Tuesday, December 16, 2014

She Married His Brother??

After yesterday's post about my Great-Grandmother Hazel, my cousin Sara (she's on the Mielke side of the family), wrote to me about a brick wall that she hit, that ended up with a Grandfather remarrying after his wife's death, to his wife's great Aunt. It made me think about a similar story in our Mielke family history.

My greatgrandparents, John and Augusta Mielke,  had a daughrer named Martha Elesa Johanna Mielke. Martha was born on 27 Dec 1882 in Big Rapids, Michigan. Below is her birth record I found on
Birth Record for Martha Elesa Johanna Mielke
In the 1900 censusMartha was working as a servant for William and Roxy Cowden.
Martha's 1900 Census Record
On 3 May 1905 Martha married William Ebel(t) Jr., the son of William and Caroline Blanck Ebel(t), in Big Rapids, Michigan. The witnesses were Martha’s brother Conrad and William’s sister, Caroline Ebelt, and they were married by E. G. Franck. William’s last name was actually Ebelt, not Ebel. Their marriage record can be found here.
Martha Mielke and William Ebelt Marriage Record
They had a son, Edwin G. Ebelt, born on the 26 May 1906. According to Michigan Death Records William died 25 Aug 1906 in Green Township, Mecosta, Michigan.

Martha then married William's brother, Frederick John “Fred” Ebelt, on 7 Sep 1908 in Big Rapids by A L Bray and the witnesses were Seth Blossom and Fred’s sister Caroline. Fred was born on 12 February 1884 in Mecosta Township, Mecosta, Michigan.
Martha Mielke Ebelt and Frederick John "Fred" Ebelt's Marriage Record
Martha Mielke and Fred Ebelt marriage record
In 1909 they had a daughter Josephine. In the 1910 census, Fred, Martha, Edwin and Josephine were living in Mecosta, Michigan. Also living with them were Fred’s father William(61) and younger brother Albert (18).   The census record for this is very faded so I did not include a picture of it.
By the time the 1920 census rolled around, Fred owned his own dairy farm on Mocka’s Mill, Mecosta, Mecosta, Michigan. He and Martha had children Edwin and Josephine living with them.
Fred and Martha's 1920 Census Record
Fred died on 16 May 1928 and is buried at Highland View Cemetery in Big Rapids, Michigan. According to his Find a Grave Record he died in Barryton, Mecosta, Michigan.

In the 1930 census, Martha and Josephine were renting from her brother Conrad. She was working as a laundress.

Martha and Daughter Josephine's 1930 Census Record
In 1940, Martha and her daughter's family were living in Big Rapids at 572 Division Street. Her daughter Josephine had married Richard Donley and at the time of the census they had one child, Richard Jr. Richard Sr. worked as a principal at the 3rd Ward School.

1940 Census
On 23 Feb 1974, Martha died in Big Rapids, Michigan. She is buried at Highland View Cemetery. Click here to see the record.

Happy Searching!!


Thank you to,, and Click on each of the links above to see the record from these sites!

Monday, December 15, 2014

A New Start

It's been a long time since I've blogged about my genealogy journey. The next few posts will be brought over from my old site "Finding Mielke" and then I will start adding new stories. In January, I am going to start a "Genealogy Do-Over", which is basically a reset of my genealogy research and a boot camp to learn new techniques. If you would like to more there is an excellent webinar coming in January.

I am also the local trail host for Genealogy Trails Cullman County and Regional Host of the Texas Gulf Coast, so when I find interesting facts about those areas, I will add them on here!

Stayed tuned for more! If you like my page, please like my Facebook page and follow me at twitter. You can also receive email alerts when I add new posts.

Happy Searching!!


Motivation Monday – Never Give Up On Tearing Down a Brick Wall

Have you ever hit a brick wall in your genealogy research? Well, I have, and one of my biggest brick walls, was my great-grandmother Hazel Lee Call Mansfield.

William Lesley and Hazel Lee Call Mansfield
The story told in my family is that my Granny’s mom had run off shortly after Granny’s little brother Bernard was born. The only names that I had, was her name before she was adopted and a census record from 1920, that listed Hazel and her brother living with the couple that raised them and a Robert Call, aged helper. I always knew that Robert Call, had to be related to me, but seeing as how he was in his early 70’s, I thought that he may have been Hazel’s grandfather. I had done some research on him, and knew that he had married a woman named Leona Davis in 1906 and that he was 61 and she was listed as 16, but I had no other information about Leona Davis. This weekend, since I was off work for my birthday, I decided to do some research.

First, I went back to the private tree I had created for my Granny’s half-brother, Carl Gunn (I met him at Granny’s funeral, but he was quite sick at the time). Then, I went over to, to see if his cemetery information had been added there, and some wonderful person had not only added his memorial, but his five siblings and where they were buried at. I, of course, had to check out their info, just hoping someone had mentioned who their parents were.

Well on one his sisters, Martha Frances Gunn Smith, that same nice person, had included an obituary. I almost screamed, when I saw a half-sister as Hazel Mansfield of Crockett Mills and Martha’s parents were listed as Allen and Leona Davis Gunn. Before, I got to excited, I went to check out the other siblings, and on Opal Mae Gunn Adams, there was Granny’s name again. I was pretty sure, I had the right name for her mom, now. Well that led me back to and the 1910 census record for Robert and Leona Call. I found their marriage record, thanks to the Crockett County Genealogy website. Turns out that Robert and Leona Davis Call had four children all together. Also, according to other records that I found, Leona was only 12, not 16, when she married Robert Call. I still can’t wrap my mind at how a 12 (or 16) year old would want to marry a 65-year-old man.

Thanks to my sleuthing, I found that Hazel had the 5 half-siblings from her mom, and 7 half-siblings from her dad. I also learned that Robert Call had served in the Civil War in the Company K, 10th Regiment Tennessee Cavalry. While, I still can’t prove a 100%, since unfortunately Granny’s birth certificate is in her adopted name, I’m still very excited to have broke through my brick wall.

So my advice to all of you, is to never give up. Just because you’ve hit a brick wall, doesn’t mean you can’t find away around it.

Got to go research all those siblings now!

Happy Searching!


(Post was previously posted August 20, 2012 on Finding Mielke)