Sunday, July 29, 2012



I have been so busy the past two weeks, I had hardly anytime to breathe.  GIRLS WEEK OUT, me, my daughter and my sisters had a road trip and a good time.

Last week I attended the GENEALOGICAL RESEARCH INSTITUTE OF PITTSBURGH.   The biggest thing I learned is how much I have to learn.    I took the class INTERMEDIATE  GENEALOGY: TOOLS FOR DIGGING DEEPER.  Paula Stuart Warren and D. Joshua Taylor both gave excellent lectures, and now my brain is full.  

I have been sitting here going over my notes, highlighting links I wrote and books I may want to purchase that  were mentioned in the lectures.   I was successful in an attempt to follow their advice.   Paula said to search all in your tree.   One of my goals is to find the parents of my great grandfather Patrick O’Rourke.   He has a sister Mary who married Daniel Rogan in about 1876.  Sometime closer to 1890-1900 they moved to New Castle PA.  

I found two  of their children's Baptisms and one death on the Family Search site.   My theory is that they were married in Pittsburgh and some of their children were Baptized there.   The death was a infant daughter, Mary Rogan who died from diarrhea and is buried in ST. Mary's Cemetery.  There were many St. Mary’s cemeteries and now I have to find which one it was.   If I find the marriage record, perhaps, it will name the parents.   Irish Catholic records are sort of minimalistic but I do have a bit of hope for that. 

If not there I will send for Mary’s death certificate. 

Saturday, July 21, 2012



For the past few months I have not made much progress in my ancestor searching.   Today I was perusing Family Search and who knows why, but I entered my great grandmother, Anna Meta Margarethe name and came up with SIX siblings.

I knew her date of birth (8 April 1868) from a hand written note that I found among my fathers paper after he had died.  The rest of those listed is her husband and their children and spouses.



Willis Family Tree

The second line says “Mutter 8 April 1868”  So when I came to her information I knew I had the  correct parents.   As it develops she had six brothers, and I have not found any sisters. Her fathers name was Ernst Frederich Wilhelm Hackmann and her mother was Elsie Marie Rittel

Hermann August Karl Hackmann         22 September 1865

Ernst Frederich Wilhelm Hackmann     24 February 1867  

Friedrich Wilhelm Hackmann                5 March 1871

Michael Friedrich Hackmann                 21 July 1872 

Heinrich Wilhelm Hackmann                 23 July 1873

Friedrich  Jacob Heinrich Hackmann    24 December 1874

Now I was really excited and I searched for Elsie Marie Rittel, my great great grandmother, and what did I find was a list of Elsie’s siblings. Her  father’s name was Karl Friedrich Bermandi Rittel and her mother was Anna Meta Margarethe Lurssen.    That was my great grandmothers name.

Michael Friedrich Bermandi Rittel          26 December 1842

Elsie Marie Johanne Rittel                      13 July 1844

Karl Friedrich Rittel                                 27 October 1845

Jacob Friedrich Heinrich Rittel               10 March 1848

Johann Friedrich Lucie Rittel                  14 March 1850

Adelheide Henriette Rittel                        25 December 1853

Johanne Friedrika Louise Rittel               1 June 1856

Johann Gottfried Rittel                             25 May 1859

Johann Bernhard Rittel                            2 September 1861.

Where do I go from here?   That was certainly a lot of family to find for one day.   My hat is off for the person who indexed this list.   The list was updated recently and I am extremely glad to find it.