My family timeline (a work in progress)


5 Jan 1849: birth of August Grayer in Posen Province, Prussia (my paternal great grandfather)


20 March 1875: Carl Schmiling is born (maternal great grandfather of Drew)


19 April 1877: Charles Emmett Whitmer (paternal grandfather of Tim Whitmer) is born in Kentucky


20 July 1881: Alma Runke Schmiling is born (maternal great grandmother of Drew


14 Sept 1885: Emilie “Amelia” Angelina Grayer is born in Scio, MI (Grandma Pet- Amelia Grayer Ream, my maternal grandmother)

16 Sept 1885 Grover Cleveland Ream (father of Gretchen Ream Hess and my paternal grandfather) is born in Denver, Miami County, IN


20 May 1890: Aunt Babe (Helen Grayer Mayer, my maternal Great Aunt) is born


6 Sept 1891: George Kellogg Hess, Sr. (my paternal grandfather)  is born in Benton Harbor, MI


31 Jan 1894: Henrietta Spruhan is born in IL (mother of Robert L. Hess and my paternal grandfather)


21 April 1896: Cora Noffsinger Whitmer (paternal grandmother of Tim Whitmer) is born in Kentucky


28 Jun 1911: Henrietta Spruhan graduates from Austin High School in Chicago (mother of Robert Hess and my paternal grandmother)


21 Jan 1912: Elbert Emil Schmiling is born (maternal grandfather of Drew Wiesner)


15 Mar 1915: Olive Viste Schmiling is born (maternal grandmother of Drew Wiesner)


13 Aug 1917:  August Grayer dies (maternal great grandfather of Hess girls)

4 Dec 1917:  Robert Emerson Ream is born (Uncle Bob, my mother’s brother)


14 Nov 1923:  Tim Whitmer’s father Charles Emmett Whitmer, Jr. is born in Kentucky


29 Sep 1924: Robert Hess is born in Orange, Essex. NJ


4 Oct 1925 Gretchen Ream is born in Ann Arbor, MI


14 April 1926: Robert Jack Groshans is born in Arkansas (paternal grandfather of my children)

20 Dec 1926:  Madeline Bravin Groshans  is born in PA (paternal grandmother of my grandchildren)


1930 Census – Robert Hess, his parents and brother are living in Cook County, Chicago, IL (N. Neva Ave.)


20 Jan 1931: Samuel Henry Barnes (father of Chris Barnes) is born in Mississippi

26 March 1931: Grover Ream dies in Ann Arbor, MI (maternal grandfather of Hess girls)


24 Feb 1933:  Annabelle Bivona (mother of Chris Barnes) is born in New York, NY


10 Aug 1940: Robert Hess is saved from electrical shock fence (16 years old)

1940 Census – Robert Hess, his parents and brother are living in Benton Harbor, MI (Benton Center Road)


Gretchen is a sophomore at Ann Arbor High 16 years old


Gretchen Ream is a junior at Ann Arbor High 17 years old

Robert Hess graduates from Benton Harbor High School and enters University of Michigan


Gretchen Hess graduates from Ann Arbor High School


26 March 1944: Eugene Norbert Wiesner is born in WI (father of Drew Wiesner)

8 Jun 1944: Joann Emma Schmiling is born in Algoma, WI (mother of Drew Wiesner)


14 Feb 1945: Robert Hess is in V-12 program at University of Michigan

Robert Hess BSE – Engineering-Math BSE- Engineering-Mechanical while in the Navy V-12 program

2 Nov 1945: Robert Hess is appointed as an Ensign, US Navy (graduates from Midshipman school in New York)

15 Dec 1945: Gretchen and Robert Hess wedding

1945 Gretchen and Robert honeymoon at Niagara Falls

1945 Gretchen lives on N. Main Street and Robert reports to New Port, RI


April – Bob is on a naval shakedown at Guantanamo Bay

Robert Hess in an Instructor or Engineering Mechanics at the University of Michigan 1946-1949


Gretchen is a stenographer living with Robert at 719 Oakland Street, AA, MI

Robert Hess in an Instructor or Engineering Mechanics at the University of Michigan 1946-1949


