Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Warenburg, Russia

Water tower

Headstones in the cemetary

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Contributed by Sharon White

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Legend of the Nutcracker

Long ago, in the Ore Mountains of Germany, a little boy lived with his family. The boy and his father were very close, but the father worked long hours in the mines. He would leave very early in the morning for work and did not return until late at night. The boy missed his fagther and was afraid when he was away from home. To ease his son's fears, the father began to carve wooden nutcrackers to protect his son while he was away. He told the boy that the nutcrackers would watch over him and guard him from danger. The boy remained fearful and so the father began making more nutcrackers. He would return from his long hours in the mines and begin a new nutcracker every night. He would make each one unique; a soldier, an artist, a king and so on. The nutcrackers made the boy feel better. They kept him company, protected him and helped him pass the time while his father was away. When the son grew to be a man and had a son of his own, he continued the tradition his father started and began making nutcrackers for his own son. And so the tradition came to be passed from generation to generation. The collection of nutcrackers continued to grow and each generation added its own unique qualities to the nutcrackers.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Events of Interest

The German Chorus Harmonie Christmas concert will be held: Sunday, Dec. 11, at the Wasatch Presbyterian Church, 1626 S. 1700 W., at 7:00 P. M. (This is the group that sang at the SLC convention.) German Market(lunch and gifts): Saturday, December 3, at 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m., at St. John's Lutheran Church, 1030 S. 500 E.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Christmas Party


The Christmas party will be December 10th from 2 to 4 P. M. at the Golden Corral, 665 E. 7200 S., Midvale. We will be in the private meeting room, and will exchange (wrapped) Christmas ornaments after we eat. Cost for the meal is $9.49. Hope to see you at our Christmas party. It's always lots of fun!
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Thursday, November 3, 2011

There will not be an Intermountain Chapter meeting in November.

This Saturday

November 5, the Family History Library has 5 German Research classes: 9:00 A. M., Using German Church Records; 10:20 A. M., New Internet Sources and Resources; 11:40 A. M., Ask an Expert; Q & A 2:00 P. M., Online Gazeteers and Maps; 3:20 P. M., More Tools for Solving Research Problems.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

From the Salt Lake Tribune

Historians Seeking Utah Law Enforcement Memorabilia State historians are launching an effort to collect law enforcement memorabilia Utahans might have stored away. It’s important to save our law enforcement history because its something being lost every second,” said Melissa Coy Ferguson, the manuscripts curator with the Utah State Historical Society. She said many law enforcement journals, booking documents or other old items of interest are often tossed because people or agencies don’t know what else to do with them. Some are tucked away in attics or garages. Several families do not understand what they have. Any items donated will be stored and protected for future generations. Everything will be available to the public upon request to study or look at in the state archives. The Salt Lake City police and fire departments are also looking for any historical items involving people who served in either agency so they can be displayed in a museum to be housed in the new Public Safety Building slated to open in 2013. It is hard to part with your family’s memorabilia. Those with donations are asked to call the Salt Lake City police at 801-799-3000 and ask for Mike Ross. Anyone with any other items to donate to the state are asked to call Melissa Coy Ferguson at 801-533-3550. Remember to protect those items of historical value and consider donating to a worthy cause when the time comes. Ensure the items are protected properly at all times. What items are stored in your attic or garage that could be shared? Always be aware of what items are in your possession; ensure they are itemized. (Thanks to Dee Hert for sharing this article with us.)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Don't Forget


This Saturday, October 22, is our Intermountain Chapter meeting. There's lots of great stuff in the basket raffle this month, so don't miss your chance to win! Hope to see you there at 10001 Hook Drive, South Jordan. We will start the meeting at 12:00 noon.
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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Russia, 2003


The top picture is Sharon White on her cruise on the Volga River. The second photo was taken in front of the home of Sharon's Kisling ancestors in Warenburg.
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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Additional Resources Available for Chapter Member Use

Dee Hert has the following new resources:

Maps: 1-70, (exceptions are the color maps)


A Century of Russian Mennonite History in America, Harley J. Stucky

The Heritage of the Swiss Volhynia Mennonites, Solomon Stucky

The Pioneer Hymnal

Dorf Buch, Landes- und Kulturgeschichte, Sudkicher Vogelsberg

The German Research Companian
, Riemer, Minert, and Anderson

(Just for your information, Dee has agreed to be the village coordinator for Alexanderdorf.)

