The Places You Go, the People You Meet

This post is prompted by the death of a fellow genealogist who died in June of 2020, of a non-Covid 19 related illness. I just recently found out that he had died. My last email to him was in August of 2020 to which I had no reply. I was not surprised at no response, as he had told me earlier he had a detached retina and other health issues… I sent a Christmas greeting with no response. Death brings up so many issues as a genealogist. The loss of a friend and fellow researcher. The not knowing what happened—the thousands of us that will die and none of our hundreds of email “friends” will ever know what happened to us. Perhaps we all need to write a reminder to our executor asking them to email all of our contacts and let them know of our passing. What will happen to our websites and blog posts? So many questions…

But my real reason was to share a bit about Gary Mosier and how someone like Gary can have such a huge impact on our genealogies and our lives. Stay with me here as this has relevance to us all. Gary impacted me in two ways that stand out. First he was the person who finally cracked the MOSER nut wide open, although it took him several years and boat loads of money he spent on hiring German genealogists they did find the MOSER origins in Germany. In so doing, he PROVED that the five brothers family legend was TRUE!!! In fact it wasn’t three brothers or five brothers it was actually 6 brothers and at least one sister who immigrated to America in the early 1700’s. The part of the legend that was wrong is that they were not from Alsace Lorraine but were from the small villages near Ansbach, Bavaria (namely Weißenkirchberg, Wörnitz, Ulrichausen, Breitnau, and Kloster Sulz). Subsequent YDNA testing has also confirmed that the brothers were related. At the time of my first contacts with Gary back in 2013 there had been no proof. He was always in search of Johann Leonhard MOSER’s (his ancestor) origins and baptism. The failure to find him was what spurred him forward. (Familiar story that the frustrated genealogist does so much work for others…) I think this excerpt from Gary’s email is worth mentioning.

“I went to back to the original source records from Wornitz, just in case Leonard had been missed. I have had these records searched three times, by two different German researchers, but with no result. I suspected I was looking for a son of Adam Moser and Elisabetha Wollinger, since all of Johann Michael’s children and Johann Martin’s children were accounted for, and I wasn’t researching Georg Phillip for the purpose of this exercise. I thought the year of birth might fall in the period 1706-1712. It required about ninety hours spread over a month to finally locate the record, and I had to finally had to block match cap A’s an cap M’s to do the job. The film is somewhat indistinct, but I could pick out “Leonhard”, “Adam Moser”, “Wollinger”, and “Martin Claus” (who was also Johann Adam Moser’s godfather). I was pretty sure I had the fellow. Professor Esther Bauer, translator of all things Teutonic, did the conversion to English, which is attached as a PDF file. That lady is a wonder, and is highly recommended. I also have to relate that while I was waiting for the translation to come back, I checked back in on Hans Ebert’s web page. He has now transcribed the churchbooks of Wornitz, and Leonard’s birth record is included. If I had only waited.”

The point is, that like all good genealogists, we keep looking for the answers that we know are there somewhere! As it turns out the progenitor (who never immigrated) was married 3 times and fathered 16 children! Five died young. ALL of the surviving sons immigrated to America; 2 on the ‘James Goodwill’ in 1728 and the rest on the ‘Adventure’ in 1732. Each of those 6 sons had large families who spread across America. Back in the 1970’s other researchers had tried to make the connections—we MOSERs are all indebted to Gary for solving this mystery.

Not only is this my maiden name line but the one that my grandfather and father would surely have loved knowing about. In May of 2018 with guidance from Gary I was lucky enough to visit the churches in the area and see for myself the origins of the Bavarian MOSERs.

Me at St. Wenzeslaus, Weißenkirchberg, Bavaria, Germany

Which brings me to the Second debt I owe Gary. And this is the unexpected debt of sharing that happens to genealogists all the time. You mention a trip you are going on and then your fellow genealogist says, “if you are going to be in Warwick (pronounced War-ick in England) you must visit the Collegiate Church of St Mary and visit the Beauchamp Chapel (pronounced Bee-chum). It is spectacular!”

Collegiate Church of St Mary from Warwick Castle

So I dutifully added this to my list. Well in getting ready for the trip I started researching the other side of the pond, as my focus has usually been to find out where a family came from but I had not tried my hand much at connecting deep in England. Well lo and behold this turned out to be much richer than I thought. As it turns out the Beauchamp Chapel is the finally resting place of Queen Elizabeth I’s favorite Lord Dudley and Richard Beauchamp 13th Earl of Warwick the father in law of the famous “Kingmaker.” But as it turns out, Richard Beauchamp is also my 17th great grandfather! And I would not have known this had it not been for Gary, insisting I visit the Beauchamp Chapel. Richard’s tomb is one of the most beautiful anywhere. The chapel has a Doom painting and one could spend hours there. Gary was absolutely right.

Me standing in front of great grandpa’s tomb

The above photo I sent to Gary in October of 2019. It is really an extraordinary place with tons of history—and do not miss nearby Warwick Castle the home of the Beauchamp family for centuries. So my dear friend Gary if there’s a heaven for genealogists you my friend surely deserve a place of honor. Say hello to our mutual grandparents for me…

Richard Beauchamp (1382-1422) the 13th Earl of Warwick and my 17th great-grandfather

I never met Gary in the flesh but he like so many others has taken me unexpected places and led to many people I never expected to meet. Thank you Gary! And Thank you to all the other unsung heroes of genealogical research.

Copyright 2021 Kelly Wheaton. All RIghts Reserved.

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