Johann Theobald Koob was born about 1705, probably in Fussgoenheim, Germany, to Johann Dietrich Koob and Anna Catharina, surname unknown.
The first record of Johann Theobald Koob is when he served as godfather for the Renner family in Fussgoenheim.
21 November 1728
Child: Anna Maria
Parents: Johann Jacob Renner and Helena, his lawfully wed wife
Godparents: Johann Theobald Kob, unmarried from Fussgonheim and Anna Maria Sachs(in).
This wasn’t the only interaction with the Renner family, and mark my words, they were related somehow.
Married in Fussgoenheim
In February of 1730, Johann Theobald Koob married Maria Catharina Kirsch.
Marriage: 21 Feb 1730
Joh. Theobald Coob from here with Maria Catharina Kirch(in) were married.
Koob is spelled variously as Koob, Coob and Kob in the early church records.
Johann Theobald’s parents both attended his wedding in the quaint Lutheran church on the cobblestone street, probably sitting alongside his siblings. We know his parents were still living, because we find his father’s burial record in those same church records in November 1734 and his mother’s just a few months later, in April of 1735.
That must have been a very tough year.
Children Bless the Couple
Johann Theobald Koob and Maria Catharina Kirsch welcomed their first-born child, a daughter, Susanna Elisabetha, on June 17, 1731. How joyful they must have been when baptizing their beautiful baby girl. Three of the four grandparents celebrated with them that June Sunday, exactly 289 years ago today, as I write this article. This is an incredibly important day for me, because Susanna Elisabetha is my 4th great-grandmother.
Happy 289th birthday Susanna Elisabetha!!! Part of you is still here!
Baptism: 17 June 1731
Parents: Joh. Theobald KOOB and his wife, Maria Catharina, a daughter was baptized and named:
Godparents: Johann Andreas Kirsch & Anna Elisabeth, widow of the late mayor Koob.
We can glean so much information from the godparents. These people weren’t selected randomly, and it wasn’t just an honorary position. On the contrary, it was well-thought-out.
The godparents were expected to raise this child, attending to their education, both traditional and secular, in the event that something happened to the parents. An equivalent today would be selecting your children’s adoptive parents and designating them at the birth of your children. Godparents promised to perform these duties before the village, in front of both families, the reverend, the congregation, and more importantly, before God.
If you think about it, it’s a wonderful tradition that assures that every child in a family is cared for if the parents die without placing the entire burden of several children on one family member. In a small village, the children would only live a few houses apart and could still see each other and interact regularly.
Based on Fussgoenheim history, Anna Elisabetha, the widow godmother, is probably the widow of Johann Nicolaus Koob, the former mayor. She’s clearly related to the family, but exactly how is unknown. We do know that Johann Nicolaus Koob has a son, Johann Dietrich Koob, the same name as Johann Theobald’s father, but he married Maria Kinigunda Sahler in 1728. Therefore, if Anna Elisabeth is Johann Nicolaus Koob’s widow, she is not Johann Theobald’s grandmother.
The widow Anna Elisabeth may be his aunt or great-aunt or related another way, or both. Her name may also have been Susanna Elisabetha. In a future record, the child Susanna Elisabetha baptized that day is called Anna Elisabetha – probably after her godmother.
Two years later, Johann Theobald Koob’s first son, Emanuel Koob, joined the family.
Taufen__Trauungen__Bestattungen__Sonstiges_1726-1798_Bild18, Fussgönheim Evangelical Church Records, Archion.de
Baptism: 26 May 1733
Parents: Joh. Theobald Koob and his wife, Maria Katharina, a son was baptized and named: Emanuel
Godparents: Joh. Michael Kirsch and his wife, Anna Margaretha.
In 1763, Emanual stood as godfather when his older sister’s son, also named Emanual, was baptized.
By 1771, Emanual was godfather for his younger brother Johann Theobald Koob and his wife, Catharina Barbara when they baptized a son named Emanual. In this record, Emanual is noted as being from Münchhof near Danstatt, which proves to be an important clue.
In 1736, daughter, Maria Catharina, named for her grandmother, joined the family.
Taufen__Trauungen__Bestattungen__Sonstiges_1726-1798_Bild24, Fussgönheim Evangelical Church Records, Archion.de
Baptism: 20 April 1736
Parents: Johann Theobald Kob & wife Maria Cath.