Robert Hess in an Instructor or Engineering Mechanics at the University of Michigan 1946-1949


Robert Hess in an Instructor or Engineering Mechanics at the University of Michigan 1946-1949

Robert Hess is employed by Bell Laboratories from 1949 to 1952


Robert Hess is employed by Bell Laboratories from 1949 to 1952

Robert Hess receives Ph.D. from the University of Michigan


Robert Hess is employed by Bell Laboratories from 1949 to 1952


Robert Hess is employed by Bell Laboratories from 1949 to 1952

18 Mar 1952: Mary Ann Hess is born in Bethlehem, PA

14 April 1952: Tim Whitmer is born

19 March 1952: Robert Jack Groshans marries Madeline Bravin in Washington, D.C.


18 Feb 1953: Jack Francis Groshans is born in Ypsilanti, MI


11 Feb 1954: Linda Claire Hess is born in Ann Arbor, MI

31 March 1954: Mark Andrew Groshans is born

6 Nov 1954:  Robert Ream marries Mary Virginia Meredith in San Diego, CA


11 Feb 1955: Linda Claire turns 1 year old

1 May 1955: Grandma Grayer dies (Amelia Wistoff Grayer- maternal great grandmother of Hess girls)


11 Feb 1956: Linda Claire turns 2 years old

4 Dec 1956: Marie Groshans is born


11 Feb 1957: Linda Claire turns 3 years old

February – Hess girls visit paternal grandparents in Benton Harbor, MI

23 April 1957: Christopher Franklin Eugene Barnes is born

27 Nov 1957: Kathryn Sue Hess is born in Ann Arbor


11 Feb 1958: Linda Claire turns 4 years old

8 Mar 1958: Carol Renee Groshans is born


11 Feb 1959: Linda Claire turns 5 years old

9 Oct 1959: Glenn Robert Groshans is born


11 Feb 1960: Linda Claire turns 6 years old

November- Robert Hess takes the black and white popular portrait photos of everyone in his family and the extended family


11 Feb 1961: Linda Claire turns 7 years old

Hess family and Aunt Babe take big trip out west


11 Feb 1962: Linda Claire turns 8 years old

31 Jan 1962: Paul Stephen Groshans is born

Joann Schmiling (Drew Wiesner’s mother) graduates from Algoma High School

13 Dec 1962: Alma Runke Schmiling dies (maternal great grandmother of Drew)


11 Feb 1963: Linda Claire turns 9 years old

21 Apr 1963: Daniel Robert Groshans is born


Gretchen does Christmas Program at Bethlehem


11 Feb 1965: Linda Claire turns 11 years old

7 Feb 1965: Thomas Michael Groshans is born

13 Feb 1965: Grandma Pet (Amelia Grayer Ream) dies

18 June 1965: Eugene Norbert Wiesner marries Joann Schmiling (Drew’s parents)


11 Feb 1966: Linda Claire turns 12 years old

17 Jun 1966: Paul Stephen Groshans dies

1 Jul 1966: Robert Hess receives 2nd highest Army award

Robert starts with HSRI

Robert is Chairman of the building committee at BUCC and the new Addition is completed


11 Feb 1967: Linda Claire turns 13 years old

16 Oct 1967: Donna Susan Groshans is born


11 Feb 1969: Linda Claire turns 15 years old

10 Jan 1969: George Kellogg Hess, Sr. dies in Saint Cloud, FL

2 Oct 1969: Highway Safety Research Institute is dedicated


11 Feb 1970: Linda Claire turns 16 years old

President Nixon names Robert Hess to National Highway Safety Advisory Committee for 3 years

31 May 1970: Robert Hess takes Linda Hess on European trip

28 Jun 1970: Jack Groshans graduates from St. John’s in Ypsilanti, MI

July 1970 to June 1973 Jack Groshans works at Ford Motor Company in Saline, as a decorating technician

