Sports

“We would accomplish many more things if we did not think of them as impossible.” -Vince Lombardi

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Fr. Dan with two of his younger 1st cousins, likely in Manitowoc, shortly after his ordination—so mid-1940s? I think I know who the girls are, but am not positive, so I won’t speculate.  Photo acquired from family members.

Mary Elizabeth Haws (Aunt May) is my grandfather’s (Edward Mathias Haws) next younger sister. Like him, she was born in Kossuth, Manitowoc, Wisconsin. In 1915, at age 25, she married John J. Carroll in Chicago, Illinois. John Carroll was born in Brooklyn, so I’m not quite sure how the two of them met and fell in love.

By 1910, Aunt May was no longer in her parents’ household. Many Wisconsin girls found employment in the homes of Chicago’s North Shore residents, (as my great-grandmother, Dorothea Harry did) so it’s possible she was working there and they met that way. Their oldest child, Gerard Paul (my 1st cousin, once removed), was born in 1916 in Chicago¹, but the young family soon moved to New York—specifically Brooklyn. That was where Gerard’s only sister, Virginia, was born in 1918.

Gerard Paul attended Catholic schools and seminaries in Brooklyn, eventually making his First Profession of Vows in 1940 with the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians), and being ordained in 1944. For his ordination he chose the name “Daniel.” That was the good old days when priests and nuns had to choose an entirely different name for their religious life. He spent the rest of his life as Father Dan(iel).

Where do sports fit in? It’s coming.

Vince Lombardi is of course, a famous Brooklynite. He was three years older than Fr. Dan, but they both attended Cathedral Prep and St. Francis. They knew each other from their high school years, becoming close friends. Fr. Dan became a staunch Green Bay Packers fan, and apparently Coach Lombardi would leave a sideline access pass for him, if the Packers were playing nearby.

Fr. Dan died 2 September 2002. In the 2-page memorial paper I received, it said, ” . . . there’s even a picture of him [Fr. Dan] sitting on the bench next to Lombardi on a cover of Sports Illustrated.” WOW! I didn’t pursue checking that out until a couple years later, when my cousin, Maria (his grand-niece), asked me about it. Her son was writing a report for school and she wanted to verify the story. I decided to help.

Lombardi would certainly find his way onto the Sports Illustrated cover—the question is, how many, and was Fr. Dan in the photo, too? It turns out Lombardi had three covers. I even located a web page with images of every cover! Unfortunately, none of them showed Lombardi on the bench, and zooming in or using a magnifying glass didn’t reveal any priest nearby.

Of course, we know from the “Napoleon” legend (Family Legend) that stories sometimes get garbled along the way. Maybe the photo wasn’t on the cover, but inside the magazine? It was worth checking out. Of the nearby libraries, the only one to have a complete collection of Sports Illustrated magazines was the main (downtown) Indianapolis branch. So I dropped my son at school one day, borrowed a digital camera from a friend, and drove the 10 miles to downtown Indy.

The magazine back issues were stored in the closed stacks. The librarian did a double-take when I handed her the slip requesting all the issues from 1959-1968! I explained what I was trying to find. A short time later she rolled a cart up to the table I’d commandeered and left me to my task.

How does one eat an elephant? Small bites! Since I had no clue as to when the photo was taken, I decided to start at the beginning and proceed chronologically. I briefly thought of skipping the non-football season issues, but remembered that sports get written about off-season, too. Skipping some, then maybe having to go back and check them anyway, seemed a bad plan. I also considered using the table of contents to decide what pages to check, but realized that was a bad plan, too. I opened the first issue and started flipping through, page by page.

It was like reliving my childhood. Sports names I hadn’t thought of in years jumped off the pages at me. The fashions of the 1960s came flooding back as the ads flew by. I remembered styles that would have been better forgotten. Since I was looking for a photo, rather than an article, I made reasonably good progress through the issues. They were old magazines, though, so I also needed to be reasonably careful with the pages.

Suddenly, there it was, on page 20 of the 19 December 1960 issue: a 4.75″ x 5.75″ black and white photo of Fr. Dan and . . .  Paul Hornung.

NOT Lombardi!

Of course, not exactly chopped liver, either. It was the December 10th playoff game usually referred to as the “Mud Bowl.” It’s not the only game to earn that title, but being a playoff game increased its importance.

In the photo, Hornung is sitting on the bench warming up after having made what would be the only touchdown in the 13-0 shutout against the San Francisco 49ers. His number “5” is barely visible against his previously white jersey. Fr. Dan looks on from the side, in his overcoat and fedora, hand on his hip. That was an era when you went to the game far more dressed up than today’s fans do! Of course, Fr. Dan is not identified in the photo caption, or in the article, but from the few photos I have of him, there’s no mistake.

How did he end up at that game? Throughout his career as priest, Fr. Dan was assigned many places: Colombia, Wisconsin, Mexico, Arizona, Alabama, and California, to name a few. Some were longer assignments (5-10 years) others were shorter (1-2 years). In 1960, he was in Galt, California, about 90 miles from Kezar Stadium. I’d certainly make that drive to see the Packers!

I was THRILLED with my find, photocopied the article and used the digital camera for a better shot of the photo. Unfortunately, the licensing fee for me to include it here is beyond my budget, but you can find the back issue at your local library with the details from above, or visit Getty Images and search for “Hornung bench.” You will easily recognize it from my description.