A daughter was baptized and named: Maria Catharina
Godparent: the grandmother, Maria Kirsch(in), widow
Born: 16 April 1736
Baptized: 20 April 1736
Entry No. 29
In 1738, a son with the same name as his father was born. Interestingly enough, the godparents were from Frankenthal, about 7 and a half miles away, and the child is not named after the godparents, which is typical.
It looks like perhaps their son, Johann Theobald is too young to actually be a godparent, so they stood with him? Perhaps Johann Theobald Koob was the younger Johann Theobald Welker’s godfather. This would suggest some type of family relationship.
Taufen__Trauungen__Bestattungen__Sonstiges_1726-1798_Bild27, Fussgönheim Evangelical Church Records, Archion.de
Baptism: Entry No. 66
Parents: Johann Theobald Kob, the juror and his wife, Maria Catharina a son named: Johann Theob(ald) was baptized
Godparents: the honorable Georg Henrich Welcker, butcher and innkeeper in Frankthal and his wife, Maria Ernstina with son Johann Theobald, formerly confirmed at S. ……..?
Born: 24 August 1738 at 8 a.m.
Baptized: 29 August 1738
In this record, Johann Theobald was referred to as a juror. I asked my two friends, Tom and Christoph, what being a juror meant at that time in Fussgoenheim. Their answer was that while neither are experts on that specific topic, their understanding is that jurors would be respected men within the community who would perhaps adjudicate non-criminal disputes and disagreements.
Two years later, things didn’t go well in 1740.
Taufen__Trauungen__Bestattungen__Sonstiges_1726-1798_Bild30, Fussgönheim Evangelical Church Records, Archion.de
Baptism: Entry 108
Parents: Johann Theobald Kob, juror and wife, Maria Catharina, a daughter on the 14th of October 1740 was born and because of weakness so she was baptized immediately in the home. Godparents were the mother’s side, the grandmother Maria. But the child is deceased in a few hours.
Sadly, this baby wasn’t named, or if she was, the reverend didn’t record her name. It seems so sad to think of a tiny, nameless, anonymous grave.
The next child, Johann Dieter, arrived almost exactly a year later. Of course, Johann Dietrich Koob is Johann Theobald’s father’s name.
Taufen__Trauungen__Bestattungen__Sonstiges_1726-1798_Bild32, Fussgönheim Evangelical Church Records, Archion.de
Baptism: Entry 111
Parents: Theobald Kob and his wife, Maria Catharina, a son Johann Dieter
Godparents: Johann Dieter Kob, customs collector in Weiss……?and wife Maria Kunigunda
Born 30 Sept 1741 Baptized:8 October 1741
Weissenheim am Sand is a village about 7 miles directly north of Fussgoenheim and Weissenheim am Berg is about the same distance west of Weissenheim am Sand.
This too proves to be a hint that will help tie things together, later.
In 1767, Johann Dieter Koob, unmarried, stood as godfather for his brother, Johann Theobald Koob’s child, named Johann Diederich, of course. This confirms that Dieter and Diederich are synonymous. Dieter is likely a nickname.
Johann Theobald Koob and Maria Catharina Kirsch’s last child, Johannes, arrived just before Christmas in 1750, but not before a massive upheaval that’s not revealed in the church records.
It was by tracking this family through and after that upheaval that I found another child, born in 1746 elsewhere…and baptized in exile.
Let’s just say it was an incredibly long time between 1741 and 1750.
There are several years missing in the births of children, with a noticeable gap between 1741 and 1750. That’s because Johann Theobald’s life was turned upside-down in 1743.
Politics in Germany was ever-present and seemingly, always dangerous. In 1729, Jakob Tilman von Hallberg, a member of the House of Hallberg who had acquired half of Fussgoenheim in 1728, followed shortly thereafter by the second half, undertook a village survey in which the roads were redrawn and the area redivided. The result was that the villagers lost two-thirds of their hereditary land, with Hallberg personally absorbing the rest that was left “abandoned” by the resurvey.
Johann Theobald Koob was one of several jurors or village elders, noted as judges in a German to English translation, who refused to sign the survey book. As punishment, Hallberg had them expelled from Fussgoenheim after first being jailed for two weeks. The Kirsch family went to Ellerstadt as serfs.
