Even though I tend to be a sequential person, when I write or talk, my thoughts are like dandelion seeds that spread out in many directions. Curiosity causes me to go down all sorts of rabbit holes and investigate. My eldest sister Barbara has told me on many occasions that I ask too many questions. I will why something to death. Sometimes I get so distracted by tangents, I don’t get to my point or I flat out forget what I originally was thinking about. This can drive some people crazy.
Following up on an email promising to help me find more about my family heritage, I signed up for Genealogy Bank, thinking that I was signing up for Ancestry.com. Maybe one of these days I’ll pay closer attention to what I’m doing, but for now the site is providing me with all sorts of tidbits. Some pieces are more on the tid side of things than bits.
I read “Dr. Honthumb’s eleven-year-old son died in Cincinnati, Ohio, after falling off of a porch.” Must have been a high porch. Anyway, four years before that there was a lawsuit by a CA. Honthumb, a newspaper reporter. I know that there’s a Casper Honthumb, but I’m not sure if Dr. Honthumb and C.A. Honthumb and Casper are the same person.
Casper Alexander Honthumb was my paternal great grandfather. I didn’t realize my great-grandfather was a doctor. I like the internet because I am that much closer to information, but as in anything, sometimes the information on the internet isn’t accurate. I searched for images of Casper Honthumb. The last name is rare, the odds are slim that there was another Casper Honthumb. The first picture was Friedrich Kapp, and not Casper Honthumb. Why his picture came up with Casper, I’m not sure. There are a few more faces that come up for Casper Honthumb, but none are him.
What is strange is that Casper Honthumb is listed as being a member of German Student Corps. With just a few keystrokes, I found out that the German Student Corps has to do with fencing:
It is “the oldest still-existing kind of Studentenverbindung, Germany’s traditional university corporations; their roots date back to the 15th century. The oldest corps still existing today was founded in 1789. Its members are referred to as corps students (Corpsstudenten). The corps belong to the tradition of student fraternities which wear couleur and practice academic fencing.”
Just when I think I have come to a reasonable rabbit hole, I click on his clickable Wikipedia name. How cool is that, I think. Instead of progress, I hit the end of the trail with “Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. Please search for Caspar Alexander Honthumb in Wikipedia to check for alternative titles or spellings.” Of course, that clickable item only tells me that the name doesn’t exist. I’m also a little confused because this source says his occupation is a journalist. He was the “contributing editor New Yorker Staats-Zeitung, Cincinnati Volksfreund, Puck, Corps Hannovera Göttingen”
I suppose back then he could have been both, a doctor turned journalist. Did he just fence while studying medicine? I’d be intrigued on what couleur he wore, that is if couleur translates into colors.
It took me a while to realize that the photos that were coming up in connection to my great-grandfather were members of German Student Corps. I thought that this person was very dignified, though probably not a student. So much for understanding the connections of pictures and group. This last guy is Constantine I of Greece. No wonder he looks impressive.
Information can be a double-edged sword for tangentalists like me. If that’s not a word, it really should be. Maybe I just got a vowel or two in the wrong place. Please forgive me; that’s one tangent I don’t want to follow. Because so much information is available to me, I could float away like the dandelion seeds. Hither and Dither. Dither isn’t looking like the word I want.
Since typing in Casper Honthumb in image was getting me all sorts of pictures, I thought if I used quotation marks, that would narrow the search down. I was really surprised to get this picture:
I don’t know German. This came with the photo: “Her ser man, hvordan de danske soldater er nødt til at rejse sig op for at lade forladergeværerne.” Maybe it’s not German.
Sometimes errant rabbit holes turn out to be something. from this picture, I found this line. Again, it’s not in English, so I don’t know what it says. “Blodtrøsten griber den preussiske soldat Casper Honthumb omkring klokken 10.30 den 18. april.”
And again, “‘Omkring mig lå døde og sårede i stort antal (…) de jamrede og stønnede’, og: “da kunne jeg ikke fornægte den blodtørstige fornøjelse (1), skriver Casper Honthumb.” Could I make a guess that skriver has something to do with writing and that this is what he was reporting on?
I guess the copy editor of this article was not paying attention because the next time my great-grandfather’s name comes up, “Caper Honthumb er, som de fleste andre preussere der denne dag stormer de danske skanser, bevæbnet med et bagladegevær.” his name was misspelled.
I sure I wish I knew what this translated into: “Så selv om kroppen nægter at rejse sig, så kan Casper Honthumb alligevel lade, sigte og affyre sit gevær mod de danske soldater, der flygter over marken på vej ned mod brohovedet ved Alssund.”
My great-grandfather’s name is written quite often in this article. Why? Was it for good things? I should ask my cousin in California who is writing about my dad’s side of the family. If I remember correctly, her Grandmother was my grandfather, Benno Honthumb’s sister, Vera Maxwell.
I wonder if my great grandfather is in this photo? Even without being able to read the article, I got the impression that the Prussians were involved in this battle and am guessing that it had to do with World War I. Would my great-grandfather on my father’s side be part of the same war that my grandfather on my mother’s side was involved in. Burgess Preston Stanley, my grandfather, fought in France during World War I. Well, I don’t know if he fought; I just know he was stationed in France during the Great War.
I guess I have more digging to do. Thanks for joining me.