Saturday, January 30, 2016

Sepia Saturday - November 1968

Photo of boogie board owned by my Dad, 1968.
Possibly Texas, November 1968
The photos above were in an album from my parents. The photos on the pages near these two were dated November 1968. My Dad's name is written on the bottom corner of the boogie board in the photo above, but I do not know the story of how it split in half. I think these were taken in Texas, as there are several pages of photos from San Antonio near these two. I need to get the story.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Cobá Ruins, Eleven Years Ago

Photo by Patrick Jones. Cobá, Yucatan. Jan 2005.
After digging out from last weekend's storm, I am really looking forward to a return visit to the Yucatan in the near future. The photos above are from eleven years ago, when my wife and I rented a car and drove through the Yucatan, visiting Chichen Itza, Cobá, Tulum, Sian Ka'an bio reserve and other sites along the way. I think the kids are going to love it. I am interested to see how much has changed since our last time there.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Ball court at Cobá hiding in the jungle.
Photo by Patrick Jones. It's a long way down.

Photo by Patrick Jones. View from the top of the pyramid at Cobá.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Grand Central Market

Photo by Patrick Jones. Grand Central Market, Los Angeles. 3 Jan 2016.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Foodie Heaven. 3 Jan 2016.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Mural by Chubs, near Grand Central Market.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Bear mural near Grand Central Market.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Happy Blogiversary

In the unexpected return for Snowzilla (otherwise known as the Blizzard of 2016), I failed to mention I've now passed a milestone with this blog. I started this with a First Post on 22 January 2012, and now four years and nearly 1000 posts later I've been able to document a wide variety of family history stories, travel photos, historical images and other things of interest.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Wynwood Walls, Miami. 16 Jun 2015.

Henry's Early Years

Henry August Umbach Sr was born about 1861 or 1862, most likely in Evansville, Indiana. In my previous post, Henry's obituary card mentioned he had a half-brother named Ben Dietrich. This was a clue, which helped resolve a discrepancy in the 1870 US Census. In that record, 48 year old Dorota Umbach appears as a widowed washerwoman, with a 10 year old son named Benjamin, 8 year old Henry, 6 year old William and 2 year old Louis.

It took a little digging but I found a marriage record for Wilhelm Umbach and Dorothea Diedrich on 29 September 1864 in Evansville, Indiana. Dorothea was Wilhelm's second wife. Her maiden name was Sophia Dorothea Dahle. Wilhelm's first wife, Henry's mother, was Anna Elizabeth Engelhardt. She died on 15 June 1864 in Evansville, probably in childbirth with son William, who was born in 1864. This makes Louis Umbach the son of Dorothea and Wilhelm, and he was born on 18 December 1867 in Evansville.

Wilhelm, Anna Elizabeth and a 16 year old "C. Umbach" appear on a New Orleans Passenger list, arriving on the ship Neptune from Bremen, Germany, on 31 October 1859.

I have not found Wilhelm in the 1860 US Census in Evansville, but I did find him in the 1865 City Directory.

Wilhelm Umbach died on 12 September 1867, which explains why Dorothea was on her own in the 1870 US Census. In the 1880 Census, Benjamin ("Benny"), William ("Willy"), Henry and Louis appear in Evansville, with Benjamin working as a shoemaker and "Willy" working as a tailor. I think the census taker swapped William and Henry, as Henry was older than William. It also is not clear who "Mary" is in this record, as she is not Dorothea Diedrich Umbach.

Benjamin, William and Louis went into business together in Evansville, with Ben making boots and shoes and William and Louis working as tailors. In the 1893 Evansville City Directory, it shows the brothers working as Diederich & Umbach.

Louis eventually moved west to Los Angeles, where he opened a tailor shop.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Returning to the Umbach Family

Earlier in the month, I wrote about my wife's 2nd-great-grandfather, Fred C. Umbach. He was the son of Henry August Umbach Sr. and Dorothy Marie Niedermeier, both first-generation Americans of German immigrants. The Umbachs were from Posey County, Indiana, in the southwestern corner of the state.

Henry and Dorothy were married on 12 July 1885 in Vanderburgh County, Indiana. The marriage record shows Henry was the son of Wilhelm Umbach and Elizabeth Engelhard.

In the 1910 US Census, Fred can be seen living in the household of his parents with his brother, Henry August Jr. and sister Frieda.
1910 US Census,
Ten years earlier, in the 1900 US Census, it shows Henry and Dorothy were living in Evansville, Indiana.

Fred's brother Henry August Jr. served in Company A, 37th Division during World War I. This news clipping from the Evansville Press shows that Henry Jr was sent to Europe in 1918. Their parents were living at 1434 John Street in Evansville at the time.
Source: Evansville Press, 2 Aug 1918.

In the 1920 US Census, the family appears in Ward 7, Evansville, Indiana.

