Friday, January 18, 2013

Was she always like this?

Caroline Charlotte "Lena" Brand Pistner, aka, The Thorn in my Side!

I've already written one entry about how difficult this woman has been (I Danced On Their Graves) so I won't rehash any of that.  I'll simply say that she has not become any easier to deal with.

I can't help but wonder if she has done all of this intentionally.  Did she somehow know that her great great granddaughter would one day drive herself nuts looking for information on the Brand family?  Because I think she and the other Brand women (most notably my Grandma Elsie) are up in Heaven having a grand old time watching me bang my head against the wall.  I imagine there's some whiskey and water flowing up there along with a lot of laughter.  Not mean laughter.  Just good natured fun. :)

The latest brick in the wall that I've been banging my head against?  None of the Pistner children were baptized at Old St. Mary's, the church where Charlotte and Adam were married.  Not a single child.

Old St. Mary's

So they got married there and then immediately started going to another Catholic church?  Really?  They couldn't have made this nice and neat for me and had all their babies baptized at a church that still exists and where I could get the records immediately?

Now I have to wait for the archive office of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati to reopen so I can request the records.  And also hope and pray that those records can be found.  At this point, I'm not going to assume anything.  I think I'll do myself a favor and look at the Brand glass as half empty and simply assume that I won't be able to locate the records.  That way, if the records are actually found, it will be a lovely surprise rather than a horrible disappointment if they're never located.

Since Charlotte isn't cooperating with my search, I have no choice but to try another Brand angle.  So now I'm trying to find other Brand family members who were married at Old St. Mary's.  Yeah, right.  I'm sure that will work out for me.  Because the Brand family members have been so cooperative so far, haven't they?

Maybe I'll go over to Mom and Dad's in the next couple of days and sit on Charlotte's chair (Grandma Elsie passed it down to Mom).  And perhaps I'll have a bit of a one sided conversation with my great great grandmother.  Come on, Charlotte.  Throw me a bone.  Where were you babies baptized?


14 comments:

  1. If this were MY story, the scenario would go like this: Charlotte baptized her babies at Old St. Mary's, but that was the very year a fire in the basement destroyed the baptismal records. Just that year - not the others.

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    1. I shouldn't laugh, should I? But I can completely identify with that. I have many family records that were destroyed when the Cincinnati courthouse was burned down during the riots of 1884. For a while, it seemed that every single time I would ask a librarian about a particular record, I would be told, "Oh, that would have been destroyed during the riots." Naturalization papers? Gone. Some marriage documents? Gone. I feel your pain.

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  2. Tug that deerstalker cap on a bit more tightly and keep at it -- you'll get it!

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    1. From your lips to God's ears.........:)

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  3. Ran across this blog in a Google search. Do you know if the Adam Pistner you mention had an older brother named Christoph? I believe Christoph had a son named John, born in 1829, who may possibly be the father of my great-grandfather that I've been searching for. My family name is Pfister, and I know my ancestors where using Pister probably up until the time of WWI. I'm not sure yet if the Pistners are related, or who changed the family name and when.

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    1. Hi--I think you've got the right family!

      My great, great grandfather, Adam Pistner, did have an older brother named Christoph Pistner. Christoph was born 13 Jun 1804 in Großkahl, Bavaria and died 26 Jul 1876 in Cincinnati. He's buried at St. John's Catholic Cemetery in St. Bernard, Ohio (a northern suburb of Cincinnati). Christoph married Magalena Zillig (1806-03 May 1876), and they had at least 11 children. According to the info I have, their oldest was John Pistner, born 1829. I have a date of birth for him of 29 Oct 1829 in Großkahl, Bavaria. I assume that is correct, but I got that information from someone else's tree on Ancestry. I do not have a date of death for him or any information about his wife and children.

      Here's an obituary I found for Christoph:

      "THE CINCINNATI ENQUIRER
      28 July 1876, Page 6

      Mr. Christopher Pistner, who has resided in this city since 1836, died Wednesday morning, aged seventy-two years. The deceased was a respected German citizen, and leaves three sons and four daughters. The funeral will take place this morning, at 8 1/2 o'clock, from his late residence, No. 18 Hamer street. "

      However, be aware that there seemed to be another Christoph Pistner in Cincinnati at the same time (I came across both of their wills), and I don't know if they were related to each other or not.

      If I can help you with any further questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

      Marti

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  4. Great... thanks for the info. Were there more than one Christoph? Or was one Christoph and one Christian? To make things extra confusing, I've seen the abbreviation "Christ." I'm starting to think Christian is possibly the middle name of the John Pistner I mentioned above. I'll go look for the wills you mention. Thanks again!

