Assumptions are dangerous in genealogy. You may find yourself staring at a piece of information that you brain cannot accept as pertinent, simply because you’ve assumed something about your ancestor. You dismiss it and think, “that’s not my ancestor; I’ll keep looking.”
I’ve been working under a few assumptions with regards to the Schmitzer line:
- Chip was completely right.
- Georg only married once.
- Georg and Anna had only the six children that immigrated to the United States with them.
Chip passed away a few years ago. He was my first cousin, once removed, and I met him only once–at my uncle’s funeral in 2003. He was, without question, THE Family Historian. He had traced our line back to Germany, and he and his wife visited the village that we call home. He met our dissenters–the Schmitzers that moved to Texas. He wrote (I suspect) the Schmitzer History that the Bavarian Inn uses on its website. He wrote much more, I’m sure. Chip knew this family–of that, I am certain. I absolutely trust the information I’ve received from his work.
However, just because Chip’s work is accurate, doesn’t mean it is complete. And I have mistakenly assumed that because it is the former, it must also be the latter. I would have loved the opportunity to search with Chip, to ask questions about how he came to his conclusions, to compare notes and make sense of the mess I’m making!
As for Georg’s marriage, I have been searching with the idea that his wife was Anna. Period. Again, this may be true, but may be incomplete. I’m unsure. I’m looking at conflicting pieces of information today, wondering if it’s possible that Anna passed away, and Georg remarried. It would make a little more sense in terms of the Schmitzers that I can’t seem to connect to our family. (I mean, really–how likely is it that there are two Schmitzer families in Saginaw, and they are not related? Possible, yes, but…I can’t believe it is probable. It’s not a very common name, even for German families.)
I am also pleasantly surprised to find that Georg and Anna had a daughter after their immigration. Eva Maria Schmitzer was born in 1859 in Michigan, according to an 1870 Census of Frankenmuth.
It requires more digging on my part. It requires making logical conclusions of the information I have. It requires less assumptions.
Goals for today:
- Find Eva Maria Schmitzer.
- Find Anna Barbara’s death.