25 September 2018


I wrote a post last year about our really cool research path that led my mom & I to discovering the existence & then discovering details about the life of Theresia Ott, the little sister of my 2nd great grandmother Anna Marie Ott Spohr: http://stephsgenealogy.blogspot.com/2017/09/the-twin-mystery.html.  We believe Theresia was born somewhere between the Ott family's home town in Bohemia and the port in Bremen, Germany where the family boarded the ship 'SS Weser' and immigrated to America, where they ended up settling for several years in Cincinnati, Ohio.  The ship's passenger list says that Theresia was 10 months old when they traveled to America.  In my previous post about discovering Theresia, I mentioned that the Cincinnati City Directories played a vital role in confirming that Theresia was indeed part of our family, and confirming that the death record we found for her at age 8 was in fact for "our" Theresia Ott.  Well, the City Directories have played a vital role in identifying Theresia for us again, but this time in a different way.

I was looking through some old photos the other day from a few boxes of pictures that originally came from the home of my grandparents, Beverly Frances Monk & Carl John Spohr Jr.  I noticed a little tintype photo of a child in a straw hat.  Like many of the photos in these boxes, there is no name written on the back to tell us who the person in the photograph is, and we had no idea who the child was.  (We weren't even sure if it was a little girl or boy, since young girls & boys back then both wore gowns until they were old enough to be potty trained and until the boys were old enough to fasten the latches on their britches).  But unlike many of the other photos in this collection, this one did have writing on the back.  It's not too uncommon to find an old photo that might have a name and/or address on the back which doesn't necessarily refer to the person or people shown in the photo -- it may list the information of the person who ordered the photo from the photographer, or sometimes of the person who someone was sending the photograph to.  I was intrigued when I noticed that it said "Mrs. Ott" on the back, but it's not the first time we've found a photo with the name of one of our ancestors on the back and still not had any idea who the photo was of.

On the back of this photo it tells the name & address of the photographer in Cincinnati, and then it says: "Date Nov 4, Name Mrs. Ott, Address 45 Miami St City, Size 14 x 17 Bust."  So, we knew that our Ott family lived in Cincinnati, and so far we haven't come across any indication that any other Ott relatives came to the United States.  So that narrows it down to two Ott women that we know of: my 2nd great grandmother, Anna Marie Ott Spohr, and her mother, Maria Anna Strunz Ott (who went by Anna).  Since Anna Marie's married name was Spohr, she would have been referred to as either Miss Ott or Mrs. Spohr.  So we figured Mrs. Ott on the back of this photo was my 3rd great grandmother Anna Strunz Ott.  And we knew from our previous City Directory research that Anna lived at 45 Miami Street.  We also figured that this photo may have been of someone significant to Anna, since she was ordering a rather large 14 x 17 bust print.

I wondered if it was one of Anna's children, hoping that my hunch that it could possibly be Theresia might prove correct.  Or I wondered if it could possibly have been of Anna's youngest son, Louis Christopher Ott, who was about 4 years younger than Theresia.  (I thought it was unlikely that it was one of Anna's older two surviving children, since it was taken in Cincinnati, and appeared to be of a child around 3 or 4 years old, and her older children were born in Bohemia and would have been too old to be the child in this photo by the time they arrived in America.  Oh, and I wondered if the straw hat might give us a clue to the gender of the child, but a Google search for photos from the late 1800s of children wearing straw hats only proved that straw hats were not worn exclusively by one gender.  Interestingly, I found no other examples of anyone wearing a straw hat with a similar striped pattern under the brim).

I got out the only other photo that we know of that shows any of Anna's children when they were young:
This photo, taken in Cincinnati, shows Anna Strunz Ott with her youngest son Louis Christopher Ott,
and her older son Franz Joseph "Frank" Ott.
My mom, dad, and I compared the faces of Anna's boys and the unknown child in the tintype photo.  We all agreed that this child had the same look in the eyes as these boys, and could definitely be a sibling, or possibly a photo of either of these boys at a younger age.

