DiscoverThe Family Histories PodcastS03EP01 - 'The Benefactor' with Denise Geelhart
S03EP01 - 'The Benefactor' with Denise Geelhart

S03EP01 - 'The Benefactor' with Denise Geelhart

Update: 2022-05-03


In this first episode of Series Three, host Andrew Martin meets genealogist and fellow podcaster Denise Geelhart. He'll find out how she got hooked on family history, how she researches her American and German roots, and balances that with researching the family history of the perpetrators and victims of true crime for her Murderous Roots podcast.

Life Story: Joseph Haberstroh
Denise has chosen her German 3x Gt Grandfather, Joseph Haberstroh, who was born near Frieberg im Breisgau, in Baden, Germany in 1843. However, along with his parents and siblings, he left Germany during the 1848 Revolution, travelled to France, and then emigrated to the USA, where they arrived after many months (including a birth of another sibling) in 1850.

Joining his uncles, Joseph and his family were able to start life a-fresh in their new adoptive homeland. After a few years serving in the American Civil War, Joseph married and raised his own family. The family's success enabled Joseph to make a donation to the Lutheran church in which he married his wife Elizabeth, and the bell still rings out to the residents of St. Louis today.

Joseph's ability to start from scratch and build up wealth and property, earned him a legacy that still bears his name today, and it's something that Denise and her family are immensely proud of.... particularly an unusual family recipe for a 'German Christmas Cake'.

The Brick Wall: Nancy Romines
One of Denise's 2x Great Grandmothers - Nancy Romines - is her research brick wall.

Nancy was born in Tennessee, USA on 11th August 1851, possibly in Putnam County. Whilst Denise knows mostly about what became of her, she has no clear evidence of her origins.

Information that Denise has previously received, stated that a Thomas Romines and Phoebe were her parents, but she has since discovered this cannot be correct, because according to a probate record, Thomas Romines died in 1835 - 16 years before Nancy's birth.

  • Was Nancy her real name?
  • Was Nancy a child of Isaac or George Romines?
  • What's the link between Nancy and Thomas senior, which the DNA seems to show?

If you think that you can help Denise with a clue or research idea, then you can contact at on Twitter at @Jayhawkmommy, via the email address Denise gives in the episode, or alternatively over at the website. You can also just head over to our show contact form, and we'll pass your message on to her.

In the meantime, Denise is curious of Andrew's offer of help to solve her brick wall, but she's concerned about its safety...

- - -
Episode Credits:
Series Three, Episode One:
Andrew Martin (Host/Producer)
Denise Geelhart (Guest)
Show notes and more at
Twitter: @FamilyHistPod
©2022 The Family Histories Podcast









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S03EP01 - 'The Benefactor' with Denise Geelhart

S03EP01 - 'The Benefactor' with Denise Geelhart