"A family tree can wither if nobody tends its roots."

Feb6th2015

Chicago’s Finest

by  Phyllis Zeck

Bernard (Skip) Del Principe

Bernard (Skip) Del Principe

This wonderful photo of Bernie (Skip) Del Principe Jr (1931-1988) was sent to me by his daughter Sandy.  It was taken on Dekalb St.  The 1940 census lists Bernie Sr and Florence’s address as 2031 Dekalb St. They were renting their home.  Bernie’s occupation was a “packer” for a department store and his income for the year was $1,040.00.  

Sandy’s great grandfather Amelio (Emil) and my grandfather Gilbert were brothers. Below is the birth record for Bernard Sr. Click to enlarge. 

Bernard Del Principe BirthHe was the first child born to Emil and Rose (age 17) at their home at 612 Jefferson St in Chicago on 14 Nov 1911. Emil’s occupation is Accordion Maker.  Rose and Emil had four more children; Anne born in 1914, Nora born in 1915, William born in 1917, and Eleanore born in 1920.

Emil & Rose 1943

Emil & Rose 1943

Bernard married Florence and they had four children; Bernard Jr (Skip), Rosemary, Patricia, and William.  Skip was was a police officer for the city of Chicago.  Click here for an obituary for Skip’s father Bernard Sr Obituary 1984 and for his mother Rose Solomon Rose 1957 Obituary.  You can read more posts about Emil and Rose’s family by scrolling the right side of any page to the “categories” section and click on Amelio’s name.

The photos below are of a watch given to Skip by his grandmother Rose.  I’ll add them to our family heirloom page.  The inscription reads “Rose to Emil 1938″.  Click to enlarge.  Thank you so much for sharing these photos Sandy.

 

 
 

Jan31st2015

When Liboria Met Carmino

by  Phyllis Zeck

Giuseppe Donato (click to enlarge)

Giuseppe Donato (click to enlarge)

In 2013 I wrote a blog post about Catie’s ancestors which you can read here. Catie’s 4th great grandfather Vincenzo and my great grandfather Pietro Del Principe were brothers.  

Giuseppe Donato (Daniel) (born 1863) and Marie Concette D’Addezio (born 1865) are Catie’s 3rd great grandparents. In the 1920 census Donato’s address was 39 Euston St in Clearfield Pennsylvania.  In 1924 Donato died in Pennsylvania and is buried in St Catherine’s Cemetery.  Donato died at the age of 60 of tuberculosis, he was a coal minor. Concette died in Buffalo, NY.  Click here to read Concetta’s death certificate 03 Jun 1933.    Donato and Concetta had 5 children: Liboria (Laura), Nocola Vincenzo (James), Leonardo, Angelo, and Vittorio.  

Liboria (Laura) Del Principe

Liboria (Laura) Del Principe

Liboria (Laura) Del Principe and Carmino Mucci are Catie’s 2nd great grandparents.  When Liboria met Carmino she had no idea of the tough road that was ahead for her. Liboria is one of our strongest female Del Principe ancestors!  She was born in Italy in 1889 and died in Buffalo, NY in 1968. Click here to see Liboria and Carmino’s marriage license.  She was pregnant with her 8th child when her husband Carmino was killed in a mining accident on 23 Nov 1917.  He was killed by rock fall when he was only 34 years old.  Liboria named their last child Carmine after his father.  Click here to read an Obituary for Carmine Mucci. Catie and I both ponder over how Laura supported all those children. Carmino worked for the Cascade Mine and Coke Works in Sykesville, PA which is 275 miles west of Manhattan.  The mine closed in 1939 and Catie has shared the following article about the closure Coal Mine Closure 02 Jan 1939.  Below are some photos of the abandoned mine, click to enlarge.

Eriton Mine 1920's Pennslyvania

Eriton Mine 1920’s Pennsylvania

Liboria married Phillip Ventura and had two more children; Olga and Angeline (born in 1925).  In the 1930 census we found her in Buffalo, NY living with her mother and her brothers James, Leonard, and Angelo.  She was a widow for the second time.  Tragedy struck again on 10 Aug 1932 when Liboria’s first child died at the age of 23 after a brief illness. Obituary for Pasquale (Patsy) Mucci.  

