1) Determine where your ancestral families were on 1 January 1913 - 100 years ago.
2) List them, their family members, their birth years, and their residence location (as close as possible). Do you have a photograph of their residence from about that time, and does the residence still exist?
My great grandparents, Edward Fitzgerald (b. 1879) and Mabel McAboy Fitzgerald (b. 1883), were living in Fresno on what looks to be Butte Avenue. Also in the household were their three children, Clara (my grandmother, born 1903), Viola (b. 1905), and Stanley (b. 1908). I don’t know much about this house but I do remember their home later in life.
Mabel’s parents and my second great grandparents, William McAboy (b. 1842) and Rebecca Waller McAboy (b. 1845) were living in Fresno but I’m not sure exactly where. In 1920 they were living at 2904 Olive Avenue, which is interesting since their granddaughter and my grandmother, Clara Fitzgerald Martin Hunter, was living on Olive Avenue years later.
My great grandparents, Robert Martin (b. 1855) and Frances “Fannie” Brooks Martin (b. 1860) were living in Fresno on what looks to be Rebon Avenue. Also in the house were 6 of their 8 children: Lillie (b. 1885), Pearl (b. 1889), Nellie (b. 1891), Dessie (b. 1893), Ethel (b. 1898) and my grandfather, Earle Martin (b. 1900). I don’t know anything about the house they were living in. In 1920 my second great grandmother, Sarah Miller Brooks Anderson (b. 1836) was living with the family since she was widowed in 1904 – I have about a 20 year gap where she’s ‘missing’.
My great grandparents, Abraham Gunzendorfer (b. 1896) and Bertha Schwartz Gunzendorfer (b. 1872), lived at 430 Pacific, Monterey, California with their children, Mildred Loraine Gunzendorfer (my grandmother, born in 1896) and Wilton Gunzendorfer (1899). I have lots of photographs of homes but I haven’t been able to identify this one, yet. The residence no longer exists – the Monterey Institute of International Studies is located there now.
Bertha’s mother, my 2nd great grandmother Rebecca Steen Schwartz (b. 1848), was living at 1595 Harrison Street, Oakland, California. She was listed as a “boarder” in the home of her brother, Samuel Steen (b. 1855), his wife, Rachel Letter Steen (b. 1860), and their daughter Hazel (b. 1884). Also in the home were Rebecca’s youngest sons, Milton Schwartz (b. 1878) and his wife Charlotte Haley Schwartz (b. 1878), and Colman Schwartz (b. 1884). Others in the household were Julius Oppenheim, Ida Oppenheim, Isabel Oppenheim, Emilie Frank, Julietta Sevy (or could that be Levy, my birth name?) and the servant, Yasuki Kurati. I know that about 5 years later my grandmother, Loraine Gunzendorfer, was living with Samuel, Rachel, and Hazel at 1933 Harrison Street. It appears that the house at 1595 Harrison Street is no longer in existence.
My great grandparents, Herman Levy (b. 1856) and Goldie Benas Levy (b. 1864), were living at 946 K Street in Fresno. Also in the home were their four sons – Herbert (b. 1884), Leon (b. 1886), my grandfather Sigmund (b. 1888) and Benjamin (b. 1892). Finally, I have a photo of the house!
This photo was taken in 1890 and the three little kids in front are the oldest three boys – Herb, Leon, and Sig (my grandfather). If I had to guess I’d say Leon is on the left, Herb in the middle, and Sig in the dress on the right. I can’t be certain but I believe that is Herman standing with them. I’m not sure who the women are but it could be possible that the woman standing behind the middle child is Goldie.
The youngest son, Ben, wrote an autobiography sometime between 1962 and 1968 and I’ve learned quite a bit about the family this way. Here’s what he had to say about their home:
Our home was then located at 946 “K” Street (now Van Ness Avenue) across the street from the present Hotel Californian. We had a very well built home, as the picture will show. The home still stands in a different neighborhood.It was interesting to check everyone at the same time frame and see where they were. Thanks for the prompt, Randy!
We lived in this home for over twenty-five years. I have fond memories of every nook and crook in this home, and how I slid down the banister staircase, and of rummaging in the unfinished attic where the water storage tank was located. The barn was big to house the horse and buggy and firewood and hayloft. We staged amateur shows in the loft. The proceeds went for the Spanish-American War veterans. We had a good-sized garden which us boys took care of. We also had from one to three dogs at all times. We never forgot the dogs and their names, and when a dog died, we were deeply grieved, as a dog is man’s best friend, and more of a friend to a boy.