First Son: Albert

 

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The 316th Field Artillery 81st division boarding a train at Knotty Ash Depot to Southhampton, Liverpool, England August 14 1918.  From: httpdigital.ncdcr.govcdmrefcollectionp15012coll10id1564

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks  week 1 of 2019 the topic is “first”.  

Albert Grunst, Jr. was the first son born to Albert Grunst and Anna Schmerling.[1]  Albert was born on 5 August, 1892 in Chicago, Cook, Illinois.[2]  Albert joined his older sister Alma at home and by 1900 two more siblings, Lillian and Walter, were added to the family.[3]  In 1901 the last sibling, Elmer, was born.[4]

Sometime between 1900 and 1910 the family moved from Chicago, Illinois to the suburb of Cicero, Illinois.[5]  In 1910 Albert’s occupation is a key fitter for a piano company.[6]   Twenty-two year old Albert married twenty-two year old Adeline Olsen on 12 February 1913.[7]  The age on Albert’s marriage certificate seems to be different from his birth certificate.  It lists his birth year as 1891 yet his birth certificate says 1892. I believe his birth certificate to be right.  Albert’s WWI draft card lists that he married and his address is 21 E. Van Buren St., Chicago, Illinois, however that address is crossed out and 3046 S. 48th Court, Cicero, Illinois is written in as his address.[8]   He is working as painter for a Harry Bloom in Chicago.[9]  Albert’s physical characteristics are listed as medium height, slender build, grey-blue eyes, and dark brown hair, and he is not bald.[10]  

On 5 August 1918 Albert left the Port of New York on the ship Aquitania with his fellow troops of Battery E 316th field Artillery 81st Division.[11]  “The 81st Infantry Division “Wildcats” was organized as a National Division of the United States Army in August 1917 during World War I at Camp Jackson, South Carolina. The division was originally organized with a small cadre of Regular Army officers, while the soldiers were predominantly Selective Service men drawn from the southeastern United States. After organizing and finishing training, the 81st Division deployed to Europe, arriving on the Western Front in August 1918. Elements of the 81st Division first saw limited action by defending the St. Dié sector in September and early October. After relief of mission, the 81st Division was attached to the American First Army in preparation for the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. In the last days of World War I, the 81st Division attacked a portion of the German Army‘s defensive line on 9 November 1918, and remained engaged in combat operations until the Armistice with Germany at 1100 hours on 11 November 1918. After the cessation of hostilities, the 81st Division remained in France until May 1919; after which the division was shipped back to the United States and inactivated on 11 June 1919.”[12]  By the account of this article, it looks like Albert may have seen some action.  Albert departed Brest, France on 28 May 1919 aboard the Minnesota, and arrived back in the United States on 9 June 1919.[13] 

In 1920 Albert is living with his parents, brothers and sister in Cicero, Illinois, and his marital status is listed as single.[14]  He is working as a house painter in 1920.[15]  I can’t seem to find out what happened to Adeline.  In 1942 Albert is living in Chicago, Illinois and works for Wiebolts Dry Goods Co. at Milwaukee and Paulina in Chicago.[16]  Albert passed away on 26 April 1952 at 59 years, 8 months, and 21 days.[17]  He is buried in Bethania Cemetery with his mother, father, and brother.[18]  I can find no evidence that Albert remarried or had any children.

