In Brick Walls & Puzzle Pieces, I discuss the frustration and rewards researching the Kollros, Spiegel, O'Malley, and Gaume families...

Chapter Contents

Introduction
Researching one's family history can be very time-consuming, but the gain of understanding the distant past from a personal perspective can be very rewarding. At times it can also be very frustrating particularly when it seems almost impossible to find any information regarding a particular family line that goes back only two or three generations from the present. Genealogists refer to these "end-of-lines" as brick walls. I sometimes like to think of them as missing pieces of a jig-saw puzzle...
The Kollros Family
I grew up knowing about my mother's grandfather, Erhardt Joseph Kollros. He was known to his grandchildren as Jojo. He was an accountant and had been the treasurer of a company that he and his brother-in-law, Arthur Bannon, owned. The Southern Wallboard Company of Louisville, Kentucky went out business following the stock market crash in 1929. In the 1930's, he briefly owned a diner in Dallas, Texas. Jojo was the son of German immigrants who had settled in Louisville, Kentucky...
The Speigel Family
At first, I was puzzled as to why I was having so much trouble finding the Spiegel family in the census records for 1880 and 1900, but a break-through came when I searched the Dallas City Directories on Ancestry.com and found a number of Spiegel's living in Dallas on San Jacinto Street. The senior family member was a cigar maker by the name of George C. Spiegel...
The O'Malley Family
I knew that the O'Malley family eventually settled in Minnesota and this was thought to be most likely in the late 1860's, after the American Civil War and the pacification of the Sioux. If the family came to the US in 1855 they should have appeared in the US census record in 1860, but I did not expect to find them in Minnesota as earlier as 1860...
The Mystery of Della Pickering
Della Pickering, first wife of Frank Gaume and my gg-grandmother, is mentioned in four documents and the name is always Della Pickering. Three of the documents contradict Frank Gaume who at age 72 (1915) said that he and his first wife were married in June 1868 and that Della (Pickering) Gaume died June 2, 1869...
The Gaumes Go West
According to Frank's obituary printed in the Louisville (Ohio) Herald in 1917, he left Ohio for Kansas around 1883. It is believed that his daughter Della went with him at this time. The obituary of Della (Gaume) DeBacker states that her parents where innkeepers in St Marys, Kansas...

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