Serendipity is a HUGE part of doing family research. Things happen so often that you stop thinking of them as coincidences and start feeling like people on the other side are sending you stuff so you can find them. It’s borderline miraculous at times and just plain fun other times.
Recently I was doing some work with photos of the Taegesville School that the Strehlow family had loaned to me to scan. I noted one of the families in the photos was “Laabs”, a rather unusual name. A few days later I came across someone’s tree on Ancestry.com that had members of that family in it. I sent the woman, Cathy Teske, a message saying “you might want to check out this photo because I think you might find some of your family members”. She was happy to hear from me, then said “I notice you have several Kamraths in your tree… there are a lot of Kamraths at St. Stephen Church in Wausau”.
Serendipity. I had been meaning to go to St. Stephen’s to check for church records for my family on my next trip to Wausau. She is, as it turns out, one of the archivists for the Church, and after a few emails she sent me a huge amount of valuable information. One of the things she has access to is all of the confirmation class photos taken for the church after 1900. Each class seems to be between 50 and 100 kids (about 14 years old). Between her records for the Krueger family and these photos I was able to find several members of my family at their confirmation. I’ll present what I found, and then add to this as more of my family is identified. There are at least three others to be found yet. Many, many thanks to Cathy for allowing me access to these historic photos of my family.
The confirmation photos are on the right with known photos of the person on the left for comparison.