Thursday, June 30, 2011

My Grandfather's Siblings

I posted previously about my mother's paternal grandparents, Gottlieb Veith and Hannah Zeiler. Gottlieb and Hannah had 5 children live to adulthood including my grandfather, Harold Theodore Veith.

8 August 1919
left to right: Edwin, Hannah, Edna, Harold, Carrie, Esther, Gottllieb

Carrie M. Veith born April 1889
Harold Theodore Veith born 19 May 1891
Esther Veith born 10 April 1895
twins Edwin and Edna Veith born 20 August 1903.

Picture was taken in the family home in Hollisterville, Salem Twp, Wayne County, Pennsylvannia

Sunday, June 26, 2011

I love Find-A-Grave!

I received a gift in my email inbox today! A kind volunteer in Brooklyn took pictures for me of gravestones for some of my maternal relatives. I've recently spent some time trying to research all my maternal lines forward in time to find cousins with whom I could exchange family information and hopefully get identifications of relatives in old photos I've inherited.  A lot of this work has paid off already and I've exchanged information with new cousins in two lines. Thanks Jason and Lori and Drew!

Two days ago, I was finally able to convince myself I was following the right family for another cousin in the census records.   This line is descended from the oldest half-sister of Bertha Helene Zerull, Wilhelmine Emilie Zerull who was born in Garnsee, West Prussia in 1842. From some family records, I knew that Wilhelmine (known as "Emilie") married a man named Schultz and had children Martha and Harriet Schultz. I also knew that Martha married Julius Schiller. And my searching finally paid off and I was able to locate this family in the 1900, 1910, 1920 and 1930 federal censuses. Emilie's husband's first name was Hermann.

I looked on Find-A-Grave early yesterday and located some of these descendants in Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, NY but there were no pictures of the tombstones. I submitted the request for pictures of these graves and received the links to them today from a kind volunteer who photographed the graves! Dates from the tombstone confirmed that these were my distant cousins.

Now I just need some luck in finding descendants that are still alive and I may have more 'new' cousins to exchange information with. Someone must know who these people are with my grandmother!
My grandmother, Minna Badendick Veith, 3rd from left
Are these Schiller relations? Or Schultz? Or are these Lemke/Lamken cousins descended from another half-sibling of my g-grandmother? I'm determined to find out!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Bertha Helene Zerull

Bertha Helene Zerull was my mom's maternal grandmother. She was born in Garnsee, West Prussia on the 2nd of April 1864 to Gottfried Zerull and Wilhelamine Kroening. Wilhalmine was the second wife to Gottfried; his first wife was Anna Dorothea Zerull (her maiden name was also Zerull). Gottfried and Anna had at least 10 children together before Anna died. I am not yet aware of  other children born to Gottfried and 2nd wife Wilhelmine. Bertha was baptismed on the 24th of April in the Evangelical Lutheran church in the village of Garnsee.

Bertha ariived in New York on the 'Main' on the 12th of December 1881 when she was 17 years old. The ship departed from Bremen and it is not known if Bertha was traveling with anyone or who she stayed with after she arrived in New York.
Bertha Helene Badendick
By the time of her marriage in 1883, Bertha was living at 28 Essex Street in Jersey City, Hudson County, New Jersey. Her husband, Carl Johann Emil Badendick, was living very close by at 38 Essex Street. They married on the 9th of September 1883 in St Matthews Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jersey City. August Badendick (possibly Carl's brother) and Emilie Toepfer were witnesses.
Marriage certificate for
Carl Johann Emil Badendick & Bertha Helene Zerull
9 September 1883
St Matthews Church, Jersey City, NJ
Carl and Bertha lived in a house at 35 van Reypen Street in Jersey City for most of their lives and raised 5 children to adulthood. Their 3rd child (and oldest daughter) was my grandmother, Minna Bertha Badendick, wife of Harold Theodore Veith. Children of Carl and Bertha Badendick are:  Charles Henry Badendick, born 5 September 1887, Henry Badendick, born 1 October 1889, Minna Bertha Badendick, born 19 November 1897, Marie Johanna Badendick, born 7 Janurary 1897 and Edith Badendick, born 20 April 1898. All the children were born in Jersey City, New Jersey.
Bertha Zerull Badendick
 with son-in-law Harold Theodore Veith
 and grandson Harold Charles Veith

I don't know much about this great-grandmother. I do have her set of china though. My mom's cousin, Carol Pharis, gave it to me years ago and said that the set of china was given to Bertha in appreciation for the meals she cooked for a club her husband belonged too. Carol thought that the club was a civic or fraternal orgainization and they had monthly dinner meetings in the basement of the brownstone house that Carl and Bertha owned.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

My Dad - Warren Westcott Grant

Warren Westcott Grant was born at St. Mary's Hospital in the city of Passaic, Passaic County, New Jersey on 11 January 1922 to Ralph Westcott Grant and Florence Hazel Skinner.

