I am trying to find the parents of my Great Grandfather, Fredric William Pahnish, born 11 dec 1838 in Saxony Province, Germany. He died on 18 Aug 1890 in Bannack, Beaverhead, Montana, S
I want to echo Jan Murphy's remarks. In addition, I find the spelling of the last name to be extremely curious. This does not look like a German name at all. How much do you know about your great grandfather before he arrive in North America? Do you know his birth place, beyond Saxony? A cursory search on Ancestry.com in that approximate part of Germany in the approximate time range gives (as I expected), no hit for "Pahnish", but a good number of "Ponisch", "Bonisch" and "Boenisch" (the most frequent, and the most recognizable).
A lot of names got mangled on immigration, and it would be interesting to know what, if anything, you found out about your great-grandfather prior to his arrival in Montana (immigration records, passenger lists, date -- even approximate -- of arrival, etc.)