If you are wondering, yes, I DID search through the remaining issues in the unlikely event that there had been TWO photos—maybe one with Lombard! No such luck. I’ll settle for the one victory, and the satisfaction of knowing Fr. Dan was friends with some of the best football players and coaches in history.

#52Ancestors


¹”Illinois, Cook County, Birth Certificates, 1871-1940,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:N7S8-XLQ : 18 May 2016), Gerard Paul Carroll, 21 Mar 1916; Chicago, Cook, Illinois, United States, reference/certificate 10641, Cook County Clerk, Cook County Courthouse, Chicago; FHL microfilm 1,308,595.

Ten

Or more?

When I saw this prompt, I just shook my head. I had no ideas. I finally thought about all the big farm families in my tree. Surely one with ten kids would be easy to find! It turns out, not so much. My Family Tree Maker software didn’t provide an easy way to determine how many children were in each family. The best I could do was display a descendant chart and count children boxes. I found lots of families with eight or nine. And lots with 11 or 12. Finally I located a “ten!”

Jacob Meintzer is a brother to my 3rd great grandfather, Johann Philippe Adam Meintzer (born 9 April 1775). I don’t know if Jacob was older or younger than him, though. Their parents were Johann Jacob Meintzer (born November 1725) and Elisabeth Philippi (born 30 May 1742). The ancestors going from my great grandfather, Christian (My Favorite Photo) to Johann Jacob are spelled out in Doris Wesner’s books, Alsatian Connections, (documenting emigrants from 5 Alsatian towns) and Dehlingen im Krummen Elsass (a genealogy of the town of Dehlingen).

Jacob, however, does not show up in either book, nor does he appear in The Alsatian Emigration Book, by Cornelia Schrader-Muggenthaler. But my Alsatian cousins (yes, there’s still family in Alsace!) always list him, his wife, and their children on the charts. None of them show up in later years. How do eleven twelve people up and disappear?? Let’s see if I can get a better handle on this family.

Jacob and Elisabeth (no birth or death dates for either of them) had the following children (when I started this):

  • Johann Jacob (b. 26 May 1797) birth register
  • Philippe Adam (b. 21 January 1800) birth register
  • Catharina Elisabetha (b.  30 September 1801, d. 1803) birth record
  • Christina Barbara (b. 13 October 1803) birth record
  • Marguerite (d. 20 October 1804) death record could she possibly be Catharina Elisabetha, above? I don’t find her birth, and don’t find a separate death record for Catharina Elisabetha. 1803 was the death year I received for both from Alsatian cousins.
  • Christian (b. 29 October 1805; d. 21 November 1805) birth recorddeath record
  • Johann Anselme
  • Johann Peter (b. 12 January 1807) birth record
  • Chrétien (b. 22 April 1811) birth record
  • Sophie (b. 27 January 1816; d. 8 February 1816) birth recorddeath record
  • Nicholas (b. 11 May 1817) birth record

Who’s that in the dark blue? Well, I found him while searching, and he does belong to Jacob and Elisabeth. It’s a good thing I’m not the accountant in the family . . .

This family isn’t in Dehlingen with my 3rd great grandfather, so where are they? What is the source for these dates? While looking for the backstory for my great-grandmother, Sophia Gaertner (My Favorite Photo) I thought I noticed Meintzers in the Lorentzen census. It’s a starting point.

If you remember when I was looking for Sophia, I used the Archives Départmentales du Bas-Rhin. You can find it here and ask Google to translate it for you. If you want to learn how to search in it, contact me, but to keep it simple, I’ll just include direct links to the images for relevant pages. You will have to accept their Terms of Service, so click the “Accepter” box and it will let you in.

I started with the Lorentzen census records for 1836, 1851, 1856, and 1861. Nothing. Maybe I misremembered which town. I tried the Volksberg (a village known to Meintzer ancestors) census records. They weren’t there, either, but I have a theory. I moved on to the Protestant Parish records in Volksberg, and found Jacob and Elisabetha’s marriage record for 4 February 1796. I then went hunting for the children (their links are above, next to their birth dates). I had birth years for some, death years for others. I wanted to nail those down and be more specific. That’s when Philippe Adam materialized, bumping me to 11.

That name is a problem. Jacob’s brother is Johann Philippe Adam, and each brother named a son that (with duplication of other names, too!). Fortunately, the birth records clearly indicate who the parents are, so I can properly sort the children. I located birth records for all of them, with the exception of:

  • Marguerite/Margaretha–the death record clearly shows her as Jacob & Elisabeth’s child, but does not contain (or I can’t read/translate) an age for her to get me closer to a birth date. As mentioned in the bullet points for her and Catharina, are the two girls the same girl? It’s possible one death was reported and the other not, but that seems unlikely. If anyone can shed more light on this mystery, please let me know!
  • Johann Anselm–I have no years for starting points.  I’ve checked the Tables Décennales (10-year index by record type) and accounted for all the names listed there, as well as the Tables Annuelles (index at the back of each register). I’ve found omissions and errors in each index, so I didn’t rely solely on those and looked through all the birth and death registers/records for him. This family sometimes uses 3 names–should “Anselm” simply be added to one of the existing boys? Maybe. Did I miss his record(s)? Possibly. Again, if anyone runs across a birth and/or death record for him PLEASE let me know! I’m leaving him in the list so I don’t forget about him.

So, back to the question in paragraph 3: How did they disappear? To where? As far as I know, they did not emigrate to America. By the 1831 census, they are not living in Volksberg. Remember the theory I mentioned? I think they emigrated to the Odessa region of Russia, near the Black Sea.

