My Ancestral Chart
Murphy Family Chart
Murphy Family History
Causes of Death
Bittlingmeier Family History
Nearly all of the earliest information I have about my Bittlingmeier ancestors comes from distant cousins Tom and Kathryn Peters, and Ed Wolf. Ed is the grandson of Barbara Krauss and Louis Wolf. Barbara Krauss had a sister, Emma Krauss (1863-1889), who married Otto Bauer (1861-1916). Otto was the brother of Frank Bauer (1863-1894), the husband of Margaret Greuter (1868-1940). Frank and Margaret’s daughter, Anna Bauer (1888-1963) was married to William A. Bittlingmeier (1885-1969). I talk about William in the section below under the heading "Louis Bittlingmeier and Katharina Schuhmann". William was their seventh child.
Thanks to a distant cousin, Dr. Bernard Humburger, who emailed me from Germany in February of 2016, we now know a little more about Susanna Homberger and her ancestors. I talk about them in the section below under the heading "Johann Melchoir Bittlingmeier and Susanna Homberger."
My great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather, Friedrich Bittlingmeier was born in the tiny village of Dietlingen in the German state of Baden, probably around 1720. Today, Baden is called Baden-Württemberg. Years later, Friedrich made his way to another small village 20 miles to the northeast, Oberderdingen, and married a woman whose name is unknown to us.
It was in Oberderdingen that Friedrich’s son, Johann Melchoir Bittlingmeier, was born, around 1745. Twenty years later, Johann, known more by his middle name of Melchoir, was working as a carpenter in another village called Hasselbach. Hasselbach is also 20 miles from Oberderdingen, but in a different direction, to the northeast. While living and working in Hasselbach, Melchoir married Susanna Margaretha Homberger on July 23, 1765. Susanna was born in Hasselbach on June 22, 1740.
From Dr. Humburger, we learn that Susanna's parents were Johannes Homburger the Blacksmith, and Anna Rosina. Johannes Homburger was born in Diedenbergen, another town, this one located about 100 miles north of Hasselbach, in the German state of Hessen, just west of Frankfurt. Johannes was born on September 30, 1677. That means he was 62 years old when Susanna was born in Hasselbach.
How and why Johannes made his way from the distant Diedenbergen to Hasselbach is unknown. However, according to Dr. Humburger, Johannes' parents were Thomas Homberger the Cowherd and Anna Maria Kopf. Thomas and Anna Maria are my 7-times great-grandparents (one more than Friedrich Bittlingmeier), the only ones I have that extend back that far. Click on "My Ancestral Chart" in the column on the left.
Dr. Humburger further states that Thomas Homberger the Cowherd was among the earliest German immigrants to the British Colony of New York in 1710. By now, you may have noticed the various spellings of Homburger/Humburger/Homberger. This is the way Dr. Humburger wrote them in his email. I assume these are the spellings in the various documents that he researched.
Five months after Susanna married Melchior, her father Johannes died, on December 12, 1765, in Hasselbach. He was 88 years old.
Curiously, Melchoir and Susanna's first child, Johanna Margaretha Barbara Bittlingmeier, was born on March 29, 1766 in yet another village, this one named Adersbach. Two years later, however, their second child, Philipp Daniel Bittlingmeier, was born back in Hasselbach on April 30, 1768.
For whatever reasons, Melchoir and Susanna were moving back and forth between Adersbach and Hasselbach. The two towns are barely two miles apart, in what is called the Sinsheim district of Baden. The district was noted as the center of the Mennonite Church.
The family seems to have finally stabilized around 1770 because the next four children were born in Adersbach, beginning in 1771.
One of the children was Johann Phillip Bittlingmeier, born June 7, 1777. Johann Philipp grew up to become a farmer, and a carpenter like his father. When Johann Phillip was 18 years old, his mother Susanna died in Hasselbach on March 24, 1796. She was just 55 years old. On November 17, 1805 his father Melchoir was around 60 when he died in Hasselbach from the effects of Emphysema, a long-term lung disease.
Three months after his father’s death, Johann Philipp married Eva Dorothea Gabler in Hasselbach on February 18, 1806. Eva was born January 31, 1782 in yet another village, Walheim, about 30 miles south of Hasselbach. Her parents were Ludwig Gabler and Sabina Stolp.
Johann Philipp and Eva had six children, all born in Hasselbach.
Johann and Eva's second child was Christoph Ludwig Bittlingmeier, born November 10, 1808. Christoph grew up to become a farmer and “daylaborer.” On February 21, 1843, he married Margaretha Christina Gauss in Huffenhardt, another small village several miles north of Hasselbach. Margaretha was born in Huffenhardt on June 19, 1807. Her parents were Johannes Gauss and Luise Augusta Witte.
Christoph was 34 years old when he married 35-year-old Margaretha. While we don’t know whether this was Christoph’s first marriage or not, we do know that Margaretha appears to have had a son named Johan Berhard Gauss, born seemingly out of wedlock in Huffenhardt on March 20, 1835, 8 years before the marriage. In fact, Christoph and Margaretha’s first child together was Philipp Adam Bittlingmeier, born in Huffenhardt on January 30, 1838, 5 years before the marriage.
After the marriage in 1843, the couple moved back to Christoph’s home village of Hasselbach and the next three children were (legitimately) born there: my great-great-grandfather, Ludwig (Louis) Bittlingmeier, January 24, 1844; Louisa Christine Bittlingmeier, July 16, 1846; and Caroline Bittlingmeier, May 13, 1848. Caroline died 10 months later on March 12, 1849. On February 9, 1847, 64-year-old Eva died in Hasselbach. On May 8, 1858, Johann Philipp Bittlingmeier died there, just short of his 81st birthday.
To read more about the German towns mentioned so far, click here.
After baby Caroline’s death, the family left Germany and made their way to America aboard a cargo sailing ship named Cotton Planter. They sailed from Antwerp, Belgium to New York, arriving on September 29, 1852. According to Dr. Humburger, the Cotton Planter was a 3-masted cargo sailing vessel which brought cotton from the southern states of America to Europe, and, in order to avoid returning with an empty cargo, they carried European immigrants to New York. Dr. Humburger points out that the voyage was not very comfortable, but low-priced.
Europeans arriving in New York in 1852 did not experience the elaborate immigration process that would eventually be put into place on Ellis Island in 1892. Prior to Ellis Island, the processing center was at Castle Garden, located along the southern coast of Manhattan Island. But Castle Garden did not open until 1855. When Christoph and Margaretha arrived in 1852, there was no processing center. The shipping company simply presented a passenger list to the collector of customs, the immigrants made customs declarations, and went their way.
From New York, the family made their way to Newark, New Jersey. Why they settled there is unknown. Christoph Ludwig was now known as just Ludwig, and Margaretha, as Margaret. Making the trip from Europe to America were their children, 14-year-old Philipp Adam, now known as Adam, 7-year-old Ludwig, and 6-year-old Louisa.
The only evidence I have been able to find about Adam is that he stayed in Manhattan and married Phillipine Scherger on October 4, 1855. He was 18 years old and Phillipine 20. She was born in England around 1836. That is it. From that point on, they completely disappeared.
As I stated above, my great-great-grandfather, Ludwig (Louis) Bittlingmeier, was born in Hasselbach, Germany on January 24, 1844. He arrived in America with his parents, his brother Adam, and his sister, Louisa, in 1852, settling in the city of Newark, New Jersey. Once in America, Ludwig changed his name to Louis.
Louis worked for a hat manufacturer in Newark. His mother, Margaret, was 60 years old when she died of cancer in Newark on August 4, 1867. His father, Christoph Ludwig, died from pneumonia on December 9, 1876 at the age of 68. Both parents are buried together at Woodland Cemetery in Newark.
On August 21, 1876, less than four months before the death of his father, Louis married Katharina Schuhmann. Katharina, or Katie, as she was known by the family, was born in Fremont, New York on December 22, 1856, but her parents came from Bavaria, Germany. Her father, Anton Schuhmann, was born there in February 1818; her mother, Josephine Hirschel (Hohschel), was also born in Bavaria, Germany, on February 15, 1816. Anton worked as a farmer in Fremont, but by 1870, the family had moved to Newark where Anton worked first as an engineer in a machine shop, and later, like Louis, as a hatter. Also, in 1870, 13-year-old Katie was working in a tailor shop. They all lived on Fifteenth Avenue in Newark.
To see a map of Germany showing the locations of Baden and Bavaria, click here.
The Children of Louis and Katie:
(1) MARGARET BITTLINGMEIER ZENGLEIN (1877-1948)
On January 1, 1877, Louis and Katie's first child was born, a daughter named Margaret Bittlingmeier. In 1902, 25-year-old Margaret was living in the same house as John Anthony Zenglein, at 390 South 8th Street in Newark, when they married on November 2, 1902. The marriage took place at Saint Ann's Parsonage, a Catholic church barely a block from where they lived. Attendants at the marriage were Margaret's sister Josephine Bittlingmeier, and her step-brother Joseph Kern.
Across the street from where they lived were the widowed Margaret (Surbeck) Greuter, her also widowed daughter, Maggie (Greuter) Bauer, her married daughter Annie (Greuter) with her husband Otto Bevensee, plus six children belonging to each of them.
John, born in Newark on March 17, 1880, at various times worked as a plumber, a steam fitter, and a sheet metal worker in a carriage shop. His parents were Anton/Anthony Zenglein and Marie Ernestine Stoetzel. He was 3 years younger than Margaret. He was tall with a medium build, had blue eyes and brown hair. Although his name was John Anthony, the family called him "Ed".
Margaret and John had eight children. Their first child, Beatrice Mary Zenglein, was born April 28, 1903, in Newark, NJ. She married George Patrick Rears at Saint Antoninus Roman Catholic Church in Newark on October 11, 1922. George was born in Newark on October 27, 1896, the son of George Rears, Sr. and Rosalia (Rosa) Louisa Bedersky. George served with the U.S. Army from 1918 to 1919. At the time of their marriage, George worked as a silversmith. In 1924, he joined the Newark police force and served 37 years until his retirement in 1961. He was 5' 10" in height, weighing about 200 pounds. He had brown eyes, black hair and a ruddy complexion.
Beatrice was an executive secretary for 18 years with the Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Company in Newark, before retiring in 1967.
Beatrice and George had one daughter and two sons. The daughter, Beatrice Catherine Rears, was born in Newark on November 12, 1924. On July 7, 1946, Beatrice married William R. Yetman at Saint Michael's church in Newark. William was born in Cranbury, NJ on March 19, 1923, the son of Robert Yetman and Mamie Soden. He dropped out of high school after three years and was employed as a draftsman for the Hercules Powder Company in Parlin, NJ. He was 6' 2" tall and weighed 185 pounds. He had brown hair, blue eyes and a dark complexion. William served in the U.S. Army during World War II and participated in the invasion of Normandy on D-Day and continued on to the Battle of the Bulge. He was the owner of Yetman Fence Company in Edison, NJ.
William and Beatrice had four daughters and one son. One of the daughters was Beatrice Marie Yetman, born in Newark on November 17, 1947. She graduated from Douglas College in New Brunswick, NJ and received her Masters Degree in teaching at Rutgers University. She lived in East Windsor, NJ and was Supervisor of the Foreign Languages Department for the Edison Township Board of Education, a member of the Edison Teachers Association and the New Jersey Education Association. In 2010, she retired from the Board of Education after serving 38 years. She died at JFK Medical Center in Edison, NJ after a brief illness. She was 67 years old.
Beatrice and George's second child was George P. P. Rears, Jr., born November 26, 1928 in Newark. He served in the U.S. Army Air Force and later the U. S. Air Force as a meteorologist from 1946 through 1949. He held the rank of 1st Lieutenant in the U. S. Air Force Reserves. After his military service he enrolled at New York University, majoring in Industrial Engineering. While at NYU, he was a member and president of Tau Beta Pi. He was also manager of the NYU track team. He received a bachelor of Industrial Engineering (cum laude) from NYU in 1953 and an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1955. He was employed by the E. I. DuPont de Nemours Company with assignments in the Electrochemical Plastics and Textile Fibers Department. He later became a DuPont Product and Market Development Manager and served as Director de Vent in Geneva, Switzerland.
