Category Archives: Genealogy

What was he doing in South America? In Montevideo, Uruguay?

AND WHERE IS YOUR WIFE?

My great grandmother’s younger brother, Leslie Warren Darling, was engaged to a girl named Ruth June Amos. But his death during the First World War changed their plans.

Ruth married another World War I veteran, William Donald Jordan, on August 12, 1919 in Red Oak, Montgomery County, Iowa.

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There is a nine year gap in records. I can’f find any records for either of them until January 17, 1928, when William arrived in New York City after taking a ship, the SS American Legion, from Montevideo, Uruguay.

He had already apparently been living in New York City for some time, a residence at 41 Broad Street in the heart of Wall Street.

What he was doing in South America isn’t known, nor what happened to Ruth. He remarried in May of 1928.

Did he divorce Ruth or had she died? Did she die during a misadventure in South America? Or is there something more sinister at work here? Murder?

People don’t just disappear. I intend on getting to the bottom of this.

ajh

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The Wolfs of Wayne County, Indiana

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Maria Wolf & Brazilla Van Note, who married in Wayne County, Indiana in 1844.
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A deed abstract of Frederick Wolf’s estate recorded in Montgomery County, Ohio.

I am convinced that my family, specifically my ancestor Maria Wolf, wife of Brazilla Van Note, is related to Frederick Wolf and his wife Barbara. They are probably her grandparents.

One of the key clues is the fact that Brazilla and Maria married in Wayne County, Indiana in 1844. This is where Frederick and Barbara’s son Jacob had settled with his wife and kids, as mentioned in the deed abstract above. Other family too were in Wayne County.

I’ve seen the name Barbary before, which confused me till a few days ago. I thought it may have been a man whose parents had an affliction for bizarre names. But now that I researched this family a bit, it’s obviously Frederick’s wife, who was named Barbara.

The missing connection is Maria’s parents. Her mother was named Elizabeth. Elizabeth was born in 1795, according to her gravestone, though the censuses have recorded varying years. She may have lied about her age or not known her birth date.

But her father has been elusive. I don’t know his name, other than Mr. Wolf. So I am hoping that if I dig into this family, plod through the tree and research, I may find some clues to connect, hopefully resulting in a name and some other details on Maria’s dad.

ajh

So this is how my great-great grandparents met… in Iowa… circa 1885.

A SNAPSHOT OF 1885

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After the death of their parents, my great great grandmother and her sisters went to live with various relatives. One, Jennie Boal, lived with her grandparents, her mother’s parents, the Fosters. And living close-by was Jerome Darling, with his mother and siblings. Jerome, later known as Dr. J. H. Darling, married Jennie’s sister Nettie in 1890. I can imagine Nettie visiting her grandparents frequently.

ajh

Lightning has been an occasional recurring theme in the family tree

LIGHTIN’ UP THE HOUSE

I have been tying branches of my grandmother’s family together and in so doing came upon this account of lightning striking a house.

The house of Rev. Israel Hay, on Mechanic street, Fredericksburg, on Sunday afternoon was struck by lightning. The bolt struck the east gable end and for some distance tore up the ——–, and then descended down to the kitchen, playing sad havoc with the glass and chinaware.”

Israel, perhaps the son of David Hay and Nancy Miller, was pastor at the Church of God in Fredericksburg in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania.

Lightning has been a recurring occasional theme in the family tree. One of my ancestors was struck by it, making for a brief peculiar historical highlight.

ajh

The origins of my grandmother’s paternal line has been lost to later generations — until now.

The German Connection

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Using a multidisciplinary approach, including DNA and a family religious artifact, helped me confirm that my grandmother’s paternal line had its origins in Germany.

The artifact is a book, printed in Philadelphia in 1814 with text in German. This alone is significant. The language is not American English. This is German.

When I first saw this, after a copy of it was reproduced in a book on the family history called Michael Hay and His Descendants, I knew that I had to pursue this. I had to unravel this story.

One of the compiler’s of the book, Lucy Bayley, lived in Oregon. And one day years ago my grandmother, her brother Everett, and I made the short road trip to her home. She was welcoming, but when I began asking questions about the family, she was reticent to give much information.

She was publishing a book and did not want to share, as if I was a competitor. It was a strange experience. I certainly had no intentions of publishing a book. But she treated me like a spy. So I was frustrated. Grandma said that I should just let her handle it.

Funnily, when the book was finally released, many in our branch of the family were disappointed. It was a typical genealogical book, with a bunch of names and dates, but little else. And there were some errors. I much prefer a narrative format, rather than the routine one.

This is not to say that the book is without merit. The first few pages are worthwhile and quite informative. These include maps and photographs, of land where our ancestors farmed and the long-neglected cemetery on private land where many were buried, more than a century ago.

Lucy was convinced of a Scottish connection, that the family had been in Scotland, part of the Hay clan apparently, but had then relocated to Germany. She was obsessed with this theory. To this day I have no idea if there is one. But I have seen no evidence of it.

However, the link with Germany is solid. I convinced my great uncle, the same one who made the journey to visit Lucy, to submit his DNA, and the results proved a link to a man named Kettering, who had traced his line back to a particular place in Germany.

So now I am working on a translation of this catechism book. I don’t know if I can do it on my own, using online translators such as Google Translate. But I am gonna try.

ajh

Grandpa’s Missing Siblings

The pastor of the church where my great grandparents, Albert and Augusta Fromke, were members, part of what’s known as WELS, the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, is on Facebook and kindly offered to lookup information on the family a few weeks ago. I wasn’t familiar with how he sent the material, so it’s be lurking there on Facebook unknown to me until today.

I’ve been on the hunt for two children, Emil and Ottilie, who were born in Germany, but immigrated with Ma & Pa Fromke in 1887. Their stories are still a mystery. But I will stay with it.

Here is some of what he found and sent me on four children unknown to me:

Wilhelm Carl Albert Fromke, born 7 June 1898, died 17 November 1900, Age: 2 years, 5 Months, 17 days.

Gustav Arthur Fromke, born 9 November 1901, died 19 November 1901, Age: Ten days. (Indiscernible text? I will send photo.)

Adolph Ernst Fromke born 7 May 1903 died 24 May 1903, Age: 17 days (Same words that I cannot decipher.)

Herta Ella Meta Fromke, born 6 October 1904, died 22 October 1904. (Also indiscernible to me, other than “Albert Fromke”. But I never studied German.)

I will be posting the images and more research he sent when I get a chance.

ajh