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Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Birthday Book - Part 2

I continue with July.............

3 - Beulah "Barry" Arnitz - 1899-1984
4 - Ruth Louise Gruenhagen - 1928-1958
4 - John Flanagan - 1916-1994
6 - Cheryl Marie Borchers 1962
10 - Marcia Lee M....

3 - Herbert H. Borchers, Sr. - 1897-1978
3 - Lloyd Miller - 1916-1991
19 - Robert Flanagan - Died 1979, 68 years
21 - Lou and Eleanor Ruffino - Wedding Day 1949
23 - Pam Mueller - 1954-1988

5 - Augusta Borchers - 1884-1967
12 - Phyllis Borchers
14 - Esther Irene Reidenbach - 1930
21 - Uncle Henry - J. H. Vienop, Jr. - 1894-1967
23 - Mrs. S. Stoernicke - 1875
24 - Christine Kording - 1915

5 - Olga Borchers - 1919
14 - Mrs. Geleharl
14 - Vic Polzin
27 - Minnie Reidenbach - 1898-1978
28 - Kathy Polzin
29 - Richard Flanagan - 1912
31 - Ruth Stoernicke - 1916-1995

6 - P. Ann Stodard - 1923
17 - Elsie Schafer - 1895
26 - Myrtle Strehlow - 1918
26 - Grandma, Louise Koch Vienop, 1865

10 - Wm. Borchers - 1881
13 - Nina Ruffino - 1961-1993
16 - Louise Marie Gruenhagen - 1902-1983
23 - Marcia Banchero
25 - Mary Borchers - 1892-1989
28 - Gary Flanagan - 1941-1943
31 - Jack Booksin - 1904-1992

The "Birthday Book" is a rather interesting little book.  There are several living people indicated whom I have omitted from this post.  I think I should make sure that I have a record of them somewhere.  There are other names that I wonder about.  I'm not sure if the people are living or not.  They include the last names of Wolfe, Skivington, and a last name that I can hardly make out that looks like Trouclot.  I should sit down with my mom and ask her to "write it down" who all of these people are.  It would be a lot of work.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Birthday Book - Part 1

My grandma's "birthday book", as I believe she called it, included sayings for each day of the year and a place below the saying to write important dates.  This book is little with dimensions of 4 inches by 2.5 inches.  It is titled "Christian Forget-Me-Not" by Rev. Hugo W. Hoffmann, M. A., Ph. D., Brooklyn, N.Y.  The publisher was Ernst Kaufmann, New York, 7-11 Spruce Street.  The book was printed in Germany.

This book belonged to Dorothy Marie Borchers.  Her married last name was Flanagan and she was my grandma.

The dedication for the book is rather well done and I'm quoting it as follows:

"If stories of dry and learned lore we gain,
We keep them in the memory of the brain;
Names, things, and facts - whate'er we knowledge call -
There is the common ledger for them all;
And images on this cold surface traced
Make slight impression, and are soon effaced.
But we've a page, more glowing and more bright,
On which our friendship and our love to write;
That these may never from the soul depart,
We trust them to the memory of the heart,
There is so dimming, no effacement there;
Each new pulsation keeps the record clear;
Warm, golden letters all the tablet fill,
Nor lose their lustre till the heart stands still."

I've glanced through this book on many occasions including when my grandma was still alive.  The book was kept in a drawer in the china cabinet in the dining room of my grandparents home.  The entries are all in my grandma's handwriting for the most part.  The book was likely a confirmation gift.

The Bible quotes are all fine and nice.  What is more interesting are all the names entered in to the book along with birth dates, some death dates, and some anniversaries.  My grandma entered most any family member or relative in this book.  In fact, there are many living relatives still in it.

I am not sure how many names and dates that I will transcribe here but I thought that I'd give it go.  I will not be listing currently living people, however.

2 - Albert Borchers 1888
6 - L. Deffner - 1862
7 - Dorothy Borchers - 1921
9 - Martha Henke - 1920, died March 1985
9 - Friz Polzin
12 - Nancy Polzin
17 - Esther Wagner - 1910
17 - Ann Scoville
26 - Brian McGuire - 1944
28 - Mrs. Cassayre - 1903

2 - August Gruenhagen - 1903
8 - Perry Swift - 1860
11 - Dorothy Burtis - 1921
10 - Julius Mueller - 1884, died Nov. 27, 1983
22 - Leonard Borchers - 1913
28 - Ruth Nowantgey (spelling?)

