Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day - Clifford E. Stalls

For Memorial Day, I'm choosing my mom's cousin Buddy to write about. His real name was Clifford E. Stalls and he was the son of Andrew Francis Stalls (1894-1962) and Edith Badendick Stalls (1898-1973). Edith's parent's were Carl Johann Emil Badendick and Bertha Helene Zerull, both of whom I profiled earlier this month.
Helen and Buddy Stalls about 1925

Buddy was born in Jersey City, Hudson County, New Jersey on the 23rd of January 1921. At the time of his birth, his parents and his 3 year old sister, Helen, were living in the home of Buddy's widowed Grandmother, Bertha Badendick. His grandfather Badendick had died 5 years earlier.

Clifford E. Stalls, 2nd Lt USMCR
April 1944

Buddy lived his whole life in Jersey City. When World War II broke out, he enlisted in the Marine Corps and rose to the rank of a 2nd Lieutenant. He flew fighters in the South Pacific.

Buddy was killed on the 19th of February 1945 on the first day of the Battle of Iwo Jima in the South Pacific. The battle to take this strategic island lasted over a month and more than 6800 Americans died there, 2400 on the first day.

Gravestone of Clifford E. "Buddy" Stalls,
New York Bay Cemetery, Jersey City, NJ

Stalls family plot, New York Bay Cemetery, Jersey City, NJ

Buddy is buried in the New York Bay Cemetery in Jersey City, New Jersey. His grave shares a burial plot with his parents and sister. His niece, Carol A. Pharis died on the 4 September 2008 and she is also buried in the plot, along side her mother Helen. There are no other descendants

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Gottlieb Veith's Naturalization Record

Last week in this post I wrote that I was waiting for a naturalization record for Gottlieb Veith from the Clerk of Judicial Records in Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania. I received it a few days ago and it is a bit disappointing. It was only 2 pages and the first page was a cover sheet that listed his name, filing date of 4 October 1888 and "No. 2904". On the second page Gottlieb is listed as a native of Germany.  He states he arrived at the Port of New York on the 2nd day of April 1883. This is a minor discreprancy - this date is off by one day from the ship's manifest of 3 April.

 Here is Gottlieb's signature:

Gottlieb Veith's signature on his Naturalization,
filed 4 October 1888, Lackawanna County, Pennsylvannia

I had been hoping that there would have been a town listed or perhaps some other birth information. I know naturalization records differ in what information is listed depending on the type of court, jurisdiction and era. The Court of General Sessions in Lackawanna County in 1888 obviously did not list much!

There is one piece of new information given though - a witness name:

witness to Gottlieb Veith Naturalization 4 October 1888
I think this signature says J Hallock or Hollock. One thing I learned early on in my genealogy education is to pay attention to witness signatures since they can be a clue to family. I don't recognize this name as a relative. A quick search on and do not turn up any Hallocks or Hollocks who would have been old enough to be a witness to this signature in 1888. If I decide to try to track down J. Hallock or J Hollock, my next step would be to check the city directories in the Scranton area to see if there are any listings for this name.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Gottlieb Johannes Veith

Gottlieb Veith was my great-grandfather on my mother's side.

Gottlieb Johannes Veith

My mother's paternal grandfather was Gottlieb Johannes Veith. Gottlieb was born in Altdorf, Germany on 3 November 1866 to Johann Martin Veith and Anna Maria (Annie) Helle. Altdorf is a small town in the southern state of Baden-W├╝rttemberg, around 10 miles south of Stuttgart. Gottlieb traveled on the Holland-America ship "Zaandam" which left from Amsterdam and arrived in New York on 3 April 1886, when Gottlieb was 16 years old. The ship's manifest indicates that he had one piece of luggage when he arrived in New York. It is not known if Gottlieb traveled with friends or who he stayed with when he first arrived in the United States. Gottlieb's son, Harold, told one of his grandchildren that Gottlieb left Germany to avoid being conscripted into the military. Gottlieb had at least one brother who stayed in Germany, as did his parents.

Veith Farm around 1920

Gottlieb was living in Scranton, Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania and working as a teamster when he  married Hannah Zeiler at age 21 on the 8th of March 1888 in Jefferson Twp, Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania. My mother's cousin Art Foster told me Gottlieb and Hannah moved into the new farm they had just bought in Salem Township, Wayne County, Pennsylvania soon after marriage and were there for the Great Blizzard of March 11-14, 1888.  However, the Wayne County death records for both Hannah and Gottlieb recorded how long they lived in "the community" prior to their deaths. These records indicate they lived in the rural Wayne County community since about 1895, not 1888 (when they married) so I will need  to search for a deed that indicates when the farm was purchased.

Gottlieb Veith

Gottlieb and his wife raised 5 children while living on their farm. He died there on 27th of February 1947 from a cerebral hemorrhage. His wife, Hannah, predeceased him by 5 years. The farm was sold soon after Gottlieb died.

Friday, May 20, 2011

What Writing Reveals - Part 2

Last week, I posted that the act of writing up some of my research revealed many of the gaps I had in my documented 'facts'. For instance, once I started writing, I quickly realized that I had no real evidence that all the sources that I had for my g-grandfather, Gottlieb Veith, were documenting the right or even the same man. For some of the facts, I had no source information. Since my great-grandparents were added to my family tree in the very early stages of researching my family, I added some of the facts from family knowledge (but didn't document who had told me what - and none of those people are still alive) and some from published sources but my source citations were so scanty that I can't figure out what the sources are.

Somewhere along the line in my genealogy research, I learned to always document any fact that I add to my family tree. Luckily I did learn the importance of source documentation fairly early in my research although I didn't necessarily always apply that knowledge. One of my mistakes  was that if I had a fact in my tree already, I didn't document where I had found that same fact again in a different source. Because of this sloppiness, I don't really know if I have found several independent sources for each 'fact' or not. And having independent sources for any fact is necessary to solve any discreprancies that creep up.

