Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Housekeeping: Gone to Oz!

You may not see any more posts this year (2006) because I will be on vacation until Jan. 7, 2007. I will be in Australia (aka Oz) with my family, hunting down those elusive ancestors ~ maybe the ones I can't find moved there? Just kidding. I have no known family there, but I will be taking a much-needed break.

Have a great Holiday Season and a Happy New Years! I will continue to post after I get back (give me a few days to recover from jet lag!)

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Who's Who -- Albert and Margaret Platts' Family

Margaret D. Platts married Charles Scheel, as mentioned in a previous post: Who's Who -- the family of Charles Scheel (b. 1898). I still haven't found their marriage certificate, but I'm looking!

This post details her parents and siblings. Her parents were:
Albert John Platts (1873-1956)
and Margaret [last name unknown] (1877-1963).
Note: Her mother's maiden name is possible Carlin, but I haven't verified this yet.

Albert and Margaret had the following children:

Sarah Platts (1897-1982)
Albert Platts (1900-??)
Margaret D. Platts (1902-1968) -- our Margaret!
Elizabeth Platts (1906-??)
Ethel Platts (1908-??)
Mary Platts (1910-??)
Anna Platts (1912-??)
Clarence Platts (1915-??)
William Platts (1919 -??)

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Who's Who -- The family of Charles Scheel (b. abt 1829)

Charles Scheel (b. abt 1829) immigrated to the United States from Germany and settled in Buffalo about 1850. So far we've had easy families for our who's who - one husband married to one wife the entire time, they had x number of kids, here's the list.

However for THIS Charles Scheel, things are not so neat and clean!

First, he married Phillipina (last name unknown) in Buffalo, NY, and I can confirm by using the 1860 US census that they had the following children:

Phillipina (b. Aug 1855 - ??)
Charles (b. 1858 - ??)
Susan (b. 1860 - ??)*
*this child doesn't appear on any other census or documentation; I can only assume that she died as a young child.

However, by the 1870 US census, Phillipina has died. Of course I'm assuming this since divorce was rare and the children would have typically lived with their mother back in the mid 1800s. So when she drops off the census and is replaced by another woman as Charles' wife, I can only assume she passed away. I am still looking for a death certificate or other information about her.

Instead, in 1870, Charles is married to Elizabeth Klein. Besides Phillipina Jr. and Charles Jr., they are listed as having the following children living with them:

Henry (b. 1861 - ??)
Elizabeth (b. 1864 - ??)
Frederick (b. 1866 - ??)
William (b. 1869 - ??)

I'm not sure which women (Phillipina or Elizabeth) is the mother of these children. There is not really a good gap between the births that would indicate where the split occurs. However, from subsequent censuses, I know that Elizabeth Klein is the mother of:

Caroline M. (b. 1871 --??)
Edward Christian (b. 15 Dec 1874 - 3 Aug 1937)
Albert (b. 1878 - ??)

I will be posting more about this family, and the censuses they are found on, later.

Housekeeping: Nomenclature to tell people apart

About this time in the Scheel genealogy, there starts to be a lot of similar names. For example, Charles Scheel could be:
(a) the name of Margaret Platt's husband, and Edward Scheel's son;
(b) the name of Edward Scheel's brother; AND
(c) the name of Edward Scheel's father.

All of these would be correct -- and all would be different people! Because adding a middle name doesn't make it any easier to keep track of them, and because many of their middle names are not know to me, I will be designating them by listing their birth years after their name. In the case where I don't know exactly what year they were born, I will put abt for About before the year. Therefore:

Charles Scheel (b. 1898) = Margaret Platt's husband and son of Edward Scheel (b. 1874)
Charles Scheel (b. 1858) = brother of Edward Scheel (b. 1874)*
Charles Scheel (b. abt 1829) = father of Edward Scheel (b. 1874)*
*I'll be posting more about this family shortly.

This works great for the men, but the women in the family pose their own problem. Because of American traditions of taking the husband's name, these women were known by one name for part of their lives and another for the rest of it. So not only will they be listed with their birth years, but also by first-maiden-married name sequence. So:

Margaret Platts Scheel (b. 1902) is the wife of Charles Scheel (b. 1898); and
Margaret Scheel Doyle (b. abt. 1912) is his sister.

This should hopefully make it easier to see which line married into the Scheel line, and who belongs to those lines (I hope).

Monday, December 04, 2006

Who's Who -- the family of Edward Scheel (b. 1874)

In the previous blog, we looked at the marriage of Edward Christian Scheel (15 Dec 1874 - 3 Aug 1937) and Mary Culver (22 Jan 1874 - 16 Apr 1939).