Copyright © 2019 Gail Grunst

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[1] Ancestry.com. Cook County, Illinois, Birth Certificates Index, 1871-1922 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.  Original data:  “Illinois, Cook County Birth Certificates, 1878–1922.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2009. Illinois. Cook County Birth Certificates, 1878–1922. Illinois Department of Public Health. Division of Vital Records, Springfield.  “Illinois. Cook County Birth Registers, 1871–1915.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah. Illinois. Cook County Birth Registers, 1871–1915. Illinois Department of Public Health. Division of Vital Records, Springfield.
[2] Ibid.
[3] Year: 1900; Census Place: Chicago Ward 10, Cook, Illinois; Page: 17; Enumeration District: 0288; FHL microfilm: 1240256.  Source Information
Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004.  Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1900. T623, 1854 rolls.
[4] Year: 1910; Census Place: Cicero, Cook, Illinois; Roll: T624_238; Page: 20A; Enumeration District: 1539; FHL microfilm: 1374251
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.
[5] Ibid.
[6] Ibid.
[7] Ancestry.com. Cook County, Illinois, Marriages Index, 1871-1920 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Original data:  “Illinois, Cook County Marriages, 1871–1920.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2010. Illinois Department of Public Health records. “Marriage Records, 1871–present.” Division of Vital Records, Springfield, Illinois.
[8] Registration State: Illinois; Registration County: Cook; Roll: 1452380; Draft Board: 01.  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.
[9] Ibid.
[10] Ibid.
[11] The National Archives at College Park; College Park, Maryland; Record Group Title: Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General, 1774-1985; Record Group Number: 92; Roll or Box Number: 377.  Source Information:  Ancestry.com. U.S., Army Transport Service, Passenger Lists, 1910-1939 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2016.
[12] From Wikipedia Website: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/81st_Infantry_Division_(United_States)
[13] The National Archives at College Park; College Park, Maryland; Record Group Title: Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General, 1774-1985; Record Group Number: 92; Roll or Box Number: 204.  Source Information:  Ancestry.com. U.S., Army Transport Service, Passenger Lists, 1910-1939 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2016.
[14] Year: 1920; Census Place: Cicero, Cook, Illinois; Roll: T625_359; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 54.  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. For details on the contents of the film numbers, visit the following NARA web page: NARA. Note: Enumeration Districts 819-839 are on roll 323 (Chicago City).
[15] Ibid.
[16] The National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; World War II Draft Cards (Fourth Registration), for The State of Illinois; Record Group Title: Records of the Selective Service System, 1926-1975; Record Group Number: 147; Series Number: M2097.  Source Information: Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.  Original data:  United States, Selective Service System. Selective Service Registration Cards, World War II: Fourth Registration. Records of the Selective Service System, Record Group Number 147. National Archives and Records Administration.
[17] Ancestry.com. Cook County, Illinois Death Index, 1908-1988 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2008.  Original data: Cook County Clerk. Cook County Clerk Genealogy Records. Cook County Clerk’s Office, Chicago, IL: Cook County Clerk, 2008.
[18] Ancestry.com. U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.  Original data: Find A Grave. Find A Grave. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi.
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2018 Year in Review

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Thanks to all my readers and followers for a great year.  This blog broke many records this year.

Here is a review of 2018:

  • Views increased by 192.7%
  • Visitors increased by 69.34%

Top ten posts by views

People visited from all over the world.  Here are the top ten places they visited from:

  • United States
  • Canada
  • Australia
  • United Kingdom
  • Hong Kong SAR China
  • France
  • New Zealand
  • Ireland
  • India

Happy New Year!  I look forward to an even better 2019!

Resolution 2019

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52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks topic for week 52 is “resolution”.   Well, 2018 is coming to a close and I have completed this challenge.  I have enjoyed writing about one of my ancestors or my husband’s ancestors each week.  52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks will continue for another year.  I haven’t made up my mind whether I will participate or not yet.  I feel like I have run out of ancestors to write about.  At least the ones I know enough about to form a story.  But on the other hand, my husband has a bunch of them that I haven’t searched yet so maybe there will be some interesting stories from his side.  However, my resolution for 2019 is to work more on my husband’s side and to continue this blog. 

The last few months have especially challenging because on October 14th my husband and I were in a bad automobile accident.  I only had some bruises,  but the side he was sitting on was hit hard and he has been in and out of the hospital and rehab places since then.  Right now he is in a rehab, and I think on the road to recovery.  I have thought this before and he has relapsed.  So I am hoping this time he makes a full recovery.  It has been hard to find the time to write and has been especially hard during the holidays.  Hoping for a better 2019!

Wishing you peace, love, and laughter in the New Year!

