Monday, December 16, 2013

The Zander brothers in Milwaukee

I just love it when I find new information about our ancestors. Recently I was able to explore some early Wisconsin newspapers and confirmed what I long suspected. All the sons, except James Jr., passed through the city of Milwaukee.

In addition to confirming my suspicions, I was able to establish that they were probably all in Milwaukee at the same time. When the first brothers arrived in 1836, Milwaukee was truly a pioneer outpost — Wisconsin did not become a state until 1848.

Please read the tab “Brothers in Milwaukee” to learn more. Also check out the updated obituary for Jeremiah under the “Their Children” tab.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Egg on my face...

I’ve returned from a trip to Albany and Troy, NY, where I spent time researching some of the early Zander family mysteries.

One of those mysteries was the parents of James and Ruth’s granddaughter Ophelia I. Zander.

I was sure her father was one of their sons – her name was Zander after all – but was I wrong, wrong, wrong! She may have adopted the last name of Zander but her parents’ names were Isaiah and Betsey (Zander) McKibbin. Betsey was James and Ruth’s oldest daughter.

Read more about “Betsey and the three Ophelias” on the tab above. Also check out my corrected “Their Children” tab.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Their children...

Be sure to check out the "Their children" tab for an overview of the second and third generations. James and Ruth's children helped settle Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and participated in the Gold Rush to California.

Be sure to enter your email address to the left to receive alerts when this blog is updated.

James' obituaries...

I hope you've checked out James' obituaries that I posted a month ago. They are pretty amazing.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

John M. Zander (1744-1815)

So you probably wonder, if I’ve said this is about the descendants of James and Ruth (Haskell) Zander, why I would start with John. Because he is, according to various anecdotal sources, James' father and our immigrant ancestor.

According to Ozias Zander (as told to his son Chester Zander), “Great grandfather’s name was John M. Zander; born in Wurttemberg, Germany; weaver by trade and left home when a young man.”

If you follow the thinking that a young man would be 21 years old, then John came to what would have been colonial America in 1765. If he settled in Huntington, Connecticut, which is listed in various obits as James’ birthplace, then it is possible that he came alone. At the time Connecticut was not an area that attracted many German settlers.

And while the trend is that families usually immigrate together, it is not unheard of that a single man would have emigrated. Especially as Ozias provided the additional information that John was a weaver.

He would have belonged to the weaver guild in Germany. Guild practice at the time meant that he would have been apprenticed to a master weaver and then became a journeyman. And journeyman meant exactly how it sounds: they would journey to other towns, working in the shops of various masters.

In the mid-18th Century, the guild system was breaking down and there were fewer opportunities for journeymen to become their own masters. If you had already left your town or city to work elsewhere and you heard there were great opportunities in a land across the ocean, you might decide to leave your native country and travel to the New World.

In the first two U.S. censuses in 1790 and 1800, a John M. Sander (the anglicized version of Zander) is listed as living in Huntington, Connecticut. By the time of his death in 1815, he had joined his son in Troy, New York. Death notices appeared in various newspapers of the day.

One paper wrote on April 21, 1815: Old Mr. Zander, a German. He was age 71.

The Troy, NY, Post, on April 25, 1815: Died in this village on Thursday last, Mr. John M. Zander in the 71st year of his age.

And he was included in the chapter, Necrological List of prominent citizens, in the History of the City of Troy, 1876, by A.J. Weise: 1815--John M Zander, 71.

Baden-Württemberg, Germany
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