Monday, October 15, 2012

Goettke and Murray Families Find Their Past

Sr. Lois Goettke exclaimed, “We’re related?” as researcher Marian Dietrich revealed the connections between their two families.  Actually Lois and Marian are related on both sides of Marian’s family, a fact only discovered after Marian agreed to do some research for Sr. Lois for a family history program for the Hamilton County Genealogical Society.  Marian’s research revealed connections to Sr. Lois’s family on both her mother and fathers sides of the family.  Marian revealed another connection between the Goettke family and John A Schehl organist and choirmaster at St. Francis Seraph for 33 years and St. Leo for 20 years and Joseph A Schehl violinist with Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and composer; Assistant Director of May Festival whom they had known all their lives, without knowing about the familial connection.  Marian presented Sr. Lois with a thick notebook filled with reports and documents supporting her research; she had documented all four of Lois’ main lines back to their immigration from Germany.

During the second part of the program, the decendants of Michael Murray learned that some of the various addresses that the Murray family called home in the Queensgate area of Cincinnati were actually the same physical place.  Street name changes and house numbering changes led to the misconception that the family had moved more often than they actually did.  The area is now covered with industrial sites, railroad tracks, and interstates.  The family had a picture of the saloon that Michael established in 1884 at 571 W. Fifth St., opposite the passenger depot for the Cincinnati, Hamilton and Dayton Railroad.  They did not know when it was taken or who the people were, other than proprietor Michael Murray.  Through her detective work and use of city directories, census records, and Sanborn fire insurance maps, genealogist Linda Dietrich dated the photo and made tentative identification of the people as other members of the Murray family. 

Murray’s Place, 571 W. Fifth St., established in1884.  Because of street number changes, this picture was prior to street numbering changes made in 1886.  With that in mind, the people in the photo are tentatively identified as - right to left - son Thomas, 12; son Michael, Jr. 7; twin daughters Mary Jane and Ellen, 5; bartender, possibly Michael’s brother Johnny’ Michael Murray, 47;  and daughter Catherine 2 years old.

Do you have pictures of mystery relatives?  Do you know where your family lived 100 years ago?  History is fun when you have a personal connection to the time and place.  Join the largest growing group in America and start researching your family history today.  Staff at the Cincinnati Public Library and the Cincinnati Historical Archives are waiting to help you in your search.

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