Tuesday, May 8, 2018

A-Z Blogging Challenge - The letter H is for Hamilton, Ohio!


In 2017, there was a challenge. I heard about it from jillballau blog and more information can be found out about it on the A-Z Blogging Challenge (which was at http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/) page itself. However, as I was testing links I found the A-Z Blogging Challenge link is no longer working *frown*

Many people had done this challenge in April 2017, but I’m a rebel and do things when I have time, so I’ll do mine now. I’ve been working on it over many days, and was hoping to get it all done before posting BUT it’s taking me a lot longer than I expected. I’ll do a few posts now and work on the rest. 

I know I have about ½ of this challenge done in draft format, so not too bad.  J

What can I say – I’m an original. So, here I go…

The letter H is for Hamilton, Ohio!

The person who married Jules Gauquie after his first wife, Annie, died was Belle Reu Lehmkuhl. 

This was Belle's second marriage after her husband, Karl Lehmkuhl, died. I know he died sometime between 1925 and 1930 due to the census. The New York State Census in 1925 has them together (see the red box below).

Carl and Belle listed in the 1925 NYS census.
Credit NARA

But by the 1930, the Business directories have her listed as a widow (see red square below)
Belle's listing in a NJ directory as a widow in 1930.
Credit US City Directory
Then on October 20, 1934, Belle became Jules' second wife. 

I was able to find the brides index for NY state. 
1934 Brides marriage index
Credit Ancestry
And here's Jule's entry on the Groom index for NY State. 

1934 Grooms marriage index
Credit Ancestry

I don't have their marriage certificate as yet, due to NY state laws. However, below is the 1940 US Federal Census. 
1940 US Federal Census listing Jules and Belle as married and had been since before 1935. Later I found when they had married.
Credit: NARA
She was very active within the community and with Jules' family as you can see by the below newspaper articles. 

Belle is mentioned the above article in red.
Credit 1945 - 15th Oct - Mrs Julius Gauquie Red Cross Volunteer - Middletown Times Herald
Belle is mentioned above in red.
Credit: 1946 Oct 5 Middletown Times Herald
Belle mentioned above in red.
Credit: 1949 Dec 31- Middletown Times Herald


She remained his wife until he died in 1946. After he died, she lived around the area for a bit and was still active within the community and buying/selling land. 

Belle mentioned above in red.
Credit: 1956 Sept 16 Middletown Daily Record
Credit The Evening News April 25, 1957
Credit is above.

Credit is above.

However in 1984, she moved to where her daughter lived from her first marriage – Ohio. 


If going in a direct line, from Blooming Grove to Hamilton Ohio where Belle moved after Jules died.

















Actually, she lived in Cincinnati, Ohio and ended up dying there in June 1984.

This is Belle's obituary and burial information. The article on the right gives her maiden name and ancestry.
Credit The Evening News Jun 25 1984
According to the above article she was brought back to NY to have all the services and to be laid to rest in Washingtonville, NY.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

A-Z Blogging Challenge - The letter G is for Germany!


In 2017, there was a challenge. I heard about it from jillballau blog and more information can be found out about it on the A-Z Blogging Challenge (which was at http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/) page itself. However, as I was testing links I found the A-Z Blogging Challenge link is no longer working *frown*


Many people had done this challenge in April 2017, but I’m a rebel and do things when I have time, so I’ll do mine now. I’ve been working on it over many days, and was hoping to get it all done before posting BUT it’s taking me a lot longer than I expected. I’ll do a few posts now and work on the rest. I know I have about ½ of this challenge done in draft format, so not too bad.  J

What can I say – I’m an original. So, here I go…

The letter G is for Germany!

Germany is country in Europe my paternal grandfather, Mathias Schmitz, was born in. From the information I have, he grew up in Mendig or Niedermendig. This is from my father’s cousin, but on some of the paperwork I have he lived in Koblenz and another says Niedermendig

This is where Niedermendig and Koblenz are on the map.
Credit
If we zoom in on this point in the map, we can see how the names come up. 
Showing Mendig, Neidermendig, Obermendig and Fallerstrabe in Germany.
Credit - GoogleEarth
My grandfather, Mathias/Mathew, lived here until he was in his late teens when he set off to the US to live with his Aunt and Uncle in Brooklyn. He arrived and lived there for a few years before filling out his application for naturalization to the USA. Notice the place he was leaving from, the names of whom he was living with and who he was going to see.

April 1926 Ship Manifest for my Grandfather (line 16). It clearly shows his father's name and area he came from and where he's going in the US. 
Credit Ellis Island.



