Augusta is Majestic and Grand

Augusta Desens and Family

Emma, Hank, Augusta, Helen and Ann

 

This week the topic for 52 ancestors in 52 weeks is favorite name.

My grandmother’s middle name, Augusta, has always been a favorite of mine.  It also happens to be the name of my great-grandmother, Augusta Desens. “The name Augusta is a Latin baby name. In Latin the meaning of the name Augusta is: Majestic, grand. The feminine form of Augustus; meaning majestic dignity or venerable, originally given to female relatives of Roman emperors. Famous bearer: British King George III’s mother was named Augusta.”[1] It is interesting that Augusta means majestic, grand because that is how I picture my great-grandmother.  If I had girls, I was planning on naming one Augusta.  My boys tell me they are glad they weren’t girls, although one has the middle name August.  I thought it would go well with our last name Grunst.  Augusta Desens is another ancestor that very little was handed down in the way of stories.  She died when my dad was young, so he didn’t remember her very well.  My grandmother, Helen Augusta, died before I was born so she could not tell me stories of her mother or her childhood.  All I have are the vital statistics and the little I can piece together through records.

Augusta Gabbi was born 28 January 1859 in Berlin Germany.[2]  She married Carl Desens in Germany date unknown.[3]  I estimate that they were married around 1883.[4]  This estimate is from the 1910 census which states they were married 27 years at that time.[5] So far I have been unable to find a record of their marriage. Augusta and Carl came from Bremen, Germany to Baltimore, Maryland, USA on April 22, 1888 aboard the ship Main.[6]  Augusta and Carl settled in Forest Park, Illinois.[7]  They attended St. Paul Lutheran Church[8] and St. John Lutheran Church in Forest Park, Illinois.[9]  At that time the sermons were conducted in German.  Carl and Augusta had eight children, Emma, Bertha, Mina, Louise, William, Henry, Ann, and Helen.[10] [11] Emma and Bertha were born in Germany, the rest were born in Illinois.[12] [13] The children grew up in Forest Park and attended St. John Lutheran School.[14]  Carl worked as a stationary fireman for the Public Service Company.[15] Augusta kept house and raised the children.[16] On the 1900 census there is Dorothea Zoschke listed as Carl’s mother-in-law living with them.[17]  This would be Augusta’s mother, but her name is not Gabbi (Gabbie, Gabbei).  It lists Dorothea as a widow, her birth year as 1828, her age as 72, and year of immigration as 1890.[18]  I found a Dorothea Gabbei coming to the US on 27 May 1890 from Bremen and Southhampton to New York aboard the ship Elbe.[19]  She is 64 years old and her occupation is a Gentleman’s Servant.[20]  There is a two year age difference between the documents, but the year of immigration is the same.  She must have married here in the US, but I have been unable to find a record of it. Dorothea died in 1901 and is buried in Concordia Cemetery in Forest Park, Illinois.[21] Carl died on 12 January 1921.[22]  Augusta died 7 July 1925 in West Suburban Hospital in Oak Park, Illinois of chronic interstitial nephritis and hypertension at 66 years, 5months, and 9 days.[23]  Both Carl and Augusta are buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in Forest Park, Illinois.[24]  I wish I had some stories of Augusta, but at least I have some old faded, and spotted pictures of her.  It’s an old fashioned name and maybe it will become popular again.   Maybe someday a descendant will name one of their children Augusta.

Copyright © 2017 Gail Grunst

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[1] From website http://www.sheknows.com/baby-names/name/augusta

[2] State of Illinois, county of Cook, city of Oak Park, Standard Certificate of Death, Registration Dist. no. 4318, Registration no. 305.  Death record for Augusta Desens.

[3] Ibid

[4] Year: 1910; Census Place: Proviso, Cook, Illinois; Roll: T624_240; Page: 18B; Enumeration District: 0088; FHL microfilm: 1374253.  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] The National Archives at Washington, D.C.; Washington, D.C.; Records of the US Customs Service, RG36; NAI Number: 2655153; Record Group Title: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 1787-2004; Record Group Number: 85.  Source Information:  Ancestry.com. Baltimore, Passenger Lists, 1820-1964 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006.  Original data: Selected Passenger and Crew Lists and Manifests. National Archives, Washington, D.C.

[7] Illinois, Cook, Forest Park, Forest Park Review, July 18, 1925, Pg. 1. (front Page).  Obituary for Augusta Desens

[8] Ibid.

[9] Illinois, Cook, Forest Park, St. John Lutheran Church, St John Congregational books 1887 0 1905, Pg. 70 #1711 22, Pg. 85 #1888 28, Pg. 100 #2/278 51.

[10] Year: 1900; Census Place: Proviso, Cook, Illinois; Roll: 294; Page: 53; Enumeration District: 1182; FHL microfilm: 1240294.  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.

[11] Year: 1910; Census Place: Proviso, Cook, Illinois; Roll: T624_240; Page: 18B; Enumeration District: 0088; FHL microfilm: 1374253.  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.

[12] Year: 1900; Census Place: Proviso, Cook, Illinois; Roll: 294; Page: 53; Enumeration District: 1182; FHL microfilm: 1240294.  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.

[13] Year: 1910; Census Place: Proviso, Cook, Illinois; Roll: T624_240; Page: 18B; Enumeration District: 0088; FHL microfilm: 1374253.  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.

[14] Told to Author by George Manfroid and Louis Schultz, grandsons of Augusta Desens.

[15] State of Illinois, County of Cook, City of Chicago, Standard Certificate of Death, Registration Dist. No. 3104, Registration no. 1050.  Death record of Carl Desens.

