Monday, October 24, 2016

DNA Discoveries: Who Was Ernestine "Stina"?

In the ongoing, never-ending quest to learn more about my mother's ancestors, she graciously provided a sample for DNA testing less than a year before her death in 2014. When the results were available, the only matches she had that were not very distant cousins were her three children. Since her death, six of my eleven maternal first cousins have tested and another million people have had their DNA at Ancestry. So Mom's match list continues to grow.

Many of my maternal relatives share several matches with people who had a woman named Ernstine "Stina" (Seler) Beich in their family trees. Stina was married to Carl August Beich (1846-1927). Both had been born in what is now Poland and consistently listed their place of birth as Poland or Russia (the borders were ever changing). They considered themselves to be German. Stina or her husband must be related to my Mother and other Lange-Schalin relatives. So I gathered all the information from source documents I could find.

Carl August Beich and Ernestine "Stina" (Zander) Beich;
courtesy of Ancestry member racarroll1

I believe Ernestine to be the youngest child of Johann Gottfried Zander and his wife Anna Susanna Wilde. They were my three times great grandparents as I descend from their daughter Juliane Zander (about 1835-1906), who married Gottlieb Schalin. 

Willamette Valley Death Records; courtesy of

Ernestine was born in 1846, married and had eight children before she and her family immigrated to Canada in 1893. Carl August Beich and two of the older children, Gustav and Pauline, arrived in Baltimore on 3 June aboard the S/S Weimar. The ship's previous port of call was Bremen, Germany. Stina followed on 10 October aboard the S/S Stubbenhuk.[1] With her were her children, Edward, Adolf, Rudolf, and Hulda. Only two children remained in Russia, their oldest daughter, Amalie "Mollie," who had recently married Heinrich "Henry" Konkel, and their son Julius, who was 11 years old.

Carl Beich returned to Russia in 1899 and returned aboard the S/S Tave with their son Julius, daughter Mollie, her husband, and their three oldest children. They arrived in New York City on 27 April 1899. When the 1900 census was enumerated, Stina, Carl, and their four youngest children lived in Caledonia Township, Wisconsin, where Carl owned a farm. Their son, Julius, also worked on the family farm.

On 17 November 1908 Rudolf, homesteaded land in Bruderheim, Alberta, Canada. Two years before, he had homesteaded another piece of land but abandoned it because the land "wasn't was good represented to me." By 1916 Stina and Carl lived in Bruderheim. None of their children lived with them and Carl's occupation was listed as retired farmer.

Declaration of Abandonment for Rudolf Beich; courtesy of

Stina and Carl traveled to Salem, Oregon, several times in their later years to visit their children who lived there. Perhaps it was on a similar trip that Ernstine (Zander) Beich died as her death occurred on 20 August 1917 in Salem. She was interred in the Lee Mission Cemetery.

Carl continued to live in Bruderheim and traveled to see his children in Wisconsin. He died on 11 October 1927 in Merrimac, Wisconsin and was interred in St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery.

Their children:
  1. Amalie "Mollie" Beich born 1871; died 25 October 1945; married Heinrich "Henry" Rudolf Konkel
  2. Gustav Beich born 1874; died 1964; married Anna Behnke
  3. Pauline Beich born about 1877; died 1908
  4. Eduard or Edward Beich born about 1881; died before 1900
  5. Julius Beich born 31 December 1882; died 4 March 1959; married Ida A. Messer
  6. Adolf or Adolph Beich born 12 January 1886; died September 1962; married Grace Staudenmayer
  7. Rudolf or Rudolph Beich born 20 February 1887; 23 March 1972; married Anna Krause
  8. Hulda Beich born 18 December 1891; died 19 June 1973; married 1) Charles Edward Haughey and 2) Samuel Edward Alexander
Solving Stina's correct surname and her parents connected my Mother, siblings, cousins, and me to nine new cousins!

[1] Some of my Schalin family and their fellow church members immigrated to Canada on the S/S Stubbenhuk the same year.

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