Behind the Scenes at Luxracines

Be still my impatient genealogy heart….

logo_klengMy new duties as treasurer and member of the board of Luxracines have kept me busy this summer.

Last year my genealogy association Luxracines bought a very large collection of German family books from Peter Daus of Wittlich, Germany. On 30 September 2015, we moved the library from Wittlich to a temporary storage area in Luxembourg.

Daus BiblioThe permanent location of Luxracines‘ new locale was not yet available. The Commune of Walferdange had agreed to provide a rent-free location which was to be repainted before we could furnish it and move in our new collection of books.

luxracinesfront
Luxracines Club House (Vereinslokal)

The day the keys to our new locale were given to our president Rob Deltgen finally came. We held our first committee meeting there on June 14. There were a few tables and chairs but the rooms were otherwise bare. Plans were made for obtaining estimates and buying equipment, etc.

By mid-July lockers, computers, and bookshelves had been purchased. Locks were put on the doors to the three rooms we are using. A work plan was drawn up for July 19, 22, 26 and 27 to assemble the lockers for the conference room, the bookshelves for the library, and to set up the computers and printer in the computer room.

The conference room (below) will be shared with the ladies who run the child care center located on the first floor. As it is open in the mornings, Luxracines is only allowed to use the locale in the afternoons or when the center is closed.

conferenceroomThe books were transported from temporary storage to the basement of our building. On July 27 over a dozen members, including some spouses, came in to help carry the heavy boxes filled with books from the basement to the 2nd floor. Due to lack of space, all of the books were placed in the bookshelves as they came out of the boxes.

luxracinesentryOn August 3 several members came in to remove black marks on the floor, clean up and get rid of empty boxes, and hang posters on the empty walls of the computer and conference rooms. We wanted to be ready for our first official visitor the next day. Sara Bamberg of the Luxemburger Wort, Luxembourg’s daily newspaper, was coming to do an interview for an article on Luxracines and our new library.

2016-08-09 Peter Daus visitOn August 9 Peter Daus visited (above) and brought along more books and genealogical material he no longer needed (on the table). This particular item (below) caught my eye.

FamilySearch CD-RomAs more donations of books are expected from other members we bought more bookshelves and set them up in the computer room on August 17 (below). This will likely contain mostly Luxemburgensia. This term is used for all books and media published in Luxembourg, written by Luxembourgish authors, and/or about Luxembourg.

computerroombookshelvesOn August 18 Sara Bamberg’s article “Genealogy per Mouse Click” was published in the Luxemburger Wort. It was good advertisement for our club as many new members subscribed in the days following the piece.

2016-08-04 articlePeter Daus visited again on August 20 and 31 bringing more books and two NAS drives for our computer set-up.

2016-08-04 luxracines computer2016-08-27computer On August 27 we began sorting through the books and re-arranging them in the bookshelves.

beginningsortingAn afternoon’s work and we had A-C alphabetized, arranged in 1 1/2 bookshelves, and entered into an Excel document. It was similar to working one of those sliding tiles puzzles.

slidingtiles1On August 31 we continued our work. Two persons sorted out all the books by letters of the alphabetic, our secretary worked on the Excel document inputting the books from German towns beginning with D through H, while I alphabetized the books from D through P.

Things were busy that day as other workers were in the building including a firm that installed alarms, smoke detectors, and fire extinguishers.

luxracinesfireprotectionBy the end of the day, we had four bookshelves completely organized and inventoried and another four bookshelves sorted and ready for inventory.

2016-08-31AtoI2016-08-31JtoP 2016-08-31QtoZOn Saturday afternoon, September 3, we finished sorting of the German family books from R through Z and put some order in the remaining books. In the weeks to come, we will complete the inventory of the family books and begin to work out a system for the rest of the miscellaneous books.

slidingtiles3We will begin the printing unique call numbers for each book for easier access by our patrons as soon as the inventory is completed. And, the sliding tiles puzzle will finally be complete.