In keeping with the Who's Who, they had the following children:

Charles Edward Scheel (17 Nov 1898 - 2 Oct 1954)
Walter Francis Scheel (2 Jul 1907 - 26 Jun 1967)
Margaret Elizabeth Scheel (b. 1912)

Charles is mentioned in the previous Who's Who, and his WWI registration is also posted.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Marriage of Edward Scheel and Mary Culver

. .
Transcription of above certificate:
Left-hand Column:
Date of Marriage: January 26, 1898
Groom's Full Name: Edward C. Scheel
Residence of Groom: 627 Elm St. [Buffalo, NY]
Age: Twenty-three
Color: White
Occupation: Art Imporium [?]
Single or Widowed: Single
Birthplace of Groom: Buffalo, NY
Father's Name: Charles H. Scheel
Mother's Name: Elizabeth Klien
Number of Groom's Marriage: One
Bride's Full Name: Mary Culver
Residence of Bride: 37 East Ferry St. [Buffalo, NY]
Age: 26
Color: White
Single or Widowed: [widowed crossed out]
Maiden Name if widowed: [blank]
Birthplace of Bride: City [meaning Buffalo, NY]
Father's Name: Frank
Mother's Maiden Name: Burk
Number of Bride's Marriage: [Ink scribble]
Name of Person performing Ceremony: Albert W. Allen
Residence: 594 W. Ferry St. [Buffalo, NY]
Right-sided Column:
State of New York
County of Erie
Certificate and Record of Marriage
City of Buffalo -- Bureau of Vital Statistics
I hereby certified that Edward E. Scheel and Mary Culver were joined in Marriage
by me in accordance with the laws of the State of New York, at 37 East Ferry
this 26th day of January 1898
Signature of Witnesses in Marriage: Henry Robinson, Robert Brown
Signature of Person performing ceremony: Albert W. Allen
This marriage certificate contains a lot of wonderful information for genealogical purposes. First, by listing the parents, it provides a link between generations, and a confirmation of parentage. Next, the addresses are a huge bonus -- they are important when you are trying to establish the bloodlines and there are many common names. Since Charles and Edward are quite common, and Scheel was not an uncommon name in Buffalo at the turn of the century, I can match up families by the address on this certificate with those on the census records, and confirm families. Lastly, I have the bride's maiden name which allows me to open a new branch in the family tree.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Who's Who -- The family of Charles Scheel (b. 1898)

I'll be posting one family per Who's Who, and also putting a special label each post. This should help everyone (including me!) keep all the ancestors straight!

I'm sorry that I don't have any pictures (yet) for this family, but as soon as I do, I'll post them!

Charles Edward Scheel (b. 1898) married Margaret Platts (b. 1902)
[exact date of marriage unknown at this time]


Kenneth Norman* -- "Ken" (b. 1933)
Sally (13 May 1935)

For those of you interested in how I fit into this, Ken is the father of my wonderful hubby, Ed.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Getting Some Attention!

Woo Hoo! This blog, along with my other family blogs (see side bar), merited a mention in George G. Morgan's "Along Those Lines... " (11/16 post)! Check it out at or use the link in the side bar under Favorite Websites.

George Morgan is an well-known genealogy speaker, writer and teacher. His column, "Along Those Lines..." was featured on for many years, until he recently moved it to this new blog. George and Drew Smith host "The Genealogy Guys" weekly podcast, which I listen to religiously, and which also was an inspiration for starting my blogs.

It's truly an honor to be mentioned in George's blog and I was so excited when he personally emailed me back to let me know he was posting a link to my blogs. I've been walking on air all week!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Edward C. Scheel's WWI Registration

Charles E. Scheel registered for the WWI draft at the same time his father, Edward Scheel, did. Again, thanks to, I was able to find his draft card and post it above. The front of the card is on the left and back on the right.

Front of Card:

Serial Number: 6127 (upper left corner)
Order Number: *298 (upper right corner; * is unreadable number)
Name: Edward Christian Scheel
Address: 2619 North Avenue, Niagara Falls, Niagara (County), NY
Age in Years: 43
Date of Birth: December 15th, 1874
Race: White (box checked)
US Citizen: Native Born (box checked)
Present Occupation: Warehouse Manager
Employer's Name: Measurements (?? -- my guess)
Place of Employment: 349 3rd St, Niagara Falls, Niagara, NY
Nearest Relative: Name: William & Caroline Scheel
Address: Baltimore, MD
Signature affirming above answers: Edward Christian Scheel

Back of Card:

Height: Tall (box checked)
Build: Slender (box checked)
Color of Eyes: Blue
Color of Hair: (unreadable)
Obvious Physical Impairment: No
Signature of Registrar: John C.... (last name unreadable)
Date of Registration: Sept. 12th, 1918

The historical background of the draft cards helps to put all this information in context. This excerpt is from Warren Blatt's excellent web page at

On May 18, 1917, the Selective Service Act was passed, authorizing the President to temporarily increase the military establishment of the United States. The Selective Service System was responsible for the process of selecting men for induction into the military service, from the initial registration to the actual delivery of men to military training camps.