Gail

Nice Uncle Ralph

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks  topic this week is “Nice”.  The first person that came to mind was my grandmother’s brother Ralph.  Uncle Ralph died when I was 16 years old so I got to know him.  I loved him and thought he was the nicest person I had ever known.  I still think that.  I wrote about him a couple of years ago and decided to repost it.  Here is his story.

ralph-bowers

Uncle Ralph

Ralph C. Bowers was born 18 June 1897 to Eva Reinhardt and Robert Bowers in Chicago, Illinois[1].  He was my grandmother’s brother and my great uncle.  I remember Uncle Ralph as kind and reserved with a great sense of humor.  I can still hear his laugh even after all these years without him.

I was told by grandma that when he was young he contacted TB and was in a sanitarium for a while.  He had a hard time keeping jobs until he got a job at R. R. Donnelly in Chicago working the night shift.  The night shift was what he needed.  Apparently, he was not a morning person and the night shift worked for him.  For as long as I knew Uncle Ralph he worked at Donnelly.

Uncle Ralph married for the first time to Helen Treppa when he was forty six years old.[2]  He and his wife (Aunt Helen) would come to my Grandmother’s house for holidays and some Sundays in between the holidays.  Sometimes they would come to my parent’s house too.  I always liked going to their house in Chicago.  Sometimes we would just decide at the last moment to go visit Uncle Ralph and Aunt Helen.  We would go there unexpected and always got a warm welcome.  Aunt Helen would put out a spread of lunch meats and breads.  It always amazed me that she had all this food on hand.  It never failed they had plenty of food for unexpected company.

We would sit around the kitchen table and there was always great conversation.  Even though I was young, I loved to listen to the adults talk.  I always found it interesting.  Of course I always enjoyed the food too.  Their house was very warm and welcoming.  Aunt Helen’s sister, Martha (Marty) lived with them.  I loved Aunt Helen and Marty as well as Uncle Ralph.  Because Ralph and Helen married so late in life, they never had any children.

My mother loved her Uncle Ralph very much and after he passed away, she would say that he was her guardian angel looking after her.

Uncle Ralph passed away on 5 January 1964 from a stroke[3] and was buried on 7 January 1964 in the Elmwood Cemetery in River Grove, Cook County, Illinois[4]

If he knew I was writing about him, I can hear him say, “Oh, for the love of Mike.”

Copyright©2016 Gail Grunst

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[1] Registration State: Illinois; Registration County:  Cook; Roll 1613573; Draft board: 53

Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. {database on-line}.  Provo, UT, USA; Ancestry.com  Operation  Inc, 2005.  Original Data:  United States, Selective Service System World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cares, 1917-1918.  Washington,  D. C. :  National Archives and Record  Administration.  M1509, 4,582 rolls.  Imaged from Family  History  Library Microfilm.

[2] Ancestry.com. Cook County, Illinois Marriage Index, 1930-1960 [database on-line].  Provo, Ut, USA: Ancestry.ocm  Operations Inc, 2008.  Original data:  Cook County Clerk, comp. Cook County Clerk Genealogy Records.  Cook County Clerk’s office, Chicago, IL: Cook County Clerk, 2008.

[3] From  his sister Helen Bowers Kaiser’s datebook.

[4] Ancestry.com U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600’s – Current [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc., 2012.  Original data: Find A Grave. Find A Grave.  http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi.

Naughty Great Grandpa

I’m still running a week behind with my post for 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks  Last weeks topic was naughty.  I think I have already written about a few ancestors that were naughty and could not think of a new one to write about.  So I decided to repost one about my great grandfather Rudolph Kaiser.  Some letters were found when cleaning out my grandparents home years ago.  I finally had one transcribed.  Read the story below.

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If you read my last post on Letters from Germany, you will know that I have some letters written in German addressed to my great-grandfather, Rudolph Kaiser.  From the little we could deduce from them, it appeared he had another family in Germany.

Since writing my last post on Rudolf Kaiser, I have done some searching on his Children in Germany.

