Thursday, January 1, 2015

Where the Domelle's Came From

So I recently obtained a new copy of the family book for the "home town" of my great-grandfather, William Domelle (my maternal great-grandfather), born in 1882.  This is my only photo of him, taken circa 1907 with his first wife Magdalena Tirjung, probably in Gattaja (the town where they married):

His home town is known by several names, it's modern day Tomnatic in Romania, but when he lived there it was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and was know as Triebswetter in German and Nagy Osz in Hungarian.

Although in Hungary, they were mostly all ethnic Germans (and some French) in the town as they were part of the great migration of Germans down into this area in the 1700s. 

William (and other Domelle's) came to America and settled in the Chicago/North East Indiana area.  William married again and had my grandfather.

The oral history my grandfather always told me was that the Domelle's came from the Alsace Lorraine region.  The wonderful news is that statement has been proved very well!!!

Using the church records transcribed in the Triebswetter Familienbuch, I was able to trace back to find all the other surnames that became part of my great-grandfather, as well as find where many of those family lines came from.

The Domelle's (also spelled Domele, Dommeley, Dumele, Tomule, Tomerle) were part of the migration of many German families southwest to modern day Romania/Serbia/Hungary.

So if you are a descendent of any of the kids of Adam Domelle/Domele and Christina Reiser/Reizer (William Domelle, Nick Domelle, Anna Tischler or Lena Bozung):

 Then these are surnames that are part of your ancestry:

Great names huh?  Definitely a mix of German and French in there which makes total sense once I show you a map of their origins.  I don't have the source town for every name, but I have a lot of them and here's where Adam and Christina's ancestors came (modern map showing the town names):

Nice grouping, right?  A ton of them came from what is modern day France - specifically the Moselle region in Lorraine, just like my Grandpa said.  :-)

But now, here's something to place it in context before you start saying, oh they're all French - remember this is the long, as in centuries long, contested Alsace-Lorraine region that went back and forth between France and Germany and was of course it's own region before there was a Germany.  Here's a historical map from 1648 that shows a red circle around the same area where the towns are marked above.  This is about 60 or so years before people first started making the move from this area down to Austria/Hungary:

Cool right?  SO COOL!

But wait, there's more!  So several years back my paternal Grandfather William Adam Domelle, grandson of Adam Domelle and Christine Reiser, humored me by allowing me to send in his DNA to  Here are his results showing origin:

See the darkest red area?  IT MATCHES!  Of course I can't separate out whatever DNA my grandfather got from his mom Elizabeth Obendorfer who is one of the most frustrating brick walls ever, but Grandpa's results are consistent with the map of the source towns.

So all in all I'm pretty pleased with where I've gotten with the Domelle side, this has been some great progress.  :-)

Friday, December 5, 2014

My Wilhelm Domelle in the Triebswetter Family Book

So a while back, I found out a Familienbuch existed for the town that I traced my immigrant ancestor William Domelle to.  That sentence was constructed horribly, but you get my meaning.

A Familienbuch is a list of births, marriages, deaths, that in this case was specific to the town I was looking at - Triebswetter which existed in what is now modern Romania, but when my ancestor emigrated from it, it was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.  He was ethnic German living in a town full of Germans that had migrated to the area by invitation to work the land. 

Back to the book - so I found out this book existed where someone had spent time transcribing all these records for Triebswetter into a book.  I found the author in Germany and contacted him to see if any copies still existed.  He didn't have any more but sent me an electronic version and we corresponded a bit back and forth. He found some other bits of info on Domelles and kindly sent to me, I filled him in on what happened to the one's I knew that emigrated.  I told him to let me know if he ever printed more because I would love to own hard copies of the information.

And voila, he printed another set (with updates) just recently and you know I ordered a copy!  I got them in the mail just last night, and tonight I sat down to look through it to see what kind of updates might exist for my ancestor families, but really I sat down to just hold the books while lisping out "My Precious Bookses, we waited for you and now you're here my preciouses....."

But I digress...I recently watched the new version of the Hobbit (part 1) and it kind of stuck with me...

Anyway, I found my William and then was shocked!  My name was in there as providing the information of where William had immigrated to in the United States.



          I AM IMMORTAL!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

My Grandmother's Recipes (no green jello allowed)

So anyway, all thoughts of congealed gelatin surrounding bits of pears, peas and cream cheese in my last post aside, let's get back to what I was doing when that all happened.

I scanned a bunch of my maternal grandmothers recipes.  I really enjoy looking at "old" recipes, and the vast majority of females in my family were and are big recipe collectors, so this was really fun.