April 1926 Ship Manifest for my grandfather on line 16. It shows who he's going to stay with and other things about him.
Credit Ellis Island
May 1930 Ship Manifest for my grandfather (line 15). It shows again where he stayed when he was in Germany.
Credit Ellis Island.
He did go back to Germany, twice, before returning to the US after each time. The 1930 was his last recorded travel to Germany – I've been able to find. Notice the place he was leaving from and the name & address in Germany.
Part of the manifest in his May 1930 when he was returning from Germany.
Credit Ellis Island. 
This the last time, that I've been able to find, that he came back to the US from Germany. After this he refiled the paperwork for his naturalization to the USA again. The number of years lapsed, so he had to redo the application again. This time he did get his US Citizenship awarded to him.
Mathias/Mathew's first declaration in 1926
Credit INS

Mathias/Mathew's second declaration in 1934
Credit INS
1939 when he was able to swear the Nationalization oath and become a citizen
Credit INS
Over this time he met my grandmother, Jean, and they got married – twice. Once in the court’s office (in January) and the second time was in the Catholic Church (in March of the same year) and both were in New York City.  Notice where he lived and my great grandparent’s names.

First marriage in Jan 1934 in NYC offices page 1
Credit FamilySearch.org
First marriage in Jan 1934 in NYC offices page 2
Credit FamilySearch.org
First marriage in March 1934 in St Monica's Church in NYC page 1
Credit FamilySearch.org

First marriage in March 1934 in St Monica's Church in NYC page 2
Credit FamilySearch.org

If you look at his mother’s last name on the certificates, it's Kelperich. I've found the Kelperich name comes from Hausten in Germany. As you can see, its not far from Niedermendig and Hausten really. 

The map shows Hausten and Niedermendig which is not really that far.
Credit Google Earth
 Then in August of the same year, they welcomed their first child, and my father, Matthew.

When my father was about 18 months old, my grandfather’s aunt and uncle took him back to Germany to visit and meet his relatives there. Only for once they got him there, they decided to keep him. It took the US state department to get him back home as he was a US citizen.
1935 My father in the front, with his uncle (who was to sign his marriage certificate) and his aunt who my grandfather mentioned on his ship manifests. Copyright of picture Jo Ann Fitzgerald.
Now comes World War 2…  Because my father says my grandfather served in the military in the medical corps during the second war. However, I’ve found no records about it so far. So is he wrong or maybe his parents lied to him? We will only know when we find proof, which we haven't yet.

What I do know, is where the death records have my grandfather dying is Castle Point, NY. My father says he visited him there and my grandfather was getting medical treatment there due to serving. Castle Point has a VA hospital because I’ve been there to visit another friend of mine.
This  shows my grandfather's birth and death and where his last residence was in 1981.
Credit SSDI and Ancestry.com
Could reading this force my grandfather's hand at enlisting to the US Army? The article goes on for a few pages
(Find My Past).
Credit: 1936 March 7 Syracuse Herald Hitler moves into Rhine Page 1
However, questions remain – Did he serve? If so, where did he go? 

Or was this how he served?

1945 WW2 Nuernberg list cover
Credit Fold 3

1945 WW2 Nuernberg list
Credit Fold 3
I need to put on that investigating cap again.

What else?

When my uncle died, he had my father’s cousin visiting – from Germany. This is where I met them when we came to the ceremony for my uncle.

Schmitz Reunion in 2002 after my uncle passed away. The man and woman on the left are from Germany.
Credit Helmut Schmitz
He showed us the house that’s apparently been in the family for hundreds of years.

The Schmitz house in Mendig Germany. Its been in the family for hundreds of years.
Credit Helmut Schmitz

The Schmitz house in Mendig Germany. Its been in the family for hundreds of years.
Credit Helmut Schmitz
The Schmitz house in Mendig Germany. Its been in the family for hundreds of years.
Credit Helmut Schmitz
The problem is now, no matter what I try, no one returns my emails which is sad. I hate losing the connection I wish I knew more about.

If you want to read a tiny bit about some history of the area, this is covered under another blog topic

Thursday, May 3, 2018

A-Z Blogging Challenge - The letter F is for France!


In 2017, there was a challenge. I heard about it from jillballau blog and more information can be found out about it on the A-Z Blogging Challenge (which was at http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/) page itself. However, as I was testing links I found the A-Z Blogging Challenge link is no longer working *frown*

Many people had done this challenge in April 2017, but I’m a rebel and do things when I have time, so I’ll do mine now. I’ve been working on it over many days, and was hoping to get it all done before posting BUT it’s taking me a lot longer than I expected. I’ll do a few posts now and work on the rest. I know I have about ½ of this challenge done in draft format, so not too bad.  J

What can I say – I’m an original. So, here I go…

The letter F is for France!

The Gauquie family has deep history in Belgium. However, way back when there was changes in the French-Belgium border. Due to this, our family in the early 1700s was on the border between France and Belgium. This included the time of Napoleon and after.

The town of Wijtschate is the red dot on the map above.
Credit
The family story was our family moved from France to Belgium because of Napoleon and the French Revolution.  As a good genealogist, you nod and say ok, and you take down the story. This includes ALL stories no matter what. Then you see what the paperwork you have balances with what history, from multiple sources say, and then you reach any number of possible conclusions. 

