Posted by: Laura Aanenson | May 30, 2015

Just down the Street


According to Google Maps, it was a three-minute walk from 655 W 61st Street to 538 W 61st Street in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood.

The other day I wondered about the possibility of my 2nd great-grandmother Elise Mueller and her brother John N. Schmitt attending the same church.

I knew they lived near one another (and their sister Anna), but until I saw the photo below I didn’t realize just how near one another they were.

2015 05-30 Neighbors

Unfortunately the house Jacob and Elise Mueller bought in 1891 has since been torn down. But thanks to Google’s street level pictures, I could see what John and Clara Schmitt’s house looks like now. It’s the cute yellow house hiding behind a tree:

2015 05-30 Yellow house is John Schmitt's

Google satellite gave me a bird’s eye view of the property owned by the Schmitt’s:

2015 05-30 2nd house is John Schmitt's

With these pictures in hand, I’ll have to take another look at the family photos shared by my favorite Schmitt cousin.

We may be able to determine who hosted a gathering or two!

Have you Googled your ancestors lately?



Posted by: Laura Aanenson | May 29, 2015

Sawyer Biscuit Company

In honor of Biscuit Day, I thought I’d share a tidbit about my great-grandfather Alfred Jacob Mueller who worked for a biscuit company.

2015 05-29 WWI draft registration

Ebay is a great source for many things genealogical. That’s where I found this item from the Sawyer Biscuit Company.

2015 05-29 Sawyer Biscuit Company

Happy Biscuit Day!





Posted by: Laura Aanenson | May 26, 2015

Carl and Anna Plum at Oak Woods Cemetery

While I was drafting this post, I clicked on Anna’s Find A Grave memorial to re-read her obituary.

What a lovely surprise it was to see a volunteer photographer had added a headstone photo for Anna and her husband Carl!

2015 05-26 Plum headstone

Many thanks to Andy Gappa, a Find A Graver extraordinaire!

Posted by: Laura Aanenson | May 25, 2015

Remembering on this Memorial Day

Aanenson Brothers

Brothers Alex, Arnie, Edwin, Selmer, Teddy, Aanen and Erling Aanenson


Posted by: Laura Aanenson | May 24, 2015

Chicago’s Daylight and People’s Liberal Churches

My second great-grandparents Elise [Schmitt] and Jacob Mueller were married by a Justice of the Peace in Chicago in November of 1874. Elise grew up in the Catholic faith, but she may have left the church.

I haven’t had any luck connecting Jacob or Elise with a church, so I’ve starting looking into the churches attended by those around them.

It’s possible Elise and her brother or sister [who both lived nearby with their spouses] attended the same church.

According to Elise’s brother John Schmitt’s obituary, he attended Daylight Church.

Chicago Its History and Builders by Josiah Seymour Currey pg 80 Google BooksAccording  to Elise’s sister Anna Plum’s obituary, she attended the People’s Liberal Church.

The Inland Printer, Volume 66 from Google Books

These don’t appear to be your run of the mill religious organizations and I’m having a difficult time finding extant records from either church.

Any suggestions?

Posted by: Laura Aanenson | May 23, 2015

Ancestral Autographs

I shared here how much I enjoy seeing the signatures of my ancestors.

A scrolled S, a curvy C, a typical T – any and all of these delight me and give me insight into the personality of my ancestors.

The signatures of the ancestors or collateral relatives who are close to my heart are especially exciting to see.

So when I saw this

2015 05-23 Mueller, Otto V sig

on the back of this

2015 05-23  Mueller, Otto V

my heart stopped for a moment.

Posted by: Laura Aanenson | May 20, 2015

Clarke Reminders

Franklin Whitfield Blake died on this day in 1955.

Frank and I don’t share any DNA, but he does reside in a branch of my family tree.

Seeing him on my Family Tree Maker calendar was a reminder to take another look at that somewhat neglected branch.

Zora Susan Clarke Blake 1898-1965 01

Zora Susan [Clarke] Blake 1898-1965

Franklin Whitfield Blake married Zora Susan Clarke 05 Apr 1917. Zora was born to Elmer Eugene Clarke and Susan E. Berg in Chicago 24 Jun 1898.

Her unusual given name can be linked to her father’s older sister Zora E. Clark/e born 19 Aug 1857 in Washington County, Maryland. Her middle name, Susan, honored both her mother and her late maternal grandmother.

The older Zora, Elmer and four of their siblings grew up near Antietam as the Civil War raged around them.

Their mother Susan Hammer Clark [nee Shank] died before 1880 and her children were distributed among family and friends in the area.

My 2nd great-grandfather William Penrod Clarke was 22 when his mother died. He was working as a laborer in another Maryland County.

Not long after his mother’s death William moved to Springfield, Clark, Ohio where he married and had a daughter. Brother Norman joined him there.

Later William moved to Chicago. Elmer did too.

Elmer Clarke got married in the Windy City. He raised his family in Chicago, making it possible for Franklin Blake to meet Elmer’s daughter Zora.

And secure his place in my family tree.

Posted by: Laura Aanenson | May 19, 2015

Honoring Jacob Mahlon Dixon

Jacob is buried in section 28 of Rosehill Cemetery in Chicago. I was touched by the sentiment engraved on his headstone:

2015 05-19 Rosehill Section 28

Posted by: Laura Aanenson | May 18, 2015

The Cleveland Necrology File

According to my Family Tree Maker calendar, Abigail (nee Walton) Cowin died on this day in 1876.

But I was a little vague about how I “know” this.

Abigail is my 2nd great-grandfather’s big sister. She married Edwin Cowin 22 Nov 1862 on the Isle of Man.

Every time I see her name I wonder how Abigail and Edwin and my 2nd great-grandparents James and Isabella (nee Joughin) Walton decided to leave Isle of Man and sail across the ocean to America. How did the idea come up for discussion in the first place? How long did it take for them to decide to leave their old lives and start new ones in the U.S.?

The two couples and my great-grandfather (who was a seven-month old baby at the time) made the long journey in September of 1871. They settled near one another in Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio.

Less than five years later Abigail died.

To prove this, I clicked on my Places page and scrolled down to Ohio where I chose The Cleveland Necrology File. The first screen looks like this:2015 05-18 Cowin

Next I chose a name search and entered Cowin, but got 47 results – including deaths from the 1960s. So I switched to a keyword search and entered Cowin Abigail. This time there was just one result.2015 05-18 Cowin vs Cowin and Abigail

It was my Abigail:

2015 05-18 Cowin, Abigail


Posted by: Laura Aanenson | May 17, 2015

1892 Obituaries: April 21

From column one of page 8 of the April 21, 1892 issue of the Chicago Daily News:

Chicago Daily News April 21, 1892 pg 8

Chicago Daily News
April 21, 1892 pg 8

Marriages – John A. Gunn/Carrie Fuarey


Edmund K. W. Blake

Anna Gertrude Cartan

John J. Dougherty

Grace Elizabeth Drake

John Eizinger

William Gallagher

Jennie Gunn

Johnnie Griffen

Christian C. Garber

Joseph Hickey

Margaret Hannan

Samuel O. Hooker

Clemens Hirsh

Jessie M. Joadwine

Eleanor Sarah Jackson

Edwin L. LeGros

Sister Mary James McGrath

Alice McKinney

Susie Therese Oehme

James Edward Redmond





From column two of page 8 of the April 21, 1892 issue of the Chicago Daily News:

CDN 1892 04-21 pg 8 image 2 snip Curtis K. Robinson

Catherine Schlotfeldt

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