The Case of the Missing Sister

Augusta Hermanie Meyn Burrell was my great-grandmother. I am descended from her son, Arthur Burrell, who married Florence Korn. My mother was their oldest daughter. (No, I don't use mother's maiden name for passwords or login information.) But there is a family story that she had a sister who disappeared under mysterious circumstances. And each branch of the family has a different version. I was told that the sister would spend the night with the childless neighbors and one night they packed up and left, taking her with them. Another branch of the family heard that she was abducted by gypsies. But the latest version is that she was adopted out. This came after one cousin was contacted by an adoptee who is a cousin match on Here's what I can document: Herman (Augusta's father) and Katie, Johan and Carl all died of diphtheria in late 1879. In the 1880 census, Anna (her mother) has two daughters, Bertha and Augusta. What happened to Bertha? I have no clue. Also, Anna Meyn's obit says she was survived by four children. One was Augusta. She was living with her son (Heinrich Sohl, from her first marriage) at the time of her death. There is also a marriage record for an Anna Sohl, who I think is her daughter from her first marriage. At any rate, that's 3. So I don't know if Bertha is counted, or if there was another child. There were other people named Meyn in that part of Iowa at that time, but they could be related in other ways (maybe Herman had siblings or cousins there), or not related at all. Herman died Dec. 7, 1879. Katie died Dec. 9, 1879. The notice in the paper lists those two, then says he left behind a widow and four children. Johann died Dec. 17, 1879 (so he was still alive when that newspaper was printed). Bertha and Augusta were alive in 1880, so Johann, Bertha and Augusta would be 3 of the four surviving children. I don't know if the paper would count Anna's children from her first marriage in Herman's death notice (especially since it appears there were at least 2 of them). My to-do list:
  • Try to determine how many children Anna had with Peter Sohl and with Herman Meyn.
  • Try to find Herman and Anna's family on a ship's passenger list, and see who traveled with them. Carl was born on the ship when they crossed (1871). But hopefully, Anna's children by her marriage to Peter Sohl would have traveled with her and would be listed.
  • Try to determine which of Anna's children survived her in 1910 (sure about Heinrich Sohl and Augusta Meyn Burrell, not sure about Anna Sohl Kruger, and there was one more child, which may or may not be Bertha Meyn).
  • Try to determine what happened to Bertha Meyn.
I'm sure there's more, but I'll have to figure it out as I go.

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