Unusual Name

I seem to have several unusual surnames in my family tree.  One of them is Fiderius.  It was my great-grandmother’s maiden name.  The other day I did a search to find how many Fiderius I could find in Ancestry.com. It was hard to tell because there were a lot of repeats, but not very many.   Most of the people I could identify in my family tree.  However I did come across one person that I had not previously known about.  Her name is Josephine Fiderius and she is my great-grandmother’s sister. It seems the family kept her existence a secret.

C22

An aerial view of the Cleveland State Hospital complex, ca. 1951. Cleveland Press Collection, CSU Archives.

Josephine Fiderius was born 24 July 1880 in Cleveland, Ohio to Peter Fiderius and Christina Oberdoester.[1]  Josephine joined her two older sisters, Mary[2]  and Theresa[3] at home.  Later two brothers, Leonard[4] and Joseph,[5] joined the family. In 1900 Josephine marries Carolus Friedmann[6] (Carolus is Latin for Charles).[7]  He went by Charles in most records.  In 1910 Josephine and Charles are living in Stark, Ohio with their 3 children Gertrude 7, Leroy 5, Lucille 2.[8]  On Charles’ WWI draft card, he lists his wife as Emma,[9] and in 1920 he is living in living in Trainer, Delaware, Pennsylvania, with wife Emma (40) born in New York and their children Ellen age 19, Gertrude 17, Leroy 15, Lucille, 12, and a son Frances 1 3/12.[10] What happened to Josephine?   I thought maybe Josephine died because the children were living with Charles, and who is Ellen?  I assume that Ellen must be Emma’s daughter, but she has the surname Friedmann.[11] A search on Josephine Friedmann finds her living with her mother, Christina Fiderius, her brother Leonard, and his wife Louise in 1920.[12]  So Josephine did not die.  It appears that sometime between 1910 and 1918 they separate and maybe divorce.  I say maybe divorce because Josephine lists herself as married on the 1920 Census.[13]  By 1930 Josephine is now living in the Cleveland State Hospital for the insane.[14]  She is still there in 1940.[15] What was it like for Josephine to be in this place?  “By 1900 the hospital had cared for over 1,000 patients. At this time it began to treat mainly poorer patients, including an increasing number admitted by the courts, further adding to patient numbers. Although Cleveland State Hospital kept pace with progress in medicine, conditions continued to decline in the 1920s and 1930s because of overcrowding and irregular state support. In 1946 investigations by the CLEVELAND PRESS and the newly formed Cleveland Mental Health Assn. revealed brutality and criminal neglect, and often squalid conditions.” [16]  Poor Josephine, it seems most of the time she spent in this place the conditions were very bad. I lose Charles, Emma and children after 1920.  What happened to Josephine that she lost her children and ended up in a mental hospital?  I think the family kept Josephine a secret or just did not talk about her.  My great-grandmother Mary, never told anyone about her sister Josephine.  A few years ago I heard from a cousin in Ohio, and he listed my great-grandmother Mary, and her sister Theresa, brothers Leonard and Joseph.  He did not mention Josephine and I doubt that he even knew she existed.  Josephine passed away on 3 August 1947 in Cleveland, Ohio.[17] Cause of death is Carcinoma of head and Pancreas with metastases multiple.[18]  Her death certificate lists her husband as Charles, and there is a question mark under “single, widowed, married, divorced” and a question mark under “alive”.[19]  The informant is her brother Leonard Fiderius.[20]  I would think that he should know if she was married, divorced or widowed from Charles.  It is an interesting story with a lot of unanswered questions that I hope to find the answers to one day.

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Week 3 Unusual Name

Copyright © 2019 Gail Grunst

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[1] “Ohio County Births 1841 – 2003” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33SQ-GRKL-ZGM?CC+1932106&wc=Q6QM-SBZ%3A227593401%2c233089201 : 22 December 2016) Cuyahoga > birth registers 1879-1880 > image 191 of 247 county courthouses, Ohio.

[2] Death Certificate for Mary Beischer nee Fiderius, State of Illinois, Department of Public Health, Division of Vital Records, State file number 058869, Registration District 16.24, Registration Number 1173, December 26, 1962, Oak Park, Cook, Illinois.

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

[4] Ancestry.com. Ohio, 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.

[5] “Ohio Births and Christenings, 1821-1962,” database, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:X6PJ-P4F : 11 February 2018), Fiderins, 07 Dec 1889; citing Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio, reference p309; FHL microfilm 877,904.

[6] Cuyahoga County Archive; Cleveland, Ohio; Cuyahoga County, Ohio, Marriage Records, 1810-1973; Volume: Vol 47; Page: 282; Year Range: 1898 May – 1902 Nov.  Source Information:  Ancestry.com. Cuyahoga County, Ohio, Marriage Records and Indexes, 1810-1973 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Original data:  Cuyahoga County, Ohio, Marriage Records, 1810–1973. Microfilm publication, 137 rolls. Reels 1-110. Cuyahoga, Ohio.

[7] Carolus Latin for Charles https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carolus

[8] Year: 1910; Census Place: Canton Ward 5, Stark, Ohio; Roll: T624_1231; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 0178; FHL microfilm: 1375244. 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] Registration State: Pennsylvania; Registration County: Delaware; Roll: 1877948; Draft Board: 4.  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.

[10] Year: 1920; Census Place: Trainer, Delaware, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1563; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 172.  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

[11] Ibid.

[12] Year: 1920; Census Place: Cleveland Ward 16, Cuyahoga, Ohio; Roll: T625_1368; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 340.  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.

[13] Ibid.

[14] Year: 1930; Census Place: Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio; Page: 18B; Enumeration District: 0296; FHL microfilm: 2341505.  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.

[15] Year: 1940; Census Place: Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio; Roll: m-t0627-03218; Page: 21B; Enumeration District: 92-390.  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.

[16] https://case.edu/ech/articles/c/cleveland-state-hospital

[17] Certificate of death, Ohio, Columbus, Department of Health, registration number 286, primary registration number 8118, State file number 48729, registrar’s number 6628.

[18] Ibid.

[19] Ibid.

[20] Ibid.

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