Annette Reynolds has the following new resources:


1857 of Warenburg


German Food & Folkways, R M H Gueldner

Paradise on the Steppe, Joseph S. Height

The Czar's Germans, Hattie Plum Williams

Deciphering Gothic Records, Fay S. Dearden

The German Research Companion, Riemer, Minert, Anderson

Finding Your German Ancestors, Kevan M. Hansen

Memories of Kazakhstan, Berta Bachman

from Catherine to Khrushchev, Giesinger

Handbook for Researching Family Roots, Diane J. Wandler

Map Guide to German Parish Registers, Kevan M. Hansen, for the following areas:
Sachsen III,Bavaria I, Hessen, Hessen- Nassau I, Hessen- Nassau II

Both Dee and Annette are willing to bring their resources to Chapter meetings.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

October Meeting

This is just a reminder that the next Intermountain chapter meeting will be October 22nd. It will be held at the home of Shawnette Malan and Carol Harless, 10001 Hook Drive, South Jordan. We will start the meeting at 12:00 noon. Everyone will bring food to share. We will eat during the meeting.

Shawnette Malan will be the hostess. Annette Reynolds won the raffle basket at the last meeting and will provide the basket for this meeting. Bill and Karen will be attending the National Board meeting in Lincoln next week and will give us more information about the convention. Sharon White will give a presentation about her trip to Russia in 2003. She was in Moscow, Saratov, the Engels Archive, and five of her Volga Villages: Laub, Kukkus, Warenburg, Straub and Dinkel.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

September Plans

In September we will go to the Oktoberfest at Snowbird for our chapter meeting. We enjoyed this last year. We will go as a group on September 17. If you want to carpool, we will meet at the home of Sharon White, 3285 E. Ruskin Court, Sandy, at 12noon. If you are not able to join us, Oktoberfest will start the weekend of August 20 and end October 9. The Alphorns perform at Hidden Peak each weekend at 3:15 P. M. The last tram is at 3:00 P. M. Entering Oktoberfest is free, but you have to pay to ride the tram.

Hope to see everyone!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Saturday, August 13, 2011

August Meeting

The next AHSGR Intermountain Chapter meeting will be August 27th. We will meet at 1:00 P.M. at the home of Shawnette Malan and Carol Harless, 10001 Hook Drive, South Jordan. Everyone will bring food to share and we will eat during the meeting. Shawnette will be the hostess.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Sausage Demonstration





Brett Reynolds instructed participants on the art of sausage making. His demonstration was both informative and delicious as he had many samples there for people to enjoy. All of the cooking demonstrations were held at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. Other cooking classes were given on making kuchen and German noodles.
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Polka Time and Dance






All who attended enjoyed themselves either listening to the music or dancing to the Polkatonics on Friday night. There was a large youth group there as well as other attendees, and they enjoyed learning some of the dances from those who knew them. What a great evening!
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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Welcome Night






The Lt. Governor of Utah welcomed everyone to Utah with his introduction in our German language. He shared his feelings on the importance of remembering our heritage and how great a sacrifice our ancestors made to ensure we could enjoy the blessings of being in the best country in the world. Mark Seely and Mel Bashore shared the historical significance of the handcart and other means of transportation in Utah's history. They shared stories about the challenges and the rewards of perseverance of reaching our goals. The last half of the welcome night entertainment was offered by Kerry Christensen who shared his talents on the accordion and Zither. His world-class singing and yodeling voice richly blessed us in a lot of our favorite songs. His talents covered many of our favorite songs of past and present.

Joe Gertge
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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

AHSGR Convention in SLC

Wow! It is day three of the convention and great things are happening. The Intermountain Chapter is working hard along with many other great volunteers. Browse through the pictures and see how things are going with registration, book store, library, vendors, and Heritage Hall. There is a raffle for the beautiful quilts. There's still time, so buy some tickets!










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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Mystery Solved

Of course there is still much I'd like to know, but my brother had an amazing find this week. For years we've both been trying to find out more about the event that lead to our uncle's death. My uncle, Albert Burghardt, died in San Diego, California, piloting an aircraft in 1933. He was a first generation American, born to German Russian immigrants. I knew that he was in the Navy and what his injuries were, but that was all. While searching on the Internet, my brother finally solved the mystery.

Keep in mind that in 1933, an enlisted man who learned to fly could become a pilot, regardless of his original M.O.S. Also, wrecks were were so common from failures, that dying in a plane crash really spoke little to a pilot's competence.

James Herman Banning was the first licensed African American male pilot in the nation. He and another African American pilot, Thomas C. Allen, became the first African American pilots to fly coast-to-coast from Los Angeles to Long Island, NY, in 1932. Using a plane pieced together from junkyard parts, they made the 3,300 mile trip. The pilots had to raise money each time they stopped.