4 Nov 1970: Kara Lynn Wiesner is born (sister of Drew Wiesner)


02.11 Linda Claire turns 18 years old

07.06 Tim Whitmer’s father Charles Emmett Whitmer, Jr. dies

Linda Claire Hess graduates from Pioneer H.S. in Ann Arbor


11 Feb 1973: Linda Claire turns 19 years old

Mary Ann is living in France. Tour d’Aygosi 7, Aix-en-Provence 13100, France

Robert Hess Consultant of the Secretary of the Army’s Scientific Advisory Panel 

April – Mary Ann is getting ready to return to America after a year abroad

Jack is at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, TX (August 24th)

Jack is at the Defense Language Institute in Washington DC

Briarwood Mall opens in October


11 Feb 1974: Linda Claire turns 20 years old

1 Sept 1974: Andrew Jacob Wiesner is born in WI

Claire and Hillsdale friends spend spring break in Washington DC

18 Nov 1974: Jack Groshans has honorable discharge from the US Air Force


Jack was living at Aunt Rita’s house, 2225 Midvale, Ypsilanti, MI


11 Feb 1976: Linda Claire turns 22 years old

15 May 1976: Linda Claire Hess graduates from Hillsdale College, Hillsdale, MI


11 Feb 1977: Linda Claire turns 23 years old

February 1977 to April 1982: Jack Groshans works for the US Postal Service

13 Aug 1977: Groshans Wedding in Ann Arbor, MI


11 Feb 1978: Linda Claire turns 24 years old

July 1978 Linda is Sales and Catering Manager for Weber’s Inn until March of 1980


11 Feb 1979: Linda Claire turns 25 years old

Linda is Sales and Catering Manager for Weber’s Inn


11 Feb 1980: Linda Claire turns 26 years old

Linda is Sales and Catering Manager for Weber’s Inn until March of 1980

September 1980: Drew enters 1st grade in Port Washington Public Schools. Teacher is Linda Schmidt.


11 Feb 1981: Linda Claire turns 27 years old

3 July 1981: Amy Heather Groshans is born

September 1981: Drew enters 2nd grade in Port Washington Public Schools. His teacher was Mrs. Schubert.

13 Dec 1981: Amy baptized at BUCC


11 Feb 1982: Linda Claire turns 28 years old

3 July 1982: Amy turns 1 year old


11 Feb 1983: Linda Claire turns 29 years old

3 July 1983: Amy turns 2 years old

September 1983- December 1984 Jack Groshans attends Washtenaw Community College


11 Feb 1984: Linda Claire turns 30 years old

17 Mar 1984: Robert Jack Groshans dies (paternal grandfather of my children)

8 April 1984: Kristina Marie Whitmer is born

3 July 1984: Amy turns 3 years old

20 Sept 1984: Henrietta Spruhan Hess dies in Kissimmee, FL (mother of Robert Hess)

Robert Hess retires from HSRI


11 Feb 1985: Linda Claire turns 31 years old

3 July 1985: Amy turns 4 years old


11 Feb 1986: Linda Claire turns 32 years old

3 July 1986: Amy turns 5 years old

11 Oct 1986: Dan Groshans marries Elizabeth Gianakaris

Amy goes to Kindergarten at Jack and Jill

February – Amy and I go to Disney with Grandma and Grandpa


8 Jan 1989: Charles Robert Whitmer is born

30 Jan 1989: Amy scalds her chest

11 Feb 1989: Linda Claire turns 35 years old

1 April 1989: Kathryn Sue Hess marries Christopher Barnes

3 July 1989: Amy turns 8 years old

28 July 1989: Radisson grand opening


11 Feb 1991: Linda Claire turns 37 years old

03.29–04.05 in Florida before going to Jamaica (I think)

5 April 1991: arrive in Montego Bay – Jamaica (Claire is pregnant on this trip)

2 May 1991: Blake Andrew Barnes is born

3 July 1991: Amy turns 10 years old

31 Oct 1991: Michael Robert Groshans is born


02.11 Linda Claire turns 38 years old

March- Amy broken wrist

14 Jun 1992: – Drew graduates from Port Washington H.S.

June – Kara graduates from La Crosse U.W, system

3 July 1992: Amy turns 11 years old

August – Groshans family reunion in Vancouver

31 Oct 1991: Mike turns 1 year old

Amy wearing braces


02.11 Linda Claire turns 39 years old

3 July 1993: Amy turns 12 years old

July trip to Wonderland in Toronto.

