Martha Carr Schoudel obituary

This news clipping is from The Waterloo Press (Indiana), from January 7, 1892 about Martha Carr (not Garr). She died at the age of 42 from puerperal fever, which is caused by a uterine infection following childbirth. Sadly, she left behind her husband and a (whopping) eleven children, including the baby she had given birth to a week before.

I was chatting with a fourth cousin I contacted through my DNA search — I was trying to find out if she had more information on Martha Carr as the only information I had heard was she was from Ohio. My cousin didn’t have much more, except that when Martha came to the (very German) community, people didn’t adjust to her too well because she was Irish. I don’t know yet if she came from Ireland and it was general discrimination that people felt with the Irish, or what — however, because of this, my thinking is she probably did emigrate from Ireland. Definitely should focus on research in that area to see if I can find her place of origin.

German or Polish? Or both?

One of my cousins and I were texting just recently about whether or not Frank Winarski and his wife Julia were German or Polish. My cousin said they were Polish, but all of my records came up with Germany. I have always assumed Frank was of Polish descent because of his name. According to my research on names with the ending of -ski, these names are Slavic, and this is seen in varying degrees in different countries. -Sky, -ski, -skiy can be seen in Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Serbia and Croatia. These names can also be seen in German names in the eastern part of Germany and can also be found in the western part due to migrations.

In all of the federal and Wisconsin census records, Frank and Julia both indicated they were from Germany and each of their parents were from Germany. However, the 1930 census lists Frank as being born in West Prussia and speaking Polish. So this lead me to research a little bit into Germany’s very confusing geographic changes.

Since I didn’t know much about Germany in the nineteenth century, the one thing I learned is that before 1871, there was technically no “Germany”, the name Germany didn’t exist until that year. So searching for birth records for both of these people in Germany was pointless because they were both born before that year. Their obituaries both listed them as being born in Berlin so researching Berlin records made sense but as there are no Berlin records available before 1871, I turned to searching Prussian records. Unfortunately, I still have not found anything for Frank with his birth date, in any different name variations. For Julia, her name in their son Bernard’s birth record from Berlin is spelled as Julianna Lichnarewitz, so I tried researching that spelling and other variations. (Note the spelling of the Winarski name on this document was spelled as Wienarski).

I found nothing whatsoever with her exact birth date. However, I found one record in West Prussia for a Julianna Licknerowick, the birth date being just thirteen days different than what I have in my records (and the obituary). I just received both of their death certificates and the parents in Julia’s match the names for this Julianna Licknerowick, born in West Prussia. I’m having trouble finding anything with her father’s name, but I did a search for her mother, Anna, whose maiden name is listed as Isbrandt and found this record for another child, Adam, born in the eastern part of Prussia, which is now known as Poland: 

A little more of Germany’s history—before it came into existence as Germany in 1871, it was known as the Kingdom of Prussia. According to Wikipedia, Prussia is considered the legal predecessor of the Unified German Reich (1871-1945) and is a direct ancestor of today’s Germany. Prussia included half of modern Poland and all but southern Germany, and at one point included West Prussia, East Prussia, Brandenburg (including Berlin), Saxony, Pomerania, the Rhineland, Westphalia, non-Austrian Silesia, Lusatia, Schleswig-Holstein, Hanover, and Hesse-Nassau.

According to my DNA report, I have over 52% of French and German (including Netherlands) DNA. I also have 9.1% Eastern European DNA. Eastern European classification includes the countries Poland, the Czech Republic, Belarus, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, and the Ukraine. However, the testing could not determine the specific locations of my Eastern European DNA, and ethnicity estimation is really still in its infancy and subject to limitations.

Recently, I contacted a fourth cousin on my DNA list with the last name of Winarski. She didn’t have a lot of information but referred me to her aunt, who is related to Paul Winarski, one of Frank and Julia’s children. She said that oral history passed down in her family is that Frank was born in Posen, Poland. She, like me, has been unable to find his birth record anywhere. She also confirmed the northern part of today’s Poland during the 1800’s was Prussia and controlled by Germany and that many of her Polish relatives on the other side of her family also stated in census records they were from Germany.