I was thinking that this photo could either have been of Theresia, or of the younger brother Louis, who both lived in Cincinnati when they were around 3 or 4 years old.  But my Dad pointed out that the photo could have potentially been reprinted in the Cincinnati photo studio from a negative, which would make it possible that it could have been a picture of one of Anna's older children that was originally taken before they lived in Cincinnati.  

But last week I happened to start reading a book about photography during the Civil War , which started with a brief introduction overviewing the history of different types of early photography.  I went back and found that passage again, which said, ". . . Bostonian James A. Cutting patented the ambrotype in 1854: collodion glass negatives, which, when backed with black paper, varnish, or metal, were transformed into positive images.  Ambrotypes soon supplanted daguerreotypes in popularity, since they could be viewed more easily; daguerreotypes had to be tilted at just the right angle in order to make a clear positive image visible.  Yet another variation -- the ferrotype or tintype -- recorded images on sheets of iron that had been coated with a light-sensitive emulsion.  Ambrotypes and tintypes, like the earlier daguerreotypes, could not be reproduced.  In that sentimental Victorian age, these one-of-a-kind images of loved ones were treated as revered icons. . . . All three of these direct-image techniques [daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, & tintypes] recorded a mirror image of the sitter or scene; during the Civil War it was not uncommon for soldiers to compensate for this distortion by reversing their weapons and accoutrements, while photographers sometimes used paint to 'touch out' the backward letters on buttons and military beltplates.  The collodion process permitted photographers one other alternative, which by the late 1850s had supplanted all others in the public's love affair with the camera.  From glass negatives, contact prints could be made on paper that had been coated with albumen. . . .  Albumen prints were neither reversed nor unique; indeed, a potentially limitless number of prints could be made from a single negative."  Now I'm no expert in early photography, but this photo we have is definitely printed on metal, and I believe it is a tintype.  If that's true, from the description in this book it seems like this rules out the possibility of this photograph being reprinted from a negative years after it was originally taken.  

So the next step was to determine when this photo was taken.  This is where the City Directories came in handy again.  With our two most likely hypotheses being that the photo was of Theresia or Louis, and estimating that the child in the photo was somewhere around 4 years old, we calculated that Theresia would have been 4 in 1884, and Louis would have been 4 in 1888.  We turned to the city directory to see who was living at 45 Miami Street in those years.  In 1888 a tailor named Henry Duesing was living at this address.  But in 1884 a carpenter named F. Joseph Ott was living there.  Franz Joseph "Frank" Ott was the husband of Anna Strunz Ott.  This family definitely lived there in exactly the correct year for the photograph to be their 4 year old daughter Theresia.  We're convinced that this photo is of her.  

And last night I did a fun little project, photoshopping all the scratches and dust off this photo so we could get a better idea of how the original may have looked.  (I'm not entirely satisfied with how her chin turned out, but that's about as good as I can get right now, since that part of the original tintype was entirely scratched off.  And without any other photos of Theresia to compare to, I just did the best I could with that).  



02 September 2018

Video of Grandma Bev

I've been working on putting together this video of my Grandma Bev for a while now, and was pleased to get it done last week so I could give it to my mom for her birthday.

14 April 2018

Aloys Breinl: Weißgerber or Bräuer?

