Amy Johnson Crow introduced the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge on her No Story Too Small blog in 2014. This year she continued the challenge, but also added a weekly theme. This week’s theme is How do you spell that? What ancestor do you imagine was frequently asked that? Which ancestor did you have a hard time finding because of an unusual name?
I have chosen one of my husband’s ancestors, Jacob Theisinger, as his surname was spelt differently on different records, which made it difficult to locate the immigration record for the family.
The first record I had for Jacob was the birth certificate for his daughter Elizabeth. Elizabeth was born in 1865 at Portland in the Colony of Victoria. Her father was listed as Jacob Theisinger, a 35 year old musician from Germany. The birth certificate also showed that her parents, Jacob Theisinger and Catherine Lepper were married 6th July 1852 in Liverpool, England.
The next record I had for Jacob was his death certificate. He died 14 September 1901 at Hird Street, Portland, Victoria, Australia. He was 72 years old, and he was a musician. His death certificate listed his parents as Michael Theisinger and Catharine Theisinger, maiden name not known. His death certificate also showed he was born in Bavaria, Germany, and had lived in Victoria for about 47 years. This indicates he arrived in Victoria around 1854.
The next record I found was the 1851 England Census, at ancestry.com.au. Jacob was part of a group of travelling musicians from Bavaria, Germany staying at the Silver Lion in Dover St Mary, Kent (Class: HO107; Piece: 1632; Folio: 646; Page: 11; GSU roll: 193534-193535). On the census, his surname was spelt Teisenger. There were 4 members of the Teisenger family mentioned:
- Peter Teisenger lodger, unmarried, age 28
- Jacob Teisenger, do, unmarried, age 21
- Peter Teisenger, do, unmarried, age 19
- Jacob Teisenger, do unmarried, age 15
Based on his age at the time of Elizabeth’s birth, and at the time of his death, he would appear to have been the 21 year old Jacob.
The next record I found was his naturalisation record at the National Archives Australia website. He was naturalised in March 1901. His naturalisation record shows he was age 72, born at Bavaria Germany, occupation fisherman, and that he arrived on the 6th October 1856 in the Colony of Victoria on the ship “Ben Nevis” from the Port of Liverpool in England. He had been in Victoria for a period of 44 years (http://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/DetailsReports/ItemDetail.aspx?Barcode=1922674&isAv=N).
With the name of the ship from his naturalization record, I was able to finally find his immigration record. The immigration records shows Jacob Fifinger arrived in Victoria in October 1855 on the “Ben Nevis”. He was 24 years old. With him was Cathn age 1, Cathn age 25 and Philip age 16 (http://prov.vic.gov.au/search_results?searchid=23 – Port B Fiche 099 Page 004).
I found a marriage record for Jacob and Catherine on the England Marriages, 1538-1973 collection at FamilySearch.
Groom’s Name: Jacob Theisinger
Bride’s Name: Katharina Lepper
Marriage Date: 18 Sep 1853
Marriage Place: St. Peter, Liverpool, Lancashire, England
Groom’s Father’s Name: Michael Theisinger
Bride’s Father’s Name: Christoff Lepper
Groom’s Marital Status: Single
Bride’s Marital Status: Single
“England Marriages, 1538–1973 ,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NN9T-Y3C : accessed 14 April 2015), Jacob Theisinger and Katharina Lepper, 18 Sep 1853; citing St. Peter, Liverpool, Lancashire, England, reference it 3, p 133 no 265; FHL microfilm 1,656,678.
The England and Wales, FreeBMD Marriage index shows a marriage for Jacob Theisinger:
Year 1853, quarter Jul-Aug-Sep, registration district Liverpool, vol 8b, page 116, also on page Katharina Lepper.
Since the marriage record at FamilySearch is a transcription, I will need to get the original marriage certificate to verify the date of marriage.
I also found his baptism record at FamilySearch
Jacob Theissinger, “Germany, Births and Baptisms, 1558-1898”
Name: Jacob Theissinger
Christening Date: 08 Jun 1829
Christening Place: EVANGELISCH, KATZWEILER, PFALZ, BAVARIA
Father’s Name: Jacob Michael Theissinger
Mother’s Name: Maria Philippina Reiss
“Deutschland, Geburten und Taufen 1558-1898,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/ND94-V9Q : accessed 18 Jul 2013), Jacob Theissinger, .
Although his mother was listed as Catherine on his death certificate, the immigration record shows that Philip age 16 had travelled to Australia with Jacob and Catherine, and had also settled at Portland. Philip’s parents were listed on his marriage certificate as Michael Theisinger and Philipina Ribe. I found a baptism record for Philip as well, which indicates Jacob and Philip were brothers.
Name: Philipp Theissinger
Baptism/Christening Date: 26 Aug 1838
Baptism/Christening Place: EVANGELISCH, KATZWEILER, PFALZ, BAVARIA
Father’s Name: Jacob Theissinger
Mother’s Name: Philippina Reiss
“Deutschland, Geburten und Taufen, 1558-1898,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:ND94-VM6 : accessed 14 April 2015), Philipp Theissinger, 26 Aug 1838; citing ; FHL microfilm 193,921.