I thought this was a plausible story. However, when I took in the timelines of the events, Napoleon's rule from 1794-1815 and the French Revolution from 1789-late 1790s, and put them together with the paperwork from the family, it just didn't work out. 

The earliest paperwork I was able to find, thanks to a cousin, was for 1723 for my 6th great grandfather, Jean Baptiste Gauquie. It showed he was born Wijtschate, in Belgium, and died in Boezinge, in Belgium. 
If you look at the date, 1723, my relatives are already in Belgium prior to both events. However (isn't there always at but?), I was able to find something to do with Napoleon and the area.

 See highlighted parts below. 
The highlights show the area belonging to France and had been touched by Napoleon AND the French Revolution.
Credit.
The above shows stories are sometimes twisted, a tiny bit, but can also be found to have truth. I would say while, they didn't move and we're in the heart of France, they WERE part of France, and had to deal with Napoleon AND felt the French Revolution according to this above. 

This, to me, would be the reason why they left the area for Boezinge.

This being said, the Gauquie last name sounds very French. We do know there was a famous Gauquie sculpturer named Henri Désiré Gauquié (1858-1927). We know he’s related but we are looking into it.

A few bits of his work are below.
Credit

Credit



Credit







As if that wasn't enough, I've just learned a tiny bit of the French connection to my paternal side as well. 

Credit
My grandfather was born in a tiny town called Niedermendig, Germany and now its mainly called Mendig, Germany. 

Over the years from the 17th century on wards the border between France and Germany keeps changing. This is why many of the towns nearby have had name changes in them (exactly like Belgium).  A great example is Coblenz and Koblenz. Same place but one is French and one is German. Take a look at the map and see how close to the border it is! 


When my grandfather was born it was under German rule, but during different times it had been reverted back to France every now and then. Usually the Rhine River was the border they went to and used. 

And even here, too, they felt the French Revolution! See below.

Credit

I've only just figured this link out but thought it was very interesting and something you don't hear about during the talk of history of the two countries.


Viva la France!

Monday, April 30, 2018

A-Z Blogging Challenge - The letter E is for East Dunkirk or Oostduinkerke!

In 2017, there was a challenge. I heard about it from jillballau blog and more information can be found out about it on the A-Z Blogging Challenge (which was at http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/) page itself. However, as I was testing links I found the A-Z Blogging Challenge link is no longer working *frown*

Many people had done this challenge in April 2017, but I’m a rebel and do things when I have time, so I’ll do mine now. I’ve been working on it over many days, and was hoping to get it all done before posting BUT it’s taking me a lot longer than I expected. I’ll do a few posts now and work on the rest. I know I have about ½ of this challenge done in draft format, so not too bad.  J

What can I say – I’m an original. So, here I go…

The letter E is for East Dunkirk (Loones)!
We are looking at this part of Belgium
Credit
When we zoom in we are talking about this part of the red part above (also called West Flanders). 
Credit
East Dunkirk can be translated to Duinkerke and then in the 13th century it had the beginning added to what is now called Oostduinkerke.  Oostduinkerke is a place in West Flanders, Belgium.  My great grandfather on my mother’s side comes from the West Flanders region.

I have a 2nd cousin 2x removed cousin that’s known for living there. How?
I've made this chart up in 2017 which shows how we're connected. She's a grandchild of Honrore.
Copyright Jo Ann Fitzgerald.
You can also see more here

Honoré Loones became an hotelier in a place called the Grand Hotel Gauquié or Hotel Gauquié in Oostduinkerke. Then in 1942 he became the mayor of Oostduinkerke, Belgium. The hotel was demolished in 2001 and another building was put in its place.
Part of the Gauquie Hotel before it was torn down in 2001.
Credit

Anyhow, after World War 2, he was succeeded for Mayor. He was then called to justify actions he did and ended up imprisoned. It was supposed to be for one year. However he was let go after two years and if that wasn’t enough, his civil rights were taken away for 20 years. This made sure he could no longer fulfill his political role.
The outside of Gauquie Hotel.
Credit from Loones Blog

As if the political party doing this would stop our family. During the 1952 elections, his wife, Rosette Dewitte, conquered the seats needed and was appointed Mayor – the same position her husband had been in 10 years earlier. She was also the first female Mayor for the area. She held this office until 1964 when she became the new mayor’s private secretary.

Then in 1964, he listed himself in the race for mayor and was Mayor once again where he served for 2 more terms. Then this area merged with others in 1977. Twenty years later Loones was then given the title of bad mayor for some reason. It’s thought with him leaving political life, it was the end of the war era for the area.

Honore died in 1981. Rosa Dewitte died in 2011.
Rosa Dewitte
Credit from Loones Blog

Honore is also the founder of the National Fisheries Museum or Vrienden Nationaal Visserijmuseum Oostduinkerke.
The Plaque they put on the Museum.
Credit.