My husband has been talking about potentially organizing a family reunion and I have been thinking about ways to show the family research that I’ve done without pulling out the traditional family group sheets and 5 gen charts. I thought I would try to create a type of tribute page for each family in his tree, almost in the style of an obituary. I highly recommend trying to write an obituary for your ancestors – it helped me to think through my ancestor’s life to see if I had additional areas to research and to help me make a research plan for other members of the family.

I plan to include maps to show the area each family is from as well as images that show interesting aspects of their lives. For example, Andrew Dabelstein was born and married in Germany, but was a bricklayer and hod carrier in Chicago after they came to the United States. I included an image showing bricklayers in the Chicago area during that era. Andrew_Dabelstein_tribute

I have many ideas of items that I’d like to include, so this may turn into a pamphlet of
sorts, but I’m still playing with it. Here’s my first attempt at the front page of Andrew Dabelstein’s tribute. I’m also including the text for the obit/tribute that I wrote for Andrew in case another descendent visits the blog. If that’s the case, I’d love to hear from you!

Andrew Dabelstein 1Andrew J. Dabelstein

Hans Hinrich Detlev Dabelstein (1816-1891) was a day laborer in the tiny village of Nusse, Lubeck, about 15 miles from the Baltic Sea.  In 1847, Hans married Maria Dorothea Niemann (1822-1896) and they started a family.

Jochim Andreas “Andrew” Dabelstein was the third child of Hinrich and Dorothea. He and his older siblings, Dorothea and Hinrich, would eventually welcome 2 additional siblings, Maria and Margaretha, to the family.

At the age of 26, Andrew married Sophia Catharina Christina “Alvina” Carstens in the city of Hamburg, Germany on Mar. 20, 1879. Alvina was the daughter of Johann Hinrich Carstens and Magdalena Margareta Voss.

Andrew and Alvina lived in Hamburg where Andrew was a laborer. They had their oldest child, Fritz Carl Hans Johann “John” Dabelstein on Dec. 27, 1880 in Hamburg.

On Apr. 19, 1882, “Andr”, “Christine” and “Fritz” left their families behind to began a two-week journey traveling in steerage from Hamburg to New York aboard the Wieland. By January, they had settled in Chicago where Andrew worked as a brick layer and hod carrier. Very soon, they expanded their family, eventually having 5 children: John, Martha, Minnie, William and Andrew.

Andrew and Alvina lived in Chicago for many years. Alvina passed away at the age of 54 on May 27, 1912. She died from heart failure due to overexertion. She was preceded in death by her son, John, who passed away in 1903 at the age of 22.

Andrew passed away at the age of 76 on Nov. 23, 1929 after living with his daughter Minnie Danker’s family for the final 2 years of his life.