In December of 1957, George married Wendy M. Purnell in Newark. He and Wendy lived in Wilmington, Delaware before moving to Pocono Pines in Pennsylvania. They also had a winter home in Savannah, Georgia. George was a member of the Lake Naomi Recreational Club in Pocono Pines and the Landings Club, a private golf course in Savannah. They were living in Savannah when George died there on February 9, 2005 after a long illness. He was 76 years old. He was buried at the National Veterans Cemetery in Beverly, New Jersey.
Beatrice and George's third child, Joseph Theodore Rears, was born in Newark on June 2, 1930.
Around 1974, Beatrice and George moved to 19 Sterling Place in Leisuretowne, a retirement community in Vincentown, located in the Pine Barrens of southern NJ. George was 81 when he died there on March 13, 1978. Beatrice died there on August 9, 1986, when she was 83 years old. She and George are buried together at the Beverly National Cemetery in Beverly, NJ. When their son George Jr. died on February 9, 2005 in Pocono Pines, he, too, was buried at the Beverly National Cemetery.
Margaret and John were living at 115 22nd Street in Irvington when their second child, a son named John A. Zenglein, Jr., was born April 10, 1904, but he tragically lived for only 30 minutes before dying of a cerebral hemorrhage. He was buried next to his great-grandmother Josephine Hirschel (Hohschel) Schuhmann who died four years before on May 7, 1900.
The third child, Katherine Margaret Zenglein, was born March 26, 1905 in Newark, NJ. By this time, the family had moved to 64 Holland Street in Newark. On May 27, 1925, Katherine married Matthew George Fitzsimmons in Manhattan, NY. Matthew was born in Newark on June 7, 1898. His parents were Irish-born Matthew Fitzsimmons and Catherine Creedon. He was 5' 6" tall, weighing 150 pounds, with brown hair and eyes and a ruddy complexion. He wore some sort of tattoo on his left arm. He worked as a polisher in a jewelry shop. Katherine and Matthew had a son and a daughter named John "Jack" Fitzsimmons and Marie Fitzsimmons. In 1930 they were renting an apartment at 628 Hunterdon Street in Newark. Matthew was unemployed. Katherine supported the family by driving a taxi. After moving briefly to Kearney, NJ they were living back in Newark in 1940 at 40 North 13th Street. Matthew was now working at a battery manufacturing company while Katherine was a telephone operator. By 1942, Matthew was again unemployed. Later, they moved to 132 Washington Street in Bloomfield, NJ.
Katherine was only 57 years old when she died at their home in Bloomfield on May 27, 1962. She is buried at Saint Theresa's Cemetery in Summit, NJ. Matthew moved to St. Petersburg, Florida and died there on May 8, 1970. He was 71 years old. He is buried with Katherine at Saint Theresa's Cemetery.
By the time the next child was born in 1909, the family was living at 45 Winans Avenue in Newark. The child was Margaret Josephine Zenglein, born August 18, 1909. She married Bartolomeo (Barto) F. Pante' on April 4, 1929 in Manhattan, NY. Barto was born in Agrigento, a city on the south-western coast of Sicily, on March 25, 1904. His parents were Giuseppe Pante' (1878-1953) and Vincenza Jean Commercio (1882-1960).
Margaret and Barto had a son and daughter: Joseph John Pante' born July 31, 1929 and Margaret Pante', born 1931.
The family lived at 583 South 19th Street in Newark before moving to Kearny, NJ in 1945. Margaret worked for 20 years as a phone operator for Robins Telephone Answering Service in Nutley, NJ. Barto was an interior decorator. They eventually divorced. At some point, Barto remarried, to a woman named Catherine, and moved to Florida.
Margaret was 61 when she died at St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, NJ, on July 30, 1971. She is buried at Hollywood Memorial Cemetery in Union, NJ. Barto died in Florida at the age of 96 on June 12, 2000. He is buried at Sea Pines Memorial Gardens, in Edgewater, Florida.
Their son Joseph married his middle-school sweetheart, Mary Campbell, in 1953. Like his father, he was a self-employed interior decorator, a career that lasted 67 years. His obituary says he served in the U.S. Army during World War II. In reality, he had just turned 16 when he enlisted on October 4, 1946, more than a year after the war ended. In World War II, America only allowed men and women 18 years or older to be drafted or enlisted into the armed forces, although 16 and 17-year-olds were allowed to enlist with parental consent.
Joseph was a member of both the Elks and American Legion. According to his obituary, he had an infectious smile, sense of humor and a big heart. His personality was "bigger than life" and the impression he left on you was unforgettable. He and Mary had two sons and three daughters. One of the sons, Joseph James Pante', was born in 1955. Mary died in 1976 and was buried at Hazel Wood Cemetery in Rahway, New Jersey. In 2009, when he was 80 years old, Joseph married Marty Correll. Seven years later, he died, in Montrose, Colorado, the day after Christmas on December 26, 2016. He was 87 years old. He was buried at Grand View Cemetery in Montrose.
A year before, Joseph and Mary's son, Joseph James Pante', was living in Keansburg, New Jersey when he died on March 29, 2015. He was only 59 years old. He was buried with his mother at Hazel Wood Cemetery in Rahway.
The fifth child was Marie Zenglein, born February 17, 1911. She married Charles Richard Harvin on February 3, 1933. Charles was born August 2, 1911 in Augusta, Georgia, the son of Walter Scott Harvin (1879-1965) and Savannah Lowe (1882-1985). They had a son, Charles R. Harvin, Jr., born 1936, and a daughter, Gladys Harvin, born 1939. They lived at 1225 Golf Terrace in Union, New Jersey.
Charles was district chairman of the National Screw Machine Products Association, and a recipient of the Gold Micrometer award. The National Screw Machine Products Association was a trade association which existed to represent the interests of the precision machined products industry. The association provides programs and services to the precision machining industry. It later expanded to include an international representation and is now known as the Precision Machined Products Association. The Gold Micrometer is awarded to those individuals who have made significant contributions to the precision machine parts industry.
Charles was also president of the Kenilworth Manufacturing Association and the Kenilworth, NJ Rotary Club, and a charter member of the Fairmount Country Club in Chatham, NJ.
Marie and Charles lived in Chatham, NJ before moving to Winston Salem, N.C., then to Delray Dunes in Boynton Beach in Florida. Marie died there at the age of 69 on December 23, 1980. Charles remarried, to a woman named Eve. He died at his home in Delray Dunes on February 26, 1991. He was 79 years old.
Two more sons were born: Another John Anthony Zenglein, Jr., born January 19, 1914; and Charles Edward Zenglein, born July 26, 1915. By the time Charles was born, the family had moved yet again, to 266 South 7th Street in Newark.
During World War II, John worked for the Elastic Stop Nut Company in Union, NJ. From 1945 until his retirement in 1975, he was co-owner of the Safety Auto School in Newark. He stood 5' 11.5" tall and weighed 165 pounds. He had blonde hair and blue eyes and a light complexion. John never married. He died on January 6, 1995 at the age of 80. He was buried at Hollywood Memorial Park Cemetery in Union, NJ.
Charles, who worked as a salesman for "Wilks and Gadd", married Mariam Gertrude Dill on December 26, 1965. Mariam was born August 31, 1921 in Hope, New Jersey. Her parents were John Dill (1895-1942) and Sarah "Sadie" Durling (1893-1969). Charles had blonde hair, blue eyes and a light complexion. He was 5' 9" tall and weighed 130 pounds. Charles was 76 when he died on December 6, 1991. Like his brother John, he was buried at Hollywood Memorial Park. Charles' wife Mariam died at the age of 85 on April 27, 2007. She was buried with Charles.
The last child of Margaret and John was Ernestine Zenglein, born March 3, 1917. Like her brother John, she never married. She was employed as a key-punch operator for the Red Devil Tool Company in Union, NJ, from 1953 to her retirement in 1973. She died on January 11, 1998 at the age of 80. She is buried at Hollywood Memorial Park.
In 1927, Margaret and John Sr. moved back to Irvington, at 23 Laventhal Avenue. They were still living there 20 years later when John, who had been suffering from the effects of throat cancer, died suddenly at home on August 17, 1947. He was 67 years old. His remains were cremated at Rosehill Crematory in Linden, NJ. A year later, Margaret suffered a heart attack and died on August 29, 1948. She was 71 years old. She was buried along with John's cremains at Hollywood Memorial Park in Union, New Jersey.
(2) JENETTE BITTLINGMEIER (1879-1879)
(3) CLARA BITTLINGMEIER (1879-1879)
On January 22, 1879 the twins Jenette and Clara were born. They did not survive the year. Little Clara died two months after her birth from diphtheria on March 30. Two days later, her twin sister Jenette died of pneumonia. I can only imagine the effect this double tragedy had on the young family. At the time of the twins birth, they were living at 367 Chestnut Street in Newark, but had moved to 456 Court Street before the twins died. Court Street is actually 15th Avenue, so later documents show they lived at 456 15th Avenue.
(4) JOSEPHINE BITTLINGMEIER (1880-1966)
On August 26, 1880 another daughter arrived. They named her Josephine Agatha Bittlingmeier. She attended school through the eighth grade and eventually found employment as a saleslady in a department store. She never married. As explained in more detail later in this narrative, Josephine had a "sister" named Amanda Hammins/Kern who eventually married a man named Charles Brown. At some point, Amanda and her husband moved to Woodstock, Virginia. It appears that Josephine may have moved with them. Around 1962, Josephine developed dementia and Amanda had her committed to the Miller Nursing Home in Woodstock. Over the next four years, Josephine also suffered from heart disease and breast cancer. She died at the nursing home of congestive heart failure on January 20, 1966 at the age of 85. She was buried at Saint Gertrude's Cemetery in Colonia, NJ.
(5) LOUIS BITTLINGMEIER (1882-1882)
A son, Louis Bittlingmeier, was born on February 12, 1882. Like the twins, Jenette and Clara, who lived only two months, Louis didn't fare much better. He died at the age of 8 months on October 22, 1882. Within the span of five years, Margaret had given birth to five children, but only two were now living.
(6) GEORGE ANTHONY BITTLINGMEIER (1883-1921)
Another son, George Bittlingmeier was born on October 24, 1883. George never married. He was a short man of medium build, with blue eyes and brown hair. He was also hunch-backed and had one leg shorter than the other. He was sometimes employed as a candy salesman and appears to have lived most of his adult life with his sister Margaret and her husband John Zenglein; later with his mother Katie and her second husband Sebastian Kern.
George died of kidney disease on September 30, 1921 at the young age of 37.
(7) WILLIAM ANTHONY BITTLINGMEIER (1885-1969)
My great-grandfather William A. Bittlingmeier was born on October 4, 1885. Like his father, William worked as a "moulder" in an iron works in Newark. He was 5 foot 7 1/2 inches tall, weighed 185 pounds, had gray eyes, brown hair, and a ruddy complexion. He also had a tattoo on his left arm.
William was 19 years old when he married 16-year-old Anna Bauer on February 2, 1905 at St. John's Lutheran Church in Newark. Anna was born April 1888 in Newark. Her parents were Germans, Frank Bauer and Margaret Greuter.
William and Anna had four children: my grandmother, Margaret Bittlingmeier, born January 2, 1906; Edna Bittlingmeier, born June 16, 1907; William Henry Bittlingmeier, on July 1, 1916; and Marion D. Bittlingmeier, on July 8, 1921.
The family moved around a lot. In 1910, they were living at 398 South 8th Street in Newark, but by 1917, they had moved to 943 Grove Street in Irvington. In 1930, their home was at 268 Burroughs Terrace in Union. By 1940, William and Anna lived at 184 Alexander Street in Newark.
Margaret Bittlingmeier married my grandfather Jacob (Jack) Bogner around 1929. Jack was 5' 6" tall and weighed 160 pounds. He had green-grey eyes, brown hair and a ruddy complexion. He also wore eyeglasses. I remember a story about Jack pulling an injured man from a burning car and singeing his eyes in the process. That's why he had to wear eyeglasses. When he was 16 years old (around 1918), Jack ran away from home. The family had no word as to his whereabouts until the day his mother Adele and his little sister Julia went to the movies. As was usual in those days, the movie theater also ran "news reels" to show what was happening around the world. There was a World War raging overseas. Much to their shock, there was film of Jack driving a general around in a jeep. Now they knew where he had gone.