Warren at 21 months
His parents were living at 196 Lakeview Avenue in Clifton, Passaic County, NJ at the time of his birth and they moved a few years later when my Dad was 4 or 5 years old to 267 Rollins Avenue, also in Clifton, where my Dad grew up.

Warren about 1928

When my dad was young, he was diagnosed with a heart murmur and was not allowed to participate in athletics. While in high school, Dad was the drum major in the Clifton High School marching band and he developed a strong interest in photography.
Warren Grant
Clifton, NJ High School Class of 1940

My father's dad, Ralph Grant, died of a heart attack when my dad was just 17. This picture was taken of the two of them the shortly before my grandfather died.
Ralph Westcott Grant and Warren Westcott Grant
around 1939

After high school, my father started attending Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. However, he only lasted about a year and a half there before he left. He told me once that he was spending too much time on photography and not studying enough. He later went back to Rutgers and completed his B.S. degree in 1949 taking night classes while working.
After Dad left Rutgers in 1941, he went to work for Curtiss-Wright in Caldwell, NJ, working as a metallurgical technician. The United States had recently entered World War II and Dad  received deferments for essential war-time labor. He was also helping out his widowed mom, Hazel, and younger sister with financial support.

Warren W. Grant about 1944, age 22

In late 1943, Dad went to New York City where he enlisted in the Army Air Force. He was inducted on the 27th of  November and reported to Fort Dix in NJ on the 2nd of December. He planned to be a pilot, but instead was assigned to train as a flight engineer on B-29s.

Dad's flight training was interrupted in January 1945 when his mother suddenly died one day after his 23rd birthday. Dad told me he was called into the Commandant's Office and told "Mr. Grant, sorry to tell you your mother died. See the Red Cross office to set up emergency leave". Dad was given a month's leave to head back to New Jersey and pack up the family home and settle the estate. His sister was still a minor at the time.

Younger sister Shirley, Hazel and Warren about 1944

Dad was in the service for 2 years and received his honorable discharge on the 27th of November 1945, exactly 2 years after his induction and just 3 weeks before he was to receive his commission. He served one month as a Private in basic training, 11 months as an Aviation Student, and 12 month as an Aviation Cadet. His discharge paper states "Discharge of Surplus Aircrew Trainees who Volunteered from Civilian Life". He told me that he had no option of staying in longer to become commissioned since the war was winding down. At the time, he was stationed at the Army Air Force base in Amarillo, Texas. He had also earlier been stationed in North Carolina and Georgia. I wonder if Dad would have received his commission  had he not had the month's leave after his mother died.
After Dad was discharged, he headed to Manchester, Vermont for a few months and did alot of skiing. He once told me he felt that he had to get back to the real world and thus moved back to NJ and went back to work at Curtiss Wright on April 1st. By 1951, he was living in an upstairs apartment at 75 Gourley Avene in Clifton, NJ, where he would stay until after he and my mom married.
Dorothy M. Veith and Warren W. Grant
11 October 1952

My mom and dad met on a blind date around 1941 when they were both just out of high school. They dated off and on for the next 11 years until they married on the 11th of October in 1952 at the Pilgrim Congregational Church in Harwich Port, Massachusetts where my Dad's family had a summer cottage that he and his sister had inherited.

At the time of their marriage at age 30 for both of them, my father was working in the propeller division at Curtiss-Wright as an engineer and my mom was an executive secretary at her father's furniture store in Englewood, NJ. My dad remained at Curtiss-Wright until around 1965. He briefly worked at Electric Boat in Groton, CT, before being hired as a sales engineer for Rolock, Inc., based in Fairfield, CT. Dad's sales territory was New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania, and parts of Maryland and Delaware. He stayed in this position until his retirement.
Warren W. Grant about 1985
Dad and mom bought their first (and only!) house at 29 Reiners Road, Little Falls, NJ about 2 years after they married. They moved in there with my older brother on 23 March 1955. They lived there until they moved to a retirement community in Pompton Plains, NJ in 2002.
Dad was 83 years old when he died on the 22nd of January 2005 in Pompton Plains, Morris County,  NJ.  He died peacefully, at home, in his sleep. I had last seen him just a few days earlier.
Warren Grant, Aspen, Colorado about 1968
Dad loved to ski his whole life. In the early days, he and a group of friends would take the train from NJ to VT to ski for the weekend at Snow Valley. Later, he and my mom and other friends often skiied at Stowe in Vermont. After we kids came along, Dad and Mom would drive up to Mt Snow with us in the back of the station wagon for a day of skiing (5 hours each way! that is dedication!). When I was in high school, we were able to take several trips to Aspen, Colorado for a week of skiing. I think Dad lived for those trips.
Dad also loved Cape Cod and I think some of his happiest times were spent puttering around the family cottage there. It seemed he could fix almost anything to me.
Happy Father's Day, Dad! May there always be snow for you.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Tale of Three Zophars

Three Generations of Zophar Skinner
My father's mother was a Skinner. Her grandfather (and my gg-grandfather) was the 3rd Zophar Skinner in a row of Zophars.