3 Sept 1993: Grant Hayes Groshans is born (son of Glenn Groshans)

4 Sept 1993: Donna Groshans marries Todd Michael Gorsuch

31 Oct 1993: Mike turns 2 years old


3 July 1994: Family trip to Disneyworld

Summer Amy in Camp Talahi

Drew (junior at U of W Madison) spends a semester at the University of London living in the Bloomsbury District of London


01.24 Alexander Ryan Groshans is born (son of Dan and Beth Groshans)

02.11 Linda Claire turns 41 years old

May – Amy confirmation from BUCC

07.03 Amy turns 14 years old

10.31 Mike turns 4 years old and is in preschool

Linda Claire Hess Groshans and Jack Groshans are divorced


Mike starts Kindergarten at Jack and Jill

Drew graduates from University of Wisconsin-Madison May 1996


Mike starts 1st Grade at Abbott Elementary School

1 June 1997: Laura Groshans is born (daughter of Dan and Beth Groshans)

15 August 1997: Kevin Matthew Barnes is born


Mike starts 2nd grade at Pittsfield Elementary School in 1997

07.02 trip to Belle Isle with Bob Shafe

04.01 Linda Claire Groshans purchases 2725 Yost Blvd


06.10 Amy Groshans graduates from Pioneer H.S. in Ann Arbor

11.03 Thomas Groshans marries Teresa Francis Steszewski

Mike starts 3rd grade at Pittsfield Elementary School


Summer & Winter Amy works at Pfizer Global Research and Development 2800 Plymouth Road, Ann Arbor, MI and Summer 2001

Mike starts 4th grade at Pittsfield Elementary School

Amy and Mike have trip to Hawaii


Summer – Amy works at Pfizer Global Research and Development 2800 Plymouth Road, Ann Arbor, MI

Amy works from August to Dec 2001 State of Michigan House of Representatives, State Capitol, Lansing, MI 48909 517-373-0846 Representative James L. Koetje, 74th District of Michigan

Amy lives at 211 E. 53rd St., Apartment 9B, New York, New York, USA

Mike starts 5th grade at Pittsfield Elementary School

Amy and Mike have cruise to Alaska


03.15 bad winter storm on Yost

05.02 Elbert Emil Schmiling dies (maternal grandfather of Drew Wiesner)

08.23 Catherine Elizabeth Groshans is born (daughter of Tom and Teresa Groshans)

Mike starts 6th grade at Scarlett Middle School

Amy and Mike have a trip to St. Thomas


August 11 we were in Oscoda

May – Amy graduates from Michigan State University


Mike finishes 7th grade

03.17 Benjamin Michael Groshans is born (son of Tom and Teresa Groshans)

12.09 Robert Ream dies

Mike goes to boy scout jamboree


15 May 2005: Drew graduates from Cornell

1 Jan 2005: Amy’s visit to Connecticut to visit Tom, Teresa, Cate and Ben

18 June 2005: Amy marries Bill Hasler

Bill Hasler accepts a job in Los Angeles

14 June 2005: Mike Groshans has 8th grade graduation from Mill Creek School in Dexter, MI

Claire starts at Bethlehem Church


05.15 Journey to Jerusalem room

11.01 Gretchen Lois Ream Hess dies

Mike is 15 years old on 10-31-91 and finishes 9th grade at Huron High School

Amy and Bill living in Los Angeles.

Kristy graduates from MSU – Bachelor of Science, Zoology


Mike is 16 years old on 10-31-91 and finishes 10th grade at Huron H.S.

08.31 Mark Groshans dies


Mike is 17 years old on 10-31-91 and finishes 11th grade at Huron H.S.