Wow! You probably didn’t see that coming! In the late 1700s, Catherine the Great encouraged Germans to emigrate to areas of Russia. Beginning in 1803, Czar Alexander extended a similar offer to Alsatians.

The Germans From Russia website has a lot of information–some behind their subscription wall. Back in the late 1990s, I found a document there, listing Russians who had left Bessarabia to settle in the Dakotas. Among the names were Meintzers–with one listed as descending from a Meintzer from Alsace.

The Meintzer surname isn’t the most common name, neither is it extremely obscure. My experience with the name in Alsace, though, is that the Meintzers in Alsace are all related to our family one way or another. So while I don’t have a clear paper trail to link Jacob’s family with the Meintzers in Bessarabia, for me it’s a very compelling argument. Jacob’s family is the only one I really haven’t placed.

Before my grandfather, Christoph, died in 1967, he’d received a letter from a Gladys Meintzer living in either North or South Dakota, asking if he knew anything about his family tree (he didn’t). I assume she descended from one of those families that emigrated from Russia. Perhaps DNA testing will some day show us if there’s a connection between our families, though there may be too many generations in between to have success with that.

I’m glad I took the time to  look for these children, even though they are not on my direct line. It fleshed out that family a little more, and gives me a better idea of which people may have emigrated. I found some of the documents applying to my direct line, too, while I was looking. So while all my questions aren’t resolved, it’s a good start, and my tree is in better shape than it was.

#52Ancestors

On the Farm

After over 100 years, part of the farm is still there!

1985 11 29 NOLAN farm in Smiths Creek_0001
Farmhouse of Patrick Nolan and Alice Needham, in Smiths Creek, St. Clair, Michigan. It is on the north side of Smiths Creek Road, just east of Palms Road. Photo taken 29 November 1985 by Christine Bauman.

Mike’s grandmother, Elizabeth Gertrude Nolan Kukler, grew up in this farmhouse in Smiths Creek, Michigan. And no, there’s no apostrophe! Mike’s mother and her siblings would spend part of their summers with their Aunt Mary when they were young, so this was a familiar place for them.

It’s not the best photo, but by 1985, my mother-in-law had no idea who lived there, so pulling into the driveway for a better one was not possible. The 2-lane road also had no place to pull over and stop. Drive by! But the Google Street View of the Patrick Nolan House shows it was still there in August 2013 at 7890 Smiths Creek Road, looking better than than it did thirty years earlier. The V-shaped tree remains, along with the utility pole. An addition has been built on the side.

It’s now surrounded by the Leaning Tree Golf Club, so I’m not sure if it’s owned by the golf club, or if it’s still in the extended family, as an internet search seems to indicate. This property was not, however, part of the original land acquired by Patrick’s father, John Nolan. That parcel is on Yager Road, between Wales Center Road and Fitz Road:

1855 NOLAN John b 1807 land patent.JPG
“South West quarter of the South East quarter of Section Thirty three in Township Six North of Range Fifteen East in the District of Lands subject to sale at Detroit Michigan containing Forty acres.” https://glorecords.blm.gov/details/patent/default.aspx?accession=0887-256&docClass=MW&sid=i2atso2w.uuw#patentDetailsTabIndex=1 

The 1897 plat map¹ for Wales Township shows the relative locations of various Nolan properties. Patrick’s are outlined in red, (an arrow for the house location) others are outlined in blue. The John Nolan listed on this map is Patrick’s younger brother. Their father passed away in 1886, but his youngest son took over that farm.

1897-mi-st-clair-county-wales-plat-map-e1538345230509.jpg
Nolan properties, southern Wales Township, St. Clair, Michigan. John Nolan’s original property is in blue along lower boundary. Son Michael is east of him, Patrick has 2 properties north and east. Red arrow identifies location of Patrick’s house (above).

John Nolan was born in Ireland (possibly Clonegal, County Carlow, like his children) around 1807². He married Elizabeth Mary Halpin[e]/Alpin[e] (her spelling is very flexible!) and had their first three children: Mary, Ann, and Patrick; before moving everyone to Michigan in 1855. Michael & John were born in Wales Township in 1856 and 1860.

In 1870, Patrick² was 19 and still in his father’s house. By 1880, he was married³ and living on his own—sort of. His father, John, was still on the original property. Newlyweds Patrick and Alice are living in a house with a slightly older couple. Both men are “farmer,” rather than one being “farm laborer.” The other wife is “House Keeper” instead of the more typical “Keeping House.” The agricultural census4 that year tells us about Patrick’s farm (I don’t see the other man on that schedule):

