Monday, March 23, 2015

Pulling a Thread ~ 52 Ancestors Challenge Week 12

I am ridiculously late joining the 52 Ancestors Challenge!  Here I am with my first post at Week 12!!!  The theme is SAME and I chose the althernate theme....going with two ancestors with the same first name.  

It all started with a little book.

 My mom let me have this book years ago and it was packed away in a box of children's books when we built our home in 1998!  I forget what I was looking for that led me to that box recently, but I came across these little books.  I had always assumed this book belonged to my mom and her sisters as it was inscribed "to the little Franz girls, with love Aunt Lydia."   Looking at it this time, I realized the date was completely wrong for it to be my mom and her sisters.  I wondered if her Aunt Lydia had an Aunt Lydia.  The thread pulling began.

Searching at I began to look for Lydia Franz without success.  I changed my thinking, and looked for Lydia Stotz, my mom's Grandmother's maiden name.  The thread came easily!  I found her in census records and passport applications!  She was sister to my German Great Grandmother.  I showed my mom her passport application and picture  and my mom was amused.  When my mom was about 13, her aunts commented that she was going to be  "big like Aunt Lydia."  On her Naturalization petition, she is 39 years old, 5'9" and 190 pounds.  At 13, my mom was broader shouldered than a few of her brothers.

I discovered Lydia in the 1910 census as a servant in the home of Brooks Adams (grandson of John Quincy Adams) and his wife Evelyn. They were living in the Beacon Hill section of Boston and five servants are listed in the census: three Irish women, one English woman, and Aunt Lydia who is German and employed as the seamstress.  She is 30 years old.  Her sister Pauline is married and living not far from Boston with three boys ages 16, 13, and 12 (my grandfather), and four girls ages 10, 8, 5, and one month old.  The baby in 1910 is named Lydia!  One more girl would be added to the family in 1912.

In the 1920 census, Lydia is now seamstress for the Koshland family, a merchant in the Wool industry.  This family has a home on Beacon Street in Boston as well as a summer home on the coast in Beverly, Massachusetts.  She accompanies them on their travels and I was thrilled to find a picture of her on her passport application in 1924.  She is 44 years old and 5'9".
 The Koshlands are German and were from California before coming east to Boston.  They leave their homes after the crash of '29 and live briefly in a hotel in Boston and then in a hotel on 5th Avenue in New York City during the mid 1930's through 1940.  At some point they return to California and in 1944 she and her employer die within a few months of each other.

1 comment:

  1. Most interesting , I wish I had this kind of information about my family history,...:)