May 172015
Jacob P. Yuncker

Jacob P. Yuncker

An article in the August 12, 1863 edition of the Buffalo Daily Courier lists names selected for conscription in the federal army during the Civil War.1 Included was the town of Alden, near Buffalo in Erie County, New York. A Jacob Yuncker is listed among the 57 names selected in the previous day’s draft.

Since he was living in Alden, this is very likely my second great-grandfather, Jacob P. Yuncker. In the 1855 New York state census, 17 year old Jacob is listed as living in Alden with his parents Hubert and Barbara Yuncker.2 A few years later, several tax assessment rolls3 from the Internal Revenue Service show Jacob P. Yuncker paid taxes on boots and shoes, which were probably part of his shoe making business. These rolls span from September 1862 to June 1863 and they show his business was at Alden, New York. Jacob was a shoemaker like his father Hubert.

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  1. “The Draft,” article, Buffalo Daily Courier, 12 August 1863, 19th District, Alden, New York; New York State Military Museum ( : downloaded 17 February 2015), Erie County, New York Civil War Newspapers. Jacob Yuncker is one of 57 names selected for conscription.
  2. 1855 New York State Census, Alden, Erie, New York, population, Town of Alden, Page 22, FHL #825680, Image 00016, Digital Folder Number 005207118, Household 186, Hubert Yuncker (indexed as Hurbert Janker); digital image, FamilySearch ( : downloaded 21 March 2013); Secretary of State.
  3., “U.S. IRS Tax Assessment Lists, 1862-1918,” database, Operations, Inc., ( downloaded 21 March 2010), Roll 202, Division 8, District 30, Alden, New York, Jacob P. Yuncker; citing National Archives (NARA) microfilm series M603.
Mar 132015
John E. Yuncker circa 1923

John E. Yuncker
circa 1923

One of my great-granduncles, John Ernest Yuncker (1881-1962), was my paternal great-grandmother’s younger brother. He is mentioned in his mother’s 1921 obituary as living in Los Angeles, California. I had found him listed in the California death index years ago, but I never traced him further. I recently did so and I found that he made quite a name for himself and even had a brush with history.

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Mar 262013

google-earth-00In a past posting I described how I located the homestead of my great-grandparents Albert and Mary Pohl near Turtle Creek, Pennsylvania.  I’ve since found that Google Earth is another tool to further visualize the location.  It is helpful in modernizing old maps to better understand where my ancestors lived.

What I did is add an overlay of an old map to the modern world shown in Google Earth.  This allows you to see precisely where a road, building or property once stood in relation to what’s there now.

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Jul 092011

Those researching their ancestors in Pennsylvania know that county boundaries changed frequently in the years since 1682. To make these boundary changes easier to see, I animated them.

I used portions of the “Genealogical Map of the Counties” available at the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. I simply snipped the individual images in their sequence of state maps that show county boundaries and made a short flash animation.

Unfortunately these maps do not show cities and towns, but if you know the county you are interested in, you can see when it was created and how it changed over the years.

View an animated history of Pennsylvania Counties.

Sep 122007

Hamburg, Germany was a major port of embarkation for emigrants bound for America during the nineteenth century. Since the Germans are good record keepers, detailed records were undoubtedly kept about these emigrants, our ancestors. My grandmother Ida Pohl was a little girl when she emigrated with her mother and siblings from Hamburg in 1893. As an amateur genealogist, I was frustrated to learn that most of these records were destroyed by British and American bombers during World War II.

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