For some time now, I have not really had a lot of information on my grandmother, Anna Schumacher Spencer’s brother, Albert Schumacher. My Aunt Bertha Schumacher Hallgren, their younger sister wrote a few things in her journal, and I have connected with one of his great grandchildren, but she doesn’t have much information on him either. There were a few pictures of him in my Uncle Bill Spencer’s family history, as well as my grandmothers photo album and my dad’s photo album, but unfortunately for those of us left behind, there is not always good information about the pictures, except what my Uncle Bill was able to find out, because he documented pictures very well, if he had information on them. Uncle Bill started his family research long before computers, and since he really knew very little about computers, he never really furthered his research there. It was a fact that I found very sad, because I think he would have been so excited about what he would have been able to fine online.
That said, I will tell you that the latest little tidbit of information, came not online, but rather through the hard work of Uncle Bill, and the pictures found in the albums of my dad and grandmother, that ended up being connected to what we knew from all of Uncle Bill’s hard work. It is completely amazing to me that it wasn’t all of the technology we have today that helped with the discovery to any large degree, but rather the old fashioned way of putting the history together that was so common to my Uncle Bill. I have looked at the pictures, I have been so blessed with, dozens and dozens of times, but somehow, at some point, something jumps out at me when I least expect it. One picture reveals to me a distinct similarity to another picture, and when I look at them side by side…well, there it is.
That is exactly what happened the other day when I was looking at pictures, and I noticed that the man in a wedding photo I was looking at, looked very familiar. I knew I had seen that face before, and I knew exactly where I had seen it. In comparing the two pictures side by side, my revelation was confirmed. The picture I was looking at was a wedding picture, and the man and woman in the picture, were my Great Uncle Albert Schumacher, and his wife Christine Ida Froemke Schumacher. How could I have missed that? I had no other pictures of Christine, of course. so it couldn’t have been her that caught my eye. No, it was the man, and he was most definitely my great uncle Albert. When I put the two pictures side by side, it left no doubt in my mind, I had found my Great Uncle Albert’s wedding picture. That was so exciting to me that I sent my sister Cheryl Masterson a text at about midnight. Now thankfully she didn’t hear it, because we both had to work the next day. This is just what the excitement of my discovery caused me to do. I guess that once you get into the family history, it can be very addictive. I think maybe I’m my Uncle Bill’s niece in that way too. I can’t say that I’m surprised at all.
With every step I take in the family history journey, I find as much mystery as I do revelation. It seems that for every door opened, comes a multitude of questions. Recently my sister, Cheryl Masterson, my mom, Collene Spencer, and took a trip to Wisconsin, during which we met quite a few family members within the Schumacher side of our family. With every new family member I meet, in person or online, comes increased curiosity about our connection, as well as our differences and similarities. After all, while we are related, each family has a slightly different background. Even though we share the same set of grandparents, we also have a set of grandparents and ancestors that is different from our relatives. I love to see the new paths the extended family can take as those new links are connected.
Recently, after our trip to Wisconsin, I was contacted by Angie Schumacher Barden, who is my second cousin once removed, the daughter of Brian Schumacher, and granddaughter of Les and Bev Schumacher. She had seen some information on the Schumacher family indicating an Albert Schumacher who was born in Germany and came to America in 1864. About the same time as his wife…or future wife…who was named Henrietta. The indication was that they were married about the time they came to America in 1864. As I recall, our grandfather, Carl Schumacher who was married to Henrietta Hensel in 1886 in Wisconsin, did have family members that lived in the area. It is entirely possible that one of them was a brother named Albert, since Carl did name a son Albert. And I suppose that Carl’s brother Albert could have married a woman named Henrietta, just as Carl did. There is a number of years between the two marriages, so it could also be an uncle of Carl’s who came over. All this is hard to prove at this point, and will most lkely be a story down the road, if I can connect all these theories to some kind of reality.
For now, however, this will remain a mystery that was opened up by another curious family member who saw something, and decided to see what she could find out. As for me, Angie, I will be doing whatever I can to find out more about these, for now at least, mysterious Schumachers who may or may not be related to our family. I love a good mystery, and with the possibility of connecting with more and more of our family’s past, I will be searching in earnest for the answers to the questions you have asked. And so…the Family History Journey continues.