I recently purchased copies of a birth certificate, a marriage license and a death certificate.
Birth certificate: Florence Korn
This shows her parents’ names. Her mother’s maiden name (Frieda Muhs) was indexed as Frieda Ninho. I can tell how the indexer made the mistake (really sloppy handwriting), but it’s still irritating.
Marriage license: Stanley Dengg and Anna Korn
This shows the date and place of marriage, as well as the correct name of the groom. For some reason, I thought it was Anton. I don’t know where I got that from, but it does show that memories can be false (or vague … ). This is the wedding that my mom attended when she was about 3. She said it was the first time she got drunk (I have no idea if there were many times, I only know about this one). She went around drinking beer out of the glasses that the adults left within reach. I’m sure they thought it was a hoot.
Death certificate: Anna Korn
I was hoping to get her parents’ names from this, but unfortunately, they are not listed. The informant was her daughter-in-law, Frieda (Muhs) Korn. So I’ll have to find the information elsewhere.
Henry Muhs in Illinois Death and Stillbirths, 1916-1947, died 8 Jan 1927 in Chicago, Cook, Illinois, United States. Lists father (Peter Muhs), mother (Kath … Stotenberg) names and birth place (Bosbik by Kiel, Germany), wife Hannah Muhs, occupation: painter, race: white, address 1432 Wolfram. FHL film number is 1877900 (anybody want to go look that up for me?).
1920 Census lists Henry and Hannah Muhs living at 1432 Wolfram in Chicago. He owned the building. Henry, Frieda and Florence Korn also lived in the building. Frieda is the daughter of Henry and Hannah Muhs.
Henry Muhs death date, father’s and mother’s names, birth place for all three, Henry’s occupation, 1920 place of residence, Henry Muhs owned the building and his daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter lived there. Henry Korn was a box maker. Henry Korn came to the U.S. in 1907. Henry and Hannah Korn came to the U.S. in 1887.
Google image of 1432 Wolfram:
Next step is to get all this information linked to my three trees on Ancestry, FamilySearch and WikiTree.
Note: Johanna Cornilsen married Heinrich Muhs. She apparently went by Hannah. I believe that she remarried after he died. The name of her second husband might be Anton Dengg, but I haven’t corroborated that. My mom (Janice Burrell Snyder) told that she got drunk when she was about 3 at her grandma’s wedding when guests left a little beer in the bottom of their glasses and little Janice went around finishing off the glasses.
That means that I (their first grandchild) am now their oldest living descendant.
I have nothing profound to say. Just keep in touch with your family and write things down. Remember.
On my way to the library in Fort Dodge to volunteer at the Webster County Genealogical Society, I had this thought: everybody has heroes and villains in their family.
It’s so simple and true.
Some people try to hide the skeletons in the family closet, but I think we really shouldn’t do that. Maybe I would feel differently if it turned out that a close relative was high in the Nazi party or something along those lines, but I think we have to accept our family history.
In my family’s case, one known villain was a young man who in a heated moment made a really bad decision.
On Saturday, July 11, 1908, Will Carr was involved in a fight with a stranger near the train depot in Gowrie, Iowa, after drinking heavily that afternoon. Town Marshal Thomas Nicholson apparently broke up the fight or attempted to arrest Will Carr. Will (he’s sometimes referred to as William or Wilbur) went home and got a gun, then went back to the depot, where he found the marshal and shot him.
There are newspaper accounts of the incident and the subsequent trial. One of the articles mentions that Thomas Nicholson’s wife was the sister of Ira Carr’s wife. This Ira Carr was the brother of Will Carr. This was confirmed in a book called “The Biographical Record of Webster County, Iowa” which was published by the S.J. Clarke Publishing Company in 1902.
That book lists the children of Richard Quick, including Bessie, married to Thomas Nicholson, a farmer of Roland township, and Leona, married to Ira Carr, also a farmer of Roland township. Roland township is north of Gowrie.
