Friday, February 27, 2015

Joseph Heinrich Ringkamp

My great grandparents, Joseph Heinrich Ringkamp and Katherine Millert married on 17 July 1890 at St. Francis Church, Trenton, New Jersey. Born in Germany to Conrad Ringkamp and Anastasia Hismann, Henry was a hotel waiter. Cathrina [Katherine] Millert was born in New Jersey to Xaver Millert and Elisabeth Frankly, both born in Germany. Heinrich was 27 years old and Cathrina was 18 years old. Witnesses to this wedding were Xaver Ringkamp and Franziska Ringkamp.[1]

This single record provides so much information about this couple including their addresses when they married. He lived on Han[n]over Street in Trenton while she lived at 646 Lamberton Street. You will note that this information builds on the records found for the Millert family. (You can click on the links to refer to their blog post.)

Genealogical research requires multiple records be located for each individual, if possible. For Henry Ringkamp, family notes, vital records, immigration and census records provide details about his life.

Joseph Heinrich Ringkamp was born on 4 April 1861 in Germany.[2] He arrived at Castle Garden in  New York City on 30 April 1887 with his sister, Franziska aboard the ship, Gellert. Their port of departure was Hamburg, Germany.[3] The last of my ancestors to immigrate, he married in 1890 and appears with his family in two census records prior to his death on 24 August 1912.[4]

Finding Henry’s family in the 1910 census was a challenge. I discovered that their surname was illegible on the record and, therefore, not transcribed in the database. In order to find them, I searched for a Henry (no surname) in Trenton, born in Germany and between 40-50 years old. I found him transcribed as Henry ???. The family lived at 625 Cass Street and  I recognized my grandmother’s name, Anastasia, and two of her sisters, whom I had known as a child. Henry Ringkamp was a Saloon Keeper working on his own account and a naturalized citizen. I can add another record to my search – naturalization records!
Family of Henry J. Ringkamp[5]
Henry J. Ringkamp, 49
Kate Ringkamp, 38
Henry E. Ringkamp, 18
Joseph Ringkamp, 16
Marie Ringkamp, 13
Catherine Ringkamp, 10
Elizabeth Ringkamp, 5
Anastasia Ringkamp, 2

[1] Marriage Return, New Jersey, Trenton, photocopy, marriage of  Heinrich Ringkamp and Cathrina Millert, date of marriage 17 July 1890, return no. R75; family papers.
[2] Birth of Joseph Heinrich Ringkamp, family notes typewritten in German, held by author.
[3] New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957, port of arrival New York, Henry Ringkamp, date of arrival 30 April 1887; online database, ( : 6 June 2007), citing NARA microfilm M237, roll 505.
[4] Certificate and Record of Death, State of New Jersey, Bureau of Vital Statistics, death of Henry Ringkamp, date of death 24 August 1912, Trenton; photocopy from family files held by author.
[5] 1910 U.S. census, Mercer County, New Jersey, population schedule, Trenton, Ward 11, p. 59, ED 89, sheet 7A, dwelling 3, family 3, household of Henry J. Ringkamp; online database ( : 25 July 2009), citing NARA publication microfilm T624, roll 897.

Friday, February 20, 2015

The John Leonard Ellmaker family - Names in stone

Quite a bit of information exists about the John Leonard Ellmaker family in recorded histories passed down through the generations. Their story is fascinating and, as with all of our ancestors, provides a unique view of history. I will continue to explore and share the Ellmaker’s origins and their reasons for coming to America. For now, the family comes together through their final resting places. John Leonard Ellmaker and Anna Margaret Hornberger had eight children, two of whom are buried with them. Their daughter, Mary Magdelina Ellmaker, who married Phillip Adam Diller, is my paternal 5th great grandmother.

Ellmaker Graveyard, New Holland, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania[1]

Inscription: Leonard Ellmaker. Born in 1697 in Nuremberg, Germany. Married and came to Pennsylvania in 1726. Died in 1782.

Inscription: Anna Margaret Hornberger, wife of Leonard Ellmaker. Born in 1703. Married and came to Pennsylvania in 1726. She was born in Frankendal, Germany. Died in 1779.

Inscription: Elias, second son of Leonard and Anna Margaret Ellmaker. Born on the farm in 1732; died December 10, 1756, from wounds received at Braddock's defeat, July 3, 1755.

Inscription: Nathaniel Ellmaker. Born December 1, 1751; died April 24, 1837. Aged 85 years, 4 months and 23 days.  

Ellmaker/Kurtz Graveyard, New Holland, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania[2]

Inscription: Anthony Ellmaker. | Departed this life | April 21, 1817. | Aged 88 years.

