Sunday, February 28, 2010

Lost Goetz family found! Photo below

28 Feb. 2010
Hello my dear Gates cousins-

I can only match the depth of my apology for not posting sooner with the momentousness of the latest discovery I have to share with you!

Perhaps it's because we just recently lost Aunt Jane and before her, Aunt Fran and Aunt Kitty, but I got searching our Gates line again. And what did I find? Someone searching for us!

I just happened to notice someone online looking for "her relative," named "John Carl Marcus Gates" and that seemed close enough to AJ Gates’ father, John Charles Marcus Gates, to be the same man.

What did we already know about John Charles Marcus Gates besides he came from Nuremberg, Germany and the family name was Anglicized from Goetz to Gates?

In the early 70’s, Nana had told me John C. M. Gates had brothers named Christopher (an engineer who gave Gramp one of his first jobs in Cuba) and Leo. Nana identified Leo’s sons, (Gramp’s cousins) as "Fred, Harry and Lou" who married "Sue, Marie and Clara."

I had found Christopher because I remember my mother saying he lived in Toledo, Ohio but to try and find the other brother, "Leo," I had to look up all families that had siblings Fred, Harry and Lou Gates and try to find ones who married Sue, Marie and Clara. There was only one family with sons of that name but the father was Lawrence, not Leo! And he was in Indiana, not Ohio. But his sons were named Fred, Harry and Lou and they had married a Sue, Marie and Clara. Marie’s last name was Beery and I remember our family always saying that Wallace Beery (old-time famous actor) was our “23rd cousin," so this HAD to be the right family.

After comparing notes with my new-found researcher, Marilynn Marshall, I found out that John Charles Marcus Gates was actually "Johan Carl Markus Goetz" at birth (Sharon, you were right about his name being "Johan" on his immigration record!). He not only had the 2 brothers, Christopher and Lawrence, that I suspected he had, but he also had another brother, William, and 2 sisters, Margaret and Christina! No one ever mentioned sisters to me.

They were all living from about 1860 into the 1900's in the village of Angola, Pleasant township, Steuben County, Indiana while John C.M. Gates and his wife Elizabeth LaSalle were busy raising their 6 sons (including our A.J. Gates) and 2 daughters in Hartwell, near Cincinnati, Ohio.

Marilynn, who is our second cousin once removed, was searching for our John Charles (or Carl) Marcus Gates because she is the grand-daughter of John's sister, Christina Barbara Gates. Well, of course, the one question I wanted to ask her was: what were the names of John C.M.'s parents?

Aunt Bobbie, aka "Aunt Gertie" (Gertrude Gates Vogel), had written on John C.M.'s 1932 death certificate, "Karl and Christine" as John’s parents but John himself had listed on his 1922 passport application that his father was named "Christopher."

Marilyn straightened me out. John's parents' names were "Christoph Goetz" and "Anna Sibylla Steffler." And why do I believe her? Because she got the records from the Archive in Nuremberg, Germany!

Names recorded in the Landeskirchliches Archiv, Nuremberg, GY, Nov. 9, 1990, as children of Christoph Götz, and Anna Sibylla Steffler are:

"Lorenz": April 25, 1839 (Lawrence)

"Anna Margaretha Carolina": March 1, 1841 (Margaret)

"Christiane Barbara": Dec. 18, 1842 (Christina)

"Johann Karl Markus": June 28, 1845 (John)

"Lorenz Christoph": June 13, 1848 (Christopher)

"Johann Wilhelm Christoph": Dec. 18, 1854 (William)

And if you still wondering, perhaps this will convince you.

The Goetz Family, photo taken May 2, 1898

L to R, front row: Margaret, Lawrence, Christina, L to R, back row: William, John, Christopher

Here is an excerpt from an article in an Angola, Steuben County, Indiana, newspaper, dated Jan. 26, 1913:

"At the residence of Mr. And Mrs. Lawrence Gates there was quite a reunion of the Gates family the past week. John of Cincinnati and Christopher of Toledo came Saturday afternoon and met their brothers Lawrence and William and sisters Margaret Fiedler and Christina Weiss and enjoyed a most pleasant visit and grand dinner. The immediate younger members of these families were with them on Sunday and all hope that many more such meetings may be had in the future. John and Christopher returned to their homes on Monday morning."

Lawrence had immigrated from Nuremberg in 1853 when he was 14, John came over in 1864, when he was 19, Christopher came over in 1865, when he was 17, and William C., and his two sisters, ages 12, 25 and 26 came over with their mother in 1867 after their father, Christoph Goetz , died in 1857.

The story handed down to me was that there was a war in Germany and John C.M.’s father was killed in the war, but that is not the story that Marilynn's grandmother, Christina Barbara told her, after having lived 25 years in Germany before coming over. It may take a bit of research to find out which social events going on in Germany at that time were being referred to as a "war" by our Gates historians.

Christopher, the patriarch, was a Feilenhauermeister, "master filemaker." Can you feel that word stir your German roots? The Archives in Nuremberg go back 3 more generations past Christoph to Johann Wolfgang Goz, then to Heinrich Goz and then to Nicolaus Goz. You can see a chart of them and their wives by going to the surname database at Jan's Genealogy Site.

I have many more surprising discoveries to share about our Goetz family and I will bring another story to you next week. I only wish that our departed Gates family members might be able to share this joy of discovering our lost family!


Here you'll find: information that usually goes out to the Gates Cousins email list, biographies of special characters as they are discovered and added to the family tree, research histories of select cases, questions and wonderings about hard-to-solve
searches and other miscellaneous thoughts about genealogy and its mysterious ability to transcend time, changing us hundreds of years after the changing event occurred.