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My name is Madeline De Long. Both of my paternal lines are of German ancestry, while my non-Germanic maternal lines have been in the United States for many generations.

I became interested in my German heritage as a child, listening to my grandmother talk about life as a first generation American. Although she had 7 older siblings who learned English in school, only the German lanugage was spoken in the home. Like her older siblings, Grandma did not learn German until she attended school.

I took one semester of German while attending Southwest Texas State University. At the end of the class, Herr Kremkus stated that we (classmates) had the vocabulary of a 3-month old! A few months later, I was presented with the opportunity to travel to Aachen and Nuremburg with a group called Project Germany. I was fascinated with Germany and long to return some day.

I have been chasing along the genealogy path for about 5 years now. Much of my information has been located through the internet in the wee hours of the night, as I also work full time. With the help of family members, the internet and genealogy "angels" I have located much information about the Cornelius family of Texas. Germans to America records the passage of Bernhard Cornelius, my paternal great grandfather along with his brother Wilhelm, when they arrived in the United States aboard the Rhaetia (from Hamburg to LaHavre, France, to New York, U.S.A.) during the Castle Gardens era. (Did immigrants who arrived through Indianola stop at Castle Gardens before proceeding to Indianola?) Bernhard visited Germany about 10 years after his arrival; then returned to the States with his bride, Anna. I have found their return passage in 1895 aboard the S.S. Dania.

I would like to verify Bernhard's marriage to Anna Usbeck through church records in Germany. Although I have the timeframe nailed down to the one month period of Bernhard's return trip to the homeland, I have no idea in which city either family lived in Germany at the time. Bernhard was active in the Lutheran church in America and his obituary states that he was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran Church in Hersfeld, Germany by Rev. Schwab. I wonder if he might have been married in this church in Germany? I have photos of Bernhard and Anna as well as his parents. Family members have studied these photos and we believe they were taken at the church on Bernhard and Anna's wedding day.

I have heard conflicting stories about Bernhard serving in the German Army. One story is that he served in the German Army for 3 years. Others belive he immigrated in order to avoid service in the army.

For more information about the life of Bernhard Cornelius, visit

I belong to the following rootsweb lists: List

German Alsace List (Ger-Als)

Germany Passenger List (G-P-L)

Old German (OLD-GERMAN)

German Surnames (Ger-Sur)

German-Texan List (G-T)

USA Naturalization List (USA-Nat)

Texas Lavaca County List (TX-LAVACA-L)

Texas Jackson County List (TXJACKSO)

Texas Cemetery List (TXCem)

... and perhaps a few others

My Zerr family lived in Alsace.

Researching: Cornelius, Usbeck and Zerr families and related lines

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