2 - Leonard Carl Gruenhagen - 1926
3 - Marsin Swift - 1890-12 Feb 1964
10 - Edna Marie Vienop - 1929
19 - Elean Hunter - 1922
20 - Laura M. Borchers - 1915
24 - Adella H. Vienop - 1901 - June 1956
25 - Charlie Harney - Died Aug 3, 1959
27 - Walter Schafer - 1891
30 - Joseph Fratessa - 1907-Feb. 1, 1982
30 - Helen Krenke - 1920
30 - Louie Reidenbach - Died Oct. 8, 1967, age 77

1 - Kay Fritter
5 - Paul Cassayre
7 - Delia Swift - 1896 - Sept. 4, 1991
14 - John Wagner
15 - Mrs. Peterman
19 - Ramona Ratto
19 - Emma Archer
26 - Eleanor Minnie Reidenbach - 1927
28 - Martha Borchers - 1917
28 - Louis Ruffino - 1924-Dec. 23, 1977
30 - Clara Wright - 1903

2 - Karen Borchers - 1964-1986
7 - Martha Ann Gruenhagen - 1932
8 - Kay Fratessa - 1908-1995
17 - Minnie Flanagan
30 - Leona Louise Reidenbach - 1927

9 - Janet Hudson - 1961-1980
15 - Saddie Wunker - 1903
18 - Grandpa John H. Veinop, Sr. 1862
20 - Jerry Stark - 1930
27 - Henry Becker - 1914
29 - Clara Gruenhagen - 1895
29 - Ellen Flanagan - 1905-Sept. 28, 1988

I will finish the list in my next post but have some comments at this point.

When I look over the list above, I know who about half of the people are.  Some of them I knew personally and some appear on my family tree.  I can also identify who some of he others are based stories from the past.  My great grandma worked for the Cassayre's.  She cleaned their house and took care of their children.  If I recall correctly, this was after she had raised her own children.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Where in the world? - Daykin, Nebraska

Yes, some of my direct line ancestors made a few years' stop in Daykin, Nebraska while the brother dug in and made this location his home.  Specifically, John Henry Vienop 1850 had a farm and lived out the rest of his life on his own land in Eureka Township, Daykin, Jefferson County, Nebraska.  His brothers, John Henry 1862 and Enrst, along with some other family members seemed to have made a pit stop in Daykin for a few years before moving onto Napa, California.
It seems obvious to me and proven in some cases that there are Vienop's buried at the St. John's Cemetery on what looks like Route/Highway 4 (724th Road).  The cemetery is about a 1/2 mile east of the church in the town of Daykin.  That church is St. John's Lutheran Church. 

The cemetery is still there for sure.  I can see it on Google Earth.  I just can't make out the headstones.  Technology is just not quite that advanced for a home computer.  What I have been told is that my 3rd great grandmother, Anna Marie Ilsabien Gurges Vienop, is buried there.  I'd love to have a snapshot of her headstone and of any other Vienop's buried in this location.  Buried next too Anna Marie is probably John Henry Ernest Vienop (b. 20 Dec 1896, d. 9 Apr 1897, Daykin, NE).  John Henry Ernest was one of my great grandmother's baby siblings who passed away.  Other Vienop's are likely to be buried at this Cemetery too.  I would love to have photos of those headstones!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Getting Along

It has occurred to me in recent months that my original post "It begins with where you came from." is a rather tactful, "skirting the issue" way of indicating how families go their separate ways over time.  Within my own research which includes a little digging in old documents and listening to stories, it has become evident to me that people don't just get "busy, busy, busy".  I have acknowledged that family dynamics can and do change when people get married, thus expanding the family and inviting those in who may be different than the existing group.  A concept that I never quite understood until I actually experienced in my own adult life.

I recently had a cousin on my dad's side of the family ask me what happened.  His exact comment was something about a wedge between families.  In reality, it may not be that precise.  It could be more dynamics, changes, and personalities.  The rhetorical question does stand "Can't we all just get along?"  It's not that simple and sometimes I wish it was.  In a child's eyes, it can be.  Adult human nature and life stepping in, changes that for sure.

While I have tried to figure out what separated families within my various family lines, I come up with rather complex, sometimes lopsided answers.  For one, the complexity of a family dynamic seems to transcend all of my family lines and no one line is an exception.  In other words, for various reasons, people just did not want to be around each other as adults in some cases.  To simplify this, and some of it would to not be simple in the eyes of the people who lived it, I would say personalities and perspectives clash in human nature.  Just because you are related to someone does not mean a family is excluded from this occurrence.  How they handle these differences does matter but not everyone can be on their best behavior at all times.

