Category Archives: Groshans Family History

Jakob Grosshans 1872-1917

1872GROSSHANS Jakob 1914_02[1]

1914 photo of Jakob Grosshans

When Jakob Grosshans was born on May 21, 1872, his father, Jacques, was 30 and his mother, Salome Reinhardt, was 27. He had one daughter with Marie Nowatzky in 1898. He died on June 2, 1917, in France at the young age of 45.

Jakob was born in what is now modern day France. But, Jakob had been born shortly after Germany had annexed that Alsace region of his birth.

Jakob and Marie’s daughter was Mina Grosshans. Through ancestry, I was able to meet a direct descendant of Jakob’s family. They hosted us while we were on a trip to France in January of 2020. We were given a tour of the village Sundhouse where our ancestors had lived. The feeling of standing on that French soil brought me closer to the story of the family line. We even saw the church that our ancestors had attended and where their home was located.

Note that Jakob’s name Grosshans was spelled with one more letter “s” than we use in the spelling of our family name. Many folks in our ancestral line still use the spelling Grosshans.

This is how we relate:

Jakob Grosshans 1872-1917 was a 1st cousin 2x removed of Robert Groshans’ children
Jacques Jacob Grosshans 1842-1941 was the father of Jakob Grosshans
Jean Jacques “Jacob” Grosshans 1808-1869 was the father of Jacques Jacob Grosshans
Gottlieb (Theophile) Grosshans 1847-1919 was a son of Jean Jacques “Jacob” Grosshans
Gottlieb Jack Groshans 1878-1941 was a Son of Gottfried Gottlieb Theophile Grosshans
Robert Jack Groshans 1926-1984 was a Son of Gottlieb Jack Groshans


Gottlieb Groshans 1847-1919

Gottlieb Groshans was the Great, Great Grandfather of my children. His son, Gottlieb Jack Groshans, was the Great Grandfather of my children.

When Gottlieb (or Gottfried) Groshans (or Grosshans) was born on November 25, 1847, his father, Jean Jacques “Jacob” Grosshans, was 39 and his mother, Marie Sigwalt Grosshans, was 30. He married Salome Lauffer in 1870. They had eight children in 17 years. He died on August 25, 1919, in Kankakee, Illinois, at the age of 71, and was buried in Streator, Illinois.

Recently, I have discovered that Gottlieb’s name was actually was Theophile Grosshans. As you can see by time of the 1919 death notices below, he must have changed his name and was using the name Gottlieb Groshans.

27 Aug 1919 The Times Streator, IL

26 Aug 1919 The Times, Streator IL death of G. Groshans

26 Aug 1919 The Times, Streator IL 

In 1847, Alsace (birthplace of Gottlieb) was in France. I found out that the name Theophile was translated into Gottlieb (or Gottfried).

Many of my sources use different variations of his name.

Here are the children that I have found in my research:


THE 1900 US CENSUS (note that Salome is not listed in this census as she was deceased)

In the 1900 US census, he is listed as Gottliebes G*Shous.  (Please remember that the census takers did not worry about writing what they “heard.”) In the 1900 census, we learn this information: He is the head of household with a birth date listed as October 1849. So, the there is a birth date conflict as he was actually born in 1847. Did he want to appear younger in the census or was there a poor note-taker? He states his occupation as Farm Laborer. He owns a home and it looks like it was on 6th Street in LaSalle, Streator, IL. He states that his birth place was France and that this was also the birth place of his parents. Gottlieb states that he immigrated to the USA in 1886.

In this 1900 census, Gottlieb is living with his son Louis who is employed as a coal miner. Louis’ birth date is listed as October 1872. The census states that Louis was born in France.

In this 1900 census, Gottlieb is also living with his daughter Zetmar. Her birth date is listed as May of 1877 in France. Her occupation is as a garment worker. (My other research shows she may have used the name Sarah and that her birth date may not match this census???)

In this 1900 census, Gottlieb is also living with his daughter Annie. Her birth date is listed as May 1881. She was born in Illinois. Her occupation is also listed as a garment worker.

In this 1900 census, Gottlieb is also living with his daughter Louisa who was born in July of 1884 in Illinois. The census shows that Louisa was 15 years old and still in school.


The Family Search # for Gottlieb is LVDW-RB1.

The Find a Grave link is :

I wrote a blog that is related:

Sibling of Gottlieb:

Gottlieb had a brother named Henry Grosshans. Henry married Salome Hartweg on November 5, 1873. They had nine children in 17 years. He died on May 13, 1930.

