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October 1999


Received an email from Marion Sim today. Marion is the Alberta Genealogy Society person that Robert Westbury contacted in our behalf in Calgary Alberta for our research of June's Forbes, Swainson, and Brown families. Marion indicates she found the birth certificates for Herbert John Swainson and Isabella Thompson Whittam.  She also found the newspaper obituaries of Franklin (Pat) Brown, Bertha Brown, Leo Brown, Mrs. I.T. Swainson, Herbert J. Swainson, and Marie Brown, all part of the Swainson-Brown family. She also found in the 1881 Census Programme for England, Scotland and Wales, the names and birthplaces of the parents/brothers/sister/grandmother/uncle of Herbert John Swainson.


I have discussed the 30-year gap in the church records in Biesingen before. Today I had a flash of genius of a method that just might bridge that gap. It was common practice in those days to name your children according to a schedule, based on their parents and grandparents names. According to one of the naming schedules (the numbers are the ahnentafel numbers): This is to be applied to the following family of Johannes (Hans) Held and Anna:
 1   Johannes Held, AKA Hans Held, b: Abt. 28 Jun 1651 Biesingen Donaueschingen Baden d: 05 Sep 1735 Sersheim Vaihingen/Enz Würtemberg
..  +Anna ? b: Abt. 1655 m: Abt. 1675 d: 15 Dec 1691 Biesingen Donaueschingen Baden
.. 2   Michael Held b: 19 Dec 1676 Biesingen Donaueschingen Baden  d: 14 Mar 1678 Biesingen Donaueschingen Baden
..2   Maria Held b: 11 Aug 1678 Biesingen Donaueschingen Baden  d: 22 Aug 1679 Biesingen Donaueschingen Baden
.. 2   Michael Held b: 15 Sep 1679 Biesingen Donaueschingen Baden  d: 12 Mar 1746 Aurich Vaihingen/Enz Würtemberg
.. 2   Veronica Held b: 03 Feb 1682 Biesingen Donaueschingen Baden
.. 2   Catharina Held b: 21 Nov 1683 Biesingen Donaueschingen Baden
.. 2   Heinrich Held b: 07 Jul 1685 Biesingen Donaueschingen Baden
.. 2   Anna Maria Held b: 11 Aug 1688 Biesingen Donaueschingen Baden  d: 09 Oct 1688 Biesingen Donaueschingen Baden
.. 2   Johannes Held b: 03 Mar 1690 Biesingen Donaueschingen Baden  d: 15 Mar 1755 Sersheim Vaihingen/Enz Würtemberg

This results in:

At least one of these names match, 3rd son Johannes named for the father. 3rd daughter Catharina could be named after her mother, Anna Catharina, and her mother chooses to be called Anna. The resulting pedigree (with ahnentafel numbers) now becomes: So what I will be looking for in the B-O-Ö church book is:
  1. Marriage about 1675 of Johannes (or Hans), s/o Michael Held to Anna (Catharina)
  2. Marriage about 1650 of Michael, s/o ? Held to Veronica (Note: probably in data gap)
  3. Children of Michael Held and Veronica starting in 1650, specifically looking for son Johannes (Note: found)
  4. Marriage about 1650 of Heinrich, s/o ?? to Maria
  5. Children of Heinrich ? and Maria starting around 1650, specifically looking for daughter Anna (Catharina)
  6. Birth of Michael Held about 1625.
  7. Birth of Anna (Catharina) about 1625
  8. Birth of Heinrich about 1625
  9. Birth of Maria about 1625
There is no doubt some of these possible leads are too open to question. But, let's see what we find. There is a Michael Held and Veronica family that starts showing at the beginning of the restart on 16 Nov 1652. Johannes could be a prior son. Assuming that Johannes is the first child, here is the family.

 1   Michael Held b: Abt. 1625
..  +Veronica ? b: Abt. 1625 m: Abt. 1650 Biesingen Donaueschingen Baden d: 04 Apr 1686 Biesingen Donaueschingen Baden
 2   Johannes Held b: Abt. 28 Jun 1651 Biesingen Donaueschingen Baden ?  d: 05 Sep 1735 Sersheim Vaihingen/Enz Würtemberg
 2   Martin Held b: 16 Nov 1652 Biesingen Donaueschingen Baden
 2   Michael Held b: 18 Jun 1654 Biesingen Donaueschingen Baden  d: 15 Oct 1662 Biesingen Donaueschingen Baden
 2   Anna Held b: 01 Dec 1655 Biesingen Donaueschingen Baden
 2   Jacob Held b: 05 Apr 1657 Biesingen Donaueschingen Baden
 2   Michael Held b: 06 Jan 1659 Biesingen Donaueschingen Baden
 2   Michael Held b: 21 Jul 1661 Biesingen Donaueschingen Baden
 2   Catharina Held b: 17 Jun 1664 Biesingen Donaueschingen Baden

By adding Johannes as the first son, the third son now becomes Michael the same as the father, as it should be in the naming convention. Applying these names to the Germanic naming convention and adding to the above pedigree gives us:

Now I must add to my list of inquiries and see how closely I can match those families. #6 above now becomes Michael the s/o Johannes Held and possibly Anna Maria. We add the following:
  1. Birth of Johannes (Hans) Held s/o Jacob about 1600.
  2. Marriage of Johannes (Hans), s/o Jacob Held to Anna Maria about 1625.
The primary goal is to cross that 30-year gap to the earlier Held families. What does it matter that it might not be the correct one. At least this will get a plausible link to those earlier families. I tried this same naming scheme to the families of Michael, b:15 Sep 1679, and his brother, Johannes. Many of the same names seem to appear at the same places in the pedigree from both families.

A Held researcher from Donaueschingen, Karl Ludwig Hoenle, has entered most of these Held data into the LDS Ancestry file. I wonder if he is open to going over to Öfingen next summer and helping me put together all of these early Held families. Reading from the original source book would be so much easier than trying to read from the microfilm.


Received package from Marion Sim of the Alberta Genealogical Society. It contained copies of several newspaper pages of obituaries of the Swainson and Brown families of Edson, Alberta, plus 1881 Brittish Census information on the Swainsons as well as birth certificates. I asked her how she got the nice printout of the 1881 Brittish Census data. She said their genealogical society purchased a program and 25 CDs from the LDS FHL. She says it is neat, because when you find one person you can go up and down the street looking for neighbors. I must see if we have a copy locally. The data were very complete, a clear computer printout including the full name of everyone in the house, their age, family relationship, and occupation (even student). June needs to find the Forbes, James, Sandhams, and Yoxons in the same census as well as any earlier ones.


Marion Sim, the Edmonton genealogy contact, had sent 1881 British census information on the Whittams, cousins to the Sandhams. I contacted her to find out how she got the nice computer printout of those data. Her response was that the LDS FamilySearch had a set of CDs of the 1881 British census. I will check at my local Family History Center to see what is available.


Received an email from Jim King, a Regina Held - Joseph Frantz descendant. He sent a GEDCOM of another branch of this family. I will ask Jim to take responsibility for this part of the Held family. I now have contacts in all the Held branches except the Louisa Held - Samuel Kunkle branch. That is strange, because the Kunkle family seems to be the most organized as a national group.

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Copyright 1999 by Fred H. Held