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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Treasure Chest Thursday: Remagen Notgeld

Notgeld (emergency money) is money that is issued during a time of economic crisis by an institution that is not officially sanctioned by the central government. It may be issued by municipalities or banks. During World War I and the period between World Wars I and II, it was produced in Germany and Austria. As a result of inflation after World War I began, the value of the material coins were made from was higher than the value of their denominations, and metal was needed to produce materials for the war. Coins were hoarded by many institutions. Because there was a shortage of coins, notes in small denominations were issued. The first German Notgeld was produced on 31 July 1914 and was issued by Bürgerliches Brauhaus GmbH, Bremen. 5,500 varieties of Notgeld, from 452 different places, were produced that year. The number of varieties subsequently increased. The largest number of varieties was produced in 1923: 70,000 varieties of inflationary notes from 5,849 places. Additional statistics are available on the Issues: German page of and the Chicago Coin Club's Notgeld Web page.

My aunt Joan has the 25 pfennig note from Remagen, Germany pictured above; I have a scanned copy of it. According to the Remagen Stadt Set 1 page on the German Notgeld Web site, it was produced in 1921. My Schneider ancestors left Remagen in 1892. I know that my great-great-grandfather Carl Joseph Schneider returned to Remagen for a visit in 1900, but I do not know if anyone from the family ever visited at a later date. I am not sure if this note was obtained on a later visit, if it was sent by a relative or friend, or if it was purchased at a later date. Many people collect Notgeld.

German Notgeld
German Notgeld: Remagen Stadt Set 1
Notgeld (Chicago Coin Club) Issues (German)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Pretty Boy Floyd Killed by FBI Agents

On 22 October 1934, bank robber Charles Arthur "Pretty Boy" Floyd was shot and killed. Four FBI agents led by Melvin Purvis and four East Liverpool, Ohio police officers led by Chief of Police Hugh McDermott pursued him, and he was shot in a cornfield behind a house on Sprucevale Road, near Clarkson, Ohio.

Pretty Boy Floyd committed more than thirty bank robberies in the Midwest, mostly in Ohio and Oklahoma. When he robbed the banks, he would also destroy mortgage documents. On 9 April 1932, he shot and killed Erv Kelley, a bounty hunter and former sheriff of McIntosh County, Oklahoma. He and Adam Richetti were suspects in the Kansas City Massacre, a shootout which resulted in the death of four police officers and a prisoner. However, it is possible that he was not actually involved. He was named "Public Enemy No. 1" on 23 July 1934.

Charles Arthur Floyd married Ruby Hardgraves in 1924. The couple had a son, Charles Dempsey Floyd (also known as Jack Dempsey Floyd). Ruby and I are both descendants of Francis Hardgrave and Sarah Greer. We are fifth cousins twice removed.

State of Ohio, Department of Health, Division of Vital Statistics. Certificate of Death, no. 58753, 22 October 1934, Charles A. Floyd. Available from Ohio, Deaths, 1908-1953,

Ruby (Hardgraves) and Charles Arthur Floyd. Photo available from Pretty Boy Floyd: Picture Gallery.

Floyd, Charles Arthur (1904-1934)
FBI — Kansas City Massacre - Charles Arthur "Pretty Boy" Floyd
Pretty Boy Floyd

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday: Anna (Gersbacher) Taschner

Anna Maria "Ann" Gersbacher was born in St. Louis, Missouri on 25 August 1886. She was the daughter of my 2nd-great-grandparents John Gersbacher and Kunigunde Dreier. She was their first American-born child, and their only American-born child to survive to adulthood. She married Fredrick Taschner on 19 May 1934. Ann died in St. Louis on 2 March 1978 and was buried on 6 March 1978 in Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Cemetery, section 010K, lot 0024E. Her gravestone may have been purchased and placed at the same time as her husband's; the two stones have the same design. Her death date was never inscribed, but the Archdiocese of St. Louis' burial search database shows that she is buried in the grave. My maternal grandmother, her niece, flew from New Jersey to St. Louis to make her funeral arrangements.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Mappy Monday: Hürth, Rhein-Erft, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany

Map of Kreis Rhein-Erft, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany, showing the location of the town of Hürth. By TUBS [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (]. Available from Wikimedia Commons.

This map shows the location of Hürth in Rhein-Erft, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany. Hürth includes the communities of Hermülheim and Kendenich, where my Nagel and Aussem ancestors lived.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Cornwallis' Surrender at Yorktown

On 19 October 1781, General Charles Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown, and the American Revolution ended.

