1893 – 1961
1898 – 1956
Fred was born 27 Dec 1893, Zwittan, Czechoslovakia. He immigrated to the United States through Canada. He entered in the US in Port Huron, MI on 20 Sep 1913. Five years later he married Ella Martha Marie Jonas from Morton Grove, IL on 26 Nov 1918, in Chicago, IL. Ella was the first generation to be born in America, (she was 1 of 12 children). Both of her parents immigrated to the States from Germany.
Fred and Ella are my paternal Great Grandparents. There is still more research that needs to be completed on this line.
William 1920 – 2001
Dorothy 1920 – 2002
24 Feb 1920
6 May 2001
When I was young, we spent many of our weekends with my Uncle Bill and Aunt Dorothy. We would all go to Wisconsin to land we owned there. Bill and Dorothy had a piece of land which had a garage on it. They turned the garage into a home. They spent many weekends there and lots of time in the summer as well.
In the summer, they cut down trees. Remember those manual saws, where there was a person on each side holding an end and moving it back and forth until they cut through the tree. Nothing like today when you take the electric and do it in half the time. I remember snowmobiling. That was always fun. This large machine running the grounds and the snow blowing in our faces. I truly remember just loving the outdoors. The last time I was there I was about 7 years old. I believe my parents sold our land by the time I was 10.
Anyhow, Uncle Bill was a carpenter by trade. He worked for the Riverview Amusement Park in Chicago, IL. If my memory serves me right he was the head carpenter there. One day, Riverview had an important guest walking through the park. This guest offered Uncle Bill a job, to go to California and help him build an amusement park there. Bill went home and discussed this great opportunity with his wife Dororthy. Her reply, “I will not leave my family.” So Bill turned down this wonderful job in California. Where his name would be forever etched on Mainstreet USA. So, who was this mysterious guest that walked the Riverview park and offered my sweet Uncle Bill a job in California? That’s right, Walt Disney! Here is a piece of Disney Trivia for everyone out there. All those that were instrumental in the building of Walt Disney’s parks have there name etched in glass on the store fronts of Main Street USA.
This story is one that I will never forget. We grew up very much a Disney family. Spent many vacations in Florida enjoying the parks there.
On Monday, I wrote about the beautiful ships my Grandpa built when I was little. This is one of the few photo’s I have of his ships.
Unfortunately, while I was in the cemetery to take these photographs, the weather was changing quickly. I was limited with what I can do while I was there. I will need to go back to the cemetery to clean up the family plots and take some more pictures of the older part of the cemetery.
Born Ambrose Lawrence (Larry) O’Connell on 17 Dec 1905 in Berlin, NH to Dennis O’Connell of Grangerville, NY and Rose May Springer of Maine. Ambrose was raised in the Hudson Falls area of NY. In his 20’s, he road the rails with brother Linus (Joe) to Illinois, where both brothers settled, for the most part. Soon after their Mother Rose and sister Theresa followed. Both brothers started life using their first names, but somewhere in the 1930-1940’s both boys started using their middle names. Larry died 28 Feb 1975, Chicago, IL.
Larry was married 3 times. His first marriage was to Janet, they had a son Bobby.
His second marriage was to Rose, they had son Dennis and daughter June Rose.
His third marriage was to Ida Jaeger, they had daughter Theresa, and sons Lawrence and David.
Larry is my paternal Grandfather, through his third marriage to Ida. Last week I wrote about my memories of Ida, you can read more about her here.
I was very young when my Grandpa passed, but I wanted to share the memories I do have. When I gave birth to my first child, my father and I were sitting in the hospital talking about my Grandparents. When we discussed them, he could not believe the things I remembered because they passed when I was young.
Grandpa Larry treated his grandchildren well. You could say that we were spoiled by him to a point. The family did not have much money, but we had love. I remember Grandpa would walk home from work, he would always have candy in his pockets for the grandkids. If it was something I did not like, he would bring me home some Swiss Miss Chocolate Pudding. He wanted all of us to be happy.
Grandpa had his hobby of building ships. I remember we were allowed to look, but that was it. I recall sitting there watching him work with these small parts and how fascinated we were with them. Unfortunately, I do not have one of the beautiful ships he built. I do however have the next best thing, I have some pictures of them. Make sure to come back on Treasure Chest Thursday to see them.
Once, when we were in his room watching him build, he taught us how to siphon water from one glass to another. Strange memory, I know!
He loved the first snow. It was peaceful and beautiful. I remember him waking me in the middle of the night so that we could watch that first snow come down. How it looked so beautiful on the trees. It was pure, unspoiled beauty! To this day, this is my favorite time to watch the snow. This past year, I went outside with my camera in hand to enjoy the beauty of mother nature.
