My great-great-grandparents, Andrew Kaiser and Jennie Holbrook, had a large, blended family. Between the two of them, they had 18 children. This is the story of my great-great uncle Floyd, who was their youngest child, who also died when he was very young.
Andrew Kaiser and Jennie Holbrook were married on 22 July 1885. Both of them had been married previously, and had had children with their previous spouses. Andrew had eleven children with his previous wife, Elizabeth Wentsel. Four of these children died young, before Elizabeth’s death in 1884. Jennie had previously married Thomas Burke, and they had three children. She was granted a divorce from him in June of 1885. Although it’s not clear how Jennie and Andrew met, they lived in the same small town of Prophetstown in Whiteside County, Illinois. Thomas Burke was a druggist in town, and Andrew Kaiser was a tinner. Both businessmen may have known each other, and may have been in the same social circles. After losing their first spouses, both Andrew and Jennie found themselves as single parents, with at least several small children at home. Joining their households was likely a beneficial situation for them both. Continue reading “Floyd, the youngest Kaiser brother”→
This photograph is from the day that my great-grandmother Mildred and her twin sister, Marie, turned 50 years old. Mildred wrote on the back, “We were 50 years old…” with the date. Family tales explain that Mildred was born just before midnight on May 30, and Marie was born shortly after midnight on May 31. Both of their birth certificates list May 31, and apparently both of them always celebrated their birthdays together on May 31. Even when they grew older, they still looked very much alike! It’s sometimes hard to tell them apart in photographs.
Sometimes I’m amazed at how often certain dates repeat themselves in my family tree. For instance, five living members of my family have birthdays in July, three of which are on consecutive days. My birthday is within a week of my sister’s and my grandfather’s consecutive birthdays, and sometimes we would have a triple birthday party together! My paternal grandparents and cousin share birthdays within 5 days of each other in November. My husband’s family also have birthdays within a few days of members of my family. Further back on my family tree, certain generations will have close birthdays as well.
Although our birthdays were close together, my mom would always make sure that each of our days was special. But some of my fondest birthday memories are the birthday parties with three delicious cakes- especially Papa’s favorite, German Chocolate cake! Continue reading “It runs in the family… Birthdays”→