Favorite Picture: Three Generations 1938

Eva, Dorothy, Helen

I have many favorite pictures so it was hard to pick just one. This happens to be one of my favorite pictures because it is three generations of strong women.  The picture  was taken in 1938.  From the left is my great-grandmother, Eva Bowers, my mother, Dorothy Kaiser (age 14), and my grandmother, Helen Kaiser nee Bowers.  I think the picture was  probably taken in front of my great-grandmother’s place in Chicago.  By 1938 my grandparents were living in Villa Park, Illinois and this is not their home.  I wish I could have been in the picture to make it four generations, but I was not born yet and by the time I came along, Eva had already passed away.  I never knew Eva, but heard a lot about her from my mom and grandma.  Eva was born in Heidelberg, Baden, Germany to Johann Konrad Reinhardt and Anna Maria Schwebler on February 14, 1877. Eva came to the United States when she was almost two years old. Her brother John was a baby. Her first home in the United States was in Amana, Iowa.  They spent a few years in Amana and then moved to Ottawa, Illinois where Eva grew up with her brothers and sisters.  Eva grew into a young woman and sometime around 1896 she married Robert Bowers also of Ottawa, Illinois. The family story is that Robert and Eva ran off to Chicago to be married.  I have never been able to find a marriage record for them in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois. According to family stories, Robert’s family never accepted Eva as his wife or acknowledged that any of the children were Roberts.  I started to wonder if they were ever really married and that is why Robert’s family didn’t want anything to do with Eva or their children.  However, when Robert’s father died, Robert and Eva as his wife signed a quit-claim deed to a piece of property to Robert’s mother.  I was told that if they were not married, Eva would not need to sign the quit-claim deed.  Perhaps they were married somewhere other than Chicago.  Robert and Eva had three children, Ralph born in 1897, Helen in 1898 and Frances in 1900.  Shortly after Frances was born Robert left Eva.  Again family stories say they were divorced, however I have never found divorce records for them.  In 1900 Eva was on her own and had to make a living for her and her three children.  She raised the three children alone in a time when there was no financial support for women. Robert did not have to pay child support and there was no welfare. Eva relied on family to babysit her children while she worked. She worked a milliner and seamstress for many years. She moved to Chicago away from her support system in Ottawa, Illinois. There were probably better job opportunities in Chicago. She had a couple of long relationships with men, but I can find no proof that she married them. She always kept the surname Bowers. Eva passed away on 23 December 1941 in Chicago, Illinois.

My grandmother married in 1923 to Fred Kaiser. Because of her upbringing with no father in her life, she was determined to have a long marriage and raise her children in a home with both a mother and father. She had my mother in 1924, a son in 1930 that lived only 11 days, another son in 1931, and a stillborn son in 1933. The son born in1931 was premature, weighed 4 lbs 2 oz and fit into the palm of her hand. She had a strong belief in God and I am sure that is what got her through those years in the 1930’s. Her premature baby boy survived and died at 80 years old. Grandma witnessed the depression during the 30’s and WWII. She was a true homemaker of the day, a good cook, seamstress, and housekeeper. She had a successful long marriage that ended in October 1980 after 57 years with the death of her husband. She only lived four months after the death of her husband and died at age 82 in February 1981.

My mother’s life was probably the easiest of the three. She married George Manfroid in 1945 and had two children. She was also a homemaker of the time. The depression of the 30’s affected my father’s family more than it did my mother’s, because of my father’s experience it made him determined that his family did not go without. He bought things that they really could not afford. My mother was the one that tried to keep things in check and watch the money. They were always living paycheck to paycheck. My mother was the worrier and this bothered her a lot. In spite of my father’s foolish spending, they were happily married. Once my brother and I were old enough she went to work. She worked part-time as a cashier for Walgreens, and went to night school to learn bookkeeping. She then found a job working as bookkeeper for Slater’s Shoe Store. This was a huge help to their financial situation. My mother was healthy during her life time, but not my father. He was diagnosed with throat cancer in 1967, my mother took good care of him through his treatments and worried she might lose him. He survived it and lived another 17 years. In 1984 he was diagnosed again with cancer this time with lung cancer, and he only survived a couple of weeks after diagnoses. My mother who had never been ill with more than a cold, died suddenly three years later from a brain aneurism.

All three women had their trials and tribulations and managed to stay strong and keep going in spite of them. In-between the hard times were good times too. My grandmother looks so happy in the picture above. They all had a hard life, but it was also a good life. I think for all of us life is full of those hard times, but it is our faith and family that get us through those times.

Week 3 Favorite Picture 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

Copyright © 2022 Gail Grunst

The Engraver

Phil’s house in New York

I’ve been scanning pictures of my father’s family. There are not very many, unlike my mother’s family where there are tons. I ran across one of a cute house and on the back was written, “Got these pictures year 1942 August 27. Phil home in New York. Mother and Dad were there.” Phil was my father’s uncle. I am assuming the handwriting on the back is that of my grandfather and the Mother and Dad referred to are my great-grandparents. I then did a search for a picture of Phil but could only find one and it is not very clear, and written on the back, “Georg and Muchie, Phil and Mabel and their friend. Our house on 13th Avenue, Maywood (Illinois).” I assume that this was taken before my grandfather or Phil were married as neither married a Muchie or Mabel. Out of the five children, my grandfather and Phil are the only ones who were married only once and had long marriages.