  • Patrick owned (not rented) it
  • 25 acres were tilled
  • 0 acres were in permanent meadows, pastures, orchards & vineyards
  • 28 acres woodland and forest
  • 0 acres otherwise unimproved
  • The farm land and building were worth $1000
  • His farming implements and machinery were worth $25
  • The livestock was worth $250
  • He spent $0 building and repairing fences in 1879
  • He had no hired labor the previous year
  • The estimated value for his total farm production was $240
  • There were 3 acres mown, and 0 acres not mown grasslands and 3 tons of hay, 0 bushels clover seed, 0 bushels grass seed
  • On 1 June 1880, he had 2 horses, and 0 mules, 0 working oxen, 2 milch cows, and 1 other cattle. Two calves were born.
  • Regarding cattle, in 1879, he purchased 0, sold 0 living, slaughtered 0, and 0 died, strayed, or were stolen and not recovered.
  • Zero gallons of milk or butter were sold or sent to butter or cheese factories in 1879, and 200 lbs butter, 0 lbs cheese, were made on the farm in 1879, with 0 on hand 1 June 1880.
  • In 1879, he had 0 lambs, purchased 0, sold 0 live, slaughtered 0, with 0 killed by dogs, 0 dying of disease, and 0 dying for stress of weather.
  • In spring 1880, he had 0 shorn fleeces weighing 0 lbs.
  • There were 1 swine on hand 1 June 1880, as well as 9 barnyard poultry and 0 others.
  • 40 dozen eggs were produced in 1879.
  • His 1879 crop production was:
Crop Area in Acres Bushels
Barley
Buckwheat
Indian Corn
Oats 6 214
Rye
Wheat 4 60
Canadian Peas
Beans
Flax seed Tons of straw Lbs. of fiber
Hemp
Sorghum Lbs. of sugar Gal. of Molasses
Maple Sugar Lbs. of sugar Gal. of Molasses
Broom corn
Hops Lbs.
Potatoes (Irish)
Potatoes (sweet)
Tobacco
Apples 1 No. of trees Val. Of orchard products sold $0
Peaches No. of trees
Nurseries
Vineyards Lbs. grapes sold Wine made
Value of Market Garden Produce sold
Bees Lbs. honey Lbs. wax
Wood Cords cut Value of products Sold or consumed

That’s a lot of detail for one page! Only 10 farms were reported per page, with it broken into 4 sections to hold the information. Obviously the form was created for farms all over the country, so not everything applied to Michigan. Patrick also had a lot of blank sections. Either he

  • didn’t have anything to report in those areas
  • didn’t have records to know how much to report for those items
  • didn’t trust the government, so played dumb, anyway.

He was a fairly young farmer at the time, just getting started, so any of them are possible. I know from his 1904 obituary that he was considered a livestock dealer. We get a slight foreshadowing of that from this snapshot. While his livestock holdings aren’t huge, this farm is definitely not concentrating on grains or other crops! I think most of what he grew was used for the livestock he did have, with some for their own use.

Some time between 1880 and 1897 Patrick expanded his holdings around the house and acquired the 70 acres farther west. I’d need a road trip to go camp out with the land deeds to figure out when those pieces came together. In the meantime, we get this little glimpse into the early workings of his farm. It’s also nice to see the house still there all these years later.

#52Ancestors


¹”U.S., Indexed County Land Ownership Maps, 1860-1918″, database, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com), citing Standard Atlas of St. Clair County, Michigan (Chicago; Geo. A. Ogle and Co., 1897), plate 49, “Wales Township”. Entry for John NOLAN, accessed 5 March 2018.

²1870 U.S. census, population schedule, Michigan, St. Clair, Wales Township; Page 33; dwelling number 266; family number 272; line 25; John NOWLAND [NOLAN] household; accessed 30 September 2018. Patrick NOWLAND, age 19; NARA microfilm publication M593, roll 699; digital image, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com).

³1880 U.S. census, population schedule, Michigan, St. Clair, Wales Township, e.d. 393; Page 32 (written); dwelling number 309; family number 315; line 31; William MATTHEWS household; accessed 22 August 2018. Patrick NOLAN, age 28; NARA microfilm publication T9, roll 605; digital image, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com).

41880 U.S. census, “Agriculture schedule”, Michigan, St. Clair, Wales, e.d. 393; Page 25 (written); line 10, Patrick NOLAN; accessed 24 August 2018. Population schedule page [ ], line [ ]; NARA publication; T1164, roll 55.

Unusual Source

Sometimes I find people in odd places . . .

John Carmody portrait 1906
Photo ca. 1906 probably provided by him to The Port Huron Daily Herald for an article written about him 2 March 1906

John Joseph Carmody is Mike’s paternal grandfather. Due to some odd circumstances (Where There’s a Will), he did not raise Mike’s father. John died in 1940—he’s been gone a long time.

When I started researching Mike’s tree, I had little information, so tackled the records with easiest access—censuses. I located John with these occupations in:

  • 1900—horse trainer¹
  • 1910—soliciting agency²—what did that mean?
  • 1920—master transportation, Michigan Short Ship Circuit³

Say what? That last string of words meant nothing to me. It could have been Greek. I wrote it down, but had no clue. If you remember in Close Up, I mentioned the fateful trip to Port Huron that blew apart the faulty tree I had constructed for Mike. Knowing John’s death date, I had requested the microfilm of the local paper at the county library, hoping to find his obituary. That was the lovely record4 unraveling the family.

But that wasn’t the only information in the obituary, which was surprisingly lengthy and was located on the front page—also unexpected. I learned he:

  • had a nickname—”Racetrack Jack”
  • “was founder of the Michigan Short Ship Trotting circuit
  • “was one of the outstanding authorities on trotting horses in Michigan”
  • became “a master of transportation for the racehorse circuit and his ‘Carmody Special’ became known throughout the United States”

Wow!

I know you’re thinking, “Census records and newspaper articles aren’t unusual sources!” No, they aren’t. You know how every once in a while you get bored and Google your own name (to see how many “yous” are out there), or old boy/girlfriends? Well, genealogists do that with our dead people. Sometimes with our live people, too. New sources show up online, or someone creates a new web site for their genealogy. You never quite know what, if anything, you’ll find.