I researched on Ancestry.com and came up with the following:

  • Rudolf Otto Pielenz (Rudolf Kaiser’s son) born 18 February 1890; Mother: Anna Auguste Emilie Pielenz*
  • Ida Bertha Pielenz (Rudolf Kaiser’s daughter) born 19 December 1891; Mother: Anna Auguste Emilie Pielenz*
  • Rudolf Otto Pielenz Married 7 April 1917 to Pauline Wilhelmine Helene Schauer; son of Anna Pielinz and Werner*
  • Anna Pielenz married Friedrich Carl Wagner 24 February 1894.* Anna Pielenz and Friedrich Carl Wagner’s children are as follows:
    • Anna Louise Auguste Wagner born 16 September 1894.*
    • Emma Bertha Wagner born 15 November 1895.*
    • Otto Robert Wagner born 27 July 1898.*

After finding this information, I went back to the letters written in German.  I was able to pick out the dates 18 February 1890 and 19 December 1891. I was also able to pick out the name Warner.   So I was sure that I had the right people.

I wondered why Rudolph would leave a wife and children in Germany, start another life here with a different wife and children.  It appears they were never married as she did not give the children his last name.  Then I thought maybe his intentions were to save some money and send for them.  But before he could save enough money, she moved on and got married.  She married two years before Rudolph got married here in the United States.  Maybe he wasn’t the scoundrel after all.  Then my curiosity got the best of me, and I had the first of the four letters transcribed.  As you will see as you read the letter, she is very upset with Rudolf Kaiser.  Here is the letter from 30 October 1910 transcribed

Berlin, dated 30.10.10

Dear Mr Kaiser!!!-?

Finally, after many, many years I have succeeded in finding out your address. You, dear Sir, will know that the result in 1890 of our relationship was a boy, and then, as a good-bye ! – a step which was so difficult – also a little girl. – And Anna Pielenz is deserted by the most beloved I once possessed, with two children, fatherless, alone. I have carved out an existence with my children in need of a father, and now that they are both grown, it is always the same lament: Where is our father…

My boy, as you know, has his father’s name, i.e. Rudolf Pielenz, born on 18 February 1890. My character and Your face, which was my consolation. Now he is big and a soldier. He is serving in Allenstein and has grown into a handsome young man. But now he is interested and searching for his father, who has treated him so ignominiously, so completely without interest. And the little girl has grown into a young lady. Born on 19 December 1891, her name is Ida and she also had no idea of her fatherless birth. But now

that they are both grown they will probably be in touch very soon and will greet their father by way of a letter, (because), when the boy was 5 years old and the girl 4, I was forced to get married because I could no longer afford the maintenance for the 2 children. It was just too hard for me, so I married without love and had to be content with my lot, because my love belonged only to one person ? , to whom, after all, I gave everything, and to my children. I have been on my own again for years now, and, as I say, I am content, because resentment and hatred grew more

noticeable all the time; because, you’ll know what I mean ?, a marriage without love is like a soup without salt and thus I am on my own with my children, living with my youngest sister. I hope you have not completely forgotten me and that [your] 14 years were happier than mine were. I really only moped around continuously. Maybe you think back occasionally to times past when happiness was still sweet.

Respectfully,

Anna Vägner nee Pielenz

Berlin, S.O. 33

Skalitzerstr. 54a

Both children send their greetings

This opens up more questions than it answers.  How did she find him?  How does one find someone across an ocean in 1910?  I started to think how I would go about it.  Now we turn to the Internet or maybe private detectives.  I don’t think she had the means to hire a private detective.  But she probably knew what ship he traveled on, maybe he told her what city he planned to settle in.  She may have known his friends and family in Germany.  So maybe she found him through them.  It sounds like she never got over him.  I also notice that while she tells him of her unhappy marriage, she does not mention the children that were born of that marriage.  She says she hopes he has been happy the past 14 years.  It took me awhile to figure out where the 14 came from.  From 1890 or 1891 to 1910 is 19 or 20 years not 14.  In 1910 Rudolph was married 14 years.  She even knew how long he had been married.