Phil is standing in the middle.

I did a search on Philip Felix Manfroid and here is a short biography.

Philip Felix Manfroid was born on 19 July 1896 in Cleveland, Ohio to George Manfroid and Mary Fiderius.[1] Sometime between 1896 and 1899 the family moved to Chicago, Illinois and then to Maywood, Illinois.[2]  Philip is described as having blue eyes, dark brown hair, ruddy complexion, 5’8” tall, and 116 pounds.[3]  In June of 1918 Philip was working for Root and VanDerVoort Engine Company in East Moline, Illinois.[4]  In 1920, Philip was Glazier for a glass place and living in Forest Park, Illinois.[5]  The 1930 census lists him as an engraver[6] and the 1940 census as a glass engraver.[7]  On the 18 March 1922 Philip married Frieda Schulz,[8] the daughter of Paul Schulz and Anna Frieda Elise Sophie Neumann born in Hamburg, Germany on 12 June 1899.[9] Frieda was a clerk at Lande’s Department Store in Forest Park, Illinois at the time of their marriage.[10]  Philip and Frieda had one child; a daughter Phyllis born on 21 November 1922.[11]   Sometime between 1930 and 1935 they moved to Long Island, New York.[12]  Philip was a very good Crystal Cutter and received Commissions from such stores as Tiffany’s, Bloomingdales, Macy’s and other places.[13] Around 1953 they moved to Palm Beach, Florida where he worked at Shuman Department Store in Riviera Beach, Florida.[14]  Philip died on 1 January 1962 at home in Florida.[15]  Frieda lived for 28 years after Philip’s death and died 29 August 1990.[16]  Both are buried in Glen Oak Cemetery in Hinsdale, Illinois.[17]  Phyllis married Jordan Rau in 1949[18] and they had two sons.[19]  Jordan died on 10 July 1997 in Florida[20] and Phyllis followed almost two years later on 9 June 1999 in Florida.[21]


[1] Ancestry.com. Ohio, U.S., Births and Christenings Index, 1774-1973 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.Original data:  “Ohio Births and Christenings, 1821-1962.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2009, 2011. Index entries derived from digital copies of original and compiled records.

[2] Year: 1900; Census Place: Chicago Ward 10, Cook, Illinois; Page: 16; Enumeration District: 0293; FHL microfilm: 1240256.  Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004.  Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1900. T623, 1854 rolls.

[3] Registration State: Illinois; Registration County: Rock Island County.  Source Information:Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005.  Original data: United States, Selective Service System. World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. M1509, 4,582 rolls. Imaged from Family History Library microfilm.

[4] Ibid.

[5 Year: 1920; Census Place: Forest Park, Cook, Illinois; Roll: T625_362; Page: 20B; Enumeration District: 185.  Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.  Original data: Fourteenth Census of the United States, 1920. (NARA microfilm publication T625, 2076 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C. For details on the contents of the film numbers, visit the following NARA web page: NARA. Note: Enumeration Districts 819-839 are on roll 323 (Chicago City).

[6] Year: 1930; Census Place: Proviso, Cook, Illinois; Page: 16B; Enumeration District: 2305; FHL microfilm: 2340241.  Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2002.  Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Fifteenth Census of the United States, 1930. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1930. T626, 2,667 rolls.

[7] Year: 1940; Census Place: Hempstead, Nassau, New York; Roll: m-t0627-02688; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 30-152.  Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.  Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1940. T627, 4,643 rolls.

[8] Ancestry.com. Cook County, Illinois Marriage Indexes, 1912-1942 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.  Original data: Private donor.

[9]  Ancestry.com Hamburg, Germany, Births, 1874 – 1901 [database on-line], Provo Utah, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015.  Original data: Best. 332-5 Standesamter, Personenstandsregister, Sterberegister, 1876-1950, Staatsarchiv, Hamburg., Hamburg Deutschland.

[10] Forest Park Review (Forest Park, Illinois) 25 March 1922 Sat. Page 1.

[11] Ancestry.com. Cook County, Illinois, U.S., Birth Certificates Index, 1871-1922 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.  Original data:  “Illinois, Cook County Birth Certificates, 1878–1922.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2009. Illinois. Cook County Birth Certificates, 1878–1922. Illinois Department of Public Health. Division of Vital Records, Springfield.

[12] Year: 1940; Census Place: Hempstead, Nassau, New York; Roll: m-t0627-02688; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 30-152.  Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.  Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1940. T627, 4,643 rolls.

[13] Forest Park Review (Forest Park, Illinois) 12 September 1990, Wednesday, Page 11.

[14] Obituary that appeared in Palm Beach Post on Tuesday 2 January 1962. Obtained from the Government Research Service of the Palm Beach County Library System on 3 July 2003.

[15] Ibid.

[16] Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File.  Source Information:  Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2014.  Original data: Social Security Administration. Social Security Death Index, Master File. Social Security Administration.

[17] From website Find-a-Grave: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/214913183/frieda-m-manfroid

[18] New York City Municipal Archives; New York, New York; Borough: Brooklyn.  Source Information:  Ancestry.com. New York, New York, U.S., Marriage License Indexes, 1907-2018 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2017. Original data: Index to Marriages, New York City Clerk’s Office, New York, New York.