So on a boring Thursday afternoon, 10 November 2016, I decided to see if there was anything new for John Joseph Carmody—particularly as it related to horse or harness racing. I don’t remember what my search terms were, but I ended up with many results I could clearly see were “not him.” Most of them I didn’t even click into.

Then I saw one for The Horse Review, in Google Books, of all places! Oh, what the heck! I clicked on it and discovered it was an ebook, accessible for free. Naturally, I clicked through again and found myself in the Horse Review 23 April 1901 vol 26 page 421 (yes, you can click on the link and go there yourself). It was a little article in the lower right corner talking about the upcoming racing season in Michigan, mentioning John by name, and talking about his special train.

The Horse Review (I’ve since learned) was a weekly newspaper published from 1885-1932 about the standardbred harness horse. It was the place to go if you were looking for that kind of news. A more recent search also turned up this page: Horse Review 17 June 1902 vol 26 page 648. It had an ad for the upcoming (1902) season at the bottom of the page, again mentioning that John Carmody was in charge of transporting the horses by rail (lower left corner). The idea was to not only entice spectators to the track, but also to encourage potential contestants to sign up their horses and drivers.

Why do I care about this relatively obscure periodical? It’s not telling me anything momentous. I already learned about this activity of John’s from the census records and his obituary. Remember, though, that obituaries are frequently written by (or the information provided by) family members. There’s always the potential for embellishment, or just flat-out mistakes. So while I love the details in the obituary, having an unbiased source to corroborate that information is extremely useful.

Prepping for this blog post, I did further newspaper searching for John. He was all over the Port Huron papers from 1901-1921. Sometimes it was an article about

  • the upcoming season
  • which horses were coming in for a set of races
  • his travels in and out of town, dealing with race business
  • the horses he’d arranged to come in for the race (now the “soliciting agency” occupation in 1910 makes more sense!)
  • occasionally it was about a birth, death, or marriage in the family, but those were the minority

It would have been easy to blow off the Horse Review search result when I first saw it, but I’m so glad I took the time to check it out. I love discovering the little everyday bits and pieces that round people out. While they sometimes raise other questions, we get a much clearer picture of the person and his or her life. We—and they—are so much more than just a birth and death date.

#52Ancestors


¹1900 U.S. census, population schedule, Michigan, St. Clair, Port Huron Ward 7, e.d. 103; Page 16B; dwelling number 371; family number 378; line 99; John CARMODY [PARMODY] household; accessed 21 September 2018. John CARMODY [PARMODY], age 37; NARA microfilm publication T623, roll 742; digital image, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com).

²1910 U.S. census, population schedule, Michigan, St. Clair, Port Huron Ward 7, e.d. 115; Page 14B; dwelling number 360; family number 365; line 64; John J. CARMODY household; accessed 21 September 2018. John J. CARMODY, age 47; NARA microfilm publication T624, roll 673; digital image, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com).

³1920 U.S. census, population schedule, Michigan, St. Clair, Port Huron Ward 7, e.d. 123; page 5A; dwelling number 95; family number 98; line 15; John J. CARMODY household; accessed 21 Septermber 2018. John J. CARMODY, age 56; NARA microfilm publication T625, roll 795; digital image, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com).

4“John Carmody Dies Thursday,” 5 January 1940, Newspapers.com: accessed 22 September 2018, record number: n.g.; citing original p. 1 col. 5 below photo, entry for John CARMODY, The Port Huron Times Herald, Port Huron, Michigan, online archive (http://www.newspapers.com).

 

 

Closest to Your Birthday

What? 100 years isn’t close?

You are probably expecting to read about someone who shares my birthday, or has a birthday close in date to mine. With 5000+ people in my tree, finding a shared or near birthday shouldn’t be difficult. There are only 365 days (366, counting leap year), so you have to start doubling up fairly quickly. If that’s what you are looking for, though, you will be disappointed!

When I began my genealogy life (Start), I soon learned that three of my eight great grandparents—all on my dad’s side—were born 100 (or 99–a little fudge factor, there) years before me:

  • Frank Haas/Haws: born 3 March 1858,  Two Rivers, Manitowoc, Wisconsin. He was the first or second child in his family born in the USA. I can’t quite nail down where his sister, Dorothy was born, but I’m sure for Frank. He stayed on the family farm (The Old Homestead) until he retired. None of his sons continued on as farmers.
    frank haws_0001
    Frank Haase/Haas/Haws 1858-1933. Photo came from one of the Haws grandaunts 40+ years ago. Taken before 4 May 1933 (Frank’s death date).

     

  • Dorothea Harry : born 26 March 1858, Two Rivers, Manitowoc, Wisconsin. She was the second youngest child of Peter Haré/Hary/Harry and Elisabetha Bullea/Boullie. You met Dorothea’s mother in Travel, as she carried one child and kicked the other as they walked to the farm. Dorothea moved to the Chicago North Shore to work as live-in help for one of the families. That was not uncommon for the time, and one of the few ways a girl could find a way out of rural Wisconsin. That allowed her to meet Ignatz!
    HARRY Dorothea portrait
    Photo credit: I thought I got it from Barb. She thought she got it from me. I probably got it from Fred. THANKS, FRED! 