Inscription: Elizabeth Ellmaker | Wife of Anthony Ellmaker. | Departed this life | October 12, 1812. | Aged 75 years. 

Trinity Lutheran Cemetery, New Holland, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania[3]

Daughter, Mary Magdelina Ellmaker’s marker has not been identified but her husband, Phillip Adam Diller, is buried at Trinity Lutheran Cemetery, New Holland, Lancaster County, PA. This is likely where she is buried.

Schwarzwald Cemetery, Jacksonwald, Berks County, Pennsylvania[4]

Daughter, Anna Maria [Mary] Ellmaker’s marker has not been identified. Husband, Isaac Levan is buried in Schwarzwald Cemetery and this is likely where she is buried.

Saint John’s Episcopal Church Cemetery, Compass, Chester County, Pennsylvania[5]

Inscription: In memory of Leonard Ellmaker who departed this life January 14th 1829 in the 88the year of his age  Also Elizabeth his wife who departed this life December 16, 182[ ] in the 83 year of her life

In search of –

Daughter, Margaret Ellmaker’s, marker has not yet been located. Her husband is identified as Philip Frick.

Son, Jacob Ellmaker’s, marker has not yet been located.

[1], Lancaster County, Ellmaker Graveyard, Earl Township, Pennsylvania; digital images online, ( : 20 February 2015). Cemetery notes and/or description: From William Frederic Worner, "Ellmaker Graveyard, Earl Township," Worner Collection, Lancaster County Historical Society, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, volume 1, number 20, pages 134-138.

[2], Lancaster County, Ellmaker/Kurtz Graveyard, Earl Township, Pennsylvania; digital images online, ( : 20 February 2015). Cemetery notes and/or description: From Kurtz Graveyard, Earl Township, pages 128-133, Lancaster County Historical Society, Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

[3], Lancaster County, Trinty Lutheran Cemetery, New Holland, Pennsylvania; digital images online,  ( : 20 February 2015).

[4], Berks County, Schwarzwald Cemetery, Jacksonwald, Pennsylvania; digital images online, ( : 20 February 2015).

[5], Chester County, Saint John’s Episcopal Church Cemetery, Compass, Pennsylvania; digital images online, ( : 20 February 2015).

Friday, February 13, 2015

Finding Francis Xavier Millert

Known as Xavier Millert, my maternal great-great grandfather’s name made him difficult to find in records. Pronunciation, spelling and transcription errors are the main culprits in this brick wall.

Initial findings are relatively clear. In 1880, Xavier Miller lives with wife, Eliza, and children, Joseph, Catherine and Mary in Trenton, New Jersey. The last name is almost correct and the first names appear consistent with what is known about the family. Catherine’s name, however, is spelled Katherine in most other records. Katherine Millert is my great grandmother for whom I am named.
1880 US Census[1]
In 1870, the search for this family was more difficult until discovering Sophias Mallet living with his wife, Elizabeth, and son, Joseph, in Trenton. This appears to be a case of the census taker recording what he heard. I have seen other examples of Xaver/Xavier recorded as Sofer.
1870 US Census[2]
Difficulty in obtaining marriage and baptismal records prompted a search for immigration records where a transcription error presented a challenge. After many searches, I looked more closely at an entry for Hasert Millert and discovered that this was indeed Xavier Millert. A bonus to this discovery was finding his future wife’s name, Elisabeth Frankle, four lines above Xavier’s! They emigrated on the same ship from Bremen arriving in New York City on 13 January 1864. She was 22 years old from Schrosenthal and he was 29 years old from Steinade, Germany.[3] Did they meet en route? Did they know each other before boarding the ship for the United States?

Immigration of Xavier Millert and Elisabeth Frankle
With the surname Millert, I expected the search for Xavier to be relatively straight forward. Miller, Mellert, and Mallet are some of the misspellings encountered but it was the first name that proved more challenging. Imaginative spelling and pronunciation helped solve some mysteries about records for this family. While I continue the search for marriage and baptismal records, how Xavier and Elisabeth met may remain a mystery.

[1] 1880 U.S. census, Mercer County, New Jersey, Trenton, ED 103, p. 10, house 646, dwelling 89, family 97, household of Xavier Miller; digital images online, ( : 12 February 2015) citing FHL film 1254788 .
[2] 1870 U.S. census, Mercer County, New Jersey, Trenton, 3rd ward, p. 76, dwelling 877, family 641, household of Sophias Mallet; digital images online, ( :12 February 2015) citing NARA publication M593, roll 872.
[3] New York, Passenger List, 1820-1957," port of arrival: New York, New York, date of arrival: 13 January 1864, Elizabeth Frankle, line 225, Xavier Millert, line 229; online digital images, ( : 14 April 2014) citing NARA microfilm M237, 1820-1897, roll 237.