[19] Personal note sent to me (Abigail Grunst) in 2003 from son of Phyllis Manfroid Rau and grandson of Philip Manfroid.

[20] Ancestry.com. Florida, U.S., Death Index, 1877-1998 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004.  Original data: State of Florida. Florida Death Index, 1877-1998. Florida: Florida Department of Health, Office of Vital Records, 1998.

[21] Obituary from St. Petersburg Times (St. Petersburg, Florida) 11 June 1999.  

Christmas 1960

Everyday until Christmas, I am going to try to post a picture from a past family Christmas. 

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Christmas 1960

Family photo from Christmas 1960.  Back left:  Ralph Bowers (grand Uncle), George Manfroid (father), Fred Kaiser (grandfather). Next row: Martha Treppa, Elizabeth Farrell (great aunt), Dorothy Manfroid (mother), Helen Kaiser (Grandmother), Helen Bowers (grand aunt).  Front:  Ronald Manfroid (brother) and me (Gail).  Notice the Texaco Truck in front of my brother. My grandfather worked for Texaco for 45 years, and was still working for them when this picture was taken.  He retired in 1963. It was unusual to have Ralph and Helen Bowers, Martha Treppa, and Elizabeth Farrell in our family pictures.  They were with us on some holidays, but not all.  I think this picture was taken at the last minute before they left because of the shopping bags and boots on Aunt Helen.  Missing from the picture is my Uncle Russ, but he appears in the next one and I am missing from that one.

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Uncle Russ is sitting on the arm of the sofa.

 

Father’s Day: A Tribute to My Dad

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My Dad and me

My Dad, George Philip Manfroid, Jr. was born to George Manfroid and Helen Desens on 26 October 1919 in Forest Park, Illinois.  Dad grew up in Forest Park and Elmhurst, Illinois.  He went to York High School in Elmhurst, Illinois.  He had a brother, Donald, 14 years younger than him.  He grew up during the depression and that made a great impression on him.  I remember the stories that my dad told me about the depression.  When I hear about the recent recession compared to the great depression on TV, I cringe because the recent recession is nothing like what my father described to me.  His father lost his business, then they lost their house, and they ate bananas for Sunday dinner.  There were no safety nets like there are today for the unemployed.  Because this made such an impact on my Father he decided that his children would not go without.  He went without lunch for weeks and saved his lunch money to buy me a doll for Christmas.  He made me a doll house with a hand saw (he didn’t have power tools at the time).   He gave me everything he possibly could.  Not only did he give me material things, he gave me his time, attention, advice, and love.  He gave me history lessons at the dinner table.  He loved history, and I learned about history and current events through dinner time discussions.  He had a great sense of humor.  Whenever my brother or I asked if he would buy us the latest toy or gadget, he would say, “Yes on the 42nd of July.”  Just in case they ever changed the calendar the 42nd had to land on the second Tuesday of the week.  In other words we were never going to get it.  He loved  gardening and painting the house.  He was always painting inside or outside.  He loved his baseball and the Cubs.   He was always there for me whenever I needed him.  If I just need to talk or if I needed a shoulder to cry on, he was there.  I loved him very much and I have no doubt about his love for me. 

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Dad walking me down the aisle

When I got married, he walked me down the aisle and gave me away.  He told my husband on our wedding day that if he (my husband) ever did anything to hurt me, he would have to answer to him (my father).  After we were married for several years, my father told some friends of ours that when their daughters grew up he hoped they found someone like my husband.  I picked a good man because I had a good father. 

My Dad worked hard and sometimes worked two jobs to make ends meet.  When I was born my dad was a bus driver.  He drove a bus for a suburban bus company, Leyden Motor Coach.  At first he worked nights and holidays, but as he gained seniority, he was able to work mostly days and had the major holidays off.  Sometimes he would take a charter on his day off.  He especially liked the ones to the ball games.  He would get off work from the bus company about 2:30pm, and go to his second job driving a mini bus for a nursery school, Jack and Jill, in Villa Park, Illinois.   He was with the bus company for 17 years when the company closed down.  My Dad then got a job with Burney Brothers Bakery driving a delivery truck.  He delivered to Jewel grocery stores in Chicago.   He also took overtime delivering wedding cakes on Saturdays.  After 17 years with Burney Brothers, they closed down too.  At 59 years old my father was without a job, no pension, and not old enough for Social Security.  He found a job doing maintenance work at the Wheaton Park District.  He worked there for the next five years.

We lived in an Apartment until 1953 when my parents bought their first house in Lombard (Villa Park was across the street).   We lived in that house until 1963 when they bought another house in Villa Park.   In 1968 they moved to a smaller house in Carol Stream, Illinois due to my father’s health issues.  My father lived in the Carol Stream home until his death.

