Monday, December 26, 2016

We Wrote a Book (And It's Now Online!)

Last year, right before Thanksgiving, I held a copy of "our book" in my hands for the first time. Although other authors/cousins had been working on the book since the previous year, I became a contributing author of The Holthoefer Family History in June of 2016.

Between June and October, we spent countless hours researching, writing, rewriting, proofreading, and fact checking the pages of our book. Since we are spread across the country, we emailed sections of the book back and forth while we worked on them.

Robert J. Yagley, H. Holt, M. Aragon, P. Holthoefer, D. Leeds, Holthoefer
Family History: A Historic Guide to Discovering Your Past: From
Serkenrode, Westphalia, Germany to the Early Years in Detroit, Wayne
County, Michigan,

Led by Robert "Bob" Yagley, five cousins compiled this book about our Holthoefer ancestors. All five of us are descended from Johann Franz Holthoefer (1804-1870) and Maria Catharina Schulte (1807-1850 ) who lived in Serkenrode, Westphalia, Germany. Johann Franz and Maria Catharina had eight children, six of whom survived to adulthood and immigrated to America where they settled in Detroit.

Although the book also shares some details about their life in Serkenrode, it primarily follows the lives of the six children:

  • Franz Joseph Holthoefer (1830-1888) who married Katharina Mullenbach (1835-1906)
  • Maria Francisca "Frances" Holthoefer (1833-1907) who married Franz "Frank" Adam (1826-1902), my great, great grandparents
  • Casper Joseph Holthoefer (1835-1918) who married Amelia Keusch (1843-1932) and Magdalena Luche (1863-1923)
  • Marianna (Maria Anna) Holthoefer (1838-1911) who married Frank Xavier Petri (1827-1900)
  • Maria Elisabeth Holthoefer (1842-1905) who married Peter Keine (1840-1925)
  • Anna Maria Holthoefer (1846-1919) who married Anthony "Anton" Rolf (1838-1903)
Bob Yagley, with help from Ursula Buchholz, discovered our family came from Serkenrode. As a wonderful bonus, he also traced Frances Holthoefer's husband, my 2x great grandfather Frank Adam, back to nearby Olpe! 

Bob submitted our book to FamilySearch and it is now available online. Just click here to see our book, or go to FamilySearch "books" and search for Holthoefer.

Are you related to our family? I'd love to talk! Please leave a comment or email me at


  1. Fabulous accomplishment! Congratulations.

    Melissa Corn Finlay

    1. Thanks, Melissa. It was a lot of work, but well worth it!

  2. What a great achievement - congratulations! I'm waiting for a book, which includes my "peeps", to be published in 2017. I can't wait to see it in print.

    1. Thanks, Debi. It is really neat to see your own "peeps" in a book, especially when you contributed to the writing! Now, to write that next book...


The 1828 Will of Peter Close's Relict: Catharine Elizabeth Close

Yesterday, I shared the 1810 will of my 5th great grandfather , Peter Close of Armagh, Mifflin County, Pennsylvania. Peter's wife, Catha...