Weißgerber image, source link
As my mom & I have been researching our Bohemian ancestors, it seemed a little odd to us that my 5th great grandfather, Sebastianus Aloysius Breinl, is sometimes listed as a Bräuer (Brewer) and sometimes as a Weißgerber (White Tanner) on different records throughout his life.  Sebastianus Aloysius Preinl/Breinl/Bräunl/Breunl, was born on 9 April 1780 in house number 210 in Graslitz, Böhmen, the son of Johann Anton Adam Preinl & Rosalia Korb.  Although his name was listed as Sebastianus Aloysius Preinl in his baptism record, he apparently went by Aloys throughout his life, as evidenced by the fact that his name was listed as Aloys (or variations of this name, including Aloysis, Aloÿs, & Alois) on every other source recorded during his lifetime, and during the lives of his children & grandchildren, that we have found for him so far.  Aloys was married to Eva Rosalia Stohwasser on 4 October 1804 in house number 201 in Graslitz when he was 24 years old.  Eva Rosalia (who went by Rosalia) was the daughter of Ignaz Stohwasser & Rosalia Dotzauer.  Aloys & Rosalia had 11 children, all born in Graslitz between 1805 and 1826.  Their children were: Johann Anton, Johanna, Theresia, Friedrich [my 4th great grandfather], Aloys, Rosalia (1), Wenzl, Johannas Nepomuk, Elisabeth, Mathilda Rosalia, & Rosalia (2).  And Aloys died on 29 June 1834 at the age of 54.  

Bräuer image, source link

Although changing occupations may not have been that uncommon for our ancestors in the United States, from what we’ve learned about our ancestors who lived in Germany and Bohemia and the guild requirements at that time, it would be very uncommon for this to have happened, especially for someone to have been a master in two different unrelated occupations.

So we decided to sort through all our sources that we had for Aloys to date and see what information they provided about his occupation.  (We wanted to make sure that there wasn’t any possibility that we had accidentally collected information about two different Aloys Brienls living in Graslitz at the same time).  So we also compared the information from each of the sources about his house number, his parents’ names & his father’s occupation, his wife’s name & his wife’s parents’ names, and any other relevant details.  Here’s what we came up with so far:

Aloys’ House Number
Aloys’ Occupation
Aloys’ Parents/Wife
Aloys’ Father’s Occupation
Birth of Sebastianus Aloysius Preinl, 1780 (self) source link
Parents: Adamus Preinl, 
Rosalia Korb
Braxatoris et inquilinus (Beer Brewer Partner & Citizen)
Birth record note says he was married on 4 Oct 1804, died on 29 Jun 1834
Marriage of Aloÿs Bräunl & Rosalia Stowasser, 1804 (self)
none listed
Parents: Johann Anton Adam Bräunl, Wife: Rosalia Stohwasser, daughter of Ignatz Stohwasser & Rosalia Dotzauer
Herrschaft Bräumeister (Manor Master Brewer)
(Marriage date matches date in the birth record note).
Birth of Johann Anton, 1805 (son)
(son born in 488)
Bürger u Weißgerbermeister (Bürger & Master White Tanner)
Wife: Rosalia Stohwasser, daughter of Ignaz Stohwasser & Rosalia Dotzauer

Birth of Johanna, 1806 (daughter) source link
(daughter born in 210)
Bürger und Weißgerbermeister (Bürger & Master White Tanner)
Wife: Roßalia Stohwasser, daughter of Ignaz Stohwasser & Roßalia Dotzauer

(Aloys’ daughter was born in the same house that Aloys was born in).
Birth of Theresia, 1808 (daughter)
(daughter born in 80)
Bürger und Weißgerber (Bürger & White Tanner)
Wife: Rosalia Stohwasser, daughter of Ignaz Stohwasser & Rosalia Dotzauer

[House No. 80 is the Breinl family house where we know Aloys lived & where a number of his children were born].
Birth of Friedrich, 1810 (son) 
(son born in 80)
Bürger und Weißgerber (Bürger & White Tanner)
Wife: Rosalia Stohwasser, daughter of Ignaz Stohwasser & Rosalia Dotzauer

Birth of Aloys, 1813 (son)
(son born in 80)
Weißgärber (White Tanner)
Wife: Rosalia Stohwasser, daughter of Ignaz Stohwasser & Rosalia Dotzauer

Birth of Rosalia, 1815 (daughter)
(daughter born in 18)
Weißgärbermeister (Master White Tanner)
Wife: Rosalia Stohwasser, daughter of Ignatz Stohwasser & Rosalia Dotzauer

