Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Genealogy Serendipity Moment - Drake/Hau Family

Part 3

Working on the Hau family we have had many pleasant surprises. The one we share today is my favorite. This one required that we be persistent and check every possible connection for this family. After doing the basic online research for the Hau family, we turned to online family submitted files.

At there were 1225 hits for Hau family trees. There were 27 hits for John Hau and 104 for Johann Hau, but none matching our John and Helen.

Our next stop was There were 66 hits for Hau family trees. For John Howe there was one hit and for Johann Hau there were four. None of these were good matches.

At there were 5900 hits for individuals with variations of the Hau surname. There were 380 hits for John Hau of various spellings, with about 240 of them born in Germany. For those born in 1832 there were 26 close matches and 7725 partial matches. Another search with Helen as a spouse provided no matches. None of these were good matches. This web site now open to limited membership, should open to the public later this year under

Then we turned to and looked at the variety of trees there.
There were 2143 hits on the Public Member Trees, 607 hits for One World Tree, 445 hits for Private Member Trees, and 1225 hits for Ancestry World Tree entries for Hau. For John Hau there were 30 hits on the Public Member Trees, three for One World Tree, two for Private Member Trees and 27 for Ancestry World Tree.
Four of the Public Member Trees are for John, the son of John and Helen, but the parents are listed as unknown. One of the private member trees is for this John, but no further information is available online. No matches with One World Tree or Ancestry World Tree ( information).

With the five matches for the son John, we sent email inquiries about the family. We connected with a delightful couple in Chicago who descend from him. At first they were reluctant to accept the connection, but after sharing additional information we had them convinced.

Here are two emails that we received:
Although John Hau is my husbands Great-Grandfather information on his history is very vague. There are three John Haus' in the family. If you go to the Family Trees you will find all the information I could put together. I have traced a John Hau that was in the Civil War roll of Enlistments 1861 and was discharged 1862 due to disability. It is possible there is a connection but the only Haus that are possitively related are Paul B: 1860 Theodore, 1867 and John B: 1870. John and Paul are buried at St.Joseph Cemetery, River Grove Il. Let me know if you find a connection.

Another email:
Thank you for contacting me. The information you found sounds exciting. I would love to have you send it. The Hau side of the family has been very difficult to research as all we knew was John Hau, was born in Kentucky. There are no papers as to where in Kentucky. Hau is from my husband's side. John is his mothers (Viola) father who was killed by an auto two months after my husband was born. He was raised in that home where his Grandmother, Mary, his father Charles and his mother died. He only knew of one brother of John. That was Paul Born in 1860 and died in 1927. He is buried at St. Joseph Cemetery, River Grove IL. I found a picture with Uncle Tedor on it and then made a connection to Theodore. John, Paul, and Theodore. Sons of John and Helen. If you feel that we share the same relative I would be thrilled to have any information you have found. I have not posted any pictures or other documents yet. I am still researching six other families.I sure would like to know our connection though. Attached is a wedding picture of John Hau and Mary Hochhaus. The Anniversary was their 50th approximately one month before John Haus death

The Civil War widow's pension file that we sent for was the confirming link. While she did not receive the pension, she provided her descendents with a family record. With sharing that file we opened the door to some wonderful collaboration of information and pictures. They provided pictures of all three brothers, two of their wedding pictures and pictures of John and Helen Hau. The pictures are what make this a serendipity moment. To look into the faces of the people being researched brings them to life. Our new found relatives have even offered to visit the local cemeteries and take pictures for us. This is genealogy research at its best!

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