Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Wordless Wednesday - Peter Herbert Gauslin

Peter Herbert Gauslin Lydia Jane Jennie Moore Rhinelander Wisconsin
Peter Herbert Gauslin and his wife Lydia Jane "Jennie" (Moore) Gauslin.
Lydia Jane Jennie Moore Gauslin Peter Herbert Rhinelander Wisconsin
Lydia Jane "Jennie" (Moore) Gauslin and Peter Herbert Gauslin.
Peter Herbert Gauslin Ferdel Fred Moore Rhinelander Wisconsin
Ferdel "Fred" Moore and Peter Herbert Gauslin. Fred was both Peter's father-in-law and brother-in-law.
Peter Herbert Gauslin Howard Alto June Eunica Rhinelander Wisconsin
Peter Herbert Gauslin with his children Howard Alto "Alto" Gauslin and June Gauslin, taken 1926.

Peter Herbert Gauslin June Eunica Howard Alto Rhinelander Wisconsin
Peter Herbert Gauslin holding his daughter June Gauslin, with his son Howard Alto "Alto" Gauslin standing next to them, taken Winter 1926/1927.

Peter Herbert Gauslin June Eunica Howard Alto Rhinelander Wisconsin
Peter Herbert Gauslin holding his daughter June Gauslin, with his son Howard Alto "Alto" Gauslin standing next to them, taken Winter 1926/1927.

Peter Herbert Gauslin June Eunica John Ivan Rhinelander Wisconsin
Peter Herbert Gauslin with children June Gauslin and John "Jack" Gauslin, taken 1928 or 1929.
Peter Herbert Gauslin June Eunica Marlyn Evelyn Pellow Rhinelander Wisconsin
Peter Herbert Gauslin with his children June (standing) and Marlyn (in his arms), taken 1931.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Chain migration at its finest: the Daft and Jahnke families

gottfried daft pauline kading oconto falls lena michael gottlieb
The Daft family in 1935.
I've always wondered why my immigrant ancestors came to the United States, and my thoughts have usually focused on my paternal line, the Dafts. With my great-grandmother and great-great-grandparents arriving in 1912, they are the most recent immigrants in my direct family. Having recently solved part of the puzzle, it turns out that the Dafts were only the last link in a much longer chain that involves family, family of family, and family of family of family.

There may be more out there to discover, but for now, the chain begins with Gustav Witzke. I don't know very much about him. He was likely born in what is now Poland in the 1860s or 1870s. I don't know when or why Gustav decided to move to the United States, but the important thing is that he did. On 11 Jul 1899, Gustav was living in Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, when he sponsored his mother Wilhelmine (Selert) and stepfather Karl Ludwig Jahnke to join him. Karl and Wilhelmine didn't stay in Cleveland for long, moving to Roberts, Ford County, Illinois, by 1907. They also took more Americanized names - in the 1910 census, Karl became Charley and Wilhelmine became Minnie.

Fall 1907 was a busy time for our chain. On 17 Oct 1907, Karl paid for his brother Albert Friedrich Jahnke to join him in Roberts, followed on 26 Nov 1907 by Albert's wife Emilie (Schmidt) Jahnke and four of their children, Augusta, Albert, Anna, and Ida. And less than a week later, on 01 Dec 1907, Karl, Albert, and their families were joined in America by Gottfried Daft, the stepson of their sister Carolina Wilhelmine (Jahnke) Daft.
caroline jahnke daft cycow oconto falls
Caroline (Jahnke) Daft was an
important link in the chain.

Gottfried - my great-grandfather - having had his passage paid for by his stepuncle, went right to work saving up money to bring over the rest of his family. He hit his first goal when, on 23 Mar 1909, his brother Gottlieb Michael Daft landed in New York and joined him in Roberts. Though the Jahnkes remained in the area around Roberts, Illinois, where their descendants still live, the two Daft brothers went on the move. In the 1910 census, Gottlieb was enumerated at a lumber camp in Lakewood, Oconto County, Wisconsin (I have not been able to find Gottfried in that census). The area around Oconto Falls was heavily populated by ethnic Germans coming from the same region that the Dafts and Jahnkes had come from - what then was Russia, but is now eastern Poland.

