Honoring the Soldiers of our Family!


On this 4th of July, we’re celebrating the ancestors and family who helped to give us this holiday. The image is Detroit from our recent fireworks celebration and, while my ancestors are primarily not military, they helped to form this continent. But more about that in another post!

Here in what became the United States, my husband’s family has a long history of service to the country. In the Revolutionary War, Johann Miesse, his brothers and brothers-in-law (the Ebling family) and John Klein and his family, all in Pennsylvania, served with Washington and primarily in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia and Maryland. The Civil War found Ludwig Muhn, immigrant from Langenbrombach, Hesse, Germany, serving with the Michigan 15th Infantry on the east coast. He however never made it home – he died of a fever in Detroit, never making it back to the family farm in Alma. He’s buried in Elmwood Cemetery in Detroit.

There are relatives who served in World War II (I’m not yet aware of any serving in World War I, although I’m still researching!). My father, Wilbur William Nimer, served from 1948 to 1952 in Korea ….

There is cousin Gary in Vietnam with Uncle Jerry, who served there too. Denny’s brother, Van Muhn, served in the Air Force during the Vietnam era but luckily didn’t have to go to Vietnam. And then Denny, who served from 1976 to 1998. How proud I am of him!

When we think about the blessings, freedom and lives that we have, I personally think about these men, their women and families, who sacrificed for us. With just celebrating Canada Day and 4th of July, our families on both sides of an international border have much to be grateful for. Thank you!!!

Attending GRIP – Driving Through Pennsylvania

On my way to GRIP (Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh), I had the pleasure to drive from Michigan to Pittburgh through the lovely rolling hills and mountains of western Pennsylvania. Dairy and beef farms, rolling meadows of planted corn, green …lots of green.
Coming off of the expressway and onto a two-lane road, I came around a curve and discovered a classically beautiful old church.
Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Wexford, PA.

From it’s website (https://www.trinitywexford.org/about-us/#History) I learned:
Founded in 1845, Trinity is located in one of the older settlements of Allegheny County and still bears the word “German” in its Charter name as well as on the inscription on the front of its church building. The church was born when the Reverend Michael Schweigert sought out area Lutherans and organized them into a congregation. The treasurer’s report of 1901 showed an expenditure of $3 to repair the stable in which the horses were kept during services.

Churches, houses of faith, are part of the specialty areas that I assist clients in research. The records of our ancestors within these houses of faith may be the only record of their birth, marriage, or burial when other civil records hadn’t yet been established or are lost, burned, missing. Compilations of indexes helps for these records but going through baptism records and learning about who the godparents were (often family or close friends) can be a goldmine of help to an otherwise lost lineage.

With time still to drive, my mind wandered to the journey that these, and other immigrants and travelers, took to get here and further west. My husband Denny’s ancestors came to Michigan over time from Berks County, Pennsylvania. Looking around at these hills, mountains and contrast of the ease of my journey was apparent. Only five hours from Michigan, back in the 1700 and 1800s, when Den’s ancestors were traveling, or these congregants of Rev. Schweigert, the easiest way was likely the rivers. Of course, later were the developments of the canals, but horse-drawn wagon and walking were the other ways to travel.

So as I begin a week of research, learning and getting more knowledge of the field of genealogy (genealogists are ALWAYS learning!), I’m reflecting on the ways that we learn about, study, find records and fill in the lives of our ancestors. Here at GRIP (Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh), we are taught by nationally-recognized experts about the research sources that document our ancestral lives, learning to document, properly cite, and share information with others seeking our help. There is so much to learn…..there are a variety of genealogical institutes to learn from. If you are interested in learning more, please contact me for information. I’d love to encourage you!