My library has a fantastic book on German boundary changes (The Family Tree Historical Atlas of Germany published by James M. Beidler). The map below is of Prussia between 1806-1905, and Posen is clearly a part of Prussia (see Bradenburg right next to it). The book said that as Prussia continued to grow, many people in the German states began thinking of themselves as members of one nation, rather than separate kingdoms and this is why we may see Germans from different parts of the region known as Prussian — so thinking about what my new friend said makes sense.

Currently, this takes an assumption — even if Frank happened to be perhaps born in the western part of Germany or Berlin, his family was very likely from the eastern Poland area. I will continue my search for the elusive Frank Winarski birth record!

Military Monday — Edward “Red” Schoudel

Here’s our military man this week!!  Edward “Red” Schoudel, he was very funny and sweet. What an important part in helping us win World War II, and we all so appreciate that. This is from an original news clipping I found in my grandmother’s things – in mint shape as if it was just clipped yesterday. He was the brother of my grandmother, Madeline Schoudel Bass.

Uncle Eddie was born on July 28, 1918 in Waterloo, Indiana to Edward Ambrose Schoudel and Victoria Margaretha Winarski. According to this clipping (date unknown), he enlisted in the Army on July 14, 1941 and was somewhere in Northern Ireland at that time.

My cousin told me her father landed on Utah Beach. He was injured in France and had shrapnel in his back for the rest of his life and doctors could not remove it because it was too close to the spine – something I never ever knew!

I did some further digging on Ancestry and found his draft card – he registered for the draft on October 16, 1940 when he was only 22 years old. At that time he was single and living in Chicago, working as a salesman at the Art Cream Whip Company, Inc. 

After the war, my Uncle Eddie married my Aunt Eileen (Eileen Veronica Thullen), who was born on April 21, 1923. They were married until he passed away on May 11, 1993.

Thank you so much Uncle Eddie for your very brave service to our country!!

Interrupting our regularly scheduled programming…

I’m interrupting our regularly scheduled programming to talk about the coronavirus. Today I read on a genealogy thread about how it would be a good idea for people to write about what’s going on – so future generations of ours will understand what was happening during this time. So in the interest of future generations (and the claim that what someone puts on the internet never disappears), I’m going to periodically write posts about what we’re going through during this time. Sorry, no photos this time!!

A coronavirus (now known as COVID-19) began ripping through Wuban, China last November or December. Coronaviruses are not always dangerous, but this one seems to be particularly fast and aggressive in transmission, and is a cousin of SARS. However, because China is not transparent about what the facts truly are, we never really knew how many people were affected or died from the virus. About two months ago, tens of millions of people were put on lockdown in China, and it seems like it’s working. Because of our global system of travel, it has been getting closer and is now ripping throughout the world and throughout our country. The first hot spots were in Washington, and then New York, California, then it just began appearing in every state because of community transmission. Currently in Illinois, we have well over 500 cases, and cases all over are increasing exponentially.

I have been watching events unfolding in China since it began and have slowly been stocking up items of food and non-perishables. I am a news junkie and began to worry from what I was reading that it was going to become a worldwide pandemic and would be unstoppable before they began talking about it — so planned to stock for a month’s worth of items, although at this point I believe we have about two month’s worth of items.

Last week my daughter was home for spring break from the University of Kansas when the college announced it would be extending spring break for a week so its professors could transition to all online learning, which will begin this Monday. That is a feat in itself, since a lot of classes have lab or other physical type components and a lot of professors are not used to teaching online classes. So Erika will be using her desk space in her room for academic learning. Then a couple of days ago, KU announced it will be closing and online learning will be for the rest of the semester, and we needed to move her things out of her dorm. Then it became impossible to do that because it would not allow people from Illinois to come because of the amount of cases in Illinois. Now I am trying to get an answer from the college as to whether they will ship Erika’s remaining emergency asthma medicines and nebulizer that is stuck in her dorm room. Everything is moving at warp speed, it’s really unbelievable.

This week both my company and my husband’s company gave the order for all employees to work remotely from home. I work for a credit union trade association, my husband works in the IT area for a company that provides accounting software. I am using the desk/computer space in the family room that is normally my husband’s area, with the ironing board for my shelf space for regulatory books I brought from work. Since Erika and I would have to fight for either her space or using her laptop somewhere in the house, my husband brought his desk computer equipment home from his office and is set up at the kitchen table. So the three of us have our own space in separate areas away from each other (this is very important!).

