His name is Bruno

Another cousin.

A paternal side cousin.

And it still surprises The Legal Genealogist to find paternal side cousins even after having found a bunch of them over the years.

I grew up believing I didn’t have any paternal side cousins — or for that matter — any real likelihood of any paternal side family at all.

My father, I was told, was an only child (though later I learned he’d had one sister who died before he was born) and both of his parents were dead before I was born. The only relatives I ever heard of on that side of the family were “two old maiden aunts” who had lived in Chicago.

So I grew up, essentially, with my mother’s family as the only family I knew, and the only family I even knew anything about.

It wasn’t until I got into genealogy that I got the facts on my father’s family. Yes, he and the sister who died before his birth were the only children of his parents, and yes, his parents were dead before I was born.

But the “two old maiden aunts” weren’t — one was his father’s aunt and the other his father’s cousin, and the descendants of the “old maiden aunt” cousin are all over my DNA match list these days.

And since my grandfather was the youngest of seven children, and the fourth of the six who lived past World War I to come to come to the United States, and my grandmother one of four children who lived to adulthood, well, let’s just say that yes I have paternal cousins.

But it’s still new enough that it’s a welcome surprise every time I find another one — and this one is a surprise in a lot of ways.

Welcome, cousin Bruno.

It turns out that the Berlin birth record collection at Ancestry has just been expanded to include those born in the early years of the 20th century, all the way into 1906. And Bruno Graumüller was born on the 8th of November 1903, and his birth registered in Berlin on the 13th of November.1

Cousin Bruno

At first I wasn’t sure Bruno was a cousin. But linking some records together, there’s no question:

• The record says Bruno was born to Amalie Graumüller, whose maiden name was Peter, and “der korbmacher” (the basketmaker or wicker worker) Emil Graumüller.2

• The marriage of “der korbmacher” Karl Emil Graumüller, born in Köstritz on 1 July 1865, and Amalie Peter Kathe was recorded in Berlin on 18 July 1891.3

• My grandfather’s uncle, Emil Graumüller, came to the United States in 1904, listing his marital status as married, his occupation as basket maker, and his last residence in Germany as Berlin.4 His departure record from Hamburg, in German, listed his occupation as “korbm.” (basketmaker).5

• On Emil’s naturalization petition in 1910, he said he was born 1 June 1865 in Köstritz, came to the United States in 1904, and his wife Amelia lived in Berlin, Germany.6

Put that all together and it’s pretty clear that Bruno and my paternal grandfather — son of Emil’s sister Emma — were first cousins. Which would make him my first cousin twice removed.

On my father’s side.

Which of course raises a whole bunch of additional questions.

• Emil and Amelia were married in 1891. Were there other children born to them before 1903? I don’t see any obvious candidates in the index to the Berlin birth records but we all know how good (… sigh …) indexes can be.

• Why did Emil leave his family behind to come to the United States in 1904? Did he ever send for them? Is there a divorce record I need to find?

• And the big one: what happened to Bruno? Did he live, grow, thrive, marry, leave children? There’s no death record for Bruno that’s indexed in the Berlin death records, but (a) they only go up to 1920 and (b) remember what I said about how good (… sigh …) indexes can be.

And some people think genealogy is something you can finish

Meanwhile, in Berlin… more work to do.

Cite/link to this post: Judy G. Russell, “Meanwhile, in Berlin…,” The Legal Genealogist (https://www.legalgenealogist.com/blog : posted 9 Feb 2019).


  1. Berlin Standesamt (Civil Registration Office) XIIa, birth registration nr. 2884 (13 Nov 1903), Bruno Graumüller; digital images, “Berlin, Germany, Births, 1874-1906,” Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 8 Feb 2019), citing Landesarchiv Berlin; Berlin, Deutschland; Personenstandsregister Geburtsregister; Laufende nummer: 709.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Berlin Standesamt (Civil Registration Office) Xa, marriage registration nr. 622 (18 July 1891), Karl Emil Graumüller and Amalie Kathe; digital images, “Berlin, Germany, Marriages, 1874-1920,” Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 8 Feb 2019), citing Landesarchiv Berlin; Berlin, Deutschland; Heiratsregister der Berliner Standesämter.
  4. Manifest, SS Graf Waldersee, page 31 (stamped), line 29, Emil Graumüller; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 8 Feb 2019); citing NARA microfilm publication T715, roll 501.
  5. Departure List, SS Graf Waldersee, page 1792, line 23, Emil Graumüller; “Staatsarchiv Hamburg, Hamburg Passenger Lists, 1850-1934,” digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 9 Feb 2019), citing Staatsarchive Hamburg, 373-7 I, VIII A 1 Band 159 A, Seite 1792 (Mikrofilm Nr. K_1785).
  6. U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Petition for Naturalization, Emil Graumueller, 29 Dec 1910; Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685-2009, Record Group 21, National Archives, Chicago.
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