The 1926 City Directory for Evansville shows that Henry was working in the press department at Sunbeam Electric Manufacturing Company.

Henry is buried in Locust Hill Cemetery in Evansville, Indiana. According to his Findagrave entry, Henry died on 17 March 1933, killed in an tragic accident involving a car and a firetruck in Evansville.
Photo from Findagrave.
Henry's obituary card from the Browning Library provides some important clues on his early life in Posey County. It lists a half-brother, Ben Dietrich of Evansville and William of California. I will have more on this in a subsequent post.
Source: Browning Genealogy database, Willard Library, Evansville.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Friday Photo - Snow Scenes in DC

Source: Library of Congress
While we are awaiting the arrival of Snowzilla here in DC, this is a collection of historic photos from past storms.
Source: Library of Congress. White House, 25 Nov 1938.
Source: Library of Congress. Snow removal in DC, Jan 1925.
Source: Library of Congress. DC in 1918.
Source: Library of Congress. DC in 1918.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Home Again

I've returned home a day early in order to avoid being stranded in Dubai from likely airport closures in DC once Blizzard 2016 arrives tomorrow into Saturday. Schools have already been cancelled for Friday, and I suspect if we actually get 2 feet of snow or more this weekend that schools will be closed Monday (and perhaps longer). We'll see how it goes.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Painting on display at ICANN LA office.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Soccer Field

I am in Istanbul for meetings this week. From our office we can see a soccer field, which was covered in snow from the weekend storm. A small group of players did not let the snow-capped field stop their play.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Soccer field in Istanbul. 19 Jan 2016.
Photo by Patrick Jones. 19 Jan 2016.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

More on Grandpa Koehler

Continuing the passages from the book "Genealogy of the John William and Maria Elizabeth Schwarzlose Family, 1853-1989" on Wilhelm "William" Henry Koehler: "Grandpa Koehler was our family doctor. He had a large medical book he used, and kept a supply of medicines that he purchased at the apothecary in downtown Evansville, walking over three miles each way. When anyone in the family felt ill, Grandpa was called. After checking and asking questions, he left some medicine with directions for use. Or, if he thought something was serious, he told us to call the doctor."
1930 US Census, via Ancestry

"Grandpa had a large arbor where he grew purple, white and red grapes, that he was very proud of. He always made wine at the end of summer. When company came on Sunday afternoon he always treated them to a small glass of wine."

"Grandpa had a sale in March, 1924 and quit farming. After Grandpa died in 1937 the old home place was sold, and Grandma lived in her smaller house with relatives."

William and Mary Elizabeth Schwarzlose Koehler had at least the following children:
- Elnora Minnie Koehler (1883-1973)
- Henry Koehler (1885-1887)
- Lydia Koehler (1887-1971)
- Emma Ella Koehler (1888-1980)
- Clara Ann Koehler (1890-1918)
- Elizabeth Koehler (1891-1911)
- Gideon Ernst Koehler (1893-1971)
- Hulda Frieda Koehler (1895-1973)
- Margaret Mary Koehler (1897-1982)
- Matilda Esther Koehler (1900-1941)

Friday, January 15, 2016

Friday Photo - Discovery

Photo by Patrick Jones. Space Shuttle Discovery, 28 Dec 2015.
Photo by Patrick Jones. At the National Air & Space Museum.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Grandpa Koehler and his Emergency Passport

In yesterday's post on Mary Elizabeth Schwarzlose Koehler, I quoted a passage from the book Genealogy of the John William and Maria Elizabeth Schwarzlose Family, 1853-1989 discussing Mary Elizabeth, her husband, William Henry Koehler, and their life in Evansville, Indiana. William was born Wilhelm Koehler on 2 April 1856 in Eppingen, a small town southeast of Heidelberg in Baden-Wurtemberg, Germany.

According to the book, "Before World War I, Grandpa went back to Germany to visit his relatives. While he was gone, the war started, and he was not heard from and was gone so long that everyone thought he had been killed in the war. One day he walked in at home and no one recognized him with a beard and a mustache that he hadn't had when he left." This story is confirmed in the Emergency US Passport Applications database on Ancestry, which shows William Koehler was issued a passport at the US Consulate in Mannheim, Germany on 19 August 1914, one month after the start of World War I. This is really a fantastic document, as captures William's birth date and town, his first arrival in the US, the date of his naturalization as a US citizen, the dates of his return to Germany and his signature.

William stated that he first arrived in the US aboard the ship Mosel, departing from Bremen in March 1880. While I did not find him in the passenger records for 1880, I did find a 20 year old Wilhelm Kohler who arrived in New York on the ship Mosel from Bremen on 28 April 1877. According to the Bremen Archives, the Mosel made a regular run between Bremen and New York.

