anna families in Biesingen at the same time. One of which is Hans Held and Anna Saltzmann and the other is Hans Held and Anna ?. This deserves another look at that church book microfilm, and maybe a trip back to Öfingen to talk to the pastor.

Link to September 1999

Return to Monthly Index

Return to Home Page

Copyright 1999 by Fred H. Held