Jack and Margaret set up home at 61 Brookdale Avenue in Newark and had two children: my mother Jacqueline Bogner, born October 15, 1933; and Ronald Bogner, born in 1937. Margaret, who was called Margie by the family, was called Nana by me and my siblings, then Gigi when she became a great-grandmother (GG).
Jack worked as a trucker. He owned a trucking business called "Ronnie's Light Delivery", named after his son. My father helped him with the business for a while. In 1940, Jack and Margie were living at 78 Boylan Street in Newark. Neither Jack nor Margie went beyond the 8th grade in school.
Jack and Margie retired to Cliffwood Beach, NJ, not far from my childhood home in Middletown. I remember visiting them as a small child. We, of course, referred to Margie as "Nana".
Jack loved to give us kids change to go to The Sweetshop, a candy and ice cream store near the "Pirate Ship" in Cliffwood Beach. He had tattoos on his arms; an Indian head on his left arm, and a picture of Mutt from the "Mutt and Jeff" comic strip on his right arm. Jack loved jewelry, a trait he inherited from his father (and they must have passed it down to me!). When Nana became a great-grandmother, we began calling her "Gigi" (from GG for Great-Grandmother). She had half of her index finger missing, the result, as she told us, from an accident while working in a factory.
Eventually, Jack and Gigi moved to a retirement home at 7-B North Dakota Avenue in Manchester Township, in Ocean County, NJ. They were living there when Jack died at Community Hospital in Toms River on February 16, 1975. He was 72 years old.
I was 20 years old when I found out Margie had been married twice. You see, I had fallen in love with a divorced man, and my mother, Jackie, was upset when she learned of this. My mother had very controlling ways and very opinionated on how things should be done.
My grandma, Margie, was a very loving, nurturing person who was more open to acceptance of life’s flaws. So I spoke to her about my situation with my mother and she confided that my grandfather, Jack Bogner, was actually her second husband. Her first husband was a man named Joe Miele, an electrician by trade, who she married at the Mayor's office in Newark on March 8, 1924. Joe was born in Newark on July 12, 1903, the son of Italian immigrants Michael Miele and Felicia Andelino. Besides being an electrician, Joe worked for a drug store in Elizabeth. He was 5' 7" tall, weighed 160 pounds, with brown eyes and hair and a dark complexion. After a few years, the marriage ended in divorce.
Before I had a chance to recover from this amazing revelation, my mother walked in on the conversation and cut it short. She told my grandmother (her mother) that she’d never speak to her if the subject was ever mentioned again.
It was never spoken of again until my grandfather’s wake. Jack was living with Margie in Manchester, NJ when he died on February 16, 1975. He was 72 years old. My mother and I were at the wake when Joe Miele showed up to pay his respects. It turns out that he knew Jack also. My mom reacted with great anger over this.
I was 20 years old but still a child in my mother’s eyes. I was told to leave the room and forbidden to ever mention it again.
I spent years saying to my husband, Larry, that I wish I had more information about my grandmother’s first husband. It wasn’t until our paths crossed with Kathryn and Tom Peters that I was given a great gift; they actually had a copy of the first marriage certificate. Now I have a better understanding of my grandmother, thanks to Kathryn and Tom. It's unfortunate, however, that I have not been able to locate a copy of Margie and Jack's marriage certificate.
After Jacks' passing, Margie, who we now called Gigi, continued living at the home in Manchester. On August 28, 1989, at the age of 83, she died at Brick Hospital, in Brick, NJ. She was buried with Jack at Graceland Memorial Park in Kenilworth, NJ. Although her birth certificate says she was born January 2, 1906, we always celebrated Gigi's birthday on December 2. On the 1915 New Jersey State Census, her birth date is written as Dec. 1905.
In 1946, Joe Miele became the founder and owner of the Lloyd Drug Company in Elizabeth. He bought a vacation home in Stanhope, New Jersey in 1951 where he spent most summers. In April of 1991, he retired from his drug company. Exactly one week after his 88th birthday, he died at Dover General Hospital on July 19, 1991. At the time, he was survived by his brother Victor Miele. Joe never remarried.
My grandmother continues to amaze me. She was divorced in an era when it was looked down upon. Then she went on to re-marry, this time to a husband of a different religion. Of course, her parents, William A. Bittlingmeier and Anna Bauer, were of different religions, one Protestant, the other Catholic. When Bill and Anna married, they agreed that religion wouldn’t be discussed in the home. Their beliefs were different, yet fundamentally the same.
Edna Bittlingmeier never married. She spent much of her adult life doing laundry work. She was 79 years old when she died in Perth Amboy, NJ on January 30, 1987. She is also buried at Hollywood Memorial Park.
William "Bill" Henry Bittlingmeier married Mildred Bernice Glowacki. Mildred was born "Melanya Bronislawa Glowacki" in Hammond, Indiana on March 31, 1919. Her parents were steel mill worker John Glowacki and Mary Rychwalski. The marriage took place in Newark in 1937. They lived at 103 Kossuth Street in Newark. There is some evidence that Mildred may have been married the year before to someone named Tober.
Bill and Mildred had three children: William "Billy" Bittlingmeier, born in Irvington, New Jersey on October 12, 1940; Barbara Bittlingmeier, born in 1944; and David Bittlingmeier, born in 1946. At some point the family moved to Florida. In 1950, Bill and Mildred filed for divorce. In 1954, Mildred remarried, to Gerald W. Backus. That marriage ended in 1966 and Mildred married for a third time in 1975 to Jack K. Van Winkle. Mildred, Jack and Billy lived in Pinellas Park, Florida. Billy was only 39 years old when he died on July 29, 1980. Mildred died in Camden, North Carolina on May 27, 2006 when she was 87 years old.
Bill eventually married his second wife, Jean Buckley, in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey in June of 1953. It was also Jean's second marriage. Her first, to James Kirkaldy in 1945, produced two children: Richard "Ricky" Kirkaldy and Jean "Jeanie" Kirkaldy. Bill and Jean had one son, Bruce A. Bittlingmeier, born August 10, 1958. They owned an ice cream store in the Woodbridge area. At some point, Bill and Jean divorced. She remarried, to Charles Wood, and had another daughter. Jean died at the age of 70 in South River, NJ on June 4, 1993.
Bill remarried again, to Susanna "Susan" Smith, the daughter of George Sullivan Smith Sr. (1886-1970) and Annette Mary McKernan (1896-1954). Curiously, Jean and Susan were born two months apart, Jean in Elizabeth, NJ on April 4, 1922, and Susan in Johnstown, Pa. on June 4, 1922.
Susan's first husband was Max Edward Burton, a Newark baker who worked for Tastee Baking Company of Newark. Max was born January 29, 1914 in London, England, the son of George Burton and Catherine Richert. He was 5' 8" tall and weighed 145 pounds, with brown hair and eyes and a fair complexion. He arrived from England on April 21, 1930 aboard the S.S. George Washington. He and Susan were married in Newark on February 15, 1941. They lived at 134 Leslie Street in Newark. They belonged to St. Bartholmew's church in Newark, and Max was a member of Local 84 Bakers Confectioner Union. They had a son, Edward G. Burton and two daughters, Susan Burton and Joan M. Burton.
In 1963, Max and Susan purchased a four-room Cape Cod home at 37 W. Icker Avenue in East Brunswick. Two years later, he died of a heart attack on April 10, 1965. He was only 51 years old. He was buried at Resurrection Cemetery in Piscataway, New Jersey.
Bill was a salesman for Eastern Airlines before retiring to Florida in 1980. While in Florida, he worked as a coordinator for the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). He was also a member of the "Lighter Spiritualism Church". He and Susan were living in Orlando, Florida when he died on August 27, 1998 at the age of 82. His remains were cremated. At the time of his death, he had 14 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren. By the time she died on August 26, 2012 at the age of 90, Susan had moved back to Edison, New Jersey.
Marion Bittlingmeier married Michael Speziok on June 29, 1946. Michael was born in Irvington on November 27, 1916, the son of Michael Speziok, Sr. and Anna Balas, who were born in Czechoslovakia. The Spezioks lived at 1137 Grove Street in Irvington. Michael's father worked for the railroad. When he enlisted into the Army in January of 1941, Michael was 5' 7" tall and weighed 128 pounds. He served through the entire war, and was discharged in November of 1945. They had a son and two daughters. Marion died July 1991 at the age of 70. Michael died July 24, 1996, age 79, in Edison, NJ.
At the time that Anna died on June 1, 1963 at the age of 75, she and William were living at 196 Crann Street in Hillside, NJ. William died on May 5, 1969. He was 83 years old. By this time, they had 10 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren. They are buried together at Hollywood Memorial Park in Union, NJ.
Louis was only 55 years old when he died of cirrhosis of the liver on October 11, 1899. He is buried with his parents in Woodland Cemetery. Katie's parents, Anton and Josephine Schuhmann, moved in with her and the remainder of the family at 357 15th Avenue in Newark. Katie's daughters Margaret and Josephine, and sons George and William were still living with her. Margaret would soon marry John Zenglein in 1902, and William would marry Anna Bauer in 1905. Josephine and George never married.
On May 7, 1900, Josephine, who had been suffering from hepatitis, died at the home. She was 84. She was buried at Cemetery of the Holy Sepulchre in Newark. I don't know what happened to Anton after this.
Katie eventually remarried at the age of 45, on May 18, 1902, to 52-year-old Sebastian Jakob Kern, a German iron worker who also worked in Newark as a night watchman. Sebastian was born in Germany on July 24, 1849. His father was Anton Kern; mother Mary Weber. Sebastian came to America in 1875. His first wife was Bertha Reichert who gave him three sons, George Kern, Marlen Kern and Henry Kern. Bertha died sometime before 1900.
By 1910, Katie and Sebastian were living on a farm at 354 Morris Avenue (near Burnet Avenue) in Union, NJ. For the time being, Sebastian was a farmer. Living with them were Katie's daughter, Josephine Bittlingmeier, and two boarders: 49-year-old Joseph Gruber and 2-year-old Amanda Hammins. Joseph was born in Austria; Amanda in Pennsylvania.
By 1920, Katie and Sebastian were living at 159 Bergen Street in Newark. Sebastian was now working as a "watchman" in a factory. Katie's daughter Josephine had been replaced by her son George Bittlingmeier. Curiously, Josephine was now living at 354 Morris Avenue in Union, NJ, with Joseph Gruber, who lists himself as a retired priest. More curiously, 11-year-old Amanda Kern was living with them and Amanda was listed as Joseph's adopted daughter.
On August 21, 1925, Katie died of a heart attack. Ironically, this would have been her and Louis' 49th wedding anniversary. She was buried with her mother at the Cemetery of the Holy Sepulchre. Remember, Louis was buried at Woodland Cemetery.
By April of 1930, the Federal Census shows Sebastian had replaced Joseph Gruber at the home at 354 Morris Avenue in Union. Amanda Kern, who is now 21 years old, is listed as Sebastian's daughter. She works as a clerk typist for the coal company. I'm still unsure where Amanda came from and why she was born in Pennsylvania. Josephine Bittlingmeier, now 47, is still living there as well. She is a saleslady for a department store. I don't know what happened to Joseph Gruber.
Four months later, Sebastian died at Saint Elizabeth Hospital in Elizabeth, NJ on August 26, 1930, almost exactly 5 years after Katie. He was admitted to the hospital on July 17, 1930, so he, in fact, celebrated his 81st birthday there before his death. For some reason, he was sent to Woodland Cemetery for burial, but a few days later transferred to Holy Sepulchre to be buried with Katie.
In 1940, Josephine Bittlingmeier, now 58 and still working as a sales clerk for a department store, is living at 2431 Morris Avenue in Union. Living nearby is Amanda Kern who is now married to Charles Brown, a salesman for the coal company where Amanda worked. She is now Amanda Brown. When Josephine died in 1966, her obituary says she had a brother, William Bittlingmeier, and a sister, Mrs. Amanda Brown.
As I stated above, the third child of Christoph Ludwig Bittlingmeier and Margaretha Gauss, Louisa Christina Bittlingmeier, the sister of Louis and William Bittlingmeier, was born in Hasselbach, Germany on July 16, 1846. She travelled to America with her parents sometime around 1850.
When she was 17 years old, Louisa met a young civil war soldier named William Schneider, the son of Phillip and Sophie Schneider. William was born Wilhelm Schneider in Neckarbischofsheim, Germany, in 1837. He had been serving with the New Jersey Volunteers, Company E, Second Regiment since the beginning of the war and had fought in many battles, including Second Manassas, Antietam and Gettysburg. Prior to his enlistment, he worked as a "silver plater".
