There are some possible clues and an offer to look up an obit at the bottom of this message.
My apologies too. It had been a long day. I was relaxing after fights with my boss, my bank and my teenager by doing something nice for others. You looked like you needed a helpful suggestion. The heading was a mistake and the message had a lot more bile in it than is my norm. (More bile than 99.999% of the posts on any of the GenForum boards, for that matter.)
Your post looked so much like a beginner's that I didn't even check your posting history. The fact you didn't title it "Petersen Family - Please Help" and put it on the Petersen page should have clued me in. I post replies to queries like that three or four times a week. A lot of first-time posters have common names and don't put in any date estimates. I call them the "Smith Family - Please Help" queries.
Usually I title my reply "Suggestions, no data", which is a lot more tactful that the one I used here. The example I always use is: Assuming husband and wife are the same age, and have kids from age 20 - 40 the two extremes are:
1) You are now 20, born 1982, oldest son of oldest son of oldest son (F b. in 1962, GF 1942, GGF 1922).
You are now 60, born in 1942, youngest son of youngest son of youngest son; 1902, 1862, 1822.
So we have a 100-year range for your great grandfather's birth. In your case, nephews can be born as early as 10 years before or 40 years after their uncle, which puts the range for Hans' birth date 1812 - 1962.
80% of the time the people ignore me. 20% of the time they re-post, many times on a more appropriate forum. 10% of the re-posters get data; some of them write to thank me. It is more satisfying than watching TV with a six-pack and a package of pork rinds, which we call a seven-course meal here in Stanislaus County.
I found these Hans & Anna Petersens in Stanislaus county. The columns won't line up.
http://vitals.rootsweb.com/ca/death/search.cgihttp://vitals.rootsweb.com/ca/death/search.cgi Last Name First Name Middle Birth Date Mother Maiden Father Last Sex Birth Place Death Place Residence Death Date SSN Age PETERSENANNAT12/21/1862POWERSCONWAYFCALIFORNIASTANISLAUS07/06/194885 yrs PETERSENHANSN04/24/1882DUEMSTANISLAUS07/07/1960552-38-033378 yrs
I go to the library in Modesto every once in a while to look up things for people. I can read about 30 days worth of microfilm before I get seasick and have to stop, even closing my eyes and counting to myself to estimate how many pages have flipped by. If you have something you'd like looked up in the newspaper, and can pin it down to a specific date or a short range, I'd be happy to look it up for you.
The local history room there has county directories back to the 1920's, and a copy of a 1922 "Biographical" History - one of those fluffy biographicals people bought subscriptions to. If you give me a date range I'll look for them in the county directory, and if Hans or Paula could be in the 1922 book I'll look.