For more information about the GRILLIOT Family click HERE.
For more information about the DREES Family click HERE.
©2016 Emily Kowalski Schroeder
|The Spiraling Chains: Schroeder - Tumbush Family Trees||
Frances M. Drees Grilliot passed away 17 Feb 1988 in Sidney, Ohio. She was the mother of my husband's paternal grandmother, Naomi Grilliot Schroeder. Her funeral card lists her husband and all ten of her children.
Frances's obituary was published in The Community Post of Minster, Ohio on 25 Feb 1988.
Frances's birth is recorded in the Shelby County, Ohio probate birth records. She was born 28 Dec 1900 in Van Buren Township, Shelby County. She was the youngest child of J.M. "Mike" Drees and Mary Wilkens Drees. Mike was 49 years old and Mary was 43 years old at the time of her birth. (Click on image for larger view.)
Birth Record Source: "Ohio, County Births, 1841-2003," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/X6ZX-TZR : accessed 01 May 2013), Frances Drees, 1900.
For more information about the GRILLIOT Family click HERE.
For more information about the DREES Family click HERE.
©2016 Emily Kowalski Schroeder
For several years now, I have been in love with the BBC TV series Call the Midwife. The show documents both secular and religious order midwives as they serve London's working-class East End community during the 1950s and 60s. Call the Midwife is wonderful, because it gives you a sense of just how important midwifery was to the health and overall well-being of the entire community. I've always loved looking at my family's Catholic baptism records from the "Old Country," because they sometimes list the midwife who delivered each baby. In this 1845 baptism record from Brzezna, Poland, my great-great-grandmother, Sophia Golonka, was delivered by Marianna Golonka, who was her paternal aunt.
Despite my fascination with these Old Country midwives, I had never really thought about the midwifery networks in my ancestors American neighborhoods. All that changed, however, when I started doing some genealogy research for my sister-in-law's family. Like mine, her ancestors were late 19th - early 20th century immigrants who came to Cleveland to work in the booming industrial factories and foundries. I located her great-grandfather's 1900 birth return. His parents were Polish immigrants.
I immediately thought that something looked familiar about this birth return. The handwriting looked very distinctive to me. I went back and looked at some of the birth returns on MY mom's side of the family. This is my great-uncle's birth return, also from 1900. His parents were Croatian immigrants.
The same midwife, Bertha Ullrich, delivered both babies. So, of course, I searched for her in the 1900 census to try to learn more about her. She is in her 40s, married, has one living child, and immigrated from Germany around 1890. She has indicated that she can speak English.
So, here are two babies, from two recently-immigrated families of completely different nationalities and languages, neither of which is the same as Bertha's. Both mothers indicated in their respective 1900 censuses that they cannot speak English. Can you imagine trying to guide a person through childbirth without words? How frightening must it have been for these immigrant women to realize that the one person assigned to help them in this difficult and dangerous task may not be able understand their needs? Did Bertha speak any languages besides English and German? Did she perhaps study key words and phrases in the languages of immigrants most common in her neighborhood to try to be prepared? Or perhaps she was able to arrange translators before the birth to assist her and the mother when the time came.
I ask myself these types of questions, because it helps me add a certain amount of humanity to the factual information found within these genealogical records. When (If) I ever get around to writing a complete family history, I want to be able to write about these types of situations and about these people who came in and out of my ancestors' lives and helped them navigate through the trials and joys of life.
By the way, midwives often have their own section in city directories. Here is Bertha and a slew of other midwives from the 1903 Cleveland City Directory, p. 1643:
Sophia Golonka Baptism Record: "Poland, Tarnow Roman Catholic Diocese Church Books, 1612-1900," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/XPYN-L77 : accessed 17 Jul 2014), Anna Bawotek in entry for Sophia Golonka, 15 Feb 1845, Baptism; citing p. 27, Brzezna, Brzezna, Kraków, Poland; FHL microfilm 1895995.
Gawryszewski Birth Return: "Ohio, County Births, 1841-2003," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-23317-12804-61?cc=1932106 : 21 May 2014), Cuyahoga > Birth returns 1900 > image 1 of 9030; county courthouses, Ohio.
Bellan Birth Return: "Ohio, County Births, 1841-2003," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-23316-98739-26?cc=1932106 : 24 May 2016), Cuyahoga > Birth returns 1900 > image 7678 of 9030; county courthouses, Ohio.