Here is a news clipping about Henry:


15 May 1930 The Times Streator, IL 



Luigi “Louis” Bravin and Thecla Melosso

Luigi “Louis” Bravin was born in 1884 in Italy. He was a brother of Anibale Bravin ( the great grandfather of my children.)

Louis married Thecla (or Tekla or Cecelia; Meloso or Melloso) on November 15, 1909. They had five children in 12 years.

He died in 1936 in Altoona, Pennsylvania, at the age of 52, and was buried there.

Luigi Louis Bravin



portrait of Luigi Louis Bravin.jpg

Louis immigrated to the U.S.A. from Udine, Italy when he was 22 or 23 in approx. 1906/07. When he was 25 years old (November 15, 1909) he married Tecla.

By occupation he was a stone mason.


Tecla Melosso wife of Louis Bravin

1936 death certificte of Louis Bravin

Together, Louis and Tecla had these children: John Edward 1910-2003/ Mary “Sister M. Yolanda” 1912-1996/ Rose E. 1915-2006/ Yolanda Madeline 1918-2011/ Evelyn Louis 1923-2014. (These children were the Bravin great, great Uncles and Aunts to my children.)  

Bravin siblings

Salome “Sally” Lauffer Groshans 1850-1898

Salome Groshans was the Great Great Grandmother of my children.  Fact finding for her life story has been challenging and my research is spotty and incomplete. I have hit “brick walls” while searching for something (anything) that would tell me a story about her.  My hope is that someone reading this article will have more information and answers to  many of my questions.

So, what do I know?  Facts on ancestry sites about Salome’s life are almost NONE.  I was only able to understand some of her story through the history of her husband and her 8 children and those 8 children’s descendants.  Salome and Gottlieb immigrated to the United States having arrived from Alsace ( an area in Europe that sometimes belonged to France and at other times to Germany.)   Illinois was the place that Salome and her husband Gottlieb Jack Groshans settled in.  They moved to a region in Illinois that was known for the coal mining industry. In fact, many of the men in this extended family, worked as coal miners.

I started the research by looking at  the 1900 census. Salome’s husband, Gottlieb Groshans, is listed as head of household in that year.  At the time of the 1900 census he was 50 years old. Salome is not listed in the 1900 census as she had died in 1899. In the census, Gottlieb states that  his birth was in France in October of 1849. He states that he immigrated to the United States in 1886.  Gottlieb lists his occupation, for that year, as Farm Laborer.  In this 1900 census his home is listed as 6th Street in the town of Bruce, LaSalle, Illinois.

It appears that Salome only lived to the age of 47 and yet still bore 8 children before her death in 1899. I believe she was born on 30 June 1851. Her children were:

1st child – Caroline “Carrie” Groshans 1869-1936.  Birth on 14 May 1869 in Alsace-Lorraine, France.  Death on 3 May 1936 in Streator, LaSalle, Illinois. Caroline married Alvin Weber in 1888.  Caroline states that her immigration to the states was in 1887 (a different date than her father had listed). Like her father, Carrie is buried at Riverview Cemetery, Streator, LaSalle, Illinois. Carrie Groshans and  Alvin Weber had these children:

  1. Charles Frederick “Freddie” Weber, 1891-1915. Married Ida May Weber. In the 1910 census he lived at W. Barber Street, Streator, Illinois.  His occupation was coal miner in 1910.  In 1920, his occupation is worker in a factory. In the 1930 census, his occupation is listed as truck driver for a bakery.
  2. Walter P. Weber, 24 July 1893-16 Oct. 1955. Married Marie Wilhelmina Erle. He worked as a carpenter for the railroad.
  3. Ernest E. Weber, 1895-1983. He married Zelma. In 193o census he is a proprietor of a bakery.  Ernest is also a WWII veteran.  He too is buried at Riverview Cemetery, Streator, Illinois. ernest-e-weber
  4. Louis Weber, 30 Sept. 1897 – 18 Feb. 1973.  Married Lillian M. Kettman.  In the 1930 census his occupation is baker in a bakery shop.
  5. Reita Weber, 26 Sept. 1901 – 24 January 1983.  Death in Los Angeles, CA. Possible spouse, ? Beuscher.
  6. George A. Weber, 1904-? In the 1930 census he states that he is a single man working as a truck driver for a bakery.
  7. Norma Kathryn Weber, 28 Feb. 1905- 17 Nov. 1994.  She married Harry Hoagland. In the 1940 census, her husband lists his occupation as salesman.
  8. Bertha F. Weber, 11 Feb. 1907-3 Jan. 2003.  Bertha married Andrew J. Hudachko. In the 1930 census, Bertha lists her occupation as salesperson in a bakery.
  9. Hazel Weber, 1910 – ?.

