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A Little Help from a Friend

A Little Help from a Friend

I am the administrator of the Glaentzer One-Name Study with the Guild of One-Name Studies. It is a rare surname so it is a great name for this sort of project. The name originates in Germany but I have known lines migrating out to Italy, France, the Netherlands, and even to the United States.

I was talking about my project with Kirsty Gray. She is based in England and is an expert with One-Name and One-Place Studies. She is also one of our Legacy Webinar presenters

Kirsty found an entry for a Glaentzer on the FreeBMD website. I hadn't thought to look there because I had no indication from my research that any Glaentzers had immigrated to England or Wales. This is the first place Kirsty would think to check because she is based in the UK. There is a single entry in the death indexes for a George Glaentzer who died in 1860 (there was a second entry for the same record under the name Georg).

George Glaentzer
(click image to enlarge)

Kirsty ordered the death certificate and emailed it to me. She also pointed me to the official UK vitals website that includes wills and probate. There is a single Glaentzer entry, George. There was something in the index that immediately caught my eye..

"...Francis Glaentzer the Brother and one of the Next of Kin of the said Deceased now residing at Ancona in Italy..."

George Glaentzer entry in the index (last entry on the page)
George Glaentzer entry in the index, continued (first entry on the page)

Bingo! Francis is the Italian line. I checked my file and sure enough I found George (Georg) and his brother Francis (Franz Joseph). They are my half 1st cousins, 5 times removed. Every Glaentzer is related to me somehow which is another perk when working with a rare surname. Franz was known to have immigrated to Ancona, Italy and his line is still there today. I am in contact with his living descendants. I was able to show that the UK George is one and the same as the German Georg in my file. I didn't have death information on German Georg nor did I know that he had immigrated to England like his brother had immigrated to France. I ordered and received Georg's probate file from the website Kirsty led me to. I also signed up for a free trial to The British Newspaper Archive and found Georg's obituary.

So what did I learn? I learned some vital statistics and immigration information about Georg as well as where he fits into my family and into my One-Name Study. However, the most interesting thing I learned is that he was a "mad hatter" and had committed suicide. You can read more about what that is here.

I also learned that I can text message people in England and that the Windows shortcut for £ is ALT-0163.

Michele Simmons Lewis, CG® is part of the Legacy Family Tree team at MyHeritage. She handles the enhancement suggestions that come in from our users as well as writing for Legacy News. You can usually find her hanging out on the Legacy User Group Facebook page answering questions and posting tips.


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Thanks for sharing that story. The Windows shortcut for the degree symbol is ALT 248. I am a gardener as well as a genealogist and I am always recording the weather, comparing notes with gardening friends, etc. Most people don't realize how much ancillary education they get when engrossed in a hobby. Although hobby seems a rather belittling term for an all-consuming passion.

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