18 November 2012

Amend Process of Elimination

a different duo - John Philip with his son Charles P. Ament
Two weeks after Exploring my German Roots: Amend/Ament

On November 1st, All Saints' Day, I toured the hometown of my immigrant ancestors--son and father duo--John Philip Ament and Johann Georg Amend (also Ament, Amendt, Am Endt). They arrived in the USA between 1835 and 1840. Using online records and the microfilms I had already confirmed this line two additional generations: Johannes Amend b.1771 and Johannes Amend b.unknown.

In my previous Amend blog post I mentioned "almost 70 Amend records." I had copied every Amend seen in the index for the earliest two volumes. Unfortunately, the Amend records stopped in the 1660s due to an early church fire in which all the records were burned. 

On Saturday, I had been doing some FamilySearch Indexing. I called home as I usually do, and my mom suggested I review the Amend records. After our call, I went to work at it. I draft printed the 69 pages for easier review.

First, I identified the two family groups already in my family tree. Because I only copied the records from the 2 oldest printed volumes these included the first 3 siblings of Johann Georg Amend and the next family group--children of Johannes Amend and Catharina Elisabetha Kröckin. I wrote the FamilySearch person ID next to each name (ex.LCZ4-6QC). 

Second, I placed the remaining records in piles by decade. A pile for the 1700s, the 1710s, and so on through the 1760s (later records were already set aside in the known family groups). I also had one pile for the century of the 1600s because there were fewer in that century. Next, I took each pile by decade and put it in reverse chronological order from the most recent year backward. 

Third, I began my search for Johannes Amend b.unknown. Based on my online and microfilm research, I knew there were at least 2 who could possibly be him. Once things were organized and I could be sure I had all the available records in front of me, I could use elimination to determine which Amend line was mine. I soon had identified the only 2 Johannes Amends who were born at a time where their age would allow them to be my ancestor. 

One in 1742 and the other in 1719. The one who was born in 1719 had a marriage--and bore children up until about the time that my Johannes Amend and Catharina Elisabetha Kröckin begin to have children. I knew that it was common enough for a man to have children with another wife after the first wife passed on. I still needed to find a way to eliminate one of the Johannes Amends. A death record for either would do the job. In my rush to copy all the records from the printed books in Heuchelheim, I ended up with only 3 Amend death records, and no marriages. Perhaps the index was split into sections. I wasn't stuck yet. FamilySearch volunteers had extracted many of the Heuchelheim church records onto FamilySearch.org. I soon found a Johannes Amend who died in 1784, born about 1719. This proved that the 1719 Johannes was not mine. My Johannes had his last children in 1787. This left only the Johannes born in 1742 as a possible match.

I used a similar process of elimination to take my line further back 3 additional generations. It was easier at that point. Johannes' 1742 baptism listed his father as Lorentz. There was only one baptism of a Lorentz that could have been him. His baptism listed his father as Stophel. There was only one Stophel--Johann Christoffel--in the baptism records. When looking at marriages and deaths on FamilySearch, it only confirmed that there was one Stophel in Heuchelheim. I found his death, and the death of his wife. I also found the deaths of two of his children. Johann Christoffel's baptism was in 1674 and listed his father as Lorentz. Because of the church fire, I can not get Lorentz' baptism record. When entering him into the FamilySearch Family Tree, it took the line further back 3 more generations past Lorentz. 

I realize this can all get confusing. Here is my verified Amend line:

Click a name to see it in the FamilySearch.org Family Tree

Johann Philip Ament b.1835
Johann Georg Amend b.1802
Johannes Amend b.1771
Johannes Amend b.1742
Johann Lorentz Amend b.1717 
Stophel Amend b.1674
Lorentz Amend b.unknown

To see the additional 3 generations which I do not have sources for, please click Lorentz and navigate the FamilySearch Family Tree.

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