2nd child- Maria “Mary” Rosina Groshans 1869-?  Maria was born in Germany. In 1888, Mary married Theodore Oeser, 14 Dec. 1866-31 Oct. 1946.  Their family moved to California at some point. Theodore lists his occupation in the 1900 census as coal miner.  Mary and Theodore had these children:


  1. Frank Oeser, Nov. 1890-1909. He died at age 19. He is buried at Riverview Cemetery
  2. Albert G. Oeser, 5 Dec. 1892-6 Dec. 1958.  Albert married Jean Brown.  They had daughter Alma J. Oeser 1915-2007 and son Arthur J. Oeser 1917-? As you can see, he lists his occupation as coal miner.


  1. Alma E. Oeser, 1894-1904.  She died at age 10.
  2. Carl Arthur Oeser, 26 Aug. 1896 – 4 March 1923.  He died at the age of 26. He married Irma Johnson and had three children: Carlye Arnold Oeser, 1919-? ,  Reita Arline Oeser, 19 August 1919 – 17 March 2008, and Amanda Oeser, 11 August 1921 – 17 July 2009.


  1. Edwin F. Oeser, 1898- 25 Oct. 1992. He married Grace E. Dayson. They had a daughter, Barbara Marie Oeser, 27 Sept. 1926 – 29 April 1998.  Edwin was the president of Acme eyelet and stamping company.
  2. Henry Theodore “Heini” Oeser, 2 March 1901- 16 June 1932.

3rd child- Louis Christian Groshans, 5 October 1872- 9 July 1944.  Louis was born in France. Louis married Elizabeth. Family hand written notes say that he was an auto garage manager.  He was deafened by a coal mine accident at age 15.  He died in the mid 1940’s from being hit by a car.  Our notes say this happened in Cincinnati, OH. The children of Louis and Elizabeth were:

  1. Lewis Eric Groshans, 1872-1944,
  2. Lillian Reita Groshans,  1919-2001,
  3. Howard F. Groshans, 1923-1980,
  4. Donald Ray Groshans, 1926-2001
  5. Dr. Russell G. Groshans, 1929 – 2015
  6. Sharon Groshans, 1931-?

Louis Groshans and Elizabeth Bosse

Louis Groshans and Elizabeth Bosse

4th child-Sarah Groshans 1875-1965. Born in Sundhouse, Bas-Rhin, Alsace, France. Spouse August Benson.  She lists her occupation as garment worker.

30 Mar 1965 death of Sarah Groshans Benson The Times, Streator, IL

30 Mar 1965 The Times, Streator, IL

Groshans and Benson 31 Oct 1901 The Streator Free Press, IL

31 Oct 1901 The Streator Free Press, IL

5th child-Gottlieb Jack Groshans, 10 March 1878 – 28 July 1941.

Gottlieb Jack Groshans


 Gottlieb or “G. Jack” is our family’s direct ancestor.  He is the Great Grandfather of my children.  He was born in France and died in Bruce, Streator, LaSalle, IL. At the age of 34, he married Maude Lillian Meador in 1912 in Carroll, Arkansas. His 3 children were all born in Arkansas. Family legend is that he had been apprenticed in Streator to be a boiler maker, but left that profession to run a farm.  I am not sure when he left Arkansas to return to Illinois.  He was 48 years old when his youngest son Robert was born in Arkansas.  The next residence reference I found was from 1935 (he was 57 years old) was living in Bruce, LaSalle, IL. The children of Gottlieb Jack Groshans and Maude Lillian Meador were:

  1. Rita Elizabeth Groshans, 16 January 1920-12 April 1997.  She was born in Eureka Springs, Carroll, Arkansas.  Rita was the Great Aunt to my children.  Records indicate that she also lived with her family in Streator, Il. She married Henry Tonjes Baumann on 12 July 1943. The marriage took place in Ypsilanti, MI. They had one daughter, Barbara Anne Baumann who married Daniel Walter.
  2. Robert Jack Groshans, 14 April 1926- 17 March 1984.  Robert is our family’s direct ancestor and was the loving grandfather of my children.  He was born in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. As a child, he moved with his family to Streator, IL.Robert married Madeline Mary Bravin in Washington, DC on 19 April, 1952.  Shortly after their marriage, they resided in Ypsilanti, MI. Later, Bob and Madeline moved to Saline, MI. Robert passed away at the age of 57 and continues to be greatly missed by the family.
  3. Charlotte Zelma Groshans (infant death, died at 3 days old).  I do not know the birth order for Charlotte.