One example of the problems this has led to involves the marriage of my g-grandparents Gottlieb Veith and Hannah Zeiler.

In my family tree database, I noted that the 'marriage certificate gives Gottlieb's mother's name as Anna Maria Heller'. However, there is no note in my records who the father was on the marriage certificate. Even worse, I have no idea where that certificate is. Does this even mean I had it at some point? Or saw it somewhere? I have Gottlieb's father as Johann Martin Veith but no source was noted for that name. Did I not document it was on the marriage certificate because the name was already in my database? Or was the name not on the certificate?

I really don't know the answer and since I can't find the marriage certificate in any of my files, I need to send away for it (again??).

Sigh... If only I knew then what I know now about documenting sources...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

My cousin Jane

My cousin Jane Lynn Veith died on Sunday night and I am still trying to adjust to that reality.

Jane grew up in Leonia, New Jersey and attended Leonia High School. She attended Trinity College in Connecticut and went on to do a PhD in psychology at Ohio State University. Before going into private practice, she was a tenure track professor at Washington State University. She was awarded a Watson Fellowship after college and was one of the smartest people I knew.

Jane Lynn Veith 1993

Jane was also very funny and had a wonderful sense of humor. She and I used to walk around Green Lake way back when and we never ran out of stuff to talk about. We both especially loved analyzing our family backgrounds and how our families shaped us. Jane also loved to cook and experiment with new recipes. She was a voracious reader.

We both independently moved to Seattle over 25 years ago and got to know each other as adults in the years after that. I will miss her greatly.

Jane was well loved by many and she leaves behind her husband and sister and her beloved animals, especially Ellijay and Edward the 4th.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

What Writing Reveals

I started writing up short posts on my mother's paternal grandparents this last week and the act of writing caused me to examine what I actually knew and had documented about these ancestors. As it turns out, I didn't know as much as I thought I did! There were some gaps in my research that had gone un-noticed prior to this attempt at writing.

So I spent a few hours on Thursday figuring out where to get birth, marriage, and death records in Wayne and Lackawanna Counties in Pennsylvania and have sent off for some of these documents. In addition, an email to the Clerk of Judicial Records in Lackawanna County resulted in this response -

"Please provide me with a postal mailing address and I will mail to you the results that my Clerk/Archivist has located."

Whoo- hoo!

I had enquired what repository I should investigate to find records of Gottlieb Veith's naturalization after his arrival in 1883. I was not expecting that the clerk (or an assistant) would be able to do a look-up right then and there -Sometimes we luck out! And this record should provide the evidence that I need that the immigration record I had is for the right Gottlieb Veith since I know Gottlieb was living in (or near) Scranton, Pennsylvania when he married there in March 1888.

I'll update when I receive the record.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

My maternal line - Part 2

In the first posting, I added pictures of my mother, her mother and her grandmother. Here are their husbands (except for my Dad who I'll add on Father's Day).
Harold Theodore Veith
Harold Theodore Veith was born in Scranton, Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania on 19 May 1891. He marrried Minna Bertha Badendick in her hometown of Jersey City, New Jersey on 24 October 1917 when he was 26 and she was 23. He died in Englewood, Bergen County, New Jersey on 27 December 1978 at age 87.

Johann Carl Emil Badendick
Carl Badendick was born in Barth, a city on the Baltic Sea in what was the Province of Pomerania (now Germany) on 2 June 1859. He married Bertha Helene Zerull on 9 September 1883 in Jersey City, Hudson County, New Jersey when he was 24 and Bertha was 19. He died in Jersey City on 8 October 1916.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

My maternal line

Dorothy Minna Veith
My mother, Dorothy Minna Veith,  was born in Englewood, Bergen County, New Jersey on 19 August 1922. She died in Pompton Plains, Morris County, New Jersey on 17 November 2006. She was 84 years old.
Minna Bertha Badendick

My grandmother, Minna Bertha Badendick was born in Jersey City, Hudson County, New Jersey on 19 November 1893. She died in Englewood, Bergen County, New Jersey on 29 April 1977. She was 83 years old.

Bertha Helene Zerull
My great-grandmother, Bertha Helene Zerull was born in Garnsee, West Prussia on 2 April 1864. She died in Jersey City, Hudson County, New Jersey on 21 February 1931. She was 66 years old.

My Mom - Dorothy Minna Veith

It seems appropriate to start my blog with pictures of my Mom since without her, I (and this blog!) would not be here.
Mom was born in Englewood, New Jersey on 19 August 1922. She died in Pompton Plains, New Jersey on 17 November 2006. She lived in Englewood until she married my Dad in 1952. They lived briefly in Clifton, New Jersey before buying their first (and only) house in Little Falls, New Jersey in 1954.
Dorothy Minna Veith about age 1
Dottie about 5 years old. I still have this chair.
When Mom was young, she was called Dottie. As an adult, she preferred to be called Dot instead of Dorothy. Mom hated her middle name - she said it was so old fashioned. After she married my dad, she dropped the use of it and used her maiden name as her legal middle name. I do the same although my middle name (Carol) was not so bad.
Dot about age 20
My Mom went to Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri and graduated in 1942 with an A.A. She later took night classes at New York University while working as an executive secretary at my grandfather's furniture store.
Age 30. Engagement picture
Mom met my Dad at a party in her early 20s but they didn't get  married until  1952 when they were both 30 years old. She told me once that she was having too much fun to get married younger! She had fabulous stories about dancing to the Big Bands in NYC during her 20s.
Age 83
Mom died in her sleep after a short illness when she was 84. I had last seen her the week before.
Happy Mother's Day Mom! I miss you every day.