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Welcome! This website was created on Dec 09 2004 and last updated on May 31 2007. The family trees on this site contain 2147 relatives and 66 photos. If you have any questions or comments you may send a message to the Administrator of this site.
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About An American Family Smörgåsbord

Brockhagen Meister Rylander Prange Camp

Musgrave Calvert Metzger
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By the turn of the 19th Century, these four families had converged in Chicago,  Illinois. These emigrants from Ostergotland lan, Sweden and Hanover, Paderborn  and Gramleuz Prussia had found their way to the Midwestern United States  through the ports at New Orleans, Maryland, Virginia and New York. In Iowa,  Illinois and Wisconsin, our ancestors were farmers, carpenters, railroad  workers, machinists, salesmen and laborers. Some had been soldiers in their old  countries, and their children would fight in wars as Americans. They left  behind parents, siblings and cousins, and made new roots as Americans. They  became engineers, journalists, shop owners and teachers, and some even dabbled  in politics. This is our family history.

An ongoing project that began in November 2004 with less than a two dozen names  in a notebook, it has become a labor of love for me. To feel a connection to  persons long gone who I now know have always had a place in my existance. This  research brings to all these individuals a sense of remembrance rather than the  anonymity that time and neglect had brought them. 
  
 A special thanks to my Mom  who continues to regale me with family stories,  tidbits and tips, and who planted the ambition in me to find hers and my  fathers ancestors. A note of encouragement to my Dad to continue to tell me  stories of his childhood and his family so that I can further extrapolate the  hidden Meister and Prang families. And, I am so appreciative to have "found"  distant relations like Pat and Carole Butler, Carole Anne Reitan and Steve  Tottenhoff, wonderful volunteers at the Fort Madison Geneological Society and  a great Chicago librarian known as Mary.

A prevalent difficulty is with the Americanization of German surnames such as  Droppel and Brockhagen. Droppel in Iowa is also found as Drobbel, Droble,  Dropel, Droppal and Druppel. Brockhagen is the Americanized version of  Brokhage, but it is to be found recorded as Brockhag, Brockhage, Brickhagen,  Buckhagen and Brokhagen,in various church records and censuses.

The baptismal names for the German ancestors are comprised of 2-3 names, i.e.  Maria Catharina. The name the individual would be known by is typically the 2nd  of the baptismal name, i.e. Catharina, which is Americanized as Catharine or  Kate. Also the German baptismal names were often in Latin, i.e. Henricus for  Heinrich which is Americanized as Henry.

As weeks and months go by I know entries will be added and existing ones  modified. Human errors by transcriptors, census takers, recorders or  descendants, make this an imperfect science.

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Getting Around
There are several ways to browse the family tree. The Tree View graphically shows the relationship of selected person to their kin. The Family View shows the person you have selected in the center, with his/her photo on the left and notes on the right. Above are the father and mother and below are the children. The Ancestor Chart shows the person you have selected in the left, with the photograph above and children below. On the right are the parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. The Descendant Chart shows the person you have selected in the left, with the photograph and parents below. On the right are the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Do you know who your second cousins are? Try the Kinship Relationships Tool. Your site can generate various Reports for each name in your family tree. You can select a name from the list on the top-right menu bar.

In addition to the charts and reports you have Photo Albums, the Events list and the Relationships tool. Family photographs are organized in the Photo Index. Each Album's photographs are accompanied by a caption. To enlarge a photograph just click on it. Keep up with the family birthdays and anniversaries in the Events list. Birthdays and Anniversaries of living persons are listed by month. Want to know how you are related to anybody ? Check out the Relationships tool.

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