Monday, October 06, 2008

The Berbaums of Champaign, Illinois

Finding genealogy fascinating these days, I decided to do some sleuthing. Went to the library for information on Alice Marie Foley and her descendants. Alice buried two husbands before she was turned 45 years old in 1899. I knew about how many children she had and who her husbands were, but I did not know which husband was the father of which children, except for two. Alice's first husband was Patrick Dunbar. I knew he was the father of Wilhemina. I also knew her second husband was Charles Donohue, father of Charles Jr. I also knew there were two other daughters and one other son, but did not know their first names or their dads. The library came through, as usual and before long on Ancestry Library, I was sleuthing the old census records.

It turns out Patrick Dunbar was born in New York to parents who had been born in Scotland. He married Alice in Massachusetts. They had several children together. In addition to Wilhemina, he had daughters Beatrice and Agnes. Charles Donohue was the father to Charles and Tina. I also discovered that Wilhemina was married to August J. Berbaum. This being an unusual name, I decided to look further and was surprised with what I found. It turns out that the Berbaum name is alive and well in Champaign Illinois. When I googled the name I found 32 Berbaums residing there. It took only two calls to talk to a Berbaum who had the family records.

My initial contact was David Berbaum and he quickly told me that I needed to talk to Clarence, so I did. After a short and pleasant phone call, Clarence promised to send me what he could. We did determine that Clarence was not related to the Foleys but he had cousins who were. And he knew those cousins very well.

Today's mail brought the details. Wilhemina was known as Minnie, She and August had four children: Eloise, Kenneth, Edwin and Lawrence. Clarence had known Lawrence well, and his older brother Charles was friendly with Kenneth.and Edwin. Clarence has a wealth of information about the children, their jobs, their families and so on. Current relatives most likely would be descendants of Eloise and would be named Malone. Time to google again.