I remember sitting on his lap, watching Frosty the snowman. How I cried at the end when Frosty melted, to his calm reply “he will be back again next year.” Yes, I realize that is how the show ended, I was four and found the comfort from my Grandpa instead of the cartoon.
He taught us to dunk our toast in coffee, and did not mind when we did it to his coffee!
The last of my memories happen sitting on his lap and how he would sing to us The Animals Fair. He also would pretend to eat a wad of paper, we would watch it go into his mouth. Do not ask me what happened to the paper, I have no clue. I was so young when he died.
Ida Margaret Jaeger was born on 1 Jan 1919 (Illinois) to Fred Jaeger and Ella Martha Marie Jonas. Fred was originally from Germany and Ella was from Morton Grove, IL – the first generation in her family to be born in America. Ida was 1 of the 4 girls that Fred and Ella had. All the sisters raised their families in Chicago, IL.
Ida was my maternal Grandmother and she was the most important person in my life. Biologically she was my Grandmother, but in all actions she was my Mom. My parents divorced while I was still a baby. My father remarried quickly and had another child. My older brother and I spent the day with Grandma and my half sister spent the day with her maternal Grandma. Grandma Ida was the constant in our lives. She made us breakfast, got us ready for school, gave us dinner and got us ready for bed. Pretty much everything a mother would do, she did.
I was one of the youngest grandchildren and when everyone was at school, it was just me and Grandma at home. I was her remote control before they had remotes. We spent our days watching her soaps and game shows. As she watched all of her shows, she continuously crocheted. Making many afghans for the family.
One night, my cousin Erin spent the night, she was a year older then me. She must of woke earlier then I did on this day. I remember waking up and she was in the living room, crocheting with Grandma. I was so upset. I asked Grandma, “how come you won’t teach me?
Her reply was, “You are too young!”
Erin was 5, I was 4. To me, it did not seem like a big deal. I just wanted to be able to crochet like Grandma. Well, I must have put up such a stink because Grandma spent the afternoon teaching me how to make a chain to start out and then from there we went into the counting of your stitches and how it was important so that your afghan comes out even on all sides. Well, being 4, I did not want to count. My first creation was made out of this thick red yarn and looked more like a dress for Barbie, instead of an afghan for her. Within the week, Grandma had pulled my “dress” apart so that she could use they yarn in a afghan she was making. I was so upset!
Grandma died just before my 9th birthday, 17 Apr 1980. Saddest day of my life. I never really tried to crochet after my first lesson. Well, not until I was in my 20’s. I was pregnant with my second child and wanted to make an afghan for the baby. I bought some yarn and made a very simple blanket for the baby, it was not beautiful, but I made it and a few scarves for my daughter. I tried to do some fancy blankets with a pattern that was on the paper from the yarn. I got through 3-4 rows and it just was awful. I pulled it all apart and started over with a basic double stitch. I did make a beautiful afghan for my nephew Ryan’s first child. At the baby shower, it got many ooh’s and ahh’s! I was so excited that after all these years, I was able to make something as beautiful as my Grandma did.
I have a few afghans that my Grandma made and they are very important to me. I have the one she made for my first “big girl” bed. My aunt sent this to me when my oldest daughter was big enough for that “big girl” bed. I never let my kids use it because it was the only one I had at the time. I have acquired a few more over the years and they mean so much to me. To have a piece of her with me every day.
Please check back on Treasure Chest Thursday for some pictures of my beautiful afghans.
While out running some errands today. I made an unexpected, but long over due stop at the Morton Grove Historical Society (in IL). Though Morton Grove is only about 20 minutes away by car, depending on traffic, it is not an area that I get to often. The reason for this stop is because my paternal Great Grandmother, Ella (Jonas) Jaeger was raised in Morton Grove and I was interested to see if the historical society would have any information on either the Jonas or Jaeger family.
The Historical Society was not open today and their museum can be viewed by appointment only. I went into a small building off the side of the museum and met a wonderful women by the name of Mary. Now this stop was meant to be super quick, my oldest daughter was in the car and needed to be someplace quick (she was meeting up with a old friend from High School). So Mary did a quick search in her computer and told me that she had a picture of a Max Jonas (Max is Grandma Ella’s younger brother) and she might have a few other things as well. I asked if it was possible to come back and see her in a little bit so that I could drop my daughter off, and she was more then happy to have me come back. I ran my daughter to meet her friend and got back to the society as quick as possible.
