27 July 2006

Annie to Attend Moore Family Reunion?

Annie Moore, that long-lost Irish gal who has the genealogy world in hyper-search mode, will probably not be attending the Moore Family Reunion in California next week. I'll be there -- Moore is my maiden name -- as will my parents, siblings, and four generations of assorted relatives.

I admit to being one of those caught up in the search for Annie that Megan fiendishly instigated. Being intimately acquainted with early 20th century New Yorkers -- I searched thousands of them for an urban history project -- I thought I would give it a go.

With my addled brain, I soon realized that I needed some kind of organization for the Annie project. Who said what and when? What's been searched? I am way too easily confused! You can check out my first attempts at organization here.

So far, Annie has eluded everyone's efforts. If she does show up at the Moore Family Reunion next week, I'll let you know.

11 July 2006

June Allyson Dies

June Allyson died Sunday. In 2001, she gave an interview on Larry King Live in which she said her name was originally Ella Van Geisman, a Dutch name. Others have decided, for no apparent reason, that she was Jewish.

The 1920 New York census lists her as Ella, daughter of Anna and Robert Geisman, a chemist. Her parents were married in 1914 at St. Matthew's Lutheran Church in the Bronx by the pastor, William Junge. Her grandfather, Henry Geismann, was born in 1864 in Ahsen, then part of Prussia, and christened in the same Catholic church where his parents were married. So again, it appears that the Dutch are really Deutsch.

On her mother's side, Allyson's grandmother's ancestors were from Guernsey in the Channel Islands. Her maternal grandfather was named James Provost. He may have been a descendant of the early settlers of New Amsterdam, which would make him -- and June Allyson -- Dutch.
You can view the census records and more genealogy for June Allyson at Ancestry Ancestry.com

09 July 2006

The Devil's in the Details

Meryl Streep reports that "Streep was a name taken by Jews in Holland in the fifteenth century." In a 1998 interview, she told us that the Streeps were originally Sephardic Jews from Spain.

That may well be true. The name Streep is Dutch. And Jews from Spain did go to Holland in the 15th century.

But when we check out the details -- by, of all things, starting with her father and working backwards -- we find that her branch wasn't even named Streep so we don't care about the origins of the Dutch Streeps.

Streep's father is Harry Streep, Jr. In the 1930 census he is with his parents Harry and Lena in Newark, NJ.

Harry Sr's WW I draft card says he was born February 5, 1884. In the 1900 census, Harry, born February 1884, is in Newark with his parents Frederick and Elizabeth who are both born in New Jersey. Their parents were from Germany and the surname is spelled Streeb. (Those of you familiar with German pronunciation are nodding right now.)

In the 1870 census, Frederick is in Elizabeth, NJ with Godfrey and Christian Streep who are both from "Whertenburg." Records from Madison Street German Presbyterian Church in New York City, where their first child was born, include the marriage of Christine Zeltmann to Gottfried Streebe in 1851.

The Wuerttemberg, Germany Emigration Index says Christine Zeltmann, who sailed in 1846, is from the town of Loffenau. Her husband may be the Gottfried Streeb reportedly born in Loffenau in 1815.

Maybe the Streeps living in Holland today descend from Spanish Jews. And maybe they think they are related to Meryl Streep. But they are not kin unless, long ago, some Dutch Streeps moved to Germany's Black Forest. Maybe the Streebs living in Loffenau today would know.

There once was a women in Prada,
Who sailed with the Spanish Armada.
She says she is Dutch.
I think - not so much.
So it turns out the devil wears nada.

You can view the draft card, emigration index, census records, and more records for Meryl Streep at Ancestry Ancestry.com