Tag Archives: Census Records

How We Found the “lost children”…

17 Oct

Screen Shot 2015-10-17 at 11.36.13 PMPoking through Puzzilla led me to August and Mary (Gilbert) Schuck. August is one of the sons of my great-great-great grandparents, Jacob and Elizabeth Schuck. I noticed that August and his wife only had two children listed, which wouldn’t be out of the ordinary except that they lived in the 1870’s when birth control wasn’t the norm, and having more than two children was. So, curious, I decided to try to see if August and Mary had more children that we didn’t know about.

I’ll make a long story much shorter…

I wound up in the 1910 US Census because I knew that it would list the number of children a mother gave birth to as well as the number of children that were still living in 1910. If there was a difference, then we’d know there were more children (assuming that she reported correctly). Here’s what I found:

Screen Shot 2015-10-17 at 10.49.03 PM Screen Shot 2015-10-17 at 10.48.55 PMNoticed that she has listed 6 children being born, but only 3 still living? There was the clue I needed. Now, knowing that three children weren’t still alive in 1910, I started searching death records with August and Mary as the parents. Very quickly I found two death records, one for Addison and one for George. Both died before they were 6,  but not as infants, so I’d like to find the cause of death, but I haven’t searched that far yet and I’m not sure I’ll be able to find the causes. Here are their indexed death records:

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I would imagine that 1879 and 1880 were tough years for the Schuck family. And, as you can tell from my story, I haven’t found the other two missing children. We’ll see what we can find in the coming weeks.

You’ll notice that the death record has a street address where the family lived when these two young boys passed away. Using Google Maps, I found the area and where their home would’ve been, but the house or building has been, sadly, torn down.

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Long Lost Baby Charles! (not lost anymore…)

7 Feb

I recently discovered some things about Pauline. But that wasn’t all…

While I was searching for Pauline’s maiden name, I happened to notice this little tidbit of information on the 1900 US Census record for Charles and Pauline Ziesel:

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Notice the little “3” and “2”? Apparently Pauline is reporting that she had given birth to three children, but only two were living. In our records, we have that Charles and Pauline had three children (eventually), so the real report (10 years later) would be “4” and “3”, right? Right.

I didn’t pay too much attention because I was pretty focused on finding her maiden name. But, mental note

Later that day (the day I discovered Pauline’s maiden name, “Schafer” or “Shaffer”) I was meandering through some Pennsylvania town records, hunting down the Ziesel family name and I came across this:

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Hard to read, I know. But it says that a Charles R. Ziesel had died after living 10 weeks. I can’t tell what the cause of death was (influenza? cholera? I can’t read it). And if you look across the ledger you’ll find this:

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Parents are “Chas + Pauline” and the address is 1235 Huntington which is the address you’ll find them at in other documents.

I also noticed a larger-than-normal gap in the birth years for Pauline…babies born in 1886, 1891, and then 1902. 1894, the year of little Charles Raymond’s birth/death, is a perfect fit. I did eventually find baby Charles with almost no information, connected to a Charles and Pauline on FamilySearch.org, but there was no information otherwise, except a middle name. I don’t know how they found the middle name. There must be some other document out there with the info, but I don’t have it (yet). A birth record? Some church record?

Welcome (back) to the family little Charles!

UPDATE:

Just found this:

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This must be the record where you’d find baby Charles’ middle name. The only problem is that Ancestry indexed the father as Charles Schaefer, which is Pauline’s maiden name, not Charles’ last name. I’ll go to the Family History Center and check it out this week…

Henry Conrad Vanderbeek, the Minister…

31 Jan

Hey…there’s a minister/missionary in my family. Good. I like ministers and missionaries. Here’s the low down…

Henry Conrad Vanderbeek was born to Court Lake Vanderbeek and Mary Jane Vanderbeck on 6 March 1865 (ten months after their marriage) in Bergen County, New Jersey. Henry was the oldest of what appears to be three living children (more on that later).

Here’s an entry about Henry from The Ministerial Directory (1898) by Edgar Sutton Robison III

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We find that Henry graduated from Williams College with a BA in 1886 and from Union Theological Seminary in New York in 1890. He was licensed as a minister on June 13, 1890 and served in Newark, New Jersey starting in 1890.

Here’s an another entry about Henry from the Catalogue of the Delta Kappa Epsilon Fraternity (1910)

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We find from this record that Henry was also an organist and assistant librarian at Williams. Very cool stuff. I went to Union Theological Seminary’s website and found that it was founded in 1836 and is the “oldest independent seminary in the nation”.

in 1895, apparently, Henry travelled abroad. I don’t know the reason, but I have the passport. There is a some interesting info about Henry contained therein, regarding his appearance:

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He was 5′ 9.5″ (and so am I), with a high forehead, straight nose, brown eyes, brown hair and an oval face. That’s me exactly. Except, he had a dimpled chin and I don’t. Here is his signature:

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in 1900 we find Henry living in Newark as a boarder with the Simonson family. He is listed as a minister.

