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Updated March 18, 2006

About Our Family Research

I am the first child of Bernard Leroy Oligschlaeger, whose family information is
here. My father and mother divorced in 1951 - when she remarried, I was adopted by court order by John W. Wise. I discovered my biological father's name and family in 1999. Since then, research and visits to them (my father died in 1976) has allowed me to assmble the information summarizd below. If space allows, I will summarize my maternal line as well:

The Oligschlegers arose in the northwest region of what is now Germany in the Eifel Region - a volcanic area rich in minerals situated southeast of the present day Netherlands. The name, acoording to custom, relates to the occupations of the this case I hypothesize the 'schlaeger' denotes 'processor,''grinder,' or a similar word. 'Olig' is a bit of a mystery - it looks like 'oil' but it was a mining district. More reliable information from a member of the Steinman family (whom Oligschlaegers married into in the early 18th century) states my paternal ancestors mined basalt, a common material found in volcanic regions.

Because of economic instability subesquent to Napoleon's ejection from that area
and glowing reports by other Germans in the United States, many Oligschlaegers, Steinmans and Kloeppels made the voyage to settle in America on Ship Emerald in 1839, a voyage of some 40 days. The eldest Oligschlaeger (Frederick) was at the time 75 years old! Accompanied by his wife, Anna Marie, three sons (John, Frederick or Friedrich, and Wilhelm.) The wives were respectively Margaret, Gertrude and Adelaide. Their children respectively were Christian, Ann, Marie,
Sybil, Christopher ( all Frederick's.)

They are thought to have landed in NYC and travelled by water up the Ohio, down the Mississippi and north to the Missouri to first land in Hermann, MO or Westphalia, MO. They are listed in the census for Gasconade County in 1840. The Oligschlaeger males filed for US citizenship in 1842. Thus began the family line in the United States, with few deviations remaining in north central Missouri in towns like Westphalia, St. Elizabeth and Jefferson City, the capital of Missouri.

My maternal ancestors came primarily from Germany, although many also came from the Netherlands and possibly England. Names of them include Caspary, Johnson, Crouse (Krows,) Salisbury, Drees, Vought, and Radcliffe. Great grandfather Hans Caspary immigrated to the U.S. from Berlin in 1881 and became a prosperous textile manufacturer. His parents were Siegfried and Henriette (Liehtenstein) Caspary, also of Berlin. They are of great interest to me research relevant records have been hampered by the consequences of WW2 bombing and a lack of digital records online from Europe. Hans and Josephine (Vought) Capsary's children were Edna (d. at age 6 months from diptheria,) Harold (disappeared in New Orleans, died 1930) and my maternal grandmother, Helen Marie (Mem) Johnson (d. 1976,) wife of Fred Johnson (also died in 1930.) Their children were Fred, Herbert, James and my mother , Helen Marie Wise. Her children are myself, James, and Jan.

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