10.20 Ann marries Jon


April – Amy and Drew trip to Cancun

06.03 – Mike Groshans and Blake Barnes graduate from Huron High School

06.25 Amy in Marathon

July – Drew hunts in Nambia with his father


Fall- Mike starts at the University of Michigan as a freshman


Mike starts work at CITI in the school year and summer of 2010

Hawaiian shirt photos at Mike’s work 12-7

11.21 Amy in Philadelphia Marathon

05.07 Kristy graduates from MSU College of Veterinary Medicine


February 2011: Drew and Amy get engaged

February 2011: Amy and Drew go to San Francisco and Napa Valley with Wiesner family

Mike works at CITI in the school year and summer of 2011

30 July 2011: wedding shower

10 Sept 2011: Amy Heather marries Andrew Jacob Wiesner in New York

Claire’s Arm surgery


Mike starts work at Arbor Networks as an intern in the summer of 2012

01.14 Eugene Norbert Wiesner dies (father of Drew Wiesner)

11.13 Eugene Jack Wiesner is born in WI

Mike graduates in the winter of 2012 from the U of M


Mike starts full time at Arbor Networks in January


Mike starts at Twilio in April 2014 and moves to San Francisco


sale of house on Yost Blvd.


July 3rd – Claire moves to Seattle Washington


05.19 Robert Lawrence Hess dies

October – Claire leaves job at Christ Episcopal Church in Seattle after 14 months employment


Claire buys condo in Ann Arbor in April 2018

Amy and Drew sell Portland OR home

Amy, Drew and EJ move to Germany

Ole Eriksen Eggen 1849-1928

Ole was the 3rd great grandfather of our family friend Eric. Here is a chart to how they connect:

Ole Eriksen Eggen was born on February 10, 1849, in Røros, Sor-Trondelag, Norway. He married Olava (Olive) Estensdotter Long (Langen) on November 15, 1874. They had 11 children in 22 years. He died on July 26, 1928, in McGregor, Iowa, at the age of 79, and was buried there.

In the 1900 US census, Ole stated that he had immigrated to the states in 1873. In this same census, he lists his occupation as a farmer. He would have been 23 years old when he arrived in the US. His parents both were born and died in Norway, so this leads me to believe that he did not see them again after moving here.

Ole became a naturalized citizen on 9 Sept 1879.

I found the death certificate for Ole. I believe that it says he died as a result of an accident with a bull!

He is buried in Iowa.

What kind of work did our grandparents do?

My nephew, Kevin, inspired me by a question that he asked some time ago. That question has very much been in the back of my mind for some time now. The question was, “what kind of work (occupations) did our ancestors have?” So, today, I thought I would start to document some of the occupations that make up my story of ancestry and the also the ancestry story of those that I love. I will simply write a paragraph or so about several of those ancestors and hope that you will enjoy sharing your insight into this topic as well.


I will start with my maternal grandfather. His name was Grover Cleveland Ream. He was born on 16 Sept. 1885 in Denver, Miami County, Indiana. In the US census from 1900, Grover was living in Ann Arbor, MI and was a mere 14 years old. The 1900 census shows that his father Benjamin Ream (my great grandfather) was a carpenter. Grover, like his father, would also become a carpenter. It was always my understanding that he was exceptional at his trade. I found a copy of his death certificate that shows the last date that he was engaged in his occupation was February of 1931. He died the next month on 26 Mar 1931. He was young, only 45 years old at his death. My mother was a mere 5 years old at the time her father died. In my ancestry notes, I have copies of news articles showing his association with the Carpenter’s Union 512 of Ann Arbor where he served as an officer. In addition to many of the important buildings he constructed, there was also the home he built for his family at 520 N. Main Street, Ann Arbor, MI that would become not only a residence, but a guest home.


My maternal grandmother was Emilie “Amelia” Angelina Grayer Ream. She was born on 14 Sept. 1885 in Ann Arbor, Washtenaw County, Michigan. Actually, as I write this blog, I notice for the first time that my grandparents birthdays were a mere 2 days apart. My grandmother would affectionally be called “Grandma Pet. ” I loved her beyond measure. She died 1 day after my 11th birthday party on 13 Feb 1965. I have many treasured memories of her humor, sweetness, and joy for life. My grandmother’s occupation was to run the guest home in her residence on Main Street in Ann Arbor. I was under the impression that the guests who stayed at the home were primarily business or sales men who were often associated the University of Michigan. In the basement of the home was a large ironing mangle (it impressed me greatly) that was used to iron the sheets of the house guests.