While the Daft brothers prepared to move their family to the United States, their sister, brother, parents, and other relatives continued their lives in Russia. Pauline Kading, the woman Gottfried had promised to marry, did not wait for him, and married a man named Grams, with whom she had a daughter, Emma. Mr. Grams (first name unknown to me) died soon after the wedding, leaving Pauline and her daughter to stay with the Daft family, who had not lost their attachment to the woman who had broken off her engagement with their son.

gottfried daft pauline kading keding cycow grams
The marriage record of Gottfried
Daft and Pauline (Kading) Grams.
In 1912, Gottfried was ready for the next step. He returned to his ancestral home in the town of Cycow to bring his parents to a new life. Only one thing stood in his way. His stepmother Caroline had raised Gottfried and his siblings since their mother died when they were very young. And Caroline refused to go without Pauline. So on 21 Apr 1912, Gottfried and Pauline were married in Cycow, and less than a month later, the family - Gottfried, his bride, his one year old stepdaughter, his father Michael, and his stepmother - was boarding the S.S. Neckar in Bremen, Germany, bound for Philadelphia. They arrived on 28 May 1912, seventy-five years to the day before I was born.

After they had all settled in the area around Oconto Falls, there was still one last link to forge in the Jahnke-Daft migration chain. In 1913, Gottfried sponsored his sister, Anna Christine (Daft) Kardoskee, her husband Julius, and their young children Ida and Emil. The Kardoskees arrived in Baltimore, Maryland on 06 Jun 1913 and settled in Oconto Falls soon after.

And in all these travels, the family connections were not broken. My grandfather - Gottfried's son - Henry William "Hank" Daft had a friend named Alfred "Al" Fuoss who lived in Illinois. It is only recently that I realized Al Fuoss was not only a friend, he was family. Al's grandfather was Albert Jahnke, my great-grandfather's stepuncle, making Al and Hank second cousins.

All told, 18 members of the Jahnke and Daft families were able to immigrate to America, and their descendants in this country number in the hundreds. All because of Gustav Witzke, the first link in the chain.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Peter Herbert Gauslin, Lydia Jane Moore, and their children

Peter Herbert Gauslin was born 28 Jul 1878 in either Stephenson, Michigan or Green Bay, Wisconsin. His parents were John Henry Gauslin and Mary Jane (Montgomery) Gauslin.

On 03 Dec 1904, Peter married Mabel Edith Wood. Mabel was born Mar 1888 in Peshtigo, Wisconsin. She was a friend of Peter's sister Edith. I have not discovered when Mabel died, but she was still alive in 1960.

Peter and Mabel had at least seven children. Two were either stillborn or died in infancy, and I don't know their names. The other five were:
  1. Orville Adrison Harvey Wood Gauslin (1906-before 1910)
  2. Arvella C. (Gauslin) Guse (1907-1970)
  3. Florence Gauslin (1910-1918)
  4. Gertrude Alice (Riley) Fredericksen Cook (1912-1990)
  5. Herbert Eugene "Herbie" Gauslin (1913-after 1940)
Peter and Mabel got divorced in 1916 and their four living children were sent to the state orphanage in Sparta, Wisconsin. Gertrude was adopted almost immediately by Robert and Doris Riley, who she had been living with. The remaining three children were placed with various families, but not adopted. Florence died of influenza at the orphanage, while Arvella and Herbie aged out and reunited with their mother. Because Gertrude had been adopted, the orphanage would not tell her biological family where she was, and they never found her.

Mabel remarried twice. She married John Carl Wellehan in 1919, and after his death in 1936, she married Starr Hillis Wallis. Mabel adopted two children with her second husband, Lillian May Janicke and Donald J. Wellehan.

In 1916 or 1917, Peter married Lydia Jane "Jennie" Moore. Lydia was the stepdaughter of Peter's sister Edith Anora (Gauslin) Moore, and was about 17 years younger than him. Lydia was born 10 Sep 1895 in Birnamwood, Wisconsin to Ferdel S. "Fred" Moore and Augusta Frederika (Thiede) Moore.

Peter and Lydia had at least seven children. I believe that there was also at least one stillbirth or miscarriage. Their children were:
  1. Pelagia Olive "Peg"/"Peggy" (Gauslin) Christopherson (1917-2004)
  2. Fermal Ida "Fern" (Gauslin) Krahn Elmore (1921-1994)
  3. Howard Alto "Alto" Gauslin (1923-1931)
  4. June Eunica (Gauslin) Daft (living)
  5. John Ivan "Jack" Gauslin (1928-2003)
  6. Marlyn Evelyn Pellow (1930-2002)
  7. Carol Lee (Parks) Grimsley Hartshorn (1934-1962)
Peter was injured in a car accident on July 4, 1931, and had "a series of convulsions" in January 1932. Peter suffered a stroke in January 1933, and as a result, he was committed to the Northern Hospital for the Insane in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. In May of the same year, he was transferred to the Outagamie County Asylum for the Chronic Insane in Appleton, Wisconsin, where he died on 18 Feb 1934.

