Sunday, April 29, 2012

Family Tree Rebuild Status Update - 4/29/12

About once a week I will be posting an update on my progress in rebuilding my family tree.

I am still working on the first step of adding my direct ancestral lines and their families.

The Hunsicker line is about 99% complete. I just have to check to make sure I have all of the children and any additional spouses listed.

I have just begun to add the Stauffer and Leedom lines with my grandfather and grandmother William Elmer Stauffer and Mildred Lefferts Leedom.

I have not begun any of the other lines yet (other than listing Elizabeth Kolb as the wife of Valentine Hunsicker).

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Family Tree Rebuild Plan

My previous family tree had 4,309 people in it. After seeing several instances of duplicate spouses and children from lazy online tree matching I decided to rebuild the tree from scratch.

I have also decided to switch from Family Tree Builder, the free family tree database that automatically syncs with the online family tree on the My Heritage site to Roots Magic 5 so that I have total control of what part of my tree is published online.

Here is how I intend to do it:

1. Add the following direct ancestor lines (with their families) from information in the indicated family histories or trees I have gathered:

     Hunsicker (my father's paternal line) from A Genealogical History of the Hunsicker Family (published in 1911) which includes my paternal grandfather, Clifford S. Hunsicker, in the last generation

     Stauffer (my mother's paternal line) from The Stauffer Family which is maintained by my cousin Robert Boyce Stauffer

     Leedom (my mother's maternal line) from Leedom Genealogy Chart, a family tree passed down from my maternal grandmother, Mildred Lefferts Leedom

     Lefferts (my maternal grandmother's maternal line) from Genealogy of the Lefferts Family 1650-1878 (written in 1878 by Teunis G. Bergen)

     I am also considering adding Kolb (the family of the wife of the first Hunsicker in America, Elizabeth Kolb) from A Genealogical History of the Kolb, Kulp, or Culp Family (written in 1895 by Daniel Kolb Kassel).

2. Cite all of the sources I currently have for these people.

3. Plan research (starting with the US Census) to document the other facts that I do not have sources for (other than the family histories).

4. Add the families of the children of these people and their descendants (as listed in the family histories) and plan research to document their facts.

5. Research the ancestors and descendants of these people that are not listed in the family histories. In addition the ancestors of my paternal grandmother, Margaret Mary Smith, for whom I have no information. I have only recently discovered her parents and siblings from the US Census.

The family histories indicated above are sourced (or not sourced) to a greater or lesser degree as listed below:

A Genealogical History of the Hunsicker Family: Not sourced. Information gathered by sending out surveys to family members. Biographical sketches of selected individuals.

The Stauffer Family: Lots of sources but the citations are spotty.

Leedom Genealogy Chart: No sources. Basically a list of names with very little else but with it I can create a structure to build on.

Genealogy of the Lefferts Family 1650-1878: Lots of sources mentioned but few are actually cited.

A Genealogical History of the Kolb, Kulp, or Culp Family: No sources. Biographical sketches of some people.

I realize that this a big job I am taking on but I look forward to many many hours of research and doing the genealogy happy dance over and over again.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Goals Revisited

Here is an update of my goals:

If you are curious the original goals are here.

1. Learn more - I will continue to learn using all of the tools I have listed in an earlier post and finding more.

2. Rebuild my family tree properly with cited sources and plan research to prove the facts therein with documentation. As I related in an earlier post the tree I had could not be fixed. I will also learn more as I rebuild my tree.

3. Continue to sort and preserve all of the items I have gathered.

4. Communicate my results here on this blog and elsewhere on the Internet and in the two genealogy clubs I joined.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Make sure you have permission . . .

. . . before you post personal information about a living person online (even if it is a secure database) or even your database on your computer. Don't put personal information about living persons on a public database under any circumstances.

Case in point:

After I made a connection with my cousin in California she sent me information on all of her family.
I added all of the information to Family Tree Builder which automatically published to my tree on

A few weeks later I got an email from her daughter threatening legal action if I did not immediately remove all of her personal information from the website and any other databases.

I responded as follows:

1.            I was under the mistaken impression that her mother had permission to share her information.

2.            Only members of the family tree on the website could see her information (which only included a couple of my siblings and her mother at the time).

3.            Most importantly, as far as I am concerned her information belongs to her and whatever she wants me to do I will do.

In the end she agreed to have herself listed by her nickname and last name with no other information in the tree.

If anyone offers you information about living or even recently deceased members of their family make certain that they have permission to share that information.

I have already decided not to use Family Tree Builder any longer and I am seriously considering not including personal information anywhere about living people other than my immediate family whether they give permission or not.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tonight I joined my local local genealogy society

Tonight I joined the Central Jersey Genealogy Club which meets in my local library - this is about as local as you can get.

The presentation tonight was "Would I Lie To You?" about how documents can have false and misleading information that will lead you in the wrong direction. It was a fun and instructive presentation.

 I will continue to attend meetings of both the Central Jersey Genealogy Club and the Lower Bucks Genealogy Club which I joined last month. Both groups have friendly and knowledgeable people that I look forward to getting to know.

I look forward to future meetings.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Unusual birth circumstance yields a treasure trove of genealogical information.

