I Found it in the Archives – Honorable Mention – pt. 1


I Found it in the Archives – Honorable Mention – pt. 1

Mystery Solved!

The birthplace of my immigrant German ancestor, John Shanely, was an unsolved mystery until I uncovered clues at the Archives/Library of the Ohio Historical Society. Not knowing the German spelling of his surname, I tried all possible spellings but failed to find him in the International Genealogical Index, ships lists, and other standard sources.  It wasnt until I discovered the Cincinnati Land Office and tax duplicate records at the OHS Archives/Library that I began to make some progress. The staff brought me volumes showing the 1818 purchase of 176 acres I knew he owned in Champaign County.  His name was recorded as John Scheinly.  Studying the details in beautiful handwriting in the oversized volume, I felt his urgent desire for a better life in this country, for according to the Centennial Biographical History of Champaign County (available at the Archives), he had survived the March to Moscow under Napoleon in 1812-1813. The microfilmed tax records showed many spellings between 1823 and 1838: Sheinley,   Sheinly,  Shaneley, Shienle, and Shienly.   A deed from 1837 called him Sheanly.  But no matter what spelling I checked in the various resources, I made no progress. Then I searched for his wife, Catharine Haisch.  The census stated place of birth as Wuerttemberg.  No other resources had any listing.  In the census, I discovered her brother, John Haisch, then found him in Rosedale cemetery with the Shanelys.  Finding his obituaries in two newspapers at the OHS Archives, I learned that he emigrated in 1817.  Not long after, a cousin found in the newest volume of the Wuerttemberg Immigration Index a Johannes Haisch, emigrating in 1817 from Steinenbronn, Germany.  I decided to look more closely at Steinenbronn, but I still found no matches in the Mormon church records.  Discouraged, I suspended my research for several years. Then in November, 2010, on a whim, I searched the Internet for Johannes Schienle and found a link to Genealogy.net and the Ortsfamilenbuch Steinenbronn.  I found in the index a Johannes Schienle whose birth date was one day different from the date I had, clicked on the name, and up came a page listing my immigrant grandparents and links to data for four generations before them! I finally solved the mystery, but only by having used tiny, powerful treasures that redirected my researchclues found in the wealth of resources available at the OHS Archives.

Carole Koontz

Posted March 15, 2011
Topics: All Topics

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