I’m sure that time eases the impact of these events. Had this occurred within my lifetime I would probably not be so easy with it. But we are the sum of everything that has happened before us. It shapes our families and it shapes our selves. We can embrace the good and try to learn from the bad, but it doesn’t help to hide it away.
March 3 — Do you share a first name with one of your female ancestors? Perhaps you were named for your great-grandmother, or your name follows a particular naming pattern. If not, then list the most unique or unusual female first name you’ve come across in your family tree.
My mom and her sisters followed a sort of naming pattern where their children all have middle names from other close family members. My middle name is Elaine, after my Aunt Nancy. My sister’s middle name is the same as another aunt’s first name, but also the same first and last name as a cousin of our mom’s.
I won’t go into details about exactly who has what name other than that, because of identity theft possibilities.
I followed the naming pattern, giving Amanda the same middle name as my paternal grandmother (because her first name was Gladys and I couldn’t deal with that) and Cayla a version of the name of Kent’s paternal grandmother, Mary.
Donna didn’t follow this pattern, and I don’t know if my Burrell cousins did or not. But I liked keeping family names in my own family.
On Kent’s side of the family, there were a couple of instances where a child died and a subsequent child in that same family was given the same name. In one case, both little girls named Olive died. There is also a Lurana and a Lurany in two generations – I have never seen either name in any other context. (According to Baby Name Train, there were five Luranas in 1884 but none since then.)
March 2 — Post a photo of one of your female ancestors. Who is in the photo? When was it taken? Why did you select this photo?
This is a photo of my mom (Janice) with her younger sister Diane. The youngest sister, Nancy, had not been born yet. I’m guessing Diane was about 1-2 years old here, so Mom would be about 6-7 years old. So, about 1944-1945.
I just like this photo. It looks like it was taken at home. Mom’s hair is cute and curly. I can really recognize her, even though she is so young in the photo.
What I should do now is show the old family photos to Mom – to see if they awaken any memories, and see what she can communicate about them. It’s difficult now because of her dementia and speaking in rhyme, but we try to glean the meanings of what she’s trying to tell us.
I’m making a second attempt at doing a blog post a day for a whole month. This month is National Women’The Accidental Genealogists History Month, so the blog prompts for March at are all about women ancestors.
March 1 — Do you have a favorite female ancestor? One you are drawn to or want to learn more about? Write down some key facts you have already learned or what you would like to learn and outline your goals and potential sources you plan to check.
I’m going to include women on Kent’s side of the family for some of these.
His grandmother and her mother were both married more than once. His great-grandmother was Ada Waite Overend Fletcher, born in England. Her first husband, Albert Overend, must have died. I don’t think I have his information. But they had a son, Albert.
Ada remarried – Henry Fletcher. They moved to the United States. She had a daughter, Hilda, born in San Diego. Ada died, leaving Henry to raise the two children.
Hilda grew up and married Paul Rudolph Rieboldt. Paul was in the Navy. Hilda was living in Pensacola, Florida, when Pauline (Kent’s mom) was born. Soon after Pauline’s birth, Hilda and Paul took in Hilda’s nephew, Albert Richard Overend. His father had died in a military plane accident and his mother had remarried. I think she died in childbirth, and the stepfather didn’t want him. So Hilda and Paul raised him.
However, there were problems in the marriage and Hilda and Paul divorced. She raised the two kids by herself. She married again, but I haven’t found her second husband’s name – I have a photo of a wedding or bridal shower cake with the names “Hilda” and “Mac” on it.
Mac died, leaving Hilda to raise the kids on her own again. She met and married Jasper Coomes – called “Jap” – while Pauline was still in school, I believe. I think Pauline looked at Jap as her father figure.
I would like to know more about each of these marriages – what happened to each husband. The name of Hilda’s second husband. What happened to young Albert’s mother.
I’ll have to check military records for Paul Rieboldt and Albert Overend (2). I wonder if his wife got a pension …
There are more records to check, of course, but I’ll need to sit down and decide where to start.