It’s unclear where Johann Theobald Koob and Maria Katharina Kirsch went, at least for several years.
We do find a baptism for another son in Weissenheim am Sand.
Baptism: Johann Matheus, parents Johann Theobald Koob and Maria Catharina. Koob on January 16, 1746. Godparents Johann Matheus Sahler and Maria Cath.
However, based on a baptism for Johann Theobald Koob’s son in 1750, it would appear that Johann Theobald Koob was in Münchhof by that time where he had some sort of hereditary ownership.
It’s likely that Johann Theobald Koob had children in 1742, 1744 and 1748 as well, but we simply don’t have those records.
The 1750 baptism record reveals such important information.
Baptism: No. 188
Born 5 December 1750
Baptized 8th of same (month) in Münchhof +
Parents: Johann Theobald Kob, hereditary owner in Münchhof and his wife.
Godparents: Johannes Lammert, innkeeper in the Lamb’s Inn in Mutterstadt and wife, Maria Margaretha Weisin.
This record, from archion.de is part of the Dannstadt churchbook, not Fussgoenheim.
It’s interesting that in 1750 Johann Thoebald Koob is living in Münchhof.
Oh, what a tangled web is genealogy.
The Lammert/Lemmert family in Mutterstadt is known to me.
Three generations later, Johann Theobald Koob’s great-grandson, Philip Jacob Kirsch would be born in Fussgoenheim in 1806. He would marry Katharina Barbara Lemmert in 1829 in Mutterstadt. This couple, my ancestors, would immigrate to Ripley County, Indiana about 20 years later, the founding members of the Kirsch line there.
By the time Philip Jacob Kirsch married Katharina Barbara Lemmert, these families had apparently known each other for generations.
But what about Münchhof?
Johann Theobald Koob may have been spitefully evicted from Fussgoenheim in 1743, but he was apparently not poor. He didn’t entirely disappear. We do find him in Weissenheim am Sand in 1746 and mentioned again as being from there in 1748 when he resurfaces in Münchhof.
According to the journal, Pennsylvania Folklife” (1966), Volume 16, page 41, available here, we discover that in 1748, Daniel Jouis, as lessee, sells one quarter of the property, Münchhof, to Theobald Koob of Weisenheim am Sand.
While this article by Dr. Krebs is focused on the Jouis family, it handily answers several questions about Theobald Koob.
We now know where he went in 1743 after he was evicted from Fussgoenheim. He had family in Weissenheim am Sand, as evidenced from the 1741 baptism of his child, so he went there.
Five years later, when it may have seemed improbable that he would ever be allowed to return to Fussgoenheim, he purchased a quarter lessee ownership of Münchhof and moved to this large farm, owned by the University of Heidelberg, with his family.
Word that this quarter of the Münchhof estate was available for purchase, as a lessee, must have traveled by word of mouth. Johann Theobald Koob’s relative was the tax collector in Weissenheim am Sand, so he would probably have been aware of these types of opportunities. We also find early Koob families in Schauernheim and Dannstadt, just north of Münchhof.
Münchhof wasn’t exactly next door to Weissenheim am Sand, but it was fairly close to Fussgoenheim and family members seem to have been scattered throughout this part of the Palatinate – fertile lowlands east of the Rhine.
Münchhof is close to Fussgoenheim, about three and a half miles away. It would have been easy for them to see their family members in Fussgoenheim while remaining a persistent thorn in the side of Hallberg.
A gazetteer documenting all German locations from 1871-1918 shows Munchhof.
We can use this map to find the location of Munchhof today, matching up landmarks and roads that have retained their original shape.
Based on the google map legend the area below looks to be about 4 or 5 acres, roughly.
One quarter square mile is 1320X1320 feet and holds 160 acres, so the original Munchhof would have encompassed roughly this land, the house marked by Dells Tierwelt.
Dr. Krebs who wrote that 1966 article even went so far as to drive out to Münchhof and take these photos for his article. I’m thrilled!
The amazing thing about these estates is that they changed very little over time and Münchhof probably looked almost exactly like it did in 1748 – 212 years earlier – minus the cars and modern farm equipment of course. There is documentation of some destruction in 1807, but whatever damage incurred was clearly repaired.
Münchhof still exists today as a location that breeds dogs.
Fortunately, the current owners cared enough to document the history of Munchoff, here.
I used the Deepl translator to translate, below.
In 1987 we bought the “Münchhof”, which has been part of the Dannstadt community since 1797.
I’m so very grateful that they included this photo from 1985 which shows a different perspective than the 1965 photo.
The following transcript was taken from “Heimatblätter für Ludwigshafen am Rhein und Umgebung, Jg.7, 1918, No. 4
The Münchhof at Dannstadt.
The Münchhof is located about 5 minutes away from the parish village Dannstadt at the Speyerer Straße. Already the name indicates that we are dealing with a monastery estate. In the Middle Ages, half of Dannstadt was spiritual property.
In 804 the Münchhof comprised 128 acres of land, which belonged to the Kindergut.
Note that 128 acres of land was about the entire size of the village of Fussgoenheim in 1743.
The farm, which was founded at an unknown time, probably came into existence in 987 through a donation by Count Otto of Rhine-Franconia to the Benedictine and later Dominican monastery Lambrecht in the Haardtwald, which he had founded at that time. In the beginning “one” farmer – later there were several – owned the Münchhof from Lambrecht Monastery as part of his inheritance; he held the title ” Münchmeister.”
I absolutely cannot help but chuckle. This means that Johann Theobald Koob was a Munchmeister, or at least one quarter Munchmeister. Of course, in German, meister means master, so the farmer who was leasing this property was indeed the master of the hof, or farm.
In 1331, Ludwig the Bavarian pledged the Speyergau bailiwick to the sons of his brother Rudolf, the Palatine Counts Rudolf 2nd and Ruprecht 1st, for 1000 pounds heller.
When the influence of the Reformation became noticeable, Elector Friedrich 2 obtained permission from the Pope to confiscate and abolish the Lambrecht Monastery and 11 others and to transfer their income to the Heidelberg College in 1551. Thus the Münchhof fell to the University of Heidelberg.
In 1563, a settlement was reached between the university and Elector Friedrich 3, who granted St. Lambrecht and the Münchhof free of encumbrances. A large part of the other monasteries that had been confiscated were ceded by the university to the Elector, but in this way she had cleverly evaded the sovereign’s easements on the estates. The Münchhof had now become a free court. From this time on it was under the administration of the Heidelberg university conductor and the electoral administration there. However, this special position was a source of incessant friction between the courtiers and the aforementioned village court.
The Peace of Luneville in 1801 made the left bank of the Rhine French. Napoleon used the opportunity to smash the property. In 1807 the Münchhof in Mainz was auctioned off as a so-called national property.
Understanding the size of Münchhof helps put this purchase into perspective. Even if Johann Theobald Koob only purchased access to one quarter of the 128 acres, assuming it was still the same size, that means he farmed 32 acres and lived on the property, which was probably functionally the same as a small village. Compare and contrast this to the small farms in Fussgoenheim that were originally about 15 acres each, but reduced to an average of 4.67 after Hallberg’s resurvey.
Based on records from Fussgoenheim, we know that Johann Theobald Koob was still a citizen in Fussgoenheim in 1766. It’s possible that he was living at Münchhof, but I’d think those records would have mentioned that.
I couldn’t help but wonder what happened to Münchhof.
It appears that Johann Theobald’s oldest son, Emanual, inherited his father’s lease rights to Münchhof. In 1771, when he stands as godparent for his sibling’s child, he is noted as being from Munchoff. The torch has apparently passed. This record may be the closest thing we have to a death record for Johann Theobald.
It’s possible that Johann Theobald Koob actually died at Münchhof, not in Fussgoenheim. We don’t know if he loved being at Münchhof, or if it was simply a safehaven when he needed one – retaining it later as an investment. Did he stay there, or was he relieved to move back to Fussgoenheim in 1753.
Münchhof apparently became a hereditary legacy in the Koob family, because an agricultural journal published in 1876, 128 years after Johann Theobald Koob purchased that quarter, mentions a “Jakob Koob, economist on the Münchhof”:
Using 30 years per generation, that’s between 4 and 5 generations later. Johann Theobald Koob was likely the great-great or three times great-grandfather of that Jakob Koob of 1876. I wonder if he had any idea what had happened to his ancestor, Johann Theobald Koob, in 1743, why and how Münchhof came to be in the Koob family.
