Wednesday, July 31, 2019

View from Nats Park

Photo by Patrick Jones. Nats v Dodgers, 26 Jul 2019
Last Friday the family went to the Nationals v Dodgers game at Nats Park in DC. We saw a good one, as it was tied 1-1 in the 7th inning before the Dodgers hit a three-run home run to take the lead. The Nats had a chance to win at the end, down 4-2 with bases loaded and two outs. If that was my one game of the season it was pretty fun. Perhaps this was a potential National League playoff preview.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Stories we have from those who wrote before

A week ago I shared a photo sent to me by Allison's Mom of Marie Freyling, sister of Allison's great-grandfather Alfred Freyling Sr. Marie was a keeper of the Freyling and Rech family history, having received information passed down from her mother and collected in stories from others in the family. She compiled a book of stories, photos and other recollections, titled The Descendants of Stephen and Katharine (Wagner) Freyling and Nicholaus & Susanna (Euler) Rech. While cleaning out my family history filing cabinet over the weekend I located a copy of the book. I am going to share some extracts of the book here.

Marie Elizabeth Freyling

"The farm in Indiana where I was born and where I lived until my fifteenth year was bought by my father, John Freyling, before his marriage to my Mother, Carrie Rech Freyling. The house and other farm buildings were located on a bluff which offered a splendid view of the countryside for miles in each direction and during any season of the year. The house had been vacated for years and the land, although at least partially developed, had lain idle for years. The neglected trees, shrubbery, and flowers and grass had formed a wilderness about the house. To gain entrance to the house, it was necessary for my father and a couple of friends to chop a path through the ironweeds, which had grown to a height of more than six feet. To lessen the hardships which my mother would be facing, a two-holer privy (toilet) was erected several yards from the back door of the house."

"The farm lay among the rolling hills of Warrick County, Indiana. The approach to the house and other buildings was by a lane, leading off a dirt road which crossed the main highway several hundred yards back to the Northeast."

"There was the 'Old House', located a few yards from the house in which we lived. The 'Old House' consisted of a one story, one room building with an attic. The attic was reached by means of a removable ladder. The Old House had served as a dwelling for the mother of the former owner of the farm. My parents used the Old House as a storage place for various and sundry items. During harvesting season, it was used for the temporary storage of wheat, corn, potatoes and popcorn (on the cob). In the Spring, it was used during a rainstorm to shelter baby chickens (which we called 'biddies' when we were children), ducks, geese, turkeys and guineas. At butchering time, it was in the 'Old House' where Papa and neighbors worked far into the night finishing the job of butchering; trimming hams, stuffing sausage, etc. In the attic were numerous items of cast-offs such as furniture, household utensils, etc., some of which could have qualified as antiques. There were several cases of discarded photograph plates from Uncle Will's (Rech) 'gallery' (photograph shop). These glass plates were rectangular in shape - the size of small window panes on which were images of persons and places which Uncle Will (Rech) had photographed. That was long before the day of photograph film."

"This was researched and written by Marie Freyling sometime in the 1960's."

"Our entire farm served us Freyling children as a choice playground, offering endless delightful experiences such as are afforded few children, especially in the present Atomic Age."

"Marie Elizabeth Freyling loved to be outdoors and especially around her father John and brother Alfred. She attended high school but am unable to find the last grade that she attended, however, she got employment with Servel Inc. in Evansville which lasted for years. She became a private secretary of the Vice President of the Corporation. In May 1930 Servel had a celebration of their One Hundred Thousand refrigerator manufactured in Evansville. At that time they had 4,000 people on the payroll. There was a large parade with floats and a Queen, named Emma Flentke. Will Maurer took her mother, Carrie Freyling, to the celebration."

"Marie had a good friend, Eva Melton, who went with her on a trip to Louisville, KY. Eva was a beautician. On April 30, 1938, Marie and her mother (Carrie) left Evansville for a new home in Los Angeles. They stayed with Ruth and Walter Storck from April 15th to April 30th before they left for California because their lease had expired on their apartment on Blackford Avenue."