In 1967, my dad was diagnosed with throat cancer.  He was given radiation treatments for six weeks.  The tumor was in his voice box, and he couldn’t talk very well.  The radiation shrank the tumor so he did get his voice back.  They wanted to remove the voice box to get rid of the cancer altogether, but my father said he would rather die than to be without his voice.  He lived 17 more years without a recurrence.  In late February or early March of 1984, we noticed my dad had slowed down.  He said he wasn’t feeling good, and my mother finally convinced him to see a doctor.  He went to the doctor and was sent him for some tests.  He was diagnosed with lung cancer. A few days later my dad was admitted to the hospital.  I went to see him and he had to cough a lot.  It was deep cough and it seemed that when he coughed he could not get his breath.  It was hard to watch.  My last visit with my father, I noticed he kept staring at me.  I thought to myself that he is studying me in case this is the last time he sees me.  When it was time to go, I said “Good-bye I hope you get better soon.”  He said, “Me too.”  We were holding hands and he did not want to let go and neither did I.  I planned to go back every day, but the next day I came down with a terrible cold that settled in my chest.  I did not go to visit him because I was afraid of giving him my cold.  I thought the last thing he needs is a cold.   The next day my mom called me to say that the doctor called her and told her to get to the hospital he was dying.  I couldn’t go because I had two small children at home.  My mother and brother were there with him at the end. My mom said he kept pulling the tubes out of his arms.  So I think he was ready to die. 

My dad passed away from Cancer on March 15, 1984 at 64 years, 4 months, and 18 days.  I wish I was there with my Dad at the end; however it is a comfort to know that my mother and brother were there for him.  He is loved and dearly missed by his children, grandchildren, family, and friends.  Happy Father’s Day to a great Dad!  If I could tell him one thing it would be this, “Dad, the Cubs finally did it and won the World Series in 2016!” 

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks  topic this week Father’s Day

Copyright©2016 Gail Grunst

Same Person Two Names

This week 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks topic is the “same name“.  When I first started genealogy back in 1979, I started with my parents and grandparents and asked them a lot of questions.  My father’s name was George, and his father’s name was George, and I was told that his father’s name was George.  Not much was know about my great-grandfather George Manfroid. In the early 1990’s I visited a Family History Center and found a man named Isidor Manfroid that was born in Germany in May 1855.  I didn’t think much about it and kept searching for a George.  Back then you inserted disks into the computer, there was no Internet yet for public use.  Below is a printout from that time period.  I even eventually wrote a note on it that said, “Wondering if this is George.  George born May 1856 in Germany according to the 1900 census.”

Manfroid Isidor (IGI)

Also on the 1900 census, he named one son Isidor and one Felix.  The Isidor in this IGI  printout’s father’s name was Felix Joseph Manfroid.  Manfroid is an uncommon name so there was not many in the index or in the phone books of Germany, France, Belgium and the United States.    As it turned out, finding my great-grandfather Isidor George Manfroid was a search that took me years to solve.  It seemed that sometimes he used Isidor and sometimes he used George, but not together.  Also, my father knew next to nothing about his grandfather.  He knew his name was George, but he didn’t remember him except that he thought he went to his funeral when he was 3 or 4 years old.  My father thought he was born in Germany, and that his grandparents had divorced.  It was with these skimpy facts that I was finally able to find my Great Grandfather. For years I didn’t know if Isidor and George was the same person. I was pretty sure, but could not prove it until I found his marriage record to my great-grandmother where he is listed as G. Isidor Manfroid.

Here is the story of Isidor George Manfroid. or George Isidor Manfroid

Isidor (George) was born on May 22, 1855 in Siegburg, Rhineland, Preussen to Felix Joseph Manfroid and Elisabeth Kelterbach.[1]  Isidor George Manfroid left Germany around 1877 and came to the United States.[2]  George’s occupation was an iron molder.[3] I do not know how George found his job in iron molding, or why he came to the U.S., but  he may have come due to economic conditions in Germany, or to escape being conscripted in the German military service.[4]

It seems that sometimes my great-grandfather went by George, and sometimes by Isidor.  In 1885 Isidor married Sophie Ahrens in Chicago, Illinois.[5]  In 1886 Sophie died.[6]  In 1889 George appears to be living in Cleveland, Ohio.[7]  Cleveland was the home to Mary Fiderius, her parents, and bothers, and sisters.[8]  Mary was the first child born to Peter Fiderius and Christina Oberdoester on July 1, 1870 in Allentown, Pennsylvania.[9]  By 1878 Mary and her family were living in Cleveland, Ohio[10].  In 1889 her father, Peter, worked for the Cleveland Malleable Iron Company as a general labor.[11]  The Cleveland Iron Malleable Company was located at Platt Avenue and East 79th Street[12].  In 1890 George is listed as living on Platt Avenue and his occupation is listed as molder.[13]  I believe that he probably worked for Cleveland Malleable Iron Company too.  It is presumed that George and Mary met because they lived near each other, or her father knew George through work.  George was 14 years older than Mary, and I wonder how Mary’s parents felt about the age difference.  I don’t know George’s religion, but Mary was Catholic.[14] George and Mary were married in 1889 in Cleveland, Ohio,[15] but by December they were living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where their first child, Laura was born.[16]  It appears that Laura did not live long.  She does not appear in the 1900 census.[17]   Around 1892 they moved to Toledo, Ohio, and their son, also named George, was born January 1, 1892 in Toledo.[18]  In 1894 they are back in Cleveland,[19] in 1898 they moved back to Toledo,[20] and in 1900 they move to Chicago.[21] During the 1890’s fthree more children, Christina, Felix Philip, and Isidor are born.[22]  The son Isidor only lived to be two and half years old.[23]   During this time, it is presumed that George probably worked for Cleveland Malleable since they also had plants in Toledo, and Chicago.[24]  It is possible of course that he worked for another company that made iron.  After 1903 they moved again out of Chicago,[25] and I believe they may have moved to one of the Chicago suburbs. In 1901 they had another son, Arthur Anton[26] and another son Theodore was born in 1904.[27]

