Monthly Archives: September 2018

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.

http://www.migenweb.org/kent/cemeteries/grandrapids/fairplains/2013/Ra-Ri.html

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:

https://obits.mlive.com/obituaries/grandrapids/obituary.aspx?n=betty-l-anderle&pid=170796659&fhid=21038

 

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

 

 

 

Charles Karl Schmeling 1811-1885

Family tree from records of Elbert Schmiling.jpg

How wonderful that Elbert Schmiling wrote a family history that begins with the story of Charles Karl Schmeling and his wife Dorothea Maria Westphal.

This is a link to Elbert’s narrative account about Charles and Dorothea:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1x6acY9RDXa_er9aoqSrVTLuxylKBNQwX/view?usp=sharing

I have also done research on Ancestry to piece together documents and supporting facts. Here is what I found:

When Charles Karl Schmeling was born on April 9, 1811, in Greifenberg, Bavaria, Germany, his father, August, was -31 and his mother, Marie, was -29.

Charles married Dorothea Maria Westphal in 1835 when he was only 24 years old.

In 1857, Charles and his family emigrated to the United States. They sailed on a ship called Rinehard and left from a port in Bremen, Germany and arrived at Ellis Island.

Together Charles and Dorothea had five children in 15 years. The child who is a direct ancestor and 3rd great grandfather to my grandson is Albert Schmiling 1851-1903.

Charles died on October 19, 1885, in Algoma, Wisconsin, at the age of 74, and was buried there in Saint Paul’s Lutheran Cemetery.  This is a link to Find a Grave:

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/65031289/charles-schmeling

Frans August Ferdinand Thörnbladh, born 13 Dec 1863 in Sweden

Frans was the paternal great grandfather of my friends Heidi and Kurt Thornbladh. Frans was born on 13 December 1863 in Carlskrona (or Karlskrona), Sweden.  I learned from my friend Heidi that that there is not much family information on her paternal great grandparents. It seems that her grandfather had left home as a young man because he was upset and chose to walk away from his parents. So, now, as a genealogist, I focus on the few facts I can piece together about the life of this Swedish paternal great grandfather.

I found a record for Frans listed in Swedish household examination books. His residence at the time of the record was Eskilstuna Kloster och Fors, Södermanlands, Södermanland, Sweden. I am not sure of the exact date of the record.

Swedish examination book

a Swedish examination book.jpg

Frans married Hilda Vilhelmina Pettersson on December 26, 1886. This makes Hilda the paternal great grandmother of my Thornbladh friends.

Again, using Swedish examination booklets, I found these children recorded for Frans and Hilda:

June 5 1880        Emilie Isabella (great aunt to my friends)

Sep 28 1889        Elsa Matilda (great aunt to my friends)

Sep 2 1893          Erik Teodor Ferdinand (great uncle to my friends)

Mar 4 1897         Nils Magnus (grandfather to my friends)

Not listed in the record above is a possible additional daughter Gunhild who I believe died when she was just one year old in 1888.

There is a big gap in years of birth and this sometimes signals to genealogists that one or more births are missing from the records. I simply do not know!

In the examination record, a younger sister of Frans is also listed. Her name was Emilie Matilda Nilsson born on Jan 31 1874.

page 427 Swedish examination book

I found a birth record for Nils Magnus.  Remember,Nils was my friends paternal grandfather, the same man who apparently left home as a very young man leaving his father Frans and mother Hilda over a probable dispute.

1897 birth Nils Magnus

I found a transcribed record below (cannot view the original document) showing Frans’ emmigration from Sweden to Denmark. (note: the occupation of “barn” just means a child) This record shows that at the age of 11, Frans left Sweden with his family and moved to Denmark. I am unable to find out if this was a short or long stay abroad. This record is helpful because it lists the name of his father as “Per Tornblad Olsson.”

Sweden emmigrants registered in church books

I believe that Frans died sometime around 1950 in Sweden. I will continue to update this story if more information becomes available. Your feedback and comments are welcome.

Many of the Swedish examination books are available on the Family Search website. (You may be required to create a free account with the LDS Family Search site in order to view the records) Also, note that the list available by using the link below gives information on Frans and other people who had the same name…

https://www.familysearch.org/search/record/results?count=20&query=%2Bgivenname%3A%22frans%20august%22~%20%2Bsurname%3Athornbladh~&https://www.familysearch.org/search/hr/search=undefined

Cecelia Gallagher (1841-1930) and Thomas E. Joyce (1841-1922)

I am researching Cecelia and Thomas Joyce because they are the 2nd great grandparents of my friends Heidi Thornbladh and Kurt Thornbladh.  During the years of our friendship, Heidi has shared stories about the life of “Celia” Gallagher from Ireland. I found those stories captivating! This short essay will present some of the genealogical facts and historical documents that I have come across.

Cecelia F (“Celia”) Gallagher was born on May 3, 1841, in Dublin, Ireland, the daughter of Margaret Madden and William Gallagher.

She married Thomas E. Joyce on October 11, 1868, in Newton, Massachusetts. They had four children during their marriage.

Cecelia’s occupation was a nurse. This is documented in the US census records of 1900. In the 1900 census, Cecelia states she has had 5 children and only 4 are living. In this census, Cecelia also states that she immigrated to the United States in 1860 (that would have made her 19 years old.) Her immigration date is up to question because in the 1920 census she states she arrived state side in 1865. (Cecelia became a citizen by naturalization).

By the time of the 1930 census, Cecelia is using the name “Celia”. She is 88 years old at the time of the 1930 census and is no longer working. In that 1930 census, 2 of her daughters are living with her. Their names were Mary (age 56) and Carrie (age 54). It is interesting to note that Carrie was also a registered nurse. They lived in Manchester, Hillsborough, New Hampshire, USA

Cecelia died on May 19, 1930, in Manchester, New Hampshire, at the age of 89, and was buried there in Saint Joseph Cemetery. This is the link to see the tomb stone marker:

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/73958308

I have also found her death certificate (this was also an important document as it lists her parents names – or the 3x great grandparents of Heidi and Kurt!)

death of Cecelia Joyce

This shows the records of Cecelia’s direct descendants:

Cecelia F (Celia) Gallagher (1841 – 1930)
2nd great-grandmother
William Lawrence Joyce (1875 – 1940)
Son of Cecelia F (Celia) Gallagher
Celia Marion Joyce (1898 – 1961)
Daughter of William Lawrence Joyce
Ruth Beverly Moller (1924 – 2006)
Daughter of Celia Marion Joyce
Heidi Thornbladh
the daughter of Ruth Beverly Moller
THOMAS JOYCE

Thomas E. Joyce was born in 1841 in Manchester, New Hampshire to Mary Fitzsimmons Foley and Lawrence Joyce. Manchester was a mill town. During the 1800’s the town would be changing from a farm based economy to factory work.

In the 1900 census, Thomas states that both of his parents were born in Ireland. He was born in New Hampshire.  At the time of the 1900 census, Thomas was 60 years old and working as an iron moulder. At this time, he lived in a rented house with his family.

Thomas died on June 17, 1922,  at the age of 81, and was buried in Manchester, New Hampshire. I was able to find his death certificate, which is again important because it lists the names of his parents.

Death of Thomas Joyce

This shows the record of Thomas’ direct descendants:

Thomas E. Joyce (1841 – 1922)
2nd great-grandfather
Celia Marion Joyce (1898 – 1961)
Daughter of William Lawrence Joyce
Ruth Beverly Moller (1924 – 2006)
Daughter of Celia Marion Joyce
Heidi Thornbladh
 the daughter of Ruth Beverly Moller