Casefile Clues

06 June 2007

Names may be more common than you think

Remember that names you think are not common may be.

For years, I thought I had found the immigration of my wife's Elizabeth Schulmeyer who came to Davenport, Iowa, in the early 1850s. I had a manifest entry with her name, the known name of her father, and others I assumed to Elizabeth's siblings. The ages were a pretty close fit---I had to have the right person.

Wrong.

When I searched the Beberstedt, Germany records for Elizabeth Schulmeyer, I found her with her parents Andreas and Brigett Schilling Schollmeyer. The problem was as I went through the column for names of parents I realized. There was another Andreas Schollmeyer having children at the same time....only with a different wife. It appeared that there were two contemporaries with the same name--likely cousins. Further research indicated when the correct Andreas Schollmeyer immigrated.

Names may be more common than you think.

The were Schollmyeyer names on virtually every page of the parish register....not as unusual a name as I thought.