To elaborate further, money, beliefs, religion, and other social settings can change things for families.  It takes two to have differences and sometimes we only hear one side of things.  I have yet to hear a very objective observation of any "family dynamics".  Each person does hold their own opinion, thus, making my research sometimes appear to be rather lopsided.  It lacks perspective of each of the involved parties.   Unfortunately, I am not able to gain each side of the story because these people are my ancestors.  I can only glean bits and pieces of a given family interaction.

From living individuals, I have gleaned some bits and pieces here and there.  I have an aunt who does try to give an objective perspective when talking about individuals who did not get along for whatever reason.

My final comment on this topic is to reiterate that the "differences" that people had that led to the proverbial or precise "wedge" is demonstrated across almost each and every one of my family lines.  To sum this up, none of them were alone in this experience as personal to them as each story may sound.    

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Ernest Vienop of Napa, CA - Part 2

Hi Again,

I wanted to clarify some things that the local historical society might not have straight about the Vienop's.  It gets confusing because there were 3 Ernest Vienop's in Napa who were all related to each other.  By the way, I have pinpointed Ernest J. Vienop on the 1920 Census.  He is the correct Vienop to live in your home but he did have a family.

It was Uncle Ernest Vienop who did not have a family.  I believe that is who the historical society is getting confused with Ernest J.  Uncle Ernest was born Ernst Heinrich Friedrich Vinup and immigrated to the U.S., specifically to St. Louis with his brother Fred in 1865.  He did marry but is later indicated as a widow.  He ended up in Napa and spent much of his time with his brother John Henry Vienop (my great great grandfather) working and farming.  Uncle Ernest was the first Vienop to come and "check out" Napa in 1900 and see if it would be a good place to move to from Daykin.

The Vienop's of Napa were farmers as they did have prune and cherry orchards.  I'm not sure those orchards were very big or anything but did offer the family a crop to sell.  By trade, John Henry Sr. and Uncle Ernest were cigar makers and brought that with them from Germany.  That's what the family did for a living Germany and also what their brother Fred had done for a living in St. Louis.   The cigar making is referenced in a journal that my aunt has. 

Now, Ernest J., John Henry Jr., and Ernest Henry, were all contractors.   Ernest J. was a bricklayer, John Henry Jr. a carpenter, and Ernest Henry was a plumber.  Those were pretty much their lifelong occupations in Napa.

I hope that you find this interesting.  I will have to ask if we know where Ernest Julius' descendants are these days. 

Sometimes you've got to sleep on things to get a better handle on how to describe a family tree and the misinformation that can result from an outsider not understanding who all of the "Ernest Vienop's" were.  Mind you, I would bet anyone would think there were typos in my Vienop Family tree given the several Ernest's and John Henry's.  

Now, Uncle Ernst (yes, his name really did not have the other "e" in it), seemed to be the person who was most adventurous.  I find him arriving in the U.S. with his brother, Fred, in 1865.  He headed back to Germany to get his brother, John Henry (the younger one).  This must have been after his wife passed away but I think also after Fred had passed away in 1877.  Upon arrival back to the U.S., he spent some time in Baltimore, MD.  It would appear that he did make his way back to St. Louis, MO.  Later, he was in Daykin, NE with his older brother, the older John Henry (1850).  He finally lands in Napa, California by 1901, where he spent the rest of his life.
In 1900, Uncle Ernst was counted in Napa, California as part of the U.S. Census that year.  He was "checking things out" in Napa for the family.  Like, I said, he must have been the adventurous one in the family but also dedicated to his family.
Not only do I find written information in my own personal family history that the Vienop's were cigar makers, I find it written on U.S. Census and in the U.S. Directory for Napa, California.  It is rather interesting to note that the Vienop name is not very common in the U.S. but when I find them making cigars, I know that I found the right family.

I have more information about each Enrest Vienop of Napa, California.  They were certainly looking for a better life and I do think that they found it in Napa.


Here's a quick family tree of the Vienop's who came to Napa, CA and their immediate ancestors..................