I tried to spend time scanning only the recipes I thought my grandmother actually used, not just one's she had saved because they looked good.  I actually managed to toss some that I knew she had never made and had just saved.

What really helped me was that she and her sister Mazie exchanged a LOT of recipes and I have many handwritten recipes from Great Aunt Mazie along with the recipes written in my grandmother Ann's handwriting.  Also, there were recipes written down by my Aunt Becky (Anns' daughter) where she just wrote down what was in my grandmother's head, or re-copied from somewhere else and noted the source.  That was another theme I noticed - my grandmother and great-aunt always noted the source of the recipe - who they got it from either in the name or as a notation at the top.

Now I know which recipes came from their Mom - Cornelia Simpson and I even have one that is noted as "Grandmas" and since Mazie wrote it, that means it's her grandma, my great-great-grandmother - Hattie Kirby Quick Allen.  :-)

Most of the recipes were for baking.  I think this must be because you can't fudge baking and just keep it in your head like a recipe for chicken or beef.  You need those specific measurements.  I remember loving my grandmother's homemade bread and she made wonderful pies from scratch as well.

And my family members who knew my great-grandma Cornelia rave about her baking as well so I think these recipes are a great family treasure trove!

Here are a few for your perusal:

This is in Great Aunt Mazie Mix Patrick's handwriting.  She has her recipe for Cream Johnny Cake and then her Grandma's recipe (Hattie) for Johnny Cake.

I don't think I've ever had Johnny Cakes - I've had cornbread, but not this.  I just might have to give it a try!

And this is for Never Fail Cake - again it's in Mazie's handwriting, noted as her Mom's recipe.

I like how Mazie put at the bottom the editorial comment: "This cake is always tender and light when Mom makes it."


And of course there's this one for Raisin Oatmeal Cookies, this is in my grandmother Ann's handwriting and you have to love a recipe that is stained and tattered because that means it was well used!

Not all the recipes are for baked goods - t his one for Fried Potatoes is in my Aunt Becky's handwriting, with her mom being Ann of course.  You know it's good when there's bacon fat involved!!!

And last but not least, here's Mazie's recipe for Mock Oysters.  She says "tastes and smelles just like oysters". 

She had a lot of recipes for "mock" things - mock sour cream, mock milk, mock whipped cream.  I guess that must come from living through the Depression and hard times - she seemed to come up with a lot of recipes on her own.

I'm glad I have these and was able to scan them so now I can share them all around the family!  Maybe I'll even experiment with a few.  None that contain jello of course.  :-)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

My Grandmother's Recipes and the Horror of Lime Jello Salad

So I have in my possession lots of handwritten recipes that were originally in my maternal Grandmother's possesion.  She and her sister Mazie exchanged recipes for probably their entire lives and many of the recipes I have are in Mazie's handwriting.

Every one who knew their mother, Cornelia, talks about the amazing food she put on the table, especially the baking, so I was interested to see what kind of old family recipes would turn up.

There are definitely a few, but then something else reared its ugly head.

Something horrible.

Something from the past.


go ahead, make it, I dare you:

You know what I'm talking about - those molded jello salads that came into fashion after the Atomic Age.  Did people feel like they were in control of their molded, brightly colored food?  I don't know but I do know it was an evil trend.

It all came flooding back when I found this:

That's my mother's handwriting.  How could she?  And no, they never put in the pecans.

Mommy how could you

Why is Lime Jello Salad so evil you ask?

Let me count the ways:

1. It's florescent green and food the color of one of my college highlight markers is just wrong.

2. It's lime flavored.  Sorry, the only place where put lime flavoring is:

      a.  in the air around the top of my gin and tonic and then placed gently
           into the garbage disposal to give it that citrus tang, or,

      b. in the coconut.

That's it!  Sorry, lime is NOT a dessert flavor and my family, the WOMEN of my family tried to pass this sorry spectacle of congealed gelatin off as a dessert.

A dessert!

Lime jello by itself is enough of an affront, but then they added

Cream Cheese



So now, as a child, I was much more particular than I am now.  Today I'll try mostly anything, unless its the entire animal on the plate, looking at me, or if I have to use metal tools to break open the outer exoskeleton, but that's another story....

Back then I enjoyed my flavors s e p a r a t e.  My foods did not touch on my plate.  I consumed one food at a time, in order of least liked to most liked.  Sorry, those were the rules, can't deviate.  I'm much better now.  :-D  (And this is what plays in my head when I say those words)

And here these women who were supposed to be nurturing me were mooshing up cream cheese and lime jello and jamming big chunks of pears of all things all together.  And putting delicious fluffy Cool Whip on the plate where the pear juice would touch it and ruin it.

