In researching my (half) Aunt Barbara’s maternal line, I came to her great-grandfather Ferdinand J. Lenz. I found that trying to sort her Ferdinand Lenz from the others was very difficult. There were three Ferdinand Lenz’s in the 1890s in Chicago. I believe one of them even married a Lena in 1869, so separating the Ferdinands is difficult. I decided to try to differentiate Barbara’s great-grandfather through his immigration and naturalization information.
What I think I know about Ferdinand Lenz:
The 1880 Census indicates Ferdinand and Lena lived in Effingham, Lucas County, Illinois.
The 1900 Census is very helpful. It indicates that Ferdinand was born in March of 1850 and that he and Lena have been married for 30 years. It also indicates he came to the United States in 1862, 38 years before and he had naturalized.
The 1910 Census indicates he came to the US in 1867 and was naturalized. Finally, Ferdinand’s death record indicates he was born on 12 Mar 1850 in Stargard, Germany.
Born: 12 March 1850 in Germany
Immigrated: Between 1862 and 1867.
Naturalized: Before 1900.
I have not been successful finding Ferdinand in the 1870 Census.
I searched Migration and Naturalization records for Ferdinand Lenz born about 1850 and who immigrated between 1862 and 1867.
Several candidates were eliminated for various reasons. There ended up with two potential candidates.
A Ferdinand Lenz naturalized on 17 Oct 1868, at the Supreme Court of New York County. This Ferdinand lived at 199 East 4th Street and was formerly Prussian.[i] After the Austro-Prussian War, much of what would later be called Germany was part of Prussia. So, this Ferdinand Lenz is a possible candidate. I should confirm that the Ferdinand Lenz who naturalized 17 Oct 1868, at the Supreme Court of New York County is or is not mine.
Next, there was a Ferdinand Lente who was born in Germany and naturalized on 10 May 1892 in the Circuit Court, Cook Co., Ill. Certificate No R-35 P-279 should show for certain. Unfortunately, this record is not available online, yet, and is available only at the Family History Library. It is film:
Naturalizations, v. 34-35 1892
Film Number: 1024202
DGS Number: 7781542
Page Number: 279 (and associated)
Germans to America indicated three potential candidates, but all were eliminated from my consideration for various reasons.
A search of the records at Ancestry.Com only found the same records I found at Family Search. So, basically, I am at an impasse (brick wall). I have not been successful finding Ferdinand Lenz’s immigration or naturalization records for certain.
I have two tasks.
Determine the best way to find a copy of a Naturalization Record from 1868 at the Supreme Court of New York County. Once determined, attempt to receive a copy of the record.
Add to my “Tasks for the Family History Library” a task to review FHC Film 1024202, Page 279 for the record.
In the meantime, Ferdinand’s death record indicated his father was William Lenz. Next time I work on the Durand Project, I’ll attempt to do a surname study of Lenz in the Chicago area before 1900. Hopefully, I will be able to determine the siblings of Ferdinand and learn more about his parents.
[i] New York Naturalization Index (Soundex), 1792-1906,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QVTW-322L : 15 March 2018), Ferdinand Lenz, 1868; citing , New York, New York, United States, Index to Naturalization Petitions filed in Federal, state and local court in New York, 1792-1906, NARA microfilm publication M1674 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 150; FHL microfilm 1,420,416.
I recently came across a copy of the Vaudeville News and New York Star that mentioned Donna and Sammy. The December 18th, 1926, issue, Page 10, has a short article which says:
Donna Darling and Sammy Clark are in Chicago doing their Christmas shopping and attending to some business relative to the Donna Darling Review. They have had a splendid season up to date for 1926 and 1927 looks very promising to them. Why not? They are a clever people with good material and pleasing individuality.
On December 12th Donna & Sammy played in Dubuque, Iowa and on the 19th, they opened at the Colonial Theatre in Detroit. So they were probably in Chicago between the 13th and 18th.
52 Ancestors – Week 2018-16
By Don Taylor
Some families are difficult to research because there aren’t many records about a family in a pioneer location. Other times there are too many people with the same name in a location. Such is the case of my Aunt Barbara’s maternal grandfather, Jacob F. Wilhelm. His father was also Jacob Wilhelm and his mother was Louise. He married a Louise Lenz. There were also two other Jacob Wilhelms living in Chicago during the time of Jacob and his father. Separating them all is difficult, but I think I have it.