Contacting a local historian reveals that members of the Koob family still live on part of it’s land, not associated with the dog breeding business.
Return to Fussgoenheim
In 1753, von Hallberg was forced to allow the evicted Fussgoenheim families to return to their hereditary properties in the village. Based on this 1743 map, we know exactly which properties Johann Theobald Koob owned.
Given that this maps showed land owned hereditarily in the north half of the village, we can see that Johann Theobald Koob owned two properties, probably inherited from his father.
This property still existed in the 1940s, and the Kirsch and Koob families still lived adjacent.
The Kirsch property is noted with the X, and the Koob with the O. This photo was sent by descendants living in these houses during WWII to relatives in Indiana.
The properties are marked in this photo as well, which I’d wager is a victory celebration of some sort on the main street of Fussgoenheim, almost 200 years after Johann Theobald Koob had his own sweet victory of return.
Today, you can see this part of Fussgoenheim on Google maps, which correlates to the 1743 map and the 1940s photos.
The upper Koob property is shown, below in a photo taken by my friend, Noel, when she took a detour on her vacation to find my ancestors. I’m incredibly grateful!
I believe, based on the 1743 map and today’s intersection of Hauptstrausse and Ruchheimer streets, that the property on the aerial above, designated by the upper red arrow, to the left of the yellow house, with the brown large door and solar panels is one of Johann Theobald Koob’s properties. It’s probably the same house that still stands.
Whose House Was It?
The Kirsch/Koob photo from the 1940s is of the property designated with the lower arrow, which I wrote about, here.
Marliese’s letters were somewhat confusing. She wrote them as a teen, almost 90 years after these families had immigrated. Her letters are clear about which property was the Kirsch property, because she grew up in that house.
Her references to the house with the O marked over it were believed to have referred to this as the Koehler home at that time. There was confusion within her family, plus the challenges of German to English translation, and the Kirsch, Koehler and Koob families were eventually heavily intermarried. Marliese used a lot of pronouns such as “they” and it was often unclear as to who, exactly, “they” was referring to.
This is going to be hard to follow, so here’s a diagram.
On this chart, people in red are my ancestors. You can see Johann Theobald Koob at right, with a black box around his name. The people in green are the couple who Marliese believed lived in the house next door before they immigrated – except for one daughter. Marliese and I share the same founding Kirsch, Koob and Koehler ancestors.
Knowing what I know today, after significant research, I am confident that this home was never the Koehler home, and was always the Koob home, in part, because the first record I find of the Koehler family is in Seckenheim, and never in Fussgoenheim. Johann Peter Theobald Koehler lived (1696) and died (1767) in Seckenheim during the same time period that Johann Theobald Koob was living in Fussgoenheim and at Munchhof.
My Koehler line intermarried with the Koob line in Ellerstadt. Margaretha Elisabetha Koehler was born in 1772 in Ellerstadt, married Andreas Kirsch there and moved to Fussgoenheim as his wife. Her father was probably born in Seckenheim, as his parents were born and died there.
If indeed, the Koehler family did eventually own the Koob property, it was after Johann Martin Koehler, Margaretha Elisabetha’s brother, born in 1796 in Ellerstadt married Anna Margaretha Kirsch, the daughter of Andreas Kirsch, in 1821 in Fussgoenheim.
This couple, who are not my ancestors, are shown in the green block. Martin Koehler, according to Marliese, was reported to have had a beautiful singing voice and played in the village orchestra, as well as sang in the choir.
His three surviving sons immigrated to Indiana, and his one surviving daughter married Karl Ritthaler and remained in Fussgoenheim. There are virtually no Koehler church records in Fussgoenheim, including no burial record for Johann Martin Koehler himself. As you can see, he did not marry a Koob directly, but a granddaughter of Susanna Elisabetha Koob, so it’s highly unlikely that he wound up with the Koob property next door to the Kirsch home.
Regardless of the ownership of the Koob property in the later 1800s and into the 1900s, it was clearly owned by Johann Theobald Koob in the 1700s. The Koob and Kirsch families intermarried for generations. They were all related to each other several ways.
Despite the confusion about the identification of the Koob property in the 1940s photos, Marliese’s ancestor, Anna Elisabetha Koehler, born in 1781 in Ellerstadt, married Johann Mathias Koob in 1801 and moved to Fussgoenheim. This is shown at right, in the chart, above. Their daughter married Johannes Kirsch, so even in Marliese’s own family line, no Koehler actually lived next door, but the Koob family clearly did. The Koehlers entered the picture as spouses.