Banning was refused the use of an airplane by the Airtech Flying school in San Diego because he was an African American man and not believed to be a capable pilot. My uncle, who was a Navy pilot, took the plane up with Banning as a passenger in the biplane. Banning was sitting in the front open cockpit during a San Diego air show at Camp Kearney. The plane stalled and fell into a fatal spin in front of 2,000 people who witnessed the plane hurtle to the earth and crackup. Banning died an hour after the crash, and was hailed as a martyr who made the supreme sacrifice.

My uncle died three days later. I feel sad that the newspaper article I read maligned him as an incompetent and gave him no credit for his contribution considering that time in history. Banning was significant in early aviation, but as a family, we are proud of my uncle and the his determination as well.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Footsteps From the Past To the Future

Don't forget the International AHSGR Convention being held August 1- August 7 at Little America in Salt Lake City. There will be many genealogy workshops and great speakers. Along with that, there's the bookstore, youth activities, vendors, village displays, and more! Hope to see you there.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Post Convention Classes

Monday, August 8

7:30 AM - Meet Shawnette Malan in the Little America Hotel lobby for a guided tour (via TRAX) to the Family History Library.

8:00-9:00 AM - Library Orientation (meet in the main floor classroom of the Family History Library). The library staff will welcome us and give us a multi-media presentation/orientation of the library. German-Russian research helps (specific to the library) will be given.

12:00-1:00 PM - Free Class "What's New in German Research on the Internet" (Baerbel Johnson, instructor. Meet in the B-1 classroom)

Tuesday, August 9

12:00-1:30 PM - Free Class "Reading and Evaluating German Documents" (Barbara Bell, CG, AG, instructor. Meet in the B-1 classroom)

Wednesday, August 10

12:00-1:00 PM - Free Class "German Jurisdictions" (Barbara Bell, CG, AG, instructor. Meet in the B-1 classroom)

Monday, July 4, 2011

Saturday, July 9th

The chapter meeting will be at 12:00 noon at the home of Shawnette Malan and Carol Harless, 10001 Hook Drive, South Jordan. Bring an appetizer to share. The basket raffle will be provided by Gwen Oryall. Suzanne Heinitz-Dodge will be the hostess.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Happy Birthday

Our fabulous and energetic Suzanne Heinitz-Dodge is celebrating her 70th birthday this week. She is an active member of the Intermountain Chapter AHSGR, and does so much to serve our chapter. Just wanted to let you all know that we love Suzanne and appreciate all her hard work! Wishing you a fantastic birthday Suzanne.

Monday, May 30, 2011

June Chapter Meeting

The next Intermountain chapter AHSGR meeting will be June 18, at the home of Shawnette Malan and Carol Harless, 10001 Hook Drive, South Jordan. The time of the meeting will be different--we will meet at 2:00 P. M. Everyone will bring appetizers and we will eat during or before the chapter meeting. Sharon White and Dee Hert will be the hostesses.

We will have a work meeting starting at 10:30 P.M. We will work on things to be done for the convention.

Benzel Reunion

Calling all Benzel descendants to join the festivities being planned for a gathering the summer of 2012.

Our most senior Benzel to date is Valentin Benzel, born Engheim Germany and died
1798 in Kautz, Russia. Valentin married Anna Elizabeth Koch. The family also lived in
Kolb, Russia.

Known children are - Jacob, Anna K., Johann U, Phillip, Maria E, Maria M, Adam, Anna
M, and Georg A.

Please feel free to contact Dee Hert at 801-967-5915 for further details.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Worth Watching

On Guy Fieri’s Food Network TV show, “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives,” one of the eating spots featured will be “Lauer Krauts” in Brighton, Colorado. This is a German-Russian restaurant (now about five years old) that serves up “Krautburgers” (Volga German-style “Bierocks”), “Riwwel Kuga” (Coffee Cake), and other Old Country delicacies. The Lauers are of Volga German background and trace their ancestry to the colony of Rothammel [Pamyatnaya] in Russia.

The show that features “Lauer Krauts” will air on Monday evening, May 16. Check your TV listings as it will air at different times in different parts of the country (7 PM MST; 8 PM CST; etc.). The episode is titled “From Kraut to Cous Cous” and will be on the Food Network.

For more information about the restaurant itself, check out this site:


Friday, May 13, 2011

May Meeting

The next meeting is Saturday, May 21st, at the home of Shawnette Malan and Carol Harless, 10001 Hook Drive, South Jordan. We will meet at 12:00 noon and everyone will bring appetizers. We will eat during the meeting. Sharon White will provide the May raffle basket and will do the May "Bits and Pieces." Shawnette Malan will be the hostess.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Things That Are Precious

Maybe it's because I really don't have any family heirlooms from my father's side of the family that I am attracted to items discarded by other families who don't seem to know what treasures they have. Case in point is this chalk portrait I picked up for just $6.00 as a bid item at Deseret Industries years ago. I look at that little face and think, "Gee, someone ought to love you." So, I do. It is obviously old; even the little square nails in the frame attest to that.

Then there is this old quilt top that I found just last weekend in an antique shop in Colorado for just $20.00. It is unquilted and hand stitched- no sewing machine stitches at all. The fabric is vintage, and a little stained like someone left it in the sun and spilled something on it. Since I'm a quilter myself, I know how much love goes into a quilt top, and again, someone ought to love it.

Last but not least, is this little toy china cabinet made from a crate. I first saw it thrown in a heap with a bunch of junk. When I asked my neighbor about it, she told me it was made by her brother-in-law before World War II. He served in the Navy and died when his ship was sunk during the war. Several weeks later my youngest son pulled it out of the dumpster and brought it to me because he loved old things, just like me.
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So, where am I going with all of this? I guess I'm saying take care of your family treasures. Collect everything you've got, be it documents, photos, letters, or objects. Assess and archive those items as to purpose, for research or as part of your story. Then write the story, so that your treasures don't end up at my house.

Friday, April 29, 2011

May 21st

The next meeting is Saturday, May 21st, at the home of Shawnette Malan and Carol Harless, at 10001 Hook Drive, South Jordan. We will meet at 12:00 noon and everyone will bring appetizers. Sharon White will provide the May raffle basket and will do the May "Bits and Pieces." Shawnette will be the hostess.

FOOTSTEPS From the Past To the Future

To register for the AHSGR 2011 Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah, call 1-800-437-5288. It will be held July 31- August 7, at the Little America Hotel.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

April Meeting

The April 16 chapter meeting will be held at the home of Shawnette Malan and Carol Harless: 10001 Hook Drive, South Jordan. We will meet at 12:00 noon. Everyone will bring appetizers and we will eat during the meeting. The host and hostess will be Pat and Shirley Ansley. The April raffle basket will be provided by Joe Gertge. Joe will also do the April Bits and Pieces.

Be sure to bring things for Gwen to sell at her yard sale if you have anything. She is trying to raise money to fund the youth activities at the convention.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Globeville, Colorado Rocky Mountain News, May 13, 1901

The mysterious shooting of Mrs. Anna Wiederspahn, at the home of Louis Loos, in Globeville, early Sunday morning has roused the town to excitement and speculation.

One minute before the tragedy she was kneeling at the bedside of Loos' wife, ministering in love and kindness to the woman who was passing through the critical period of motherhood, and the next she passed into the kitchen where a shot was fired. A light was struck and she was found lying in a pool of blood with a
bullet wound in her left temple. This was at 2:00 Sunday morning and since then the authorities have vainly endeavored to solve the puzzle of her death. Close by her side lay a .38 caliber revolver, but there were no signs that she had committed suicide. Her face bore no marls of powder buns and her family says she could never be induced to handle a weapon.

Many believe the shooting, while probably accidental, was the act of Loos, the husband of the woman Mrs. Weiderspahn, as she was known by her neighbors, went to wait. Loos is in a desperate mood over the shooting and has, according to several citizens of Globeville, told conflicting stories.

Ex-Marshall Johnson says Loos came to him a few minutes after the shooting and said he had killed Mrs. Weiderspahn. The family of the dead woman say that Mr. Loos appeared at their home in great excitement saying his brother had killed the woman. Mr. Loos yesterday said the death was accidental and offers no satisfactory account of the tragedy. He has not been arrested, as his protestations of innocence are taken in good faith, and the two families have been on very intimate terms.

Important light is thrown on the mystery by William Wheeler of 1723 Thirty-fifth street, and Dan Corkey of Globeville. They were coming from a dance at Argo, and passed the Loos house about 2:00 in the morning. They say they distinctly heard four shots fired. Joseph Heim, town magistrate, examined the weapon and found it contained five empty shells.

Mrs. Weiderspahn was a prominent member of the Lutheran church of Globeville. As an intimate friend of the Loos family, she was called to their home about midnight of Saturday to render services to Mrs. Loos. Mr. Loos says she came, and went at once into the little bedroom off the kitchen. There she kneeled down by Mrs. Loos' bedside and prayed silently for a few minutes. Earlier in the evening, he says, he moved his revolver and other articles from the bedroom out onto the kitchen table. He says the gun was covered by some children's clothes.

After praying, he says, Mrs. Weiderspahn stepped into the kitchen. At that time he claims to have been in the front room sitting on the bed. He heard a shot and the light in the kitchen suddenly went out. When he struck a match he saw Mrs. Weiderspan lying on the floor, a stream of blood flowing from her left temple,
and the gun about three feet from her head. He roused the neighbors and went at once for his pastor and other citizens.

This is the story of the husband, told yesterday. On the night of the shooting he appeared greatly excited, and first told that his brother had done the shooting and next that he was "fooling" with the gun and accidentally shot Mrs. Weiderspahn.

A large crowd gathered at the Loos home, but the body was not disturbed until the coroner came. A close examination of Mrs. Weiderspahn's face did not reveal any powder marks and the weapon lay at some distance from her head. Her daughter, Miss Anna, says that she had a horror of firearms and the day before had refused to pick up a book that lay near one. It is not believed she would find the gun under the clothes on the table and handle it in a way to shoot herself.

T. F. Johnson was the first to examine the body and the kitchen closely. He found no signs of struggle and no signs indicating suicide. All talk of suicide is ridiculed by Mrs. Weidersphan's family and her pastor. She attended prayer meeting on the night of her death and made an unusually strong testimony, full of faith and hope, and is said to have been a model woman.

When the body was found it lay in the southeast corner of the kitchen in a diagonal position with the head near the wall, in the corner. The revolver was not near her hands.

Mrs. Weiderspahn was the wife of George Wiederspahn. She had six children, Anna, Amelia, Pauline, Jacob, and George. The family was grief stricken and the husband was almost crazed. The family home is at 377 North Logan Avenue, Globeville, and the husband is a laborer on the tramway. The Loos and Weiderspahn families lived in Russia together some twenty years ago. Their homes stood side by side, and the two families have always been intimate. Both families have lived in Globeville for about six years.

Loos is said to have been a somewhat unsavory reputation since coming to Globeville. He has been mixed up in several brawls and is said to have made the statement that nothing was ever said of a killing in Russia.

He was much perturbed throughout yesterday. It is stated by some of the neighbors that he had been drinking on Saturday. Loos' wife gave birth to a baby girl an hour after the shooting.

The Loos home is an unpretentious little dwelling on East Second Street, in the extreme western part of Globeville, not far from the Argo smelter. The kitchen in which Mrs. Weiderspahn met her death is small. No windows were up at the time of the shooting, and no shot could have entered from the outside.

The bullet wound does not bear the statement regarding suicide. While it is believed that someone else held the revolver from which the fatal shot was fired, it is not held that the killing was malicious. It is considered entirely accidental. There are no powder marks on the head about the wound. The bullet went straight in over the left ear and caused instant death. Statements of witnesses, as well as the facts concerning the condition of the body, will be submitted to the corner's jury.

The coroner was informed that Loos has been in trouble before. Justice of the Peace Heim said last night that Loos had a fight with Carl Goertz in a saloon on North Logan Avenue in February, assault to kill, said the justice, and was withdrawn.

Loos' statement to the officers is as follows: "About 12:00 Saturday night my wife told me to go over to Mrs. Weiderspahn's house and bring her to her. Mrs. Weiderspahn had acted as a mid-wife in the neighborhood, so she was the one my wife called for. I went directly, woke her up and told her my wife wanted her. She got up and I waited for her until she was ready to go.

"We then started out for my house. I had a 38-caliber revolver in my hip pocket. When we got to my house, I took the revolver out of my pocket and placed it on the table. I took a linen rag that was hanging on a chair and rubbed it over the barrel of the gun and then turned around and put it down again, and told Mrs. Weiderspahn that I was going to bed. She said all right. I went into the adjoining room and lay down on the bed, and was not awakened until I heard the discharge of the revolver.

"I jumped up and ran into the kitchen where she was and saw her lying on the floor with her head toward the window, dead. I picked her up in my arms and said Oh, Mrs. Weiderspahn, for God's sake are you dead? I could not stop any longer so I ran over to find the marshal to tell him but I could not get him. Then the neighbors came in"

Anna Margaret Schoessler-Weiderspahn was born 19 July 1873 in Walter Russia. Her parents were George and Anna Margaret Alles also of Walter.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Enjoying the 2010 Lincoln Convention

Bill and Karen Dellos with Sharon White at the Saturday night banquet.