Birth of Wenzl, 1816 (son) 
(son born in 80)
Weißgärbermeister (Master White Tanner)
Wife: Rosalia Stohwasser, daughter of Ignatz Stohwasser & Rosalia Dotzauer

Birth of Johannes Nepomuk, 1819 (son)
(son born in 80)
Weißgärbermeister (Master White Tanner)
Parents: Adam Bräunl & Rosalia Korp, Wife: Rosalia Stohwasser, daughter of Ignatz Stohwasser & Rosalia Dotzauer
Herrschaft Bräumeister in No. 320 (Manor Master Brewer)

Birth of Elisabeth, 1820 (daughter)
Aloys born in 320
(daughter born in 80)
Weißgärbermeister (Master White Tanner)
Parents: Joh. Adam Bräunl & Rosalia Korber in No. 320, Wife: Rosalia Stohwasser, daughter of Ignatz Stohwasser & Rosalia Dotzauer
Herrschaft Bräumeister in No. 320 (Manor Master Brewer)
(We know that Aloys’ parents lived in house No. 320).
Birth of Mathilda Rosalia, 1822 (daughter) 
(daughter born in 80)
Bräuermeister in No. 80 (Master Brewer)
Parents: Johann Adam Breinl & Rosalia Korb, Wife: Rosalia Stohwasser, daughter of Ignatz Stohwasser & Rosalia Dotzauer
Bräuermeister  in No. 320 (Master Brewer)

Birth of Rosalia, 1826 (daughter)
320 (daughter born in 80)
Weißgärbermeister in No. 320 (Master White Tanner)
Parents: Johann Adam Breinl & Roßalia Korb, Wife: Rosalia Stohwasser, daughter of Ignaz Stohwasser & Rosalia Dotzauer
Bräuermeister (Master Brewer)

Marriage of Anton (son) & Magdalena Weck, 1832
(son married in 80)
Herrschaft Bräuhauspächters
(Manor Brewhouse Renter)
Wife: Rosalia Stohwasser

Anton is Bräuermeister born in No. 320 (Master Brewer)
Death of Aloys, 1834 (self)
Herrschaft Bräumeister (Manor Master Brewer)

Died at age 53 (matches with birth record).
Marriage of Friedrich (son) & Amalia Dotzauer, 1836
(son born in 80, son married in 522)
Herrschaft Bräuhauspächters
(Manor Brewhouse Renter)
Wife: Rosalia Stohwasser

Friedrich is a Bürgers sohn born in No. 80 (Bürger’s Son) 
Death of Rosalia, 1838  (wife)
(wife died in 80)
Bräumeister (Master Brewer)
Wife: Rosalia Breunl

Birth of Christian, 1839 (grandson)
(grandson born in 320)
Braumeister (Master Brewer)
Wife: Rosalia Stohwasser

Anton, Christian’s father, was herschaft Braumeister born in No. 320 (Manor Master Brewer)
Birth of Ludmilla, 1839 (granddaughter) 
(granddaughter born in 391)
Herrschaft Bräumeister (Manor Master Brewer)
Wife: Rosalia Stohwasser

Friedrich, Ludmilla’s father, was beirbrauer born in No. 80 (Beer Brewer)
Birth of Joseph, 1841 (grandson)
(grandson born in 391)
Brauer (Brewer)
Wife: Rosalia Stohwasser

Friedrich, Joseph’s father, was brauer born in No. 80 (Brewer)
Marriage of Franz Hahn & Elisabetha, 1843 (daughter)
(daughter born in 80, daughter married in 224)
Herschaftlichen Bräuermeister (Manor Master Brewer)
Wife: Rosalia Stohwasser

Birth of Anna, 1846 (granddaughter)
(granddaughter born in Bleydstadt No. 99)
Herschaftlichen Bräuers in No. 80 (Manor Brewer)
Wife: Rosalia Stohwasser