    Dorothea Schweiger_0001

 

 

  • Ignatz Schweiger:   born 13 May 1859, Niederhoefen, Bavaria, Germany. He was the 2nd youngest child of a cheese maker. He came to America about 1882, as a butcher. How he learned that trade, I’m not really sure, but the family’s life revolved around that, and later, the restaurant. Everyone in the family worked there at some point (Black Sheep), and it was how my grandparents met each other (Invite to Dinner). How he and Dorothea met, I don’t know, though I suspect it was at church. I doubt that either one had much free time.
    Ignatz Schweiger barb
    Photo credit–ditto. I know Ignatz is a year off, but it’s pretty darn close!

    Ignatz Schweiger_0001
    As a teenager, the fact that I born 100 years after these direct ancestors caught my eye, and connected me to those great grandparents a little differently than the other seven. I obviously never met them, and my dad knew only two of them, but somehow they just seemed closer.

 

The generational gaps from them to me were a little wider than typical. In genealogy, if we’re trying to decide when a parent’s birth might have occurred, we start looking 20-25 years before the birth of their oldest child. But this descendancy follows:

  • middle and younger children to
  • middle children (Ed & Victoria) to
  • youngest (Dad) to
  • youngest,

so we have 29 to 37 year gaps. Getting those to come out evenly to 100 is a little tricky—like when the cash register rings up with an even dollar amount, instead of stray cents. It’s not impossible, but seems to happen rarely—certainly less often than one in 100 transactions!

So is there any great significance to the last two digits of their birth years matching mine? Not really. It’s one of those serendipitous things that pops up in family trees—coincidences that have us wondering if they are accidental. None of my immediate cousins can make this same claim–not even with the other great grandparents. One of my children, though, was born 100 years after a great grandfather on my mom’s side, while another was born between two great grandmothers—so 99 and 101 years later. That’s something I never even thought about until just now.

Should I cue the Twilight Zone or X-Files music, yet? No, but I will probably continue to try and notice when these quirky coincidences happen. Maybe life isn’t as random as it sometimes seems.

#52Ancestors

Work

Sometimes our work and our loves coincide . . .

You met my grandfather, Edward Mathias Haws, in Invite to Dinner. He was born 12 February 1887 in Kossuth, Manitowoc, Wisconsin—in the house you met in The Old Homestead. His father, Frank, was a farmer, and I’m sure Ed did his share of farm work growing up. But I always knew of him as a carpenter.

He wasn’t a woodworker-type carpenter—tables, chairs, and whatnot. He was what I would call a house framer–building structures. I’m sure carpenters have a more appropriate term, but that’s the simplest term that comes to my mind. He did, however, make a couple of end tables that have stayed in the family. My cousin, Barb, has one she inherited from her dad, and my brother has another, inherited from our dad:

grandpa haws table barb
Barb’s table (photo used with permission)
Grandpa Haws table_cropped
My parents’ table (which apparently had a stain on top, hence the runner! (photo in my possession)
Grandpa Haws table Warren
Top of table on the right, refinished by my brother: “I sanded the top to remove the stain and finished to reveal the three woods that make the top, walnut, maple, and oak.” Photo credit, Warren Haws. Also the refinishing work!

Each table is fairly simple. They don’t match. I’m not sure if they were even made at the same time, or if Victoria said, “Hey, I need a table for next to this chair,” and he pieced together something with the wood he had handy at the time. Next time it was a different wood selection. Nevertheless, both are older than me, so probably have 3/4 of a century of use already.

So how did Edward Haws morph from farmer to carpenter? I don’t have a clear cut answer, but I have found information allowing me to create a timeline of his work life. In the 1900 census¹ he was still in school—probably not for much longer, as he had only an eighth grade education.² I’m sure his father had him working hard on the farm, too.  What has me puzzled, though, is when and how he made the switch from farming (what he grew up with) to carpentry?

The 1905 Wisconsin State Census³ has him off the family farm at age 18—working for Charles Kasten for 7 months as a “hired man”—”day laborer” in nearby Two Rivers. Kasten was a farmer, so the “day laborer” seems a little odd to me. There are other entries in that column for “farm laborer,” so there’s clearly a distinction. The enumerator would have been told the occupation, so someone (Ed? his employer?) saw Ed as something other than a farm worker. Is this when the shift started? Granted, on a farm you are going to end up doing a lot of building repair, and construction, so it’s not a huge stretch of the imagination. There were also two carpenters on the farm adjacent. Did they help him hone his skills? Who knows?

Family lore (AKA probably my dad or Uncle Henry) has Ed moving to Glencoe, Cook, Illinois, when he was 21—about 1908. Unfortunately, Ed is AWOL (so far!) in the 1910 census. Neither he nor his older brother, John, are on the family farm. I even checked out the Kasten family Ed was working for five years earlier—nada. Nor do I find him in Glencoe, near the Schweiger family, which he will marry into in four years.

Realizing the last name has lots of misspelling potential, I paged through 4 of the 8 enumeration districts in New Trier township, with no success. My eyes needed a break before tackling the rest of them! Barb did the same thing in Wisconsin. We found lots of other Haws relatives, but no sign of him. Several options exist:

  • The enumerators missed him entirely (he was young, single, and possibly moving around)
  • His name(s) got horribly mangled, so we can’t find him in the indexes
  • Whoever he was lodging with was careless with providing information—either missed or wrong
  • He was living and working some place we aren’t looking at
  • More than one of of the above!

He and Victoria marry in 1914, and they needed to date prior to that, but it’s possible he wasn’t living in Glencoe in 1910. Without knowing a specific location, that’s a LOT of microfilmed/digitized images to page through between Manitowoc and Chicago . . .

