Roll of Honor of 128th Infantry, Company D, 32nd Division in World War I

At least three of my Great-Uncles on my Paternal side fought in battles during World War I, during the Summer and Fall of 1918 in France. One of those Uncles I have featured in articles regarding his service in the 128th Infantry, Company D.  Theodor(e) Rettammel died in March 1919 (at Camp Sherman, Ohio) as a result of disease and wounds (gassed) received in WWI during the battles at Bellevue Farm, August 2 & 3, 1918. Though he is not included in the Roll of Honor in the book I own, The 32nd Division in the World War,  issued by the Joint War History Commissions of Michigan and Wisconsin, copyright 1920, I believe he would be now.

On page 216 of this book starts the Roll of Honor of those that died in the War.  The statement before says the following (last paragraph):

“The casualty lists of the A.E.F. were prepared under the stress of combat, and in spite of efforts to fully correct the unavoidable errors, there are still many mistakes and much missing information. These lists can be made complete and correct only by details supplied by men who have first-hand knowledge of the facts, and these men are requested to correspond with the Secretary of the Thirty-Second Division Veteran Association to the end that our Roll of Honor may finally be made into a full and accurate record.”

In recognition of my uncle and the men of Company D (WWI) 32nd Division on this 4th of July 2017,  I compiled a list of 60 men who in 1919/1920 were listed as dying as result of service during the Great War, 100 years ago.  Any omissions or typing errors on the list are unintentional.

I hope that those who review the PDF document I put together will see a name or even reach out to me so I can learn more about Company D of the 128th Infantry in WWI.



New Presentations Developed for Lectures

Besides taking clients for research I also do lectures to local groups (WI) or area groups (IL, MN, Iowa, WI) that are interested in genealogy topics. I recently developed or refreshed 3 Titles and 1 still in development. Of course I have done previous lectures on “Search for the Old Country – Finding German Roots”, among other topics.

The new presentations are:
1) “Family Genealogy – How to Start or Revisit What You Started”.
2) “How to Find Collections at and Best Use Practices”.
3) “ – The Good Use for Genealogy Research: Great Tool but Not Sole Source”.
In Development –
4) “Best Practices: Keeping All Your Research Collections Stored Properly”.

Should readers be interested in a Topic, please contact me.

Happy Summer

Going to 2017 German Genealogical Conference and joined the Germanic Genealogy Society today

I finally decided to join the Germanic Genealogy Society (GGS) out of Minnesota today. They are also the hosts for the 2017 International German Genealogical Conference, that will be held in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota July 28-30, 2017.

Ready to learn more and make valuable contacts for my clients and my own family history.


Family Genealogy in Northern California

My wife and I planned a trip a few months back to visit her family in northern Nevada and California to not only visit but to conduct genealogy research. The trip was wonderful and very productive in learning information about the maternal side. 

My wife’s family lived in the Auburn and Newcastle, CA area since the days of the gold rush, circa 1850. We visited a cemetery, interviewed an Uncle (tape recorded) and received a DNA sample from him for AncestryDNA, he is the only living close relative to my wife’s deceased mother. We gathered new artifacts, pictures, newspaper articles from over a 100 yrs ago and had fun doing it. So a very successful trip. 

​Are you Professionally Prepared?

Though I have been doing genealogy for myself, relatives, and clients for about 20 years now, there is still much more to learn. Personal growth is partly why in 2014 I decided that if I were ever going to pursue my passion for genealogy full-time, I needed to take proper steps and learn how best to succeed within certain boundaries. One of the natural progressions was to help others with their genealogy in a formal way. So why not a business? This question was answered easily after I took a trip to Germany in May 2014, specifically to Hamburg to visit a German Genealogist who had helped me the previous two years with my paternal side, in former Prussia and Northern Germany, part of Poland today. I remember listening to my contact in Hamburg and the idea to become genealogist was a natural next step to take. I would be able to challenge myself again and merge my passion for history and genealogy together. I had already helped non-blood relatives with their family history research and done the analysis of records. I could now organize and reach out to others in the genealogy field to see if my experience and ideas could be fruitful. Where to find my niche in the larger genealogy business world?
Part of that start was to begin to talk with people who were doing client work or assisting the public at repositories. In the years that I did my own family research I had met and learned from librarians and archivists at the Wisconsin Historical Society (WHS), right in my hometown of Madison, WI. I setup a meeting with the Outreach Genealogy Librarian at WHS in late Spring 2014. 

What I learned is that I should develop a work plan that included, educational and learning sources available at WHS. I also needed to enhance or develop research skills on key sources, such as, vital records, church records, courthouse records, probate records, land records, learn about other archives/libraries, and finally cemetery information. The focus was to start a process from a local level and build out to state and then later a national level. The resources I was told to learn included:,,, learn about DNA genealogy, and finally blogs, like Dick Eastman’s.

During this process, I also learned from WHS staff about local, state, and national genealogical associations. I first heard about the Association of Professional Genealogist (APG) from WHS. So, through outreach I gathered key and trustworthy information from reliable sources and could develop an action plan. One of the first items I considered was to go to an APG Professional Management Conference in Salt Lake City, in January 2015. 

I reviewed the APG PMC Conference syllabus and decided to go. By this time, I had also started to review a study guide for starting your own business and reached out to potential resources in my community that could help me with small business development. Prior to going to the conference, I had already had one client who contacted me about gathering Pre-1907 Wisconsin Vital records at WHS. This client provided the marriage, death and birth citations but wanted a copy of the actual records. I successful found, verified, and provided the data in a timely manner, so my client (a Genealogist and author) could finish a book for their client in Minnesota.

Going to the APF PMC Conference was a wonderful experience, I made contacts, learned new items and verified for myself that my steps to become a ‘real’ Professional Genealogist was the right decision. The passion still was there. 

Copyright 2017 Rettammel Genealogy Service LLC

First ProGen Study Group

I am starting my first ProGen Study Group assignment. I am finding it so valuable already. As some of you know, I have been doing Genealogy for long-time and formally as a small business for a few yrs already.

I have done professional preparedness before but this assignment is making me reflect on what I have done as well as what I still need to do. Plus I have so many ideas, starts and stops that this assignment is making me finally set down new goals and objectives. All great because of what is left unorganized or not complete. So happy to be part of a learning community again and genealogy.