11 May 2016

[CA-SCGS] SCGS German Interest Group Meeting - Saturday, May 21, 2016

The popular German Interest Group will hold their next meeting on Saturday, May 21, 2016 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm at the SCGS Library in Burbank. 

In addition to sessions of the popular "Common Words in German" by Edward McKelvey and "Reading German Gothic Script" by Walt Sturrock, Jana Bickel will present "Germans in Missouri" for the group.

Jana Bickel was been researching her genealogy since 1971 when her aunts told her she was related to the famous Indian fighter Lewis Wetzel, the hero of Zane Grey's "Spirit of the Border." Hours of research ended up proving that implausible tale to be true! Jana is a direct descendant of Lewis' brother Jacob. Subsequently, she was able to trace her Bickel ancestry to Graben, Baden in German with the help of Elizabeth Sharp at the Immigrant Genealogical Society in Burbank. Two of the seven letters that Jana then sent to the Bickels who were still living in Graben in the 1980s were answered. She also received a note from the town historian which included her direct line derived from local church records. Jana's direct ancestor, John Fredrick Bickel, emigrated from Graben with his cousin and arrived in America in time to serve in the Civil War from Missouri. The family story claiming he was a stowaway, however, has yet to pan out. Jana's next project will be to get her copy of the town history of Graben translated from German.

Meetings are always free and open to the public and newcomers are encouraged to attend.

For more information please contact Allene Aubertin

SCGS German Interest Group
3rd Saturday of the month
1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Southern California Genealogical Society and Family Research Library
417 Irving Drive
Burbank, California
(818) 843-7247

Cross street Glenoaks 


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