I wonder how long this property actually remained in the Koob family, and what happened to it.
Johann Theobald Koob’s Property Today
Unfortunately, as you can see in this satellite closeup, the Koob home is gone today. replaced by the garden area in front of the building with the checkerboard roof. The original Kirsch property includes the while house at left, the driveway area and the small white building adjacent to the beginning of wall.
Many original structures do remain, so I have to wonder what happened to Johann Theobald Koob’s home.
Here’s a current street view, with the Kirsch home at left.
The wall stands where the Koob home once stood at 11 Hauptstrausse. The double brown gates, below, appear to provide access to where the Koob’s neighbor’s home once stood, and was not the Koob property, at least, not that we know of.
A building, which may or may not be original, stands behind the wall (and the tree) at 11 Hauptstrasse.
The addresses are marked on the fence. The original Kirsch home, to the left, is 9 Hauptstrausse.
Today, a small garden replaces the original Koob home at 11 Hauptstrausse. in the photo above, we are looking directly at Theobald Koob’s property. Below, over the fence at the building shown above.
This Koob property is noted as 11 Haupstrausse on Google maps, as is the small portion of the building still standing to the left of the wall and to the right of the large brown door. It’s hard to align with original properties, especially since German homes are built sharing walls.
However, in the 1940s photos, the Koob home looks to be clearly separate from the Kirsch property, which included his small addition to the right of the brown door.
11 Haupstrasse, where the garden is today, was clearly the Koob property, which includes the building behind, to the left of the van in the photo below. The property to the right looks to have been 13 Hauptstrasse and appears to be used as a driveway currently.
The portion below looks to be the property designated as 13. In 1743, that was not privately owned, because it was not mapped. I wonder if this was some of the property that Hallberg attempted to confiscate, and if so, who the rightful owners were.
The contemporary photos are all courtesy of my friend, Noel.
When Did Johann Theobald Koob Die?
We don’t know exactly when Johann Theobald Koob passed away, but we do know that on February 11, 1766, when his namesake son, Johann Theobald Koob married Catharina Barbara Wessa(in), daughter of Johann Jacob Wessa, citizen and member of the court in Schauernheim, the groom was named as the son of Johann Theobald Koob, citizen in Fussgoenheim. Had he been deceased at this time, the records would have stated that.
This tells us that Johann Theobald Koob lived through being evicted from his property in Fussgoenheim in 1743, and returned in or after 1753, living long enough to see at least three of his children marry. He welcomed at least two grandchildren, and most likely more.
Johann Theobald probably passed away sometime between 1766 and the 1771 record where his son Emanuel is noted as being from Münchhof, but the records are incomplete and we simply don’t know. The Fussgoenheim records end in 1778. He may have still been alive at that time and died between then and 1798 when the French records began during the French occupation of the Pfalz. If so, he lived long enough to see his homeland invaded and may have been displaced, yet again. If so, there was always Munchhof, a safehaven for the old Munchmeister.
Unfortunately, it appears that no Koob male has yet taken a Y DNA test. From this test, we could determine where the Koob line came from initally, before Fussgoenheim.
If you are a Koob male descending from this line through all males, please contact me. I have a Y DNA testing scholarship waiting just for you!
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Thanks for the link to Pennsylvania Folklife, I hadn’t known that was online (since 2015, apparently). It was edited for many years by my friend and senior colleague Don Yoder. He is probably better known, in genealogy circles, than the magazine is. It’s a great resource.
You mention the fact that Theobald Kob [Koob} and Anna Maria Sachs sponsored a child of Johann Jacob and Helena Barbara (Sachs) Renner in Mutterstadt. That is the only reference to Anna Maria Sachs, sister of Helena Barbara that I can find other than her birth record at Oggersheim, and first assumed that she may have been betrothed to Kob at that time. I also noticed that Hans Peter Sachs and his wife, sponsored a baptism for a child of Baltazar Lemmert at Mutterstadt and find him sponsoring baptisms at Dannstadt. Like you, I suspect some kinship connections in there between all these families. Keep up your good work, you are helping all of us put the pieces of the puzzle together!!