In 1910 we find him listed with his father and step-mother in Tenafly, New Jersey (listed as a son) and listed as a minister. But we also find him on the 1910 Census living in Williamstown, Massachusetts living as a boarder with the Adams family. He is listed as a clergyman. What gives?

Well, the censuses were taken a week apart. There is a chance that he was visiting home during the week and was listed by both families. There is a chance his dad just listed him because he had recently moved. Who knows. Either way, America counted one too many citizens (which through off the entire data set, I’m sure).

In 1920, we find Henry living in Sweetgrass County, Montana, in School District #5 (according to the census). He is listed as a clergyman and “Home Missionary”. I don’t know what that is (I mean, I’m sure I could guess I suppose), but I’d kind of like some info on that in the future.

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I can’t find a death notice or certificate, so I’m searching for that stuff. Until then, I don’t have a concrete death date…

Two Children or Four? (Help from the census records!)

23 Jan

I’ll make this quick. I think James “D” Vanderbeek and Nettie Ward Vanderbeek only had two children. Shocking, I know…

When I recently went to FamilySearch.org/tree, I found four children listed for James and Nettie:

  1. James Lawrence Vanderbeek (1892)
  2. Ruth Vanderhoek (1894) suspect!
  3. Stuart Ward Vanderbeek (1895)
  4. James L. Vanderhoek (1908) suspect!

Here’s why I think there are really only two children, James (1892) and Stuart (1895). I remembered that the census records often ask the mothers how many children they had given birth to and how many were alive:

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Notice the little “1” and the “1” next to it? This mother claimed to have given birth once and the child was still alive.

So here is Nettie’s line (along with her two boys) in the 1910 US Census. Here husband is listed on the previous census page, so you won’t see him here:

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Notice, all the way on the right hand side, the little “2’s”? Two births, two living children. It is the same on the 1900 Census.

So, I’ll do a little more work..check birth records, etc., but I really can’t find anything remotely close to a Ruth or James L. Vanderhoek…so, they’re probably on the verge of getting cut…

An Older Brother?!

16 Jan

In my quest to learn more about William Ziesel’s life, I put some effort into researching his childhood. Looked up his parents, siblings, etc. Looks like William had three older siblings: George, Charles, and Annette (Annie).

Well, a few months into this search, I’ve determined that

A. William wasn’t the baby…there was a sister younger than him (which I’ll discuss later).

B. William actually probably had four older siblings, not three.

Let’s talk about Henry Ziesel (1861-1861).

While looking for obscure Ziesels that lived in Philadelphia in the 1800’s, I found an indexed death record:

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Let’s go through a list and see what fits:

1. Henry has the right parents, Jacob and Christina Ziesel.

2. I can only find one Ziesel family living in Philadelphia in the 1865 City Directory, and it is Jacob (the tailor):

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3. Baby Henry was apparently born on 1 August 1861. His older brother, George, was born in 1859. That’s enough time after that birth to have Henry. The next brother, Charles, is born in September 1862. That is enough time after Henry’s birth and death for his mother to get pregnant and carry Charles for nine months. So he fits within his family.

4. The 1870 US Census doesn’t ask if the mother of a household had any children who were not living. That’s too bad, because that could help with my research. Same with the 1880 US Census. That doesn’t matter because Christina had passed on by that point.

With that said, I do believe Henry is part of this family on the argument that there are no other Ziesels in Philadelphia, and the correct parents are listed. So, I’m adding him. And I like it.

I’ll tell you about finding his younger, baby sister soon…

I’m pretty sure…I just want to be really sure…(Dude, your handwriting stinks)

6 Jan

Now I’m not one to talk. My handwriting isn’t very good. If I were walking door to door helping with a federal census, my entries would be unusable. Especially if I were in a hurry. Which I would be. And if I didn’t think anyone would ever look at this info again. Which I’m sure I would assume. I’m just like that.

So I’m sure it is safe to say that there is a chance, an ever-so-slight chance, that a census taker (I’m not sure what the official title was) felt about the way I did, and therefore was hurrying along to get done and may have written things down wrong, or eligibly. Apparently that may have happened in Rhode Island in 1900…

I’ve looked for information on William Ziesel’s second wife, Eveyln, for a couple weeks now. I’m just trying to find her in census records and I thought I found her, along with her parents. I already know her parents’ names, but I’m just trying to find any siblings, etc. Here’s what I know:

Evelyn Irene Lee was born in 1879, in Rhode Island, to Franklin Pierce Lee and Clara Louise Cooke.

