German Interest Group
Researching your family tree and finding new, exciting, and sometimes surprising family connections?
Want to learn more about the German exiles? Come to our October 20th meeting to hear Jana's presentation on German exile 'Arnold Schoenberg'
Jana began researching her ancestral family in 1971, when her aunts told her she was related to a famous Indian fighter, Lewis Wetzel, the hero of Zane Grey's "Spirit of the Border". Hours of research later, proved that Lewis' brother, Jacob, was her direct ancestor. Later, in the 1980's, with the help of Elizabeth Sharp from the Immigrant Library, she traced her Bickel ancestry to Graben, Baden, Germany. Jana sent a letter to all seven Bickels in Graben and got a response from two Bickel's and the town historian, Berthold Heil, who privided her with her direct ancestors based on church records. The family story was that Jana's ancestor, John Fredrick Bickel stowed away on a boat to America with his brother, leaving Germany to avoid the draft and ended up fighting in the Civil war. Mr. Heil explained that it was a cousin, not a brother, who went with John Fredrick Bickel to America. J.F. had already completed his military service in Baden. His service in the civil war was covered during her talk on 'German's in Missouri'. Jana doubts that J.F. stowed away on a boat to America. It makes a nice story but she doesn't see how it would be possible. Jana recently purchased a town history on Graben. It is, of course, in German, so her next project is to get at least some of it translated. Jana hopes to someday visit Graben.
The goal of the SCGS German Interest Group is to provide a wide range of resources both inside and outside the SCGS Library to help trace German families. Throughout 2017, our German Group will renew its "Routing Our Roots" as well as present short programs on German Exiles in Los Angeles County, History of German Towns, Human Interest Stories on folks of German Heritage, learning German Words and Old German Script, plus any last minute thoughts.
For more information, please contact Allene Aubertin.
SCGS German Interest Group
Third Saturday of the month
1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Southern California Genealogical Society
& Family Research Library
417 Irving Drive
Cross street Glenoaks