Mary pulled the original picture and made me a photo copy. Unfortunately, Max may be in the photo (which is from 1911 I believe), but the listing of names does not tell us how to identify the child in the picture. This particular picture is of a classroom setting, so there are many boys and girls in it. At this point, I have no other picture of Max to compare this one to. I will end up sending a copy to an Aunt and hopefully she will be able to pick him out.
Mary also found another picture that had a Margaret and a Mary Jonas in one other picture, I am not sure if they are related to my family or not, but she made me a copy of this photo as well. They also had a few letters that were sent out in 1966 to the graduating class of 1916 for a class reunion, these letters were signed by a Ted Jonas. At this point, I have no Ted in my family files. But you never know if he will end up related.
Mary was more then pleasantly helpful. I enjoyed spending some of my afternoon with her, going through the information they do have. This family line is not one that I have done any research on in the past. Mary gave me a few tips to aid in my research on this line. Hopefully within the next week I will be able to work on these tips and maybe move the family line back a little bit more.
If you are ever in the area of the Morton Grove Historical Society. Take time to check it out. I am glad I did.
Thanks again to Mary for all your assistance today and a special thanks to all the people who take the time to donate information and photo’s to their local societies!
It is that time again, Saturday night. Time for Saturday Night Genealogy Fun. Tonight’s request is to look into the treasures we have found in our research, no matter where the find occurred. Thanks to Randy Seaver at Genea Musings for reminding us to have fun with our research!
Within my family, the finds have been minimal, but none the less, very exciting. Just after I started my research, my Dad was getting ready to sell his house. He told me that there was a photo album in the basement that had belonged to my Grandpa, Larry O’Connell. Larry died on 28 Feb 1975, I was almost 4 years old. The album had been in flood water about 12 years prior. Luckily, no real damage had occurred. I had looked through the album and did not really know who most of the people were in the photo’s. The album stayed with my Dad for many more years, until I asked to go through it again around 2000, I told him I wanted to put everything together in a new scrap book. This is when I found the most important piece of information for my research. Inside the photo album was a full Canadian newspaper. The St. Catherines Standard, dated 18 Nov 1950. I scoured the paper for over an hour before I found why this specific paper was saved. Inside was the obituary for my Great Grandfather, Dennis O’Connell, (d. 17 Nov 1950). Because of the Newspaper listing all of Dennis’ siblings and where they were located, I was able to trace his sister Catherine’s family. I have found a niece and nephew of Dennis’ in NY. Neither of them met Dennis, but were excited to hear from me and know that there is more family out there. I hope to get to meet them sometime in the near future. Also, because of Dennis’ obituary, I knew what city in NY he was buried in. I just had to find the cemetery, and I did. That brings me to the next treasure, within the same cemetery is Dennis’ father John O’Connell and I believe a brother and his wife and a sister. There is one more O’Connell buried there, I assume she will end up being a relation, but I have not proven that yet.
This image is from my treasured photo’s from Grandpa Larry.
L to R
Dennis, Larry (Ambrose), Joe (Linus) O’Connell
Photo taken in Canada
The day my Dad showed me the album, he also showed me a metal lock box the size of a legal folder. Inside the lock box was everything important from my Grandma, Ida (Jaeger) O’Connell, she died 15 Apr 1980, I was 8 years old. I stood in the basement, going through this box carefully. I was amazed at the things I found. Their marriage certificate. My Great Grandpa, Fred Jaeger’s, naturalization papers. Sympathy cards from when my Grandfather died. Grandpa’s wallet, which had been on him the day he died, it still had all the pictures he was carrying at that time. I took whatever would go through the fax machine and made copies and left the rest, I told my Dad that I wanted this box if anything was to happen to him.
The photo album and the locked box mean a lot to me. Unfortunately, I believe the locked box is missing (last I heard). As for the album, I have that. Since, the album itself was ruined in the flood, I have taken all of the photo’s out and have them in a photo box. I still have not decided what to do with them. I have read that they should not be set into a scrapbook because they are too fragile. I spoke with someone at a scrapbooking store and they said to put them in an album. The one thing I do know is, with the help of my Aunt Terri, I have placed most of the people in the pictures. Slowly, I am scanning them so I have a digital copy as well.
Let me know your thoughts on the older photo’s that have already been through so much, should the be put into a scrap book or not? Will the glues/adhesives hurt them anymore?
This stone is not for any of my ancestors. I took it on a recent outing to Graceland Cemetery. I love all of the old stones. It is sad that many of these stones are degrading and one is not able to read them anymore.