 

Cascade Mine & Coke Works

Cascade Mine & Coke Works

Cascade Mine & Coke Works

Cascade Mine & Coke Works

It just so happens that I am in the middle of reading John Grisham’s newest novel called Gray Mountain.  If you want to read more about what life is like for the coal miner’s family you should read the book.  It’s an engrossing story of life in a small town in the heart of Appalachia (in Virginia) and the horrors of strip mining and black lung disease.  Thank you Catie for sharing your documents, stories, and photos!

 
 

Jan21st2015

Battle at Deserted House in Suffolk VA

by  Phyllis Zeck

I was amazed to discover that my 2nd great grandfather Charles (Carl) Frey III volunteered for the Civil War.  Click here for my blog post.  Carl was my paternal 2nd great grandfather.  Click here Frey Hourglass Chart to see highlighted names of my lineage through my father, Robert Winike. Charles enlisted into Company 2nd Battery Wisconsin Light Artillery. Charles left the service as a Corporal.

I decided to write to the Wisconsin Veterans Museum Foundation to see if I could have access to any of his military records.  Laura was very helpful and provided me with information of how to obtain Charles’ Certificate of Service and his Muster & Descriptive Roll. Laura confirmed that Charles (Carl) enlisted on 14 Dec 1861 in Monroe, Wisconsin for a three year term.  Then on 07 Dec 1863 he reenlisted at Fort Monroe in Hampton, VA.  This fort is 30 miles north of Norfolk, VA.  My sister Lori and I vacationed in Norfolk a few years ago.  If I had only started my research earlier we could have visited Fort Monroe!  

Laura explained that enlistment & discharge and mustering in & out are slightly different.  Enlistment means the day the soldier signed up, discharge is the day they were honorable separated from the military.  Mustered in means the date they were assigned a regiment and unit, mustered out means the date they were released from service.  You can read the entries for Charles Descriptive Roll (line 63) by clicking here for page1 Frey Charles and clicking here for page 2 Frey Charles.   

In Laura’s email she told me she was mailing me Charles’ Certificate Of Service. Charles (Carl) Frey You all know by now that when I find out genealogy information is “in the mail” I am terrible at waiting patiently for the envelope to arrive!  Click on the image to the right to enlarge it.  This document states that Charles (Carl) mustered into service on 10 Oct 1861.  They left Wisconsin 21 Jan 1862 proceeding to Washington DC and Fort Monroe in Virginia.  In January 1863 they were moved to Suffolk, Virginia.  The unit was later moved to Williamsburg, VA and in July to Yorktown, VA.  I wish I had know this information when my family visited Williamsburg and Yorktown.  Why does this keep happening to me?!

Charles’ company saw action on 30 Jan 1863 at Deserted House or Kelly’s Store. Neither the Confederate nor the Union soldiers declared victory at this battle.  There were more Union deaths and injuries but the Confederates withdrew from the battlefield.  Deaths totaled 22 Union and 8 Confederate soldiers however Suffolk remained in the Union hands.

Courtesy of Baylor University

Courtesy of Baylor University

This magnificent map is the property of Baylor University. The image is reprinted with permission from the War of the Rebellion Atlas digital collection. It was produced by the US Government.  You can click on the image to enlarge it.

 
 

Jan11th2015

Photo Help

by  Phyllis Zeck

Does anyone know who is in following photos?  Photo number one is my grandfather Gilbert.  The back of the photo says “Pete, Philly, Leona, and Turk”.  Photo number two -we were told that the brothers lured Pietro to the roof top to snap his photo, he hated to have his photo taken.  I think Gilbert is with Pietro.  Photos number three and four are unknown.

 
 

Dec30th2014

A Civil War Soldier

by  Phyllis Zeck

Robert Thomas Winike

Robert Thomas Winike

Today my father Robert Thomas Winike would have been 86 years old.  He died in 1970 when he was 41 from lung cancer. Click on the image to the left to enlarge.  My father is on the far left, third row from the top.  One of my goals this year was to find out more about dad’s father Frank.  I have not been successful in my search for my grandfather’s story but I have uncovered some wonderful research about my father’s great grandfather.  So today we celebrate a Civil War hero.

My second great grandfather, Charles Frey, was born in Germany in Jan 1842. He immigrated to Monroe, Wisconsin in 1854 at the age of 12. I don’t yet know who he traveled to the U.S. with or why he left his homeland.  Scan 1

Charles married Anna Rinehart in 1866 and they had a daughter named Matilda (Tillie) in 1880, my great grandmother.  Tillie married Edward Norder on New Year’s day in 1902.  They had a daughter named Grace in 1908, my grandmother.  Grace married Frank Winike and they had a son named Robert in 1928, my father.