6th child- Louise Groshans, July 1884-1969 Louise was born in Illinois. She married Joseph Mueller. The children of Louise Groshans and Joseph Mueller are:

  1. George J. Mueller born in approx. 1906 in North Dakota.
  2. Louise Mueller born in approx. 1907 in North Dakota.
  3. John D. Mueller born in approx. 1909 in North Dakota.
  4. Jacob Mueller born in approx. 1910 in Cameron, Ward, North Dakota.
  5. Mary Mueller born in approx. 1912 in North Dakota
  6. Donald Richard Mueller born 8 August 1918 in Ryder Ward, North Dakota.  Died 20 December 1987 in Streator, Il.
19 Oct 1969 death of Louise Spokane, WA

19 Oct 1969 Spokane, WA

7th child- Phillip August Groshans, 9 April 1887 -22 May 1952.  Was born in Streator, IL. In the 1930 census he states that his occupation is repairing furniture. His burial is at Hillcrest Memorial Park in Streator, IL. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army.

draft card for Philip Groshans

veteran headstone for Philip GroshansPhilip Groshans 1900 census

Philip Groshans find a grave

Groshans from 1943 Streator Illinois City Directory

8th child- Jacob “Jake” Groshans.  No birth or death information.  Possible spouse is Lillian.

As you can see, there are few facts that I have found on Salome.  One family treasure is a set of  hand-written notes that I believe were composed by my brother-in-law, Dan Groshans.  These notes provided me with names that helped my research.


Click on this link if you want to read a previous blog I wrote on  gottlieb-jack-groshans









Relatives in the Canal Zone? (Hint: Meador)

When Louis Riley Meador was born on April 1, 1889, in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, his father, Robert Lewis Meador, was 27 and his mother, Charlotte Lucinda “Lottie” Shipman, was 24.

Meador research page

Louis’ father died when Louis was only 6 years old.  In the census of 1900 Louis is living with his mother and his siblings: Jasper, Maude and Rita.

Louis’ sister, Maude Lillian Meador , is our family’s direct ancestor.  This makes Louis Meador (who is rthe subject of this blog) a  Great Uncle.

At the age of 28, in the 1917-1918 WWI draft registration, Louis states that he is short, slender, with blue eyes and light colored hair.  Perhaps, one of the most interesting things about his registration form is the PERFECT penmanship.  He lists his residence as 104 Wall, Eureka Springs, Arkansas (I believe this was his mother’s home).  He lists his occupation as draftsman.  He lists his employer as Clark Jacoby of Chariton County, MO. (see photo at the end of this blog)

Louis married Marie Van Norden in 1929 in the Canal Zone, Panama where he was in a supervisor position on the construction of the canal.  They had no children.

Other than some census records and a treasured photo found on Ancestry, there was little information known about Louis until I recently came across an article from June 12, 1929 that addressed Louis’ upcoming marriage to Marie Van Norden.

The article was from a newspaper named “The Morning Call” of Laurel, Mississippi.

This led me to find ship records for 1931 when Louis Riley then 42 years old and his much younger wife who was then 25 years old took passage on the ship “Iriona” from Panama Canal Zone to New Orleans.

In the 1940 census, Louis and Marie lived on Paris Island Road in rural  Beaufort, South Carolina.  He lists his occupation as engineer stating that he has completed 4 years of college.  He lists his employer as the US government and his annual income as $3,200.

Louis died in November 1985 in his hometown, at the age of 96.  (Helpful hint, in the news story below Mrs. Louis Church is Louis’ sister, Rita May Meador)


HelJune 12 1929 Laurel, Mississippi part 1June 12, 1929 part 2July 27 1929 Hattiesburg American part 1Hattiesburg American part 2.pngLaurel daily reader laurel mississippi Sep. 9, 1926.pngCatalogue of the University of ArkansasEmporia Gazette from Augus 9 1933.pngship records

Louis Riley Meador WWI draft registration

Pvt. John Coleman “Doc” Shipman {Civil War – Confederacy – Company E, 16th Regiment Arkansas}

When Pvt. John Coleman “Doc” Shipman {Civil War – Confederacy – Company E, 16th Regiment Arkansas} was born on December 3, 1831, in Missouri.  His father, Matthew, was 46 and his mother, Charlotta “Charity” Jordan, was 38.