Friedrich, Anna’s father, was brauer in Bleydstadt No. 99 (Brewer)
Birth of Adolph Thomas, 1849 (grandson) 
(grandson born in Bleydstadt No. 99)
Herschaftl. Bräuers (Manor Brewer)
Wife: Rosalia Stohwasser

Friedrich, Adolph’s father, was brauer in Bleydstadt No. 99 (Brewer), born in Graslitz No. 80

From listing the information chronologically from all these different sources, it’s pretty clear that this is indeed one individual — there are so many details in each of the sources about relationships, house numbers, etc. that there doesn’t seem to be any possibility that we’ve accidentally found records for two different individuals with the same name.  So, why would he have changed occupations?  We contacted Fritz Juengling who is an expert on German guilds, to ask his opinion and he said, “This is a perplexing problem. I cannot see any connection between Brau- and Weißgerber- at all. That someone would become a -meister in two different fields such as these is highly improbable and this designation is really inexplicable. The only thing that I could say is that the term -meister might not have been a guild designation to the person who wrote the documents. Maybe it was simply a loose term suggesting a promotion in a company. But this is only a suggestion from the top of my mind and in no way the real explanation.  That someone would leave a field for which he had trained for so long is also suspect.”

So we were still unsure of why this could have happened. Our next theory at this point is that maybe Aloys was the second or third son in his family.  So the father would likely have had his oldest son(s) be apprentices to be brewers like himself, and any younger sons would have worked as apprentices for other masters to learn other occupations.  But maybe later on in Aloys’ life, after he had already trained to be a Weißgerber, something happened — maybe his father and his older brother(s) died or were no longer able to work as brewers.  But maybe since he had grown up in a brewing family, and knew something about the trade from his father, and had stayed and continued to live there in Graslitz, maybe he would have been the one to take over when there was a need for a brewer???  That’s a lot of maybes.  And we don’t know if it was ever done that way or not.  But we decided that the next step is to search for the siblings of Aloys so we could see if it was even a possible scenario (if he was a 2nd or 3rd son in his family).  We’ve been going through the process of searching for his siblings, and I’ll write an update when we know more.

12 September 2017

The Twin Mystery

My mother knew that her great grandmother, Anna Marie Ott Spohr, had a twin sister.  My mom's mother, Beverly Frances Monk Spohr, had been told by Anna Marie Ott that Anna was a twin.  And we know that Anna Marie also had twin babies who were either stillborn or died in infancy.

When we found the old baptismal certificate of Anna Rosina Ott amongst family papers in the home of Beverly Monk & Carl Spohr Jr. in Harrisonville, Missouri, we assumed that Anna Rosina was Anna Marie's twin sister (because she had the same birth date that we had in our family records for Anna Marie).  We did not find any certificates for Anna Marie, but just assumed that it had been lost or had not survived.  

“N. Exh. 225, main office of the area: Karl, District: Putschirn, [Stamped 1888]
Looking at the document from 1888 we find in the birth and baptism document for Putschirn book/volume VI page 68 certified, that
Anna Rosina Ott
The daughter of the couple Josef Ott, Miller and Carpenter: born in Kohling no. 68 old/6 new, son of Ignaz Ott living in Kohling no. 69 and Johanna born Meixner from Kohling, and Anna born Strunz born in Imligau no. 8 district Elbogen, married daughter of Anton Strunz living in Putschirn no. 15 and of Katharina born Mockl in Imligau.
on 10 August 1874 one thousand eight hundred and seventy four in Putschirn no. 15
born in the church of Zettlitz on 10 August from Constantine Winter, chaplain of the Catholic church baptized her. And the godmother Rosina Behm the wife of the worker [paid by the day] Franz Behm and the witness was Anna Warzberger proved midwife in Altrohlau.
Certificates of those and the signature of those that did this and next to it the seal of the priest.
Given by the priest of Zettlitz on 14 April 1890”
Source: Original document in the possession of Beverly Monk Spohr of Lee’s Summit, Missouri as of 2006.

