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May 8, 2013

Finding Veronica Part 2

Finding Veronica Part 2
1851 Census Waterloo County Ontario
A few days ago I wrote about finding Veronica Schiebel, my husband's 3rd great-grandmother, on a ships' passenger list from France to New York in 1844.

My search extended to finding Veronica's parents, George and Anna Schiebel, who I knew had settled in the Waterloo area of Ontario Canada. To sum up, as of two days ago I had found Anna, a widow, in the 1861 census of Bruce County Ontario but I could not find the family in the 1851 census.

I had no idea when George Schiebel died, or where. I was able to narrow his date of death to sometime after his arrival in New York in 1844 and his wife Anna appearing on that 1861 census as a widow.


Well, more creative searches today turned up the family in the 1851 census. And I do mean "creative"! Using wildcards (*) on, I searched for SCH*B*L*  That would pick up misspellings such as Scheibel, Schebel, Schebelle and so on. But Anna was not found.

So I began searching just under her first name, Anna. I added a year of birth +/-5 years, and keywords "Germany" and "Waterloo" Then I began scrolling through the results looking for anyone who might be Anna Schiebel. Bingo! Anna Scheffeb looked like a good possibility! Time to check the image and read the name for myself. Wow, what a mess!

The family was not only misindexed as "Scheffeb", the census taker apparently could not understand their German accent (or he could not spell at all). The family name on the image is clearly "Sheffel" but it is the correct family. Six of her known children are there with her, recognizable even with mangled first names.


The exciting part of this genealogical find is that not only is father George Schiebel there alive and well (on the previous page), his 76 year old mother is with them! Now I have a whole new mystery to track down - when and where did his mother arrive from Germany and did her husband accompany her?

This find also narrows the death date for George. He died between the 1851 and 1861 census reports. He likely died in Ontario although it is certainly possible he died elsewhere. Since deaths were not registered until 1869 I will have to hunt for church records or a gravestone. Luckily for Ontario researchers, the family's religion is given on the census so I know to look in the Catholic records for the area where the Schiebel family lived.

And now I'm off to hunt for George's mother Katrine Schiebel on a passenger list. Here's hoping she arrived via a USA port because ships' passenger lists to Canada did not have to be kept before 1869.


Mariann Regan said...

Excellent!! Census takers make such a mess of spelling--one of my rather common surnames, Fraser, I've seen spelled at least a couple dozen ways. Congratulations on your creative searching techniques.

And you found another family member as well!

Lorine McGinnis Schulze said...

Thanks for the encouragement Mariann - it really is an exciting journey. I just wish hubs' grandmother were alive so I could share it with her.

Veronica was her grandmother

Peg said...

Excellent search idea that I will keep in mind !
I recently found an entry with a totally different first letter.

Claire Becker said...

What an excellent find. I have found several of mine indexed completely jumbled as well.

Heather Rojo said...

I did the same thing once, searching the entire 1850 US Federal Census for the city of Beverly, Massachusetts for "Peter" because I knew they had mangled his last name HOOGERZEIL. Sure enough, I found him under "Peter HIGHERSELL". It was worth it!