* Search the Hamilton County Probate Court site for the marriage of Lucy Barry Dalton and Thomas O’Shaughnessy.
* Send a message to the general JewishGen listserv about my Scheier family questions.

* Still trying to get that last inbox cleared – somehow there is always something more urgent (read: interesting) to do.
* Back up the blog! And look for something that will back it up automatically. Is there a plug-in?

* Read book I got from the library about how to create and use a wiki. I watched the Thomas MacEntee webinar but need more education. And sometimes having it in front of me in print is easier.
* Watch one online video or webinar about genealogy. [It’s so easy to do, and there are some sites where I can even watch on my own schedule.]
* Find a new webinar site that archives and/or puts up free webinars.

* Source all O’Shaughnessy findings so I can look at what I know and be ready to share it with a new contact.
* Continue to search for and correspond with Scheier living relatives – send a message to the general JewishGen listserv about my questions.
* Develop research plan forms as presented by Marian Pierre-Louis in her webinar (this could be considered Organization but should further my goal of researching more effectively and efficiently) [I got nothing done on this task so am leaving it on for September. Maybe the Fall will be more conducive to this work.]

* Empty inbox on desk: sort, source, enter in appropriate database and put away. [I *finally* got the pile of papers on the desk finished. One inbox to go and my desk is pretty much cleared for the Fall!]

* Continue learning how to use Clooz3; I watched the intro videos, and am following the listserv with interest. Working on putting what I have learned to use.
* Watch one online video or webinar about genealogy. [I got really carried away in August and did not only the 2 I had pre-registered for – one on using wikis and the other on using the Library of Congress online site and resources but a series of three on getting started with house history that Marian Pierre-Louis offered. And then I listened to Judy G. Russell, the Legal Genealogist, present about circumstantial evidence, over at my old stand-by Legacy Family Tree webinars. I learned so much in August!]

I am not employed by or in any way affiliated with any of the companies or services I have mentioned in this posting. I mention specific names or products that I have used and liked.

* Enter the Scheier sources received from the FHL in the database and look at that family line for next steps.
* Enter the Pintel, Schenk, Thompson sources received from FHL, also information from MC about Pintel 2nd marriage and children.
* Use notes from Ohio trip to develop research plan for next steps – Boothby and Salt lines.

* The very next step is to empty the last inbox on my desk (the physical one not on my computer) and sort out all the pieces there. Some I have already put into sheet protectors or photo protectors, but they still need to be used to source or add to my family database and then to be put in a binder or hanging file.
* When that is done, empty the canvas bag hanging on the closet door and do the same with everything in it. The materials are all Denman family-related already, I know.
* Pictures from the Ohio trip are downloaded to computer, but the metadata needs to be created and the files named. Files put in the family directory they belong in.

* Watch one online video or webinar about genealogy. [In June I watched/listened to another Legacy Family Tree webinar done by Thomas MacEntee about finding your New York ancestors. This webinar was done live in April and I just caught it at the end of the free period. I am registered to watch one in July about finding your English ancestors and looking forward to help with this – it is one of my oldest brick walls.]

I am focusing today on developing my strategies for contacting the living possible relatives of this Scheier line. I have posted about this family before (click here). And contacting the living descendents has been on my genealogy to-do list for a long time. So now I’m going to get serious about doing it.

Briefly, what I know about the family is that Joseph and Zissel Scheier had 9 children, 8 of whom were living as of the 1910 census, and 6 of whom I have found at least names for. The Scheier family came from the Dubno, Russia, area, possibly the smaller town of Verba. The 6 that I have found (Julius, Sam, Pearl, Ida, Louis, and Abe) were all in the US, along with Zissel, by 1902. Father, Joseph, may have come earlier and died before the whole family arrived. I have names for the grandchildren of some of these Scheier children, although I am still searching for a married name for Ida. I also am not sure about whether some of the children had any children of their own, or for some of the female grandchildren what their married names might be.

Here is what I have done so far in my quest to contact them: I have contacted (via letter, Facebook and a phone call from my sister-in-law) one relative with no success; I have found two other individuals who are likely relatives and am trying to figure out how to approach each of them to maximize the likelihood that they might respond to me. In addition, I know there must be others out there, so while I keep looking for names, part of my strategy needs to be broadcasting my search.


I think this is the easier part to describe, so I will start here. This post is a kind of broadcast. It includes the names of the furthest generation back I know in the title. I am tagging the post with the family name as well as the location of Milwaukee which was the central point for the immigrant generation and often their children. I will post publicly on my Facebook wall that I have published this post. I will try to remember to tweet about it. This morning while I was walking and talking with a friend, it occurred to me (duh!) that I could/should post a general inquiry on any Scheier listserv I can find. Now what avenue have I missed?


This is the more difficult step for me, since I am somewhat shy by nature and especially since I haven’t had very good luck so far. I have a suspicion that I am so obsessed about interested in getting information that I haven’t thought through how a cold contact might appear to someone not as interested in family history. It also occurs to me that I need to think through just what I am looking for from any of these folks. And along with that, it occurs to me that I need to think about what I can offer in exchange.

I feel like I don’t have much (that is the big picture reason why I want to find others who know more) but I do have some information and a picture or two, and the family tree as I know it. And I’m willing to share with anyone who is related and interested.

Now I need to figure out how to approach these people in a way that makes them want to be in contact with me. I find myself wondering what I would think in a similar situation and how I would respond. Would I be skeptical? Would I think it was a scam or a nutcase or someone trying to get information from me to steal my identity? What would my concerns if I assumed it was a potential relative? What would intrigue me? Unfortunately, in this world, I can think of many negative responses and it is harder to think of positive ones.

