Tuesday, June 29, 2010
For me the mystery to be solved was whether Fred and Tena took over her father’s (Rolf Habben) homestead or if they established their own. So began the search. When nothing showed up through the BLM General Land Office Records (http://www.glorecords.blm.gov/) I knew if I was going to find anything I would need to travel to Sidney, Nebraska where the Cheyenne County records are filed. Not wanting to go to the wrong place for the records I had emailed ahead to the County Clerk. I received the following email:
“Terri: The County Clerk/Register of Deeds is the correct office to check for homesteads and land patent records. If you enter our courthouse on the north side (Jackson Street) we are the first office on your left. Sounds like you need to look in our Grantor/Grantee index which is alphabetical. This process usually doesn't take much time. We'll be happy to get you started with your search. You can also obtain copies of any of the records that you find. Our land records are not on computer so you're searching will be done from books.
Have a safe trip and see you soon. Bonnie-Cheyenne County Clerk's Office”
Monday morning I headed to the Cheyenne County Court house. I was filled with excitement as I headed down 10th Street but, I also was preparing myself for disappointment if no records were to be found. I kept telling myself if I didn’t find anything here I would try North Platte sometime in the future. My reasoning here was because North Platte was where Tena’s father had filed his homestead papers and I knew his homestead was in this area also. Each step I took into the Court house was filled with trepidation. As I stepped up to the counter I was greeted by none other but Bonnie, who asked if she could help me. When I told her my name and began stating what I was wanted she beamed with a big smile and invited me back into the records room. She had already done all the look-ups for me and had the book pulled and the Land Patent marked for Frederick Nelk. Oh my gosh – now you know why I say Nebraskan’s are the kindest people in the country! What a thrill it was to see the huge document dated November 16, 1897!
I’m sure it’s been years since any family has visited the grave of my g-g-g Uncle Rolf Habben, so it was a good feeling to be able to show my respect. Rolf and his family emigrated to the US in 1868 from Wiesens, Ostriesland, Germany. They settled in Hancock County, Illinois and lived there until 1886. Rolf’s wife Christena (Ufkes) and his son Habbe both died in Illinois in March of 1880. The family decided to head to Nebraska to homestead in Cheyenne County. As I wandered through the Weyerts Immanual Cemetery there were many familiar names like Jurgens, Fecht, Frecks, Harms and Garralts. All names I see in the cemetery where my Grandparents are buried as well as in the cemeteries in Wiesens. I wonder if they knew each other in the “old country”.
Rolf’s tombstone marker sits to the left, by the gate as you enter the cemetery. The grave remained unmarked until about 1974 when his family placed it.
Rest in Peace Uncle Rolf - You are not forgotten!
Monday, June 28, 2010
So what was the draw for Frederick Nelk to bring his young wife to this den of lawlessness?
Guess you’ll have to come back for more.......
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Loveland, Colorado is about 45 miles north of Denver. Ah, the sweetheart town – thousands of people every year send their Valentines to Loveland to be re-mailed by the Loveland Post Office just so they can have the special Valentine sweetheart postmark. Also known as the “Gateway to the Rockies”, just 30 miles west on highway 34 is Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park. If you have an extra day it's well worth the drive into our incredible mountains. You will be overwhelmed by our “mountains majesty”in this park. What a great choice the Colorado Family History Expo!
“Let your light shine”, is the theme of the Expo this year and the title of Beau Sharbrough's key note address. (Friday, 8:00 am). I hope I see you there!!
June 25th - 26th
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
13. 12. 11. 10 More days left in my countdown to the Colorado Family History Expo! It seemed like it would never get here and now the time is zooming by me. I took Becky Jamison's (from Grace and Glory) advice and purchased a laptop case/mobile office with wheels and I've been loading it up. I can even fit my camera in it which eliminates one thing to have to carry. I'm still having a difficult time deciding on which classes I'm taking. Out of the 78 classes being offered I know three I'm taking that I'm sure will impact my research. Of course you will have to check my blog to find out which classes those were and how they have added to my “larn'n”.
I probably won't sleep a wink Thursday night because I don't want to miss Beau Sharbrough's, Keynote Address at 8:00a.m., titled “Let Your Light Shine!” I love that title and can't wait to hear what Beau has to say. There's also going to be a “Meet-Up” in the bloggers lounge of fellow Geneabloggers on June 25th at 9:00am. Can't wait to finally meet some of the people who write such wonderful stories about their families. You'll be able to spot me pretty easily, I'll be the one grinning from ear to ear and looking like a kid in a candy store. Of course the Exhibit Hall Grand Opening is at the same time so I may have to pop in there to quickly peruse the goodies.
After the conference is over, I'm heading east to Sidney, Nebraska to do some research at the court house. My great-great-great uncle, Rolf Habben homesteaded in the area in the late 1800's. His daughter and her husband, Fred and Tena (Habben) Nelk also had a homestead somewhere near Sidney. We have the homestead papers for Rolf but not for Fred and Tena. My hope is that if I can locate where their farm was that I can determine which Church they may have belonged to. Since Nebraska didn't keep records on births and deaths until 1904, I must find the Church in order to get the birth records of three of their children. Uh-oh, I may have given a clue as to two of the classes I'll be attending.
If you haven't signed up for the Colorado Family History Expo yet there's still plenty of time and of course you can always sign up at the door. Hope to see you there!