"In October 1938, Marie received a telegram from Servel (from her previous boss) that he had recommended her for a position with the Civil Service for the Navy Department. She was a private secretary to many Naval Officers (from commanders to captains) until her retirement. During those years she had to change bosses every two years or so because one would be shipped overseas. When asked how she was able to handle the constant change, she said it wasn't too bad...she would throw lots of things over my shoulder and concentrate on the next one. She was awarded a certificate of honor for her efforts and work in the Navy Department. Later, she was diagnosed as having glacoma and soon became interested in learning and transcribing braille. She had a certificate for her volunteer efforts in the community pertaining to glaucoma."

"After her retirement, Marie became interested in family genealogy. Along with her sister, Caroline, they began to work and do research. They decided to take a trip to Wachenheim, Germany, and check the old courthouse for more information. There they found many items and dates that they were unable to find in the States. They felt the trip was very productive. (We think so too!)"

"The following letter is from Marie Freyling sent to her niece, Jeanette Storck Sach, January 23, 1984. It reads: 'When Carolyn and I went to Germany in 1967, we started with a group on a tour of the British Islands. The tour ended in London, after which we were on our own. However, our travel agent had arranged our hotel reservations and transportation reservations. Also, they had a guide meet us on our arrival in each city and take us to the hotel. We were on our own until it was time to leave for the next place...when the guide would pick us up at the hotel and take us to the place of departure.'

'The travel agent had routed us from London to Cologne, where he wanted us to see the famous ancient cathedral. Then to Wiesbaden for a day after which we took a steamer on the Rhine River. In Munich, points of interest included the chimes of bells which took place every day at noon. We made a side trip to see the famous Hohenschwangau Castle, the residence of Ludwig II, Mad King of Bavaria. Then to Heidelburg, where we saw the famous wine cask in the cellar of the cast - constructed in 1751 - capacity 200,000 bottles. From Heidelburg to Wachenheim, where we spent two or three days. Then to Durkheim, about a half hour bus ride from Wachenheim, where we spent the night because it was so cold in the hotel in Wachenheim. Next morning went to Frankfurt. Didn't have long to stay there before it was time to board the plane to return to the US.'

'Jeanette, I hope this little bit of information will be of help to you. Sorry I'm so late about replying, but it couldn't be helped. Will put this in the mail before it is further delayed. Am on my way to keep foot doctor appointment. Love, Marie'

"In 1974 and 1975 Marie gave up some of her research in order to take care of her sister, Caroline, who had a bout with cancer. Just prior to this time, Marie, Louise, & Caroline, took a trip together to Hawaii. They had a great time and it was the last time that the three sisters were together."

"Marie Freyling spent her remaining years with her sister Kathryn, who lived in San Francisco, CA. Kathryn's husband had passed away (Uncle Bill Murphree) a few years prior."

This is a great recollection of Marie's life and travels.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Cleaning out old files

I'm in the process of some summer cleaning, including tackling a large filing cabinet of unorganized family history files. For many of the papers, it was time for them to meet the shredder. For others, I've taken photos to preserve the memories before the papers are trashed or shredded. Here are some examples below:

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Following the journey of the Rech family

Back in 2012, I wrote about the arrival of the Rech family in the United States. Ancestry has images of German marriage records, and I located the marriage record for Nicolaus Rech to both Elisabetha Euler and her sister, Susanna Euler.
Source: Ancestry. 
Nicolaus married Elisabetha Euler on 22 April 1846. The record shows his birth date as 10 September 1815, Elisabetha's birth date as 1 November 1820. Elisabetha's older brother Jacob Euler married Nicolaus' sister, Anna Maria Rech, on 15 February 1849. Nicolaus served as a witness to their marriage.

Elisabetha passed away on 17 May 1850. Before then, she and Nicolaus had three children:
- Anna Maria Rech, 6 March 1847 to 5 February 1870
- Heinrich Rech, 21 August 1848 to 1 June 1850
- George Rech, 7 October 1849 to 19 June 1938

Left with young children, Nicolaus then married Elisabetha's sister, Susanna on 3 October 1850. The record shows Susanna was born on 30 May 1823.
Source: Ancestry. 
Nicolaus and Susanna had son Jacob and daughter Elisabeth in Wachenheim before they made the journey to America in 1854.

