January 27, 2020

More on Hermann Heinrich Spoering from Lehrden

(Thanks to my wonderful, fellow researcher, Lydia, who helped so much with continuing the line of Spoerings back to Germany from the U.S.  We share Johann Spoering (1759-1811), my 3x great grandfather, as our common ancestor.  Her knowledge of the German language and her persistence made this such a successful endeavor.  Thank you, Lydia!)

A baptismal record found in the Elbe- Weser Triangle, Germany records (on Ancestry) confirmed that Hermann Heinrich Spoering was born on 16 January 1845, in Hollehrden (now Lehrde), Rottenburg (Wumme), Lower Saxony, Germany.

His parents, Jacob Friedrich Spoering and Catharina
Margaretha Norden Spoering (my great-great grandparents), had the infant baptized 
on 2 Feb 1845, at the only Lutheran church in nearby
Visselhovede - the Evangelisch-lutherische Kirche
St. Johannis, about six miles away from his

This church was built first in 1358 and renovated and expanded in the 18th century.  The bell tower shown with the clock was built in 1799.  The Reformation was well established in this area by the 1630s.

 Henry was the second son of his parents, and as a second son, he most likely would not inherit the family farm which had been in the family for generations at Stedebergen.  So, one of his options would be to marry a woman who did inherit a farm or some wealth, just as our immigrant Elling did when he moved from Tietlingen to Stellichte where his wife owned a farm.  Or perhaps the lure of cheap land in America called to him as then he could have his own farm.

Although Hollehrden was named as the birthplace of all the siblings, that name was changed to Lehrden along the way.  Lehrden can be found at the bottom center of the map, and interestingly, Stellichte, where our immigrant Ellings lived before immigration, is only about 2 miles to the east, and Bendingbostel, home of the Tietjes, about 4 miles to the west.

At the age of 30, Herman (called Henry) married Katharina Maria Flocke who was about ten years younger.  By 1882, they were ready to leave Germany with their three young daughters - Mary, Sophia and little Anna, only 9 months old. Their destination was listed as Defiance, Ohio, on the ship's manifest, landing first in New York City.

More information may be found on these previous posts:

Spoering immigration by Jason Snow:  

 Spoering Reunion

January 22, 2020

The Search Hits a Wall - Christian Friedrich and his father, Johann Elling

A quick trip back to the Elling family history...

In documents about Hans Friedrich Elling, discussed in an earlier post, his parents were mentioned: Christian Friedrich Elling and Anna Catharine Maria Brecht. Scattered among the parish records for Dushorn parish were records for the village of Tietlingen and that was where many of the earliest Elling records were found.

The written record of baptisms for Tietlingen began in 1700 and several Elling baptisms were within the first years, among them Christian Friedrich in 1706. His parents were Johann Elling and Margaretha Gronhagen/ Grunhagen. I have a copy of that record, but it really is dark and unreadable and not suitable for posting. However, it reads:

Christian Friedrich Elling
born 10 July 1706, baptized 11 July
Parents: Johann Elling and his wife Margretha Gronhagen
Witnesses: Hans Feitger.
(Dushorn Baptisms 1706, page 73.)

No marriage entries for Tietlingen were recorded before 1712 and in that very year Johann Elling married again - probably this was the same Johann, but we can not know for sure. If this is our Johann, his second wife was Dorothea Liesebeth Helberges, daughter of Harmen Helberges on 24 Nov 1712. (Dushorn Marriages, p. 95.) (See record above under Anno 1712, 2nd entry.)

Christian Friedrich had two siblings named:
Johann - born 11 Dec, 1700, baptized 17 Dec. Parents: Johann Elling, no mother given.
Hinrich - born 22 July 1703, baptized 27 July. Parents Johann Elling and his wife Margretha Gronhagen. Witnesses: Hans Meyer from Tiedteln. (Dushorn Baptisms,1700 and 1703, p. 73.)

Johann Elling and second wife, Dorothea Liesebeth Helberges, have children baptized up until 1732. In 1734 when Christian Friedrich married, Johann had already died. Burial records for Dushorn begin in 1777, so that death record was unavailable.

Christian Friedrich Elling married Anna Catharine Maria Brecht on 11 March 1734 (Dushorn Marriages 1734, p. 95.)

On 11 March were married Christian Friedr. Elling, son of the late Johann Elling and Anne Catharine Maria Brechten, Hans Michael Brecht's legitimate daughter.
(See record in image above under Anno 1734)

Christian Friedrich and Anne Catharine Maria Brecht had children:
1. Hans Friedrich (our ancestor - see previous post)

2. Henrich Friedrich - born 1 Feb 1738, baptized 7 Feb. Witnesses: Friedrich Elling at Hage-?,
Jurgen Buswickel (?) at Walsrode, Johann Heinrich Otten at Utzen.
(Dushorn Baptisms 1738, p. 75)

3. Johann Georg - born 26 March 1741, baptized 30 March. Witnesses: Joh. Luig. Elling held
the child during the baptism. (Dushorn Baptisms 1741, p. 75)

4. Anna Margaretha - born 4 Oct 1745, baptized 8 Oct. Witnesses: Dorothea Margaretha Olffer aus Utze, Anna Margaretha Elling aus Honerdingen?, Anna Meyer aus ?
(Dushorn Baptisms 1745, p. 75.)

