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Laura Lou
I am a retired Middle School Science teacher from Michigan spending 4 months each winter in Florida and learning about a whole new world.
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Thursday, December 10, 2015

postheadericon Lost and Found

Lost Cousins – A Genealogy Story

Johanna and Reinhold Oehring had seven children.  By 1880, only two were living.  Those two were Louis and Theresa, known as Tracy.  Louis and Tracy formed a strong bond, having watched their parents bury 3 of their siblings.  In 1883 and 1885, two more sons were born who lived.

Louis (my maternal grandfather) married first in 1873.  Five years later, Tracy married a Lutheran minister and had 3 children by him, Hilmar, Doris and Naomi.  Louis had two boys and 11 and 12 years later two girls.  Those seven cousins were very close with many visits between Louis’ family in Detroit and Tracy’s family in Kalamazoo, where her husband was pastor of a large Lutheran church.  There are even studio photographs of the cousins together from the early years. 
                                                                  Tracy's Wedding picture.

Emanuel, Tracey, Hilmar and Doris Mayer
3) Hilmar


2)  Sidney and Lyman Oehring with Hilmar and Doris Mayer

However, that is where the trail seemed to end.  The youngest of Louis’ children, Eunice, my mother, remembered her cousins and their good times but had no idea how or when the families became estranged.

I kept checking for information about the family while doing other genealogical tasks.  Then, one day, an obituary showed up, for Theresa.  She had died at age 39.  The Reverend had been left with three young children. 

In a year he remarried Mary Zink who had a son of her own.  That was also about the time Mother says they stopped seeing their cousins.  It appears that the new wife felt that it was better for the children to sever ties with their late mother’s family in order to build a stronger blended family.

This was where the trail ended again for many years.  Then one day, Laura Lou, a granddaughter of Louis, received a message from one Jennifer stating that they seemed to have common ancestors; Johanna and Reinhold Oehring.  The messages started flying.  Jennifer was the great-granddaughter of Theresa, granddaughter of Hilmar.  Since both women wintered in Florida there were meetings and exchange of copies of some precious photos including one picture of the Oehring family home in which Louis and Tracy were raised.


Another link has been discovered, a great-great-grandchild of Theresa’s, through Doris.  Slowly but surely pieces are being reassembled linking Louis and his beloved sister, Tracy, once again through the descendants’ searching.