The document indicates that William left the US on 22 May 1914, arriving in Bremen on 2 June 1914. The war began in July 1914. It is not clear when William returned, but his passport application shows he only intended to stay for 3 months.

Mannheim is a large city neighboring Heidelberg, so this would have been relatively close to his family home in Eppingen.
Source: Google Maps.
 There's more on William, and on his German roots, which I will have in another post.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

A strong woman

Found among the research on the Koehler family in Vanderburgh County, Indiana is an article appearing the Evansville Press on 4 August 1919. My wife's 3rd-great-grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Schwarzlose Koehler, was gored by a cow. She was 60 years old then, survived the incident, and lived to be 96 years old.
Evansville Press, 4 Aug 1919

Mary was born on 8 February 1859 in West Salem, Edwards County, Illinois. She was a daughter of German immigrants John William Schwarzlose and Maria Elizabeth Hesse. The Schwarzlose family is featured in a book available via FamilySearch (see Genealogy of the John William and Maria Elizabeth Schwarzlose Family, 1853-1989).

Mary and William Henry Koehler were married on 30 January 1883 in West Salem, Illinois. They moved from Illinois to neighboring Vanderburgh County, Indiana. In the Schwarzlose book, there is a passage from Mildred Mary (Roser) Wilhoit who noted her grandparents moved to "rural Evansville, Indiana. Grandpa Koehler was a farmer and a gardener. Their home place was at what is now Highway 62 and 41. He owned much land down to Pidgeon Creek, and Highway 41 was once part of his property. There were ten children in the family. The older son died in infancy, and a daughter died in her early 20's. The rest all married and had families."
Photo via Schwarzlose book, page 8.

"The whole family attended Salem Evangelical Church in downtown Evansville, where sermons were preached in German on Sunday nights until 1900. The family was always together at Grandma and Grandpa's house for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Threshing time was also a big get together. The women all helped cook, and usually there were as many visitors as workers in the field. Many people from church loved to go to Koehler's for 'threshing'. And we kids loved to play in the straw piles."

Mary died on 29 December 1955 in Evansville, Indiana.

Thoughts with Istanbul

This morning I woke up to learn about another attack, this time in the historic and cultural heart of a city I have been lucky to experience several times in the past year. As with prior events in Paris, suburban Los Angeles, Beirut, and countless others, innocent people were hurt and killed. My thoughts go out to them, their families, and my friends and colleagues who live in Istanbul.
Photo by Patrick Jones. 16 Apr 2015. Hagia Sophia.
Photo by Patrick Jones. 16 Apr 2015. Sultanahmet.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Emma Koehler Umbach

Continuing with a walk back on my wife's side of the family tree, her 2nd-great-grandmother Emma Ella Koehler Umbach survived husband Fred Umbach by 18 years. She was 92 years old when she passed away on 16 December 1980. According to her obituary, she was survived by a sister, two daughters, 11 grandchildren, 29 great-grandchildren and 9 great-great-grandchildren (including my wife and her brother).
Source: Browning Genealogy database, Evansville.

Emma was born on 24 July 1888 in Lancaster, Wabash County, Illinois. Wabash County was also home for a time to my 4th-great-grandparents Asa Putnam Smith and Lucinda McIntosh. Emma's parents were William Henry Koehler and Mary Elizabeth Schwarzlose. She was the fourth of ten children. I will have much more on the Koehler and Schwarzlose families in the near future.

The Plumber

Over the Christmas break, I wrote about my wife's great-grandfather, Calvin Luther Halter. In the 1930 US Census, he and wife Helen Umbach Halter were living with Helen's parents, Fred C. Umbach and Emma Koehler Umbach in Evansville, Indiana. According to Fred's World War II draft registration card, he was born on 7 November 1885 in Posey County, Indiana. He was a master plumber who operated his own business., WWII Draft card for Fred C. Umbach.
Fred and Emma appear in the 1942 City Directory in Evansville (along with other Umbachs):

Looking at his World War I draft card, Fred's full name was written as Fredrick Charles Umbach. The card also shows he was tall, with brown eyes and light colored hair., WWI Draft card for Fred Umbach.

Fred and Emma were married on 31 March 1909 in Evansville, Vanderburgh County, Indiana. In the 1910 US Census, they appear with daughter Helen in Ward 7, Evansville. Fred was working in a leather store. Interestingly, in the 1920 US Census, Fred and Emma were living next door to Emma's parents. Her father's occupation was listed as tanner, so perhaps Fred got his start in Emma's father's store.
1910 US Census (via Ancestry)
1920 US Census (via Ancestry)
Fred and Emma had at least the following children:
- Helen Elva Umbach
- Elmer Frederick Umbach
- Clarence William Umbach
- Ruth Eleanor Umbach

Fred passed away on 14 September 1962 in Gary, Lake County, Indiana.