I do not know who is right or wrong and there are always two sides to a story.  Her side is documented with letters, his side is silent.  There are no letters from him, no stories handed down, and so we do not have his side.  When I thought about her contacting his family in Germany, I wondered what happened to his mother and father.  I have their names and that is it.  When they were born or died remains a mystery.  I never heard my grandfather talk about his grandparents.  I don’t even think he knew their names.  When I started doing the family tree, he was still alive and never gave me that information.  I don’t know if he knew about his half-brother and half-sister.  If any of their descendants are around today, I would love to meet them.  I’m sorry that Anna Pielenz was so hurt.  I hope she forgave him and moved on for her sake.  As with all family secrets, they make for a good story, but I think about how sad it was for those children and their mother.  On the other hand if he stayed with them, I would not be here.  While I feel sad for them, I’m glad he had my grandfather.  Rudolph did something good; he raised a good and decent man in my grandfather.  My grandparents were married 58 years, my grandfather served in the United States Army during WWI, and worked at the same place for 45 years.  He owned a home and raised a son and daughter who were also good and decent people, and life goes on in me, my children, and grandchildren.  Maybe somewhere in the world there are sons, daughters, and  grandchildren of Anna Pielenz and Rudolf Kaiser’s relationship.

*Information from Berlin Germany Birth and Marriage Records at Ancestry.com.

Copyright ©2016 Gail Grunst

Born in the Winter: Anna Schmerling

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52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks  theme is winter.  I am about a week behind in posting so the winter theme is actually last weeks.  Anna is my husband’s grandmother who died long before he was born.  Unfortunately, there are no family stories about Anna, and I ran into a dead end in researching her life before her marriage to Albert.  Here is Anna Schmerling’s short biography.

In the winter of 1864 Anna Schmerling was born in Germany on 28th of December.[1]  She came to the United States in 1872 at only 8 years old.[2]  She married Albert Grunst in Chicago, Cook, Illinois on 2 October 1886.[3]  Albert and Anna had seven children, Albert Jr., [4] [5] Emma, [6] Theodore, [7] Walter, [8] [9] Lillian, [10] [11] Alma, [12] [13] and Elmer [14] all born in Illinois. [15] [16] Albert and Anna resided in Chicago [17] and sometime between 1902 [18] and 1910 moved to Cicero, Illinois. [19]  Albert worked as laborer for a lumber company, [20]  and Anna kept house and raised the children. [21]  Only five of the seven children grew to adulthood. [22] [23]  Emma and Theodore died young. [24] It is interesting to note that Anna’s son Elmer was born on her 37th birthday 28 December 1901. [25] Anna lived a quiet life with Albert and her family until her death on 22 April 1926 at St. Mary’s Hospital in Chicago, Cook, Illinois from an intestinal obstruction on which surgery was performed. [26]  She is buried at Bethania Cemetery in Justice, Illinois. [27]

Copyright © 2018 Gail Grunst

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[1] State of Illinois, Cook County, Chicago, Standard Certificate of Death, Department of Public Health, Division of Vital Statistics, Registered No 13052.

[2] Year: 1900; Census Place: Chicago Ward 10, Cook, Illinois; Page: 17; Enumeration District: 0288; FHL microfilm: 1240256.  Source Information: 1900 United States Federal Census, Ancestry.com, Ancestry.com Operations Inc., 2004Provo, UT, USA.

[3] Ancestry.com. Cook County, Illinois, Marriages Index, 1871-1920 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.  Original data:“Illinois, Cook County Marriages, 1871–1920.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2010. Illinois Department of Public Health records. “Marriage Records, 1871–present.” Division of Vital Records, Springfield, Illinois.

[4] Ancestry.com. Cook County, Illinois, Birth Certificates Index, 1871-1922 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.  Original data:  “Illinois, Cook County Birth Certificates, 1878–1922.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2009. Illinois. Cook County Birth Certificates, 1878–1922. Illinois Department of Public Health. Division of Vital Records, Springfield.

[5] Year: 1900; Census Place: Chicago Ward 10, Cook, Illinois; Roll: 256; Page: 17; Enumeration District: 0288; FHL microfilm: 1240256.  Source Information:  Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004.

[6] Ancestry.com. Cook County, Illinois, Birth Certificates Index, 1871-1922 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.  Original data:  “Illinois, Cook County Birth Certificates, 1878–1922.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2009. Illinois. Cook County Birth Certificates, 1878–1922. Illinois Department of Public Health. Division of Vital Records, Springfield.