I was born in Stuttgart, Germany yet I am an American citizen and have been since the moment of my birth. You may wonder how this is possible.

My dad was in the US Army and was serving there at the time.

Four documents establish my birth and citizenship. Let’s look at each one and see what genealogical information they contain. (Since these are my personal documents in the current climate I will not be showing scans.)

The first document is my German birth certificate or Geburtskunde. This was issued by Stamdesamt Stuttgart-Bad Constant. This document shows my full name, my birth date, where I was born and who my parents are. Also, what religion they were (Catholic) and my mother’s maiden name.

According to the Immigration and Nationality Act, Effective December 24, 1952: “The following shall be citizens of the United States at birth: (3) a person born outside of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents both of whom are citizens of the United States and one of whom has had residence in the United States or one of its outlying possessions, prior to the birth of such person”.

In order to prove their citizenship and residence my parents had to submit the following forms:

Form FS-240, Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of The United States of America, which provided the following information for each of my parents:

Full name
Date of birth
Place of birth
Present address (at that time)
Address in the United States
Evidence of U. S. Citizenship (my father provided a birth certificate, my mother a passport)
Precise periods of physical presence in the United States
Place of Marriage
Date of Marriage

AE Form 360, Report of Child Born Abroad of American Parent(s), which provided the following information for each of my parents:


Full name
Present Residence Address
Precise periods and Places of Residence since birth


Full name
Name before Marriage
Passport Number, Issue Date, Expiration Date
Present Residence Address
Precise Periods and Places of Residence since birth

My parents submitted my German birth certificate and these forms (plus a statement from my father explaining why he used the middle name “Robert” when his birth certificate stated that his name was “William Hunsicker”) to the American Consulate General in Stuttgart-Bad Constatt, Germany and received Form FS-545, Certificate of Birth, Issued by the Department of State, Foreign Service of the United States of America. This form shows my full name, gender, place of birth, and date of birth. This form alone is what I use as my birth certificate when I renew my driver’s license.

If my father had not happened to be serving in the US Army in Germany when I was born all of this information would not be conveniently in one place.

The Genealogy section of has more information here. 

Apparently obtaining copies of these documents for genealogical purposes if you are not the person involved or parents of that person would be extremely difficult.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Family of William Elmer Stauffer and Mildred Lefforts Leedom

Compared to my father’s family, my mother’s family is relatively simple. Since my mother was the only surviving child she inherited some of my grandparent’s documents.

My mother’s family moved around quite a lot in the thirties and forties but fortunately my birth documents (more on those can be found here) pointed in the right direction so that I was able to locate them on the 1940 Census.

William Elmer Stauffer, son of Ulysses Simpson Grant Stauffer (1869-1912) and Katherine Cramer (1867-1949), born 14 June 1899 in West Point, Upper Gwynedd Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, United States, served in the US Army in World War I (30 April 1917 to 17 October 1919), and died 24 Oct 1977.

Sources for William Elmer Stauffer:

Birth Certificate issued 26 June 1942

The 1900 Census shows an 11 month old William Stauffer, born June 1899, living with his parents and grandparents in Upper Gwynedd Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, United States.

An Enlistment Record and Honorable Discharge from the US Army in World War I

The 1920 Census shows a 20 year old William E. Stauffer working as a jockey and living with his mother, Katherine Stauffer, a widow, on Overlook Ave. in Upper Moreland Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, United States.

A Certificate of Marriage states that he married Mildred L. Stauffer 12 March 1927

The 1930 Census shows William and his wife and daughter living with his brother Leon P. Stauffer and family along with his mother and sister at 210 Summit Ave. in Upper Moreland Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, United States.

The 1940 Census shows William and his wife and daughter living on a farm in Hartsville Village, Warminster, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, United States.

A Record of Burial Place of a Veteran shows his dates of service as well as birth and death dates

The Social Security Death Index

On 12 March 1927 in Willow Grover, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, USA, he married Mildred Lefferts Leedom, daughter of Isaac Newton Leedom (1867-1941) and Mary Lena Johnson (1870-1956), born 19 June 1906 in Bethayres, Lower Moreland Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania,  United States and died 15 February 1986 in Warminster, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, United States.

Sources for Mildred Lefferts Leedom:

The 1910 Census shows a 3 year old Mildred living with her parents I. Newton and Mary Lena Leedom on Walton Road in Moreland Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, United States.

The 1920 Census shows a 13 year old Mildred living with her parents at 1737 Bristol Street in Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, United States.

The Certificate of Marriage to William E. Stauffer

The 1930 Census

The 1940 Census

Death Certificate No. 200062 states that Mildred L. Stauffer, born June 19, 1906, in Lower Moreland Twp., PA, died February 15, 1986 in Abington Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, United States.

Children of William Elmer Stauffer and Mildred Lefferts Leedom:

Dorothy Mae Stauffer (1927-2007) married William Robert Hunsicker (1932-2002), had five children. His parent's family group sheet can be found here. This is my mother and father. Due to privacy concerns detailed information on this individual will not be shown on this public blog. 

Herbert Elmer Stauffer was born and died 12 November 1928. Due to privacy concerns detailed information on this individual will not be shown on this public blog.

If you have any questions or additional information on these individuals please comment on this post.