On January 5, 1864, the couple was married at the German Evangelical Reformed Church on Mulberry Street in Newark. Four months later, Corporal William Schneider was killed in action in a skirmish at Lauren Hill (Spotsylvania Courthouse) in Virginia, on May 8, 1864. He was only 27 years old and Louisa was a very young widow. Click here to see William Schneider's Civil War Service Record.
Besides being a young widow, Louisa was also pregnant. On November 22, 1864, she gave birth to William Schneider, Jr., 6 months after William Sr.'s death.
A year later, 19-year-old Louisa married another soldier, Jacob Bechtold, in Newark, on July 26, 1865, two months after the war had ended. Jacob was 29 at the time of the marriage.
Jacob, born around 1837 in Schleitheim, Switzerland, was the son of Johann and Barbara Bechtold. He arrived in America aboard a ship called the Malabar, which arrived in New York on October 26, 1863.
During the Civil War, Jacob served in Company C of the 8th New Jersey Volunteers, having volunteered for three years as a substitute (i.e. he was paid to take the place of a draftee) for John O'Donnell, Esq., of Hoboken, New Jersey. He enlisted on August 5, 1864 in Newark. Jacob was at Appomattox on April 9, 1865 to witness Lee's surrender. He was mustered out of service on July 17, 1865 in Washington, D.C., a week before marrying the widow Louisa. Click here to see Jacob Bechtold's Civil War Service Record.
Early in the marriage, Jacob worked as a "saloon keeper", a "baker", and later as an "engineer".
Louisa's baby from her first marriage, little William Schneider, Jr., was 1 year old when he died on January 8, 1866. He was buried in an unmarked grave in Woodland Cemetery in Newark. At the time, Louisa was pregnant with her second, and Jacob's first, child.
Louisa and Jacob had five children:
(1) JOHN H. BECHTOLD, born in Newark on August 26, 1866. By 1880, 13-year-old John, and his brother Louis who was one year younger, were working in a chair making factory in Newark to help support the family. A curious news article appeared in the Brooklyn Union-Argus newspaper on May 23, 1881 stating that young John was "shot in the abdomen" early Sunday morning while in "The Meadows" below his home on Adams Street in Newark. While we have not been able to locate any other information regarding this incident, it does give us a glimpse in how they were living at the time. In 1881, "The Meadows" was a huge swamp, or wetlands. The European settlers, like the Native Americans who preceded them, used The Meadows as a source of fish, oysters, fowl, and small mammals for food, furs, and sport. Perhaps young John was hunting in this area and was involved in a hunting accident.
This wetlands area no longer exists today. If you look at a map of present-day Newark, you will find the end of Adams Street at the outer limits of Newark International Airport. The swamp was drained and the airport, which opened in 1928, was built on top of it.
As curious as this shooting incident was, John must have led a rough life. In another article, this one from the New York Herald, dated August 7, 1882, "In a quarrel in Pearl street, Newark, N. J. last evening, John Bechtold was stabbed three times by Theodore Rehmann. The assailant was arrested." We have been unable to find any other information about this.
By 1887, John finally settled down and married Catherine Mulhearn at St. James Catholic Church in Newark. Catherine was born in Newark on the Fourth of July in 1863, the daughter of William Mulhearn and Catherine Farley. She was three years older than John. Both families were parishioners of the church. In fact, both John and Catherine were christened there after they were born. The couple lived in a small house at 33 Avenue C in Newark.
John and Catherine's first child was born in Newark on August 20, 1888. She was given her mother's name, Catherine Bechtold. On July 30, 1891, a pair of twins named John Joseph Bechtold and Mary Bechtold was born. On September 6, 1894, at the age of 31, Catherine (the mother) died. She was buried at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in East Orange. Six months later, little 6-year-old Catherine also died, on March 7, 1895, from bronchial pneumonia. She was placed in the same grave with her mother.
On November 6, 1895, in the same church as his first marriage, John married again, this time to Anna House. Anna was born in Newark on September 5, 1863, the daughter of Nicholas Haus and Gertrude Maur. Note the German spelling of Haus and the Anglicized version of House.
Anna became the step-mother for John and Catherine's twins. I have found no evidence that John and Anna had any more children.
John's occupation was "Stationary Engineer". A Stationary Engineer primarily refers to an operator of boilers, heating systems, water and gas pumps, etc. These Engineers typically resided in a fixed Control Room from which equipment was operated and monitored, hence the designation, "Stationary".
By 1900, John, Anna and the twins were living at 185 Pacific Street in Newark, a house they owned through a mortgage. By 1910, they were still living in Newark but at 132 Pennsylvania Avenue. John was now employed as a Newark policeman. He was appointed a policeman October 12, 1900. He became a mounted officer in the First Precinct August 1, 1902, and a motor cycle officer in the First and Third precincts October 3, 1907. A year later he was assigned as doorman at the Sixth Precinct Station on October 1, 1908.
The twins, now 18 years old in 1910, both held steady jobs; young John as a clerk in a flower shop, and Mary as a milliner in a women's hat shop. Living with them was a 22-year-old boarder named Gertrude House. We have been unable to identify this young woman who bears the same name as Anna's mother.
By 1917, John J. was working as a chauffeur for a Mrs. Auerbacher in Newark. He was of medium height (5'8") and build, with blue eyes and brown hair. On November 11, 1917, he followed in his father's footsteps by joining the Newark police force. Initially, he was assigned as a patrolman to First Precinct Station. The following year he enlisted in the Army, on March 5, 1918, and served with the Army infantry overseas during World War I. After the war he returned to his post at the precinct.
On February 12, 1919, Anna died from breast cancer at the age of 55. Her husband John was 52 and living alone at the home on Pennsylvania Avenue in 1920, and still working as a Newark policeman. Anna was buried at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in a plot near John's first wife, Catherine Mulhearn Bechtold.
After nearly two years of John's second widowerhood, he married for a third time, on November 17, 1920, to Antoinette H. Baechlin. Antoinette was the daughter of Oscar Baechlin and Lydia Falk. She was born in Newark on December 31, 1886. Thus, she was 20 years younger than John. He was 52 years old when they married; she 33. It was her first marriage. They were married at the Blessed Sacrament Roman Catholic Church on Van Ness Place in Newark.
In 1931, the son, John J., was assigned to the newly organized headquarters auto squad. He also served on the Headquarters Detective Bureau, holding the rank of Lieutenant. He worked primarily on the vice squad, and later was in charge of the police garage on Franklin Street. As if this wasn't enough to keep him busy, he also was a member of the Police Anchor Club, Knights of Columbus, Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, Superior Officers Association, and Newark Police Post No. 1439 Veterans of Foreign Wars.
In 1941, John J. married Mary O'Malley, the daughter of Martin O'Malley and Annie Tehnay. Mary was born in Newark on February 28, 1892. Martin was also a Newark Policeman. Mary was a one-time Democratic state committeewoman and the sister of Police Inspector Eugene O'Malley. They married each other late in life. John J. was 50 and Mary 40.
John H., the father, retired from the police force on September 1, 1931. He and Antoinette moved to 9 Woodland Terrace in Livingston, New Jersey, about 10 miles west of Newark. In 1934, he was diagnosed with Arteriosclerosis and Myocarditis. He died four years later, July 25, 1938, from the effects of those conditions, plus Pulmonary Edema. He was 71 years old. He was buried next to his second wife, Anna House Bechtold, at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery.
Antoinette continued living in Livingston until 1955, when she moved to 12 miles northeast to 192 Alexander Avenue in Upper Montclair, New Jersey where she worked as a governess. But, she also suffered from heart disease and died at home a year later on December 16, 1956, two weeks before her 70th birthday.
62-year-old John J., the son, died at St. James's Hospital after a long bout with liver cancer, on August 9, 1953. He and his wife Mary were living at 244 Roseville Avenue in Newark. At the time of his death, he was still working as a detective lieutenant with the Newark Police Department, a thirty-five year veteran. John, Catherine and Anna, and the children, Catherine and John J. are all buried at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in East Orange, NJ. I don't know what became of John J.'s twin sister Mary. John's wife Mary lived until her 88th year and died on October 8, 1981. She was buried with John at Holy Sepulchre.
(2) LOUIS BECHTOLD was born in Newark on September 26, 1867. Sometime before 1890, he moved to Yonkers, a city in New York on the Hudson River, about 25 miles from Newark. Why did he go to Yonkers? We're not sure, but Cousin Bob Bechtold believes Louis and a lot of other young people of the time were lured to Yonkers by the chances for work. The population was growing at the time and Yonkers was booming, becoming an industrial town in the late 19th Century. It was the home for the Waring Hat Manufacturing Company, the largest in the world, the Otis Elevator Company, the Alexander Smith Carpet Company (also the largest in the world), and others. Indeed, Louis found a job with Waring. There is some evidence that Louis was the treasurer for the hat company's fire department
It was in Yonkers where Louis met and married Helena (Lena) K. Henn. Lena was born in Yonkers in September of 1863. Her parents were Prussian immigrants, John and Helena Henn, who were living at 19 Washington Street in Yonkers at the time of the marriage. Lena's father was a shoemaker. Lena was working at the Alexander Smith Carpet Company (referred to as "the carpet shop" by family descendants) when she met Louis.
One of the employees of the carpet shop, in 1895, was the future Poet Laureate of England, John Masefield. He served as England's poet laureate from 1930 until his death in 1967, holding the post for longer than anyone except Alfred, Lord Tennyson. Masefield later published a book about his experiences in Yonkers and the carpet factory, called In The Mill. Bob Bechtold remembers Mansfield mentioning in his book about an elderly woman who stood in the street each day (in 1895) as the workers poured into and out of the factory, looking for her son, who'd never returned from the Civil War.
Louis and Lena had four children:
William Louis Bechtold, born in Yonkers in September 25, 1889.
Helen M. Bechtold, born in Yonkers in January 1893.
Jessica A. Bechtold was born in Yonkers in April 1894. She was known as Jessie.
This remarkable photograph below, actually a tintype, was given to Cousin Bob Bechtold by his grandparents when he was a boy. The little boy in the photo is Bob's grandfather, William Bechtold. On the right is little William's father, Louis Bechtold, Lena's husband. William Bittlingmeier, on the left, is William H. Bittlingmeier, the brother of Louisa Bittlingmeier and my great-great-grandfather Louis Bittlingmeier (Louis and William were popular names in the Bechtold and Bittlingmeier families). I know very little about William H. Bittlingmeier (scroll to bottom of this page to see what I do have). To see a larger version of the photo, click on the image.
In the Fall of 1895, Louis ran for the position of alderman in the 4th Ward, running under the Socialist Labor Party label. An alderman is an elected official who represents the people of a section of a town or city, such as a district or ward. In 1895, Louis and Lena lived at 11 Washington Street in Yonkers, which at that time was located in the 4th ward of the city. The election was held on November 5, 1895 and Louis lost to the Republican candidate who received 603 votes. The Democratic candidate received 417 votes. Louis came in third with just 30 votes.
Several weeks later, Louis was out fishing with several co-workers from the hat company. Apparently, this was a custom he had been practicing ever since moving to Yonkers. Every Sunday, he and his friends would rent rowboats at the public dock near the end of Main Street and row across the Hudson River to the New Jersey side and fish near The Palisades. Sometimes, they would rent a room at the Hoffman Hotel on Main Street.
One Sunday, December 15, 1895, around 6 PM, they returned from a day's fishing, five men in two boats. The weather had turned quite rough and one of the boats containing two of the men turned in at the Ludlow Street dock, while Louis and two of his friends continued on in the other boat towards the public dock. Later that night or early next morning, it became apparent that the three men never returned to the hotel or their homes. Several workers from the Waring Hat Company joined the police in searching for the men. Nonetheless, their bodies were not recovered until Tuesday, December 17. It was presumed their boat capsized in the stormy waters and they drowned.
Louis was buried in the Henn family plot at Oakland Cemetery in Yonkers.
Besides Louis, the other men were Frederick Fisher, a widower, and Alexander Houston, who had been married less than one month. In some of the news articles, his name is spelled Houston, in others House. Although we haven't been able to verify this, it's possible Alexander was related to Anna House, the second wife of Louis' brother, John Bechtold. According to The Yonkers Statesman newspaper, all three men, including Louis, were reported to be "temperate". That is, they abstained from alcoholic beverages.