At some point in the 1910s, he built 2 houses on next to each other in Glencoe—one for his in-laws, and one for himself. His 3 older children were born in that house on Woodlawn, and that’s where he was living for the 1917 WWI draft.4 So in June, he was a gardener, day laborer. I do know he liked to do gardening. Maybe he had that as a sideline, so if he wasn’t working on a house construction job at the time, I can see him listing gardener as his occupation, and not carpenter.

Some time in the next 9 months, he moved the family back to Wisconsin, settling in Manitowoc (town), to work in the shipbuilding yards. Their last 2 children—George and my dad—were born there, and the 1920 census5 lists shipbuilding as his occupation. By 1925, the family is back in the Chicago area, renting in Highwood6 while Ed built the family’s new home in Deerfield.

The 19307 and 1940² censuses list his occupation as carpenter. What they don’t tell you, is that he was a member of the carpenter’s union, and wouldn’t work on a non-union construction job. As difficult as times were during the Depression, adding that limitation to where he would or wouldn’t work would have made them more so. Nor do those documents tell you that he helped with the construction of the rectory where my parents got married (Going to the Chapel), or other “side projects.”

For instance, when my parents bought their 1st house in 1952, it had no garage. Grandpa came out and helped my dad build a 2-car garage. And the two of them constructed custom storage in the upstairs hallway, using unfinished dressers for the base, and building a cupboard top above it, all the way to the ceiling. Whether he constructed anything similar in his other children’s houses, I don’t know, but it would seem likely.

He died in 1966, at the age of 79. but I don’t know when he retired from work. How and where my grandfather learned his carpentry trade, I don’t know, but it was a huge part of his life, and seemed to spill down to later generations, including (but not limited to):

  • my dad, who rebuilt the front half of the garage next door to us (which partly burned down)
  • 2 of my brothers, who developed considerable skill in woodworking
  • at least 2 of my children, who also “kick around” in wood a good bit. You know how kids are—we don’t always hear everything!

Is there a “woodworking gene”? I don’t know, but part of me wouldn’t be the least bit surprised!

#52Ancestors


¹1900 U.S. census, population schedule, Wisconsin, Manitowoc, Kossuth Town, e.d. 69; Page 7A; dwelling number 122; family number 131; line 34; Frank HAWS household; accessed 6 September 2018. Edward HAWS, age 13; NARA microfilm publication T623, roll 1797; digital image, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com).

²1940 U.S. census, population schedule, Illinois, Lake, Deerfield, e.d. 49-107; Page 14B; household number 301; line 48; Edward HAWS household; accessed 10 September 2018. Edward HAWS, age 53; NARA microfilm publication T627, roll 828; digital image, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com).

³1905 Wisconsin state census, population schedule, Manitowoc, Two Rivers town, p. 928, family no. 188, line 98, entry for Edward HAAS [HAWS], age 18 in Charles KASTEN household; accessed 7 Septermber 2018, index and images; FamilySearch, FHL microfilm 1020454.

4“United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918”, digital image, The National Archives (https://www.familysearch.org), Edward Matt HAWS, serial no. 933, order no. 60, Draft Board 3, Cook County, Illinois, citing World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. Washington, D.C.: NARA microfilm publication M1509, 4,582 rolls. Imaged from Family History Library Roll No. 1504112. accessed 6 September 2018. Registered 5 June 1917.

51920 U.S. census, population schedule, Wisconsin, Manitowoc, Manitowoc Ward 6, e.d. 106; Page 9A; dwelling number 1860; family number 169; line 36; Edward M. HOWE [HAWS] household; accessed 7 September 2018. Edward M. HOWE [HAWS], age 32; NARA microfilm publication T625, roll 1994; digital image, Ancestry.com. (https://www.ancestry.com).

6“U. S. City Directories, 1822-1995”, database, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com), citing Polk’s Waukegan Directory, 1925. Entry for Edw. HAWS, p. 685, accessed 7 September 2018.

71930 U.S. census, population schedule, Illinois, Cook, Deerfield, e.d. 49-17; Page 2A; dwelling number 23; family number 23; line 21; Edward HAUSS household; accessed 10 September 2018; NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 528; digital image, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com).

Back to School

Why didn’t all the kids receive the same education?

I had a plan worked out for this week . . . and then I went walking Thursday morning. A different topic popped into my head, so it was back to the drawing board. Or blackboard? Since I didn’t actually have anything written, it’s not like I wasted any time, but it was a mental re-boot, nevertheless.

I love the 1940 census because it’s the only one (available now, at least) that recorded the amount of schooling a person had. It’s an interesting detail, especially for the older relatives. I knew my paternal grandmother, Victoria Schweiger (Invite to Dinner), graduated from 8th grade. I’ve seen her class’s graduation photo in the 25th Anniversary book for Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Winnetka, Illinois. I discovered her younger brothers had more schooling, though. Was that a gender bias, or just a change in values and opportunities? I decided to try to find out.

