Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Parents # 2 Now Most Likely

Well, there has been a bit of a lapse since my last post, but for good reason. I took a day off to travel to Bellville, Austin County, Texas to obtain copies of the various marriage certificates and naturalization papers on file there. Instead of just requesting the ones that I was focusing my research on (Carl Bastian and Charles Bastian), I decided that it would be advantageous to obtain all possible documents for the Bastian family in these two categories. I did not look for birth or death certificates on that trip. This was also my first research trip to a records vault, and it was a bit daunting.

The first documents received were the naturalization papers for Charles, Gustav, and Frederich Bastian. I was fairly certain that these three individuals were related, but I was unsure of how. The Declaration of Intent for each was filed on the same day (July 19, 1852). Those documents provided the same arrival date for all three as well (October, 1851). I began looking for ships that came into Texas in that month, and found a record on the Galveston Immigrant Database (Bastian Family Arrival). This link shows a family of six, including Frederich, Gustav, and Charles/Carl. They arrived on the Ammerland from Luebeck, Germany. I have not yet found the departure records, but I feel confident that I am on the right trail now.

With all of the marriage certificates from Austin County, I began building the tree with these individuals. I have only one person that I have not been able to link yet: Veronica Bastian. I am confident she is related as well, but that may take a bit more time. Every other Bastian in Austin County is related to the Frederich Bastian family. Most of them are also buried in New Ulm Cemetery in New Ulm, Austin County, Texas.

To further strengthen the argument that Charles and Carl Bastian are indeed the same person, I looked for the death certificates for as many of the children as I could find. Several of them listed Carl as the father with either Sophia Helms or Fredericka Waige as the mother. Since Carl's marriage certificate shows he married Sophia, and Charles' shows he married Fredericka, I am not confident that they are the same person. The names seem to be used interchangeably.

So, I believe that my initial quest has been solved. I will continue to pursue the Bastian family genealogy. I have determined that there are four groupings of Bastians, at least in terms of where they are buried. Those are the Austin County group, the Bastrop group, the Austin, Travis County group, and the Dallas area group. I am going to work to find the links between these other groups and to find the departure records of Frederich Bastian's family from Luebeck, Germany. Should anyone be interested in copies of the marriage records I obtained, please let me know. I am only too happy to share!


Monday, July 9, 2012

Possible Parents # 2

As I was getting ready to write this post, I spent some time going through the research I have on this possible line. The result of going through it again with fresh eyes was that I found some interesting possibilities that I either missed before or were not present before. So this will be slightly different than it would have been even a week ago.

Several years ago I found a book referenced on Rootsweb called Footprints of Five Generations by C. W. Schmidt. Subsequently, I found a real copy of this book in the Bellville, Texas library. This book has one passage that referenced the other possible father for my great-grandfather Charles Bastian. At this point, I will begin to refer to my great-grandfather as Charles (1875) because there are others with the same name, and I think it will be less confusing. This book was about early ancestors in New Ulm, Austin County, Texas with the primary source being the New Ulm Enterprise up to 1930. Charles (1875) was born in New Ulm according to the sources I have found so far, so this seemed like a possible lead.

The passage that references the possible lineage of Charles (1875) lists another Charles Bastian as a pioneer of New Ulm who settled the area prior to 1858, as well as the names of eight surviving children (all grown). The listed children are:

  • Mrs. August Hoppe Sr.
  • Adolf Bastian
  • August Bastian
  • Mrs. Antonia Bader
  • Henry Bastian
  • Charles Bastian (this is possibly my great-grandfather)
  • Mrs. Gustav Kretzschmar
  • Mrs. Charles W. Rau
Unfortunately, there is not a wife or mother listed in the book, nor is there any other information about the Bastian family that I could find. I did searches when I originally found this information back in 2008, but was not able to trace the children's names without any dates. So, this became a source that I go back to every so often in hopes of matching up the details to what little I know about my great-grandfather.

To coincide with the above mentioned source, I found a database entry for a declaration of intent and petition for naturalization/grant of citizenship for a Charles Bastian in 1852 and 1856 in Austin County, Texas. This immigrant lists Germany as his country of allegiance or birth. I have not yet received the documents, but that is next on my list to do (probably within the next couple of weeks). The timeline seems to match the Charles listed in the book, so I am reasonably certain they are the same.

The next source that comes into play is an index of early marriages in Austin County, Texas. This is where the line becomes a bit fuzzy and interesting at the same time. This index shows a Charles Bastian marrying Mrs. Fredericke K. Waige on 06 Jun 1858. Sounds great, right? A perfect match to the previous data? Well, the same index shows a Carl Bastian marrying Sophie Helms on 10 May 1874. I thought nothing of this until I found an entry for Carl Bastian on Find a Grave. According to the information posted by the creator of the memorial, Carl Bastian was married to Fredericke Krantzmann first and Sophia Helms second. The dates listed a very similar to those in the marriage index. Is it possible that Charles and Carl are the same person?

The next source I found last week is a Texas voters registration for 1867. This lists Charles Bastian in New Ulm. I do not see another Bastian on this register. I also found a couple of Bastians in the 1860 Census, but there are only first initials listed, so there is not much I can determine from those at this time.