Then, just to be mean, they used the bundt pan as a mold to remind you that it wasn't cake, it was as far from cake as anything ever was.

Oh man, it was bad.  And they'd make me eat it.  Ugggggggh, I feel sick just thinking about it.

I still dislike any kind of citrus flavoring in my desserts, now I know why.  I refused to eat cream cheese until I was 20, now I know why.  And limes weren't part of my life until 2007, NOW I KNOW WHY!  What hath you wrought Mommy!!!  :-D

So anyway, I got over my disgust and kept on scanning.

And then, not only did I find that recipe written out again, but then a third time, both in my grandmothers handwriting.  You know what that means.  When you have a recipe multiple times, hand written, you used it a lot.  I do that now with my print-outs.

Here's the kicker though - this one includes......PEAS!!!!!!!!!!!


Cream cheese, lime, pears, and PEAS?

Did they make me eat this at every gathering?  Is this why big swaths of my childhood are missing from my memory?  How was this even legal?

Then I find this in the loose recipes:

Do you see how old this is?

This is PRE-ZIP CODES!  That means 1963!  I checked!
No really, my grandmother saved this for 50+ years, you need to look at this, just look at it:


People ate this!  Someone invented it in a test kitchen!  What the heck is that thing in the bottom left?  There's carrots in there and layers!  And at the top, those are olives in there!  It's called RING AROUND THE TUNA!  Oh my god, I can't believe it.  Ohhhhhh I'll never be able to eat my little cherry jello squares again!

Ooooooooh man.  I really don't like lime jello.  :-D

Sunday, August 24, 2014

I Have Genealogy Ennui

I feel like I should be reclining on my chaise wearing a turban when I use the word ennui, but hey, for all you know, that's where I am while typing this up anyway.  :-D

So there's this cartoon I've always enjoyed whenever it pops up on someone's feed:

The original can be found here.

It's just like the family drives of my childhood :-)

Today this cartoon came to mind as I had a moment where I thought what if I don't do this any more?

I know, shocking, and we all know it won't last but here's where it came from:

I have this line, this line of "MIX" people.  They are so prolific and all over the place and go way back.  I have this one problem though.  When I made an application to the DAR a few years back, the review process called to light that I don't have enough documented proof that shows that my great-great-great-grandfather really is the son of his father.  Oh, and don't worry, I used a different line from Maryland and got my DAR membership with that one - Yay for the documented HARRISON line!!  :-)

My MIX problem - it's pre-1850 census, pre- any process of birth/marriage/death certificates, NY state claims they can't find anything, I swear they are the worst state to deal with, they should learn from Illinois and PA, but I digress --- I haven't been able to find any wills or probate records, I went over everything I could find while at the Tioga County Historical Society in NY and I just have nothing.

As I was wandering around in the 1865 NY State Census on today I suddenly thought, what if there is no "proof"?  What if I never find anything?  There was a Mix historian who spent years and years and years documenting and in his records he just said it was assumed they were father and son.  If he couldn't find anything, how could I think I ever will?

And then I look at another line that's really well documented - the CHESLEYs - but I can't use them because of a little messy technicality in that my ancestress kind of sort of slept with her brother-in-law, had a baby, my great-great-grandmother, and then passed away.  So this was back in the mid-1800s and again there's no state law of birth certificates (people could lie anyway) so I don't have "proof" that brother-in-law Alonzo really was the father.

And finally I look at my other lines on my mom's side (my dad does his side) and the rest are all deadend brickwalls in the early 1800s.

I am absolutely NOT a professional genealogist and I'm not looking for documented proof to try and take over the monarchy in the UK so I'm not sure if I'm right to be so on the hook for what I think of as real "proof".  I admit I overly document, I am librarian after all, and the saying "no photo? then it didn't happen" applies to my research "no source?  then it's not true".

Maybe it's just time for a break, a step away, I certainly have several months/years worth of scanning to do in the boxes from my grandparents so I'm sure a little perspective will help.

I mean, if I never went any further back on my MIX line, I could certainly fill in the breadth of the tree as the descendants freaking numerous so I guess that could be my focus.  But we all know what going back really far in your tree is super fun and awesome.

So this was a lot of words today and usually I try to intersperse photos in my words or I know I lose people.  I do it in my work emails too, I assume my audience has a 3 bullet point attention span.

In closing then, I'll leave you with another of my favorite cartoons:

HAAAAAAAAAAA!  Whenever I burp, I imagine my face looks like the 3rd panel.

By the way did you know there is an entire search engine devoted to Calvin and Hobbes?  You should go there: