Are your ancestors also German/Prussian immigrants?…

Researching family history fills me with delight and can have many unexpected consequences. Some discoveries, however, are not particularly pleasant. One extremely valuable outcome is to be alerted to health problems which have been passed on through the generations. What a surprise it was to come across info about the “FH Morocco Gene”  and immediately recognising that my husband, and our children and grandchildren, could well be carrying the life threatening “Barossa Heart Gene”.

Barossa. cholesterol-study. prof Ian Hamilton-CraigProfessor Ian Hamilton-Craig, from the Griffith University School of Medicine, has been working with local doctors in the Barossa region of South Australia with the aim of identifying carriers of the familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) gene in a bid to provide them with treatment and reduce their risk of premature heart disease.

He noticed, when working in his cardiology practice in North Adelaide, that many of his patients from the Barossa area who were of German Lutheran background and a significant number from the Silesian area were at risk of early death because of a special gene mutation and causes very high cholesterol levels which can lead to death by heart attack at a very young age.

“People with FH, whose cholesterol is untreated, usually show very early coronary heart disease and can even die prematurely,” Professor Hamilton-Craig says. “FH is one of the most common metabolic diseases of genetic origin. We think it may be even more common than type 1 diabetes and it’s all due to a single gene mutation affecting cholesterol. We would like to hear from anyone in Australia who thinks he or she may be descended from these early Lutheran settlers, and who may have a high cholesterol or family history of premature coronary heart disease’, he said. It can exist in thin people who have a good, low fat diet.

Prof Hamilton-Craig stresses there is no need for people to be unduly concerned.

“Those who think they could carry the gene can have a cholesterol test with their local family doctor, which may be followed up with a DNA test, and if this is shown to be FH, suitable medication can be prescribed’, he said. “It is very important to test close family members as well, so that treatment can begin as early in life as possible.”

It happens that both of my children’s paternal great grandparents, Maria Mathilde Grosser and Emil Wilhelm Habel, are of Silesian descent.

Habel, Grosser marriage pic

Karl Albert Hermann Grosser, and his wife Anna Rosina Wogisch Grosser, were bfhs. grosser plaqueamongst the second wave of Lutheran immigrants to South Australia who were fleeing religious persecution. Accompanied by Pastor Fritschke. They travelled aboard the “Skyjold” arriving in Port Adelaide on 27 Oct 1842 with their six children. Their third child, Hermann Eduard Louis Grosser was 10 years old when arriving in South Australia and is the father of Maria Mathilde Grosser.

Interestingly Karl Albert Hermann Grosser, died at the early age of 50 and his son, Hermann Eduard Louis Grosser, my children’s 2x Great Grandfather, died aged 49.  Premature death is one of the “markers” we’re encouraged to look for in our family records.

bfhs. johann caeserOn the Habel side of the equation, Maria Mathilde Grosser married Emil Wilhelm Habel who is also of Silesian descent. My research shows that the Habels were slightly later immigrants. They came as a family group… i.e. mother, father and adult children (some with spouses) aboard the “Johann Caeser” arriving in Port Adelaide, South Australia, along with approximately 268 other German and Prussian migrants, on 1 Jan 1855.

Emil Wilhelm Habel, my children’s Great Grandfather was a first generation South Australian, born in Lyndoch on the 12 Jun 1856. The first child of Johann Friedrich August Habel and Johanne Henriette (Siefert) Habel who arrived on the “Johann Caeser” along with his parents, brothers and their spouses. Johann  and Johanne took up residence in Dutton, South Australia where Johann became highly regarded with his sheep breeding and involvement in civic matters, particularly as Chairman of the Truro District Council… but that’s another story for another day.

So there you have it.  Thanks to my family history research we now know about this “Barossa Heart Gene” and what the next step needs to be. You gotta love the Internet, eh?

Anyone who thinks they might be descended from early German/ Prussian/Silesian Lutherans can visit the website for more information or contact the Barossa Family Heart Study coordinator Sheila Storrs by emailing


Resources and further information:

Copyright © 2014. Catherine Ann Crout-Habel


CrissouliAm pleased to have found a few moments to respond to Crissouli’s request to fill out a questionnaire which I hope will help others, as they continue with their search for Ancestors and the Ancestral Stories. Hopefully some reading this, who are also genealogy/ family history researchers, may find the time to join in. No time limit.

Chris wrote:


Working with family historians/genealogists daily, I see the same questions being asked on a regular basis. I often wonder what has led this or that person to researching their ancestry.

No prizes for answering the questions below… but it could be of interest to all of us who help others on a regular basis.

You may answer on your own blog, in the comments section below or on Facebook which will have a link to this blog.

Please let me know if you answer on your own blog, so I can keep a list for others to follow… no time limit…



1. What is the most important detail you want to find about your ancestors?

Their beliefs, activities and daily life, the times they lived in and especially what it is that they were passionate about.

2. Do you buy certificates?

Sure do… It’s absolutely essential to be clear when documenting the lives of our families and there is also a great deal of additional info on Certificates which can lead to even more discoveries e.g. my paternal grandparent’s marriage certificate had the name of his UK Army Regiment which enabled me to track him down and find a whole heap of additional living relatives in Canada… and what a joy that is.

3. Do you belong to a paid subscription site, if so, which one?

“Ancestry UK” and “Find My Past”

My subscription to Ancestry is via their UK site because it’s half the price for accessing exactly the same information through their Australian site. I find “Ancestry Family Tree Maker”, which synchs with my Ancestry Tree, to be most valuable in creating reports, on selected parts of my large tree, which I then either print out and “snail mail” or email direct to other family and genuine researchers.  My Ancestry Tree is private, which enables me maintain it’s integrity and stop people “swiping” branches off my Tree and incorrectly grafting onto their own. Genuine researchers can always make a personal request and so we share, and share, alike.

“Find My Past” provides access to information not available on Ancestry and also serves as a double checking mechanism which I find invaluable.

4. What has been your ‘best’ find?

Oh… there are just so very many it’s impossible to select a “best“. However some of my research has led to amazing amounts of information which is valuable to many, apart from me. Here are a few examples which I hope will encourage many new researchers in their detective work.

Tracking down my paternal Grandfather, Henry Eden Crout  jnr,  and finding so many living relatives in Canada, connecting with them and forging great friendships is indeed a highlight. That came about through accessing his marriage certificate I found on “free BMD” then purchased, contacting his Army Regiment, accessing his Canadian Attestation papers for WW1 and once I knew where, in Canada, he lived I trawled the Internet and left a message of a Veteran’s Redevelopment Housing Estate Website and some 9 months later I got a reply. I’ve now found more “Canadian Cousins” than “you can shake a stick at” and am far happier than I can say    😥

Finding all the children of my Irish 2x Great Grandmother, Susan Kelleher, was another delight. Initially my problems were because she had been married before wedding my 2x Great Grandfather, Susan first married Edward Nicholls, had 3 children and was widowed when the youngest was just a baby. Much sorting and sifting, trips to Country Family History Centres, communicating with others and online research reaped a rich reward. What a joy to be contacted by a direct relation of Susan’s only son, who lives in Queensland and to be told what pleasure my research had given to her aging Grandfather. There was some sort of mixed up family story that he had been “on the run from the police” but my post “Of Scabs and Riots” showed that they had every reason to be very proud of our Andrew Rowen.

Another highlight, which I must mention, was being contacted by a woman in Queensland who had found my information about hubbie’s Grandmother on Ancestry. She was researching this Hembury family in support of a woman, here in Adelaide, who was writing a book on Nana’s family. They knew nothing about this branch of the family other than that which was published on my Ancestry Tree. Agreeing to see who else I could find was challenge but with a huge payout when so many of Nana’s living relatives joined us for the Hembury Family Reunion and Book Launch  some 12 months later.  What a joy!!!

5. Who is your favourite ancestor and why?

My Susan Kelleher… indeed she is. Well, that is apart from my darling mum, of course.

Susan is my 2x Great Grandmother who at the age of 18 arrived from County Clare, Ireland, on the “bride ship” the Nashwauk which was wrecked off the coast of South Australian, on 13 May 1855, just 40 miles from their destination of Port Adelaide. As a child I thrilled to the stories of the girls being carried ashore on the backs of the sailors and many holidays were spent in the vicinity of the Wreck Site and family photos taken around the “Nashwauk Anchor”. It is Susan who began my love of/ obsession with Family history and saving her daughter’s grave at Cheltenham Cemetery has led me to help others save the graves of their Ancestors as well. I “feel” Susan very close to me all the time and many with even a “touch of the Irish” know what I mean by this.

Next is my Marie…and I must mention her. Marie is my dad’s mother and she is the person who was “the wind beneath my wings” encouraging me to keep on keeping on, one tired step after another to eventually find dad’s childhood home in Windhill, Shipley, Yorkshire, England and bring back the photos which delighted, and comforted, him in his declining years. I have a sense that Marie was pleased and also that she’s satisfied I’ve discovered where her errant husband disappeared to and that the family has finally become whole. Incidentally, when I asked June what  our Grandfather would think of us tracking each other down, she said he would probably say… “Nosey little buggers…”  but we sure are smiling with the happiness of it.

6. What are you looking for on a regular basis?

A number of things. Most important, to me, is finding the links to bring our estranged family back together again, particularly those of us who are still living.  Then finding the family stories, understanding the period in which the Ancestors lived and trying to understand who they were as people, what motivated them and what it is they were passionate about.

From time to time there have been individuals I’m particularly curious about whom seem to have “fallen of the planet“, particularly female ancestors whom we know can be very difficult to track down.  One such person is Rosa Patience Crout who was a first cousin to my Great Grandfather Henry Eden Crout snr. As well as being cousins, Rosa and Henry also married, I lost track of them and finally found Henry with a “visitor” and her child, Henry Eden Moody (whom ultimately became my Grandfather, Henry Eden Crout jnr), on a Census but his wife/ cousin Rosa Patience had disappeared, I could not find her anywhere and did “fret”.  I wrote about the missing Rosa HERE but have not had a chance yet to write the follow-up story i.e. about 2 months ago, along with one of my Canadian cousins, I found Rosa had become Rose Crout and had  “married” another man.  That made me SO happy but then Rosa (now Rose) has disappeared again. My newly discovered Canadian cousin Jane and I think Rosa may be a “serial bride”, for want of a better description, and we chuckle over the thought of it.

7. Do you belong to any genealogy group, or family history society?

For decades now, ever since I started researching my family, I’ve been a member of the “South Australian Genealogy & Heraldry Society Inc” and also their Irish Group. I’d often thought about joining one, or maybe both, of the local Family History Groups nearby but kept thinking there was not much to be gained as none of my Ancestors ever lived here which has been the home of me, hubbie and our children, for the past 40 plus years. Then, thanks to the wonders of the Internet, I discovered that the “Adelaide Northern Districts Family History Group” has not only local family history resources but a wide range of resources, on hand, and also internet access to even more… so I joined “lickety spit” and have discovered a great group of people with the same interests. Why John even taught me how to say “Portsmouth”, where many of my dad’s Ancestors lived for generations, with the correct Hampshire accent. He delights in giving me a little “test” each time we meet up. I found much to be gained, apart from accessing resources, when joining a local Family History/Genealogy Group.

Twenty years ago I joined the South Australian “Irish Australian Association” and spent many happy hours banging on the “Bodhran” and tweeting on the “Tin Whistle” in their Celtic Music Group… not to mention singing songs, rhymes, ditties and having  conversations in “the Irish” in their Irish Language classes and attending a number of  “Language Summer Schools” interstate and making a whole heap of other wonderful friends. So, an obsession with Family History can indeed lead to other friendship groups, is what I’ve found.

8. Do you belong to any Facebook or other social media genealogy groups? Would you join if there was one available?

Oh yes… and maybe too many I’m thinking and may need to begin to “cull”.  As well as membership in many “groups” I’m also an Administrator for two small “dedicated” and “secret” groups which is an effective tool sharing research information with just a few.  I’m also a Joint Administrator for another far more demanding “group“. Thank heavens for having loyal people working with you because this one I’d certainly not be able to manage on my own.

As well as having a Facebook page “South Australia matters”, which is lots of fun, includes genealogy and family history but much more also. In addition,  I’ve “liked” very many Genealogy Facebook pages which was a bit over-whelming initially but once you learn how to “manage” them it’s a breeze and so much valuable information comes to you via these “pages”. 

Facebook is a comfortable place for me, probably because many, many years ago my eldest Grandson who was then 11 years old said, “Mamo, you have to go on Facebook” and there and then he set me up.  Sometimes I think that now he’s older her may regret this action…  So, it’s been my children, and grandchildren, who introduced me to the joy of Facebooking, showed me the pitfalls, advised where I’ve “gone wrong”, and all the rest of it… including ways to maintain security without falling for the endless “scare campaigns” which appear from time to time. My personal page is deliberately small and is where I enjoy to meet with family and close friends and especially delight in seeing photos of the “littlies” as they grow up and get to hear of their achievements which I’d miss out on without the wonder that is Facebook. I do understand, however, that Facebook is not a “comfortable place” for others.

Worth mentioning also is that I use “Twitter” for accessing, and sharing, information on a whole range of topics which are of interest. Some happen to be genealogical / historical, in nature, some are not. Twitter is not a place where I go to socialise.

Finally, another valuable source of online information, which I enjoy, are the Internet Newspapers to which I’ve subscribed.  One example is our Jill Ball’s  ” Australian Genealogist Daily” but I also subscribe to a range of others whose content is not  focussed on geneaology.

9. Have you ever volunteered to transcribe, index etc.? Would you be interested in doing so?

No, although I certainly admire, and appreciate, the work of  people who donate their own valuable time to do this transcribing for others and try always to show my appreciation. I have some information which I’m thinking the Clare Roots Society, or maybe some other similar Group, would appreciate but am not sure how to go about it. Maybe this post will result in contact from someone advising how best I can do this.

10. What is your personal reason for being involved with genealogy/family history?

For me it’s about knowing who you are, where you come from and what the forces are that shaped you. Also it has a lot to do with the fact that, after my Nana died, mum split from her very large family which has left me with a childhood longing to “reconnect” with the lost “rellies”. I was only 6 at the time and have very fond memories but, as an adult, understand exactly why mum made that very difficult decision.

After decades of research, clarifying the truth in the many “family stories” and especially debunking the nonsense with “verifiable” information, I then needed to find a way to pass this information on. I believe that I owe this to my Ancestors.  Many of their other descendants I don’t know and there are others I rarely meet up with nowadays so, once again, it was my children who showed me the way forward… i.e. “blogging”.  It took a while for me to work out the “blogging platform” which best suits me but it was well worth all the time and tryouts.


Well there you have it and hope it’s helpful to others…  🙂


Copyright © 2013. Catherine Ann Crout-Habel

A Social Media Geneame

social-media-iconsJill Ball at Geniaus put forward a small geneame on Social Media and asked if we were up for the challenge. Before proceeding I firstly  needed to be clear, in my own head, just what it is that I’m discussing … so turned to the “Google” search engine and decided this is the most fitting which came from “The Social Media Guide”.  

“Social Media is the sharing of user (human) created information and interacting on-line using Internet technology.” 



1. Tell us about your favourite social media tool and why you like it.

I love it all but my favouite definitely is Facebook because it’s here that I connect with family and friends, whom I rarely get to see face to face, and “press the flesh”, so to speak.  More recently genealogy friends have sent “friend requests” which is great, but my FBook focus is still on family matters, with a little of the genealogy thrown in.

However, my genealogical use of Facebook is through specific interest groups… and for this it’s brilliant!!!

2. How do you use social media to further your genealogy career or business?

Genealogy is a hobby for me, not a career. I use Facebook, Blogging and Twitter to pass on family stories and share interesting info which may be useful to others who are researching their Family History. Have had a bit of a dabble with Pinterest, just to see what it’s about, but haven’t got far with that. Was encouraged by my nephew to join Linkedn but haven’t gone very far with that either. However, YouTube is an absolute must and vid’s are often included in my Blog posts to illustrate or accentuate a point… or just for fun.

3. What advice would you give the cruiser who said “I must be living
under a rock” and is not sure about coming out from under it? (This came from my Social Media presentation)

It makes me sad that so many, of my age, shy away from the computer. However, through my teaching career, I know that the best and quickest way for a person to learn something is if they have a need. So, I tend to talk to people about what fun it is for me, how much information (of all sorts) is online and how surprising easy I found it to be and suggest they might enjoy it too.  If they start to show interest I point out ways they can begin to learn about it e.g. local library lessons, adult education courses etc… and, of course, am always willing to lend a hand if it’s what they want.

4. What aspect of Social Media makes you grit your teeth?

None really… I do get slighly irritated when fascinating blogs restrict access and wonder why they don’t simply add access via an email link… If they did, I’d follow them.

I get a little “miffed” when feeling like I’m constantly talking to myself. Of course I don’t expect every comment to get a response but sometimes eventually do come to the conclusion that what I have to say is either boring to that person, or they don’t want/ value comments, so I just stop commenting, whether it’s Facebook or Blogs. After all, social media is a 2 way street and anything else is really just a news report, I reckon, and  requires no comment. However, I do realise that having “WordPress” as a blogging platform gives me a huge advantage in that I’m notified if people comment and they can indicate if they want a reply, or to read comments by others, etc… so it’s very easy for me, and my readers, to maintain contact. So, lack of a response really isn’t a problem nor does it make me “grit” my teeth but can be mildly irritating, at times.

Am also greatful that “WordPress” has “Asmiket and chucks out the SPAM… whooo hooo!… which also means that  I don’t have to use those annoying/ eye straining “captcha” devices… phew.

5. How does social media assist with your CGD (continuing genealogical development)?

Access to on-line data bases because so much of my research is overseas…  I keep my ancestry blog private, for reasons I don’t need to go into here, but love it when people contact me about a family member and we begin a dialogue. Have discovered heaps of “cousins” that way via Ancestry messages.

Then all kinds of tips, technological advice etc. which people blog about… which I always try to try to pass on. I especially value those readers of my blog who give suggestions as to possibilities for chipping away at some of those “brick walls”.


Twitter is brilliant for quick links which often lead to extremely valuable information.  I don’t use twitter for personal reasons but do post blogs of friends and family, whether they’re genealogical or not, and re-tweet. It’s such a thrill when someone re-tweets something of mine and always try to send a thankyou fo the RT. Retweets come up on my email so it’s very easy and quick to do.

WordPress also has a wonderful “re-blogging” facility, which makes it so easy to re- blog the post another WordPress user which is particularly captivating and interesting.
It’s a wonderful way to share information and value the work of other bloggers.

6. How do you fit social media time into your busy day?

Being retired means I have much more “leisure” time now so it’s not a problem. My children, and grandchildren’s, legacy is the extensive family tree I’ve put together, and the family stories on my blog to back it up… so it’s time well spent and a joy. Also, I need to get as much recorded before I too “fall off the twig”. ha ha ha…


Having said that, I don’t let it rule my life. Sometimes I just need to slow down and sometimes even have a complete break for awhile… Remembering always my dear mum’s warning… “Don’t make a rod for your own back, Catherine!”

I always start with Facebook to see how my loved ones are travelling and then to emails. The first to be opened are the personal, then on to emails about my blog posts comments and those re: from blogger friends, then back to Facebook and my Genealogical Groups… Back to emails and other blogs and tweets but not always in that order…  My priority is always family contact.

7. Do you have a story of how social media enabled you to connect with a long lost relation or fellow researcher?

Many amazing examples but two of the best are:

(a) Locating a half cousin in Canada. I discovered, initially via Ancestry, that my dad’s father scarpered from the UK across to Canada, less that 12 months after dad was born, and had another family over there. So I “googled” the Surname + City & Province and up came a Blog about about the re-development of a defence housing estate. Scrolling through various names and details made me strongly suspect some of the names were referring to my Canadian “step- family” so left a comment. Six months later it received a reply and June is the only other living Grandaughter, grew up with our Grandfather, is the “keeper” of all the records/ photos and we’re so happy working together to record and connect his two families. What a joy!

(b) Receiving a surprise Ancestry message from Queensland advising that a woman, here in Adelaide, was writing a “Hembury Family History Book” and my Tree on Ancestry showed that mine was the only family they knew of re: one particular family line.  The question was: Did I know any other members of that line?   Well, I didn’t cos it’s my former husband’s family via his Nana… Anyway, I got to it cos it’s my children & their children’s direct ancestors/descendants and, HOOLEY DOOLEY, ended up with SO much info. Our Branch ended up with the biggest turn up at the Hembury Reunion/ book launch and there are more reunions to come… amazing!!!

8. You have a minute to share a piece of advice about genealogy and social media. Go for it.

Well, I began blogging because I saw  it as a way to record  Family Stories that could be accessed not just by my children/ grandchildren but by nieces and nephews whom I rarely see nowadays. The best thing I did, with the help of my children, was to research and give careful thought to which blogging platform would best suit me and then just went for it.

There’s lots of on-line information to help you along and the genealogical community is so generous with their support and advice so make contact, maintain communication, offer your own support and encouragment and you’ll never be sorry.

Social Media is about communicating through technology so try it all. You’ll soon work out what works best for you. Finally, always being willing to give new “things” a try, ask for help and most of all enjoy!!!


CATHERINE.MEWhy don’t you take up Jill’s challenge and share your thoughts on the use of Social Media for Genealogy? Just click HERE for the questions and be sure to send Jill a link back to your post.  Cheerio, Catherine.

Copyright © 2013. Catherine Ann Crout-Habel

Changes afoot…

Windows Live Writer

Windows Live Writer (Photo credit: janten)

Well, here I am with a new computer, “Windows 7, Internet Explorer 9” and am trying out “Windows Live Writer”, as an alternative way of writing and publishing my blog.

I wonder how it will go?


Copyright © 2012. Catherine Crout-Habel

Finding Family… dad’s 1st cousin 2x removed

Is there a more satisfying feeling when you’ve gone that extra mile, checked that extra record, about to “throw in the towel” and then SUCCESS???…  I’m smiling 😀  

My dad’s “Crout family”, from Hampshire, England, are a complicated bunch but so so interesting.  After much hunting and searching I reckon I’ve finally located all of my Great Great Grandfather’s 10 siblings. Takes a heck of a lot of time to do even a quick search of each of them, especially if they too have large families… and some of them sure do… puff puff puff.

Well, I’ve been slowly working through Great Great Grandad’s siblings and finally got to one of his 5 younger sisters, Frances Sophia Crout.  Her second son, fathered 15 children!!!.  By the time I worked through all that lot, their marriages and their children, Frances Sophia’s next child was a bit of a relief, in some ways, as no documentary evidence jumped out at me. With a sigh of relief I was about to put Henry Frederick to one side with the thought that maybe he’d died young and I just hadn’t found the evidence yet. Something stopped me and how happy I am that it did for, to my delight and surprise, another fascinatingly interesting part of my family “came to light”.

BDM indexes, census reports, passenger lists etc. show that my 1st cousin 3x removed, Henry Frederick Johnston… the fourth of my 2nd Great Grand Aunt’s children married Mary. They had 2 sons and then in 1902 Henry “scarpered across the pond” to Canada without his wife and children just like my own Grandfather did 10 years later. However, much to my surprise, instead of this Henry setting up with a new wife and family… his wife Mary and sons; Keith Stewart and Jack Murray joined him 10 years later.

Like my Grandfather, Henry (Harry) Eden Crout, young Jack also joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force and fought in France throughout World War 1, although in different regiments. I wonder if they knew each other? My Grandfather migrated to Montreal, Quebec… whilst Jack, his brother and parents moved to Winipeg, Manitoba.

More work to be done yet, of course 🙂 … but what an amazing journey it’s been with these Crout’s, of mine. Despite the family stories, I’ve found not a drop of Scottish blood in any of them. At least my Grandmother Marie Ogilvie’s dad, James, was Scottish. You can read about that here and a little about her Grandfather who was born, and died, in Elgin Scotland here.

However, I now know where my fascination with sailing ships comes from and that certainly is not just from my Grandpa, Frederick Alexander Allan.  

“Aye, aye, matie!!!” … 😀


Copyright © 2012. Catherine Crout-Habel. “Seeking Susan ~ Meeting Marie ~ Finding Family