Tag Archives: pennsylvania

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:

Screen shot 2013-02-07 at 6.03.47 AM

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:

Screen shot 2013-02-07 at 6.16.54 AM

 

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…

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Finding Pauline (I think)…

6 Feb

I’m not very good at finding the details about the women in my ancestry. I can hardly find last names for most of them unless there is a marriage certificate that is easily traceable. That’s how lame I am at genealogy. But I try hard, and periodically I’ll stumble across some success, usually due to someone else’s efforts. Take Pauline for instance…

William Ziesel had a brother named Charles M. Ziesel (1862) and I found from some census records that he was married to “Pauline”. I’ve just had the name “Pauline” sitting there on the family tree without any last name. Yesterday I found that they were married about 1885 because the census record (1910 US Census) asked how long they had been married (25 years). But I haven’t tracked down a marriage certificate or index or anything.

But, I did happen across the baptism registry for their daughter, Annette:

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I think it is recorded in German. Someone indexed it and I got birth and baptismal info. I’m having it translated by one of my friends who served an LDS mission to Germany, just to make sure I know what the who thing says. But I also found this little bit of info:

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Who ever indexed this record noticed “Schafer” as Pauline’s last name! Woo-hoo!! I was thrilled! I’d still like to see this information on a few other documents, but this is a good breakthrough. Especially because on the 1870 US Census I found a Pauline Shaffer in Philip and Frederica Shaffer’s family:

Screen shot 2013-02-06 at 5.44.39 AM

 

I don’t know if it is my Pauline or not, but it has the right birth year and birth state. Not enough proof, but I’ll begin scratching around and see what I can find…Pauline lists both her parents as being born in Germany on later censuses, and Prussia was in Germany, right?

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):

Screen shot 2013-01-05 at 10.27.08 AM

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…

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!

How Google Books was a game-changer…

26 Dec

I know that “game-changer” is dramatic, but, well, Google Books really was a game-changer. At least in one instance. Here, let me show you…

Early on in my research of William Ziesel, I was watching some video from the FamilySearch “learn” section.

(FamilySearch.org –> Learn –> Research Courses –> type in a word and see if there is a course about it)

I can’t recall the video, but at some point the presenter talked about Google Books. Google has been scanning books into their library for a few years now. Here’s an overview of Google Books.

Screen shot 2012-12-26 at 10.06.22 AM

I went to Google Books and just typed in “William Ziesel”…and found that he had published a book back in the early 1900’s about gum disease (exciting, I know, but he was a dentist).

Screen shot 2012-12-26 at 10.09.14 AM

It does look to be a stunning page-turner, and Google Books will let me read it entirely on-line, but I decided that since I was in the middle of research I didn’t have time. Oddly enough, I still haven’t read it…

There were actually numerous copies of that book on Google Books, but then I found this, and here is where Google Books was a game-changer:

Screen shot 2012-12-26 at 10.12.24 AM

Check that out. The proceedings of a court case where my g-g-grandmother was going against my g-g-grandfather! What are the chances that of all of the court cases in the world, my ancestors’ case would be described, published, and then scanned by Google Books!? So I scanned the article and found this!

Screen shot 2012-12-26 at 10.18.33 AM

From this I find a marriage date (which may be wrong by the way), and also that they had three children by the time they were divorced. I know, from other records, that they had a child who passed away early in life, but this record clues me in to the fact that I’m probably not missing any other living children. I also saw a divorce date, which I didn’t have.

But here was the real kicker:

Screen shot 2012-12-26 at 10.30.43 AM

Here it mentions that William married again (which we kind of knew about) and that he and his second wife had a daughter (which we did not know about at all!). We also learn that the second marriage was in a state of disrepair, which eventually opened the door for discovering a third wife…

Since this case was decided in 1921, we know that this mystery daughter was born before 1921 and (presumably) after the divorce in 1914 (which, thankfully, was the case).

And this was the start of my research that turned up Eleanor Ziesel (1916-2008). And I’ll discuss her a little later…