September 16, 2011
This post continues on with the siblings of Joseph Plenzler.
Elizabeth was born in Poznan in March 1866. A passenger manifest from Philadelphia places her date of immigration as April 27, 1888 at the age of 22. About a month later, she married Joseph Zalas in South Bend, Indiana on May 30, 1888–making me think the marriage was already planned when she left Poland.
By 1900, Elizabeth and Joseph were living nearby in St. Joe’s, Indiana and had six children per the census:
- Stanislaus (b. October 1889)
- Joseph (b. November 1890)
- Tekla (b. August 1893)
- Agnes (b. January 1895)
- Martin (b. September 1896)
- Wiktor (b. November 1899)
What’s interesting about the 1900 census data for the Zalas family is that it shows that a Kazmier Mruk is living with the family as a border. Elizabeth’s sister, Margaretha had married a Michal Mruk. There very likely is a connection, that perhaps this Kazmier is a brother to Michal Mruk and is an area for future research. Also note that one of the daughters of Margaretha Plenzler and Michael Mruk, Tekla, married John Przybylski. I have not yet found whether there is a link from this John Przybylski to my branch of the Przybylski family; however, my instinct tells me there is some link. These families all came from villages surrounding Gluszyna and Wiorek, Poland. Again, it’s another area for research.
By 1910, the census shows three more children born to the family:
- Clara (b. 1902)
- Lucia (b. 1904)
- Hermonin (Harry) (b. 1907)
Joseph was naturalized in 1924. He passed away July 1, 1927. His obituary was published July 2, 1927 in the South Bend Tribune and is transcribed below:
Joseph Zalas, age 60, died in his home, 1052 West Ford Street at 9 o’clock Friday morning, following an illness of four months. He was a resident of South Bend for 40 years. He was born in Poland March 1, 1867, and is survived by his wife, Mrs. Elizabeth Zalas; three daughters, Mrs. Agnes Kluk, Mrs. Lucille Cwidak, and Miss Clarice Zalas, and five sons, Stanley, Joseph, Martin, Victor, and Henry, and two sisters, Mrs. Mary Janiszczak and Mrs. Hattie Plencner. Funeral services will be held Monday morning in St. Casimir’s Roman Catholic Church, the Rev. S. J. Gorka, C. S. C. officiating. Burial will take place in St. Joseph’s cemetery.
There is a name in this obituary that leads to another Plenzler connection: Mrs. Hattie Plencner. Remember that Plencner is a variation on the Plenzler name and it was used interchangeably within this family. This may mean one of Joseph’s siblings married a Plenzler sibling. However, The only sons that I am aware of within this generation are John (who lived in Middle River, Minnesota) and Joseph (who lived in Toledo, Ohio). So we have another clue to another Plenzler who may have immigrated to the US–another area for research!
Elizabeth passed away December 19, 1950. Her obituary was published in the South Bend Tribune the same day and is transcribed below:
Mrs. Elizabeth Zalas, aged 79, of 1502 West Ford street, died at 4:25 a.m. today in her residence after an illness of three days. She was born in Poznan Poland, March 6, 1871, and came here 65 years ago. Surviving are four sons; Stanley, Joseph, Martin and Harry; two daughters, Mrs. Agnes Jackson and Mrs. Lucille Cwidak; 19 grandchildren; sixteen great grandchildren and a sister; Mrs. Constance (Kunegunda) Zalas, all of South Bend. Friends may call in the St. Joseph funeral home after 5 PM Wednesday until funeral services at 9 am Saturday in St. Casimir’s Catholic church. Burial will be St. Joseph cemetery. She was a member of St. Anne’s Society.
I do not have an original of this obituary as it was shared with me via email as a transcribed copy.
Family oral history tells that Elizabeth, Catherine, and Kunegunda communicated with the family in Toledo via written letters and that there were personal visits between the families; however, I have no direct evidence of this although find it a credible story. South Bend, Indiana and Toledo, Ohio are only about 160 miles apart. By the 1890s and early 1900s, there were several railroad lines in Toledo that would have made this possible.
As usual, if you have insights, comments, corrections, etc., let me know.
September 15, 2011
Posted by Donna Mierzejewski-McManus under Niemier
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As promised earlier, I’m going to focus on the siblings of my great-grandfather, Joseph Plenzler. So far, I’ve found two Plenzler siblings who settled in Toledo after emigration to the US: Joseph and Margaretha.