On 19 August 1781, the Continental Army, led by Generals George Washington and Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, Comte de Rochambeau, began their march from Newport, Rhode Island to Yorktown, Virginia. The Siege of Yorktown began on 28 September 1781, when General George Washington led the army from Williamsburg, Virginia and surrounded Yorktown. The French troops were on the left, and the American troops were on the right. They began digging a trench, and when they finished it on October 9 and had moved their artillery up, they began firing at the British. On October 14, they captured the last two British-held redoubts. On October 17, Cornwallis sent a drummer and an officer with a white handkerchief. Firing ceased, and the officer was blindfolded and taken. On October 18, two officers from each side met at the Moore House to discuss surrender terms. On October 19, the Articles of Capitulation were signed. Cornwallis' army marched between lines of allied soldiers (French on the left, Americans on the right) and laid down their arms. General Cornwallis was not present; he sent Brigadier General Charles O'Hara to present the sword of surrender.

Washington records the British surrender at Yorktown. Available from American Treasures of the Library of Congress.

Freeman's Journal, 24 October 1781. Available from The Vault, 3 July 2013.
Leicester & Nottingham Journal, 22 December 1781. Available from Timothy Hughes Rare & Early Newspapers.

Siege of Yorktown Map, October 6-20, 1781. By U. S. Military Academy (United States Army) [Public domain]. Available from Wikimedia Commons.

Moore House in Yorktown, Virginia, where the British surrendered at the end of the American Revolutionary War. Photo by Aude, CC-BY-2.5 ( Available from Wikimedia Commons.

Articles of Capitulation
The British Surrender/Surrender Field
Cornwallis Surrenders at Yorktown
History of the Siege - Yorktown Battlefield, Part of Colonial National Historical Park
Siege of Yorktown
Surrender at Yorktown: October 19, 1781
Washington–Rochambeau Revolutionary Route 
Yorktown Campaign
Yorktown Order of Battle

Saturday, October 18, 2014

52 Ancestors: #42 John Schneider

My great-grandfather John Schneider was born Johann Schneider on 6 December 1878 in Remagen, Ahrweiler, Rheinland-Pfalz, German. He was the first child of Carl Joseph Schneider and Christina Nagel.

In 1892, according to a family photo, he received the sacrament of Holy Communion in the Catholic Church. The family attended St. Peter & Paul Catholic Church in Remagen. That same year, he left Remagen with his parents and siblings, and the family settled in St. Louis, Missouri, where his uncle was living. In St. Louis, the family attended a different Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church. By 1895, John was working as a tailor like his father. The entire family became citizens of the United States on 18 February 1898 when John's father naturalized.

On 23 July 1902, John married Paulina Gersbacher at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in St. Louis. On 20 April 1903, their daughter Christina Maria was born, and on 2 June 1905, their son Carl Joseph was born. Christina died of meningitis on 27 April 1909. Their daughter Margaret Ann (my maternal grandmother) was born on 16 March 1911, and their daughter Paula Christina was born on 27 January 1913. He bought a home at 2024 Russell Boulevard, St. Louis.

By 1918, John was working as a manager for Modern Woodmen of America. In 1921, he graduated from City College of Law and Finance in St. Louis with a degree in law. After his graduation, he began working as a lawyer.

John hated Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the New Deal. He refused to take a Roosevelt dime; when receiving change, he insisted on nickels or pennies instead of a dime.

John was a member of the Men's Sodality of Sts. Peter and Paul Church, Knights of Columbus Lafayette Council No. 1940, Modern Woodmen of America, and the Bar Association. He was director of Jefferson-Gravois Bank.

John died on 11 June 1955 and was buried on 15 June 1955 in Sts. Peter and Paul Cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri.

Communion, 1892, Remagen, Germany

Gould's St. Louis Directory for 1895. Available from U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011. Although many John Schneiders were listed, I could identify mine by his address (1804 Geyer Av.) and occupation (tailor).

 John Schneider draft registration card, 12 September 1918. Available from U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2005. Original data: United States, Selective Service System. World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. M1509, 4,582 rolls. Imaged from Family History Library microfilm. 

Graduation program, City College of Law and Finance, St. Louis, Missouri, 1921

Paulina and John Schneider

John Schneider death certificate, no. 20389. 11 June 1955. Division of Health of Missouri.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 14 June 1955

Friday, October 17, 2014

Follow Friday: Nashville History

Debie Oeser Cox has a great blog, Nashville History ( She worked at the Metropolitan Government Archives in Nashville, Tennessee, but is now retired.  It is a great resource for learning about the history of Nashville. In July she posted an excerpt from History of Nashville Tennessee by H. W. Crew (1890): Turnpikes and bridges in Davidson County, Tennessee. She also shares her memories of life in Nashville.

She also sometimes posts records that are useful to genealogists. I found my 3rd-great-grandmother Mary (maiden name unknown) on a transcribed list of Nashville building permits, 1892. She was listed as Mrs. Cox (her second husband was John Cox). I was able to identify her because her address was given. On 19 May 1892, she was granted a building permit for a fence. Another post that was helpful to me is Original Lots, Nashville, 1784. A map of the plan of Nashville, showing the lots, is included, and there is a link to a table (also created by Debie Oeser Cox), which provides information about each lot, including the grantor and grantee. My 6th-great-grandfather Andrew Lucas was the grantee for Lot 34; he received it on 30 July 1784.