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Saturday, June 12, 2010

Surname Saturday ~ Grosse, Gury, Schmitt

Fashionable women ~ 1850
I'm enamored with my paternal French line; learning to speak French while driving, reading French history books, translating birth records during my lunch hour, ordering films from the Family History Library every Tuesday evening. Some might say I've become addicted, but that's not true. I've been addicted all along.

New clues show themselves frequently, but most often they come accompanied by more questions. 

The knowns:
  • My 3rd great-grandfather, Nicolas Schmitt, was born in 1813 in Hellimer, Moselle, Lorraine, France.
  • His parents were Francois Schmitt and Elisabeth Grosse.
  • His wife was Marie-Anne Gury, born in 1818 in Francaltroff, Hellimer, Lorraine, France.
  • Nicolas had at least two siblings, younger sisters Elisabeth and Barbe.
  • He traveled to America with his eldest son Jules in April 1854.
  • Nicolas and his family settled in Cincinnati Ohio.
  • Several children, including my 2nd great-grandmother emmigrated to Chicago where they raised their children.
The unknowns:

  • When did the remaining family members arrive in America?
  • What happened to Francois, the last child born in France?
  • What happened to Joseph, the first child born in Ohio?
  • Did Jules really die in Ohio, or did he relocate to Chicago leaving his wife and children behind?
  • Was Nicolas the first, one of several, or the only Schmitt that left France?
  • Where is the elusive marriage record of Nicolas and Marie-Anne?
  • and so many more unknowns; far too many to list.
The next steps:
  • Order microfilm for 1792-1810 birth, marriage, death records for Hellimer.
  • Continue checking the mailbox for the will that will tell if the French-born Ohio-residing Emile Schmitt who married Mary Kauffman is "my" Emile.
  • Translate Barbe's birth record; it includes her parents' ages.
  • Search passenger lists for my 2nd great-grandmother and her siblings.
  • Determine whether the brother mentioned as co-owner of John Schmitt's restaurant in Chicago is Jules.
And so, as we French say, la recherche se poursuit!


Brenda said...

Did any of your Schmitt line settle in DuPage county Illinois? I have a Quirin Schmitt in my husband's tree. He lived in Downer's Grove, Illinois.

Laura said...

At the moment I am not aware of a DuPage county connection. (Other than me ~ I grew up there!) But you never know, we may find something further down the road!

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