Uncle Julius, my husband’s great uncle Julius Scheier, was not on the family radar until I started doing the family history. There were 3 Scheiers who were known about: grandmother Pearl, Uncle Doc, and Uncle Louis. As I have written before, these relationships weren’t certain but based on what my mother-in-law called them.

Uncle Julius was likely the first of the Scheier family to arrive in the United States, having come in about 1885. At least this is the date he gave on the 1900 federal census. I have not yet found any documentation about his arrival, or about his naturalization, although he was recorded as naturalized on both the 1900 and 1920 censuses. I’m still searching for the 1910 census where he and his family were enumerated. (For some reason all of this Scheier family has been very hard to find in the 1910 census.)

As the first Scheier here, Julius was the person each of his siblings came to and seem to have relied on when they immigrated. He was already established in Milwaukee with a job and a young family. Julius had married Cecelia Pokras on 5 June 1890, in Milwaukee.

Scheier - Pokras marriage record

Finding the index to their marriage on lead me to send for the marriage record. Here it is.

There is a lot of information on this record, even more than I hoped for. Julius gave his birthplace as Dubno, Russia. He listed both parents, including his mother’s maiden name (Masec or Mases, the handwriting is hard to decipher). Celia also listed both parents with mother’s maiden name. She gave her place of birth as Kiev, Russia and her age is noted as 24. So, although from the federal censuses I had some information, this marriage record provided both corroboration and new information.

The first census, the 1900, that shows the young Julius Scheier family lists a step-daughter, Bertha, born in September 1885 in Russia. This census also lists Celia and Bertha as having immigrated in 1887. It begins to look like Cecilia and a young daughter Bertha might have came to the US with her parents and a sister. Her parents and another female are in the Wisconsin 1895 census in Milwaukee, and in the 1905 Wisconsin census the elder Pokrases are living with a Sarah Arnow. I haven’t yet found the immigration records that would document this family’s passage.

Based on the city directories I have searched so far, Julius and his family were in Milwaukee up to 1893. Then Julius was not listed for 2 years. Then he and Bertha (only the working single woman was listed in those years) were listed again through 1907 which was the latest directory I viewed on our Washington DC trip. I also have Julius on the 1900 federal census and the 1905 Wisconsin census. I have searched for the 1910 census without success so far. And the 1920 shows Julius and his family in Spokane Washington. Then the 1930 shows Celia and youngest son Joseph back in Milwaukee, living together and both widowed.

So where were they in the few years from about 1893 to 1896, or why was no one listed in the Milwaukee city directory? And why can’t I find them in 1910? And when and why did they go to Spokane? And many other questions.

Julius and Celia had three children: Max S. (b 1891), Herbert (b 1895), and Joseph B. (b 1901). Bertha also took the name Scheier. Looking for information about the children starts to answer some of my questions. The first thing I noticed on the censuses was that son Herbert was listed as born in Texas although the other sons were born in Wisconsin. Further evidence about Herbert turned up the information that he was educated at Harvard, where his home address was given as Spokane. His WWI registration in May 1917 in Spokane also showed that he was a student at Harvard University. And the WWI registration listed his full birth date and birth place – Henderson, Texas. Henderson Texas is in north east Texas, not far from the Louisiana border. What in the world was Julius Scheier doing there in 1895? So far I have no clue.

When I searched for son Max I found a record of his burial in Milwaukee in 1910. He died in March 1910 and was buried in Milwaukee. Hm – so far I haven’t found any other information about how he died or where. I do assume that it was in Milwaukee or close by, since I would doubt that the family would have taken him back to Milwaukee to be buried if they were very far away. And youngest son Joseph B. was born in Milwaukee in 1901, so they were back from Texas by then. Thus, although I haven’t yet found the 1910 census, there is evidence that the family was only in Texas for a few years and then back in Milwaukee until 1910 or later.

Based on Herbert’s Harvard listing, they were probably in Washington by 1913. When I did a general internet search for Julius Scheier, I turned up a Federal Reporter report of a district court case in Washington that referred to both Julius and Louis and a bankruptcy they had filed for their partnership, Scheier Brothers. This case was dated June 2, 1911 in Washington state. Since I have also not yet found Louis Scheier in the 1910 census, this opens new questions about where both Julius and Louis were. And what was the business that the Scheier Brothers engaged in? The 1920 census for Julius listed him as a storekeeper of a grocery, and working on his own account (as opposed to being a worker).

Sometime between 1920 and 1926, the family moved back to the Milwaukee area. Julius died in January 1926 in Wisconsin. An obituary for him provides some information

Julius Scheier obituary

about his family (including a married name for Bertha, yay!) and his career. It also says that he was a 35 year resident and merchant of West Allis (just west of Milwaukee). This doesn’t agree with the city directories searched or the federal censuses found so far. He likely was a resident and merchant in West Allis at the time of his death but he doesn’t seem to have been there for 35 years. An index of deaths and burials found on the website for the Jewish Museum of Milwaukee
shows Julius’s burial in Spring Hill as well as Cecelia’s and Max’s, and Bertha’s. Cecelia died in September 1943.

I am left with questions about why this family spent some time in Texas and then why, later, they relocated to Spokane Washington for a number of years before returning to Milwaukee. This will send me off to search for histories of these two communities to see if I can figure out what would have attracted Julius to move there.