P.S. About Pöppelreiter and Cousin Bait

Why do we blog about our genealogy research and our ancestors? For me, it began with wanting to tell their stories, one post at a time. As I’m coming to the end of my fourth year blogging, I’m amazed at the number of distant cousins who have found my blog.

As genealogy bloggers, we can’t just sit back and wait for our posts to bait a new cousin. We also need to actively search for and contact cousins who may help us with our research.

Sculpture by Katarzyna Kot-Bach in Wasserbillig, Luxembourg

In my post, Surprising Discovery Made While Researching the Schramen-Schmitt Family I wrote about the Ferschweiler Family Book having information about the emigration of the SCHRAMEN a.k.a. SCHROMEN family to America. Werner Lichter, the compiler of Familienbuch der Gemeinden Eisenach und Gilzem 1550-1900 as well as works on emigration, was cited as the source for the name of the ship they traveled on and the year they went.

I contacted Aaron, a SCHROMEN descendant who has his family tree on Ancestry. Although the information in the FB Ferschweiler seemed to be a match, we needed more information to prove Aaron and I descend from the same ancestor. Best bet would be to go to the original source.

Sculpture by Katarzyna Kot-Bach in Wasserbillig, Luxembourg

Werner Lichter had recently commented in a Luxembourg genealogy group so I knew he was on Facebook. I sent him a message asking for help and a friend request just in case he didn’t notice the message.

Werner accepted my friend request about the same time I took my latest 100 km bike ride. We chatted about riding, the weather, that his great-grandfather lived in Echternach for a while, and that he has a PÖPPELREITER connection. Yes, to the family I wrote about yesterday.

Sculpture by Katarzyna Kot-Bach in Wasserbillig, Luxembourg

I’d gotten in touch with Werner to help Aaron trace his immigrant back to Germany. By reaching out to both of them I ended up with not one but two new cousins. Aaron is my 4C1R through Michael SCHRAMEN and Elisabetha SCHMITT. Werner and I are 5th cousins as we descend from Johann PÖPPELREITER and Margaret BOMMES.

When was the last time you reached to a cousin or a cousin reached out to you?

Whenever we rode by the fisher sculpture I had to think of cousin bait and how I could work it into a post. Special thanks to my husband for doing the photoshoot with me.


© 2017, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

Author: Cathy Meder-Dempsey

When I’m not doing genealogy and blogging, I spend time riding my racing bike with my husband through the wonderful Luxembourg countryside.

14 thoughts on “P.S. About Pöppelreiter and Cousin Bait”

  1. Like you, I started blogging to share the stories and research—with my newly found Brotman second cousins. I never dreamed that other cousins would find the blog. It’s been amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cathy, I too recently had a possible cousin reach out to me. My ancestor, Jacob Mueller was married to Catherine Charlotte Loechner (Lightner). I was contacted by a Jeff Lightner, whose ancestor Michael Loechner came from the same area as Catherine did. Also, there was a Michael Loechner on the same ship as Catherine and Jacob. We know it’s not the same Michael, because Jeff’s Michael immigrated at a later date. We need to do more research to figure this out. Love your post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Interesting. Loechner and Lightner are so similar to Lichter. Those immigrants with the same names put a spoke in the wheel. Sometimes, for the German ones, it is only their date of birth which can point you in the right direction. That was the case with the Schramen/Schromen cousin’s immigrant. Thank you, Brian.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve been contacted by two cousins recently, but they found me through DNA. It’s been a little while since I’ve had a cousin connection via my blog. But, I’ll continue to write and be happy for cousin contacts no matter how they find me.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You’re absolutely right! Blogging is great for luring cousins, but it’s equally important to proactively search out those cousins. We can’t just leave everything to fate, right? 🙂 Love the photos and congrats on your new family finds.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m jealous… 😉 I haven’t been able to visit any cousins through my blog… I’ve only been at it for 2 years, and I don’t necessarily write for the purpose of finding family- though I think that would be absolutely delightful if that happened. I have, however found cousins through public trees on Ancestry and I did find a Facebook group where everyone descended from one sir name in particular, though I haven’t as of yet been successful in identifying any family relations…

    I’m curious, how do the cousin relations you spoke of (C2….) is that through the wonderful world of DNA?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kim, I have many distant cousins following me on Facebook who keep up with my blog. I found them before Facebook and DNA. Over the years, we have become friends as we corresponded by first by snail mail, then email, and on the mailing lists and forums. These have been replaced by groups on Facebook or just one to one basis as friends.
      The cousins I mentioned in this post are quite new. One I found by searching the trees on Ancestry for a descendant of a specific line. The other is a person who is well known for his genealogy work. I did not expect to be related to him.
      I will be trying harder to find cousins through the wonderful world of DNA since so far hardly any have reached out to me.
      We can’t rely on our blogs to brings them to us. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Cathy,
    I was lucky to find one of my 2nd cousins, once removed, through my blog, also. I had already known her 1st cousin, David. He told her about my blog; and now, Virginia and I have stayed in touch, too. She sent me a copy of a letter that her grandpa had sent just months before his death. He mentioned taking a trip with his brother (my great-grandfather) to work for their half-brother in Mississippi. While there, they also rafted on the Mississippi River. I never knew about this. her 1st cousin, David, never knew about this. And I never knew any more than a face and a name about the half-brother. So, this was very interesting information to add to my family history.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have over the years been lucky in that I found cousins through mailing lists, forums, etc. Blogging is opening even more doors. 🙂 Thank you, Diane. Appreciate your stopping by, reading some of my posts, and commenting.


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