Ullrich 1900 U.S. Census: Year: 1900; Census Place: Cleveland Ward 23, Cuyahoga, Ohio; Roll: 1256; Page: 21A; Enumeration District: 0112; FHL microfilm: 1241256
©2016 Emily Kowalski Schroeder
Mary Watercutter Knob (1878-1965) was the maternal grandmother of my husband's paternal grandfather, Walter Schroeder. Mary was the granddaughter of Ferdinand Waterkotte, born 26 December 1809 is Ostbevern, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany. He arrived in America on 27 Oct 1834, and made his way from the Port of New York to McLean Twp, Shelby County in Western Ohio, where he raised a family and farmed the land until his death in 1876.
I have been fortunate in researching the German roots of Watercutter family members, because they are listed in an online collection of family/local history records known as 'ortsfamilienbuches' (OFB). When I visited the Family History Library in Salt Lake City this past spring, I used the information from the online source to dig up microfilms of the original church baptism, marriage, death records for many of the family members, going as far back as the early 1700s. On the images below, click to see the baptism records for Ferdinand Waterkotte (1809), his father, Bernard Heinrich Waterkotte (1775), and his grandfather, Bernard Herman Waterkotte (1734). (On the bottom two records, the parents' names are listed in the first column, the godparents (sponsors) are in the second column, and the child's name is in the third column.)
Going back through the paternal line, you can see that the spelling of the surname is consistent, until you see Bernard Herman's record at the bottom. His father is listed as Herman Sanders, which wasn't a huge surprise to me, because I had seen it on the online OFB. My question was WHY? (Notice that the male sponsor is Bernard Waterkotte, so there must be some connection to a Waterkotte family here.)
I asked my question in the German Genealogy Facebook group to see if anyone more experienced than me had any insight into why the family name may have changed. I posted a photo of Bernard Herman's younger brother's baptism record, where the father is listed as Herman Sanders g. Waterkotte. One knowledgeable gentleman in the group told me that the 'g' stood for gennant, which means 'called.' He also explained that some people had two surnames; one acquired from the father in the traditional sense and another Hausname. The Hausname may have been acquired if a family had inherited from, bought or lived on some land of another family by that name OR perhaps if his mother married another man after his father died. INDEED, using the online OFB records, I found that Bernard Herman's mother, Margaretha Lange, did remarry in 1741. However, the man she married was named Jobst Heinrich Dalhoff. Margaretha had children with Mr. Dalhoff and those children's surnames were STILL Waterkotte. This makes me conjecture that the Waterkotte surname came from the land or house they were living on/in. So, the descendants of both Herman Sanders and Jobst Heinrich Dalhoff took the surname of Waterkotte and carried it forward in subsequent generations. In fact, by clicking on some of the other names on this list, you'll see that quite a few people with the surname Waterkotte did not have a father with that name. (A Kötter, by the way, is a 'cottager' who probably had a small amount of land for gardening/farming and maybe a few livestock.)
Today, Waterkotte is not a common name in Germany, and its occurrence is still concentrated in Nordrhein-Westfalen, shown in the dark blue:
When Ferdinand immigrated to the U.S, he, whether intentionally or unintentionally, changed his name almost right away, at least on non-church documents. His 1837 county marriage record lists his surname as 'Waterkater.' He is listed as Watercutter on his 1834 ship manifest and his 1844 Declaration of Intention also says Watercutter. And since Ferdinand settled in and raised a family in Ohio, it is not surprising that the U.S. occurrence of the surname Watercutter is still highest here, and particularly in the same county in which Ferdinand started farming his land 180 years ago. For fun, click this link, and then click on the small megaphone in the bottom left corner of the German box to hear how Waterkotte is pronounced in German. Then, I think you will understand how it became Watercutter.
Just for fun, I typed in 'Waterkotte' and looked at that name's U.S. distribution. I found a relatively high concentration in Adams County in Western Illinois. And just by using Google, I have found a Waterkotte Harley-Davidson dealership in Mt. Vernon, IL, a St. Louis attorney by the name of Waterkotte, and a University of North Carolina professor named Waterkotte who got his Bachelor's degree at Illinois State University. It's likely that these people are somehow related to each other. With the surname being so unique even in Germany, it really makes me want to trace the ancestors of these Waterkotte individuals to see if I could find an Old Country connection between them and my husband's Waterkotte ancestors. (And that connection may not be blood - it could be due to land ownership and/or tenancy, as I discussed above.)
