Yet another delayed post. I have done a lot in the span of time since I wrote last.
One of the biggest areas of new information is in the Brandmueller region. I was able to discover at long last what parish the family belonged to in Baltimore. They belonged to St. Alphonsus which was near their home. The St. Mary's Archives contain the church records for this parish, and thus I was able to receive copies of baptismal registries for all of the siblings of my ancestor Margaret Brandmueller as well as their birthdates. These records are exceptional in that they allowed my to confirm Johanna's maiden name as Heninger, and also provided me with the area in Bavaria where both George Brandmueller and Johanna Heninger immigrated from. I now know that Johanna was from Buchenbach and Georg was from Staudach. I have yet to try to locate any information in these places. As far as I can tell it will be quite difficult.
Additionally I received death records for Michael Brandmueller (George's brother), Anna Brandmueller (George's mother) and JOHANNA HERSELF! I was extremely pleased when I received the latter two records. I had no idea that George's mother had come to America at all; I assumed that the children struck out on their own. The record gives Anna's maiden name but it is difficult to discern. It is something like "Neidhardt."
Johanna Heninger Brandmueller died 3 Feb 1864 of consumption.
I still wonder what happened to George, however, and have been trying to find this out. The last record I have of him is 1870 in Springfield, Dane Co., with the son Michael. I haven't been able to figuer out where Margaretha was because she hadn't married Peter Annen yet. I am trying to look into census records to determine if she was working as a domestic for someone in the area. I went to the church where they were married in an attempt to find records or graves for George Brandmueller. I found a great deal of Annen relatives there which helps support how Margaretha Brandmueller met Peter Annen. I didn't find anyone at the church when I visited so I am hoping to contact someone soon.
Another piece of this is that I found a family by the name of Weller who immigrated from Bavaria to...town of Springfield, Dane Co., and are living in the same area as George Brandmueller...the mother in this family is named Margaretha BRANDMUELLER, and came from Staudach. I am hoping to ascertain more of this relationship but it seems very likely that this lady is the sister of George!
I am excited that I have finally made a little progress on that line, however!
Another interesting line I've recently received new information is the Johanna Stark line of the Rinke family. This is, I think, unrelated to the Stark/Steffen line but I have long thought there might be a connection between the two lines because of the closeness of quarters of the two families. New information is starting to support this.
I recently undertook to do a full transcription of St. James Cemetery in Franklin, Wis., since I had already done most of the stones on my first trip there upon discovering that most of them were related to me. On the second trip I discovered some more Starck stones I hadn't seen on my first trip, thanks mostly to the fact that the shrubbery hadn't grown in yet (it was early April when I made the trip, and during summertime some stones are obscured by great big bushes and hostas).
In any event this new discovery of a Johann and Helena Starck was extremely puzzling to me as they didn't seem to fit in with the Starcks who had married into the Steffen family buried in that cemetery. There was a small group of other Starcks in the back of the cemetery which similarly did not fit into the first family. As the semester got a little hotter I put the Star[c]k problem on the backburner.
I received an email last week from Yon Hafer, who has proven to be a valuable resource. He has photos of a family I've never seen before, because my grandfather was adopted. He has photos of the Rinke family, and most notably of Johanna Stark Rinke, who was my ancestor and died young. Yon gave me information about Johanna's parents - that their names were Johann and Helena (Mick) Starck and that they had died in a cholera outbreak in Oct 1866..... This rang a bell. I checked my transcription - Johanna at St. James had died in Oct 1866 and so had Helena. I couldn't even BELIEVE this! I'm pretty excited to see what else I might learn on this line.
Another line I've found out more about is Ernest Koch and his wife Christina Schoso. I found the death record for Ernest - he died 24 Apr 1901. It gave me parents names (Ludwig and Albertina) as well as his date of birth. I similarly found Christina's death rec which didn't have parents' names, unfortunately. From these records, though, I was able to find out where they were buried in Pittsburgh.
I have been doing quite a bit else, too, and will try to update this a bit more frequently now that it is summer.