When I think back to Easter mornings of my childhood, I remember frilly dresses, fancy Easter hats, and tons of hollow chocolate bunnies.  And of course, the annual Easter egg hunt in Aunt Anne and Uncle Ed’s backyard.  I wonder if the cousins in this picture had Easter egg hunts at Nanny’s house?

Today’s featured photo is my all-time, absolute favorite photograph (and according to my mom, she’s pretty sure it was taken on Easter!) 

I hope you and yours have a very happy Easter!
Who can name these kids?!
I remember my first time like it was yesterday – the anticipation, the excitement, the thrill of it all.  Filling in those little bubbles on my 2010 census form really made me feel like I counted.  Especially to the U.S. Census Bureau. 

Ahh, the census!   It only comes around every 10 years but let me tell you – the information gathered by the Census Bureau is pure genealogical gold.  Even more so, because after the census is taken and the statistical results are tabulated, the information is sealed for 72 years!  If you don’t think the government takes your privacy seriously, you’ve never been involved in a census release!  

Time for a little math lesson – the census is taken every ten years and then released 72 years later so, the 1910 Census was released in 1982, 1920 in 1992, 1930 in 2002, and the 1940 Census was just released last April.  We won’t be seeing another census release for nine more years.  And don’t get all excited about seeing the 2010 Census…that won’t roll around until 2082! 

Now can you understand why genealogists go absolutely bananas when the census is released?!  In the olden days (and by olden days, I mean, pre-Twitter, like 2002), that meant lines out the door at the National Archives so genies could hop on microfilm readers as soon as the census was released at midnight.  Last year, the first time the census was released entirely online, websites crashed left and right as genies across the world tried to track down their great-great aunt Ida or Grandpa Harry on the 1940 Census. 

Before we look at the census records in which the Wissmanns and then the Schellhardts are listed – and the cool information that we can glean from them – I’m going to get all know-it-all archivisty on you because it’s important that I make this crystal clear to you –

The primary function of the census is NOT for genealogical research.  It was a statistical record prepared for statistical reporting purposes.  So, before the age of Ancestry.com, you couldn’t just type in great-great aunt Ida’s last name and get all her information – because, well, the Census Bureau didn’t care about her last name as much as they cared about other stuff (like what they were counting – race, sex, level of education, home owners, radio owners, etc.) Basically, the only way to find Aunt Ida on the census was to have some idea of where she lived when the census was taken so that you could determine the enumeration district (ED) that she lived in.  Once you had the ED, then you had to go through pages of population schedules to find her name.  And then bingo…you hit pay-dirt.  So, yes, it’s a lot easier these days, but I feel that it’s important that we appreciate the records and how to use them.

Okay, I’ve said my piece and I feel much better. 

A few things to know – like ship manifests, the census has changed over time.  In 2010, mostly all of us received census forms in the mail, we filled them out, then sent them back to the Census Bureau.  Easy-peasy.  But in the real olden days, the Census Bureau used enumerators – people they hired to go around every city, every town, every census-designated location (those aforementioned enumeration districts) to get a count of all the people in the country.  They filled out population schedules by hand asking the residents of households a variety of questions.  Some towns have a couple of enumeration districts while cities – like Philadelphia – can have hundreds.  Something tells me that the census enumerator who gathered the Schellhardts’ information in 1940 was happy to relax with a beer when he reached Schellhardts Café at the end of the block! 

I love the census because I love seeing the changes from one decade to the next – arrivals and departures; births and deaths; migrations from place to place; family fortunes rising and falling.  When we begin our examination of the census records, we’ll be able to trace the evolution of our family within a thirty year period.  Not bad for a statistical report, huh?

We’ll start with the 1910 Census and work our way up to 1940!  Since next Sunday is Easter, however, you’ll have to wait until the following Sunday to start our censusational adventure!    
In my never-ending quest to count everything, I have compiled the list of Max and Anna Schellhardt’s great-grandchildren.  Not counting my cats, there are 58 great-grandchildren; counting the cats, there are 67.  Following is a list roughly in birth order.  But for anyone born after 1991, it’s like you don’t even exist – I didn’t have any birth information so I had to tack all those kids on at the end.  Sorry! 

