Henrich Wiseheart: Untangling the Wiseheart Line (52 Ancestors #52)

Previously, I wrote about John Wiseheart and not being able to figure out which John he is.  As a result, one of my goals for 2016 is to resolve this issue.  A few years ago, my grandpa told me about Henrich Wiseheart, who came over here on the Winter Galley in 1738.  He said he believed that Henrich was our immigrant Wiseheart ancestor and John’s grandfather.  He let me borrow the “Wiseheart” box, full of papers, to look through.  There were several documents on Henrich and his children, which have left me scratching my head.  These are, to the best of my ability to decipher since none of them are cited, passenger lists for the Winter Galley, two orphans court records, three probate records, and a letter from a relative.  I started with the letter.

The letter was addressed to my grandpa and written by Velda Clark.  In it, Velda tells of her sister-in-law finding some information about Hans Nicholas Wiseheart online.  According to this information, Hans Nicholas is the son of Henrich Wiseheart and an unknown mother.  Hans Nicholas married Barbara Lehr and had a son, Johann, with her.  He then married Rachel.  They had Nancy, Polly, Catherine, and John.  The rest of the letter goes on about Polly.1

With this information in mind, I moved on to the orphans court records.  The first one I looked at, dated May of 1763, is about Henry Wisehart, son of Henry Wisehart, whose guardian is Gotlieb Ziegler.  Henry, the son, was born in June of 1744.2  As I had no way of knowing from this whether this was my Henry or not, I filed it away for later.

The next record, dated August of 1750, was for Casper Wiliert and Michael Koontz, guardians of the orphans of Henry Wiseheart.  These children were Christopher (born circa 1741), Hans Nicholas (born circa 1744), and Gartrude (born March 1, 1748).  Christopher was bound out to Godlib Liegler to be an apprentice carpenter.  Hans Nicholas was bound out to Johannes Shultz to be an apprentice blacksmith.  Gartrude was bound out to Casper Wiliert.  No trade was mentioned.3  It seems to be that he is officially taking her in as his ward.

The interesting thing about these records is that Hans Nicholas and the aforementioned Henry, son of Henry, were born about the same time.  I wondered if they might be twins.  However, Henry is not mentioned at all in the orphans court records of August 1750, which names all the children of Henrich.  Then, I noticed that Christpher was bound out to Godlib Liegler and Henry’s guardian is Gotlieb Ziegler.  I believe Liegler was supposed to have been Ziegler.  This made me wonder if Christopher and Henry were the same person, one of the names being his middle name, but there’s quite an age difference between the two records.  The 1763 record says that Henry is eighteen years old.  Christopher was bound until the age of twenty-one, which is how old he would have been in 1763.  I decided to leave it alone for now since Hans Nicholas is my primary concern.

I moved on to the probate records.  The first one, dated May of 1750, identifies Matthias and Elizabeth Culb, Daniel Dreighler, and Casper Wilyard as the administrators of Henry Wisehart’s estate.  It goes on to say that Elizabeth Culb is the late widow of Henry Wisehart.4  I’ve seen this a lot while working on projects at work.  One parent dies and the other remarries and the children are bound out, usually by their step-parent.

The second probate record, dated May of 1751, doesn’t provide any new information on Henrich or his children.4  The third probate record, dated December of 1752, states that Casper Wiliar is one of the bond men for Matthias and Elizabeth Culb.4

I looked at the passenger lists.  There were three lists for the Winter Galley in 1738.  Henrich was thirty years old.  He was listed as Henrich Weyshart on the first list, which was made in Rotterdam, Netherlands.  On the second list, from Deal, Kent, England, he was Henrich Weishart.  On the third list, from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he was Henry Weishart.  On September 5, 1738, Henrich took the Oath of Allegiance.5

This information is all fairly useful, but I really needed something to help me piece it together.  I decided to look at some user-submitted family trees online, to see if anyone had done this research.  I’m afraid all it did was confuse me more.  One tree suggested that Hans Nicholas went by John, which is a thought I had also had.  After all, Hans is traditionally a short form of Johann or Johannes.  It also mentioned records for Hans Nicholas in Adams County, Pennsylvania and Rockingham County, Virginia.6  I’ll have to look into that.

Another tree suggested that Henrich’s name was actually John Heinrich Wiseheart.7  That made me stop to think that perhaps John, son of John, son of John and John, son of Hans Nicholas, son of Henrich might be the same person.  I compared what I knew about the dates and spouses of both lines and this isn’t possible.  Herein lies the problem with unsourced family trees.  They can be helpful in providing clues to the next puzzle piece, but they can also have you doubting yourself.  I haven’t found anything to suggest that Henrich’s name was John other than this one family tree, and that person doesn’t have a source for that information.

With this post, I have exhausted all of the ancestors about whom I know much of anything.  Because of this, I’ve decided not to do the 52 Ancestors Challenge in 2016.  Instead, my New Year’s Resolution is to research more on the handful of ancestors who have proved to be difficult:  John WiseheartHeinrich Ludwig Wilhelm Schröder, Charlotte Poppa, Leason Gilliland (the entire Gilliland family, really), Ossian Salisbury, and Frank Springer.  I also intend to go through all of the fruit boxes full of papers next year, to see what my grandparents have already found on these people.  I will post updates on my progress.


