Brick Wall Review, part I

I have reached that point in my research where everything seems to have come to a grinding halt. After the past year of discovering my paternal grandfather’s roots, filling in blanks in rapid fire order, I have returned to a deafening silence.

In reality I can’t complain, I have completely filled out 4 generations of ancestors. I even have all the names for my 5th generation of ancestors. Unfortunately this is where the complaining then starts and both sides of my family have a part in my grumbling.

On dad’s side, my grandmother’s father’s side of the family is the culprit. In short they are from Germany. My grandmother, on her father’s side, was a first generation American born. On her mother’s paternal side, well the family had been here since before the Pilgrims landed. It isn’t until the seventh generation that trouble starts brewing on the maternal side.

But I digress; let’s look at this one problem at a time. As I first mentioned, my German relatives, the Siffrinn family, immigrated to the United States from Stolburg, Germany in the 1881-1882 timeframe. Louis (Lewis) and Caroline arrived with their four German born children and eventually settled in the McKean county, Pennsylvania area by 1900. I haven’t been able to find the ships record of their passage as of yet. It seems that ancestry has been adding German passage records lately and I hope that soon this problem will be solved.

The twenty year gap in records now causes more confusion with this family. Without the 1890 census, I can’t be sure where the family is living; my guess is in Kane, Pennsylvania. By this point it seems that Louis has died and Caroline has remarried at least once if not twice. Facts get more confusing as you look at the 1900 and 1910 Census records. Caroline and William Siffrinn are married. Louis Siffrinn has died, is my guess. Another guess is that William is Louis’ brother. According to the Census, William arrived 4 years after Caroline and Louis, in 1886. In the 1900 Census they have the number of years married as 10, but in the 1910 Census William states his marriage age at first marriage as 22 and married once, which puts their marriage date around 1886. Also in the 1910 Census, Caroline has noted that this is her third marriage, her first being at the age of 22, placing her first marriage in 1870. Caroline’s daughter, Augusta, was born in 1877, her father was Louis.

From what  I can tell, William and Caroline died between 1910 and 1920 unless they moved from the area, which I kind of doubt.

Louis and Caroline would have one more child before his death, Louise. William and Caroline would have a son, John. From newspaper accounts, John was a glassblower by trade and a local boxer. I remember long glass blown canes that my grandparents had at their house when I was quite small. I vaguely remember stories about how the glassblowers would take the leftover product at the end of the work day and create these long colorful canes. I have no idea where those canes ever ended up.

Next steps would be a visit to Kane, with the hopes of finding church records, death records, or possible newspaper accounts of what happened to Louis, William and Caroline.

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  1. #1 by John Siffrinn on March 14, 2011 - 12:27 pm

    My name is John Siffrinn. I live in Bradford, Pa which is 20 miles from Kane, PA. Feel free to contact me if there is anything I can help you with.

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