That actually brings me brings me to the Family Census (which ties in nicely with our new Censusational Sunday series that launches tomorrow!)  Why does all my information stop in 1991?  Well, that was the last time comprehensive information was gathered from the family about who was who and what was what.  In anticipation of the 1991 Family Reunion, information sheets went out to everyone and you, your spouse, your parent, or other legal guardian filled out the sheets and sent them back to, I guess, my mom.  Now, I have them all and I can do neat things with them like make birth order lists on Saturday nights!  It beats the heck out of roller-skating!  

Unfortunately, anyone born in 1992 or later, well, we’re all out of luck.  But really, it’s not like anything’s happened in the last 20 years!

When my mom said that she’d also like me to compile a list of great-great-grandchildren, I was like, whoa!  I don’t think so!  I have enough trouble keeping track of all my cats, there’s no way I can track down an entire new generation of Schellhardts.  But then I felt bad.  So I decided that it’s time for a Family Census to gather biographical information (some of you have already sent me your info and I greatly appreciate it!) I’m currently working on a census form and I would love it if you would fill it out so that we can add all the new members to our family tree.  Maybe each one of you could fill it out or maybe each family would like to designate an enumerator (we’ll learn about them tomorrow!) to gather information for your particular branch and then submit it to me for addition to the larger tree.  Let’s think about it...it could be fun!

In the meantime, here’s the list of Max and Anna’s great-grandchildren.  After each name, the person’s specific family branch is noted.  (And now I'm praying that I haven't forgotten anyone!)   

1.       John (Jersey Schellhardt) 
2.       Paul (Jersey Schellhardt)
3.       Tracey (Jersey Schellhardt)
4.       Chuck (Jersey Schellhardt)
5.       John Paul (Delaware Schellhardt)
6.       Melissa (Jersey Schellhardt)
7.       Jeff (Jersey Schellhardt)
8.       Emily (Delaware Schellhardt)
9.       Kelly (t – Jersey Schellhardt)
10.   Colleen (t – Jersey Schellhardt)
11.   Amy (Jersey Schellhardt)
12.   Debbie (Peter)
13.   Melissa (Delaware Schellhardt)
14.   Chris (Jersey Schellhardt)
15.   Mike (Jersey Schellhardt)
16.   Frank (Ardsley Schellhardt)
17.   Ryan (Delaware Schellhardt)
18.   Zac (Delaware Schellhardt)
19.   Will (Jersey Schellhardt)
20.   Dan (Jersey Schellhardt)
21.   Matthew (Delaware Schellhardt)
22.   Sarah (Delaware Schellhardt)
23.   Eric (Delaware Schellhardt)
24.   Christina (Peter)
25.   Andreas (Knuttel)
26.   Jeffrey (Ardsley Schellhardt)
27.   Wayne (Jersey Schellhardt)
28.   Tim (Jersey Schellhardt)
29.   Taylor (Delaware Schellhardt)
30.   Patricia (Delaware Schellhardt)
31.   Jason (Delaware Schellhardt)
32.   Rebecca (Delaware Schellhardt)
33.   Matthew (Ardsley Schellhardt)
34.   Paula (Jersey Schellhardt)
35.   Kate (Knuttel)
36.   David (Delaware Schellhardt)
37.   Benjamin (Delaware Schellhardt)
38.   Martin (Knuttel)
39.   Sebastian (Knuttel)
40.   Timothy (Ardsley Schellhardt)
41.   Nicole (Delaware Schellhardt)

Need Information

Jersey Schellhardts  

Delaware Schellhardts
Ryan (confirmation only – our records say he’s younger than Rebecca and I KNOW that’s wrong!)
Logan (although I just heard he turned 18!  Happy Birthday!)