This week the governor of our state announced he was closing bars and restaurants from dine-in serving, only carry out or drive through is allowed. Many people have lost their jobs because people are starting to shelter at home. My son-in-law’s mother was furloughed, she works at a Marriott; my husband’s nephew lost his job. I just read a news article that three million people are going to file for unemployment, the biggest in our country’s history. Then yesterday, our governor announced a stay at home order (lockdown) for everyone in Illinois except essential businesses will remain open to the public — grocery stores, banks/credit unions, gas stations, etc.

During weekdays, we are at our desks and doing our work. At night, we do whatever we want like before: TV, cross-stitch, computer games. The biggest difference will be we’re used to going out to eat on the weekends but if that’s the only sacrifice we make, I’m happy. We’re the fortunate few who still have our jobs.

I guess now I should be grateful that Erika has online friends — it’s the perfect medium now for keeping in touch!  That’s the great thing about today’s technology is we can reach each other many different ways: phone, texting, Facetime. We will all get through this together. Be safe.

Roseland and the Underground Railroad

One of the most fascinating things about Roseland I recently learned is that it was a part in the Underground Railroad for runaway slaves passing through northern Illinois. According to Larry McClellan in “Crossing the Calumet River: First Settlers and the Underground Railroad”, after Roseland was settled in 1849, leaders in the community wanted to help these “freedom seekers”. One man, Cornelius Kuyper, helped many who had traveled north on railroad lines. After 1853, Jan (John) Ton’s farm became a regular stopping point on this path. Apparently, Ton would hide them and wait until night to take them by wagon three blocks to the next stop on their way to Detroit, Hohman Bridge in Hammond, Indiana.

John Ton — photo: Wikipedia

In a Chicago Tribune article from February 26, 2017 by Matt McCall, an estimated 3,600 to 4,600 freedom seekers passed through this southern Chicago area. It was an open secret that Ton and Kuyper participated in the Underground Railroad and it was just simply something they did, believing in freedom for all.

According to the article, Hohman Bridge was located where the current Indiana Avenue bridge crosses the Little Calumet River.

Hohman Bridge is gone and so is John Ton’s farm. As stated in the article, what is very sad and ironic is the area is now economically depressed, prone to poverty and violence, while once being a gateway to freedom for many African-Americans.  

Very sad post

My cousin, Linda Duca, passed away Friday night. She was only 62 years old and died of advanced liver cancer, diagnosed in late September. She was loving, crazy funny, goofy, and the best cousin — I still cannot believe she’s gone. She leaves two sweet young boys, Jonathan and Matthew, and my heart breaks for them. She is with her mother now, my Aunt Dee.

Linda was in lockstep with her illness  with my brother-in-law all the way, Mark Osier, who was diagnosed with metatastic melanoma just two days after Christmas. He leaves his wife, Donna, and two sweet young boys as well, Chris and Eric, and grandson Logan. Every time one got worse, the other became worse the very next day or two days later. It was eerie and heartbreaking.

The only thing that keeps popping into my head is a quote from Star Wars — I was never really a Star Wars fan except for the last three movies:  “No one is ever really gone”.  It’s true, our memories will keep our loved ones alive.

We will see our loved ones again one day.

Johanna Van Mijnen Ooms Rieve Vellenga

Wow, look at that name! I don’t know anything about my great-great-great grandmother, but from this photo she appears to me to be a tough, grim woman. People never smiled in old photos for a variety of reasons, but I wonder sometimes if Johanna didn’t smile much given the tough life she must have endured. I don’t have a date for this photo, but she appears to be in her late 60s or early 70s.

Johanna was born in Woubrugge in the southern part of Holland on July 11, 1845, to Barend Van Mijnen and Aagje Kroon. In the records from Dutch Immigrants to America, it is noted her father, Barend, sailed on the Arnold Boninger of Prussia ship leaving Rotterdam, arriving in New York on June 26, 1856. Barend is listed as husband and I presume that his family was with him. Johanna would have been 11 years old.

In 1863, Johanna married Johannes (John) Ooms, a local Roseland veterinarian, and they had two children:  Adam, born 1865 (my father’s line), and Aggie, born 1866. On September 11, 1866, John died at the very young age of 28. There is no information on his death, but given the fact illness was very common back then, it wouldn’t surprise me if that was a reason. Johanna was left a widow with two very young children.