Lena was now left a young widow with three small children to raise (William, the oldest, was only six years old). To make this story even more tragic, Lena was six months pregnant with their last child. Louis was a member of the Hatters Union in Yonkers and his fellow hatters took up a collection for his poor family.
Three months after Louis' tragic death, Lena gave birth to their fourth child, Florence L. Bechtold, in Yonkers on March 18, 1896.
Somehow, Lena was able to go on alone, raising her four children. She wasn't completely alone, however. Her Henn family still lived in Yonkers, including four sisters and two brothers. Bob Bechtold believes Lena worked at a butcher shop in Yonkers where her brother also worked. We're not sure which brother this might have been. She had two brothers, Otto Henn and John Henn. Both were butchers and both worked at one time for Frederick Gross, the owner of the butcher shop in Yonkers. Recently, Bob bought a business card of the butcher shop advertised on eBay. When he got the card, he was surprised, and elated, to discover a name written on the blank side of the card. The name was Jessie, and Bob believes this is most probably Lena's daughter, Jessie Bechtold. Click on the images below to see larger versions.
According to Bob, Louis and Lena lived above the butcher shop, at 46 Riverdale Avenue, at least one year before his death.
In June of 1912, Lena's son William Louis Bechtold was working for the New York Central Railroad when he married Ethel A. Bailey on June 19, 1912. Ethel was born in Yonkers on August 3, 1890, the daughter of William Bailey (1847-1920) and Cecelia Nodine (1850-1918). While Ethel's mother Cecelia Nodine was born in Yonkers, her father William Bailey was born in Wexford, Ireland. The coastal town of Wexford is in County Wexford, the same county where my Murphy ancestors were from, in the town of Enniscorthy, located 15 miles north along the River Slaney. To see a map of Ireland showing the location of Enniscorthy and Wexford, plus a description of Enniscorthy, click here.
According to Bob Bechtold, the Nodines were an old Yonkers family, going back to at least the 18th Century, possibly arriving in Westchester County as early as the 17th Century. Bob grew up on Nodine Hill in Yonkers, on land that his great-great-great-great grandfather, Peter Nodine, bought in 1791. The 40 acres of land he farmed in the late 18th and early 19th Century eventually became a dense urban district. Bob grew up there in an old, 7-family tenement.
During the Revolutionary War, Westchester County was a no-man's land with a lot of violence between colonists taking one side or the other, as well as on the part of roving gangs out to steal or cause mayhem. Peter Nodine was "strung up" by British soldiers trying to make him reveal where he'd hidden his money. Supposedly he'd hidden it among some large boulders & never revealed the location. Stringing people up to get loot or information was apparently a common tactic of the British. Bob adds that Peter's wife, Sarah Hobson, was baking corn cakes or something in an outdoor oven and taking them out with a shovel, when British soldiers tried to help themselves. She supposedly drove them away with the shovel.
Cecelia Nodine, Bob's great-grandmother, was one of three children (all girls) of Benjamin C. Nodine, who served as a sergeant with the 17th New York Infantry, (the "Westchester Chasseurs") the regiment that led the charge on August 30, 1862 against Stonewall Jackson's troops at the Deep Cut, in Second Manassas. A number of Yonkers Nodines served with the 17th New York, and several were wounded in that attack that day, including Benjamin.
While Benjamin was at war, his wife, Emily, and three daughters received an allotment of $2.50 a week from the (then) Village of Yonkers. Several months later he was "discharged for disability," returned to Yonkers, and worked there as a gunsmith, presumably for the Starr Arms company. Early in 1864, however, he re-enlisted, this time in the 6th New York Heavy Artillery, another Westchester regiment. He was wounded at Spotsylvania Courthouse and died of his wounds in Washington, D.C. on May 27th, 1864.
Initially, William and Ethel lived with her parents at 43 Western Avenue in Yonkers, later moving to 43 Prospect Street. William was a tall slender man, with grey eyes and dark brown hair. He worked for the New York Central Railroad for 42 years, starting when he was 14 years old until his retirement in 1947 as a milk superintendent. He was also a leading member of the Patriotic Order Sons of America.
William and Ethel had six children between 1913 and 1932. By 1930, they were living at 107 Oliver Avenue in Yonkers. William was working as a "milk service foreman" for the railroad company. In 1939, his annual income was $2500. In 1940, they were living at 54 Groshon Avenue in Yonkers.
William and Ethel's first child, Louis "Lou" W. Bechtold, was born in Yonkers on June 29, 1913. On October 10, 1936, he married Alice Helwig. Alice was born in Yonkers on May 19, 1911, the daughter of Henry Helwig and Edith Williams. They rented an apartment at 230 Woodland Avenue in Yonkers. Lou worked as a clerk for the Alexander Smith carpet mill, earning about $1300 per year. He had brown hair and eyes with a light complexion. On October 1, 1939, Alice gave birth to a baby boy named William L. Bechtold. Then, on November 29, 1940, their second son arrived. His name was Peter H. Bechtold. According to Bob Bechtold, there was a third son.
Lou was 30 years old when he was drafted into the Navy in March of 1944 during the Second World War. According to Bob, this was despite the fact that his wife Alice was ill and they had three little boys, who had to be separated and sent to live with relatives (including Bob's parents, who had a sick child of their own to care for). During the war, Lou served on a destroyer escort in the Pacific. He saw action in the South Pacific. Bob said his parents received many wartime letters from Lou. In one of them, he wrote "I can't tell you what we're doing now, but if you read the papers you'll know what's going on." He was released from the Navy after the war ended in September of 1945.
At some point, the family moved to Hilliard, Ohio where Lou worked as an office manager for the Alexander Smith Carpet Company, the same company he worked for in Yonkers. Hilliard is about 15 miles northwest of Columbus, Ohio. On June 30, 1958, 17-year-old Peter was riding as a passenger on a motorcycle in Columbus when they were struck by an automobile. While the driver of the motorcycle had minor bruises, Peter succumbed to his injuries a week later on July 7, 1958. His grandparents, William and Ethel Bechtold, plus his Uncle George Bechtold and Uncle Robert Bechtold and his wife Ethel May traveled from Yonkers for the funeral. Peter was buried at the Wesley Chapel Cemetery in Hilliard. Here is his obituary.
On September 29, 1981, 70-year-old Alice died at the Mt. Carmel Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio. Lou was also 70 but living in Dover, Delaware when he followed Alice two years later on November 13, 1983. They are buried with Peter at Wesley Chapel Cemetery. I have no idea why Lou was in Delaware.
William and Ethel's second child, a boy named Ethelbert Warren Bechtold, was born April 11, 1915. He was known to the family as Bert. In 1939, he worked only 8 weeks, earning $120 as a part-time handy-man for a hospital services company. He was 6' 2" tall, weighing 150 pounds, with blonde hair and blue eyes, with a light complexion. He married Louise Regina Siegert. She was born in Yonkers on July 13, 1921. Her parents were Paul and Wilhelmina Siegert. Bert and Louise had a daughter, Virginia L. Bechtold, born October 31, 1943. They lived at 366 Roberts Avenue in Yonkers. In 1960, Virginia was in Northampton, Plainfield Township in Pennsylvania when she died suddenly from respiratory failure two days before her 17th birthday, on October 29, 1960. She was buried in Plainfield Cemetery in nearby Pen Argyl, Pennsylvania.
Around 1968, Bert and Louise moved to Unadilla, New York, located about 160 miles northwest of Yonkers. Louise was a member of Rogers Hollow Craft Group in Unadilla, developing and showing off her talent for crochet. By 2008, they were living 5 miles east of Unadilla, in Sidney, New York. They were living there when Bert died on November 19, 2008. He was 93 years old. Louise followed him six years later on January 14, 2014. They were buried with Virginia in Plainfield Cemetery in Pennsylvania. Louise's mother, Wilhelmina Siegert is buried in the same plot.
The third child, a daughter, Ethel Cecelia Bechtold, was born June 17, 1917. In 1939, she worked 12 weeks as a "finisher" at a men's hat factory, earning $60. Sometime after 1940, she married Michael Stephen Grznar. Michael was born in Piermont, New York on February 9, 1911. His parents were Joseph and Annie Grznar, who were born in Czechoslovakia. Michael was 5' 5" tall, weighing 135 pounds, with brown hair and eyes and a dark complexion. Besides being an auto mechanic, he worked in a mill in Piermont and at the Mount Hope Cemetery, across the Hudson River in the town of Hastings-On-Hudson. On August 21, 1942, 31-year-old Michael left Ethel and enlisted in the Army. He served in a coast-artillery, anti-aircraft unit. In May of 1944, he contracted an ear infection called Chronic Otitis Media, a condition for which he was hospitalized. After serving two years, he was honorably discharged on November 12, 1944.
I do not know if Ethel and Michael had any children. They were living in Mahopac, in Putnam County, New York, located about 40 miles northeast of Piermont, when 64-year-old Michael died on October 29, 1975. He was buried at Saint John's Cemetery in Yonkers. Sometime after Michael's death, Ethel moved to the Hilltop Mobile Village in Browns Mills, New Jersey, and later to Florence, South Carolina. She was living in Florence when she died on June 3, 2001 at the age of 83. I don't know where she was buried.
William and Ethel had three more children, Robert "Bob" E. Bechtold, born January 14, 1920, George Cecil Bechtold, born November 23, 1924, and Richard Bechtold born in 1932.
Bob Bechtold was drafted into the Army on February 11, 1942, serving from 1942 to the end of World War II in August of 1945. His service record states he was six feet tall and weighed 154 pounds. In 1948, William, Ethel and Bob moved from Yonkers to Unadilla, New York. Unadilla is located in Otsego County and is 160 miles northwest of Yonkers. Bob graduated from the Saunders Trades School in Yonkers and attended Pratt Business Institute in New York. He was employed at the Scintilla plant in Sidney, New York, located 5 miles west of Unadilla. There was a nurse's aide working at the hospital in Sidney named Ethel May Hartwell
On October 27, 1956 Bob married Ethel May at the Caswell Street Baptist church in Afton, New York. Afton is about 12 miles southwest of Sidney. Ethel May and her parents Mr. and Mrs. William McCulley lived in Afton. William McCulley was Ethel May's stepfather. Ethel May's original surname was Shaw. Ethel May was born in Afton April 21, 1923. Her original parents were Alford L. Shaw and Margaret L. Robinson. Ethel May had a previous marriage to Carl Hartwell. Her daughter from that marriage, Sylvia Hartwell, was Ethel May's maid of honor. Bert Bechtold was Bob's best man. One of the ushers was Bob's brother Richard Bechtold. Ethel May was employed as a nurse's aide at the hospital in Sidney. After the wedding, the couple resided with her parents at 92 North Main Street in Afton.
Bob died 3 days before his 70th birthday on January 11, 1990. Ethel May was living 6 miles northeast of Afton in Bainbridge, New York when she died in April of 1996.
George Bechtold enlisted in the Army on his 18th birthday and served in France and Germany during World War II, with Company C of the 191st tank Battalion, from 1942 to 1946. His service record states he was six feet tall and weighed 126 pounds (a skinnier version of his brother). In January of 1948, he joined the New York National Guard. He was living in Cresco, Pennsylvania when he died on March 22, 1993, and is buried at the Indiantown Gap National Cemetery in Annville, Pennsylvania.
William and Ethel were still living in Unadilla when William died suddenly in the hospital in nearby Sidney, New York on January 12, 1972. He was 82 years old. Three months later, Ethel died on April 14, 1972. She was 81 years old. They are buried at Rogers Hollow Cemetery in Unadilla.
In 1914, Lena, Helen, Jessie, and Florence were living at 42 Linden Street in Yonkers. In July 1915, Lena was elected as the New York State Grand Chief of the Pythian Sisters, an organization she had belonged to for some years. The Pythian Sisters are the female auxiliary to the Knights of Pythias, a fraternal organization and secret society founded at Washington, DC, on 19 February 1864. Their motto is "Friendship, Charity, Benevolence".
By 1920, Lena, Helen, Jessie and Florence were living back on Lawrence Street.