Generation #1:
Ernest Vinup (Prussia/Germany)
Anne Marie Ilsabein Gurges (Prussia/Germany, Missouri, Nebraska)
Generation #2:
Fred Vienop (Prussia/Germany, Missouri)
Ernst Vienop
John Henry Vienop (1850) (Prussia/Germany, Ohio, Nebraska)
John Henry Vienop (1862)
Generation #3:
Ernest Julius Vienop (son of Fred)
John Henry Vienop Jr. (son of John Henry 1862)
Ernest Henry Vienop (son of John Henry 1862)
Mary Vienop (daughter of John Henry 1862)
Minnie Vienop (daughter of John Henry 1862)
Generation #4:
George Vienop (son of Ernest Julius)

The above is certainly not complete as I have not indicated the wives, or all of the children of Fred and have not indicated John Henry 1850s many children.  What it does illustrate is the family connection of the 3 Ernest Vienop's of Napa, CA.  As I've written out previously, there were ten original Vienop's to come to Napa.  Eight are indicated above.  The other two were wives of John Henry Vienop 1850 and Ernest Julius Vienop - Anna Marie Koch Vienop and Fredericka "Ricky" Schiffman Vienop, respectively.  

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Ernest Vienop of Napa, CA - Part 1

I often find irony when I work on my family tree (or rather, my ears start burning).  My Vienop Family tree is no exception to this.  In the past three months, I've worked to update my family tree and post some things online.  And what do you think happened?  Well, the current owner of Ernest Julius Vienop's home in Napa, California contacted me to find out more about him.

I find it rather ironic that I was just on the cusp of figuring out the who, what, when, and where of each Ernest Vienop of Napa.  There were three of them, by the way.  That can make things a bit confusing for people outside of the family (and even within the family too).  I find it is a rather similar situation to the three Richard Flanagan's of Napa, California, too.  Names certainly repeat in family lines of the past, don't they?

With definitive information about my Ernest Vienops, I was able to provide the current owner of Ernest J. Vienop's home with a reader's digest overview of him.  Mind you, he had also tried to do some homework down at the Napa Historical Society but I think that gave him information on the wrong Ernest Vienop.  What am I talking about?   Below are his comments to me via email: 

Great to see that you Vienops are still around and that we may have a connection via my new ‘old’ house. The home is located on what was known as the E. R. Sproul addition, which I understand was a 9,000 acre farm in the mid 1800’s. Currently part of what is now known as Alta Heights my address is on (removed for privacy), however before 1945 or so the street was known as (removed for privacy) which your mom or aunt may remember. There is an old barn on the property as well as a well house if that brings back any memories.

I haven’t found anything too interesting on the property, besides some old bullets, lots of old wall paper, and a belt buckle but the local historical society did have some interesting information. They told me that “The first known resident was Ernest J. Vienop.  His occupation is unknown, and he was unmarried”. 

That’s all I know for now but hope to learn more in the future.

Well, I have more for certain.  I also know that Ernest J. Vienop had a wife and children.  Let's just say that the historical society probably referenced "Uncle Ernest" who was a widower and had no children.  He too lived in Napa, California.  So, what do you think I did next?

Here's the information that I passed along.  I have made it my goal to post my messages here as they are full of information that I do not just want to hide away in a computer file.

Glad to hear from you.    I think that I did find Ernest J. Vienop's home on (removed for privacy),  Napa, CA in a census.  The rest of the Vienop's lived on Laurel Avenue and later up on Willow Avenue in Alta Heights.  I'm not sure how long Ernest J. lived  on (removed for privacy).  He was know at Cousin Ernest to my Vienop Family.  
After reading your message you sent to me over, I really sat down and did some homework about my Vienop's of Napa, CA.  I actually write a blog that journals my genealogy research at (Mine, Yours', and the Other Guy's Genealogy).  I have quite a bit of my own family history in Napa because both of my grandparents were born, raised there, and lived their entire lives in Napa.  I have Vienop's, Borchers', Flanagan's, and a few other surnames that are direct line and cousin's from Napa.  My family lines start there from 1870 and I still have family members living there who are now in their 80s.   There are still female Vienop descendants living in Napa.   Since they don't have the Vienop surname, they are probably hard to find but are still there.  Almost every Vienop that I know of is buried at Tulocay Cemetery.

To give you the reader's digest version of the Vienop story, the original 10 Vienop's to come to Napa, CA, arrived in February 1901.  They were the family unit of John Henry Vienop that included Anna Marie (wife) and their four children - Mary, Minnie, Ernest, and John Henry Jr.   Uncle Ernst Vienop, John Henry's brother also came to Napa with them.  The other family unit was Ernest J. Vienop, Ricky (his wife) and George (their son).  Ernest J. was the nephew of both John Henry and Uncle Ernst.  Ernest J.'s father was Fred Vienop of St. Louis, MO who had passed away in 1877.  Once in Napa, Ernest Julius Vienop went on to have more children with his wife Ricky (Fredericka).