[7] Ancestry.com. Cook County, Illinois, Birth Certificates Index, 1871-1922 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.  Original data:  “Illinois, Cook County Birth Certificates, 1878–1922.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2009. Illinois. Cook County Birth Certificates, 1878–1922. Illinois Department of Public Health. Division of Vital Records, Springfield.

[8] Ancestry.com. Cook County, Illinois, Birth Certificates Index, 1871-1922 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.  Original data:  “Illinois, Cook County Birth Certificates, 1878–1922.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2009. Illinois. Cook County Birth Certificates, 1878–1922. Illinois Department of Public Health. Division of Vital Records, Springfield.

[9] Year: 1900; Census Place: Chicago Ward 10, Cook, Illinois; Roll: 256; Page: 17; Enumeration District: 0288; FHL microfilm: 1240256.  Source Information:  Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004.

[10] Ancestry.com. Cook County, Illinois, Birth Certificates Index, 1871-1922 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.  Original data:  “Illinois, Cook County Birth Certificates, 1878–1922.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2009. Illinois. Cook County Birth Certificates, 1878–1922. Illinois Department of Public Health. Division of Vital Records, Springfield.

[11] Year: 1900; Census Place: Chicago Ward 10, Cook, Illinois; Roll: 256; Page: 17; Enumeration District: 0288; FHL microfilm: 1240256.  Source Information:  Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004.

[12] Ancestry.com. Cook County, Illinois, Birth Certificates Index, 1871-1922 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Original data:  “Illinois, Cook County Birth Certificates, 1878–1922.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2009. Illinois. Cook County Birth Certificates, 1878–1922. Illinois Department of Public Health. Division of Vital Records, Springfield.

[13] Year: 1900; Census Place: Chicago Ward 10, Cook, Illinois; Roll: 256; Page: 17; Enumeration District: 0288; FHL microfilm: 1240256.  Source Information:  Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004.

[14] Year: 1910; Census Place: Cicero, Cook, Illinois; Roll: T624_238; Page: 19B; Enumeration District: 1539; FHL microfilm: 1374251.  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.

[15] Year: 1900; Census Place: Chicago Ward 10, Cook, Illinois; Roll: 256; Page: 17; Enumeration District: 0288; FHL microfilm: 1240256,  Source Information:  Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004.

[16] Year: 1910; Census Place: Cicero, Cook, Illinois; Roll: T624_238; Page: 19B; Enumeration District: 1539; FHL microfilm: 1374251.  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.

[17]Year: 1900; Census Place: Chicago Ward 10, Cook, Illinois; Roll: 256; Page: 17; Enumeration District: 0288; FHL microfilm: 1240256. Source Information:  Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004.

[18] Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.

[19] Year: 1910; Census Place: Cicero, Cook, Illinois; Roll: T624_238; Page: 19B; Enumeration District: 1539; FHL microfilm: 1374251.  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.

[20] Ibid.

[21] Ibid.

[22] Year: 1910; Census Place: Cicero, Cook, Illinois; Roll: T624_238; Page: 19B; Enumeration District: 1539; FHL microfilm: 1374251.  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.

[23] Year: 1920; Census Place: Cicero, Cook, Illinois; Roll: T625_359; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 54.  Source Information:  Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.

[24] Year: 1900; Census Place: Chicago Ward 10, Cook, Illinois; Roll: 256; Page: 17; Enumeration District: 0288; FHL microfilm: 1240256.  Source Information:  Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004.

[25] Year: 1910; Census Place: Cicero, Cook, Illinois; Roll: T624_238; Page: 19B; Enumeration District: 1539; FHL microfilm: 1374251.  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.

[26] State of Illinois, Cook County, Chicago, Standard Certificate of Death, Department of Public Health, Division of Vital Statistics, Registered No 13052.

[27] U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current, Ancestry.com, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012, Provo, UT, USA.

Walter Grunst: Next to Last

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks theme this week is Next to Last
“There are several ways you could approach this theme. Who was the next-to-last ancestor you found? If you print out an ancestor chart, who is the next-to-last person listed? Pick an ancestral family and write about the next-to-last child. Since November is the next-to-last month, maybe feature an ancestor born in November.