My paternal grandfather was George Kellogg Hess, Sr. He was born 6 Sept. 1891 in Benton Harbor, Berrien County, Michigan. He was born on a successful fruit farm whose harvests supplied the Chicago market and other large cities. He wanted to leave the farm! My father told me that George did NOT want to be a farmer. In the WWI draft application he completed on 5 June 1917, he states that he is employed by Western Electric Company, Hawthorne Station, Chicago. He went on to graduate from the University of Michigan in 1921 with a degree in Electrical Engineering. I have been told that he was a genius. He worked in Chicago for the electrical company until 1930. Perhaps you will recall the story my father told us so often. My father became direly ill in 1930 (he was 5 years old) and the doctors in Chicago said the only hope for my father’s survival was to move the family to the countryside and out of the large city. What? I know…huh? Anyway, this put George back at the orchard farm in Benton Harbor, MI. This was the same place he had so wanted to leave as a young man. My father’s story is even more amazing because at exactly the same time as my father became ill, George’s father Juan Hess died leaving the farm to George. George must have not liked going back to the farm enough that when his obituary was written it states that he “was a retired electrical engineer” without mention of his successful management of the farm. I have collected numerous newspaper articles that show that George was an activist, even to the point of traveling to Washington to lobby for certain changes that primarily related to pipelines, farm taxes and migrant workers.


Henrietta was born on 31 Jan 1894 in Illinois. In 1914 she graduated from the Chicago Musical College. She was a very accomplished pianist. (As a note, in 1930 when the family was forced to move to Benton Harbor, MI and back to the farm, she would not agree to go unless she had her grand piano too.) In the 1920 census, Henrietta was 26 years old and single. She is living with her parents. In the census records, she lists her occupation as Dictaphone Operator. I recall that my father told me this was an honorable position that she was able to claim because her pianist’s hands moved so quickly on the keys of the dictaphone.


E.L. was born on 5 August 1906 in Bond, Stone, Mississippi. His home in the 1930 census (when he was 23 years old) was in Columbia, Marion, Mississippi. He listed his occupation as school teacher. In the 1940 census, he still is a teacher and states that he has had 3 years of college education. (This question was particular to the 1940 census, so I don’t know when he actually attended college.) It is known that he was a graduate of Mississippi College. In 1940 he was living in Hattiesburg, Forrest, Mississippi.


Christine was born on 10 June 1905 in Grange, Lawrence County, Mississippi. In the 1930 census she is 24 years old and states that she is a student. This must have been college, but I do not have educational records for her. In the 1940 census she lists her education level as having completed 1 year of college.


Frank was born on the 30 November 1904 in Mendoza, Argentina. He arrived in New York in 1916. In the 1920 census, Frank states that he is a clerk in a silk factory. In his 1928 petition for citizenship, he lists his occupation as contractor. In the 1940 census, he lists his occupation as an Insurance Agent. In the 1940 census, folks were asked to record their level of education. Frank states that he had completed school through 6th grade.


Angie was born on 6 September 1909 in New York City, New York. In the 1940 census she lists her occupation as worker in the clothing industry.

Henry Griffin Scarborough 1780-1852 of South Carolina

Alfred was the 4th great uncle of my brother-in-law

Sometimes, when I trace our family story, I have to look at other family members to find out more information about one of our direct ancestors. In other words, our direct ancestor may not have been researched as thoroughly as one of their children, siblings or another relative of theirs. The photo above, is a 4th great uncle so he is a child of our direct ancestor and 4th great grandfather Henry.

Henry and Frances Stuckey Scarborough were the 4th great grandparents of my brother-in-law. It was Henry and Frances’ child Sarah “Kizzie” Scarborough that would become the direct line to my brother-in-law’s family. “Kizzie” was a younger sister to Alfred who is pictured above.

The first thing I notice from the photo caption above is that Henry (who was the 4th great grandfather of Christopher Barnes)  had a plantation in the Sumter District of South Carolina. It turns out that Henry’s father also owned a plantation.

Henry  (who was the 4th great grandfather of Christopher Barnes)  was born in 1780 in South Carolina. He died in 1852:

Henry (who was the 4th great grandfather of Christopher Barnes)  is listed in the 1820 census. I have a summary of that census below: 

1820 census (Sumter, SC) Note: in 1820 Henry was 39 years old.

