Monday, August 24, 2009

That Elusive Ancestor

This blog inspired by my friend and fellow Wild One, Karen over at Genealogy Frame of Mind.

No, I don't often blog about my family history, even though it is an all-consuming passion of mine - next to that of main squeeze and darling hubby. But Karen inspired me with her brick wall and now I will post mine. Hopefully there is a family member from this line that knows more about my great-great granny Wilhelmine "Minnie" Zabrack.

Now, I have been told that Zabrack is not the correct last name by "experts" in European research. That may be true, but all I have for proof is Minnie's daughter, Augusta Wilhelmina's Kleesart's conversion to Catholicism. In this record, her mother is identified as Wilhelmina Zabrack.

Christian Kleesaert/Kleesaat/Klesat/Clesat/Clesotte and Minnie were married before 1849 probably in Prussia. Minnie's birthplace is consistently given in census records and immigration records as Prussia. Christian, her husband, was born in Mecklenberg-Schwerin. I have his baptismal record, his parent's marriage record, baptismal records of his siblings. No marriage for Christian and no baptismal records for his children, all born "Prussia."

Their emigration/immigration records give the town where he lived. Apparently the recorder didn't thing it was important that wife and kids were not from Rosenow in Mecklenberg.

The family moves to Tonawanda, Erie county, New York and they are found on Census there, and the death and burial of their daughter Frederika Augusta Katherine "Charlotte" was recorded in church records there. Still no clue as to Minnie's antecedents.

Before 1870, the family moves to Iosco County, Michigan. Minnie & Christian's daughter Augusta Wilhelmina Kleesaat meets and marries August Zimmeth. No record of this marriage is found, but their older children were baptized (according to their marriage records) in AuSable, Michigan. Before the fire of 1911.

Strangely enough, or more like Murphy's law of genealogy research, there is no "official" death record for Christian Clesott in 1886 or for Minnie Zabrak Cleasott in 1894. Their deaths were only found after much research by this author in obituaries from the Iosco County Gazette. And of course no mention of where she was from or who her parents were.

So there it is my brick wall in my ancestry. I sure would love to see it come down.


  1. "In this record, her mother is identified as Wilhelmina Zabrack." Do you have an image of that record?

  2. Good luck, nice blog article, maybe the right person will see it!

  3. MAW: I sure have a copy of it SOMEWHERE, it is sadly 'misfiled." I can't tell you how many copies of it I made, but the whole stack of originals in a binder is missing. The joys of moving.

  4. Nice blog - glad I inspired you - isn't that what friends are for? Hope someone can punch a hole in your brick wall....