In tracing my husband’s ancestral line, the biggest challenge was to identify the town of origin of Mathias Löhr, the immigrant ancestor from Germany. The task was not made easier by the fairly common surname. Oh, to be blessed with a strange and unusual name was not our fate.
Mathias Löhr lived in Taycheedah, Wisconsin for about thirty years beginning in 1867. So, that’s where I began the search. Census records reveal several other Lohr families living in the area (including nearby Fond du Lac). But a check of church records, libraries, historical books (all the usual resources) did not reveal any relationship between these families and Mathias Löhr.
Mathias Lohr (as he then spelled his surname) lived his later years in Estelline, South Dakota, and–you guessed it–there was at least one other family with the Lohr surname. And, again … no relationship between the two families.
And, just for good measure there is also a town in Iowa called Lohrville. None of Mathias Lohr’s family has ever lived there.
An online search of the German telephone directory reveals more than 2,600 entries for the name Löhr and over 1,800 entries with the spelling Lohr. Obviously, the name is well represented in the German homeland, especially in the Rhineland region. How in the world can I find which of these names is connected with Mathias?
Letters, emails, research, and checking dozens of microfilm rolls did not reveal any leads.
It seemed like a dead end UNTIL I tried a search on Familysearch.org By leaving the name of the child blank and including the names of the parents (which I had obtained from the marriage certificate of Mathias Lohr) I got a result that showed a possible sibling. Reviewing the microfilmed records provided the proof: there on LDS film #995948was the birth record of Mathias Löhr! He was born 17 June 1845 in Butzheim (now part of the Rommerskirchen municipality) to Jacob Löhr and Barbara Meurer.
So the pursuit and persistence paid dividends! Finally, I had found the birthplace of Mathias Löhr.
Is there a relationship with my husband’s line of Lohr (Löhrs) and the others? Possibly … I just haven’t found it (yet)!