Research Durand 2018 – Ancestor #6
List of Grandparents
Grandfather: Jacob Frederick Wilhelm (1875-1943
1st Great-grandfather: Jacob Wilhelm
Jacob Frederick Wilhelm (1875-1943)
Jacob Frederick Wilhelm was born on 1 July 1875 in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois. It appears that he was the oldest of two (known) children of Jacob and Louise Hanns (or Harrus) Wilhelm, both of whom were German immigrants. In 1870, Chicago was the fifth largest city in the United States with almost 300,000 people. When Jacob was born, Chicago was still recovering from the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The fire had left nearly 1/3 of the city’s population (100,000 people) homeless.
In the ensuing years between his birth and 1900, the population of Chicago grew to nearly 1.7 million, a growth of more than five times in 25 years. Most of these new immigrants were from Europe; however, many migrated from the eastern states also.[i]
In 1893, when Jacob was 18 years old, Chicago was host to the “World’s Columbian Exposition” (aka Chicago World’s Fair). More than 27 million people attended the fair; I have to imagine that young Jacob and his 16-year-old brother, George, had to have attended sometime during the event.
Jacob married Louise Lentz on 18 March 1903 in Chicago. Like Jacob, Louise was the daughter of German Immigrants. It was the first marriage for both of them.
Jacob and Louise had five children
Elizabeth Born 1904, who married Harold Woolrich (or Wodrich).
Dorothy Born 1907 who married Richard Durand.
Edward Born 1911, (Marital status unknown)
Robert – Born 1923, who married Merla (unknown)
Louise – Born 1927, who married Charles Jordan
In 1910, Jacob and his wife were living at 5249 Carpenter Street with his two children and his brother George. Jacob is the foreman at a packing house.
It appears that by 1916, Jacob was working at a saloon at 5250 South Ashland Ave.[ii] By1917 Jacob had become a saloonkeeper at 2901 N. Kedzie Ave. Chicago. He lived upstairs and the saloon was downstairs.
Jacob was described as tall, with a medium build, gray eyes, and light brown hair. He was identified as having a paralyzed right arm and throat on his World War 1 draft registration, thus disqualifying him from service.
There was probably nothing as disastrous to a saloonkeeper as Prohibition, which was ratified by the states in January 1919 and took effect on January 16, 1920. The 1920 Census, which was enumerated on 1 January 1920, shows Jacob as a storekeeper of a grocery store at 2901 N. Kedzie. His saloon was converted to a grocery store which he, and presumably his wife ran. His oldest daughter, Elizabeth, was working as a stenographer, and his younger daughter, Dorothy, and his son, Edward, were attending school.
The 1930 Census indicates the family was still at 2901 N. Kedzie, however, in 1930 it was a candy shop. Living with Jacob is his wife Louise and his son Edward who was working as an office clerk. His two youngest, Robert is attending school and Lois is only 2-1/2.
By 1940, the candy store appears to have shifted back to a retail grocery store. Jacob was the Storekeeper and his wife was a clerk. Their youngest children, Robert and Lois, are still living with them and are attending school.
It appears that sometime between 1940 and 1943, Jacob and Louise moved two blocks away to 2938 N Sawyer Avenue.
Death & Burial
Jacob F. Wilhelm died on 23 June 1943 of chronic myocarditis. According to his death certificate, he was buried at Fairmount Cemetery in [Willow Springs], Palos [Township], Cook County, Illinois. Find-a-Grave did not have a memorial for Jacob Wilhelm, so I created a memorial and I have requested photos of his marker.
On his social security application with the Chicago and North Western Railroad, Jacob’s son, Edward Clarence Wilhelm, indicated that his father’s middle name was “Ferdinan.” I think this was in error. Edward’s maternal grandfather’s name was Ferdinand. I believe that Edward confused the two names. The best source I have for Jacob’s middle name is his World War I draft registration which indicates that his middle name was Frederick. Jacob saw this form, was literate and signed the registration indicating that he had verified the information and it was true.
1910 Census, Jacob Wilhelm – Chicago, Cook, IL – ED 1281, Sheet 15A, Line 79. United States Census, 1910, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MK8Q-56T : accessed 1 May 2016), Jacob Wilhelm, Chicago Ward 29, Cook, Illinois, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 1281, sheet 15A, NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration); FHL microfilm 1,374,288.
1920 Census, Jacob Wilhelm – Chicago, Cook, ED 1677, Sheet 7B, Line 77. “United States Census, 1920,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MJQY-D31 : accessed 1 May 2016), Jacob Wilhelm, Chicago Ward 27, Cook (Chicago), Illinois, United States; citing sheet 7B, NARA microfilm publication T625 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration); FHL microfilm 1,820,340.