When we started researching this family in the Bohemian records kept in the Czech Republic archives, and found family members in the matriky books (the Catholic birth/baptism, marriage, and death/burial record books), we were surprised to only find a birth/baptism record for Anna Rosina Ott, and no record or notes about a twin or about any other child in this family named Anna Maria Ott.  These records are generally very complete, and it would be especially unusual to have the record for one twin, but not to include the record for the other twin.  This made us start questioning: was there really not a twin?, was her name Anna Rosina at birth, even though every other record we have ever found for her calls her Anna Marie?, but why would she have told Grandma Bev that she was a twin if she wasn't? (Grandma had a very distinct memory of "Grandma Spohr," Anna Marie Ott Spohr, telling her she had a twin sister), or if there was a twin why would the birth/baptism record of only one of the twins be recorded in the books?

Birth record of Anna Rosina Ott:
"Born 10 August 1874, Baptized 10 August 1874, [name of pastor], name of child: Anna Rosina, Catholic, Female, Illegitimate,
Note in Latin: Legitimized per marriage of father, see Putschirn VII page 8.
Note in German: Josef Ott is well known and it is recorded that he is the father of the child.  Graslitz on 22 September 1874.  [signed by the pastor and witnesses,] Robert Ott witness, Alois Dörr witness.
Father: Josef Ott miller and carpenter (house builder) born in Kohling Number 69 old/8 new, legitimate son of the deceased Ignaz Ott cottager in Kohling Number 19 and Johanna born Meixner in Kohling Number 29.
Note: Josef Ott child's father.
Mother: Anna Strunz born in Imligau Number 8, Elbogen district, daughter of the deceased Anton Strunz, cottager and day laborer in Putschirn Number 15 and Katharina born Möckl of Imligau.

Witnesses: Rosina Behm housewife of Franz Böhm, day laborer in Putschirn."
Source: Photographs IMG_0511 through IMG_0522; IMG_0608 through IMG_0614.

Photographs of birth record in Putschirn Book VI, page 68, taken by Amy Lynn Spohr Chidester and Steven John Chidester on their trip to the Czech Republic in February 2008, (digital copies of these photographs in the possession of Stephanie Chidester Bradshaw).   
[These records can now be accessed online: Sedlec book 074, image 70 of 96].

We knew that Anna Marie Ott came to America with her family when she was a child.  And we found a 1900 US Federal Census record showing Anna Marie's mother, Maria Anna Strunz Ott.  Anna Strunz Ott was listed as a widow on that census, and since we had not found the death record of her husband, Josef Ott, in Bohemia, we were unsure whether Josef had died in Europe and the family had gone to America without him, or if he had made the journey with them and then passed away.  The other big clue was that the 1900 census stated that Anna [Strunz] Ott was the "mother of 5 children, 3 children living."  At that time we were aware of the following children in this family: 
1. Anna Marie,
2. her possible twin, Anna Rosina,
3. Franz Josef,
4. Josef (who died as an infant before the family came to the US), and 
5. Louis Christopher Ott (who was born in the US).  

1900 US Census:

“Line 49, Anna Ott, head of household, white, female born Apr 1845, age 55, widow, mother of 5 children, 3 children living, born in Germany, father born in Germany, mother born in Germany, year of immigration to the United States: 1883, number of years in the United States: 17, able to read, able to write, able to speak English, renting house.
Line 50, Louis Ott, son, white, male born June 1884, age 15, single, born in Ohio, father born in Germany, mother born in Germany, occupation: Jeweler, 0 months unemployed, able to read, able to write, able to speak English.”
Source: 1900 United States Federal Census, Cincinnati, Ward 11, Hamilton, Ohio, , roll T623 1276, page 11A, Enumeration District 86, dated 9 June 1900, street: Frintz Street, family no. 246, lines 49-50.