By the time of the 1840 census, Henry had 10 slaves. 

Henry’s father (the 5th great grandfather of my brother-in-law)  was Addison Scarborough 1754-1831.  I was able to find an 1820 census for Addison. In 1820 Addison was 66 years old.

Lewis Ferdinand Scheidel 1867-1930

Lewis F. Scheidel

Here is a list of descendants that connect Lewis Ferdinand Scheidel as a 2 x great grandfather to my friend Eric.

Lewis Ferdinand Scheidel (1867 – 1930)
2nd great-grandfather of my friend Eric
Oscar Augustine Scheidel (1903 – 1978)
Son of Lewis Ferdinand Scheidel
Patricia Josephine Scheidel (1938 – 2014)
Daughter of Oscar Augustine Scheidel
Barbara Maguire 
Daughter of Patricia Josephine Scheidel
Eric Anderle 
Son of Barbara Maguire
When Lewis Ferdinand Scheidel was born on January 30, 1867, in Alpine, Michigan, his father, Ferdinand, was 38 and his mother, Catherine Vierheilig, was 34.
LEWIS’ MOTHER: Lewis’ mother was Catherine Vierheilig who was born on 14 June 1832 in Bad Kissingen, Bavaria, Germany. She died on 1 Nov 1901 in Alpine Township, Kent, MI.
In the 1880 US census, Catherine is 48 years old. She lists her birthplace as Bavaria. Her occupation is “keeping house.” She lives in Alpine, Kent, MI. Her husband was 57 at the time of this census and is working as a farmer. His birth location is stated to be Baden.
In the 1900 US census, Catherine is 67 years old. She stated that she immigrated to the US in 1832. That was also the year of her birth. She clearly lists her birth location as Germany.
LEWIS’ FATHER: Lewis’ father was Ferdinand “Fred” George Scheidel. Here is a photo found on Ancestry.
Ferdinand Fred George Scheidel
LEWIS’ WIFE: Lewis married Alice Katherine Williams on September 3, 1889. They had 14 children in 19 years. Alice was a direct ancestor and 2x great grandmother to Eric.
Lewis Ferdinand Scheidel wedding pic
Alice’s death certificate was an important genealogy tool for me because it gives the names and birth locations of Alice’s parents and those would be Eric’s 3x great grandparents! An interesting note for me is the introduction of Eric’s ancestry connections to England.
death certificate of Alice Katherine Williams Scheidel
Lewis died on October 8, 1930, in Alpine, Michigan, at the age of 63, and was buried in Comstock Park, Michigan. Note that his death certificate has an error. His name seems to be hand-written as Lewis…but is typed in as Louis. This type of error was very common for the time period. Spelling often seemed to be a sort of “free for all.”
death certificate of Lewis Scheidel
This amazing photo below was shared on Ancestry. It does not give a photo legend for each of the persons but is titled “Family portrait of Lewis Ferdinand Scheidel.” This photo must certainly also include Oscar Augustine Scheidel who was Eric’s great grandfather!
family portrait of Lewis Scheidel

Betty Louise Remenak Anderle 1936-2014

When Betty Louise Remenak was born on October 17, 1936, in Michigan, her father, Leo, was 26, and her mother, Stella Waszkiewicz, was 23. I am writing this blog about Betty because she was the paternal grandmother of my friend Eric.

Betty Anderle

BETTY’S FATHER: Betty’s father, Leo, had been born on 30 April 1910 in Poland.  Leo must have Americanized his last name at some point from Rzemieniak to Remenak. Leo was Eric’s great grandfather.

In 1929, Leo married Stella Waszkiewicz. He was 21 years old and she was 16 years old.

Marriage of Leo and Stella

In the 1930 US census. Leo is 21 years old (his wife is only 17 years old). He states that he speaks Polish. In this census, he is living with his wife in Grand Rapids, MI and working as a furniture re-finisher. His wife is working in furniture upholstery.  They live in a rented home on 6th Street. In this census, he states that he immigrated to the US in 1912 when he was 2 years old.