  1. Clark, Velda. “RE: Hans Nicholas Wiseheart.” Letter to Sanford Wiseheart. 31 May 2006. MS. In My Possession, New Albany, Indiana.
  2. “Henry Wisehart.” Orphans Court Records. York County, Pennsylvania: n.p., 31 May 1763. N. pag. Microfilm.
  3. “Casper Wilert and Michael Koontz.” Orphans Court Records. York County, Pennsylvania: n.p., 4 Aug 1750. N. pag. Microfilm.
  4. “Estate of Henry Wisehart.” Probate Records. York County, Pennsylvania: n.p., n.d. N. pag. Microfilm.
  5. Strassburger, Ralph Beaver, and William John Hinke. “Winter Galley 1738.”Pennsylvania German Pioneers: A Publication of the Original Lists of Arrivals in the Port of Philadelphia from 1727 to 1808. Vol. 1. Baltimore: Genealogical Pub., 1966. 198-203. Print.
  6. Yates-Potter, Dellamarie. “Information about Hans Nicholas Wiseheart.”Yates Family Tree. Genealogy.com, 24 Sept. 2004. Web. 26 Dec. 2015.
  7. “John Heinrich Wiseheart.” Ryner Family Tree. Ancestry.com, n.d. Web. 26 Dec. 2015.

Lucia Gander: Kind and Sympathetic (52 Ancestors #51)

John Jacob and Lucia (Gander) Seewer

John Jacob and Lucia (Gander) Seewer (ca. 1912)

Lucia Gander was born on May 17, 1852 in Switzerland, to parents Jacob and Mary (Romang) Gander.1,2,3,4,5,6  She married Johann Jakob Seewer in 1878.1,2  In 1881, the couple, with their baby, Louise, boarded the S.S. Labrador and came to the United States.1,2,3,7  They were farmers and had nine children.1,2,3  Lucia died on March 4, 1931 in Lincoln County, Kentucky.5,6

Seewer, John Jacob and Lucia Gander 2

Johann Jakob and Lucia (Gander) Seewer.

This would be all I know about my great-great-great-grandmother but for a very nice obituary that I came across on Find A Grave.


Obituary for Lucia (Gander) Seewer, 1931.

This was a very short post, but worth mentioning I think.


  1. Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004.  Year: 1900; Census Place: Turnersville, Lincoln, Kentucky; Roll: 539; Page: 1B; Enumeration District:0040; FHL microfilm: 1240539.
  2. Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006.  Year: 1910; Census Place: Hustonville, Lincoln, Kentucky; Roll: T624_490; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 0059; FHL microfilm: 1374503.
  3. Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.  Year: 1920; Census Place: Hustonville, Lincoln, Kentucky; Roll: T625_586; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 87; Image: 1144.
  4. Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2002.  Year: 1930; Census Place: Hustonville, Lincoln, Kentucky; Roll: 764; Page: 9B; Enumeration District:0011; FHL microfilm: 2340499.
  5. Ancestry.com. Kentucky, Death Records, 1852-1963 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007.  Kentucky. Kentucky Birth, Marriage and Death Records – Microfilm (1852-1910). Microfilm rolls #994027-994058. Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives, Frankfort, Kentucky.
  6. “Lucia Gander Seewer (1852 – 1931) – Find A Grave Memorial.” FindAGrave.com. Douser, 21 Jan. 2010. Web. 29 Mar. 2011. Find A Grave Memorial # 46950727.
  7. Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.  Year: 1881; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Microfilm Roll: Roll 435; Line: 15; List Number: 397.


Louise Seewer: Just Your Average Female Farmer (52 Ancestors #39)

Louise Seewer turned out to be an interesting ancestor to research.  I began looking at her because I was at a loss as to whom I should write about next.  Being the left-brained person that I am, I printed a fan chart of my ancestors and marked off all of the ones about whom I had already written.  I then picked the next person closest to me on the chart, thinking that person would theoretically be easiest to research.  Louise Seewer was the lucky winner.

I began as I always do, by looking to see what records I already had for her.  I had Grandma’s pedigree chart, a few census, a marriage record, and a printout of her FindAGrave.com memorial.  From all of this, I knew that Louise was born in Switzerland on October 26, 1879.1,2,4,5,6,7,8,9,11,12  Her parents were Johann Jakob and Lucia (Gander) Seewer.1,2,9,11,12  She came to America in 1881.1,2,4,5,6,7,8  Louise married Edward Von Allmen on October 29, 1902 in Louisville, Kentucky.3  They had eight children:  Louise Marie, John Edward, Theodore Adrian, Frederick, Victor Emmanuel, Robert Alfred, Margaret Elizabeth, and Lena Mae.5,6,7,8,9,11  Louise died on September 22, 1949.9,11,12

Edward and Louise Von Allmen

Edward and Louise (Seewer) Von Allmen, 1902.