On June 19, 1920, Florence Bechtold married Robert Allen Blackford. Robert was born June 10, 1897 in Hastings-On-Hudson, just a few miles north of Yonkers. He was the son of the Superintendent of the Yonkers Water Bureau, John J. Blackford (1870-1955), and Theresa Demmler (1872-1919). The Blackfords lived at 24 Poplar Street in the Nodine Hill section of Yonkers. On June 15, 1915, young Robert enlisted with Company A, 71st Infantry of the New York National Guard, later transferring to Headquarters Company, 165th Infantry. He served overseas during World War I, from October 2017 to April 2019, attaining the rank of Sergeant. He was honorably discharged on May 7, 1919 after serving for four years.
Following his discharge, Robert found work as an insurance agent. He was 5' 8" tall and weighed 160 pounds. He had brown hair, gray eyes and a light complexion, with a noticeable scar on his left hand. His mother died a year before his marriage, at the age of 47.
The wedding ceremony took place at the home of Florence's mother, Lena, at 5 Lawrence Street in Yonkers. According to the Yonkers Statesman newspaper, "Daisies predominated in the floral decoration of the rooms, the bridal procession from the parlor to the living room being through an arbor of these flowers. The couple was married beneath a bower of palms and daisies." Reverend Francis T. Brown, rector of Saint Andrew's Memorial Episcopal Church, officiated.
The bride was given away by her brother, William L. Bechtold. "Her gown was of white georgette over satin, and she carried a shower bouquet of sweet peas and lilies-of-the-valley." The bridesmaid was Evelyn Cobb, and Robert Tompkins was the best man.
The bride and groom honeymooned through New England. Upon their return, they temporarily moved in with Lena at 5 Lawrence Street in Yonkers. Eventually, they moved to an apartment building on Post Street in Yonkers, just a few blocks from Lena. Robert and Florence had two children: Robert Allen Blackford, Jr., born in Yonkers on November 29, 1924; and Nancy Blackford, born in Yonkers on June 19, 1932.
By 1935, they had moved to 21 Cynthia Court in Hempstead, Long Island, where Robert was working as a claim agent for the Borden Milk Company in Manhattan. Robert Jr. graduated Hempstead High School in 1942 and enrolled in Wittenberg College in Springfield, Ohio. At some point, he joined the U.S. Navy.
Around this time, the Blackfords moved to Danbury, Connecticut. Nancy graduated Danbury High School in 1950. Robert Sr. died there in June of 1979. He was 82 years old. I have not been able to locate when or where Florence died.
Three years after Florence and Robert married, another June bride, Florence's sister Jessie Bechtold married Daniel Charles Carey, on June 2, 1923. As with Florence, the ceremony took place at the home of their mother, Lena, still at 5 Lawrence Street in Yonkers. Again, the ceremony was performed by Reverend Francis T. Brown, rector of Saint Andrew's Memorial Episcopal Church.
Daniel was born in Quincy, Massachusetts on January 16, 1883. He was 5' 7" tall and weighed 150 pounds. He had blue eyes and a light complexion. The marriage was a big social event in Yonkers. The Yonkers Statesman newspaper headline was "St. Andrew Sunday School Teacher Weds Army Captain". Daniel, a native of Boston, was a graduate of Boston College. He was a captain in the infantry of the 77th Division and served abroad during "The Great War" (World War I). He became the registrar and business manager of the Riverdale Country School for Boys in Fieldston, New York.
Jessie was a graduate of Butler's Business School and for a time studied a teachers' extension course at Columbia University. She was connected with the Riverdale Country School for three years prior to the wedding, and was a popular member of the Bible Students' Club. She had long been active in Y.W.C.A. work. And as the news headline indicates, she was a Sunday School teacher in St. Andrew's Church.
The Statesman described the wedding at Lena's home: "The rooms were decorated with palms, ferns and colorful Spring flowers. Miss Bessie Bruce played the Lohengrin Wedding March, and through an aisle of flowers, the bride entered with her brother, William L. Bechtold, who gave her in marriage".
"The bride wore an embroidered white gown of flat crepe and carried a shower bouquet of white sweet peas." Helen Bechtold, the only sister still unmarried, was Jessie's only attendant. J.A. Carey, the groom's brother, was his best man.
The couple honeymooned in Vermont and returned to reside in Fieldston. By 1940, they were living at 5073 Fieldston Road in Fieldston (which is actually located in The Bronx). In 1939, Daniel's position as business manager of the Riverdale School was earning him $5000 per year. They had three children: Virginia Carey, born around 1924; Charles Carey, around 1926; and Ruth Carey, around 1930.
After Fieldston, the Careys lived in the New York towns of Riverdale (the Bronx) and Pleasantville (Westchester County). It was in Pleasantville where Daniel died in August of 1972 at the age of 89. He was buried at Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York. Jessie moved to Cedar Glen Lakes in Manchester Township, New Jersey, perhaps to be near her daughter Ruth who lived in nearby Whiting. In 1986, she moved to Point Pleasant, New Jersey. She was 93 years old when she died at Point Pleasant Hospital just before Christmas on December 23, 1990. She was buried with Daniel at Ferncliff.
In August of 1923, according to The Statesman, Lena spent one week vacationing in Asbury Park, New Jersey. This would have been one month before her 50th birthday.
On February 4, 1925, Helen M. Bechtold married Robert B. Bruce, a Yonkers real estate dealer, in a quiet ceremony at Helen's home at 10 Stone Street in Yonkers.
Robert was born in Scotland on November 18, 1892, arriving in America with his parents, Alexander and Jessie Bruce, two years later. He grew up in Yonkers, and was employed initially as a building contractor, later branching into real estate. He was prominent also in civic and fraternal affairs and was an active member of the Dayspring Presbyterian Church. During World War I, Robert served in the navy as a lieutenant, junior grade. He was a member of the Cook Post, American Legion. He was an active member of the City Club, the Lions, and was prominent in the activities of the Thistle Lodge, Masons.
Helen and Robert had a daughter Jean Frances Bruce who was born in Port Richmond on Staten Island on May 13, 1928.
By 1930, they were living at 1 Hughes Terrace in Yonkers, a home owned by Robert and Helen valued at $22,000. Helen's mother Lena was living with them.
By 1935, they were living at 40 Locust Hill Avenue in Yonkers. A week after being admitted to the Yonkers Professional Hospital for pneumonia, Robert died on August 13, 1935, at the age of 42. He was buried at Oakland Cemetery in Yonkers.
On January 3, 1938, Lena Bechtold died, 42 years after her husband Louis. She died at Yonkers General Hospital after a protracted illness. She was 74 years old. At the time of her death, she was living at 50 Locust Hill Avenue in Yonkers with Helen. I know it says 40 Locust Hill Avenue in the previous paragraph about Robert, but I'm only going by what it says in their respective obituaries. Lena's obituary appeared in the Yonkers Statesman and the New York Times. Prior to her death, Lena had become a communicant of Saint Paul's Episcopal Church in Yonkers. She was buried next to Louis at Oakland Cemetery, in Yonkers.
On the 1940 Federal Census, Helen and her daughter Jean were living at 3 East Avenue, Apartment 2F, in Yonkers. Helen is listed as a widow and working as an insurance broker. The rent on the apartment was $45 per month.
At some point, Helen and Jean moved to Milford, New Hampshire. Jean attended Milford High School until Helen moved them to Laconia, New Hampshire. Jean graduated from Laconia High School in 1947. After graduation, Jean was employed as a telephone operator by the Laconia exchange. On November 18, 1949, Jean married John Edward Huttunen at the Plymouth Congregational Church in Milford. John was born in Rockport, Massachusetts on May 13, 1929, the son of John E. Huttunen and Aili Ranta. He and Jean shared the same birthday, except he was exactly one year younger. A Navy veteran of World War II, John went on to become a teacher and principal at several schools. I'm not certain, but I believe they had several children. They lived at 35 Leverett Street in Gloucester, Massachusetts, and later at 74 Curtis Square in Rockport. Gloucester is 4 miles southwest of Rockport. Sometime after 1960, they divorced. While I have no evidence that Jean ever remarried, John did, to Lyn A. Alexander.
Jean was still living at 74 Curtis Street in Rockport when she died on February 27, 2007. She was 78 years old. I have not been able to locate any information on the death of Jean's mother Helen. John died in Wakefield, Massachusetts on July 3, 2017 at the age of 88. He was buried at Lakeside Cemetery in Wakefield.
(3) WILLIAM BECHTOLD, born February 15, 1869. He lived for six months before dying on August 13, 1869.
(4) LOUISA BECHTOLD, born April 4, 1870. Daughter Louisa married Charles Dumont in Newark on the Fourth of July, 1893. Charles was born in Newark in May of 1869. His parents were from France. Louisa and Charles had three children: Paul Jacob Dumont, born April 14, 1894; Frederick Leo Dumont, born April 25, 1897; and Consuelo Dumont, born April 5, 1899. By 1900, they were living at 107 Murray Street in Newark. Charles worked as a "shoe cutter" in a factory. They soon moved a mile away to 24 Governor Street.
In 1910, 16-year-old Paul Dumont was working as an electro-plater in a novelty shop. Four years later, he married Alice Janet Davison, the daughter of George Davison and Florence Johnson. Alice was born in Burlington, New Jersey on June 18, 1894. When her father died suddenly, around 1905, she dropped out of school after the sixth grade to help her mother and her siblings by finding work in a nearby rubber factory. The marriage took place at the Methodist Episcopal Church in Newark. Following the ceremony, they moved into their newly furnished apartment at 187 Brunswick Street.
Paul was of medium height and build, with grey eyes and dark hair. He and Alice had two children. On June 14, 1915, their son Charles F. Dumont was born in Newark. Sometime after this, they moved to the southern part of New Jersey. In 1917, they were living at 145 Shell Road in Carneys Point, New Jersey. This was in Salem County, close to the Delaware River and right across the river from Wilmington, Delaware. Paul was working at the Dupont Munitions Factory where many new job opportunities had opened thanks to World War One. On April 14, 1917, their daughter Florence L. Dumont was born.
By 1920, they were living barely two miles away in the town of Penns Grove at 17 Penn Street. The war was over and Paul was now working as a jitney driver. A jitney is a public conveyance, somewhere between a taxi and a bus. Sometime before 1930, Paul died. By 1930, the widow Alice was living with her 75-year-old widowed grandmother Fannie Johnson at 35 Massachusetts Avenue in Atlantic City. In order to support herself, her grandmother and two children, Alice was working as a telephone operator.
On May 12, 1936, Alice's son Charles enlisted in the U. S. Army Air Service and was honorably discharged two years later on March 30, 1938. A year later, when he was only 24 years old, he died of pulmonary tuberculosis on September 30, 1939. He was buried at Laurel Memorial Park Cemetery in Egg Harbor, which is about 15 miles west of Atlantic City.
By 1940, Alice was renting an apartment in Ship Bottom, a small borough on Long Beach Island, 40 miles north of Atlantic City. Living with her were her daughter Florence and her 65-year-old widowed mother Florence Davison. Alice was now a chief operator for New Jersey Bell Telephone Company and Florence worked there as an operator, as well. Not long after, on June 7, 1943, a week before her 49th birthday, Alice died. She was buried with her son Charles at Laurel Memorial Park.
Alice's daughter Florence was 32 years old when she married David Voorhees Bye in September of 1949. David, whose nickname was "PEP", was born in Newtown, Pennsylvania on March 25, 1914, the son of Allen R. Bye and Mary A. Dyers. After graduating high school, David worked as a bookkeeper for a bank in Atlantic City, New Jersey. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II and afterwards became an officer with the Atlantic City Police Department for 35 years before his retirement. He was 5' 8" tall, weighed 165 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes and a light complexion.
Florence and David lived in Northfield, just a few miles outside Atlantic City. They raised two sons. Florence worked for the Atlantic City and Northfield public school systems. She enjoyed playing softball in a mother's league, was a den mother, and active in something called the V.P.Y.O. as well as school P.T.A. Throughout her life, Florence loved to entertain and cared for many of her family and friends in need.
David was 83 when he died at home on June 8, 1997 and was buried at Laurel Memorial Park. Sometime around 2005, Florence had a memorial marker placed at her home in Northfield in honor of her brother Charles. Two years later, she was gone. She died on May 27, 2008 at the age of 91. She was buried with her husband, her mother and her brother at Laurel Memorial Park.
