A little more Cuckoo History

TBD did a brief story on Cuckoo, Virginia last year.  The home, built in 1819 by Henry Pendleton, finds historical significance in it’s name.

What’s in a name? For a small village in Central Virginia, the name “Cuckoo” gets a few chuckles from visitors. But the historic village was named after a tavern that played a role in the Revolutionary War. Dr. Jane Pendleton Wootton and Dr. Percy Wootton own the house that was built on the site of the legendary Cuckoo Tavern. And for them Cuckoo is home.

Cuckoo was two miles from the epicenter of the earthquake that rattled Virginia on August 23, 2011, and the house sustained significant damage. I stopped by to take a picture of the repair progress last month.

Scaffolding surrounds Cuckoo as the house is repaired from earthquake damage

St. Peter’s Parish Church cemetery records

It had been at least a few years since I searched for Lacy family information online. Yesterday I was pleasantly surprised by the information now readily available from the St. Peter’s website, including an index of cemetery records.  I briefly visited the church a few years ago, though it was more to take in the environment than to research. Now that I know where to find the Lacy plots, I need to visit again.

St. Peter's Parish Church, New Kent County Virginia

Potential prominent present-day relatives

According to Ancestry.com, President Obama is related to the likes of Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh and others who have a differing political views. My personal interest piqued when I read that Obama and Limbaugh share a common ancestor named Richmond Terrell.

With a little help from Google, it looks like one Richmond Terrell (born or baptised ca. 1624)  is the tenth great grandfather of one Barack Hussein Obama, Jr.  I suspect that same Richmond Terrell is the one that reportedly has a tenth great grandchild named Rush Hudson Limbaugh III.

My own family research led me to to name Richmond Terrell a few years ago. My second great grandfather, Richmond Terrell Lacy, Jr., is the grandson of a Jane Terrell that may—or may not!—be the daughter of Richmond Terrell III. As of yet I have had no luck finding substantiated evidence, but if I do… Then it will be proven that I have relatives that can piss off anybody across the political spectrum!

Another picture of Cuckoo

From Winston of Virginia and Allied Families (1927):


"Cuckoo", Louisa County, Virginia. Home of Henry Pendleton (1762-1822)

Staten Island Schuetzenfest

I just discovered an old New York Times article, The Staten Island Schuetzenfest, from Aug 5, 1874.  Apparently a Schuetzenfest is a traditional sharpshooting festival, and this article discussed the first large Schuetzenfest in the New York area.

August Schütz, my third-great-grandfather, probably lived in Staten Island at the time (he moved from Staten Island to Manhattan at some point before 1880), so I have to imagine with a great name like Schütz he must have been around for the Schützenfest.

It seems as though there have been a number of Schuetzen Corps clubs around New York in the late 19th century.  (I would have gotten along great with my ancestors.)  I may just have to see if there are any modern day clubs.


THE STATEN ISLAND SCHUETZENFEST. (1874, August 5). New York Times (1857-1922),p. 5.  Retrieved February 24, 2010, from ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 – 2006). (Document ID: 79227125).

“Cuckoo”, Louisa County, Virginia

A tidbit on a fifth-great grandfather, Henry Pendleton. (Clayton Torrence, Winston of Virginia and Allied Families (Richmond, Virginia: Whittet & Shepperson, 1927), p. 203-205)

Henry Pendleton (son of John and Sarah Madison Pendleton), born December 4, 1762. During early manhood he settled in Louisa County and there married…Alcey Ann Winston…daughter of John and Alice Bickerton Winston, of Hanover County. …

He was a member of the Hanover County Militia during the latter part of the Revolutionary War, for his name is signed to a petition dated May 24, 1782, of officers and privates against a draft law for raising recruits for Continental Army.

… Henry Pendleton’s first place of residence in Louisa County was on Southanna River near North East Creek. In 1818 and 1819 he sold this property and moved to “Cuckoo” (near the centre of the county), which he had purchased from the estate of William [Overton] Callis, deceased. At “Cuckoo” he built the old mansion house (which is still standing and is occupied by his descendants).

"Cuckoo" historical marker

"Cuckoo" historical marker

I have a photo of the house from about 100 years ago – I’ll try to make a point of uploading it soon.

"Cuckoo", modern day

"Cuckoo", modern day

August Schutz probate

WILLS FOR PROBATE, New York Times, New York, New York, 4 July 1912, pg. 15.

SCHUTZ, AUGUST, (died June 28;) left $3,000 personalty: legacies of unestimated value to Louise, August, George, William P., Charles and John Schutz, children.

($3,000 in 1912 would be roughly equivalent to $65,000 today.)

Christina M. “Babe” Minor obituary

MINOR–Christina M., suddenly March 20, 1975, formerly of 92 Grove St., Greenwich Village, real estate broker for 50 years. Survived by her sister Adeline M. Schutz. Memorial services Saturday March 29, 10 A.M. at St. Luke’s Chapel, Trinity Parish, 487 Hudson St., N. Y. C.

Deaths, New York Times, New York, New York, 27 March 1975, page 28.

Raymond Rice Minor obituary, 10 May 1932

Great great granddad was a Mason. Who knew?

MINOR – On Sunday, May 8, at his late residence, 51 Barrow St., New York City; Raymond R. Minor, in his eighty-fourth year, dearly beloved husband of Margaret Minor, member of St. Cecile Lodge, No. 568, F. and A. M.; Corinthian Chapter, No. 159, R. A. M. and Columbian Council, No. 1, R. E. and S. E. M. Funeral services on Wednesday, May 11, at St. Luke’s Chapel, Hudson and Grove Sts., at 1 P. M.; thence to Masonic Temple, 24th St. and 6th Av., for Masonic services. Interment at Evergreen Cemetery.

More about August Schutz and Dettendorf

I am beginning to cross the Atlantic for the first time (in a genealogical sense) with the Schutz family. I received some very helpful e-mails from someone who was kind enough to explain much about tracing families back to Germany and the kingdoms that preceded it. Below are the contents of two of those e-mails.

Message 1:

To start, you have to be aware that like the U.S., Germany has always been made up of states. We’re talking here about the southern German state of Bavaria (in German: Bayern), the capital of which is the city of Munich. Bavaria covers an area about half that covered by the U.S. state of New York.

The religious denomination is just the information I needed. There are three Dettendorfs in the state of Bavaria, but two of them are Catholic towns, so you can cross those off your list. That leaves the one Lutheran Dettendorf, which is the Dettendorf August Schutz would have had to have come from.

August Schutz was from the village of Dettendorf located in the region of western Bavaria known as Middle Franconia (in German: Mittelfranken), the administrative seat of which is the city of Ansbach, and the largest city in which is Nuremberg. The nearest larger city is to Dettendorf is Neustadt an der Aisch (Neustadt on the Aisch). There was large-scale emigration from this area to America back in the 1800s.

It’s important for you to know that Dettendorf is no longer an independent village. Back in 1970s, Dettendorf was annexed by the nearby town of Diespeck. So today, Dettendorf is a section of Diespeck.

German churches in the United States tended to keep rather detailed records. So I would suggest as your next step requesting a copy of August’s church marriage record. I know the German churches in New York well, so if you could scan and send me the full city marriage record as an e-mail attachment, I’m sure I’ll be able to tell you what church he and his wife got married at.

Message 2:

The marriage certificate confirms something I had suspected. It has to do with your last name. In Germany, your last name is Schütz — written with two dots, called in German an “Umlaut”, over the “u”. Schütz is a very common name in Germany. The rule in German is that if the “Umlaut” is left off of a vowel where it should be, the “Umlaut” gets replaced with the letter “e”. Thus, Schütz should have become Schuetz in America. In your case, somebody — whether August himself or one or more of his children — apparently decided to simply drop the “Umlaut” here in America without replacing it with the letter “e”. So technically speaking, you spell your last name incorrectly.The “Umlaut” is very important in German. In German, Schütz or Schuetz is pronounced completely differently than “Schutz” would be pronounced. The “Umlaut” will completely change the meaning of a word as well. For example, “schön” or “schoen” is the German word for “beautiful”, whereas “schon” is the German word for “already”. And again, “schön” or “schoen” is pronounced completely differently than “schon” is pronounced.

I note from the marriage record that Louisa (in German: Luise) Kettner was from the town of Wildbad (pronounced: VILT-baht), located in what was until 1945 the southwestern German state of Württemberg — or if written without the “Umlaut” over the “u”, Wuerttemberg — the capital of which was the city of Stuttgart. Wuerttemberg covers an area about the same as that covered by the U.S. states of Connecticut and Rhode Island combined. The people of Wuerttemberg are called Swabians (in German: Schwaben).

Wildbad is a spa located in the northern part of the famous Black Forest (in German: Schwarzwald), about 40 miles west of Stuttgart. Since 1991, Wildbad’s official name has been Bad Wildbad. “Bad” — pronounced: BAHT — is the German word for “bath”. All spas in Germany begin with “Bad”. The reason why this wasn’t the case with Wildbad until 1991 is simply because the name “Wildbad” already contains the word “Bad”.

Following World War II, the state of Baden (capital: Karlsruhe), the state of Wuerttemberg, and the very small Prussian province of Hohenzollern (capital: Sigmaringen) combined to form today’s postwar southwestern German state of Baden-Württemberg (Baden-Wuerttemberg), with the city of Stuttgart as its capital. Today’s Baden-Wuerttemberg covers an area a little smaller than that covered by the U.S. states of Maryland and Delaware combined.

One historical note: Until 1918 and the abolition of the German monarchies following World War I, both Bavaria and Wuerttemberg were Kingdoms; that is, the reigning monarch of each was a King.

August and Louisa were married at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in the old village of Edgewater in Staten Island. (Staten Island, like Brooklyn and Queens, became part of New York City in 1898, at which time Staten Island’s towns and villages were of course abolished.) The pastor at the time was Charles Goehling. You could contact the church and request a copy of the church marriage record. The church marriage record might possibly include the maiden names of August and Louisa’s mothers, which the civil marriage record does not include. The church is now in the process of putting the old records online, but at this point, the marriage records available online go back only as far as 1882. Here is the contact information for the church:

Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church

309 St. Pauls Avenue

Staten Island, NY 10304

phone: (718) 447-0526

Just a word about August Schütz’s religious denomination: You said in your reply to me on the GenForum message board that it was your “educated guess” that he was a Protestant and not a Roman Catholic. Well, had he been a Catholic, I doubt very much that he would have gotten married in a Lutheran church, particularly not back in those days. So I think you can forget the “educated guess”. I think you can say very definitely that August was a Protestant and not a Catholic.