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    1. I think that Christ. was the abbreviation back then for Christoph/Christopher. I think I have copies of both wills somewhere in my house. I'll look for them as soon as I can, but it may be a while. I forget who the "other" Christoph was married to. Both wills are for "Christoph Pistner." I found them at the UC Blegen library. I believe that you have to go to the library in person in order to view the actual wills. That's how I got copies of them. There is a link for the index of wills at the bottom of this page.

      http://www.libraries.uc.edu/libraries/arb/archives/collections/natdec/will_index.html

      You may also be able to find information on their wills and other things by looking at the Hamilton Co. Probate Court Archives website.

      http://www.probatect.org/courtrecordsarchive/bukcats.aspx

      Good Luck!

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  5. I wanted to come back and say thanks for the tip on the other Christoph. I'm not sure how long it would have taken be to figure out there were two. I'm wondering if this Christoph could be related to your Christoph and Adam. I notice from this second Christoph's obituary that he was born in Schoellkrippen, too.

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    1. I would assume that the "other" Christoph is somehow related to my Pistners. But I've never pursued that line. I kind of assume that all the Pistners in Cincinnati were related to one another somehow.

      I searched the Blegen Library's digital website for a death card for John Pistner. There is one that may work, but it states that the age is only 36 in 1871, and your John would've been around 42. However, there were a lot of mistakes on these type of cards, so this may be worth looking into. Also, the death card says he's buried in St. John's Cemetery. That's also the same cemetery that Christoph Pistner is buried in.

      http://drc.libraries.uc.edu/handle/2374.UC/2032/search?query=Pistner&rpp=100&sort_by=3&order=ASC&submit=Go

      This is the link for looking for birth and death cards in Cincinnati. However, it only searches for name exactly as you spell them. So if you can't find "Pistner," try "Phistner" or "Phissner," and spellings like that.

      http://drc.libraries.uc.edu/handle/2374.UC/2032

      Also, here's a link for the databases for the Hamilton Co. Genealogy Society. It's a great reference for obituaries in the German language newspapers in Cincinnati. These are all on microfilm at the Cincinnati Public Library.

      http://www.hcgsdata.org/vitalrec.shtml

      Do you know who John Pistner was married to? I found a Hamilton Co. marriage document for John Pistner and Catherine Seibert. It states that they were married at St. Mary's by Fr. Hammer. This would've been Old St. Mary's in Over the Rhine, and that's where my Adam Pistner was married to Charlotte Brand.

      https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-18060-8851-25?cc=1614804&wc=M9MV-QRF:n220174614

      https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/XZ22-DPP

      https://familysearch.org/search/records/results#count=20&query=%2Bgivenname%3AJohn~%20%2Bsurname%3APistner~%20%2Bmarriage_place%3A%22Hamilton%20County%2C%20Ohio%22

      I'm not sure if you live in the Cincinnati area, but if you need me to ask any questions the next time I'm at the cemetery, I'd be happy to. I could look for tombstones for them. Also, the cemetery cards for St. John's (and also Old St. Joe's and St. Mary's) are on microfilm at the Cincinnati Public Library. The next time I'm at the library, I'd be happy to look for your John Pistner and/or Christoph.

      Marti

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  6. Thanks for your help in getting these links, I appreciate it. Is there another way to contact you? I feel bad about taking up so much space in this comment area.

    Basically, my great-grandfather was John Martin Pfister (1855-1933). The family appears to have changed the name at least once, some time around 1917 (they were using Pister before that). Directories show Pfister after that and my grandfather Frank Pfister shows the current spelling on the record of his 1917 marriage. I'm wondering if John Martin changed his name (possibly from Pistner) at the time of his May 26, 1886 marriage (that marriage record actually says Johann Fister).

    The John Pistner that died in 1871 had a wife named Catherine according to his obituary, but her maiden name seems to be Schmidt rather than Seibert, so I don't know if that's the one who was married in 1852.

    I (and a couple of my cousins) are trying to find John Martin's parents. We've run across someone online claiming Alsace-Lorraine France as their birthplace and 1829 as the birth year of the father and 1833 for the mother. It also claimed their names as John and Mary, but there was no indication of where this information was from. The older Christoph had a son named John born in 1829 and that seemed to fit. The younger Christoph also had a son John born in 1855, so I was wondering if this could have been his actual father.

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    1. My e-mail is mwallace767@gmail.com, if you'd like to contact me that way.

      Do you know if your Pfisters were from Cincinnati and/or were Catholic? I know that all of "my" Pistners immigrated to Cincinnati and were Catholic.

      The only other name change that I know of for the Pistner family is the change to "Phistner." Pfister or Fister may be a completely different name. If they were Catholic, have you tried to find their church records?

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  7. Yes, they were all Catholic as far as I know. I wanted to look at the church records, but it looks like the archdiocese won't be doing any research queries for several months yet. I've been putting it off and now it looks like I've waited too long. Guess I need to put things on hold for a while.

    I guess if I can eliminate the Pistners that I've found it saves a lot of time, but I'm back to square one again. Kind of frustrating... thanks for your help!

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    1. If you would like to e-mail me at mwallace767@gmail.com, we could try and compare some notes. I fully understand your frustration. I'm at that point with my Brands. :)

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