So we took that as a big clue in this twin mystery: If her mother had 5 children, and by 1900 we knew she only had 3 children living, and we knew that baby Josef had died, that meant that there was one more unaccounted for child who had to have died before the 1900 census.  It must be the missing twin, who must have died before 1900.  We went back and double checked and triple checked the birth/baptism records, and still found no twin.  We searched the death records, and found no twin.  And we searched to see if there may have been a separate section for the death records of stillborn children or illegitimate children (which we have occasionally encountered in other Bohemian towns), but did not find any other sections of records for the town where this family lived.  Without any further information at the time, we just left the twin mystery unsolved for several years.  

My mom later found a ship's passenger list for the family from when they traveled on the ship SS Weser from Bremen, Germany to Baltimore, USA and arrived on 10 June 1882.  At first we weren't totally sure that it was the right family (but many of the facts did match what we knew of our Ott family, and it certainly matched our Ott family better than any other passenger records we had been able to find).  

Passenger List:
"Josef Ott, age 36, male, carpenter, from Bohemia, going to Baltimore, Steerage. 
Anna Ott, age 37, female, Bohemia, Baltimore, Steerage. 
Auguste Ott, age 7, female, Bohemia, Baltimore, Steerage. 
Franz Ott, age 4, male, Bohemia, Baltimore, Steerage. 
Theresia Ott, age 10 months, female, Bohemia, Baltimore, Steerage.”

Source: Baltimore Passenger Lists 1820-1964, ancestry.com, 
M255 - Baltimore, 1882, roll number 35, website image 652 of 806, numbers 679-683:
Date of arrival: 10 June 1882.  Sworn to that the passengers boarded the vessel SS Weser at Bremen Germany.
(Surname written in ship list as “Ott,” but indexed on Ancestry.com as “Oss.”)

The names, ages, and occupation for Josef, Anna, & Franz all matched the information we had about the family.  But this was the first record indicating the possibility that the father Josef may have accompanied the family to America, and we hadn't found any other evidence of him coming to America yet, so we weren't sure about that.  And we know that Anna Marie would have been 7 years old at that time, so the age of this little girl is correct -- we don't know why they would have listed her name as Auguste, though, (except for the possibility that there may have been some confusion because Anna Marie was born in the month August).  And we had never heard of a baby Theresia.  We went back and searched the Bohemian records again, hoping to find the birth/baptism record of a baby Theresia, which would have proven that this passenger list was indeed the record of our Ott family, but found no birth record for her.  We searched in surrounding towns in Bohemia, and still no Theresia.  But, since the passenger list said she was only 10 months old, we did think it was possible that she was born somewhere in Bohemia or Germany -- they could have possibly lived temporarily in any number of locations between their Bohemian hometown and the port in Bremen anytime between January 1879 [the death date of their baby boy, Josef Ott, in Bohemia] and when they boarded the ship to go to America.  

Later my mom started searching for the family in the Cincinnati City Directories, where she found Anna [Strunz] Ott listed as a widow in several different yearly editions of the city directory.  And then she made a breakthrough when she found Josef Ott on the city directory.  He had come to America with the family!  We have continued to be unsuccessful in finding any kind of death or burial record for Josef Ott up to today, but because we made a chart and searched for Josef Ott each year, and later for the widow Anna Ott each year, we were able to narrow down the range for Josef's death date to between 1887 and 1889.  We found that Joseph was listed on the city directory as both Joseph Ott and Frank Ott in different years, so we assume that his birth name was likely Franz Josef Ott.  We found that Josef was a carpenter and a miller (both occupations that were also listed for him on his marriage record and on his childrens' birth records back in Bohemia) in Cincinnati between 1884 and 1887, we did not find him on the 1888 city directory, and on the 1889 directory "Anna Ott, widow of Frank" is listed living at 18 Hamer Street.  And in subsequent years Anna is always listed (some years she's listed as the widow of Frank, and other years as the widow of Joseph).  

1889 Cincinnati City Directory: 
“Ott, Anna wid. Frank. h. 18 Hamer”
Source: "US City Directories, 1822-1995", , Ancestry.com image 596 of 1060,  page 1016.