Baptism Record of Ferdinand Waterkotte: FHL microfilm 801427, Kirchenbuch: Katholische Kirche Ostbevern, Taufen 1803-1840
Baptism Record of Bernard Heinrich Waterkotte: FHL microfilm 801427, Kirchenbuch: Katholische Kirche Ostbevern, Taufen 1753-1805
Baptism Record of Bernard Herman Waterkotte: FHL microfilm 801427, Kirchenbuch: Katholische Kirche Ostbevern, Taufen 1718-1752
©2014, copyright Emily Kowalski Schroeder
On my recent trip to the Family History Library, I looked up a few birth, marriage, and death records for the Drees Family. Frances Drees Grilliot was my husband's great-grandmother on his Dad's side of the family. Her grandfather, Johann Michael Drees, was born in 1812 in Garrel, Cloppenburg, Niedersachsen, Germany, and immigrated to America in 1833.
Johann Michael, a blacksmith by trade, was one of the first settlers of Minster, Ohio, and actually served as the town's first mayor. Because he was quite an influential person at the time, a short biography was published in the book, History of Western Ohio and Auglaize County by C.W. Williamson (1905). This biography is great, because, among other information, it states Johann Michael's hometown, tells me when and how he came to live in Ohio, and says who he traveled with. (His hometown is also listed on his gravestone, which is shown below.)
Using their online catalog, I discovered that the Family History Library does have Catholic Kirchenbuch records for Cloppenburg going back into the 1600s, so I was excited to look through them. Here is Johann Michael Drees' baptism record below. His father's name is also Johann Michael, which I already knew, because the biography I mentioned above referred to him as 'Jr.' He was baptized 19 May 1812 (second record from the bottom). His mother's name was Maria Catherine Högemann.
Johann Michael died 18 Feb 1878 and is buried in St. Augustine's Cemetery in Minster. Interestingly, his gravestone (below) states that he was born 19 Jun instead of 19 May. Now, I am pretty certain that that baptism record says '19 May.' April is clearly right before May, but then if you look at the top of the next page, it says 'July.' So, either there weren't any baptisms in June, there was some mistake by the priest or scribe who entered the records, or Johann Michael (or his descendants) was (were) just mistaken about his birth month.
Gravestone Photo Source: FindaGrave.com; photographed by A. Chronicler.
Baptism Record Source: FHL Film 909936, Kirchenbuch, 1613-1875, Katholische Kirche Cloppenburg
©2014, copyright Emily Kowalski Schroeder
This past Sunday, I posted the 1850 U.S. Census of Pierre François and Marie Celestine (Voisinet) Burtcher (also spelled Bultechert), my husband's 4x great-grandparents. Today, I am posted their marriage record. They were married on 12 May 1846 in Évette, Belfort, France. (Click images for larger views.)
Pierre François was the son of Joseph Burtcher and Anne Claire Jardot. Marie Celestine was the daughter of Georges Voisinet and Marie Rose Jardot. Both fathers were farmers. Six months (yep!) after the wedding, the couple welcomed their first child into the world. Marie Rose Julie Burtcher was born 13 Nov 1846 in Évette. She was the couple's only child that was not born in America. They came to America shortly after she was born.
For reference, the village of Évette is located near the larger city of Belfort, which is located in northeast France in the Territoire de Belfort.
Marriage and Birth Record Source: http://www.archives.cg90.fr/?id=etat_civil
Évette, Births, Deaths, Marriages 1803-1869
©2014, copyright Emily Kowalski Schroeder
On this date in 1895, my husband's great-grandfather, Anthony A. Schroeder was born in Shelby County, Ohio. At least, I'm pretty sure he was born on February 14th. It is listed on as his date of birth on his death certificate and both his WWI and WWII draft registration cards. What makes me wonder is this probate birth record from Shelby County. (The red arrows point to Anthony's name and to his parents' names. Click on image for larger view.)
This birth record lists his date of birth as March 2, 1895. It is definitely the correct Anthony Schroeder - both parent names are correct, as is the location. Nineteenth century probate birth and death records are often very interesting and, sometimes, not always that accurate. If you look at the far left side of the record, you will find the date on which the birth was reported, in this case May 14, 1895 - at least a couple of months after Anthony's birth. Then, if you look to the far right of the record, you will find the name of the person who reported the birth, in this case, W. H. Pellman, Assessor. Very often, the birth was NOT reported by a parent or even a relative, and sometimes it took several months for the birth to be officially recorded. So, the date could possibly be due to an assessor error. (Anthony was his parents' fourth child, so there isn't any possibility that the 'official' date would have been moved back, which did sometimes happen with first-born children if the parents' had not been married long enough, if you know what I mean.)
