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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Sourced and Found - Henry Borchers - Part 1

As my genealogy skills expand, I am still brought back to reality with the words from my uncle, "prove it".  He has impressed upon me the need to prove my line with source documents.  This is the only way to know for sure who your ancestors are.  With a whole lot of help from his previous research, I have proved and sourced for myself the information about the life of one of my great great grandfathers,  Henry Borchers.

I must admit that the proof is actually in the reverse timeline.  Henry and his wife, Anna Borchers, actually lived with my great grandparents (Herb and Mary Borchers) along with my grandma (Dorothy Borchers) until his death in 1927.  My "proof" begins with an oral history of their whereabouts in the 1920s.

One of the first times that I asked about Henry and Anna Borchers, I was told by my aunt (my grandma's sister) that they lived with my great grandparents (Herb was their youngest child) near the end of their lives.  When Herb and Mary Borchers were first married in 1919, they lived with Henry and Anna Borchers in Santa Rosa, California.  Herb had a job working for a local jeweler so for about a year, they lived at 1194 Dutton Avenue, Santa Rosa, California. They did not last long in Santa Rosa, however, as Mary was from Napa and they wanted to move back to be near her family.

Henry and Anna Borchers made a deal with Herb and Mary. They would sell their house in Santa Rosa and give the proceeds to them to buy a home in Napa.  In exchange, Henry and Anna Borchers were cared for by and lived out the rest of their lives with Herb and Mary.  Henry passed away on 8 January 1927 in Napa, California.  Anna lived until 14 May 1931.

So, my grandma had memories of her grandparents.  She was born  in 1921 and would say that German was spoken in the home in addition to English.  When I first looked through my grandma's (Dorothy Borchers Flanagan) photo album, I came upon the following photo of Dorothy with her grandmother, Anna Borchers.

Anna and Dorothy Borchers, Napa, circa 1925-1930
There was Anna Borchers looking right at the camera.  I did not find a photo of Henry in the album.  He may have already passed away by the time this photo was taken.

There really is not a lot of oral history provided by my family about Henry Borchers.  We know where he and his wife lived their final years.  My great grandfather, Herb Borchers, always indicated that he was born in Minnesota and shortly after moved to North Dakota.  Later, he moved to Santa Rosa, California until he married.

Oral history is interesting and when you find some source documents or the like, it brings it into perspective.  When you find a photo, it really brings it to life.

Henry and Anna Borchers
My next post will include the source document information that I have on hand.

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