In the 1900 US Census, I actually find Evelyn I. Lee as a “student” in Bristol, Massachusetts, at the Wheaton Female Seminary. She is listed as being born in August, 1879. So, I’m sure it is my Evelyn. Plus, as a bonus, on the same 1900 US Census, I find Evelyn listed as a daughter with her parents, but also listed as “at school”. So, double proof. But there was a little problem with this one.

Evelyn and her parents are listed as Frank and Clara See. Not Lee. See. See? See the problem?

Is there a chance that there is a family of similar make-up, living in Rhode Island in 1900, with only the first letter of their last names different? Of course. If there is a chance for my ancestors to mix it up a bit and make themselves hard to pin down, they’ll do it. That’s the genealogy game anyway, right?

Of course, I’m suspicious. Even though there is a chance that the above paragraph applies, it is a small chance. So I applied a little trick (probably a well-known one at that). I made sure that the “S” in “See” wasn’t really a poorly written “L” for Lee. Here’s what we’re looking at:

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Pretty clearly “See”, right? Well, not so quick. When I get confusing info like this, I look around for other places where the census taker had to write a capital “L” just to see if there are any similarities. And, on this record, I found one:

Here’s the word “Landlord”

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The “L” in Landlord makes the word kind of like “Sandlord”. This person could’ve been a sandlord. I don’t know. I’m not sure what a sandlord is.

Here’s an even better one on the same page:

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You can see the “Servant” and “Landlord” both seem to start with the same letters. But, of course, they don’t. This census taker writes his L’s and S’s the same. Or, I mean, the lame. Get it?

I can tell the name of the census taker from the sheet. I’m not going to post it here because a.) I appreciate his efforts, and b.) I don’t want anyone doing a descendants chart and pummeling his great-great-great-grandchild, who probably wrote illegibly, too.

Long story short, this is my Evelyn…

About that YMCA…

2 Jan

As you may recall, I was looking at addresses on census records some time ago and found that my great-great-grandmother was on the 1930 US Census, living alone (well, not really, but without any family around that I can find), at 1421 Arch Street in Philadelphia. And, as reported, that is currently the Le Meridien Hotel and I emailed them to get little history of the building.

Screen shot 2012-12-27 at 9.27.19 AMScreen shot 2012-12-27 at 9.31.59 AM

And, as previously reported, the Le Meridien actually started as a YMCA and was eventually renovated into the nice hotel it is now…

So, my questions:

1. Was this building a YMCA or something else in 1930?

2. Was Marie staying there permanently or just visiting Philadelphia and staying there like it was a hotel (was that even possible?)?

To find these answers, I started by emailing the Le Meridien directly to see if they had any answers. I was delighted with the response.

Here is my original email:

Hello,

I am conducting some family history research and found that in 1930, my great-great-grandmother, who had been divorced years earlier, was listed as a “lodger” at 1421 Arch Street in Philadelphia. There were more than 50 people listed as lodgers at the same address.

Is this the same building as the Le Meridien? Was it a YMCA back in 1930? I am just hoping to get a little history on the building so that I can more easily picture my g-g-grandmother’s circumstances.

Thanks!

Brian

And here is the response, a few days later, from Adi:

Mr. Mickelson:

I am happy to confirm that you are correct in concluding that our building was originally opened as the Central YMCA in 1912 and continued service in this role until 1972 when it was taken over by the District Attorney’s office. We began renovating the building in 2005 and opened as a hotel in 2010. We do not have a large amount of information related to the YMCA years as most of that was removed when the DA’s office was here but I can share that our building was part of a two building complex that included what is now the Metropolitan apartment building; it is hard to know if your grandmother stayed here or there or perhaps during her time stayed at both.

You may potentially find information related to life at the Central YMCA through there archive at the University of Minnesota Library. https://www.lib.umn.edu/ymca

Enjoy the journey of discovering you Grandmothers life and please let me know if I can assist further.

Adi.

First off, how great of the hotel to have employees that are so helpful! Wonderful!

Here is what I picked up from the email:

1. Yes, in 1930, this building was the YMCA, so that is where g-g-grandma was staying.

2. I can find more info at the Univ. of Minn library (which I’ll check out when I get a second).

3. Maybe the DA’s office can help, but I doubt I’ll bug them. They are solving cold cases and stuff…

4. Maybe I’ll go stay at the Le Meridien because they were so helpful.

What I still don’t know:

1. Was Marie staying there permanently? Or just visiting?

2. Had she ever heard “YMCA” by the Village People?

More to come!