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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Striking it Rich in the Gold Rush?

Wrote to my Stegner and Holz cousins the other day and asked them to share who they were interested in knowing more about in our family history.  I have all of my mom's books here at my house, and I know she'd want me to share what's in them.  Now that school's out, I have the time.

So, today, we started in while the house was quiet, and I was alone.

I received a message from a cousin that she was interested in my great grandmother, who, I think is her great, great grandmother--Dorothea Catherine Klever Holz.

The Holz line was a tricky one, and my mom didn't spend a lot of time on it because it was such a difficult one to trace.  Before my mom died, I was able to find a few more connections and the day she passed away, I found that the only book she had sitting on her desk was the Holz family book, so I'm pretty sure it was the last family she spent time on before she passed away.

Today was VERY interesting....
Dora's father's name was Henry Klever from Holstein, Germany.  In the 1920 U.S. census, it says that he immigrated in 1851.  In all other censuses, it was 1872.  I am certain they are all the same Henry Klever.

Here's the funny thing....He shows up starting in 1900 in Minnesota, but there is a Henry Klever of roughly the same age and from the same town--Holstein--in the 1860 census in Tuolumne, California.

So many questions arise from this.  Did Henry come to the U.S. in 1851 to seek his fortune in the California Gold Rush and then return to Germany to marry his sweetheart in 1866, have some children and then return to the U.S. again in 1872 to settle in Winona, Minnesota?  Could be, couldn't it?

I think my mother would have loved to have contemplated that with me.  She didn't have all of the records open to her that we have now.  What a wonderfully convenient thing that is!  She really had to dig for anything she got and when she found something, she was so excited.  I just remember her writing letter upon letter upon letter and waiting weeks to receive responses.

I now wonder who she shared all of her excitement with.  I wonder if she ever felt like she had someone who would get as excited about it as she was.  I wonder if this was a disappointment to her.  I felt that disappointment, and a greater desire to call my mom than I've had since her death, after I found what I did today.

Thanks for letting me share a little bit of it with you.


Wendie Richardson said...

My family lived in Tuolumne! They were also in Sonora. Owned a gold mine, too. Is that 1860 census online? Love ya

Julie said...

Crazy, Wendie! For real? When were they there? I found it on Family Search. Love you right back.

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