A brother, John is discussed in an earlier post. Catherine, Elizabeth, and Kunegunda are all documented by Lucky Ladlewski. Each of the sisters had settled in the South Bend/St. Joseph area of Indiana.
Catherine married Jacob Niemier in Głuszyna, Poland in 1881. (I do not have the marriage record.) Thanks to Judy Stewart, we have a photo of Catherine.
Katarzyna (Catherine) Plenzler Niemier
Catherine and Jacob arrived in the United States 1887 per the 1900 US census. At the time of the 1900 census (see here and here, the data spanned over two pages), the family was living in South Bend, Indiana. Children were listed as
- Mary, age 17. Mary was noted as having been born in Poland and was employed as a cigar maker.
- Wojciech (Albert), age 14. Albert was also noted as having been born in Poland.
- Lucya, age 11.
- Piotr (Peter), age 9.
- Melchoir, age 6.
- Joseph, age 4.
By the 1920 census, twp more children were added to the family:
- Anna, age 16
- Alec, age 13
And a grandchild was also noted on the 1920 census: Irene, age 1-1/2. Peter is noted as living with the family still in 1920 and the census notes that he was widowed.
The 1910 census also showed a child, Aloizy (Aloysius), age 3, this most likely is the child listed as Alec in the 1920 census.
Catherine passed away January 15, 1944 in South Bend. I have a copy of Catherine’s obituary (unfortunately, I do not know where it was published) and it is transcribed below:
Mrs. Catherine Niemer, aged 75, died at 1:55 p.m. Saturday in her home, 1503 West Poland street, after an illness of six weeks. She was born in Poznan, Poland, March 28, 1868, coming to South Bend 56 years ago. Surviving are three daughters, Mrs. Mary Kazmierczak, Mrs. Lucille Hes, and Mrs. Anna Vargo, all of South Bend; five sons, Albert, Peter, Melchiar, Joseph, and Aloysius, all of South Bend; two sisters, Elizabeth Zalas and Gwendolyn Zalas, both of South Bend; 33 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. Funeral services will be conducted at 9 a.m. Wednesday in St. Casmier’s Roman Catholic church and burial will be in St. Joseph’s Cemetery.
As always, if you have more information, please do share! Send me an email or leave a comment here and I’ll follow up.
September 15, 2011
Posted by Donna Mierzejewski-McManus under Indiana
, Lucky Ladlewski
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Genealogy certainly isn’t cheap nor is it easy. For me, having a large concentration of my ancestors in Toledo, I had a bit of luck in that I was able to obtain a king’s ransom in genealogical data through the Catholic Dioceses of Toledo and by sharing with cousins. But when I began my search beyond Toledo, it became a bit more difficult. My mother’s family in particular presented a bit of a conundrum for me. Originally I believed they all settled in northwest Ohio, but was I wrong! While publicprofiler.com indicated to me that there are four major areas in Poland that Plenzlers are concentrated and it also indicated that a large concentration was located in Toledo, Ohio; it gave me no further clues that the Plenzlers would have settled elsewhere in the US.
Then Judy Stewart asked me if I had ever heard of Lucky Ladlewski. Couldn’t say I ever had. But through Lucky, she had obtained the Plenzlers who had settled near South Bend. Unfortunately, Lucky passed away a number of years ago, but through volunteers and the generosity of her husband, her work lives. See Lucky Ladlewski’s papers. What a great thing to share!
Lucky documented as many as she could of Polish descent living in the South Bend, Indiana region. Who knows? Take a look at Lucky’s work. You might find that one of your Polish ancesters were documented by Lucky if they lived in Indiana.
September 14, 2011
One of today’s themes over at GeneaBloggers is Wedding Wednesday. Below is a photo of the wedding of Raymond Przybylski and Virginia Wesolowski. Date unknown. The groom’s sister, Pearl Przybylski Zarecki is standing next to the bride. Click photo for larger, high-resolution image. If you can identify any of the other individuals in this photo or have more details, drop me a comment here or an email. I’ll follow up.
Raymond was the son of Frank Przybylski and Josephine Mielcarek, born April 4, 1919, died October 27, 1986. Photo courtesy of John Plenzler.