My next step was to search message boards for anyone researching the same line. I did find a post about the same Carl Bastian, which references the first wife. This message, however, brings in the possibility that the family originated in Russia by listing Petersburg, Russia as Carl's birth place. His suggestion is that the family may have moved to Russia from Germany by way of Carl's father or grandfather being a conscript in the Napoleonic wars with Russia. I am working now to contact the person who posted this message to see if he has any more specific information, but since the message was posted over ten years ago, I am prepared not to receive a reply. I am also reading about another theory for why the family may have been in Russia: Volga Germans.

Anyway, the road is leading in some unexpected directions, but I am enjoying at least making some minimal progress. We shall see where it goes from here.


Link to Carl Bastian's cemetery:

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Possible Parents # 1

One set of possible parents for Charles Bastian is Heinrich (Henry) and Natalie Hartenstein Bastian. I found this one first linked to someone's tree for a person that I know is related to my great-grandfather, so I followed the lead for awhile. Although it is always possible that I will be wrong, I do not believe this is the correct set of parents for my great-grandfather.

There are two prime reasons that I have this belief. First, the Heinrich and Natalie Hartenstein Bastian family centered in Austin, Texas, not Austin County, Texas. Although not terribly far apart, these are not the same place. Second, Heinrich and Natalie Hartenstein Bastian have a son born about the same time, but all records I have found so far show his name as Carl, not Charles. Carl Bastian from this family also died as a child. I believe that those using this connection have decided that Charles and Carl are the same person, and do not know that Austin and Austin County are two different places. In fact, one tree I found even showed the name to be Charles Carl, officially linking the two names.

The sad part is that this Bastian family has a bit of information available in research terms, and the story is interesting. I have not discarded the research I found; just removed it from my tree once I became relatively certain there is not a link there. It may turn out in the future that these are cousins further back. This family came from Germany, which is where I believe my great-grandfather's parents came from (according to census records). There are many names used repeatedly in both families (Otto, Henry, and Charles).

So, the search continues!


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Charles and Bettie Bastian

My great-grandfather was Charles Bastian. He was born 11 Oct 1875 in Austin County, Texas. Another variation of the name that I have seen in some records is Bastain. I also have an alternate birth date of 11 Oct 1872 from Charles' WWI Draft Registration. However, his tombstone shows 1875, so I am inclined to think that is the real date. Charles married Bertha Ernestina Schmook (aka Bettie) on 05 May 1905. Bettie was born 01 Sep 1885 in Lavaca County, Texas. They have the following known children:

  • Otto Bastian b. 19 Apr 1907 in Calhoun County, Texas; d. 07 Jun 1974 in Calhoun County, Texas.
  • Ernest Charles Albany Bastian b. 19 Feb 1909 in Calhoun County, Texas; d. 15 Apr 1970 in Harris County, Texas.
  • Letha Bastian  b. 13 Feb 1911 in Calhoun County, Texas; d. 29 Jun 1989 in Calhoun County, Texas.
  • Henry Bastian (my grandfather) b. 20 Sep 1912 in Atascosa County, Texas; d. 24 Nov 1984 in Harris County, Texas.
  • Lena Bastian b. 11 May 1914 in Atascosa County, Texas; d. 08 Feb 1986 in Calhoun County, Texas.
  • August Paul Bastian b. 06 Apr 1917 in Atascosa County, Texas; d. 16 Mar 1973 in Calhoun County, Texas.
  • Jessie Bastian b. 01 Sep 1918 in Atascosa County, Texas; d. 30 Apr 1987 in Fort Bend County, Texas.
  • Robert Lewis Bastian b. 01 Sep 1922 in Calhoun County, Texas; d. 05 Apr 2000 in Victoria County, Texas.
  • Cora Eugene Bastian b. 17 Mar 1924 in Atascosa County, Texas; d. 18 Jun 2000 in Harris County, Texas.
  • Murray Bastian b. 07 Mar 1927 in Calhoun County, Texas; d. 23 Dec 1977 in Victoria County, Texas.
As you can see, the births of their children indicate that Charles and Bettie moved from Calhoun County, Texas to Atascosa County, Texas several times. Additionally, the 1910 Federal Census shows that they were living in De Witt County, Texas, which is somewhat in between the other two. Charles' WWI Draft Registration shows the family living in Atascosa County, Texas in 1918. None of these counties are neighboring counties, so one question that arises is why would they move such a distance from their families?

This is the basic information I have on Charles' family. I have been unable to locate his father conclusively. I have two possibilities that will be covered in upcoming posts.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Who am I and Why am I Doing This

I have been working on my family history off and on for about 12 years. My drive to find my roots stems from not having them as I grew up. I had bits and pieces of histories done by other family members that were passed on to me by my mother. Most of what I have does not have citations, so I do not know where the information came from. That has been the bulk of my genealogy research for most of those years.

For the past five years or so, I have focused on my paternal line. I do not have much information on them, and since my family was not close growing up, I do not have family members to ask. I have been building this tree mostly blind. My current sticking point is Charles Bastian, my great-grandfather. I do not know who his parents are, so going further back has been a challenge. I have two possible families that may be connected, and through future blog posts, I hope to work out which one (if either) is the right one.

I welcome any questions or feedback, and will respond as quickly as possible. Thanks for joining my on my journey!

Stacey Bastian Stewart