On March 20, 1918, a month before his 21st birthday, Fred Dumont joined the Army at the height of World War One. At the time of his enlistment, he was living with his parents at 24 Governor Street in Newark. He was 5'5" tall, weighed 120 pounds, with brown eyes and a ruddy complexion. Upon completion of Basic Training, Fred was shipped off to France on July 10, 1918. Six months later, he was returned to the United States and was discharged on February 17, 1919. Fred worked several different jobs but was primarily a house painter.
In November of 1924, Fred married Edna V. Keough, the daughter of Harvey Keough and Annie Dolan. Edna was born in Newark on July 9, 1893. The couple moved in with her parents at 48 Cliff Street in Newark. There is no evidence they had any children.
By 1980, they were living in Belmar, New Jersey. On April 8, 1981, just before his 84th birthday, Fred died at Riverview Hospital in Red Bank, New Jersey. Edna moved to someplace in Edison, New Jersey and was living there when she died on July 11, 1985, two days after her 92nd birthday. They were both buried in the Keough family plot at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Newark.
Consuelo Dumont was 22 years old when she married George Mulligan. George was born in Newark on July 10, 1900. He worked as a supervisor at the Knickerbocker Storage Company in Newark. He had brown hair, blue eyes and a ruddy complexion. He was 5' 8" tall and weighed 190 pounds. On October 22, 1922, their only child Richard Dumont Mulligan was born. In 1930, they lived with Consuelo's parents, Charles and Louisa, at 48 St. Paul Avenue in Newark. Charles was 60 years old and worked as a watchman at a factory.
By 1940, George, Consuelo and Richard moved to 43 Palm Street. Richard was 5' 8" tall and weighed 150 pounds. He had brown hair and eyes and a light complexion. He worked for the Sillcocks and Miller Company, a rubber and plastics industry in Maplewood, NJ. At some point, he moved to the Hotel Dagmar in Hagerstown, Maryland where he was briefly associated with the Hagerstown Baseball club. In 1947, he married Mildred T. McBride.
Consuelo was 77 years old when she died in Pleasantville, New Jersey on May 12, 1976. I don't know where or when George died. Richard died in Boynton Beach Florida on August 10, 2016. He was 93 years old. I don't know what became of Mildred.
Louisa lived until the age of 96. She died in Newark in November of 1966. I don't know where or when Charles died.
(5) EDWARD BECHTOLD, the fifth and final child of Louisa and Jacob, was born in Newark on May 2, 1872. Curiously, he appears on the 1880 Federal Census as Adam Bechtold, living with his parents Louisa and Jacob at 302 Walnut Street in Newark. All later documents refer to him as Edward.
Edward worked for a button manufacturing company in Newark, and later as a watchman. He married Martha Engelhardt on December 18, 1893. Martha was born in Hessen, Germany in May of 1874. She arrived in America in 1882 when she was 8 years old. While both she and Edward could read and write, neither one went beyond the second grade in school.
On September 16, 1894, they welcomed the first of their 10 children. This was William M. Bechtold. They were living at 230 Chestnut Street in Newark. One year after his birth, little William died, on September 22, 1895. At the time, Martha was pregnant with her second child. This was Anna Catherine Bechtold, born in Newark on November 26, 1895. Four more followed between 1895 and 1903: Edward A. Bechtold, born November 4, 1897; John Bechtold, May 14, 1898; Charles Bechtold, September 22, 1901; Louis Bechtold, June of 1903. Then there is a long gap before the next child is born in 1910.
By 1910, they were living at 485 Mulberry Street in Newark, and Edward was working in a metal shop. Sometime between 1905 and 1910, the sixth child Louis died. On February 9, 1910, child number seven was born. This was Joseph Bechtold. Numbers eight, nine and ten soon followed: Albert Bechtold, June 12, 1912; Carl Otto Bechtold, May 26, 1915; and finally, Bertha Bechtold in 1916. By this time, they were living at 226 1/2 Chestnut Street in Newark and Edward was working in a millwright shop.
Sometime between 1920 and 1930, Edward was able to purchase a home at 676 1/2 Chestnut Street for $5,500. This, however, was not Chestnut Street in Newark. It was less than 5 miles north, across the Essex County border into Hudson County, in the town of Kearny, New Jersey. Edward was now working as a stationary engineer at a varnish shop. Later, he found employment as a janitor at a church.
I have not been able to determine where or when Edward and Martha died.
Edward and Martha's second child, Anna Catherine Bechtold, was 18 years old when she married a 20-year-old electrician named Otto Merz, in 1914. Otto was born in Newark on July 31, 1894. His parents were Fred and Helena Merz. He and Anna had 8th grade educations. When he was a young teenager, Otto worked as an errand boy for a hat store. He and Anna lived at 501 Bergen Street in Newark. He had brown hair and eyes, with a ruddy complexion. He was 5' 8" tall and weighed a hefty 250 pounds.
On May 31, 1915, they welcomed their first child, Willard Henry Merz. This was followed by their second child, Virginia Martha Merz on January 17, 1917, and their third, Otto "Fred" Merz on April 23, 1918.
Sometime between 1920 and 1930, the family moved to 92 Sheridan Street in nearby Irvington, New Jersey. But, by 1935 they moved back to Newark at 666 Springfield Avenue. By 1940, Otto found it more and more difficult to find work. He was unemployed for much of the decade preceding 1940. He and Anna had to rely mostly on the salary of son Fred who was an office clerk for a hydrant manufacturer. Eventually, Otto found work with a radio company in the nearby town of Harrison.
Anna and Otto's son Willard married Mary Katherine Budner in 1937. Mary was born in Unionville, Pennsylvania on April 11, 1920. The couple lived with his parents on Springfield Avenue. Willard was 5' 10" tall and weighed 140 pounds. He had blue eyes, brown hair and a ruddy complexion.
Willard and Mary had a child, Willard Henry Merz, Jr. on March 27, 1940. In that same year, Willard was disabled and unable to continue working after suffering a brain tumor. They did, however, continue to have children. Another son, Wayne Carl Merz, was born on February 28, 1947, and a third, Warren Martin Merz, on March 3, 1953.
Around 1965, Willard and Mary moved to Keansburg, New Jersey. They were still living there when Willard died at Riverview Hospital in Red Bank, New Jersey on June 19, 1981. He was 66 years old. He was buried at Saint Mary's Cemetery in Manahawkin, New Jersey. Three years after Willard's death, Mary moved to Freehold, New Jersey. In 1990, she then went to live with her son Willard, Jr. who lived in Shamong, a town in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey. Within four months, however, she died on January 5, 1991, at the age of 70. She was buried with Willard at Saint Mary's Cemetery.
Willard and Mary's first son, Willard H. Merz, Jr., was 20 years old and living at 46 Creek Road in Port Monmouth, New Jersey when he married Carol Joyce Thompson in May of 1960. Carol was born Christmas Day of 1940, the daughter of Kenneth Thompson and Jane Kumiskey, who lived on Collins Avenue in Port Monmouth, a short walking distance from where Willard was living. Less than five months later, Willard joined the U.S. Air Force in October of 1960. He served for nearly eight years, until 1968. He and Carol had two sons and two daughters.
The marriage must have ended in divorce. In 1979, Carol married Robert Luft in Texas. The four children from her marriage to Willard were adopted by Robert. In February of 1980, Willard married Robin Novak (or Palmerini) in Toms River, New Jersey in February of 1980. From 1984 to 1992, he lived and worked in Princeton, New Jersey as a product assurance manager for G.E. Aerospace. In 1992, he moved to Barnegat, New Jersey. He was living there with his fiancé Judith A. Matthews when he died at the age of 52. As you will see later, Willard and his brothers all died at relatively young ages.
Willard and Mary's second son, Wayne C. Merz, lived with his parents in Keansburg. Upon graduating from Middletown High School in 1965, he joined the Army and served two years. Upon his return, he found employment with the Gilbert Plastics Company in Somerset, New Jersey. On June 30, 1968, he married Lorraine J. Licitra, who also graduated Middletown High School. Lorraine was the daughter of Louis and Josephine Licitra who lived in nearby Belford. She was a beautician at Patrician Beauty Shoppe in Keyport, New Jersey. The marriage did not last. They obtained a divorce in Seminole, Florida on April 28, 1975. Fifteen years later, Wayne married Clotilde Ryes on October 27, 1990 in Old Bridge. It was around this time that he moved to West Keansburg and became a supervisor for the Modern Plastics Company in Somerset. He also had three children, but I'm unsure whether the mother was Lorraine or Clotilde. Two sons, Wayne Merz and Blue Merz, and a daughter Lisa Merz.
Wayne was living in West Keansburg when he died on September 20, 1995. He was only 48 years old. He was buried at Monmouth Memorial Park cemetery in Tinton Falls, New Jersey.
Willard and Mary's third son, Warren M. Merz, was a career member of the U.S. Army, attaining the rank of First Sergeant. His wife was Rhonda T. Merz. They had two daughters, Cassandra Merz and Danielle Merz. Warren died April 1, 2010 in Fayetteville, Georgia, age 57.
Anna and Otto's daughter Virginia was married several times: First to Russell Delaney (1935), then to Frank McGinn (1946) and Edward Malone (1949). Later, she was married to someone named Stackhouse, and finally to Howard Cota. She had two sons with Russell Delaney and a son and daughter with Frank McGinn. She was living with husband Howard Cota in Lincoln, Nebraska when she died on April 16, 1995, age 78. She was buried at Lincoln Memorial Park.
Anna and Otto's son Otto, who was usually known as Fred, stood 5' 10" tall and weighed 170 pounds. He had black hair, brown eyes and a ruddy complexion. He also had several scars on his chin and mouth. During the early part of World War II, he worked for the Civilian Conservation Corps at a camp in Poughkeepsie, New York. By 1942, he was in Oklahoma where he married Dorrace Ferguson Wells on New Year's Eve at the First Presbyterian Church in Oklahoma City. Dorrace was born in Sweetwater, Texas on November 10, 1924. Her parents were Charles T. Wells and Janette Caldwell, both of whom died when Dorrace was just a child. She was raised in Sulphur, Oklahoma by her grandmother, Annie E. Caldwell.
Prior to her marriage with Fred, Dorrace married Andrew Kallas in Oklahoma City on July 16, 1942 when she was 17 years old. This marriage quickly ended in divorce on August 24, 1942. Four months later, she married Fred, on December 31, 1942.
Fred and Dorrace lived just outside Oklahoma City in the town of Yukon. They had three sons and a daughter: Otto Fred Merz, Jr., Carl L. Merz, Jack C. Merz, and Anna D. Merz. Several years later their marriage ended in divorce in 1963. Dorrace worked for the Federal Post Office and retired in 1989.
Fred remarried, to Cletys Valeta Taylor. He was 76 years old when he died on July 15, 1994. He was buried at Yukon Cemetery. Ten years later, 79-year-old Dorrace died, on January 10, 2004. She was buried at Resthaven Memorial Gardens in Oklahoma City.
Anna Bechtold Merz died in Irvington in August of 1950 when she was only 55 years old. Her husband Otto Merz was 67 when he died in Newark in January of 1968. They are buried together at Crest Haven Memorial Park in Clifton, New Jersey.
Edward and Martha Bechtold's third child, Edward A. Bechtold, dropped out of school after the seventh grade. He served in the United States Naval Reserve Force during World War I, from August 1918 to February 1919. He was 5' 10" tall, weighing 135 pounds, with brown hair, gray eyes and a ruddy complexion. He also had scars above his eyes. He worked various odd-jobs, as a plumber and an automobile "sprayer." He lived with his parents on Chestnut Street in Newark and Chestnut Street in Kearny. As far as I can tell, he never married. The 1940 Federal Census, when he was 42 years old, does not show an occupation for him. He died on November 1, 1960 at the age of 72.
Edward and Martha Bechtold's fourth child, John Bechtold, was born in Newark on May 14, 1899. He served briefly in the U.S. Navy during World War I, from August 1918 to December of the same year. He was living with his parents on Chestnut Street in Newark when he married Frances McKinney on May 13, 1920. She was a few years older than John.
Frances was born in Walker Valley, New York in December of 1896, the daughter of William McKinney and Mary Simpson. The McKinney's lived in Pine Bush, New York, a small town near Walker Valley. The marriage took place in Pine Bush. How or why John was in Pine Bush is a mystery. Pine Bush is about 80 miles north of Newark. John worked as a "press hand" or "steam engineer" in a machine shop in Newark at the time of the marriage.
