A whole Otto confusion

Just wanted to add some info about more research that needs to be done.

In pushing the Krause line back, I decided to also revisit the Odessa3 web site and various Ancestry.com sites to see if anything new about the Otto/Maier line could be discovered.

Unfortunately, I feel that I really only discovered some of the puzzles that linger because of missing church records. Many early Otto births (pre-1833) are missing and leave a handful of Otto family members without an obvious way to connect.

For example, the Karl Otto married to Katherine had a daughter in 1839.  But how does Karl Otto who married in 1841 fit in with the 4 Otto children born to “Karl” in the 1840’s.  Which child belongs to which? The mother isn’t listed on the index!

Is the Elisabeth Otto, widow, who married Johannes Dreher in 1837 the widow of our Christian Otto who died in 1835?

Did the widow of Jakob Otto, b. 1845, marry our Jakob Otto, b. 1829, after both their spouses died in 1877/1878? (Ew?)

And finally, are the children attributed to Jakob Otto born in 1881, 1883 and 1884 our ancestors? Are these siblings to Caroline Otto, b. 1885.

The St. Petersburg films need to be reviewed to capture some additional info in order to confirm or deny the above mysteries.

Krause Line Keeps Going

Thanks to one of our Krause cousins, the immigrant Krause ancestor has been found! (Thank you, Marie Morgan-Roth!)

Ok, by immigrant, I mean, we have found the initial ancestor who left Germany and arrived in the Bessarabian area. That person is Johann Michael Krause.

This is found in a birth record of Martin Krause where his parents are listed as Michael Krause and Julianna, born Merkle. (Other researchers are calling her Maehle or Mehle). FYI, I found this on the index from the Odessa3 web site.

Godparents are listed as Martin Fleig, Gottlieb Mix and Rosina Weiss. (Film # 1768092, for those of you who want to look it up!)

Further details about Johann Michael and his wife seem to be found in a book titled Ancestors and Family History with Family Relations in Bessarabia, 1814-1940, by Heinrich WAHLERS. I haven’t been able to find a copy. But I did request it via Interlibrary Loan through the King County system.  Finally, I was able to find a reference to it in someone’s Ancestry.com site (even found it on Amazon.de).

If you are looking for it, here’s the reference info:

Citation Information
Tarutino Settlers Chronicle (Colonizers and their family connections)
Source Information
Tarutino Siedlerchronik (Erstansiedler und ihre Familienverbindungen)
Heinrich Wahlers
Call Number
ISBN 978-3-00-046721-9
Publisher Date
September 2014

The other issue I am having in following this new lead is that, while a number of people are claiming him as an ancestor, they don’t all seem to agree.

Here are a few of the things I hope the Tarutino book confirms, or at least can explain.

For this study, I selected 11 Ancestry entries that seemed representative, though, I will admit, I stopped reviewing each one because there was multiple accounts with similar info as the below. There may be others with more or different info.  (Doing this study again in the future may be fruitful.)


The majority of the Ancestry sites use 1802 as his birth date.  That is also the birth date referenced to in the Stumpp book.

But there are also references to 1795, 1807 and even 1812! (Cue Tchaikovsky!)

If voting were the determining factor, here are the stats. (And wouldn’t that make genealogy fascinating!)

      • 1802 – 53%
      • 1795 – 26%
      • 1812 – 13%
      • 1807 – 6%


This is complicated by the fact that, no matter what, the name of the town today will be different than it was in his time.

Here are the towns listed by the various Ancestry sites:

      • Schoenlanke – now Trzcianka, Poland (28.5%)
      • Wielkopolskie, Poland (21.4%)
      • Paris Bessarabia (7% – and IMO not really an accurate option)
      • Posen, Saale-Holzland Kreis, Thueringen (35.6%)
      • Szczecin, Pommern, Cochen-Zell, Rheinland-Palatinate (7% – also , this entry confuses me because Pommern and Rheinland aren’t next to each other – at least not today!)

FYI, the Stumpp book lists his origins as Golina, Konin, Poland


I thought this would help me narrow down whether there is more than one Johann Michael, but I’m not sure what sources these folks used.  So here is what I have seen so far regarding wives and marriage.

Now, keep in mind.  It isn’t impossible to have been married more than once.  But not all of these ladies are listed each time and they are listed in different combos. So, this is a true puzzle!

Here are the nominees:

      • Juliana Mehle/Maehle
      • Christine Schultz
      • Christiana Liphardt (could this be the same person as above with either a maiden name or 1st marriage surname?)
      • Anna Charlotta Zunder – also Johanna Charlotte Zunder

And here is how they are presented across the 11 Ancestry profiles I reviewed:

      • Juliana and Christine – 3 times
      • Christiana Liphardt – 1 time
      • Anna Charlotta Zunder (or Johanna) – 4 times
      • Zunder and Mehle – 1 time
      • Zunder and Schultz – 1 time
      • Juliana only – 1 time

Remember that in the birth record for Martin that I found (above), the mother is listed as Juliana Mehle.