Ignatz Schweiger and Dorothea Harry had eleven children:

  • Elizabeth Mary (Aunt Lizzy), b. 8 November 1886,    8th¹
  • Aloysious Francis (Uncle Al), b. 11 April 1888,    H-4²
  • Clemence Mary, b. 15 October 1889, d. 25 March 1890
  • Ignatz Joseph (Uncle Iggy), b. 15 October 1889 (yes, a twin!),    H-2³
  • Anthony George (Cemetery), b. 17 January 1891, d 28 September 1914
  • Anna Maria, b. 27 September 1892, d. 27 October 1893
  • Victoria Barbara, b. 2 December 1894,    8th4
  • Leo Mattheau (Uncle Leo Black Sheep), b. 24 December 1896,    H-45
  • Rose Dorothea (Aunt Rose The Maiden Aunt), b. 21 February 1900,    H-26
  • Sylvester Joseph (Uncle Syl), b. 25 September 1901,    H-47
  • Frederick Hugh (Uncle Freddie), b. 17 July 1905,    H-48

I located the 1940 census records for the eight children alive in 1940, and recorded their education levels above, at the end of their lines. Uncle Al gave me fits, because the Ancestry indexing mangled both his first and last names, as well as his wife’s. I finally tracked them down, and have submitted corrections!

Unfortunately, Anthony died before 1940. The rest of the boys (except for Uncle Iggy) graduated from high school. The oldest daughter, Lizzy, and my grandmother, Victoria, graduated from 8th grade, but Rose received two more years.

A bit of gender bias seems evident. Was that the way my great-grandparents thought, or was it simply the “norm” for that time and place? This is one of those frequent times when I’d love to be able to ask my great grandparents some questions. Or even my grandmother—I’m sure she could have provided a decent explanation. What kind of questions do I have?

  • Why only 8th grade for Lizzy & Victoria? As far as I know, they were pretty smart women. Were they needed to work in the butcher shop/restaurant?  Did Lizzy and Victoria simply mis-remember how many years? They’d been out of school for 30+ years, and maybe it wasn’t that big a deal for them, anyway. Or had opinions changed enough by the time Rose reached high school, so girls were educated longer?
  • Why only 2 years for Iggy? That seems a little odd. Was something going on with the family that he dropped out early? Did they need help in the butcher shop/restaurant, so he stepped in? Maybe school just wasn’t his thing. I’m having trouble finding him in the 1910 and 1920 census (not with the family), and WWI draft, so I’m not sure where he was or what he was doing. He was a lodger in the 1940 census, and I noticed that the 15 year old young lady from the line above also had 2 years of high school. Remember, the pages microfilmed (and digitized) are copies of the “field sheets” written by the enumerator. Was he simply “on a roll” and filled in H-2, when it should have been H-4? Maybe.

Is there any way I can answer those questions? I don’t know. I might be able to contact the high school and request their records. But which school? New Trier High School is the current public school—but is that the one they would have attended? Or was there a Catholic high school they would have gone to? They attended the Catholic grade school—would they have been able to afford a Catholic high school?

Maybe Lizzy and Victoria DID attend additional years, but thought the question asked about graduating from high school, and answered it incorrectly? My dad had mentioned that both his parents only an 8th grade education, so I really don’t think that’s likely—but maybe.

Unfortunately, Ignatz and Dorothea died before 1940, so I don’t know their education levels. It seems that they tried, as much as possible, to see their children well-educated, though. I think that legacy has mostly continued through the succeeding generations. Thanks, guys!

#52Ancestors


¹1940 U.S. census, population schedule, Illinois, Cook, Northfield, e.d. 16-339; sheet 22A; household number 468; line 27; Elizabeth LEVERNIER household; accessed 31 August 2018. Elizabeth LEVERNIER, age 53; NARA microfilm publication T627, roll 782; digital image, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com).

²1940 U.S. census, population schedule, New Jersey, Bergen, Westwood Borough, e.d. 2-376; sheet 1A; household number 2; line 4; Aloysius F. SCHWEIGER household; accessed 31 August 2018. Aloysius F. SCHWEIGER, age 51; NARA microfilm publication T627, roll 2316; digital image, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com).

³1940 U.S. census, population schedule, Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Milwaukee, e.d. 72-313; sheet 2A; household number 27; line 40; Louis BRZEZINSKI household; accessed 30 August 2018. Igantz SCHWEIGER, age 51, lodger; NARA microfilm publication T627, roll 4554; digital image, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com).

41940 U.S. census, population schedule, Illinois, Lake, Deerfield, e.d. 49-107; sheet 14B; household number 301; line 49; Edward HAWS household; accessed 30 August 2018. Victoria HAWS, age 45; NARA microfilm publication T627, roll 828; digital image, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com).

51940 U.S. census, population schedule, Illinois, Cook, Wilmette, e.d. 16-297; sheet 6A; household number 95; line 16; Joseph RAU household; accessed 25 June 2018. Leo SCHWEIGER, age 43; NARA microfilm publication T627, roll 782; digital image, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com).

61940 U.S. census, population schedule, Illinois, Cook, Wilmette, e.d. 16-297; sheet 6A; household number 95; line 15; Joseph RAU household; accessed 25 June 2018. Rose RAU, age 40; NARA microfilm publication T627, roll 782; digital image, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com).

71940 U.S. census, population schedule, Illinois, Cook, Chicago, e.d. 103-1214; sheet 8A; household number 160; line 19; Sylvester SCHWEIGER household; accessed 31 August 2018. Sylvester SCHWEIGER, age 38; NARA microfilm publication T627, roll 958; digital image, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com).

81940 U.S. census, population schedule, Illinois, Lake, Highland Park, e.d. 49-19 sheet 61A; household number 398; line 14; Fred SCHWEIGER household; accessed 31 August 2018. Fred SCHWEIGER, age 34; NARA microfilm publication T627, roll 828; digital image, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com).