Black-Hawk (2)

Blackhawk Insignia of the 86 Division WWI

I am writing this week about my husbands uncle, Walter Grunst, who was the next-to-last child born in his family and was also born in the next-to-last month (November).

Walter Frederick Grunst was born on 14 November 1895 to Albert Grunst and Anna Schmerling in Chicago, Cook, Illinois.[1]  Walter joined his siblings Alma, Albert, and Lillian at home in Chicago, Illinois.[2]  In 1901 a fifth sibling, Elmer, would join the family.[3]  Sometime between 1900 and 1910 the family moved to Cicero, Illinois where his father, Albert worked as a laborer, and Anna kept house and raised the children.[4]   Walter worked for the Ideal Movie Theater as a motion picture operator around 1916-17.[5]  He joined the United States Army during WWI and served in Company A — 311th Engineers — 86th Division.[6]  “The Eighty-Sixth Division was organized in August 1917 at Camp Grant, Illinois, from drafted men of Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota. The first unit arrived in France on September 21, 1918; the last on October 9, 1918.”[7]  Walter left for France on 9 September 1918 aboard the “Empress of Asia” from the Port of New York.[8]  It is very likely he was in the first unit that arrived in France on the 21st

The 86th was also known as the “Blackhawk Division” because the area of Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota was formerly the territory inhabited by Chief Black Hawk and his tribe.  The division insignia consists of a small red shield with the initials “B” and “H” in black superimposed upon a design of a Blackhawk which, in turn, is superimposed upon a red shield. The insignia is a tribute to the pioneers of this sector, and in recognition of their prowess in battles with the Indians. The bird symbolizes keenness, cunning, and tenacity.[9]

 “The division was sent to the vicinity of Bordeaux (Gironde) and headquarters were established in St. Andre de Cubzac.”[10]  “The Eighty Sixth at last was to get it’s chance at the front.  Moving out at dawn on November 8, the division was to go to Le Mans.  From there, the Eighty Sixth was to have proceeded to the Lorraine front on November 14th in the company of five other American divisions and thirty French divisions.  The Black Hawks were to have participated in what the supreme war council had planned as the Allies mightiest endeavor of the war – capture of the Metz, rolling back the German Army, invasion of Germany, the final crushing blow! But to the Blackhawks on November 11 came the news of the signing of the armistice, the event which immediately began to be celebrated by the world generally, with exception of the Blackhawks.  For them the curtain had been rung down just as they were about to enter the big show.”[11]

“With the exception of the 311th Engineers and the 311th Engineer Supply Trains, which remained in the vicinity of Bordeaux, practically all remaining Black Hawks units returned to the United States as organizations soon after breaking up the Eighty Six Division. The arrivals home were as follows:

333rd Field Artillery – Siboney – January 3rd

311th Trench Mortar Battery –Georgia – January 8th * See Note

311th Sanitary Train – Wilhelmina – January 19th

311th Field Signal Battalion – Nebraska – January 29th

311th Ammunition Train – Zeelandia – January 29th

331st Field Artillery – Duca D’Aosta – February 5th

332nd Field Artillery – Antigone – February 15th

The last three Black Hawk outfits to return were the 311th Engineers and 311th Engineer Trains, which arrived in June. The 311th supply train arrived in July.”[12]

“Upon their arrival in Chicago on their way back to Camp Grant to be mustered out, each of the Black Hawk units received a rousing welcome home, a tribute as genuine and whole-hearted just as if the armistice had not halted the Eighty Sixth just as it was preparing to show it’s mettle on the field of battle.”[13]

Walter left France on June 26th aboard the Mount Vernon from Brest France and arrived at Camp Merritt, New Jersey on July 5, 1919.[14] 

After the war, Walter lived in Cicero, Illinois with his parents and worked as a laborer in a Piano Factory.[15]  His mother died in 1926[16] and by 1930 his father is living in a home for the aged.[17] I cannot find Walter on the 1930 or 1940 census, however in 1942 his WWII draft card states he lives in Chicago, drives a truck and does hauling between Chicago and Milwaukee.[18]   I can find no evidence that Walter ever married or had children.  In fact, on his WWII draft card he lists the OK Motor Service as the person who will always know his address[19].  I find this sad, it appears he was not close to his brothers or sisters; therefore we have no pictures or stories of Walter.  My husband remembers seeing his uncle once when he came by their house with his truck.  Walter died on 13 March 1949[20] and is buried Bethania Cemetery in Justice, Cook County, Illinois.[21] 

*Note:  My grandfather, George Manfroid, was in 311th Mortar Trench Battery.  George Manfroid’s and Walter Grunst’s names appear in the book Official History of the 86th Division.