Wedding photo of Raymond Przybylski and Virginia Wesolowski
September 12, 2011
Posted by Donna Mierzejewski-McManus under Rochowiak
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It’s amazing tidbits of information I’ll squirrel away to follow up later and then to discover later they lead to more inquiry. It’s appropriate that one of the themes today over at GeneaBloggers is Mystery Monday. My posts yesterday about baptisms and Rochowiaks in Toledo made me remember a bit of information I squirreled away thinking that it would be relevant later.
When looking at the Rochowiak data I’ve found but haven’t been able to knit together, I put away a baptismal record for an Antoni Rochowiak last year because it was noted that my great-grandmother, Frances, was his sponsor or godmother. The date of this baptismal record was 2 May 1886 and is transcribed below:
Parentes: Laurentius Rochowiak, Rosalia Skolmowska
Parentini: Franciscus Skolmowski, Franscisca Przybylska
Nativ: 30 Aprilis
Bapt.: 2 Mai
Nomen Sacrodotis: Rev. M. F. Orzechowski
Then while reviewing the photos I had for Calvary, I noticed I had photographed the grave of Antoni Rochowiak.
Antoni Rochowiak grave, Calvary Cemetery
Antoni’s father is listed as Laurentius on the baptismal record–this is the Latin version of Lawerence, and Antoni is 33 on the 1920 census. Unfortunately, the priest didn’t record data beyond the parent’s names, so I couldn’t link Lawrence and Frances as siblings. (We do know Frances’ parents’ names — Adalbertus and Marianna Mazana .) Frances’ father, Adalbertus, was married twice. Per the church marriage record, he was noted as “viduus” or widower. Marianna Mazana was his second wife. It is very possible that Lawrence and Frances are siblings or half-siblings. Digging will continue.
September 11, 2011
Posted by Donna Mierzejewski-McManus under Rochowiak
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09.18.2011: Please see the comments for this post. Information contained here is inaccurate. Judy Ellis provided information that she shared concerning Lawrence Rochowiak.
One of my great-grandmothers was Frances Rochowiak Przybylski. The Rochowiaks seem to have arrived early to the US. While research the name, I located a Lawrence Rochowiak. Per the 1920 census, Lawrence and his wife, Anna, arrived in the US in 1872 and each has a naturalization date of 1880. Per this census, Lawrence and Anna were living 1434 Nebraska with four children:
- Anthony, age 33
- Anna, age 27
- Clara, age 21
- Joe, age 17
Using Anthony’s age of 33 and Anna’s age of 53, it seems as if Anna and Lawrence immigrated just after marriage. I would suspect too that Lawrence was previously married and widowed while still in Poznan given that there is a 20 year age gap between him and Anna. A quick query to the Poznan database didn’t lead me to any quick clues; and it’s more than possible that Lawerence’s name had been changed upon immigration to the US, although I queried under the usual suspects of Polish and Latin names such as Lorenz, Laurentius, and Wawrzyn. It’s likely that his birthdate year of 1845 is just a guesstimate and it’s also possible that the name was recorded under a different form. I’ve seen Rochowiak referred to as Grochowiak and Prochowiak on the database. So more research is needed to determine if and how Lawrence and Anna are connected to Frances Rochowiak.
I do have a grave photo for Anna and Lawerence.
Anna and Lawerence Rochowiak grave Calvary Cemetery
I do have Lawrences’s date of death–June 4, 1930. I haven’t located his death certificate but have found an index of Ohio deaths dated June 1930 that lists Lawrence. Additionally, there is a death notice for Lawrence published in the Toledo News-Bee dated June 5, 1930. The death notice is transcribed below:
ROCHOWIAK, LAWRENCE–Beloved husband of Anna, Wednesday, June 4, at 10:30 a.m. Age 84 years. Funeral Saturday, June 7 from his residence, 1434 Nebraska Ave., at 8:30 and St. Anthony’s church at 9 a.m. Burial Calvary. Czolgosz mortuary.