A couple of years later, Johanna married Kasper Rieve, and they had three children:  Antje (Annie), born 1869; Barendina (Dina), born 1871; and Casper Willem, born 1873. Unfortunately, Kasper died in January 1873 at the age of 41. Johanna was left a widow once again, now with three more very young children – five children under the age of 10. Very sad indeed.

However, one year later on May 12, 1874, Johanna married again, to Age Vellenga. This marriage produced five children:  Andries (Andrew), born 1875; Lysbert (Elizabeth), born 1876; Bernard, born 1878; Kate, born 1879; and Harry, born 1886.

This marriage lasted much longer. In June 1917, when Age was 77 years old, he died of a stroke. Johanna was left a widow once again, but she passed away the next year on August 12, 1918 at the age of 73 in East Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Wednesday Weddings

Last week I posted a photo of the wedding of my paternal grandparents. This week, I’m posting a photo from the wedding day of my maternal grandparents – William “Bill” Bass and Madeline “Madge” Schoudel Bishop. I like this photo so much too, it was taken outside in Roseland in 1941, my father believes behind Bill’s parents house at 114 S. Stewart. It was during the war years so big, fancy weddings weren’t common at that time. The interesting thing about this is I always thought their wedding anniversary was on October 18th (my father’s birthday so always easy to remember that date). The vital statistics records from Cook County have the date listed as October 15th.

This is also on my red wall, which is why it’s not perfectly straight, it’s a photo from me taking a picture from my cell phone, as the real photo is anchored on the wall. My grandfather was only 22, and my grandmother was 30, a widow with a very young daughter.

Fox River House, Menasha, Wisconsin

Decades ago, someone told me that Frank and Julia Winarski used to own some kind of lodge in Menasha, Wisconsin. I asked my parents and they had never heard of this—I have absolutely no idea who told me this information.

I started researching this when I found the obituaries for Frank and Julia in The Menasha Record newspaper. Thanks to that subscription, by searching for the name of Frank Winarski, I found numerous articles between 1913 and 1916 that confirmed he was the proprietor of the Fox River House in Menasha. The building was originally built in 1875 and is currently vacant.

Source: Wisconsin Historial Society

Most of the articles were either about fights going on, or taking bids to build a moving picture house next door. In October 6, 1915 Frank appeared before the city council to find out why the council turned him down for a liquor license for the property.

A couple of months later, the Wausau Daily Herald reported on January 21, 1916 that the Fox River House would be closing as the owner (Frank) stated that without a liquor license it would not be profitable.

So then the trick was to verify that that Frank Winarski is my family’s Frank Winarski. I found a great blog about the city of Menasha by David Galassie, who is an expert in that area, and emailed him. He was kind enough to send me a bunch of links, one of which was for an Oshkosh city directory from 1914. Lo and behold, on page 87, Frank Winarski is listed as the proprietor with his wife Julia, and they are listed as living at 230 Main, which is the address of the property. A Paul Winarski is also listed as working as a mason and living at the property. That was enough confirmation for me as I know for certain my family’s Frank and Julia had a son named Paul.

This is when I really love the internet, there are so many resources available I don’t know if I ever could have solved this puzzle without it!

Wednesday Wanderings: From Germany to Dekalb County, Indiana

According to a biographical sketch in the History of Dekalb County, Indiana published in 1914 by B.F. Bowen & Co., John Mathias Shoudel was known as a leader in the agricultural circles in DeKalb County, Indiana. He was born in Bavaria (Germany) in 1814 and was the son of Johannes (John) Franz Schaudel and Magdalena Schmitt. He married Magdalena Miller, who was from the same area and was the daughter of Johannes (John) Miller and Mary Trapp. He learned the trade of a weaver and also farmed. He came to the United States in 1854, eventually ending up in Chicago for a couple of years, working on the Chicago docks. His family came in 1855 and they moved to DeKalb County in 1857, where he joined four other men and together they bought forty acres of land located in Section 15 of Smithfield Township. They divided the land between them, eight acres each –

1918 Land Records from Smithfield Township

Eventually John was able to buy more land until at the time of his death he owned two hundred acres of land.

John was one of fourteen founding members of St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church in Waterloo in 1880. According to the church’s website, he died while the church was still under construction, but his wife donated an acre of land for the cemetery. John is buried near the center of the cemetery.