Ardsley Schellhardts
P. J.

Peter Family

Fun Factoids –

There are 32 boys and 26 girls

The Delaware Schellhardts have the most great-grandchildren; the Knuttels have the fewest

There are two sets of twins (one set in the Jersey Schellhardts, one set in the Delaware Schellhardts)

There are two sets of great-grandchildren born on the same day (not including the twins)

There are two great-grandchildren older than the youngest three grandchildren
Today’s a pretty important day so we’re going to feature a special record.  Well, this isn’t the super-duper important record but it’s the important key to getting to the really important record but I won’t go into all that just yet. 


Today marks the 80th anniversary of Max Schellhardt’s naturalization as a U.S. citizen!    

Naturalization is a voluntary process by which an alien/immigrant becomes an American citizen.  Immigrants who had declared their intention (declaration of intention or “first papers”) to become U.S. citizens and who had lived in the United States continuously for five years could petition the court – county or Federal – to grant them U.S. citizenship.  The court used the information on the petition to determine whether the petition should be granted or denied.  If it was granted, the immigrant became a naturalized citizen. 

Max filed his petition with the U.S. District Court at Philadelphia in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.  On March 22, 1933, his petition was granted. 

This image is the card from the index to the naturalization petitions.  There are some interesting tidbits of information – Max’s address at the time of his petition, his age, and, of course, his signature.  Remember when Max arrived in 1924?  He was a young, single, 18 year old kid from Germany.  By 1933, he was 27 years old and a married father of three sons trying to live the American dream.       

From a records perspective, the most important thing is the petition number.  Once you have the petition number, you can obtain the actual naturalization petition.  Unfortunately, petitions post 1930 have not been digitized (long story) so unless someone else was able to get a copy in the past, I have to wait until my colleague at the National Archives in Philadelphia responds to my email.  In the meantime, we’ll have to make do with this image of the index card. 

Let's all join in to wish Max a happy naturalization day! 
Indexes to Naturalization Petitions, 1795-1951. Image via ancestry.com via NARA
Ahh, who doesn’t remember the awesome 1980s?  People were rocking big hair, half-tops, and leg warmers like nobody’s business.  To heck with cell phones, we had car phones!  The only fun thing to do on a computer was play Oregon Trail.  And don’t even get me started on the Brat Pack (in the movies, not in our family!)

While the 1950s and 1960s saw the Schellhardt family tree grow with the births of grandchildren and 1979 wrapped up with birth of the last grandchild (me, #33!), the 1980s signaled the start of a whole new decade and saw our family explode when many of the Schellhardt grandchildren grew up, got married, and started families of their own.  There were lots of weddings and lots of babies born in the 1980s - 31 great-grandchildren were born in that decade –  with almost a third of them born in 1985 and 1986! 

For me, the 1980s was a time of ring bearers and flower girls; first crabs and First Communions; Cooper sharp cheese and Nabisco cookies; watching Charlotte’s Web in a basement on Penn Avenue and coloring in a basement on Morris Drive.  It was ham and cheese sandwich runs to a nursing home after dinner and stops at Jack Frost on the way to Oreland.  It was Halloweens, and Christmases, and Easters spent with aunts and uncles and more cousins than you could count.       

But like everything, where there is life, there is loss.  The 1980s saw the deaths of our family matriarch and two uncles and we watched an aunt battling a terminal illness that would eventually take her at the beginning of the next decade.  December 1990 was effectively the end of the family of my childhood.  After that, it was time to grow up.    

But in the 1980s, all of that was still in the future.  When I look at the pictures in the 1980 photo album, I just see a family who was busy living and growing. 

Do you have any photos from family events in the 1980s (even if it was your own branch of the family)?  If so, please consider contributing them to our site!  Please email me at schellhardtgenerations@gmail.com.  (wish list – pictures of weddings and/or holidays and pictures of grandchildren/great-grandchildren with Nanny)

I had a hard time figuring out which photograph I should feature today.  I mean, a girl can only have so many favorites!  I thought about it and I thought about and then it hit me!  I’ve posted so many photographs of the senior generations of the family – now, it’s time to post some pictures from my generation.  And the next generation.  Because, like, I’m in between them.