The Calvary Cemetery burial register provides the record for Lawerence’s burial as well as the location of the grave. (I do not have any death or burial information yet for Anna.) The burial record is transcribed below:
Name: Lawrence Rochowiak
Residence: 1434 Nebraska
Cause of Death: Accidental fall
Date of Interment: June 7
Grave: S 1/2 of E 1/2
Range or Lot: 32
Undertaker: J. G. Czolgosz
I have no links to this Lawrence Rochowiak to my great-grandmother. It would be interesting to learn if Frances was related to this Rochowiak family–it seems as if many from the region of Chomętowo, Poznan, Poland were related and many had contacts in or had lived in Toledo or northwest Ohio. If you have any information, please leave a message here or send me an email and I’ll follow up.
September 11, 2011
One of the themes today over at GeneaBloggers is Church Record Sunday. I thought immediately that Sundays were often baptismal days for the newborns of our communities. Baptisms were typically held after Mass.
Baptismal records from the parishes that my family attended have been a great source of genealogical information for me. Not only do they prove the birth of a child, they often contain nuggets of genealogical data if you’re willing to scrutinize the record.
For Polish Catholics, a typical baptismal custom was to name a child after the saint whose name day the child was born on. So you may find perhaps that a family has three or four sons. The eldest son wasn’t named after his father; but the fourth son was. That may leave you scratching your head if you are more familiar with the custom of naming the eldest son after his father. However, check the birth dates. You may just find that the father and son share a common saint name or birth date. Another common tradition was to have siblings or other very close relatives as sponsors or godparents. So this information can lend insight or connections in linking families together.
Also with older Catholic baptismal registers, you’ll have to read and review many pages before you find your relative. This is a difficult task at times–Catholic records are often written in Latin. Plus, you will need to familiarize yourself with the priests’ handwriting. Often it was ornate and often it is difficult to read. Ink blots, smears, age-related fading also factor in.
The Catholic baptismal records for the Toledo Dioceses are not indexed; however, they are available in digital format from familysearch.org. So if you know an approximate date of birth of your relative from northwest Ohio and you believe he or she may have been Catholic, it’s worthwhile to peruse some of these records.
The Catholic Gene posted a great list of Latin terms to help with understanding these records.
Occasionally, you may stumble on a baptismal record that holds a wealth of information. This happened when I was researching the children of Joseph Plenzler and his wife, Eva Dauer. Two of their children, Robert and Mary, contained more data than I expected. This is how I learned the surname of one of my great-great grandparents, Aumiller. The priest recorded the parents and grandparents of the newborn. See this snippet.
September 7, 2011
Today, one of the themes over at GeneaBloggers is Wedding Wednesday. Today we have a wedding photo for Joseph (Joe Pie) Plenzler and Josephine Grzechowiak. They were married in 1913 in Toledo, Ohio.
Individuals in the photo, from left to right: Bessie Krolkie (friend of the bride), Robert Plenzler, Joseph Plenzler, Josephine Grezchowiak, Joseph Grzechowiak, Mary Plenzler.
Joseph Plenzler and Josephine Grzechowiak wedding, Toledo, Ohio, 1913 (click for larger size high resolution photo)
September 6, 2011
Posted by Donna Mierzejewski-McManus under Aumiller
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Because one of the themes today over at GeneaBloggers is Tombstone Tuesday and I’ve mentioned a couple of times that my great-great grandmother was an Aumiller (Maria Aumiller), I thought I’d post a gravestone I located in Calvary.
Now I haven’t connected any dots with any Aumillers that I’ve located in Toledo to my family yet. But the proof that I’m related to Aumillers comes from baptismal records of two of Eva Dauer’s and Joseph Plenzler’s children–Bob and Mary. In their baptismal records from St. Anthony’s parish of Toledo, the grandparents are noted as well as as the parents. In Bob’s baptismal record, it appears as if the name were recorded in German: Ömiller. But in Mary’s baptismal record, it is recorded as Aumiller.
I haven’t really pursued any Aumiller connections yet; but when I do photo Calvary, I will take photos of graves with names that sound familiar to me. So while going through the photos for today’s theme, I noticed I took a picture of a grave of someone named Maryanna Aumiller.
Maryanna Aumiller, 1856 - 1918, Calvary Cemetery grave
I had done some initial investigation with Maryanna, but nothing leads me to link her to Eva. However, I did locate a 1900 census record that reflects Maryanna, her husband George, and family living at 1555 Avondale in the Kuschwantz neighborhood. Joe and Eva Plenzler were living at 1544 Avondale. They most certainly knew each other–they were neighbors and many Catholic families on that street attended St. Anthony’s parish.
