More Questions Than Answers

I have access through my local library to, and I went there last night to see if I could find further information regarding the court case that I wrote about in the previous post. I found a single paragraph in the November 23, 1872, edition of the Savannah Morning News describing the results of the lawsuit in which my great-great-grandfather accused a man of … Continue reading More Questions Than Answers

How Does One Lose 15,600 Cigars?

I found a court case involving my great-great-grandfather, George C Spiegel. This occurred in mid-1872, before the family left Savannah for Dallas. In that year, George was a cigar maker living in Savannah Georgia. The events described in these court documents from the Savannah, Chatham County, Georgia Court, took place a few months before my great-grandmother was born. I discovered these items in an … Continue reading How Does One Lose 15,600 Cigars?

Found One!

It has been a couple of weeks since the United States Census for 1950 was made available to the public after a 72-year wait. Although it is freely available on several family history websites such as and, there is still a lack of indexes that makes it very difficult to find particular individuals without knowing their address and being able to reference that … Continue reading Found One!

The Mystery Package

I looked for my great-great-grandfather, George C Spiegel, at, focusing specifically on newspapers in Savannah, Georgia, and the years 1869 to 1871. We know from census records that George and his wife, Sophia, lived in Savannah, Georgia from 1869 or earlier to 1871 when they moved to Dallas, Texas. In both towns, George’s occupation was Cigar Maker. The couple’s first two children, George, Jr. … Continue reading The Mystery Package

Why They Did the Things They Did

One facet of my study of family history involves finding answers to why my ancestors did the things they did. For example, some of the questions I seek to answer are: ‘How and why did my Southern ancestors maintain and defend the system of slavery?’ ‘What made my DeBacker family pull up roots in Belgium and go to Kansas in the 1880s?’ ‘Why did my … Continue reading Why They Did the Things They Did

Christmas Eve 1874 in Manhattan’s Little Germany

A little while ago, I made the discovery that the family of one of my great, great-grandmothers lived for a time in a New York City neighborhood that was then known as Little Germany. The family of Sophia Precht (aka Sophia P. von Spiegel) lived, from the mid to late 19th century, in a neighborhood found within the East Village of the New York City … Continue reading Christmas Eve 1874 in Manhattan’s Little Germany

Dallas City Directories

After discovering that I have free access to the library edition of MyHeritage, it would appear that I have caught the genealogy bug once more after an almost decade long hiatus. I have been finding little trinkets of family history in something as basic as a city directory . According to Wikipedia, a city directory is a listing of residents, streets, businesses, organizations or institutions, … Continue reading Dallas City Directories

The Mysterious Case of Sophia B.

Using a little detective work, I believe I have found the family of one of my great-great grandmothers in three 19th-century US Census records. The mother of my great-grandmother Helen Spiegel Dobbs was previously found in two US census records: 1870 and 1880. She died sometime between 1880 and 1887 (the year her husband remarried). She is found in the 1870 census in Savannah, Georgia … Continue reading The Mysterious Case of Sophia B.

Spiegel Girls

This photograph is interesting because there are multiple inscriptions written on the back. In one hand that appears to be that of either my great grandmother or great grandfather, is written “August Spiegel children”. Then in another hand is written “Dorothy and Laverne Spiegel – taken September 1918”August Spiegel was the youngest brother of my great-grandmother. He was born in Dallas and according to my … Continue reading Spiegel Girls