In honor of the Eighties photo album that will be debuting on the website at some point this weekend, here are a few kids from the Eighties – #32 and #33 with #5, #8, and #13 (great-grandchildren edition).

Can you spot the difference between the two photos?
Mathilda Horn Wissmann with her children Alfred, Alphonse, and Anna and nephews Joe and Louie Wissmann
Wissmania has returned!  The picture above is in a photo collage that Aunt Helen made for my mom and I always felt bad because the guys on the end didn’t fit in the oval opening that the picture was in so they were effectively cropped out of the photo.  But it was okay ‘cause they were just some cousins. 

Just some cousins.  Kinda like Number 33 is just some cousin! 

When I would ask my mom just who those cousins were, she would try to explain it – they were her grandmother’s nephews, Joe and Louie.  But I always got a little confused because they were the sons of Mathilda’s sister, Ida Horn.  I always got tripped up on how that made them Wissmanns. 

It wasn’t until this past November that I finally connected the dots - or, in this case, connected the relatives.    

Joe and Louie’s mother, Ida Horn, was married to Laurenz (sp?) Wissmann, the brother of Ludwig Wissmann who was married to Ida’s sister Mathilda, the mother of Alfred, Alphonse, and Anna Wissmann Schellhardt.  

Did you follow that?

More importantly, do you know what that means? 

They were DOUBLE COUSINS – related on both the maternal and paternal sides!!!  So, they’re like, really, really related to us. 

Both Joe and Louie came to America in 1923.  For Joe, however, it was a return of sorts as he was actually born in the United States.  Last week, we had a glimpse of the manifest on which Louie (Ludwig) appeared - he came to America in November 1923 on the S.S. Muenchen and was sponsored by Mathilda and Ida’s youngest brother, Alfred Horn. 

Joe came (back) to the States a few months earlier in April 1923 aboard the S.S. Reliance (remember that ship name…we’ll be seeing it again).  Who was he going to join?  His double aunt Mathilda (Horn) Wissmann.    

So – does everyone have it straight?   We come from Wissmanns.  They come from Wissmanns.  We're all Wissmanns. 

And, oh yeah, we're all Horns too. 

Next up – what’s a Horn got to do with it?
CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE. Image via ancestry.com via NARA
Please check out our Family Records page for a few new additions.  I recently added Mass cards for some of our deceased relatives.  They were submitted by Aunt Helen Knuttel.  

Also I didn't post on Sunday but so I have to send a belated birthday shout-out!  Bill Knuttel celebrated his birthday on Sunday.  Happy Birthday Bill!  We're so glad that you're a part of our family!
No, no, I probably shouldn’t write a post all about me.  I mean, that’s slightly egotistical, right?  Oh heck, it’s my blog and I’ll blog about myself if I want to!  Especially since today’s my BIRTHDAY!!!!! 

I’m not one of those people who likes to plaster pictures of herself all over.  I’m more of a records girl.  So here’s my name card from the hospital nursery! 
Oh heck, just one picture won't hurt right?!
Margaret Schellhardt Henderson with 33rd grandchild, Denise Henderson (that's me, y'all!)
We've come a long way, baby!  Happy Birthday to me!  I'm so glad to be a part of our family!
Continuing our theme of Schellhardt - Wissmann togetherness, today's featured photo shows the Schellhardt and Wissmann grandchildren with their grandmother, Mathilda.  It also shows that kids will be kids whether it's 2013 or ca. 1933.
Front (l-r) - Bill and Charles Schellhardt with Al and Mary Wissmann Back (l-r) - Mathilda Wissmann Schoener holding Bobby Schellhardt and Louisa Wissmann. ca. 1932-1933