Sometime between 1904 and 1910 George and Mary divorced.  The exact date and reason for the divorce are not known at this time.  I believe it to be this time period because I assume they were together when the last child was born, but by 1910 the two youngest sons are not living with their mother.  Arthur is in St. Mary’s Training School in Wheeling, Illinois,[28] and Theodore is in St. Vincent’s Infant Asylum (orphanage) in Chicago.[29]  At that time their were no safety nets for single mothers, so I think she temporarily sent them to these places because she could not take care of them. I did not find either George or Mary on the 1910 census. Considering the time and Mary’s religion the only reason for divorce was the man deserting his family.  I do not know if this is the reason for the divorce, it can only be assumed.  I have been unable to find a divorce document to date.

I believe after the divorce, George moved back to Cleveland and became a barber.[30]  He lived there for a while and returned to Maywood, Illinois where he died alone and poor in January 1924.[31]  He died at Cook County Hospital in Chicago of Pancreatic Cancer.[32]  He is buried in a pauper’s grave[33] at Waldheim Cemetery (now Forest Home Cemetery) in Forest Park, Illinois.[34]

I do not know George’s personality, but knowing my father’s and Grandfather’s personality, I picture George as an introvert, and hard-working, but always poor and maybe not very lucky in life.

Copyright © 2018 Gail Grunst


[1] Birth Record for Isidor Manfroid, 23 May 1855, Siegburg, Rheinland, Pruessen; Duetschland Geburten und Taufen 1558 – 1898, Record 10442, GS Film 1057304.

[2] 1900 United States Census, State: Illinois, County: Cook, Township: WestTown, City: Chicago, Enumeration Dist: 293, Ward 10, Sheet 16B, Line 69

[3] Ibid.

[4] Energy of a Nation:  Immigration Resources, a project of the advocates for human rights; www.energyofanation.org/4e667f77-e302-4c1a-9d2e-178a0ca31a32.html

[5] Marriage License & Certificate for Isidor Manfroid and Sophie Ahrens 29 August 1885; State of Illinois, County of Cook, City of Chicago, Certificate # 94849.

[6]Illinois, Marriage and Death Index, 1883 – 1889. Sophia Manfroid 3 August 1886; Cook County, Illinois, Marriage and Death Index, 1883 – 1889.

[7] Cleveland City Directory 1889 – 1890; listing for George Manfroid, 29 Carr; Occupation: Molder.

[8] Cleveland City Directory 1878, 1979, 1880, 1881, 1882,1882, 1884, 1885, 1886,1887, 1889 1890, 1891, 1892, 1893, 1894, 1895, 1896, 1897, 1898, 1899, 1900, 1901, 1902, 1903, 1904, 1905, 1906, 1907, 1908-  1908; listing for Peter Fiderius living in Cleveland, Ohio.

[9] Told to Author’s mother by Mary Fiderius Manfroid Beischer in 1947 and recorded in Author’s baby book.  In Author’s possession at 2916 Martin Drive, Spring Grove, IL.  60081

[10] Cleveland City Directory 1878 –  1908; listing for Peter Fiderius, Leonard Fiderius, Christina Fiderius & Joseph Fiderius

[11] Cleveland City Directory 1889 – Listing for Peter Fiderius, Address: Cleveland Malleable Iron Company.

[12] William Ganson Rose, Cleveland; The Making of a City  (Cleveland & New York: World Publishing Company, 1950), p. 351.

[13] Cleveland City Directory 1890 -01 – Listing for George I. Manfroid, Address: 31 Platt, Occupation: Molder.

[14] Told to Author and Author’s Mother by Mary Fiderius Manfroid Biescher between 1950 – 1960.

[15] Marriage record for G. Isidor Manfroid and Mary Fiderius, State of Ohio, CuyahogaCounty, SS., 5 February 1889.

[16] “Pennsylvania Births and Christenings, 1709 – 1950,” index, FamilySearch (https://familyserch/pal:/mm9.1.1/V2JV-3f4: Laura Manfroid, 13 December 1889.

[17] 1900 United States Census, State: Illinois, County: Cook, Township: WestTown, City: Chicago, Enumeration Dist: 293, Ward 10, Sheet 16B, Line 69

[18] Illinois State Board of Health Return of Marriage to County Clerk (DuPageCounty) for George Manfroid (son of G. Isidor Manfroid) and Helen Desens, 22 March 1919.  Birth place of George Manfroid listed at Toledo, Ohio.

[19] Cleveland City Directories 1894, 1895, 1896, 1897 list George Manfroid living at 235 Herald, Cleveland, Ohio.

[20] Toledo City Directories 1898, 1899, 1900 listed George Manfroid as living at 259 Caldonia and 255 Woodford, Toledo, Ohio.

[21].1900 United States Census, State: Illinois, County: Cook, Township: WestTown, City: Chicago, Enumeration Dist: 293, Ward 10, Sheet 16B, Line 69.

[22] Ibid.