[16] Year: 1910; Census Place: Proviso, Cook, Illinois; Roll: T624_240; Page: 18B; Enumeration District: 0088; FHL microfilm: 1374253.  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: Proviso, Cook, Illinois; Roll: 294; Page: 53; Enumeration District: 1182; FHL microfilm: 1240294.  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.

[18] Ibid.

[19] Year: 1890; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Microfilm Roll: Roll 549; Line: 12; List Number: 732.  Source Information:  Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.  Original data:  Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, New York, 1820-1897. Microfilm Publication M237, 675 rolls. NAI: 6256867. Records of the U.S. Customs Service, Record Group 36. National Archives at Washington, D.C.

[20] Ibid.

[21] Ancestry.com. U.S., Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, Records, 1875-1940 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015. Original data: Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. ELCA, Birth, Marriage, Deaths. Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, Chicago, Illinois.

[22] State of Illinois, County of Cook, City of Chicago, Standard Certificate of Death, Registration Dist. No. 3104, Registration no. 1050.  Death record of Carl Desens.

[23] State of Illinois, county of Cook, city of Oak Park, Standard Certificate of Death, Registration Dist. no. 4318, Registration no. 305.  Death record for Augusta Desens.

[24] Cemertery Records, Woodlawn Cemetery, 7600 West Cermak Road, Forest Park, Illinois, Woodland Section, Part 4, Lot 711, graves 4 & 5.

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Dear Grandma

Grandma Manfroid

Helen Desens

I never knew my paternal Grandmother because she died six months before I was born.  For some reason, I have always felt a connection to her even as a little girl.  I thought I would write her a letter to let her know my feelings for her, and the questions I would ask her if I could talk to her.

Dear Grandma,

We have never met, but I hope you know me.  You died six months before I was born.  I wish that I could have known you the way I knew my other Grandmother.  All I have are a few scant stories of you.  My dad said you had a great sense of humor and that you could be sarcastic.  I might have inherited the sarcasm from you.  I wonder how much we are alike.   Do I look like you, is my personality like you?  If we could sit down to lunch and talk, I would ask you so many questions.  What was your childhood like?  How did you meet my grandfather?  How did you feel when my father was born?  Were you happy?  What was it like to have a mentally challenged son?  What were your favorite subjects in school?  How far did you go in school?  Did you work and if so where did you work?  Were you a good cook?  Did you sew, crochet, knit?  You could tell me about your sisters and brothers and your parents.  You could tell me family stories.  What was it like to live though the depression, WWI and WWII? You went to Lutheran School and Church so I guess you would believe in God and Jesus Christ.  Maybe we talk about religion and our beliefs.  I would ask you about your health.  When you were sick were you afraid?  Were you afraid of dying?  Since my dad and his brother are 14 years apart, did you have a hard time conceiving?  Did you want more children, did you lose any children?  I wish I had better pictures of you.  So that I could close my eyes see what you looked like.  I wish I had a recording of your voice so I would know what your voice sounded like. When I was a little kid I would envision you looking down at me from heaven, and I would have conversations with you.  I always felt like my father’s side of the family was missing.  We had so little contact with any of them.  As I do my research, I find that my father had a lot of cousins and they had children, yet I only knew a few.   I wish I had some recipes that you handed down to me.  You could have taught me to cook your favorites or my father’s favorites.  There are so many things I do not know about you.  I would hope that you would like me and be proud of me.  I could introduce you to my husband and your great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren.  How can I miss someone I never knew, yet I miss you and have missed you my entire life.  Some day we shall meet.  Until then I love you.  Rest in Peace, Grandma.

Love from your Granddaughter,

Abigail

A short biography of Helen Desens

Helen Desens was born on March 23, 1901 at home to Carl Desens and Augusta Gabbei in Forest Park, Illinois.[1]  She was the youngest of eight children (5 sisters and 2 brothers).[2]  She was baptized at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Forest Park, Illinois.[3]  She grew up in Forest Park and attended St. John Lutheran School and Church.[4]  She was confirmed at St. John Lutheran Church.[5]  On March 22, 1919 she married George Manfroid in Wheaton, Illinois.[6]  They made their home in Forest Park and later moved to Elmhurst, Illinois.[7]  They had two sons, George and Donald.[8] Helen suffered for 4 years from Chronic Parenchymatous Nephritis.[9] Helen died of Uremia on September 4, 1946 in Elmhurst Memorial Hospital in Elmhurst, Illinois at the young age of 45.[10] Helen is buried at Chapel Hill Gardens, West in Elmhurst, Illinois alongside her husband, George.[11]

Copyright ©2017 Gail Grunst

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Footnotes

[1] Ancestry.com. U.S., Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, Records, 1875-1940 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015. Original data: Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. ELCA, Birth, Marriage, Deaths. Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, Chicago, Illinois.

[2] 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] Ancestry.com. U.S., Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, Records, 1875-1940 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015. Original data: Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. ELCA, Birth, Marriage, Deaths. Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, Chicago, Illinois

[4] Told to the author by Helen’s Son, George

[5] St. John’s Congregational book 1908 – 1926, Page 227.

[6] Marriage license and return.  Illinois, Dupage, Wheaton, Illinois State Board of Health,  County Clerks Office.

[7] Told to Author by Helen’s son George.

[8] Personal knowledge of Author.

[9] Certificate of Death, Registration Dist. 231, No. # 22743, State of Illinois, County of DuPage, City of Elmhurst, County Clerks Office.

[10] Certificate of Death, Registration Dist. 231, No. # 22743, State of Illinois, County of DuPage, City of Elmhurst, County Clerks Office.

[11] Cemetery Records, Chapel Hill Gardens, West, Roosevelt Rd. at Route 83, Elmhurst, Illinois.