Lydia died of tuberculosis at her father's home in Rhinelander, Wisconsin during a statewide heat wave on 03 Jun 1934. The children were sent to live with various relatives, friends, and others. The two youngest children were adopted by the families they were placed with.

Monday, April 13, 2015

John Edward Blake, Mary Ann Lavin, and their children

I put together this report for my grandmother, and I thought it turned out rather well, so I'm posting it here. John Edward Blake and Mary Ann Lavin were my great-great-grandparents.

John Edward Blake
born October 29, 1847 on the Loop Head peninsula, County Clare, Ireland
died November 18, 1909 in Ashland, Ashland County, Wisconsin

Mary Ann (Lavin) Blake
born August 18, 1849 in Canada
died August 18, 1894 in Ashland, Ashland County, Wisconsin

John Edward Blake was born to Michael Blake and Johanna (Jordan) Blake, the fourth of their seven children. John's siblings were Ellen, Timothy, Catherine, Michael, Mary, and James. All but the youngest were born in County Clare, Ireland. The family moved to Clinton, Ontario, Canada, sometime between 1856 and 1859. While living in Canada, John married Mary Ann Lavin. Around 1863, about half of the family, including parents Michael and Johanna, moved to the town of Ossian, Winneshiek County, Iowa.

Around the same time, John, along with siblings Timothy and James, moved to Muskegon, Muskegon County, Michigan. John worked in a lumber mill, and continued to do so for the rest of his life. John and Mary had nine children in Muskegon between 1868 and 1885. In 1890, John and Mary moved to Ashland, Ashland County, Wisconsin with six of their children.

Mary died in 1894, and John died in 1909 at the home of his daughter Mayme. Both attended St. Agnes Catholic Church in Ashland, and are buried in the church cemetery.

John and Mary's children:
  1. Hannah Blake
  2. John Robert Blake
  3. Catherine Blake
  4. Thomas Edward “Tom” Blake
  5. Michael Edward Blake
  6. Ellen “Nellie” (Blake) McMahon
  7. Mary Ann “Mayme” (Blake) Dundas
  8. Martha Bernice “Mattie” (Blake) Kandutsch
  9. Elizabeth S. (Blake) Gotsche

1. Hannah Blake
born October 15, 1868 in Laketon, Muskegon County, Michigan
died September 1869 in Laketon, Muskegon County, Michigan.

Hannah died of dysentery when she was less than a year old. Sadly, nothing more is known about her.

2. John Robert Blake
born January 5, 1870 in Laketon, Muskegon County, Michigan
died May 26, 1942 in Muskegon, Muskegon County, Michigan

When the rest of the family moved to Ashland, John, then twenty years old, remained in Muskegon. He worked as a shingle maker, in retail, and as a factory laborer. John married Margaret M. Cayo on June 23, 1909 at St. Jean Baptiste Catholic Church in Muskegon. Margaret was born in January 1884 in Muskegon, and died September 13, 1964, also in Muskegon. They had six children. Both John and Margaret are buried in St. Mary's Cemetery in Muskegon.

3. Catherine Blake
born September 2, 1872 in Muskegon, Muskegon County, Michigan
died September 11, 1873 in Laketon, Muskegon County, Michigan

Catherine died of a fever just after her first birthday. Again, nothing else is known about her.

4. Thomas Edward “Tom” Blake
born January 14, 1875 in Muskegon, Muskegon County, Michigan
died January 19, 1946 in Hibbing, St. Louis County, Minnesota

Tom was born in Muskegon and moved with most of the family to Ashland in 1890. In 1899, he married Blanche Ira Wooliver in Kenosha, Kenosha County, Wisconsin. Blanche was born November 14, 1879 in Ohio and died February 5, 1903 in St. Paul, Ramsey County, Minnesota. Tom and Blanche lived in Kenosha in 1900, and they had one son. Blanche died of tuberculosis in 1903.

Tom Blake married Hedwig “Hattie” Schaetzle in about 1905 in Muskegon. Hattie was born May 25, 1883 in Bavaria, Germany, and died July 5, 1967, in Lackawanna, Erie County, New York. They lived in Muskegon for a few years before moving to Hibbing, St. Louis County, Minnesota, where Tom worked as a steward at a club house for a local mining company. Tom and Hattie had seven children.

Tom died in Hibbing in 1946, and Hattie died in 1967 in Lackawanna. Both are buried at St. Agnes Cemetery in Ashland.

5. Michael Edward Blake
born March 23, 1876 in Lakeside, Muskegon County, Michigan
died November 17, 1929 in Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin

Michael was born outside of Muskegon, and lived there until at least 1884. He was married to an unknown woman in 1898, but was no longer married by 1910. Michael largely disappears from records until 1910, when he was living in Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin and working as a barber. He worked for a time as a barber for the Schlitz Hotel and continued to live in Milwaukee until his death in 1929. Michael is buried in St. Agnes Cemetery in Ashland.

6. Ellen “Nellie” (Blake) McMahon
born November 1878 in Muskegon, Muskegon County, Michigan
died 1957 in Ashland, Ashland County, Wisconsin

Nellie was born in Muskegon and moved with her parents to Ashland when she was eleven. On November 28, 1907, she married Hugh D. McMahon. Hugh was born in August 1877, in Wisconsin and died October 16, 1909 in Spooner, Washburn County, Wisconsin. Hugh was a conductor for the Omaha railroad and died in a railway accident in which his leg was run over by a train car. His obituary ran under the headline “A Tragedy of the Rail.” After Hugh's death, Nellie worked as a saleslady at a department store in Ashland. Nellie and Hugh had two children. Nellie continued to live in Ashland for the rest of her life and is buried next to her husband and infant son at St. Agnes Cemetery.

7. Mary Ann “Mayme” (Blake) Dundas
born July 13, 1881 in Muskegon, Muskegon County, Michigan
died August 23, 1969 in Kenosha, Kenosha County, Wisconsin

Mayme moved with the family to Ashland and worked as a housekeeper before she married John Fletcher Dixon “Fletcher” Dundas in 1903. Fletcher was born on March 5, 1878 in Victoria, Ontario, Canada and died October 30, 1959 in Ashland. Fletcher and Mayme had two children. Fletcher worked as an engineer for the Chicago & Northwestern Railway. Mayme was Catholic like her parents and siblings while Fletcher was raised as an Anglican. Therefore, Mayme is buried in the Catholic St. Agnes Cemetery in Ashland, while Fletcher is buried across the street in the secular Mount Hope Cemetery.

8. Martha Bernice “Mattie” (Blake) Kandutsch
born February 8, 1882 in Muskegon, Muskegon County, Michigan
died 1952 in Phillips, Price County, Wisconsin

Mattie moved with her family from Muskegon to Ashland and became a registered nurse. She married Frank Joseph Kandutsch in Ashland on May 30, 1905. Frank was born December 21, 1879 in Austria and died November 28, 1954 in Phillips, Price County, Wisconsin. Mattie and her family moved around more than any of her siblings, while remaining in the northwoods of Wisconsin. In 1905, they were living in Woodboro, Oneida County, Wisconsin, moving back to Ashland later that year. They also lived in Kennan, Price County, Wisconsin; Park Falls, Price County, Wisconsin; and Phillips.

While Mattie remained a nurse, Frank worked at various jobs, including as a railway agent, bank cashier, and city clerk, before becoming an insurance agent, eventually owning his own company. Mattie and Frank had six children. Mattie and Frank are buried at St. Patrick Catholic Cemetery in Phillips.

9. Elizabeth S. (Blake) Gotsche
born September 9, 1885 in Muskegon, Muskegon County, Michigan
died February 13, 1953 in Racine, Racine County, Wisconsin

Elizabeth was born in Muskegon in 1885, though later in life she changed her birth year to 1888, making herself three years younger. She moved with her family to Ashland when she was five. Elizabeth moved to Milwaukee to study nursing at Marquette University. While there, she met Elmer Ferdinand Gotsche, who was attending the university's dental school. They married on May 11, 1921 in Ashland, after originally scheduling their wedding for May 10, in Madison, Dane County, Wisconsin. Elmer was born November 10, 1891 in Racine, Racine County, Wisconsin and died September 25, 1941, also in Racine.

Elizabeth, who had been working as a nurse in Milwaukee, moved to Elmer's hometown of Racine, where they lived for the rest of their lives, spending most of that time on Blaine Boulevard (later renamed Blaine Avenue). Elmer worked in town as a dentist. Elizabeth and Elmer had one daughter. Elmer is buried next to his parents and brother at Mound Cemetery in Racine, while Elizabeth is buried with her infant granddaughter and son-in-law's parents at Holy Cross Cemetery in Caledonia, Racine County, Wisconsin.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday - Mary (Kurten) Thielen

mary kurten thielen racine wisconsin appleton

My great-great-grandmother Mary A. (Kurten) Thielen was born 26 Jul 1869 in Appleton, Wisconsin. Her parents were John H. Kurten and Theresa M. (Becker) Kurten. The Kurten family were early settlers of both Racine, Wisconsin and Appleton, arriving in Racine in 1847, shortly before the city was founded in 1848, and moving to Appleton in the 1860s. Some of the family, including Mary, later returned to Racine, where Mary's nephews Russell Matthew Kurten and Louis John Kurten founded the Kurten Medical Clinic.

Before she was married, Mary worked as a sewing machine operator, and later as a shoe vamper (the front part of a shoe is called a vamp) at J. Miller & Co. while living at 910 Kewaunee Street in Racine. On 21 Oct 1890, Mary married Peter H. Thielen at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Racine. The couple lived for a time at 1502 Milwaukee Avenue (now known as Martin Luther King Drive) before settling down at 814 Jackson Street. Mary and Peter had thirteen children: John Hubert "Jack" Thielen, Henry Thielen, Peter Thielen, Mathias John "Matt" Thielen, Anna (Thielen) Campbell, Marie E. Thielen, Michael William "Mike" Thielen, an unnamed infant daughter, Cecelia Elizabeth Thielen, Viola Elizabeth (Thielen) "Vi" Atkinson, Charles Patrick "Chuck" Thielen, Eugene Henry Thielen, and Jerome Joseph "Jerry" Thielen.

mary kurten thielen racine wisconsin o'connor
This photo of the Thielen and O'Connor families was taken at Mary's house on Jackson Street. Mary is the woman at the far left in the front row.

Mary died on 22 Mar 1941 at St. Mary's Hospital in Racine, and her funeral was held at the same church where her wedding took place fifty years earlier. Mary was buried at Holy Cross Cemetery on Kinzie Avenue in the Kurten family plot, alongside her husband, grandson, parents, and siblings.

mary kurten racine wisconsin appleton holy cross cemetery
The south half of the Kurten family plot, with Mary's headstone second from the right.
Mary's Find A Grave memorial is #95324955.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday - Howard "Alto" Gauslin

howard alto gauslin rhinelander wisconsin

Howard Alto Gauslin is remembered just as "Alto" by his family. My great-uncle, he was born to Peter Herbert Gauslin and Lydia Jane "Jennie" (Moore) Gauslin on 03 Apr 1923 in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. I don't know very much about Alto because he died of diptheria when he was only eight years old on 03 Sep 1931, also in Rhinelander.

Alto was buried at Forest Home Cemetery in Rhinelander. His grave was unmarked for many years before a wooden cross was placed there by his cousin Robert Anthony "Bob" Moore. Bob also marked Alto's mother Jennie's grave at the same time. After some time, Bob replaced the crosses with different wooden markers, as seen above.

howard alto gauslin rhinelander wisconsin lydia jane moore june eunica gauslin
Alto with his mother Jennie and sister June. Jennie is on the left, Alto in the middle, and June on the right.

Alto's Find A Grave memorial is #76645012.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday - Peter Thielen

peter thielen racine wisconsin stonemason bricklayer

Peter H. Thielen was born on 05 Apr 1862 in Racine, Wisconsin. His parents were German immigrants Heinrich "Henry" Thielen and Gertrude (Thelen) Thielen (my guess is that Peter's middle name was Henry). Peter was my great-great-grandfather.

He worked all of his life as a bricklayer and mason in Racine, living for most of his adult life at 814 Jackson Street. On 21 Oct 1890, Peter married Mary A. Kurten in Racine. They had thirteen children: John Hubert "Jack" Thielen, Henry Thielen, Peter Thielen, Mathias John "Matt" Thielen, Anna (Thielen) Campbell, Marie E. Thielen, Michael William "Mike" Thielen, an unnamed infant daughter, Cecelia Elizabeth Thielen, Viola Elizabeth "Vi" (Thielen) Atkinson, Charles Patrick "Chuck" Thielen, Eugene Henry Thielen, and Jerome Joseph "Jerry" Thielen.

Peter died of prostate cancer on 15 Oct 1935 at the State Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin, which is now known as the Mendota Mental Health Institute. I don't know how he ended up there, but the hospital records are at the State Historical Society, and I'm going to investigate whether it's possible to access them.

Peter was buried in Old Holy Cross Cemetery on Kinzie Avenue in Racine, in the Kurten family plot of his in-laws, beside his wife and infant grandson.

peter thielen kurten racine wisconsin holy cross cemetery
The south half of the Kurten family plot, with Peter's headstone third from the right.
Peter's Find A Grave memorial is #95324686.