By Don Taylor
Absent other sources, I usually trust the 1900 Census as being the most accurate for the date because it provides both a month/year and age for the individual. In the case of Frank Xaver Drexl the 1900 Census record shows his birth as Dec 1857 and his age as 42.
A very close look at his age suggests that it once said his age was 43 and was “corrected” to read 42. I set his birth year as 1857 based upon this record. However, all the other census records I found were inconsistent with that date. In the 1910 Census he was 53; in the 1920 Census, he was reported as 63. Even the 1885 Census suggested the birth year of 1856. After finding every other record I could find for him indicated his birth in 1856, I decided to change my records to indicate an 1856 birth.
Reminder to self: Don’t become so attached to a bit of information and be unwilling to change something when presented with alternate evidence.
Darling/Drexl Project 2017 – Ancestor #12
List of Grandparents
- Grandfather: Nicholas Edward Drexl
- 1st Great-grandfather: Frank Xaver Drexl
- 2nd Great-grandfather: Matthias Drexl[i]
Frank Xaver Drexl (1856-1929)
Frank Xaver Drexl was probably born on 3 December 1856 in Dünzelbach, a municipality in the district of Moorenweis in the Bavarian county of Fürstenfeldbruck.[ii] The 1910 and 1920 Census records both confirm his birth in Bavaria in 1856.
Some researchers indicate that Frank Xaver Drexl married Ursula Eggert on 25 Oct 1881 in Petzenhausen, Bavaria. I think an 1879 or 1880 marriage is just as likely. Their eldest known son, Nicholas Edward Drexl was born in November 1881 only a month after the other researcher’s suggested date. Also, the 1900 and 1910 Census records indicate the couple had been married for 20 and 30 years respectively suggesting an 1879 or 1880 marriage date.
The 1900 Census shows the heartbreak the family had to have experienced. According to the Census, Ursula had had 12 children, only 8 of whom were still living and the 1910 Census indicated 13 children with nine still living.
We know of the following children:
|Nicholas Edward Drexl||M||Nov 1881 Germany||Eldest|
|Christina Drexl||F||Apr 1882 – Germany||5 Months – Impossible **|
|Francis T Drexl||F||Aug 1886 – Illinois||4 years, 4 months *|
|Katherine Drexl||F||Oct 1888 – Kansas||2 years, 2 months|
|Marie Drexl||F||Nov 1890 – Kansas||2 years, 1 month|
|Joseph Peter Drexl||M||22 Jan 1893 – Minnesota||2 years, 2 months|
|Charles Mathias Drexl||M||30 Nov 1894 – Minnesota||1 year, 7 months|
|Frank J Drexl||M||16 Sep 1899 – Minnesota||4 years, 10 months *|
|Anthony John Drexl||M||18 Apr 1902 – Minnesota||2 years, 7 months|
|1st Unknown Drexl||?||(Probably about 1884)||Bef. 01 Jun 1900|
|2nd Unknown Drexl||?||(Probably about 1896) MN||Bef. 01 Jun 1900|
|3rd Unknown Drexl||?||Bef. 1900|
|4th unknown Drexl||?||Bef. 1900|
* The age gap between Christina and Francis suggests that one of the missing children was probably born about 1884 about the time of their immigration to the United States. Another gap between Charles and Anthony suggests that another of the missing children was probably born about 1896. The other two would be pure speculation as to possible birth dates.
** The 1900 Census indicates that Nicholas was born in 1881, however, the 1895 Minnesota Census indicates that Nicholas was likely born in 1880. If so that would put the cap between him and Christina 1 year 5 months.
The family came to the United States from Germany in 1884 and located in Illinois where Francis was born.[iii]
Move to Kansas
By 1888, they had relocated to Kansas where Kate and Mary were born.[iv]
Another Move – This time to Minnesota
The 1895 Census indicates Frank with Ursula and five children living at 258 Custer Street in Saint Paul’s 6th District, Ramsey County, Minnesota.[vii] This location appears to have been renamed because there is no longer a Custer Street in Saint Paul. However, Frank was working as a Cabinetmaker at De Coster & Clark which was at 375-379 Jackson Street, Saint Paul. Frank worked for them, and Wright De Coster until at least 1926 and probably until his death.
The 1900 Census and 1900 city directory show the family still on Custer Street.[viii]
By 1910 the family had located to 46 East Robie.[ix] Again, that location appears to be gone. It is probably now a baseball field that is part of El Rio Vista Recreational Center.
By 1920, Frank had purchased a house at 35 West Isabel, Saint Paul.[x] Both Realtor and Zillow dot com indicate the house at 35 West Isabel was built in 2001. However, it appears to be a house much earlier than that. The 1910s seems quite possible based on the architecture.
Frank Xaver Drexl died on 04 Nov 1929 in Saint Paul, Ramsey County, Minnesota. I have not been successful in finding a burial location for him.
Further Actions / Follow-up
- Find Frank Xaver Drexl’s immigration record.
- Find Frank Xaver Drexl’s Naturalization record.
- Research Frank Xaver Drexl’s death records.
[i] Based entirely upon other individual’s public trees. See: Ancestry Family Trees, Ancestry.com, M A Heintz Family Tree – Owner: mavendegna. https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/30918613/person/430043963958/facts.
[v] Minnesota State Census, 1895, Family Search, Drexl, Frank – St. Paul, Ramsey, Minnesota. Accessed: 27 July 2016.
[vii] Minnesota State Census, 1895, Family Search, Drexl, Frank – St. Paul, Ramsey, Minnesota. Accessed: 27 July 2016.