The way to get to the bottom of this would be for me to find his baptismal record, if it exists. Babies at this time were usually baptized within a week of birth, so that would surely confirm whether or not the February or the March birth date is truly correct. Unfortunately, the archives for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati are currently closed, so there is little chance of me finding that record any time soon.
The 1900 U.S. Census is the first census in which my Croatian great-grandparents, George and Ursula Bellan, appear. They are living on Stanton Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio. George's occupation is listed as 'laborer.' Their surname is listed as 'Belan,' which is one Americanized version of George's birth surname, Beljan. (In these early years of their American residence, family records switch from Belan to Bellon to Bellan, the latter of which ultimately becomes the family's permanent name.)
Ursula is listed as 'Mary,' and this name difference made me wonder, at first, if I indeed had found the right family. George and 'Mary's' ages were about right, as was their place of birth (Austria-Hungary) and their dates of immigration. Their first-born child WAS named Rudolph and he WAS born in May 1900, as the form states. How do I confirm that this is the right family?
Fortunately, I found some other family documents from the 1900-1901 time frame which helped me verify that THIS family in the 1900 census IS my Belan family. As mentioned above, Rudolph Bellan was born in 1900, and George and Ursula had another baby, Olga, in 1901. I was able to find the Birth Returns for both of these children. In Cleveland, during this period, birth returns were simple forms that were submitted to the Secretary of the Public Health Division by the attending doctor or midwife. The birth return lists the date of birth, sex and race of child, place of birth, and names and ages of parents.
The mother is listed as 'Marie' on both birth returns, which is consistent with the 'Mary' on the census form. 'Marie's' maiden name is listed here as Benitzki or Benici. (It is listed on Ursula's death certificate as 'Benicki,' so that is a pretty good match.) Notice also the place of birth - 'Stenton.' Considering that the midwife seems to have had a little trouble with the English language, I feel safe in assuming that this is supposed to read 'Stanton.' It is also worth noting that the residence of the midwife (Platt) is only a block or two south of Stanton.
If you look carefully back at the 1900 census form above, you'll see that Ursula ('Mary') cannot speak English. (Understandable, since she's only been in the country about a year and a half.) I suspect that she may have gone by an 'easy' generic name in these first years after coming to America, as many immigrants tended to do. George and Ursula's next child, George, was born in 1903, and Ursula is indeed listed by her correct first name on that birth return.
My great-grandmother, Sophia Krupa, immigrated to America in 1910 and married my great-grandfather, Michael Bodziony in November 1911. According to her naturalization papers, she was born in Skrudzina, Poland, a small town that was, at the time of her birth (1888), part of Austria-Hungary. When I first learned of her birthplace a couple of years ago, I went to FamilySearch.org to see if they had a microfilm that covered this geographic area and time frame. I saw that they DID have microfilmed records for Skrudzina, but I did not order the film at the time because I had no time to go to my Family History Center and look through the reel. So instead, I ordered a copy ofSophia's application for a Social Security number. Since this form was filled out directly by Sophia herself, it's first hand knowledge of her birth date and parents' names. On it, she lists her birth date as 30 Mar 1888, which is exactly the same birth date as what is listed on her naturalization documents. Her parents are listed as Joseph Krupa and Katherine Mourdas.
Fast forward to about six weeks ago. Some of the birth records on the Skrudzina microfilm have been indexed and are now searchable on FamilySearch. I find two Krupa families in Skrudzina that are having children around the time Sophia is born:
1.) Joseph Krupa and Catharina Czyrpak, House #16: Children born 1883, 1884, 1885 (none named Sophia)
2.) Paul Krupa and Sophia Hejmej, House #51: Children born 1886, 1890, 1892 (all boys)
So, there IS a Joseph and a Catharine there; Catharine's maiden name is different than what I was looking for, but no baby in 1888. Apart from these families, there is one more 'Krupa' birth record from Skrudzina that I find in the index:
The child's first name and birth date match exactly from what I have found in other sources. Her mother's first name matches the Social Security application and her last name matches my great-grandmother's. But no father listed. I requested a copy of the record through FamilySearch's photoduplication service. Here it is, record #4:
She was illegitimate and no father is listed. Her mother was Catharina, daughter of Jacob Krupa and Mariae Kotodziej. Also, Catharina lived in House #51, which is where Paul Krupa and Sophia Hejmej also lived at the time. Paul and Sophia Krupa were likely related, but how? And were there any other Krupas living in Skrudzina (other than those of child-bearing age)? I need to order the microfilm and look through the whole thing carefully.