In the 1940 US census Leo is 29 years old and living with his wife Stella and their 3 children on Graceland Street in Grand Rapids. Leo states that his highest level of education completed is 8th grade. He lists his citizenship as naturalized. I found a city directory that gave their address as 843 Graceland NE., Grand Rapids, MI.

I did find some WWII Navy muster rolls that show Leo served in the military on the USS Pine Island. This record is dated 1948. I also found this application for a military headstone.

Leo headstone.JPG

Leo died on 15 Dec 1956. He was only 46 years old. I did not find his obituary, but I did find an article about the accident that claimed his life. The driver of the car that struck Leo was brought up on charges 2 times, but each time there was insufficient evidence to charge the driver of the car that struck Leo with negligent homicide.

Detroit Free Press 16 Dec 1956 Leo

BETTY’S MOTHER: Betty’s mother, Stella. had been born on 17 Feb 1913 in Michigan. Her parents had been born in Poland. Stella was Eric’s great grandmother.

In the 1920 US census, Stella was 7 years old and living with her parents,George Waszkiewicz and Anna Reda, and her sister Estiva. In this census record, George is working as a sander in a fur factory and states that he cannot read or write. He lists Polish as his mother tongue. Anna is also working as a painter in a carpet sweeper industry. She also says that she is unable to read or write … would this just be a reference to not reading English? Not sure. The family lives on Blymier Court in Grand Rapids, MI.

Stella lived for many years after the death of her husband. She died at the age of 81 on 27 Oct 1994. She is buried near many of the Remenak family at Fairplains Cemetery in Grand Rapids.

BETTY: I was delighted to find that Betty’s high school has digitalized many of their yearbooks. Here are some of the photos that I found. Please let me know if any of these are not Betty so I may remove the photos from the blog!

Creston High School 1953 yearbook

1953 Creston H.S. yearbook

1954 Creston HS yearbook.JPG

Creston High School 1954 yearbook

1954 profile pic in Creston H.S. yearbook

year book

Betty married Gerald Ladd Anderle.

Betty passed away at the age of 77. This is a link to an obituary:


Joseph “Jesse” Derusha 1870-1925

Joseph Jesse Derusha was the paternal great grandfather of my friend Rachel.

Joseph Jesse Derusha

When Joseph Jesse Derusha was born on December 7, 1870, in Saint Ignace, Mackinac, MI, his father, Joseph, was 30 and his mother, Josephine LaJoie, was 22.

Here are photos of Joseph’s parents (Rachel’s 2nd great grandparents:)

Joseph Derusha 1840-1918

Josephine Josette LaJoie Derusha


Joseph  married Bridget McLeod on July 17, 1890, in Hendricks, Michigan. On his marriage records he uses his middle name “Jesse.” Race was indicated on the marriage record with Jesse being “white” and Bridget listed as “Indian.”

The photo here is very small, so I have included the transcribed information too:marriage of Jesse to Bridget July 15 1890

Name: Jessa Derusha
Gender: Male
Race: W & Indian (Native American)
Age: 19
Birth Year: abt 1871
Birth Place: Rever Island, Michigan
Marriage Date: 17 Jul 1890
Marriage Place: Hendricks, Mackinac, Michigan, USA
Residence Place: St Ignace
Father: Joseph Derusha
Mother: Josephine Lajoie
Spouse: Bridget McLeod
Record Number: 182


The first census record that I found with Joseph listed is 1880, when Joseph was 9 years old.  In this census, his father is listed as a fisherman and his mother is “keeping house.” The family lived in Mackinac, Hendricks, MI.

By the time of the 1910 U.S. census, “Jesse” is now 20 years old and working as a lumberman. I loved how he gave his work location…”in the woods.” He is using his middle name of Jesse in this census. In the 1910 census, a person was asked to state their race. Bridget now states she is “white.”  They live in Mackinac, Hendricks, MI.

In the 1920 census, Joseph lists his name as Joseph (no longer uses Jesse). He is still in Mackinac, Hendricks, MI.

Joseph died in 1925, he was 54 years old.

death of Joseph Derusha.JPG

tombstone of Joseph J. Derusha

obit for Joseph Jesse Derusha