I decided to participate in the Genea Bloggers advent calendar of Christmas memories on this blog. The first blog prompt is The Christmas Tree.
Growing up, my family had live trees. Dad made the tree stand himself – it was very sturdy, but it was not very pretty. We had a lot of glass ornaments and a mixture of other kinds.
My favorite ornaments were musical instruments. We had glass ones like violin or cello – it can be hard to tell with instruments, especially when you haven’t seen the real thing in person (and it was decades ago, so my memory is faint). There were also drums that had little drumsticks. I think they were styrofoam covered in paper and fabric or felt.
There were also shiny and dull glass ornaments with glitter designs. And at least one bread dough ornament in the shape of a dove. I’m sure there were home-made (or school-made) creations by Donna and me, as well.
We also had two or three tinsel garlands and a garland made of plastic candy. The bulbs were the big, fat kind. I think we had a glass tree topper, not an angel.
As I mentioned, it was decades ago. I don’t have any photos, and it’s hard to remember after all this time. But that’s the idea behind this blog.
The mission of this blog is to share family history and memories.
Many of my ancestors lived in Fort Dodge, Iowa – there has been an ancestor or relative of mine living in Webster County since 1880, when William and Lydia Burrell brought their family here from Wisconsin. It’s possible that some of Lydia’s family had been here prior to that – it’s one of the mysteries to be discovered.
So when I found out about WikiTree, I quickly got an invitation and joined. You can’t just sign up – you have to be invited.
There are many styles of family trees available – some like the one above that show several generations – there are also more vertical formats. Some have images behind the names, such a maps of different areas or photos of places. The image below is what the trees look like when you are working on them:
At this point, I need to add my photo (if you see the photo that means I’ve added it since). And I’ve got more names to add.
One thing you should do if you join (and you can ask me for an invitation by email at firstname.lastname@example.org ) is read carefully and sign (electronically) the Wiki Genealogist Honor Code. It has nine requirements, and you should understand and agree with them before you add to the wiki.
The cool thing (well, one of many cool things) is that eventually one of the people you add will be the same as somebody else’s person. That means you get access to names of people that perhaps you didn’t know about before.
And to a genealogist or family history researcher, that is so exciting.
I went into this with the plan to create more detailed profiles than simply names, dates and places. So I’m including pictures where I have them, and anecdotes about the people whenever possible.
It truly is a great time to be a genealogist.
So I’m still working on figuring out this photo of the three Swenson girls and my mom, Janice Burrell.
Mom assures me that her cousin Jane looks more like her older sister (Beverly, in back), than like her twin, so Jane is on the right and Joan is on the left.
The next question is where was this photo taken?
At first I thought the building in the very far left might be Phillips Middle School – once known at the High School. But that street is not Fifth Avenue North.
It does look like a school, however.
So, I went to the Webster County Historical Society and Webster County Genealogical Society and talked with people at both locations. After looking through city directors (1940, 1941 and 1944), looking at maps and photos of defunct schools in Fort Dodge, I still hadn’t figured out my mystery.
And the city directory was partly to blame.
The address for the Swenson family in 1940 was 216 Park Boulevard. The problem is, there is no Park Boulevard in Fort Dodge. I looked at old maps, at Google maps, at the aforementioned photos and still couldn’t figure it out.
When I was talking to Sue at the Genealogical Society, though, somehow something clicked. I checked the 1940 city directory again, but this time I looked at the reverse listing – by street. I found Park Boulevard. There was a note that said the street was renamed from 17th Street (North 17th or South 17th, depending on location in relation to Central Avenue.
Therefore, the address was 216 South 17th Street in today’s terms. And at that time (around 1941, I’m guessing), the old Arey School would still have been standing. I didn’t find any photos of that school, but there must be some somewhere.
And I haven’t driven down the street yet to see if the rest of the details match.
But, I am excited to have figured this out (assuming I’m correct). those “ah-ha” moments are always nice.