Maryanna and George had nine children per the 1900 census:
- Anthony (age 18)
- Agnes (age 16)
- Kate (age 14)
- Wiktorya (Victoria) (age 12)
- Anna (age 11)
- Joseph (age 11)
- Stanislawa (age 9)
- Ignace (age 7)
- Konstancya (age 5)
I have also obtained Maryanna’s death certificate, church burial/death record through St. Anthony’s parish and burial record through Calvary. What is unusual about this is when comparing these records with the gravestone, it’s obvious that someone guesstimated her birth year. Her grave stone states she was born in 1856, which would have made Maryanna 62 years old at the time of death. However, her death certificate states her birthdate is unknown. Her burial record from Calvary Cemetery, is transcribed below, provides the grave location:
Name of Deceased: Mary Aumiller
Place of Nativity:
Late Residence: 1217 Lucas
Disease: Heart Disease
Date of Decease: Oct. 31
Date of Interment: Nov. 2
Married, Single, or Widowed: M
Place of Death: Toledo
No. of Grave: 425
No. of Lot: 4
No. of Section: 30
Name of Physician: Watts
Name of Undertaker: W. J. Sujkowski
Name of Parents or Kindred:
Maybe this will provide a start to making links with Aumillers. Maryanna would be linked to Eva through her husband. If anyone has any information on this family, leave a comment here or drop me an email. I’ll follow up.
September 5, 2011
Posted by Donna Mierzejewski-McManus under Aumiller
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Some time ago, I had received a hand-drawn family tree for the Plenzlers with a cover letter dated 1991 that mentioned a John Plenzler who had settled in Minnesota. This family tree and the letter were created by Theresa Plenzler Helminiak, a cousin.
While tracing my great-grandfather, Joseph Plenzler, I realized he had several siblings because of this information yet I hadn’t followed up with any of Joseph’s siblings here. A good prod came from Judy again, because truthfully, I was asleep at the wheel this summer with any genealogy efforts. Let’s just say it’s been a busy summer and I’m trying to make sure I find at least a few hours each week to get more research and writing done.
Per the information Theresa (Tessie) recorded, Joseph had at least five siblings that I could verify and locate:
- Margaretha and then see here and here. Margaretha and Joseph were the only siblings who settled in Ohio.
- John settled in Minnesota with his wife Marianna (Mary). He’s the subject of this post.
- Catharine married Jacob Niemier and settled in South Bend, Indiana.
- Elizabeth married Joseph Zalas and settled in South Bend, Indiana.
- Kunegunda married Stephen Zalas and settled in South Bend, Indiana.
The sisters, Catharine, Elizabeth, and Kunegunda will be topics in the near future.
Per census records and a marriage record I located via the Poznan Project, Johannes (John) was born about 1857. The record I found on the Poznan Project indicated that Johannes and Marianna married in 1877 in Głuszyna–a common fact in my branch of the Plenzler family. She was 19, he was 20. Marianna’s maiden name was Krych. I will have to write to obtain the actual marriage record(s)–and see if there are both civil and church marriage records to review.
After this point, things get a little murky with John and Mary. While Tessie documented John and Mary as having lived in Minnesota, there are a few immigration records that do not make their arrival quite clear.
A Hamburg manifest heading into New York was located for John, indicates that he left Europe on 4 April 1883. A corresponding record at Castle Garden for his arrival also exists that provides his date of arrival to the US as 20 April 1883 and his occupation as a mason. However, this manifest indicates that his final destination is Wisconsin.
Digging into this further, I had to look at census sheets and to also look at Mary’s immigration records. A passenger manifest for the ship, Weser, arriving into Baltimore from Bremen documents her arrival on 20 April 1884. On this manifest is some interesting information. Marianna arrives with two daughters: Veronica, age 6 and Barbara, age 11 months. Immigrant mothers arriving with infants or small children isn’t unusual although it’s always noteworthy. However, viewing the passenger record just above Marianna’s name is a record for a Cecelia Aumiller. That notation nearly knocked my socks off. My great-great-grandmother was Maria Aumiller before her marriage to Andreas Dauer. Their child, Eva, married Joseph Plenzler. My guess is that Cecelia was either a sister to Andreas (her age is listed as 63) or she was a wife to a brother of Andreas! I have not yet definitively located any of my Aumiller relatives in the US although I have had clues. This is going to be an area of future research–I am so hoping to eventually find if there are Aumillers to whom I am related to in the US.