[23] Department of Health: City of Chicago: Bureau of Vital Statistics: Undertakers Report of Death for Isidor Manfroid (Son of G. Isidor Manfroid) 12247, 22 March 1901.

[24] William Ganson Rose, Cleveland; The Making of a City  (Cleveland & New York: World Publishing Company, 1950), p. 352.

[25] Chicago City Directories 1901, 1902, 1903 listed George Manfroid as living at 1313 N. 42nd Avenue, Chicago, Illinois

[26] Certificate of Birth for Arthur Anton Manfroid, 5 January 1901, State of Illinois , Department of Public Health, Division of vital Statistics registered no 72637, Chicago, Cook County, Illinois

[27]  Texas, Deaths, 1977 – 1986 index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-22864-3780=71?cc=M9S8-8SD:2136566208, 1978 Vol 140, Sep, Certificates69501-70000,  Harris County, Image 149 of 579 for Theodore Manfroid 8 August 1978

[28] 1910 United States Census, Wheeling, Cook, Illinois; Roll T624-241, Page 21B, Enumeration District 0132; FHL microfilm 1374254.

[29] 1910 United States Census, Chicago, Ward 21, Cook, Illinois; Roll T624-264. Page 168, Enumeration District 0923; FHL microfilm 13742777.

[30]ClevelandCity Directory 1906, 1907, 1908, 1909, 1910, 1911, 1912.

[31] Death Certificate for George Manfroid, 22 January 1924. State of Illinois, County of Cook, City of Chicago; Registration  no. 2041.

[32] Ibid.

[33] Forest Home Cemetery Records, 863 South Des Plaines Avenue, Forest Park, Illinois; Lot 1736, Section IH.  Date of burial: 24 January 1924, 68 years 8 months, 10 days.  No Marker.  Lot owned by State of Illinois.

[34] Ibid.

Father’s Day: A Tribute to My Dad

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My Dad and me

My Dad, George Philip Manfroid, Jr. was born to George Manfroid and Helen Desens on 26 October 1919 in Forest Park, Illinois.  Dad grew up in Forest Park and Elmhurst, Illinois.  He went to York High School in Elmhurst, Illinois.  He had a brother, Donald, 14 years younger than him.  He grew up during the depression and that made a great impression on him.  I remember the stories that my dad told me about the depression.  When I hear about the recent recession compared to the great depression on TV, I cringe because the recent recession is nothing like what my father described to me.  His father lost his business, then they lost their house, and they ate bananas for Sunday dinner.  There were no safety nets like there are today for the unemployed.  Because this made such an impact on my Father he decided that his children would not go without.  He went without lunch for weeks and saved his lunch money to buy me a doll for Christmas.  He made me a doll house with a hand saw (he didn’t have power tools at the time).   He gave me everything he possibly could.  Not only did he give me material things, he gave me his time, attention, advice, and love.  He gave me history lessons at the dinner table.  He loved history, and I learned about history and current events through dinner time discussions.  He had a great sense of humor.  Whenever my brother or I asked if he would buy us the latest toy or gadget, he would say, “Yes on the 42nd of July.”  Just in case they ever changed the calendar the 42nd had to land on the second Tuesday of the week.  In other words we were never going to get it.  He loved  gardening and painting the house.  He was always painting inside or outside.  He loved his baseball and the Cubs.   He was always there for me whenever I needed him.  If I just need to talk or if I needed a shoulder to cry on, he was there.  I loved him very much and I have no doubt about his love for me. 

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Dad walking me down the aisle

When I got married, he walked me down the aisle and gave me away.  He told my husband on our wedding day that if he (my husband) ever did anything to hurt me, he would have to answer to him (my father).  After we were married for several years, my father told some friends of ours that when their daughters grew up he hoped they found someone like my husband.  I picked a good man because I had a good father. 

My Dad worked hard and sometimes worked two jobs to make ends meet.  When I was born my dad was a bus driver.  He drove a bus for a suburban bus company, Leyden Motor Coach.  At first he worked nights and holidays, but as he gained seniority, he was able to work mostly days and had the major holidays off.  Sometimes he would take a charter on his day off.  He especially liked the ones to the ball games.  He would get off work from the bus company about 2:30pm, and go to his second job driving a mini bus for a nursery school, Jack and Jill, in Villa Park, Illinois.   He was with the bus company for 17 years when the company closed down.  My Dad then got a job with Burney Brothers Bakery driving a delivery truck.  He delivered to Jewel grocery stores in Chicago.   He also took overtime delivering wedding cakes on Saturdays.  After 17 years with Burney Brothers, they closed down too.  At 59 years old my father was without a job, no pension, and not old enough for Social Security.  He found a job doing maintenance work at the Wheaton Park District.  He worked there for the next five years.

We lived in an Apartment until 1953 when my parents bought their first house in Lombard (Villa Park was across the street).   We lived in that house until 1963 when they bought another house in Villa Park.   In 1968 they moved to a smaller house in Carol Stream, Illinois due to my father’s health issues.  My father lived in the Carol Stream home until his death.