The photo above is Joe Rachor, my mother Corinne, and my father Robert. Dad’s mother Grace is sitting with my brother Bob. The photo below from left to right is my grandmother Grace, her second husband Joseph Rachor, Grace’s sister??, and my father.  I don’t know the name of the child.

Dad 2 Scan

On 14 Oct 1861 at the age of 19 Charles enlisted in the civil war. His service was with the 2nd Battery Wisconsin Light Artillery. He volunteered for 3 years, then he re-enlisted and was discharged 10 Jul 1865. This is the first family member that I am able to document who served in the Civil War. This is a huge discovery for me.  I have visited Fredericksburg and Gettysburg and can’t believe what these brave soldiers went through on the battle field. My 2nd great grandfather served for 3 years, 8 months and 26 days.

Click here (line 9) to read a pdf from the United States Census of Union Veterans and Widows of the Civil War 1890.  This document was found at the FamilySearch website.  The document states Charles was a corporal and served from 14 October 1861 to 10 July 1865.  He was wounded when he was kicked by a horse in his left side (see lower section of document, line 9).

The image below left is the “Military Pension file for 1861-1934″ for Charles. It shows his wife as Anna Frey.  It was filed 24 Feb 1890 in Wisconsin and listed Charles as an invalid.  He died on 17 May 1901 and his widow received the benefits.  The first pension law for Union widows, orphans and disabled soldiers was enacted in 1862.  Records indicate that only 12 men died in Charles Battery and the loss was due to disease.  Click to enlarge the photos.

The image above right is a Civil War Military Pension Index for 1861-1917 from Fold3.  It shows Charles served in Company 2, Wisconsin Light Artillery and is dated 24 Feb 1890.    I believe the original documents are found on microfilm M559, Roll 10.  We can obtain copies from NARA in person or by filling out a form online on this page.  The cost is $80.00 for up to 100 pages.  This record is whispering “buy me”.  It’s tempting!

Click this NPS page to view another clue about Charles.  His name was recorded as Carl Frey III.  Now I can search for his father and grandfather under the names of Carl or Charles. This page confirms that he enlisted as a private and was discharged as a corporal. Click this NPS page to read where Charles unit served through out the war.

All Civil War Army pensions application files at NARA are in the “Civil War and Later” series in Record Group 15.  The majority of these files are not microfilmed or digitized but some are at Fold3. A widow’s pension was $8.00 per month.  I went to the section called “United States Census of Union Veterans and Widows of the Civil War, 1890″ and typed in Charles name.  His record did not come up but you can click here to read a pdf of a Declaration – Widow’s Army Pension that my great grandfather was a witness to.  This document tells us so much.  It’s dated 08 Jul 1864 from the county of Milwaukie, state of Wisconsin.  Henrietta Schroeder Gessner is 37 years old and has two children.  Her husband, Heinrich Gessner was killed in battle 19 Jun 1864.  The document asks Henrietta to swear that the following facts are true: the name of Heinrich’s commander, the name of his company, that Heinrich was a private, and that he “was killed by a musket ball fired by the enemy near Marietta, GA.” She states that she was Heinrich’s wife and gives the date of the marriage, who married them and that she is still a widow and is asked to attach her marriage certificate.  She provides two witnesses to attest that she is Heinrich’s widow and Charles Frey is one of them.  Charles signed the document “Carl Frey”.  Now we have a record of what his signature looked like, plus we have a clue we need for future searches, he went by the name of Charles and Carl.

Civil War Light Artillery Monument

Civil War Light Artillery Monument

In 1866 when he was 24 Charles married Anna Rinehart (born in 1848) and they had five children: Edward born 1866, George born 1872, Albert, Matilda (Tillie) born 1880, and Magdalena born 1887.  The 1900 census lists Charles occupation as a carpenter living at 336 Main St in Monroe, Wisconsin.  He owned his home free of a mortgage.  Charles served almost the entire length of the Civil War.  He passed away in Monroe Wisconsin on 17 May 1901 at the age of 59.

How did this wonderful story get lost in our family?  I’m so grateful for paper trails that help us learn about our ancestors lives and where we came from so we can share their amazing stories with our children.