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Common errors in Michael genealogy
Posted by: Robert Fry (ID *****3045) Date: August 14, 2011 at 05:36:13
In Reply to: Christopher Michael's real father by Robert Fry of 1586

As I noted in my previous post, the birth and death dates often mistakenly assigned to Christopher Michael are actually based on his wife's gravestone in the Reformed Cemetery in Sharpsburg, Washington County, Maryland. The gravestone, in German, states that Ana Cadarina Michaelin died 14 August 1783 aged 75 years, 4 months, 10 days. The commonly assigned birthdate, April 4, 1708, is calculated from the death date and age WITHOUT TAKING INTO ACCOUNT the shift from the Julian calendar (Old Style) to the Gregorian calendar (New Style) that took place during Ana Cadarina's lifetime. If you take into account the shift in the calendar and the age is correct, Ana Cadarina's birthdate was actually March 24, 1708.

Based on the fact that two Christopher Michael's voted in Frederick County, Maryland in 1796, I believe that Christopher did not die until after 1796, and I believe that he was probably buried on his farm near Middletown, Maryland, not in Sharpsburg, where his son Ludwig lived until 1793.

As noted in my previous post, I believe that Ana Cadarina Michaelin was the Anna Catha. Lambert, born 19 Mar 1709 and baptized 23 Mar 1709 in Morzheim/Moerzheim, Germany. I do not believe that her maiden name was Thankbonder. In 30 years of genealogical research, I have never found anyone named Thankbonder in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Germany, or Switzerland. I don't know where the name Thankbonder came from.

Also in the Sharpsburg Reformed Cemetery is the gravestone of Ana Barbara Michaelin, who died 21 March 1783. Many researchers have listed her as a daughter of Christopher Michael, misreading her age at death as 41 years and 6 months. In fact, her age was 4 years and 6 months (4IAHR UND 6MONAT). Her small gravestone was also more appropriate to a child than to an adult. I believe she was most likely the daughter of Ludwig Michael.

I've also seen research that referred to Christopher Michael as a plantation owner and his farm "Sun is Down, Moon is Up" as a plantation. To someone who grew up on a farm near Middletown, Maryland, about two miles from "Sun is Down, Moon is Up", calling any farm in the area a "plantation" is amusing. Farms in this part of Maryland were humble family farms, not the big tobacco plantations found further east and south in Maryland.

Please help me clean up some of the widespread misconceptions about Christopher Michael and his family.

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