1930 Census (NARA), Ancestry.Com, 1930 Census – Jacob Wilhelm – Chicago, Cook, Illinois. Online publication – Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2002.Original data – United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Fifteenth Census.
1940 Census, Ancestry.Com, Jacob Wilhelm – Chicago, Cook, IL – ED 103-2026, Sheet 2B, Line 75.
Illinois Certificate of Death – Number 18873, Jacob F. Wilhelm – Image from
City Directory (A), Ancestry.Com, Chicago – 1917 – Page 1919 – Jacob F Wilhelm.
Illinois Deaths and Stillbirths, 1916-1947, Family Search, Death – Jacob F. Wilhelm – 23 Jun 1943. “Illinois Deaths and Stillbirths, 1916-1947,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NQPK-RR8 : accessed 1 May 2016), Jacob F. Wilhelm, 23 Jun 1943; Public Board of Health, Archives, Springfield; FHL microfilm 1,953,885.
Illinois, Cook County Marriages, 1871-1920, Family Search, Jacob Wilhelm & Louise Lenz – 18 Mar 1903. “Illinois, Cook County Marriages, 1871-1920,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:N7DW-2WB : accessed 1 May 2016), Jacob Wilhelm and Louise Lenz, 18 Mar 1903; citing Chicago, Cook, Illinois, 362375, Cook County Courthouse, Chicago; FHL microfilm 1,030,349.
U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918,Ancestry.Com, Jacob Fredrick Wilhelm. Registration State: Illinois; Registration County: Cook; Roll: 1613896; Draft Board: 64.
I was recently asked to help someone learn more about his ancestry. He knew he was Italian, but didn’t know how much. He also knew his parent’s names, and where they were born and where they lived, but not much more. My first recommendation was that he take an autosomal DNA test. It might give an idea of some of his ancestry. It also might provide connections to here-to-for unknown cousins that may know much more of the family history. I ordered a kit for him through Ancestry.Com and he has received it.
I also began looking at his parents and see what I could learn about them. I found information about his father quickly. Information about his mother was more difficult to find. There were different spellings of her name, both first and surname. There were also differences in both date and place of birth. I didn’t find anything that I was convinced was correct regarding her ancestry. Then I used Newspapers.com and did a search for her maiden and surname in the states she was believed to live in.
The results provided an obituary for her sister and provided the names of some of her other siblings. It then became easy to find her in the 1940 Census and other census records. A minor stumbling block overcome thanks to Newspapers.com. I will write more about Emily in my next post of the Crutchfield-Galella project. But for now, I would like to focus on Ralph Crutchfield. I don’t normally write about parents, however, because this family line is completely unknown to me I wanted to understand their lives also.
Crutchfield-Galella Project 2017 – Ancestor CG-02
List of Ancestors
Father: Ralph Crutchfield
Grandfather: Ervin Ogden Crutchfield
Ralph Crutchfield (1913-1997)
Ralph Crutchfield was born the youngest of four children on 24 December 1913 in Russellville, Pope County, Arkansas. His parents were Ervin Ogden and Dormer Crutchfield.
I have not had a chance to research his two older sisters, Blanche and Florence nor his older brother Emanuel.
The 1920 Census indicates the family living in Illinois Township, Pope County, Arkansas at 319 Torrence Street. The family consisted of the six-year-old Ralph, who was attending school, his parents, and his three siblings. His father, Ervin, was a coal miner.
In 1930, Ralph attended Russellville High School as a Junior. The 1930 Census indicates that his three siblings were no longer living at home and the household consisted of him, working as a newsboy for the newspaper, his father who also worked for the newspaper as a newspaper agent, and his mother who kept house.
In 1931, Ralph graduated from Russellville High School.
It appears that Ralph met and married Emily C. Galella sometime before 1935 as the two of them are living in Chicago then.
The 1940 Census shows Ralph, his wife “Emile” and their two children renting a home at 3312 Hoyne Avenue, Chicago, Illinois. Ralph was working as a soda fountain manager at a retail drug store.
In 1951, Ralph was living in Illinois when he registered for Social Security and received his SSN.
Ralph Crutchfield died on 21 July 1997, probably in Chicago, I at the age of 83. His burial location is unknown.
Think you might be related to Ralph Crutchfield? A DNA Test at Ancestry.Com will prove it one way or another.