The German records trace the Rech and Euler family lines back quite far. I'll spend a bit more time following these lines before shifting back to generations in Indiana.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Susanna's Will

Yesterday's post covered the will of Nicholas Rech. Today's looks at his wife, Susanna Euler Rech. Her will was entered into probate in Vanderburgh County, Indiana on 18 May 1893. The will is written entirely in German. Although Susanna had been in the US for 39 years, it appears she still wrote in German. My German skills are limited, even after living there for a year (over 30 years ago) and taking four years of German in high school. The script is particularly challenging but I include a screen shot of the will below.
Source: Ancestry. Indiana Wills. 1893.
By my best reading of the script, the will was made on 12 November 1890. She left $300 to her son Jacob Rech. Then she left $700 to son William Rech. She left $350 to daughter Susanna Rech, and $125 to daughter Elizabeth Rech. She left $50 to daughter Caroline, and $5 to step-son George. Susanna also left $5 to George Kratz, who had married step-daughter Anna Maria Rech (she died in 1870). It appears that she signed the will in her own hand, her signature is below.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Will of Nicholas Rech

New documents appear all the time on Ancestry and FamilySearch, so it useful to check periodically to see if scanning and transcriptions reveal something I may have overlooked on both sides of our family tree.  Below is a set of screen shots from the will of Allison's 3rd-great-grandfather Nicholas Rech. The will is dated 29 December 1868 in Vanderburgh County, Indiana.
Source: Ancestry. Indiana Wills & Probate Records. 1868.

Nicholas left everything to his wife, Susanna Euler Rech. The will includes what I believe to be Nicholas' signature:
Signature from the will of Nicholas Rech. 29 Dec 1868.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Marie, 1920 & 1921

Earlier in the week Allison's Mom sent me a photo of Marie Elizabeth Freyling (sister of Allison's great-grandfather Alfred S. Freyling Sr.). The photo is dated 1920, from the Zion Evangelical Sunday School in Warrick County, Indiana. I compared this portrait with Marie in the family reunion photo taken in 1921. She would have been 20 in the Sunday School photo.

Marie later moved to California with her mother and sisters, and lived in Downtown LA during the early 1940s.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Addendum 1952

A few additional pages were in the Alien Case File for Maria Jesus Campuzano de Grijalva from 1952, twenty years after the initial submission for her alien registration. The new document was filed for a replacement registration card, and included an updated photo.
Alien Case File from USCIS, Source: US National Archives. 1952.
As I comparison I have put her photo from the 1932 registration below.

Monday, July 22, 2019

The Case File

Page from Alien Case File for Maria Jesus Campuzano. US National Archives.
Earlier in the month I mentioned receiving a copy of the Alien Case File for Maria Jesus Campuzano, sister of my great-grandfather Plutarco Campuzano. I'm now diving into writing about the contents of the file. The documents in the set contain a wealth of information, along with photos and testimony in support of her application. The file includes several references to my 2nd-great-grandfather and describes how the family initially came to Arizona in 1915. I already knew about Vicente's arrival date based on earlier research, but it is still fascinating to read about their arrival through this other account.

In June 1932, Maria Jesus completed an alien registration document. The document includes the addresses where she lived in Tucson and Arivaca between 1915 and 1932.

The file confirms she was born in Pitiquito, Sonora on 28 June 1891, which matches her birth record in Mexico. It also says she came to the US by horse-drawn wagon on 15 December 1915 with her father Vicente, her husband Francisco Grijalva, sister Concha Campuzano, brother Plutarco Campuzano and son Francisco Grijalva Jr. Plutarco had already come to the US in January 1915, so he must have crossed back earlier in the year. The document says they were coming to visit Ernesto Freeling in 1932, but this is a misspelling. They were coming to visit Ernesto Freilinger, who would marry Vicente's niece, Mariana Campuzano, in February 1916.

Maria Jesus had her affidavit and testimony in support of her application taken in Spanish and transcribed to English by an examining officer in Tucson in June 1932.