Copyright © 2018 Gail Grunst

_____________________________________________________________________________

[1] Ancestry.com. Cook County, Illinois, Birth Certificates Index, 1871-1922 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Original data: “Illinois, Cook County Birth Certificates, 1878–1922.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2009. Illinois. Cook County Birth Certificates, 1878–1922. Illinois Department of Public Health. Division of Vital Records, Springfield.

[2] Year: 1900; Census Place: Chicago Ward 10, Cook, Illinois; Page: 17; Enumeration District: 0288; FHL microfilm: 1240256.  Source Information:  Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004.  Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1900. T623, 1854 rolls.

[3] Year: 1910; Census Place: Cicero, Cook, Illinois; Roll: T624_238; Page: 20A; Enumeration District: 1539; FHL microfilm: 1374251.  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.

[4] Ibid.

[5] “United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918,” database with images, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K681-GPJ : 13 March 2018), Walter Grunst, 1917-1918; citing Cook County no 6, Illinois, United States, NARA microfilm publication M1509 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,613,142.

[6] The National Archives at College Park; College Park, Maryland; Record Group Title: Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General, 1774-1985; Record Group Number: 92; Roll or Box Number: 431.  Source Information:  Ancestry.com. U.S., Army Transport Service, Passenger Lists, 1910-1939 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2016.

[7] Historical Branch, War Division, General Staff, 1921 (Brief History of Divisions, US Army 1917 – 1918)

[8] The National Archives at College Park; College Park, Maryland; Record Group Title: Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General, 1774-1985; Record Group Number: 92; Roll or Box Number: 431.  Source Information:  Ancestry.com. U.S., Army Transport Service, Passenger Lists, 1910-1939 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2016.

[9] From website: 86th Infantry division https://history.army.mil/documents/ETO-OB/86ID-ETO.htm

[10] Historical Branch, War Division, General Staff, 1921 (Brief History of Divisions, US Army 1917 – 1918)

[11] Chicago, States Publication Society (Official History of the 86th Division, 1921) Pages 65 & 66

[12] Ibid

[13] Ibid.

[14] The National Archives at College Park; College Park, Maryland; Record Group Title: Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General, 1774-1985; Record Group Number: 92; Roll or Box Number: 213. Source Information:  Ancestry.com. U.S., Army Transport Service, Passenger Lists, 1910-1939 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2016.

[15] Year: 1920; Census Place: Cicero, Cook, Illinois; Roll: T625_359; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 54.  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. For details on the contents of the film numbers, visit the following NARA web page: NARA. Note: Enumeration Districts 819-839 are on roll 323 (Chicago City).

[16] Ancestry.com. Illinois, Deaths and Stillbirths Index, 1916-1947 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.  Original data:”Illinois Deaths and Stillbirths, 1916–1947.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2010. Index entries derived from digital copies of original records.

[17] Year: 1930; Census Place: Wheeling, Cook, Illinois; Page: 11A; Enumeration District: 2105; FHL microfilm: 2340234.  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.

[18] The National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; World War II Draft Cards (Fourth Registration), for The State of Illinois; Record Group Title: Records of the Selective Service System, 1926-1975; Record Group Number: 147; Series Number: M2097.  Source Information:  Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.

[19] Ibid.

[20] Ancestry.com. Cook County, Illinois Death Index, 1908-1988 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2008.  Original data: Cook County Clerk. Cook County Clerk Genealogy Records. Cook County Clerk’s Office, Chicago, IL: Cook County Clerk, 2008.

[21] Ancestry.com. U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.  Original data: Find A Grave. Find A Grave. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi.