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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Tischler Genealogy - Part 1...

I started working on my family genealogy back in the 1970's not long after the Roots TV mini-series came out. I remember spending hours in the main St. Paul library and visiting city hall looking for records associated with my dad's side of the family - which were certainly more numerous than my mom's side. My mom was an only child and her mom moved around a lot.

Back in the days before internet - or even the computer - research was time consuming and you really had to know what you were doing to make any significant progress. Which is why I didn't make any significant progress, and put genealogy aside for a couple of decades.

About 10 years ago I started looking again. With the internet you could take advantage of the research of others quickly and easily. There were some good premium web sites (that are still around) like ancestry.com, and I even joined one or two of them for a time. There were also great free resources like the Mormon (Latter Day Saints) genealogy web site. Mormons believe that if someone converts to Mormonism they can save their ancestors, so the Mormons are very big into genealogy. As it turns out, my mom's great-great grandmother (Phillipa Andersen) came over from Denmark as a convert to Mormonism and took a wagon train to Utah, eventually setttling in Nevada. I know all this thanks to the LDS web site.

So although back in the 1970s I had expected my dad's side (Tischler and Sattler) to be easy to research and my mom's side (Thomas and Roth) to be very hard to research, the reality was quite different.

I received some Sattler documents several years ago, I think from my Aunt Eleanor. They were documents in German with English translations and showed two generations of Martin Sattler (father and son) both born in an area called Burgenland in very eastern Austria.

Now for the most recent developments. My cousin Rick Tischler sent an email last week asking if I could send him some of the Sattler information I had, so I went about trying to find my genealogy box that we had moved from Minnesota, but I hadn't looked at since being here. I was lucky and found the box quickly and brought the documents Rick wanted to work to scan and email to him.

It had been a while since I had looked at them so I saw again that the Sattlers were from Austria. Since we had just visited Vienna a couple of months ago I was curious where Burgenland was. As I have said before, Google is a wonderful thing, and in a minute I had thousands of web sites at my disposal with information on Burgenland.

Then I tried the combination of "burgenland, sattler, genealogy" and had scores of web sites to look at. One of them was a site run by a group called the Burgenland Bunch that specializes in researching the genealogy of families from the Burgenland area. And, to my surprise, one of the people from Burgenland who helps with research is Martin Sattler. It's hard to tell yet if he is a relation, but I am hopeful.

The Burgenland in about an hour east of Vienna, so it is 5 hours by car. We may make a visit there while we live overseas since it is so easy compared to if we lived in the US.

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