Under the office of the Provost Marshal General, the Selective Service System was made up of 52 state offices (one for each of the 48 states; the territories of Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico; and the District of Columbia), 155 district boards, and 4648 local boards... The average district board had jurisdiction over approximately 30 local boards, each with an average registration of 5000 men. Local boards were established for each county or similar subdivision in each state, and for each 30,000 persons (approximately) in each city or county with a population over 30,000.

During World War I there were three registrations:

The first, on June 5, 1917, was for all men between the ages of 21 and 31.

The second, on June 5, 1918, registered those who attained age 21 after June 5, 1917. (A supplemental registration was held on August 24, 1918 for those becoming 21 years old after June 5, 1918. This was included in the second registration.)

The third registration was held on September 12, 1918 for men aged 18 through 45.

Using the historical background above, I can see that Edward and Charles registered for the draft during this third registration period. This would make sense because they were not age-eligible in the other two registration period with Edward being to old and Charles too young.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Charles Scheel WWI Draft Registration

. has now digitized and made available the WWI draft registration cards. I was able to find several members of my family. From the Scheel family, I was able to locate the one for Charles Scheel, whose birth certificate I posted in the previous blog, and his father, Edward Scheel. I will post the one for Edward Scheel in the next blog.

Because these uploads come out so small, and this particular card isn't that clear to begin with, I'll transcribe it below. The front of the card is on the left and back on the right.

Front of Card:

Serial Number: 1150 (upper left corner)
Order Number: 1419 (upper right corner)
Name: Charles Edward Scheel
Address: 2619 North Avenue, Niagara Falls, Niagara (County), NY
Age in Years: 19
Date of Birth: November 17th, 1898
Race: White (box checked)
US Citizen: Native Born (box checked)
Present Occupation: Shipper
Employer's Name: American Sales Book Co, Ltd.
Place of Employment: Highland Ave, Niagara Falls, Niagara, NY
Nearest Relative:
Name: Mary Scheel (mother)
Address: 2619 North Ave, Niagara Falls, Niagara, NY
Signature affirming above answers: Charles Edward Scheel

Back of Card:

Height: Tall (box checked)
Build: Medium (box checked)
Color of Eyes: Blue
Color of Hair: Brown
Obvious Physical Impairment: No

Signature of Registrar: Frank H. O'Neill
Date of Registration: Sept. 12th, 1918

Besides being a document that my ancestor filled out, this registration card gives us a physical description of my grandfather at age 19, an address where he lived in Niagara, and employment information.

Shameless plug for since they have provided a lot of what I'm posting: It's my favorite pay-for-access site and has proven to be worth every penny. I find a lot of stuff on there, and they are adding more all the time. My local Family History Center (another great place!) has a membership and you can access for free from them. I like my membership since I can access it from anywhere I have a computer and at any time.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Charles Scheel Birth Certificate

First, let me apologize for the pink in the middle of the document. Evidentially red ink is part of the colored paper they use to stop forgeries. It's suppose to turn up as the word "VOID" printed multiple times if xeroxed. Unfortunately, if the document gets wet, like this did in transit, the red masses into these pink blobs.
This is the birth certificate of my husband's grandfather, Charles Scheel, from the City of Buffalo, Bureau of Vital Statistics. This means that Charles was born within the city limits of Buffalo. Otherwise it would have come from the county offices.
In case you can't read the image or the writing:
Name of Child: Charles Scheel
Sex: Male
Color: White
Date of Birth: Nov. 17, 1898
Place of Birth: 37 E. Ferry St.
Father's Name: Edward C. Scheel
If out of wedlock, write OW: (blank)
Father's Residence: 37 E. Ferry St.
Father's Birthplace: U.S.
Age: 24
Occupation: Merchant
Mother's Name: Mary Culver
Mother's Name before Marriage: (ditto marks)
Mother's Residence: 37 E. Ferry St.
Mother's Birthplace: U.S.
Age: 25 years
No. of Mother's previous Children: 0
How many now living: (blank)
Date of Report: Nov. 18, 1898
Besides giving me Charles' birthdate, this document gives us very important other information. First, it verifies his mother's maiden name. Prior to my receiving this document, I had guessed it was Culver from 1900 Census when Mary's mother was living with them. However, there were often re-marriages, so Mary's mother could have had a different last name than Mary's maiden name.
Next, it tells me he was born at home, and the address of that house. If I get inspired, I can actually look at purchase records, the mortgage info and title information for the house. In addition, since families often lived at the same residences for more than one generation, it's possible to find other ancestors or relatives using just the address.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Blog Introduction

This blog tracks my discoveries while researching my husband's SCHEEL family line. I will be posting photos, documents, stories and anything else I can find! It is a way of sharing this information with other family members as well as allowing others to contribute, correct and discover us!

While there are a lot of Scheels, this blog mainly focuses on the ancestors and descendants of Charles and Margaret Scheel of Niagara Falls, NY. Most postings will be on ancestors due to privacy and security issues.

Comments, corrections, inquiries and contributions are all gratefully accepted.