The original reason why the Vienop's came to Napa was because of Anna Marie's failing health.   She was the wife of John Henry.  Anna Marie and John Henry were German immigrants as were Uncle Ernst and their brother Fred.  Another older Vienop brother who also went by the name of John Henry here in the U.S., immigrated from Germany.  Between those four brother's, they lived in St. Louis, MO, Ohio, Daykin, NE, and Napa.  Everyone seemed to go through Daykin, NE at some point.  The younger John Henry (my great great grandfather) went back to Germany and brought their mother back with him.  She lived and passed away in Daykin, NE.   I have the exact town that the Vienop's were from in Germany called Boerninghausen.

My great grandma was Mary Vienop Borchers.   As an adult, she lived up on Willow Avenue in Napa, CA.   Her brother was John Henry Vienop, Jr.  who's business was J.H. Vienop Building Contractor in Napa.  There are many other family history bits and pieces relating to Napa.   Ernest Julius Vienop was my great grandma's first cousin.  Below is the bio of Ernest Julius Vienop as found in a California Biography book for Napa County.

The immediate progenitors of Ernest J. Vienop, Fred H. and Charlotte (Shrick) Vienop, were born in Germany, and upon immigrating to this country they settled in St. Louis, Mo., where the father followed his trade of cigar manufacturer until his death. The mother is still living and a resident of St. Louis. Five children were originally comprised in the parental family, but of these only three are living, and Ernest J. is the eldest of the number. He was born in St. Louis, Mo., November 26, 1871, and his boyhood and youth were passed in the locality of his birth, the public schools of that city also furnishing him with a fair education. When he was about sixteen years old he apprenticed himself to learn the brick-layer’s trade under H. Hartman. a well-known brick contractor of that city. Four years of conscientious and constant work under this instructor found the young man full-fledged and ready to undertake work as a journeyman, and for about eighteen years, or until 1898, he found plenty of work in St. Louis and vicinity.

Mr. Vienop’s first venture from native haunts occurred in 1898 and took him to Fairbury, Jefferson county, Neb., in which vicinity he established himself on a farm and continued farming there for two years, or until coming to California. He reached the Golden State February 22, 1900, coming directly to Napa county, which has ever since been his home and the scene of his activities. Near Napa he purchased a small ranch of five acres on the Monticello road, where he engages in horticulture and the poultry business. His ranch activities may be regarded more properly as a recreation than as a business, however, for he is actively engaged in following his trade of brick contractor. Among the buildings that have been erected un­der his supervision are the Register building, California bakery and Migli­vacca warehouse in Napa, besides which he has erected structures through­out Napa and Solano counties, in fact his services have also been employed on numerous structures in different parts of northern California.

While still a resident of St. Louis. Mo., Mr. Vienop was united in mar­riage in that city with Miss Ricka Schiffmann. who was born there. Four sons have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Vienop : George, William, Walter and Albert. The family attends the Lutheran Church and politically Mr. Vienop is a Republican.  - Written in 1911-12

I hope that you find this interesting.  

Now, I must comment here that February 22, 1900 is really not the correct year.  It was 1901 on that very same date when the Vienop's arrived in Napa, CA.  I have two ways to prove this also.  One would be the eye witness written account by Mary Vienop Borchers, herself, and the other are U.S. Census from 1900.  The census places the Vienop's in Eureka, Jefferson County, Nebraska in June of 1900.  Ernest J. is in Daykin Village, NE during the 1900 census.  So, they could not have been in Napa quite yet.  At least not the majority of them.  Was a Vienop in Napa in 1900?

To be continued...................................


Saturday, March 3, 2012

1940 U.S. Federal Census

On April 2, 2012, the U.S. Federal Census for 1940 will be available.  The United States has a 72 year rule for privacy.  I must admit that there are probably many people still living that are indicated in this census.  While the 1930 U.S. Census has living people, we are now entering into a realm of even more living relatives.

While I am hopeful of finding some very interesting information in the 1940 Census, I am trying not to set my expectations too high.  As we move closer to present day, there are fewer mysteries that apply to my ancestors.  By the 1940s, I probably already know the locations of my direct line.  I suppose we will see what happens.  April 2nd can't come to soon!