Thursday, June 30, 2011



Since I retired this spring I decided I wanted to do some volunteer work.  When I saw the notice in the paper from the Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society about the Diocese of Pittsburgh needing volunteers I decided  I would like to do that sort of volunteering.  

I had taken a few classes on the old style German writing and thought that might help me.   So far I have done two days and I am quite enjoying myself and obtaining a lot of skills in reading the “old” writing styles and research of old records.   The older records are also in Latin a lot of the times.   I am even getting better at Latin.   

I have completed two requests for clients.   It is taking me a long time but I feel I will get better as the months go on. 

After I was finished with my client I still had a bit of time left and I decided to look for Katharina Rauscher, my husbands great grandmother.  

I  decided to search St Ann’s Catholic Church in Millvale PA.   I had already had sent for the records at St Anthony’s in Millvale in 2008 but that marriage was not found.

I hit the genealogical jackpot.   They were at St Ann’s.  Anton Sperl and Katharina Rauscher were married 17 June 1884.    Anton’s parents were Christof. Sperl and Margaret Buchl, this information I already knew because the family emigrated from Bohemia in 1869.

But I found Katharina’s father, Franc. Rauscher and her mother M. Anne Fleishner, both of Rosshaupt, Bohemia.   Frank Rauscher’s name was listed on Katharina’s Death Certificate but her mother was listed as unknown.

A few weeks ago I found a Frank Rauscher living in  Millvale and he was of the age that my theory was that he was Katharina’s father.   I still have to prove this and my theory is he came to the USA after his wife had died and that is why the informant knew his name.  His grandson, John Christ Sperl gave the information upon his mother Katharina’s death in 1947.     I have to go about and prove my theory.

Another brick wall has crumbled.

After thinking about M Anne Fleishner I decided that I would look for the name Margarethe because that is the name she gave her first daughter.



  1. Doesn't that feel great! Congratulations!

  2. Both the volunteering and the find feel great !!!!

  3. Hi Claudia,
    That's some excellent finds you made. I'm fascinated that you found a class on reading /deciphering old German writing (Sometimes called Götisch or Sütterlin--I'm pretty sure). thanks for the comment on my latest post. Yes, the greatest fear at Ellis Island, was being sent back for illness -- as you mentioned your grandmother's fear of her daughter, your mother, coughing. Many were sent back before they even boarded the ship in Europe. I'll be posting a story about that in the future.