I did a quick search of Jacob Krupa and Mariae Kotodziej, and found six indexed baptism records for their children, ranging from 1843 to 1865. However, none indicated the name of Catharina or Paul. The family lived in Obidza, Poland, which today is just a 20 minute drive from Skrudzina. These records are on a different microfilm, so I have a feeling I'll be ordering that one, too.
Did Sophia live her life believing that her parents' true names were those she listed on the Social Security application? Perhaps she was raised by the Joseph and Catharine Krupa in House #16 and she genuinely thought that they were her biological parents. Or maybe she knew the complete truth. That's probably something I'll never find out, but hopefully ordering these microfilms will help me learn more about her mother and the other families in Skrudzina and Obidza.
This photo shows the gravestone of Louis Grillot, my husband's 4x great-grandfather. As stated on the stone, he was born in Pareid, France, which is located in Northeast France's Lorraine region. In 1838, when he was 51 years old, Louis and his wife, Marie (Borin) Grillot packed up a few belongings and their seven (living) children, and sailed for America. They entered through the Port of New Orleans and made their way north to Darke County, Ohio, in the western part of the state. Ship manifest records indicate that Louis worked as a mason in France, but turned to farming in America. Louis passed away in 1861. He is buried in Holy Family Cemetery, Frenchtown, Ohio, along with many other French pioneers who settled in this part of Ohio.
Although Louis was born and lived by the name 'Grillot,' his sons adopted the name 'Grilliot' (or sometimes 'Grillio'). The story goes that Louis' name was misspelled on legal documents, and his sons continued to use that spelling instead of the original family name. Louis' birth/baptism record from Pareid, France is shown below. He is the son of Jean Charles Grillot and Jeanne Barbe Curély. His father's brother, Louis Grillot, and his mother's sister, Anne Curély, served as his baptism sponsors. (And because of those relations, we also know the names of Baby Louis' grand-parents, also listed. Aren't these French records wonderful?) These documents can be viewed online at this website. (Images 218-219)
George Bellan, Sept 1947
On this date in 1873, my great-grandfather, George Bellan, was born in Croatia, then part of Austria-Hungary. All I really know about George is from information I have collected from old documents and newspaper clippings. He passed away when my mom and uncle were young children, so they don't remember him. I never got a chance to ask my grandfather about him (he passed away when I was eleven.).
George Bellan (nee Beljan) is my only great-grandparent for which I have been able to locate a birth and baptism record from the 'Old Country.' About two years ago, I ordered a microfilm from my local LDS Family History Library and spent a couple of hours going through it. I was able to find his record, along with his sister Veronika's birth record (who also came to the U.S.), and a brother named Francis, who, to my knowledge, stayed in Croatia. The records also list the names of their parents, Francis and Rosa Beljan, which I had not known to that point, so it was a big discovery for me. George's birth and baptismal record from Brod Moravice, Croatia is below. It states he was born on March 12, 1873 and baptized on March 14, 1873. Interestingly, his WWI draft card lists his date of birth as March 15, 1873 and his naturalization card lists it as April 15, 1874. I use this church record as his "official" birthday, so I'm happy to have found it.
According to the information he provided to the census taker in 1900, he immigrated to America in 1893, but I have not been able to find his ship manifest to confirm this date. I do have his wife Ursula's ship manifest; she arrived in 1898 and listed George as her contact person. She used his surname on the manifest, but I do not believe that they married until she arrived. She, too, was Croatian and was born in a town relatively close to where he was from but, honestly, they may not have even known each other prior to their 'betrothal.' I still need to search for a Cleveland, Ohio marriage record.
What did George do for a living? Census data in this case is not very descriptive, as his occupation/trade is listed as 'laborer' in the steel mills, which pretty much describes the job of every blue collar worker in Cleveland at that time. City directories have been a big help in providing a little more detail. From 1915-1919, he is listed as a 'molder,' and then in 1921, 1923, and 1934 he is a 'cement finisher.' My favorite record, however, is a directory from 1904, which lists his occupation as simply 'saloon.' Unfortunately, it must not have done very well, because this is the only mention of it. :-(
George and his wife Ursula had eight children, but unfortunately three of them passed away as young adults. George was active in his local Croatian Fraternal Union Lodge, and in 1945 he was honored for being a 50-year member.
George passed away in October of 1954 after living as a widower for eight years. He was 81 years old and is buried in Calvary Cemetery in Cleveland, Ohio.
Emily Kowalski Schroeder