There appears to be a little bit of mystery surrounding Frances. She was actually born Hannah Frances McKinney. She was just 16 years old when she married Frederick William Hinkelman, a 28-year-old farmer from Montgomery, New York. Montgomery is about 8 miles south of Pine Bush. By the time she married John in 1920, she was "single" again and named just Frances. Frederick, who obviously liked younger women, was then 36 years old and living with his parents and his 16-year-old wife Elmina Clapper in Westford, New York.
After the marriage, John and Frances moved back to Newark and were living at 37 Holland Street in Newark when John developed peritonitis and died on February 19, 1927. He was only 28 years old. He was buried at Woodland Cemetery in Newark. There is no evidence that he and Frances had any children. Two years later in August of 1929, Frances married someone with the initials F. W., but I have been unable to identify him further.
Edward and Martha Bechtold's fifth child, Charles John Bechtold, did bench work for a celluloid firm in Newark. In 1922 he married Matilda Elizabeth Rayhon. Matilda was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey on September 23, 1903. Her parents were Paul Rayhon and Victoria Hebda. Matilda dropped out of high school after her freshman year.
They lived at 162 Leesville Avenue in Rahway, New Jersey. Charles was now working as a bus driver. He was 5'7" tall and weighed 140 pounds, with brown hair and eyes and a light complexion. He and Matilda had three children: Charles John Bechtold Jr., born in Rahway on December 16, 1923; Eleanor Bechtold, 1925; and Cecelia Bechtold, April 6, 1929.
By 1940, Charles and Matilda were divorced. Matilda and the children were living at 166 Lafayette Street in Rahway, right on the Rahway River. Matilda was working in a leather shop. Charles lived at 31 Rahway Avenue in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Nearly 30 years later, he was living in nearby Cranford when he died at the age of 66 in November of 1967.
Matilda remarried, to Ole D. Fisher. They lived in Pleasantville, in Atlantic County, New Jersey. Matilda died on October 25, 1990, age 87. She is buried at Head of the River Cemetery in Estell Manor, Atlantic County.
Charles John Bechtold Jr. was the first child born to Charles and Matilda. After high school, he worked for Tompkins Ice Cream in Elizabeth. On May 6, 1943, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served with the 101st Airborne Division and participated in the D-Day invasion of Omaha Beach in Normandy, and later fought in the Battle of the Bulge. He received the European African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, decorated with two battle stars and an Invasion Arrowhead, given only to those who participated in the initial wave of the invasion. He was also a recipient of the Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal. He was honorably discharged on February 20, 1946.
Charles stood 5' 7" tall, weighing about 160 pounds. He had brown hair and eyes and a dark complexion. After his discharge from the Army, he married Dorothy Elizabeth Mai in 1946. Dorothy was born in Elizabeth on February 3, 1927, the daughter of Otto Mai and Victoria Morchauser. In 1947, the couple moved from Rahway to Elizabeth. They had two daughters and three sons. In 1981, Charles began working as a custodian for Union County College, retiring in 1993.
Charles was 77 years old when he died in Elizabeth on May 5, 2001. He was buried at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Newark. A few years later, when she was also 77 years old, Dorothy died on November 28, 2004. She was buried with Charles at Mount Olivet Cemetery.
Eleanor Bechtold was the second child born to Charles and Matilda. In 1947, she was living with her mother at 166 Lafayette Street in Rahway. Barely one block away lived the Watson family, at 267 Lafayette Street. Olin Watson and his wife Delotta Morson and their son Olin Bernard Watson, known as "Obie." Obie was born in Fair Haven, New Jersey on March 24, 1924. He and Eleanor married in 1947. At first, they lived at 159 East Albert Street in Rahway. Obie worked as a machine operator for the Hamilton Manufacturing Company in Rahway. He was 5' 7" tall, weighing about 140 pounds. He had brown hair, blue eyes and a ruddy complexion. He also had some sort of eye defect that required him to wear eyeglasses.
Several years later, they moved to 195 East Grand Avenue in Rahway. For a while, Obie worked as a watchman before finding employment as a custodian at the Franklin Elementary School in Rahway. Eleanor and Obie were Episcopalians and Obie was dean of the church at St. Paul's Episcopal in Rahway. They had several children.
In 1964, Obie retired from his custodian job and he and Eleanor moved to DeLand, Florida. They were living there when Obie died at the age of 64, possibly from Parkinson Disease, on Christmas Eve in 1989.
Charles and Matilda's third child Cecilia Bechtold married Edward Menzenbach on October 2, 1948. Edward was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey on April 16, 1928. His parents were Louis Menzenbach and Wilhelmina Ponevocs. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1945 to 1949. Cecilia and Edward lived at 111 Division Street in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Edward was a "board cutter."
At some point, Cecilia and Edward divorced. In November of 1966, Cecilia married Richard Bradford in Elizabeth. In September of 1970, Edward married Donna Mazzarelli in Woodbridge, and on June 26, 1986, he married Lina Cerullo in Elizabeth. Edward died May 18, 1983 in Edison, age 55. In 1989, Cecilia was living at 10 LaGuardia Avenue in Iselin, New Jersey.
Edward and Martha's sixth child, Louis Bechtold, was born in Newark in June of 1903. He appears in the 1905 New Jersey State Census, but not the 1910 Federal Census, nor anywhere else. He must have died between 1905 and 1910, but I can find no record of him after 1905.
Edward and Martha's seventh child, Joseph Bechtold, was born in Newark on February 9, 1910. He was baptized at the Calvary Presbyterian Church in Newark. As far as I can tell, there were no other children born between Louis (1903) and Joseph (1910). Three more were born: Albert (1913), Carl Otto (1915) and Bertha (1916).
Joseph married Sophie Petzold in November of 1928. Sophie was born in Newark on November 25, 1913, the daughter of German immigrants Max and Sophia Petzold. The Petzold family lived at 56 Fleming Avenue in Newark. They rented a home at 691 Chestnut Street in Kearny, New Jersey. Joseph was an "imprinter" for a fountain pen company. Joseph and Sophie's first child, Myrna Bechtold, was born around November 1929. Another child, Beryl Bechtold, was born around 1933.
At some point they moved to Roswell, Georgia, located about 20 miles north of Atlanta. Joseph and Sophie divorced in Florida in 1947. Sophie then married a police officer named Charles Kramer and they all continued living in Roswell. In 1962, when he was only 52 years old, Joseph died in Roswell on October 15, 1962. He was buried at Green Lawn Cemetery in Roswell. Sophie's second husband Charles Kramer died in Roswell on March 7, 1988, age 77. He, too, was buried at Green Lawn. Sophie lived a long life afterward and died at the age of 96 on February 10, 2010. She was buried next to Charles at Green Lawn.
Edward and Martha's eighth child, Albert Bechtold, was born in Newark on June 12, 1912. He was employed as a "sheet caster" for the E. I. DuPont De Nemours Company in Arlington, New Jersey. He was 5' 10" tall, weighing 175 pounds, with brown hair and eyes and a dark complexion. He married Pauline Mildred Staats shortly after 1930. Pauline was born in Plainfield, New Jersey around 1913. Her parents were John Staats and Pauline Hurst. Albert and Pauline had at least four children from 1932 to 1940. They moved around a lot. Between 1940 and 1951, they had six different addresses, mostly in Kearny but once in Ocean Grove, New Jersey (1948), then finally to Dayton, Ohio.
Albert and Pauline divorced in Dayton in 1956. At some point, Albert married Irene Sine. Irene was born in Dayton on June 13, 1919, almost exactly 7 years after Albert. Her parents were Troy Sine and Naomi Taylor. Irene had been previously married, to Michael Kreutzer. They had one daughter, then divorced in 1943.
Albert and Irene lived in Beavercreek, Ohio, located several miles east of Dayton. He worked as a "paint matcher" for the Meadvasco Corporation. Irene worked at the nearby Wright Patterson Air Force Base. When they retired, they moved about 75 miles north to Wapakoneta, Ohio where Irene's daughter from her first marriage lived. Eventually, they were moved to the Otterbein-Cridersville Nursing Home in nearby Cridersville, Ohio. They both died there: Albert on October 23, 2005, age 93; and Irene was 90 when she died on January 23, 2010. They were buried together at Mount Zion Park Cemetery back in Beavercreek. Albert's obituary says he had 15 brothers and sisters, but I have only been able to record 10 altogether.
Edward and Martha's ninth child, Otto Carl Bechtold, was born in Newark on May 26, 1915. At some point he changed his name from Otto Carl to Carl Otto. He eventually became an electric welder for the Star Electric Motor Company in Bloomfield, New Jersey. He was 5' 11" tall and weighed 160 pounds. He had brown hair, gray eyes and a light complexion. In 1938, he married Dorothy Katherine Haight, who was born in Newark on October 23, 1917. She and Carl lived with her parents, William Haight and Catherine Gaffrey at 72 Johnson Avenue in Bloomfield. They had two sons.
One of the sons, Russell Edward Bechtold, was born in Newark on September 21, 1943. At some point they moved to Cape May, New Jersey. Carl died there on January 7, 1994. He was 78 years old. He was buried at First Baptist Cemetery in Cape May. Dorothy was 88 when she died on November 4, 2005. She was buried with Carl at First Baptist Cemetery. Russell was 71 years old and living at Crest Haven Nursing Home in Cape May when he died on July 7, 2015. His obituary said he liked to make and sell model boats out of beer cans. He was buried near his parents.
The tenth and last of Edward and Martha's children was Bertha Bechtold born in Newark around 1916. Although she was the most recent, I have not been able to find anything about her. She appears on the 1920 Federal Census but nowhere else. I suspect she died after 1920 but I haven't been able to locate any documentation.
On February 8, 1887, at the age of 50, Jacob Bechtold died in Newark from tuberculosis. He is buried at Woodland Cemetery in Newark.
Three years after Jacob's death, Louisa married for the third time, to another Jacob, this one named Jacob Gammel. Jacob was born "Georg Jakob Gammel" on April 23, 1844 in Oberriexingen, Wurtemburg, Germany. His parents were Georg Friederich Gammel and Margaretha Hildinger. Jacob arrived in America in 1870. His occupation was listed on the Federal Census as "Brewer". Sometime before 1879, Jacob married a woman named Theresa. I don't know her maiden name, but she was born in Wurtemburg on October 16, 1843. In August of 1879, they had a son, Jacob Gammel Jr.
Theresa died of a cerebral hemorrhage on January 27, 1890, at the age of 46, and is buried at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery. Jacob is listed as the owner of the plot.
Four months after Theresa died, Jacob married Louisa on May 20, 1890. Six months after this marriage, Louisa died from kidney disease on November 21, 1890, and buried in the Bittlingmeier family plot at Woodland Cemetery. She was only 44 years old. Her children with Jacob Bechtold were in their early 20's when she died.
In 1900, Jacob Gammel Sr. and Jr. were living at 33 Elizabeth Street in Newark. Jacob Sr. died of a cerebral Hemorrhage at St. James Hospital in Newark on December 19, 1901, age 57. He was buried at Woodland Cemetery.
The last child of Christoph Ludwig Bittlingmeier and Margaretha Gauss, and the only one born in America, was William H. Bittlingmeier. William was born in Newark, New Jersey on July 26, 1856. On January 1, 1879, William married Rosalie Bernes, who was three years older than him. She was born in Saxon, Germany on April 16, 1853, the daughter of Heinrich Bernes and Carolina Landau. Initially, the couple lived at 74 Hamilton Avenue in Newark. Later, they moved to Liberty Street, then 115 Walnut Street. As far as I know, they had no children.
William's occupation was "iron moulder". He was a member of the Seth Boyden Council Number 184 of the Junior O.U.A.M. (Order of United American Mechanics), and the General Sedgewick Council Number 22 of the O.U.A.M.
They were still living on Walnut Street when Rosalie died of heart disease on June 14, 1928 at the age of 75. It would appear that from that point on, William may have drunk himself to death. He died less than three years later of cirrhosis of the liver, on January 21, 1931, at the Newark Alms House. He was 74 years old. An Alms House is a place where those who are no longer able to take care of themselves can go for some semblance of care. It is more commonly called a "Poor House". I can only guess that the O.U.A.M. paid for his obituary and funeral. William and Rosalie are buried together at Woodland Cemetery in Newark.