The file includes testimony in support by Miguel Martinez and Margarita Bustamante. I believe Margarita was a distant cousin. Maria Jesus says her husband Francisco rented a house from the Bustamante family when they first arrived in Tucson. I think Margarita was a sister of Victor Bustamante, who was married to Sara Suastegui, daughter of my 4th-great-grandfather Pedro Suastegui. Pedro was Maria Jesus' great-grandfather through her mother Maria Jesus Vasquez.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Montevideo Street Art

Photo by Patrick Jones. Street art in Montevideo, UY. 18 July 2019.
I'm back from a week of trainings at the office in Montevideo, Uruguay. I will be returning to the story I hinted at last week in my post on the Alien case file for Maria Jesus Campuzano.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Recovering the past

Source: R. Salazar. Campuzano Family, Undated.
This week I received an amazing file from the National Archives, the Alien Case File for Maria Jesus Campuzano de Grijalva, oldest daughter of my 2nd-great-grandfather Vicente Campuzano. The photo above was shared to me back in 2015 by a granddaughter of Maria Jesus, and it shows Maria Jesus on the left, with likely Vicente's second wife Beatris Palacios, then Vicente. The young man to the right of him I think was my great-grandfather Plutarco Campuzano, followed by his sister Concha Campuzano on the end. The photo is undated, but given the age on Vicente's face, I think this is from 1920s, perhaps taken in Arizona or Sonora.

The A-file from the Archives includes two photos of Maria Jesus, one from 1951, and another from 1932. The 1932 photo looks a lot like her in the photo above.
Maria Jesus, A-file page dated 1932
The file includes a wealth of information about how Maria Jesus, as well as her father and siblings, came to the United States. I will be sharing some extracts from the file.

I am also preparing for another business trip, so the follow-up on this amazing story may need to wait a few days. But it's going to be worth it.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Safford Junior High 1935-1937

Source: Safford Junior High Archives
While doing some research, I stumbled onto this photo from Safford Junior High in Tucson, Arizona. I think the photo has cousins of my Granny. The photo is dated class of 1935-1936-1937. I know from earlier research my Granny and her sister and cousins were at Safford in 1940. From newspaper archives my Granny and her sister Jessie were at Ochoa School in 1937. My Granny graduated from Safford in 1942.

Either way it is a cool photo. A hopeful and happy looking bunch.

Thursday, July 11, 2019


Photo by Patrick Jones. Ramparts at Essaouira, 19 June 2019.
Before the meetings in Marrakech, I was able to enjoy a bit of relaxation in the beach towns of Essaouira and Sidi Kaouki in Morocco. Essaouira was featured recently in Game of Thrones and is also the home of the annual Gnaoua Music Festival. I was in the town during the set up for the stages for the festival, and was able to see live music from some early arrivals doing sound checks.

Photo by Patrick Jones. Sidi Kaouki Beach.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Door in Essaouira.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Mural in Essaouira. 18 June 2019.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Gnaoua Festival Main Stage. 19 June 2019.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Apollo 50

Next week marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing. I'll be out of the country, so I'm marking the anniversary on the blog this week. The photo below comes from the NASA Apollo 11 archive.
Source: NASA. Apollo 11 launch, 16 July 1969.
For those in DC next week, the Smithsonian will be projecting images and video from the Apollo 11 launch onto the Washington Monument. This looks really cool.

Monday, July 8, 2019

WWII Draft Card

Source: WWII Draft Card for Alvin Read.
I don't think I've shared this draft card before on the blog, this is for my great-grandfather Alvin Read. In February 1942, he was living in Berrien Springs, Michigan. Alvin listed his mother Mary Alice as the person who would always know his address. The card does not help shed much more light on his life in Berrien County, Michigan.

I previously shared some other WWII draft cards from the family back in March.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Digging again into family history

I'm trying to do a better job of looking up family history. In digging into some documents for a cousin, I stumbled onto this clipping mentioning my Granny, her sister Jessie, and two cousins, Mary Lou Grijalva and Betty Polito. The clipping is from the Arizona Daily Star, dated 26 April 1940.
Arizona Daily Star, 1940.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Colorful Dyes

Photo by Patrick Jones. Dyes in Marrakech Medina, 20 June 2019.

I am back from my latest business trip, 10 days in Morocco. This was my third trip to Morocco, first since 2016. I managed to take time for a cool experience before the meetings, enjoying my first surfing lesson on a quiet beach thirty minutes south of picturesque Essaouira. I'll have some photos from that trip coming up.