5. Georg Christian - born 16 ? 1748, baptized 18 ?. Witnesses Johann Georg Smalstieg from ?,
Joh. P. Kuh from ?, Hans Jurgen Kienbostel from ?
(Dushorn Baptisms 1748, p. 75)

6. Hans Jacob - born 21 aug 1750, baptized 21 Aug. Witnesses: Jacob Holtmann held the child
during baptism.
(Dushorn Baptisms 1750, p. 75)

7. Johann Heinrich - born 3 Dec 1754, bapt. 10 Dec. Witnesses: Heinr. Sals..., Carsten Juck from Oepke and David Meier, teacher at Vorbrugge near Walsrode.
(Dushorn Baptisms, 1754, p. 76)

Sometimes the records for Tietlingen show up in the Fallingbostel records, so it was really a search to find family documents. Tax and census records around 1700 could give us more information. The issue becomes the poor condition of the records and their readability.

I think it was interesting that the Elling family stayed in the village of Tietlingen at least from 1706 until probably after 1859 - over 150 years. Our ancestor immigrated in 1859, but he probably left behind family in Tietlingen. In fact, one correspondent talked about Elling family members there during his childhood, probably in the 1930's and 40's. I guess that is why I would really like to make a visit there someday. I have been sent photos, but it's just not the same as standing in that church where many of these baptisms and marriages and maybe even funerals took place. It's on my list.

January 20, 2020

William David Hollabaugh - Post #2

An addition to a previous blog post on William David Hollabaugh, the great-uncle of my husband, born in Gettysburg, PA and died in Nebraska.

From the Nebraska Daily News Press, Sunday, March 19, 1933, p. 2 -


President Lincoln, because he looked perfectly human, was a disappointment to one Pennsylvania young man. 

'You'd think he'd look sort of different,' this young man thought.  'Being president and all that he should be rather distinguished, very out of the ordinary.'

But here was Lincoln, in a grey suit and looking quite homely, very thin, and not nearly as pompous as his high position entitled him to, standing on a crude platform in Soldiers Cemetery, Gettysburg, Pa., delivering the now famous 'Four score and seven years ago.'

W. D. Hollabaugh, 16 years old, was very disappointed.  He squinted his eyes at the president, wrinkled his nose, pressed closer to the speaker's platform, and today he can't even recall whether he shook Lincoln's hand, but he supposed he did.

Mr. Hollabaugh, now 86 years old, living at 518 South Eighth street, recalls that incident with amusement.  He was so excited because the president was coming to Gettysburg and he would get to see the great man of the nation - and then, he only looked like another man, not even as good looking as his neighbors.

Soldiers Cemetery, Gettysburg
 Hollabaugh is probably one of the first men to conduct a tree-sitting marathon.  He shinned up a tree when the Battle of Gettysburg led off with the first gun and he stayed there in his ringside seat, watched the three day battle, came down only for food and sleep.  

From his treetop observatory, he saw men fall mortally wounded, he heard the agonizing scream of wounded horses, he saw close combat and far range firing, he saw lines of men advance and retreat.

The Confederates arrived on the outskirts of Gettysburg on June 28, 1863, and they threw up entrenchments on what was known as Cemetery Ridge.  All around them were rocky hills soon destined to be scenes of horrible fighting.  There was Baltimore Pike, stronghold of the Union Army, Culp Hill, Wolf Hill and Round Top.  

Gettysburg citizens were all excited over the proximity of the warring armies.  They did not have to wait long for the fanfare of guns.  With the first boom of the real battle, Hollabaugh was out of the house and ensconced in a tree, at a safe distance from the battle, you may be sure.

He saw the Confederate strongholds fall one by one.  Cannon balls and bullets went zipping through the air and soon Round Top was barren of trees.  All the paths of that hill and the familiar woods were blown up.  At the foot of Round Top were two huge stones standing close together.  Seven men were found dead in the crevice the rocks formed.

Culp Hill was covered with cannon balls.  Hollabaugh had always remembered it as the best place in the country to get raspberries, blackberries, sugarberries and red haws.  The Sherfey peach orchard was cut down as clean as any woodcutters could do the job and the Hollabaughs had no peaches that fall.  The orchard belonged to an uncle of Emory Sherfey, living on north Tenth street.

'I saw a horse race that would excel any track champion demonstration,' Mr. Hollabaugh tells.  'About half a mile from where I sat, a Confederate and a Union soldier, both on horseback, came within sight of each other.  They pulled their guns and spurred their horses.  The shooting began and the horses skimmed over the ground.  After a couple rounds of shot, they were far apart and I don't believe either was hurt.'

An unsolved mystery came into the Hollabaugh family during the battle of Minnie Run.  A brother-in-law of W. D. Hollabaugh was in the battle.  He fell wounded and his brother, another soldier, ran over to him, propped him against a tree and returned to the ranks.  The brother-in-law was never seen again.

'Confederate soldiers did a great deal of pillaging.  Anything they wanted in the way of supplies they took,' the narrator tells.  'They appropriated horses, grain, food.'  One day an uncle of Mr Hollabaugh's refused to tell where he had hidden his horses.  A rope with a noose on one end was thrown over a tree limb and he was asked: 'Now, can you remember where they are?  We'll hang you if you don't tell.'

'That limb isn't strong enough to hold my weight,' was the repl and the soldiers set him free.

A face to face encounter Hollabaugh had with the Confederates came very unexpectedly one day as he and his two brothers were on their way to the hills carrying feed for the hidden horses.  Seven Confederates hailed them with: 
'Where are you going, boys?'
'Oh, nowhere.'
'You better take us where your horses are.'
'All right,' the boys bargained, 'we'll take you there if you let us ride your horses.'
Mr. Hollabaugh still regrets the soldiers went on and he didn't have a chance to ride off to safety on an enemy's horse.

The bloodshed did not end with the war, he says.  Bullets picked up off the fields were kept as souvenirs and it was not an infrequent accident to have a bullet suddenly explode and kill someone.  The lost brother-in-law and a bullet through the Hollabaugh house were the only war tragedies for that family.

The next excitement was the visit of the president of the United States.  It was a gala day and everyone turned out for the occasion.  As near as Mr. Hollabaugh can figure, the platform from which Lincoln delivered his famed Gettysburg address was built over a plot of ground in which his parents are now buried in Soldiers Cemetery."


 The obituary of William David Hollabaugh, as it 
appeared in the Nebraska Daily News-Press, Sunday, January 5, 1936, p. 2.

Pioneer Farmer Drops Dead in Post Office.

William David Hollabaugh, 88, who, as a youth, watched the Battle of Gettysburg from a point of vantage in a tree, and a few months later, heard President Abraham Lincoln speak his immortal words at Gettysburg, dropped dead in Nebraska City Saturday morning.

Mr. Hollabaugh died in the post office, a building which he helped to build.  His heart failed him.  Mr. Hollabaugh had not been ill before his sudden death came.

Born in Gettysburg, Pa., July 24, 1847, he lived there as a boy until after the Civil War.  He was married April 10, 1873, to Margaret Jane Furnish at Spencerville, Ind., then he came to Nebraska.

Mr. Hollabaugh worked as a skilled carpenter on the Nebraska City Post Office when it was erected in 1886-1888.  For years he was a farmer southwest of Nebraska City.

Mr. Hollabaugh is survived by six children: W.E. and J.A. of Nebraska City; H.E. Hollabaugh of Overbrook, Kas.' Mrs. Mabel McWilliams, Mrs. Lulu Dwyer and Mrs. Emil Niemann, of Nebraska City.  Two sisters, Mary Hennigh, Carlisle, Pa., and Anna Pensyl, Sibley, Iowa, and two brothers, J. B. Hollabaugh, Biglerville, Pa., and Levi Hollabaugh, St. Joseph, Indiana, also survive.  Mrs. Hollabaugh died July 17, 1934, in Nebraska City.  Mr. Hollabaugh was a member of the Presbyterian Church.

Funeral services will be held at 2 o'clock Monday afternoon at the Karstens-Patterson chapel with Dr. Harry Markley in charge.  Burial will be at the Wyuka cemetery.  Pallbearers will be R.C. Jones, Frank Fields, Charles Lare, Sr., George Lathrop, Frank Sim and Dan Hill.  Mr. and Mrs. H.E. Hollabaugh of Overbrook, Kas., will be here from out-of-town for the funeral.


January 8, 2020

The Hollabaugh Brothers - A Brick Wall Broken!

Thanks to my researching cohort, Mary Diehl, for solving this family mystery.  It has always been wondered why three of the four Hollabaugh brothers headed west, specifically to Spencerville, Indiana.  (The youngest and fourth brother, Jacob, stayed home with his mother on the family farm near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.)

William, George and David Hollabaugh left home after the Civil War and headed to Indiana, where it an uncle, George Bittinger (1810-1881) had gone much early, prior to 1850.  George Bittinger was the brother to the boys' mother, Elizabeth Bittinger Hollabaugh.  In the 1850 census, Uncle George Bittinger and his family lived in Spencerville, Concord Township, Indiana.

Uncle George and his wife, Margaret Rudisall Bittinger, had five children, all of whom worked and lived in the surrounding areas around Spencerville, some of them quite prominent.  Uncle George, himself, ran the lumber mill in Spencerville.
So it seemed logical that the three Gettysburg nephews headed for Indiana, either because they were promised jobs or thought they could get jobs with their uncle or one of the cousins.
Image result for lumber mill Spencerville IN
 George Washington Hollabaugh and William Levi Hollabaugh both found wives there and settled in for the rest of their lives.  David William married there, but then headed out to Nebraska City where he became very successful, as well.

So, it was the lure of a job with uncle and cousins, and perhaps an escape from the remnants of war, that brought the Hollabaughs to Spencerville, Indiana.

William Levi Hollabaugh was the great-grandfather of James Kline.