Monday, August 1, 2011

A Sister is Found, A Riddle Solved

"Elizabeth Van Hook". 

The name just didn't fit with the rest of my Feitner family research. But there it was, in the long list of loved ones buried in the family plot in Lutheran Cemetary.  I had accounted for everyone but her, noting their links to Anna Brenzel and Jacob Feitner.  I asked my grandmother, "do you remember the name Elizabeth Van Hook?"  Even she didn't know. This wasn't a good sign, since she could tell you the most interesting minutia when it came to the Feitners.  So there it sat, with a question mark next to it.

Today though, I found out who Elizabeth was.  Occasionally, I look through my family tree on  It had been a while since I did any real research on their site, since I felt I had exhausted their databases for the New York area.  Much to my surprise, another user had been doing research into the Feitner family and had listed an "Elizabeth Van Hook" in their tree.  After a quick dig into my stacks of cemetery records, I found I had a match.  Jacob T. Feitner, my great-great grandfather had another sister that I had been unaware of.  This was the Elizabeth Van Hook who had puzzled me for so long.  She was barely two years old when their father had died, and had not surfaced in any of the New York census records.  She married George Van Hook in 1897 in Mount Vernon, New York when she was 19 and seemed to have a very stable life in Westchester County and Yonkers thereafter.  She and George did not have any children.  Elizabeth died on December 5, 1943 and was buried in Lutheran Cemetery with her parents.

It finally made sense.  I proudly erased the question mark next to her name and replaced it with "Sister of Jacob T. Feitner".