So that was a good clue for us, making us think that the passenger list may be for our Ott family.  But we still hadn't found any mention of baby Theresia Ott on any records other than that passenger list. . . . until yesterday!

My mom called me yesterday and we were talking about our Ott family, and while we were on the phone she was looking up some information online.  She was on a website for the University of Cincinnati, in a collection of 1881 to 1891 birth and death records.  And she found her: Theresa Ott, age 8 years, died 11-30-88, address 18 Hammer St., birthplace Germany, cause of death Pneumonia, Dr. J. F. Bailey, J. B. Habig, St. Mary’s Cemetery.  And she also found a second record for Teresia Ott on the Cincinatti Catholic Cemetery Society website, which just lists the funeral date (also on 30 Nov 1888), and says that she was buried in section 6 of St. Mary's Cemetery.  

Death Record:
“Pg 130, 1888, 382,
Ott- Theresa,
F W S [female, white, single],
[age & date at death] 8 yrs 11-30-88,
[home address] 18 Hammer St.,
[birth] Germany,
[cause of death] Pneumonia,
Dr. J. F. Bailey,
J. B. Habig,
St. Mary’s Cem."
Source: Collection: 1888-1891 Cincinnati Birth and Death Records, Title: Ott, Theresa (Death, 1888-11-30), Contributor: Cincinnati (Ohio). Health Dept., Identifier: 358173 (File Order Number), Original record filed in drawer labeled ‘OSER-OTTEN,’ Repository: University of Cincinnati, Archives and Rare Books Library.

Burial Record:
Cemetery: ST. MARY [701 East Ross Avenue]
Last Name: OTT
First Name: TERESIA
Gender: [blank]
Funeral Date: NOV 30, 1888
Age: [blank]
Section: 6
SUBSubsectionECTION: [blank]
Lot: [blank]
Grave: [blank]
Processed: [blank]
ID Col: 2000046864
Servno: 256333
Sertype: B
Pidno: 260831”
Source: Cincinnati Catholic Cemetery Society, search: Ott, Teresia,

Theresia was part of our Ott family!  Even though her death records didn't list any information about her parents, because of the 1889 Cincinnati City Directory we know that her family lived at 18 Hamer Street, which matches her address on her death record.  Theresia was part of the family, and she didn't just die as a little baby -- she lived until 8 years old.  Her younger brother, Louis Christopher, who was born in Ohio, would have been about 4 years old when his big sister Theresia passed away.  We were so glad to finally fill in the gaps and know that Theresia really was part of the family.  

Finding Theresia's death record validated the passenger list, and it also answered another question for us:  The 1900 census showed that Anna Strunz Ott was the mother of 5 children, 3 children living at that time.  Theresia was the second deceased child in the family, and she had passed away before 1900.  We still don't know why Anna Marie said she had a twin, or if there may have been some misunderstanding about what she said.  But there are no records that indicate she had a twin, and all of the children are accounted for.  

Maria Anna Strunz Ott with her sons, Franz Josef & Louis Christopher Ott 
Anne Rosina "Anna Marie" Ott Spohr

Amelia Spohr, William Schaeffer, Anna Marie Ott, & Ludwig Spohr:
Anna & Ludwig's wedding portrait

Anna Marie Ott Spohr & her mother, Maria Anna Stunz Ott

Anna Strunz Ott

Anna Rosina "Anna Marie" Ott Spohr (back row, 4th from left), and her brother Franz Josef "Frank" Ott (back row, 5th from left).
*And the next thing that this gets me wondering about: I've never seen a photo of Theresia (or any Ott family photos with an unidentified baby or little girl in them).  But we have a couple boxes of old photos from my Grandma Bev's & Grandpa Carl's house which contain many unidentified photographs.  I know several of those unidentified photos were taken in Cincinnati.  I wonder if any were of her?  And even if they are, I wonder if there's any way to ever find out if it is her? . . .