John Coleman Shipman is a direct ancestor of the Groshans family.  His daughter, Charlotte Lucinda “Lottie” would go on to marry Robert Lewis Meador and  they would continue the line of ancestry by becoming the parents of Maude Lillian Meador.

The nickname “Doc” is not representative of John Coleman Shipman’s occupation.  He was a farmer.  He also was a Confederate soldier in the Civil War.  He was part of Company E, 16th Regiment of Arkansas.

John Coleman Shipman “Doc” married Temperance “Tempy” Boyd in 1848 in Farwell, Carroll, Arkansas when he was only 17 years old. They had 13 children in 29 years.

The table below lists the children of “Doc” and “Tempy”.  It is taken from this website:

Children of John Shipman and Tempe Boyd are:

599 i. Josephie Tennessee6 Shipman, born Abt. 1850; died 1928 in Springfield, Mo..She married Milton Tharp.
600 ii. Benjamin Shipman, born September 1852; died December 03, 1942 in Carroll Co., Arkansas.
601 iii. Mary”Polly” Shipman, born 1854 in Carroll Co., Arkansas.She married Lo Tharp.
602 iv. Minerva Josephine Shipman, born October 17, 1855; died April 1934.She married Milton Tharp.
603 v. Jacob Shipman, born 1858 in Carroll Co., Arkansas; died in Sallisaw, Oklahoma.
604 vi. Martha F. Shipman, born 1861.She married Lee Tabor.
605 vii. Louisa Ann Shipman, born 1863.She married John Graham.
606 viii. Lottie Shipman, born 1865.She married Joseph Lewis Meadows.
607 ix. Julia Ann “Jewell” Shipman, born 1868.She married Columbus Callen.
608 x. Lodusca Tryphenia Shipman, born 1872; died 1942 in Denver, Carroll Co., Ark.She married John Myers.
609 xi. John Elmore Shipman, born April 07, 1873; died December 31, 1935 in Denver, Carroll Co., Ark.


The first census records that I found with John Coleman Shipman and his wife Tempy were from 1850.  At this time, John Coleman, states that he is a farmer. He lists his birth place as Missouri.  In the 1850 census their residence is located in Carrollton Township, Carroll County, Arkansas.

John Coleman’s wife “Tempy” states in the 1860 census that she can neither read nor write. The 1860 census for the family is from Hickory Township, Carroll County, Arkansas.

John Coleman Shipman died on December 10, 1904, at the age of 73.   In 1905, John Coleman Shipman’s wife, Tempy, applied for pension benefits in Arkansas stating that her husband had served in the Arkansas cavalry.

Research- I have not purchased this book, but it is a complete history of the 16th regiment.




Maude Lillian Meador Groshans

When Maude Lillian Meador was born on April 16, 1887, in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, her father, Robert, was 25 and her mother, Charlotte Lucinda “Lottie” Shipman, was 22. In the 1900 census’ Lottie (Maude’s mother)  was already widowed and states that she is the head of the family working in a dry goods store.  Maude’s father died in 1895 when Maude was a mere 8 years old.

Maude was one of 4 children.  Her siblings were Jasper Calvin Meador (1884-1934), Louis Riley Meador (1889-1985) and Rita May Meador (1891-1976.)

Maude married Gottlieb Jack Groshans on June 12, 1912 when she was 25 years old. In the 1920 census, G.Jack states that his mother tongue is French having come from Alsace Lorraine, France. G. Jack lists his occupation as farmer.

They had two children during their marriage. Her daughter, Rita Elizabeth, was born on January 16, 1920, in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. And EJ’s direct ancestor and Great Grandfather, Robert Jack Groshans, was born on April 14, 1926, in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

By 1935, records indicate that Maude and her husband “G. Jack”  were residing in Bruce, Illinois.  Maude’s husband died there in Illinois at the age of 63.  They had been married 29 years.

Maude Lillian Meador Groshans died on January 17, 1971, in Ypsilanti, Michigan, when she was 83 years old.

Maude Lillian Meador Groshans