Also, FYI, don’t get me started on the actual marriage dates – those are all over the place!

My next exercise in this category will be to gather the names of all the children listed by these various researchers and see if I can find the birth records on the Odessa3 site.

Whether Martin is his son:

Five of the Ancestry sites show Martin as Johann Michael’s son and six do not.

For the record, those that show Martin – they list his mother as Juliana.

For those that do not list Martin, those sites also do not list Juliana as Johann Michael’s wife. (Could that mean those sites are just incomplete?)

Parents names:

If parents are mentioned (6 sites list names), they are identified as Friedrich Ludwig Krause and Anna Katharina Kosch.

Of these 6 sites, 5 of them also list Martin as Michael’s son.

Death date:

Here I anticipated finding less variety, especially because one of the sites shows the Global Find a Grave site as a source.

      • 1843 Posen (8.3% and IMO very unlikely)
      • 1879 Tarutino (66.67%)
      • 1860 Tarutino (8.3%)
      • Bef 1862 Tarutino (16.67%)

The Rieger Puzzle – Solved?

Just adding an update to the Rieger Puzzle post because I’m pretty excited about something I just found.

After putting my DNA out there on Ancestry.com, I have been frustrated that I haven’t been seeing many matches that help me further my genealogy research.

But finally, I found 2 matches where the only person in the pedigree chart that I recognized was: Dorothea Rieger, b. 1867. Two other matches to the Rieger line were also from supposed siblings of Eva.

If you’ll remember, I was working hard to logically connect Eva Rieger, my ancestor, with the Rieger/Rieker family that immigrated to the U.S. Eva died back in Russia and there were various spellings of the name and a few families to choose from.

My best guess linked Eva with the family of Johannes Rieker and Catharina Haeberle, remember?  But when I approached the descendants of that family, they had no clue about anyone named Eva.  They admitted that there was a gap in the spacing of the children that Eva fit into perfectly. But beyond my deductions, there was no evidence.

Finally, with a DNA link between me, a descendant of Eva Rieger Mehlhoff, and the descendants of Johannes Rieker and Catharina Haeberle, I feel that this connection is complete!

Besides the 2 connections to Dorothea Rieger, there is also a connection with a descendant of Eva’s brother John and another that I believe will connect with her brother Fredrich, who moved to Canada!

I have written to these 4 connections to see if they are willing to connect and share any history they know.

Where are the cameras for that genealogy show now?  I’ve got my story all typed up…

The Rieger Puzzle

As I was updating my sister’s Ancestry.com site, I noticed quite a lot of confusion around the Rieger family back in the Odessa/Kherson area.

This German Russian family is turning into quite the puzzle.

While I felt I had the Rieker/Haberle family figured out, I am trying to map it out further due to some new records found on Ancestry.com itself.

Namely, the births of Johann and Conrad Rieger  (1852 and 1854, respectively) in Nikolajew. These boys don’t even appear in the unconnected Rieger families in the Ehrman research. (FYI, FamilySearch only has records for Nikolajew during 1848 and 1850-1852)

(Idea – write to Ehrman and ask about Nikolajew)

Link to someone who has parents listed for Johann Rieger

Figure out who Johann b 1852 is?

Proposed parents of Johann Rieger


McKnight’s – from Scotland to Australia

I was recently watching an episode of the show on OPB “Finding Your Roots,” and they commented on how many of the immigrants in Australia were criminals.  I realized I really didn’t know whether our McKnight ancestors got sent to Australia or whether they really chose to go.

So I hopped on Ancestry.com and found their passenger record.

If that link didn’t open for you, it basically shows James, age 19, and his wife, Janet, age 29 as they arrived in Australia.

James was a Farm Servant from Kirkconnel, Dumfries and Janet, simply listed as his wife, from Ayr.

Here’s the fun part of this discovery.  They traveled on the ship the Royal Saxon.

According to Wikipedia, this ship was present during the first battle of the Opium War. Check it out!

FYI, “assisted immigrants” refers to those people whose passage was subsidized or paid for through one of the assisted immigration schemes to New South Wales from the United Kingdom.

If you remember, Janet, James’ first wife, died shortly after their arrival.  I believe the coroner’s inquest record says drowning.

So, next I turned to figuring out how Sarah Howell arrived. But evidently, there are not as many records of the Welsh coming to New South Wales as there are the Scottish!


FYI, if you are fascinated by coincidence, there is a Sarah Ann Howell (who doesn’t seem to have emigrated anywhere) arrested for larceny in England.  Same birth year and also from Wales.  But she has further records in England, so I know this isn’t the same person as our Sarah who ended up joining the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint and moving to Utah in the 1850’s.