17 January 2012

Treasure Chest Thursday - Irony in a 1922 Prayer Book

My maternal grandfather was cleaning out the house of his recently deceased sister, and found a prayer book belonging to his father, John Martin Nestel (1901-1972).

I have been dissecting this page over the past couple days, trying to figure out what everything means.

  • First we find the obvious, the name and address of my great-grandfather, John Nestel.  I wasn't positive if this was his home address, or the church address, of another random address.  However, the 1920 U.S. Federal Census provided me proof that this was indeed his home address, 2103 S. 66th St, West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.
  • The prayer book was blessed by Father Eckert, a priest of the Dominican Order.  What was Father Eckert's first name?  What church did he belong to?
  • We know it was blessed in November of 1922, and it appears that it was on a Saturday.  But why was the actual date left out?!  Based on a calendar of 1922, it could have been the 4th, 11th, 18th or 25th.
  • The top right corner is written, Woodland 0728 W.  That I am clueless to.  Woodland was a street name, and a trolley station.  Everything else was written in what appears to be pen, while this writing in the top corner appears to be in pencil.  Were these written on a different date?  Was this the trolley station he had to meet someone?  Was it the street his church was on?  The 0728 W I can't even begin to figure out.  This is why I enjoy blogging, hopefully I can get some answers from you!
So where does the irony appear in this prayer book?  Well, my last name is Eckert, and my mothers maiden name is Nestel.  This was happening in 1922..  An Eckert and a Nestel wouldn't meet again for over 50 years.  Is this Father Eckert a distant cousin of mine?  Ironic.. I know!

10 January 2012

Wednesday's Child - Katie and Mary Greider

Catherine "Katie" Greider
Daughter of 
Peter G & Eliza Ann
Born August 11, 1863
Died Jan 1, 1871
Aged 7yrs 4 mos

Mary Greider
Daughter of
Peter G & Eliza Ann
Born April 30, 1865
Died Dec. 10, 186
Aged 2 yrs. 7 mos. 
and 10 dys

09 January 2012

Tuesday's Tip - City Directory Trick

Tuesday's Tip - City Directory Trick

One of my favorite resources are City Directories.  Through City Directories, you will find out important information such as physical address, occupation, who was living with them, etc.  My favorite website for searching City Directories is Fold3.com.  Because most, if not all, of my ancestors came from/through Philadelphia and/or Newark, NJ, this makes Fold3.com a great website for City Directories.

Most websites that house City Directories have a search function.  The first step is to pick the State, City, and Year directory you want.  In the following snapshot, I picked Newark, New Jersey for 1889.  I will be looking to see who was living with my Gr Gr Gr Grandfather, Edward V. Eckert.

After searching for Eckert, it will find hits for that name found on any page in the Directory.  In the following snapshot, you'll see that I found my ancestor Edward V. Eckert, living at 20 W Kinney, as a jeweler.

After a quick scan of that page, and the Eckerts on it, I did not find anyone else living at 20 W Kinney.  I wanted to find out if anyone else was living at that address.  I decided to go back to the search screen for the 1889 Newark, NJ City Directory and searched for "20 W Kinney".  Take notice that I pout the address in quotes.  If you fail to do so, it will search for any page that has 20, W, OR Kinney on it, which will bring back hundreds of pages!

Seeing the first match shows a page starting with Ecke, George; I know it will take me to the original page that I found on my "Eckert" search.  The following search result shows Adams, Ferdinand is at the top of the page.  This will get me to dig deeper, to see if anyone on that page lived at 20 W Kinney.

It looks like we found a hit!  James K. Adams, a japanner, and the letter h indicates this was his home, not business address.  I now know that James L. Adams and Edward V. Eckert lived in the same dwelling, at the same address.  They may or may not have shared the same living space.

The above process was what led me to find out that James L. Adams was his father-in-law.  This was a piece of evidence that helped support my claim that came later in research.