30 March 2011

Wordless Wednesday

This photo is of George Rienerth and John Konnerth. The date is unknown, however, it is likely that it was taken after George married Regina Konnerth, so that would be around or after 1907. This is a new photo for me as it was just sent by a recently discovered cousin.

Wednesday's Child - Helen Perry

Helen Perry was born on 22 Aug 1931 in Lompoc, California to William John Perry and Lena Ann (Lucas) Perry. She was the 4th child born to this couple. Exactly 3 months later on 22 Nov 1931 she passed away at Santa Maria Hospital in Santa Maria, California. Her cause of death was lobar pneumonia and she was treated for this illness for 5 days by the attending physician. She left her parents at 5:00 pm that day. I can only imagine the heartache her parents must have felt. The only record of this small infant is a death certificate and a tombstone, however, her parents did name their next daughter Helen as well when she was born in 1933, perhaps to honor her memory. She now rests in the Lompoc Evergreen Cemetery in Lompoc, California.

Helen Perry Grave Marker

23 March 2011

George Rienerth (1883-1973)

Today is the 38th anniversary of the death of my great-grandfather, George Rienerth. Here is a small tribute to him with the information I have to date (please note that not all of this information has been verified).

He was born on 18 Aug 1883 in Reusmarkt, Transylvania, Hungary in a German settlement. His parents were George Rienerth and Sophia Reuss. He was the oldest of six known children (there is a possible 7th). His siblings are, in order, Sophia (Konnerth), Mary (Schonauer), Katherine (Stancel), Simon "Sam," and Martin. He immigrated to America on 13 May 1903 via Ellis Island, New York on the Friedrich der Grosse, which had departed from Bremen. He was headed to Youngstown, Ohio from there.

George married Regina Konnerth on 10 Mar 1907 in Mahoning County, Ohio by the Pastor of Martin Luther Church. They allegedly met  On their marriage record, her parents are listed as John Konnert[h] and Katy Fronius.  The children of George Rienerth and Regina Konnerth are Hilda, Karl, Herman, Paul, and George Jr.

George & Regina Rienerth with baby Hilda, ca 1908
He first lived in Youngstown and then moved to farmland in Boardman, Mahoning Ohio, where he built his own home made of brick and stucco. He was a mason by trade. His grandchildren remember spending time at his house on Sundays and listening to his stories about the "old country." He was said to be a very healthy and loving man although he had a bad heart.

George lost his wife in 1943 and it doesn't appear that he ever remarried. He died on 23 Mar 1973 in Youngstown, Ohio from coronary artery disease. According to his obituary he was a self-employed brick mason who was known for installing fireplaces. He was a member of the Good Hope Lutheran Church in North Lima as well as Bricklayers Local 8.

As I was compiling the information for this blog post, I realized how little information I actually have. I have what I call the "skeleton" of his story, but no real meat on the bones. Hopefully by next year, I will be able to tell more about this ancestor!

21 March 2011

South School Cemetery, Catlin, New York

Entrance to Cemetery
Yesterday, I went to a small remote cemetery on a photo request from Find A Grave. It was called South School Cemetery, also known as Martin's Hill Cemetery. It was kind of off the beaten path although you could see it from the road. I enlisted my family to go with me as I didn't want to be out there by myself, and my 9 year-old son agreed to be my "assistant." He likes to help me on these little tasks because he feels like a detective and it is more action than looking at records. I had looked up any interments already listed for this cemetery and since there were only three, I decided to look for all of them even though there was only one actual photo request.

Before going out, I looked up the cemetery on Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice (this is becoming one of my favorite online databases) and attempted to search for the name on the photo request. I didn't find it, but thought I would make the trip anyway since it is a small cemetery.

Grave markers going every which way
When we got there, I gave my son a paper with all three names and told him to give it a shot on finding them. He, as I suspected he would, started walking quickly through the rows glancing at the headstones. This is a pretty old cemetery, so a lot of the stones are hard to read or illegible without some extra efforts. It is kind of a sad looking cemetery with sunken, broken, and missing grave markers. Some of them don't appear to have any names or I was unable to read them because they were face down. There were also sunken areas that appeared to have someone buried there without any kind of marker at all.

Large tombstones that had fallen over
I really don't like to mess with the markers other than removing debris or leaves, so I started taking pictures of the ones that I could. It was around noon so the lighting was okay, but so many of them were tilted downwards that I just couldn't get a good shot of them. It made me a bit sad walking through there as it just seemed so forgotten. When I go to a cemetery like this, I like to record as many of them as I can to put on Find A Grave for some future descendant to hopefully find.

I was unable to locate the name on the photo request as I had suspected would happen. I did, however, find the other two names already listed on Find A Grave and took photos of those. My son was unable to find them on his first go round. This was not surprising because he wasn't looking very carefully. I had seen them, photographed them and moved on. I sent him back around with some hints on looking for both the first and last names. He was so excited when he finally did find them... right at the front entrance. He had walked right past them! After an hour, my husband and kids had reached their limit of "cemetery time." As always, I was grateful that they humored me long enough to tag along so I wouldn't have to go alone.

There was one grave marker that was interesting though. It had fallen over and the grass around it was already starting to grow over it. It was the grave marker of a baby that was only 3 months old. These markers always make me a little extra sad. Someone had thoughtfully placed a baby blanket and pacifier on the grave and it seemed fairly recently since as they looked relatively new. It was nice to see that someone else had been out there to visit and that little baby was still being remembered.
Fallen over grave stone with offerings

09 March 2011

Wordless Wednesday - The Capek Sisters

Antonia & Rosie Capek, ca 1907
This is Antonia Capek and Rosie Capek. Shortly after this photo they lost their father (1908) due to sickness. Antonia later died in 1913 from sickness at the age of 8.