The driving force behind this project has been our president Rob Deltgen. Without his leadership, the committee, other members of the club and even spouses of some of the members would not have been as organized as we were to set up the library over the summer months when many people are usually off on vacation.

An official opening is in the planning. Luxracines Club House (Vereinslokal) will open its doors to members and the public on Saturdays from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. during the month of September.

bestwishescathy1

© 2016, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

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How to Find Your 18th Century Immigrant’s Signature

What do you do when you need to see the actual passenger list for the ship you believe your ancestor, a non-British subject, came over on in the 18th century? My 1752 immigrant ancestor Johann Jacob RUPP of Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg in Northern Alsace came from Rotterdam by way of Cowes on the Duke of Wirtenburg captained by Daniel Montpelier and arrived on Friday, 20 October 1752 in Philadelphia.

ships

The Harbor of Philadelphia seen from New Jersey Shore, based on Scull’s Map of 1754
(From Etching in The Historical Society of Pennsylvania)
published in “Pennsylvania German Pioneers, Volume II” (Strassburger, 1934)
Courtesy of the Internet Archive

There are transcribed lists but for one reason or the other you may want to see the original list or at least a facsimile of your ancestor’s signature. My Jacob RUPP, if he came on the Duke of Wirtenburg, was listed as Jacob BUB on the transcription. Further research as discussed in Three Fantastic Finds Made While Researching 1752 Immigrant Johann Jacob Rupp and Working Through Old and New Research Material to Prove the Immigrant’s Ship has narrowed the possibility down to Jacob BUB being Jacob RUPP due to other evidence found. However seeing his signature or his name written by the captain or a clerk on one of the three sets of passenger lists would be so much better than a transcription.

The Pennsylvania State Archives maintains official ships’ passenger lists on microfilm for the Europeans, mainly German, Dutch, Swiss and French, who arrived at the Port of Philadelphia during the years 1727-1744, 1746-1756, 1761, 1763-1775, 1785-1808. [Source]

There are three sets of passenger lists:

  • “A” lists are the Captains’ Lists of passengers being imported
  • “B” lists are Oaths of Allegiance to the King
  • “C” lists are Oaths of Abjuration from the Pope.

These lists have been published in Pennsylvania German Pioneers: A Publication of the Original Lists of Arrivals in the Port of Philadelphia from 1727 to 1808 by Ralph B. Strassburger and William J. Hinke (1934) in three volumes. Volume I has the transcriptions of the lists in chronological order of the arrival of the ship, Volume II has facsimiles of all signatures on the original lists, and Volume III contains an index of names of passengers, captains, and ships.

The index in Vol. III will help you locate your ancestor on the ship lists listed in Vol. I, or Vol. III if they arrived 1785-1808. When you know the name of the ship and the arrival date you can go to Vol. II to see your ancestor’s name as written by the captain on List A, or as he signed or marked on Lists B and/or C. It is best to use all three volumes of the collection when searching for your ancestor. But what if you don’t have access to them or believe you cannot access them?

I’ve searched many times on the internet for digital copies of books and usually if they are old enough and out of copyright I will find them on the Internet Archive. In the case of this collection I located Volume I a few years ago. I didn’t know there was a volume with facsimiles of the signatures or an index. When I learned about the rest of the collection I searched but, due to quirky indexing on the Internet Archive, could not turn up a hit on Volume II.

worldcatA search on WorldCat, which I rarely use, turned up the above result.

And this is why I was having problems finding them on the Internet Archive:

VolI
https://archive.org/details/pennsylvaniagerm03penn_2
VolII
https://archive.org/details/pennsylvaniagerm04penn_1
volIII
https://archive.org/details/pennsylvaniagerm05penn_1

Volume I was indexed as Volume 3, II as 4, and III as 5. But more important are the views. Only 70 for Volume II as it was only recently digitized in late 2015. If your ancestor came over during this time period, landing in Philadelphia, then Happy Huntings!

bestwishescathy1

© 2016, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

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