Louise (Seewer) and Edward Von Allmen, circa 1930. Photo courtesy of Douser on FindAGrave.com.

Louise (Seewer) and Edward Von Allmen, circa 1930. Photo courtesy of Douser on FindAGrave.com.

A former neighbor of the Von Allmens told me that she remembers “old Mrs. Von Allmen” delivering milk from their dairy farm.  I began to get curious about her, so I examined the census more carefully.  In 1910, 1930, and 1940, her occupation is “none.”  However, in 1920, she is listed as a farmer.  I thought about how unusual it is to see any occupations for females other than “none,” “housekeeper,” “servant,” “teacher,” “nurse,” or “seamstress.”  I looked into it and it turns out that it really isn’t all that unusual for 1920.

At this point, I tried to find Louise in the 1900 Census.  She wasn’t married yet and she was no longer living with her parents.  I found a Louisa Seever living in the household of Laf Joseph in Louisville, Kentucky.4  Her occupation was “servant.”  As Louise married in Louisville in 1902, I believe this is her.

While I was looking for her in the census, I accidentally stumbled upon her immigration record!  I had looked for it before, when I researched her father, and couldn’t find it.  I had been looking for Johann Seewer.  It was under Jacob Sever.  Soundex just couldn’t pick it up.  When I looked for Louise, I looked under both Seewer and Seever.  That’s when it turned up.

Louise came over with her parents in April of 1881 on the S.S. Labrador.  She was listed as an infant.1,2,10

S.S. Labrador Passenger List, April 1881

S.S. Labrador Passenger List, April 1881

Image from Ships of Our Ancestors by Michael J. Anuta, 1983.

Image from Ships of Our Ancestors by Michael J. Anuta, 1983.

I love the ancestors that lead to breakthroughs.  These are the days that make it all worthwhile.

As I sat down to write about Louise, I realized I had no documentation to confirm her death date.  I only had the pedigree chart and FindAGrave.com.  Not good enough.  I managed to find an obituary and a death record for Louise, with conflicting information.

The obituary, which appeared in the New Albany Tribune on Thursday, September 22, 1949, says that she “died at 5 a.m. Thursday,” meaning that morning, the 22nd.11  The death record says that she died at 5:00 am on September 23, 1949.12  So, either the paper miraculously reported her death a day early, the coroner pronounced her dead a day after she actually died, or whoever was writing the record had his days mixed up.  I’m guessing the latter, though she lived out in the county and the second option is feasible.

Louise died on September 22nd, but September 23rd is the commonly accepted date of death.  Why?  Because vital records are more official than newspaper articles.  After all, we all know newspapers get things wrong sometimes.  But in all truth, vital records can be, and often are, wrong too.  It’s on us to figure out what really happened.  This is a case in point why one source document just isn’t enough.


  1. “New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1891,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QVSK-TTLJ : accessed 13 September 2015), Louise Sever, 1881; citing NARA microfilm publication M237 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm .
  2. “United States Germans to America Index, 1850-1897,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KD75-TCL : accessed 13 September 2015), Louise Sever, 13 Apr 1881; citing Germans to America Passenger Data file, 1850-1897, Ship Labrador, departed from Havre, arrived in New York, New York, New York, United States, NAID identifier 1746067, National Archives at College Park, Maryland.
  3. “Kentucky Marriages, 1785-1979,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:F43W-8XC : accessed 15 July 2015), Edward Von Allmen and Louise Sewer, 29 Oct 1902; citing Louisville, Kentucky, reference ; FHL microfilm 826,072.
  4. Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004.  Year: 1900; Census Place: Louisville Ward 5, Jefferson, Kentucky; Roll: 530; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 0056; FHL microfilm: 1240530.
  5. Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006.  Year: 1910; Census Place: Albermarle, Jefferson, Kentucky; Roll: T624_483; Page: 16A; Enumeration District: 0026; FHL microfilm: 1374496.
  6. Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.  Year: 1920; Census Place: New Albany, Floyd, Indiana; Roll: T625_429; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 62; Image: 15.
  7. Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2002.  Year: 1930; Census Place: Lafayette, Floyd, Indiana; Roll: 587; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 0006; Image:626.0; FHL microfilm: 2340322.
  8. Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.  Year: 1940; Census Place: Lafayette, Floyd, Indiana; Roll: T627_1043; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 22-6.
  9. “Louise Seewer Von Allmen (1879 – 1949).”FindAGrave.com. N.p., 21 Jan. 2010. Web. 27 May 2011. Memorial# 46948695.
  10. Anuta, Michael J. Ships of Our Ancestors. Menominee, MI: Ships of Our Ancestors, 1983. Print. p.158.
  11. “Deaths (Obituaries)” New Albany Tribune 22 September 1949, Thursday ed.: 1. Print. column 3.  Accessed 22 Sep. 2015, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room.
  12. Floyd County Health Department. Microfilm. Floyd County, Indiana Deaths (1943-1950): book H-11, p.62. Retrieved 22 Sep 2015 from Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room.