The first Zophar Skinner was born in 1773 or early 1774, probably in Norton, Bristol County, Massachusetts. He was a son of Elijah Skinner and Abigal Hawes. Zophar married Bethiah Freeman in Norton on the 15 October 1798. His occupation was listed as a Miller when he died on 3 March 1843 in Franklin, Bristol County, Massachusetts of consumption. He is buried in the Norton Common Cemetery in Norton, Massachusetts.
Inscription: To the memory of
Mr Zophar Skinner
who died March 2, 1843.
Aged 69 years.
 Norton Common Cemetery, Norton, MA

Although the tombstone reads the  2nd March for Zophar's death, his actual death record shows 3rd March for his death date.
The second Zophar Skinner was born 1 May 1803 in Norton, Bristol County, Massachusetts, third of eight children born to Zophar Skinner and Bethiah Freeman. He married Cynthia Comstock on the 27 September 1835 in Seekonk, Massachusetts. He died of typhoid pneumonia on the 1 July 1860 in Cumberland, Providence County, Rhode Island. He was a mill laborer at the time of his death. Zophar is buried in Mineral Spring Cemetery, Pawtucket, Rhode Island.

Inscription: Zophar Skinner
Died July 1, 1860
Aged 57 years & 2 mo's
Mineral Spring Cemetery, Pawtuket, RI
The third Zophar Skinner was born on the 12th of September 1843 in Valley Falls, Providence County, Rhode Island. He was the second child of Zophar Skinner and Cynthia Comstock. He married Eliza Jane Carpenter on the 24th of December, 1865 in Valley Falls. Zophar died of a heart attack on 11 November 1926 and is buried in Moshassuck Cemetery in Central Falls, Rhode Island. At the time of his death, he was the owner and manager of the R.I. Washer Company in Valley Falls, a manufacturer of leather washers.

Skinner Family Tombstone, Moshassuck Cemetery, Central Falls, RI

Inscription on reverse side of tombstone reads:
1843 - Zophar - 1926
1847 - Eliza J - 1922
1866 - Frederick W. - 1942
1867 - Charles E. - 1910
1900 - C. Edwin - 1911
1886 - Mabel Carlton - 1899
1870 - John F. - 1949
1871 - Annie F. - 1956
1894 - Hazel Skinner Grant - 1945

Friday, June 10, 2011

Hannah Zeiler

Last month I posted about Gottlieb Veith here . Hannah Zeiler was his wife.

Hannah Zeiler was born on the 21 May 1869 in Jefferson Twp, Lackawanna County, Pennsylvannia to Joseph Zeiler and Anna Margaretha (Margaret) Mack. Both of Hannah's parents immigrated to the U.S. from Wurttemberg, Germany in the 1850s.

Hannah was the 4th of 5 children, all born in Jefferson Twp, Pennsylvannia. Her father, Joseph, was a farmer in the Elmdale community his entire life.
Since Hannah was just 18, and a minor when she married Gottlieb, her father had to give his written consent to the marriage.
Gottlieb Veith and Hannah Zeiler
marriage certificate - 8 March 1888
Jefferson Township, Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania
I love this marriage certificate! The image at the bottom is that of H.A. Smith, Minister of the Gospel.Witnesses to the marriage were Hannah's brother, Theodore A. Zeiler, and Kate Lowert. Kate was probably a friend of the couple.

Gottlieb and Hannah had 5 children. Their oldest child, Carrie M. Veith was born in April 1889, 13 months after the marriage. Harold Theodore Veith, my maternal grandfather, was born 2 years later on  19 May 1891. Esther Veith was born on the 10 April 1895 and the twins, Edwin Veith and Edna Veith were born on 20 August 1903.

I don't know too much about Hannah. My mom once told me that Hannah did not like her much since she was a 'modern woman' and didn't know how to cook!

Gottlieb and Hannah Veith
Hannah died at home on 30 August 1942 at 10:35 PM of a heart attack. Her husband, Gottlieb was the informant on the death certificate. She was buried 3 days later in the Hollisterville Cemetery,  Hollisterville, Wayne County, Pennsylvania. When Gottlieb died 5 years later, he was buried in the same plot as was their oldest daughter, Carrie.

Hollisterville Cemetery, Hollisterville, Salem Twp, PA