Friday, October 24, 2014

Jacob's military-style uniform

I am hoping that someone could identify the uniform my ancestor Jacob Strassburger is wearing. I know he served in the Civil War, but this doesn’t look like a typical Civil War uniform. It looks like a dress uniform of some kind. Any thoughts?


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Anthony Bourdain and Parts Unknown

I just watched the latest episode of Anthony Bourdain's Parts Unknown program on CNN. In this episode, he traveled to Paraguay. What's interesting about this episode is that it's not just another food adventure for Anthony--he is also searching for his great-great-grandfather, Jean Bourdain, who left France and immigrated to Paraguay in the 1850's.  Family lore had it that Jean went to Paraguay to seek out a kind of utopia, via a new, Latin American version of Bordeaux, France. The other legend was he was a gun-runner, a drug-runner, or a hat maker/seller. Or all of them. Unfortunately, the family lost track of and never knew what happened to Jean.
True to fashion, Anthony is enjoying his usual food journey, enjoying Paraguayan cuisine while finding clues to his ancestor.  Although it's not a typical genealogy program, it's a great twist for Anthony Bourdain. It's not just about the food, it's family history too!

By the way--many of CNN's on-air talent are sharing their genealogical adventures all this week.

Gates to the Past Genealogy, Jacob Strassburger, and me!

Hi all,

It's been a while, hasn't it?  Well, that's because Gates to the Past Genealogy and I have moved to a new location. After a lifetime of thinking that this would never happen, yours truly has taken a leap and became a first-time homeowner! And since Gates to the Past Genealogy and I live together, it's a new location for both of us.  As a result, I had to put genealogy on hold for a while until I set up the new household. Even though the address has changed, the contact info for Gates to the Past Genealogy hasn't changed--email is or

The good news is that I am now up and running with Gates to the Past Genealogy and I have happily returned to my passion of genealogy research. I even took an online course on the Chronological Considerations of German research, via the National Institute of Genealogical Research. I earned a B+ on the final! Not bad for someone who's been "out of practice".

What's also new is that I'm working on one ancestor who served in the US Civil War.  His name is Jacob Strassburger, who served in Company G, 14th Regiment from Illinois. He served between February and September of 1865.  Not sure exactly what he did during his service, but it appears that he deserted for two weeks in July of 1865, and then was returned to service until he mustered out in September. I have several cousins who are very interested in this ancestor, as his service may qualify us to become members of the Daughters of the Union of the Civil War lineage society. So, my task is to find all the records so we can submit the application.

Are there any Strassburgers out there? Love to hear from you.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Kathy's Gates to the Past : Obituary for William Freukes, Jr.

Kathy's Gates to the Past : Obituary for William Freukes, Jr.: I recently solved a bit of a mystery in my family tree. The mystery involves the whereabouts of William Freukes, Jr. He's the brother of...

Obituary for William Freukes, Jr.

I recently solved a bit of a mystery in my family tree. The mystery involves the whereabouts of William Freukes, Jr. He's the brother of my great-great grandmother, Margaret Freukes Cain. The two siblings--along with their other siblings Peter Freukes and Mary Freukes Siegle--grew up in Dahlgreen, Carver County, Minnesota. William Jr. was married briefly to Mary Ann Ruder--until they divorced. After that, I couldn't figure out where William Jr. went.
The good news is that I just acquired a copy of his obituary, from Pueblo, Colorado.  Actually, there are five versions that appeared in the Chieftain newspaper on five consecutive days. The most interesting obit is the fifth one (see below), which described the funeral service. The service was at the St. Francis Xavier (Catholic) church. The service was a Requiem High Mass, with the children's choir singing. William's niece Bernice Siegle was one of six flower bearers, along with six pallbearers.
Note: A Requiem Mass (Mass of the dead) is offered for the repose of the soul or souls of deceased persons. It is often used in the context of a funeral, but could be applied to other services associated with death and mourning.