In 1967, my dad was diagnosed with throat cancer.  He was given radiation treatments for six weeks.  The tumor was in his voice box, and he couldn’t talk very well.  The radiation shrank the tumor so he did get his voice back.  They wanted to remove the voice box to get rid of the cancer altogether, but my father said he would rather die than to be without his voice.  He lived 17 more years without a recurrence.  In late February or early March of 1984, we noticed my dad had slowed down.  He said he wasn’t feeling good, and my mother finally convinced him to see a doctor.  He went to the doctor and was sent him for some tests.  He was diagnosed with lung cancer. A few days later my dad was admitted to the hospital.  I went to see him and he had to cough a lot.  It was deep cough and it seemed that when he coughed he could not get his breath.  It was hard to watch.  My last visit with my father, I noticed he kept staring at me.  I thought to myself that he is studying me in case this is the last time he sees me.  When it was time to go, I said “Good-bye I hope you get better soon.”  He said, “Me too.”  We were holding hands and he did not want to let go and neither did I.  I planned to go back every day, but the next day I came down with a terrible cold that settled in my chest.  I did not go to visit him because I was afraid of giving him my cold.  I thought the last thing he needs is a cold.   The next day my mom called me to say that the doctor called her and told her to get to the hospital he was dying.  I couldn’t go because I had two small children at home.  My mother and brother were there with him at the end. My mom said he kept pulling the tubes out of his arms.  So I think he was ready to die. 

My dad passed away from Cancer on March 15, 1984 at 64 years, 4 months, and 18 days.  I wish I was there with my Dad at the end; however it is a comfort to know that my mother and brother were there for him.  He is loved and dearly missed by his children, grandchildren, family, and friends.  Happy Father’s Day to a great Dad!  If I could tell him one thing it would be this, “Dad, the Cubs finally did it and won the World Series in 2016!” 

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks  topic this week Father’s Day

Copyright©2016 Gail Grunst

Love from France

This weeks 52 Ancestors in 52 weeks topic is Valentines.  

Below is a card sent to my Grandmother, Helen Desens, by my Grandfather, George Manfroid, from France during WWI.  He went there in 1918 and came home in January 1919 so I assume the card was sent sometime in 1918.  I don’t think it was sent for Valentines Day.  They got married shortly after he came home in 1919.  I love this card.  It is so pretty and delicate.

Valentine one

This is the front and the flap opens and there is a clover inside and a small card.  I don’t know if the clover was originally a four-leaf clover because it is crumbling.  

Valentine two

Here it is with the flap open and you can see the clover and the small card.

Valentine three

This is the small card.

Valentine four

As you can see the card is a post card.  He must have mailed it in an envelope because there is no writing on the card.  It seems too delicate to send as post card.

He also sent another one that says “Souvenir de France”.

Souvenir de France

The flap opens on this one too and there is a small card inside.

Souvenir de France two

The small card.

Souvenir de France (2)

The back of the Souvenir de France card.

And finally here are Grandpa and Grandma

Grandpa Manfroid      img005 (2)

Copyright ©  2017 Gail Grunst

Great-Grandma and Grandpa Beischer long life and marriage.

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Grandma Beischer is in the middle

When I was growing up my grandfather’s parents lived with him.  When we went to visit Grandpa, we also visited with my great-grandparents too.  They were known to me as Grandma and Grandpa Beischer.  Grandma Beischer was 77 years old when I was born, and she could not walk very well.  It seemed to me that she was in a wheel chair most of the time, although she could walk with the assistance of special shoes and a cane. She had been in an accident that left one leg shorter than the other one.  I remember going with my father when he would take her for shoes.  We went to a store that custom-made her shoes by building up one shoe so her legs would be even when she walked.  One time I remember that we went to the shoe place in Chicago and then visited her son, Arthur, who owned a tavern in Chicago.  When I was eight, my grandfather died and left his house to my father.  My father let his Grandparents stay in the house.  Grandma Beischer was quiet and aloof.  She sometimes seemed kind of crabby so I always kept my distance. She was a hard person to get to know.   Grandpa Beischer was the opposite, outgoing and happy-go-lucky.

There are many stories about Grandpa and his escapades.  Grandpa was fond of his drink and felt no pain a lot of time.  During prohibition he made his own liquor, and I heard it was pretty strong stuff. Grandma did not approve of his gallivanting and drinking.  I guess she gave him you-know-what when he came home.  During prohibition, Grandma and Grandpa lived one of those city houses with a flight of stairs up to the back porch and door.  One time, Grandpa’s friends brought him home so drunk he couldn’t stand up, and his toupee kept falling off, so his friends stuck his toupee on backwards with chewing gum and tied a rope behind Grandpa to keep him from falling backward down the stairs.  Then they knocked on the door and ran.  When Grandma answered the door, Grandpa fell in.    When he woke up the next morning, he could not get the toupee off.  He had to ride the bus with his toupee on backwards to some place that could remove it.