While researching John and Mary, I have located some indirect evidence that they had remained together in Wisconsin for a while prior to settling in Minnesota. Thanks to Judy, we have the 1900 Federal Census that shows John and Mary living in Middle River, Minnesota. Note that on this record, the surname is spelled as Plenzer. Here the census provides information on the family as it was in 1900:
- John is listed as Charles. I do believe this to be an error on the part of the census taker. His birth is listed as March 1857, age 43. However, his immigration is recorded as 1881. It is possible the John had come to the US earlier and had returned. Remember that Marianna had traveled to the US with a small child of 11 months in 1884, so that would have placed Barbara’s birth in 1883.
- Mary’s birth is indicated as August 1859 and her age is 41. Note that she has had 10 children, but six are still alive in 1900.
- Daughter Barbara is then noted, with her birthdate given of September 1883. (This is difficult to ascertain because it appears as if the census taker had made a mistake and tried to write over the original answer, however, Barbara’s age seems to be provided as 17.) This would make sense if she were not quite a year old upon immigration in 1884.
- Son, Mike, is then listed. He, and two of his following siblings, are noted as having been born in Wisconsin. Mike is noted as 11 and born in September 1888.
- Son, Frank, is then listed. His birthdate is provided as February 1890 and is noted as 10 years old.
- Son, John, is then listed. His birthdate is provided as April 1893 and is noted as 7 years old.
- Son, Nicholas, is then listed. His birthdate is provided as April 1896. The census taker noted his age as 3, but if he were born in 1896, his age should have been noted as 4 at the time of this census (June 1900).
The 1905 Minnesota state census reflects the same information for the family. Note on this record, the surname is spelled as Plencner or Plencener. (Begin with record #37.)
Realizing that Mary had traveled to the US in 1884 with two daughters, Barbara and Veronica, I noticed that neither the 1900 census or the 1905 state census reflected any information for Veronica and that the 1900 census stated she had six children living, it was apparent that Veronica had already left home. I located Veronica, noted as Verona, on an 1895 Minnesota state census where she was living in Argyle, Minnesota at the age of 17. If she were six at the time of arrival in the US, she would have been born about 1878, making her 17 at the time of this census. So this census data likely reflects that this is indeed John and Mary’s daughter, Veronica.
I have not been able to locate a 1910 US census with this family’s data; however, the 1920 and 1930 census data is available. This is data too indicates that it’s possible the John had come to the US in 1881 but did not stay.
The 1920 census shows us that Mary and John are still living in Middle River, Minnesota. Note that on this census, the surname is given as Plencner. Here, John’s immigration date is provided as 1881 and Mary’s as 1882. Also note that John was naturalized in 1900, and Mary is also indicated as having been naturalized. (I believe that spouses whose husbands were naturalized at this time were automatically granted naturalization, but this would need some verification.) John and Mary are listed as no longer having an occupation; however, two sons reside with them: Mike and Frank who appear to be running the family farm.
The 1930 census is even more interesting. See page 1 here and page 2 here–data for the family spans two pages.
On page 1, John and Mary are listed as records 49 and 50. They are on the same farm that they own, ages 73 and 71, respectively. The same immigration dates of 1881 for John and 1882 for Mary are provided.
On page 2, son Frank, is still living on the same farm with John and Mary, single, age 38, and seems to be also running the farm (record#51, second page). What is even more interesting is daughter, Barbara has re-appeared. (See record #52, page 2.) Here we learn she is widowed, age 48, and is living with Frank, John, and Mary with a daughter, Gwendolyn, age 14. Even more interesting, it is noted that Gwendolyn was born in New York. Barbara’s name is given as Barbara Ervin.
Moving down on the second page of the 1930 census data for the Plenzler family, records #54 through #58, it appears as John Jr. had purchased the farm next door (or perhaps his father had subdivided the farm and sold half to his younger son). John is married in 1930 to a woman named Josephine and there are three children: Mary Anne, Adeline, and Raymond. These children were all born in Minnesota.
I have not found any death records for John; however, I did locate an abstract of Mary’s death. Mary passed away on 18 October 1938 in Middle River, Minnesota at the age of 79.
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