Because of Grandma’s handicap, Grandpa did the house cleaning, washing clothes, dishes, and cooking.  He didn’t drive and had to take public transportation or get a ride from someone.   My father would cut the grass, shovel the snow, do minor repairs on the house.  My mother would take Grandpa to the store and to run errands.  Both my parents would take Grandma and Grandpa to see relatives or have them over to our house.  As they got older, it became more obvious that the day was coming when other arrangements were going to have to be made for their care. Grandpa could not see very well.  To find an electrical outlet, he would run his hands along the wall feeling for the outlet, and then stick his long finger nails in the plug.  Another time he was vacuum cleaning and banged the vacuum into the TV screen and broke it.  When he washed dishes, he didn’t get them clean anymore.  We began to refuse food or drink when we visited.  My mother would say, “It’s a wonder that they haven’t been electrocuted, set the house on fire, or died of ptomaine poisoning.”  One time Grandpa got a sliver in his hand, and by the time my mother saw it, there was a red streak going up his arm.   My mother took him to the doctor, and at 80 years old this was Grandpa’s first time to a doctor.  The doctor said to him, “Grandpa we are going to have to give you a shot.”  At that point, Grandpa stood up, pulled up his pants, looked around and said, “Where’s the bar?”  Doctor said, “Not that kind of shot, Grandpa.”  A few months later Grandma and Grandpa went to live with her daughter, Christine.  My father sold the house and a couple of years later Grandpa died and a few months later Grandma died.

Mary Fiderius was born 1 July 1870 in Allentown, Pennsylvania to Peter Fiderius and Christine Oberdoester.[1]   Mary had a sister Theresa and two brothers Leonard and Joseph.[2] She married George Manfroid on 5 February 1889 in Cleveland, Ohio.[3]  George and Mary moved back forth between Cleveland, Pittsburg, and Toledo during the 1890’s, and settled in Chicago around 1900.[4]  They had seven children, Laura[5] (died in infancy), George, Christine, Philip, Isidor (died at age 2)[6], Arthur, and Theodore.[7] I estimate that sometime between 1906 and 1910 George and Mary divorced.  I arrived at this estimation because their last child was born in 1906 and by 1910 two of Mary’s children are living in homes.  Arthur was living at St. Mary’s training school for boys in Wheeling Township, Illinois,[8] and Theodore was living at St. Vincent’s Infant Asylum in Chicago, Illinois.[9] The reason for the divorce is unknown, and I have been unable to find papers.  It was always known to family that Grandma Beischer was divorced and that Adam was her second husband,  On 22 April 1911 Mary married Adam Beischer.[10] At some point Mary got her sons back.  Mary and Adam had no children of their own.

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Grandpa Beischer being silly

Adam was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on 5 July 1879. [11]  He came to Chicago, Illinois in 1891 at age 11 and lived there for 15 years. He moved in 1906 to west suburban towns finally settling in Elmhurst, Illinois.  He was employed by the American Can Company for 25 years working as a supervisor in the research department.  Adam died on 7 May 1962 at age 82 years, 10 months, and 2 days.  Adam is buried at Chapel Hill Cemetery in Elmhurst, Illinois.[12]  Mary died seven months later on 26 December 1962 at age 92 years, five months, 25 days.  At the time of her death, Mary was survived by two sons, her daughter, 13 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, and 2 great-great grandchildren.[13] Mary was laid to rest next to Adam at Chapel Hill Cemetery in Elmhurst, Illinois, and they are together in death as they were in life.  Adam and Mary not only had longevity in life but also in their marriage of 51 years.

Finding Great Grandpa

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

Copyright © 2018 Gail Grunst

________________________________________________________________________________________

[1] Recorded in author’s baby book by Dorothy Manfroid as told to her by Mary Fiderius Manfroid Beischer in 1947.

[2] Letter from Erick Fiderius (great-grandson of  Joseph Fiderius) to Author Gail Grunst dated January 6, 1997 outlining the family relationships.

[3] Cuyahoga County Archive; Cleveland, Ohio; Cuyahoga County, Ohio, Marriage Records, 1810-1973; Volume: Vol 31-32; Year Range: 1887 Jul – 1888 Jun 1889

[4] Various city directories for Cleveland, Toledo, Pittsburg, and Chicago.

[5] Pennsylvania Births and Christenings, 1709-1950,” database, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V2JV-3FC : 9 December 2014), Mary Manfroid in entry for Laura Manfroid, 13 Dec 1889; Birth, citing Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; FHL microfilm 499,282.

[6] Illinois, Cook, Chicago, Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics, Undertakers report of death dated 22 March 1901.

[7] Historical Newspapers, Birth, Marriage, & Death Announcements, 1851-2003, Ancestry.com,Online publication – Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006.Original data – The New York Times. New York, NY, USA: The New York Times, 1851-2001.The Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, CA, USA: The Los Angeles Times, 1881-1894.The Boston Globe.

[8] Year: 1910; Census Place: Wheeling, Cook, Illinois; Roll: T624_241; Page: 21B; Enumeration District: 0132; FHL microfilm: 1374254

Source Information  Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006.Original data: Thirteenth Census of the United States, 1910 (NARA microfilm publication T624, 1,178 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C. For details on the contents of the film numbers, visit the following NARA web page: NARA.

[9] United States Census, 1910,” database with images, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MKNW-CZ5 : accessed 22 January 2018), Theodore Maniford, Chicago Ward 21, Cook, Illinois, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 923, sheet 16B, family , NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1982), roll 264; FHL microfilm 1,374,277.

[10] Illinois, Cook, Oak Park, Oak Park Leaves, May 17, 1962, pg. 76.  Obituary for Adam Beischer.

[11] Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015.

[12] Illinois, Cook, Oak Park, Oak Park Leaves, May 17, 1962, pg. 76.  Obituary for Adam Beischer.

[13] Historical Newspapers, Birth, Marriage, & Death Announcements, 1851-2003, Ancestry.com,Online publication – Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com