Sunday, October 26, 2014

The house that Ferdinand built?

Four boys

I’ll never know who actually built this home but one thing I’m almost certain of is that this was the home of my 2nd great grandparents, Ferdinand and Fannie (Goldstein) Gunzendorfer.  I ran across this photo several months ago and while I suspected it was their home, I had no way of knowing and figured I never would.  But my recent connection with my cousins, which I talked about here, has provided me with some clues that have helped solve some puzzles for me.  The first of which is this home. (Note in the bottom left corner it reads “Abe Gunzy, Monterey”)

My cousin graciously sent me a copy of some family history research another cousin had done about 20 years ago.  It was great to see my family in print and I poured over the information.  And pictures – there were pictures!  One of which was this.

Residence of F Gunzendorfer

Not a very good picture, and she apologized for the quality, but the caption underneath was all I needed.  Residence of Ferdinand Gunzendorfer.  Pretty home in it’s own right but spectacular when I compared it to the photo above.  I’m about as certain as I can be that they are one in the same!  Let’s look at them side by side.

Gunzendorfer home Residence of F Gunzendorfer close up

A few things are slightly different but for the most part, these are the same! 

I’m not sure of the time frame but if those four children are the four Gunzendorfer boys, I would guess the photo on the left to be from the late 1870’s.  In the 1870 census, the family was enumerated in Gilroy, California but no address was listed.  In 1880 they were again enumerated in Gilroy, this time in Enumeration District 254.  They are shown on Fifth but the house number of 125 may actually be the family number.  And by 1900 the family was in Monterey, at either 121 or 132 Webster.

Let’s look closely at the boys just in case it is them.

Four boys closeup

By height and age, these boys could be Jacob, Adolph, Gustave, and Abraham (my great grandfather) Gunzendorfer.  Since Adolph and Abraham were only two years apart, I suppose those two could be switched.  Are these not the cutest boys ever?

Another puzzle piece is in place!  Thanks, Gunzendorfer cousins!

Sunday, October 12, 2014


Photo by Maret

As I looked through some of my Great Grandfather’s, Abe Gunzendorfer, photos today, I came across a few which are important to the history of the Monterey Fire Department.  As I learned from Abe’s obituary, “in 1891, he organized the first hook and ladder company in Monterey and was later made a member for life of the Monterey fire department, an honor of which he was very proud.”  [Monterey Peninsula Herald, May 4, 1944].  What a great honor – I can imagine he was proud!

On March 4, 1915, a twenty fifth anniversary celebration was held and Abe took a photo to commemorate the day.

Monterey Fire Dept 25 anniversary 3_4_1915

I just love that he wrote on the back of the photo so I knew what the the event was!

Monterey Fire Dept back

I think it says that A.B. Gunzendorfer (Abe) and M.S. Perry fostered and managed the celebration.  Fostered?  Is that right?

A few things to note in the picture.

Monterey Fire Dept 25 anniversary 3_4_1915 Gunzendorfer Parker

The flag on the wall is backwards.  Is that because of the film?  The flags to the left on poles seem to be correct.

William E. Parker is circled in green.  I’m pretty sure that’s Ferdinand Gunzendorfer (my 2nd great grandfather, Abe’s father) circled in lavender.  What do you think?

Monterey Fire Dept 25 anniversary Gunzendorfer Gunzendorfer Ferdinand cropped
Close up of photo above
Ferdinand Gunzendorfer

The Monterey Fire Department began serving the citizens of Monterey in 1882 when the first brigade was established by a group of citizens.  William E. Parker, born January 17 1865, joined the fire department in 1888 in Hose Company No. 1.  On March 4, 1890, he was named chief of the department – so the anniversary celebration was held exactly 25 years later.  Chief Parker was recognized as the nation’s longest actively serving chief with 52 years of service [Monterey Fire Department, by Mike Ventimiglia] – he didn’t retire until 1942!

The July 7, 1892 edition of the Monterey New Era reported…
At a meeting of the fire department Sunday night, to make final arrangements for a parade, Chief W.E. Parker was treated to a most enjoyable surprise.  A.B. Gunzendorfer, foreman of the Monterey Hook and Ladder company No. 1, presented him, on behalf of the fire department, with a beautiful silver trumpet of the most elegant design.

I sure would love to see that trumpet!

And here’s a fun photo that Abe took.

Juvenile Fire Engine
Conquer we Must.  Our Cause is Just.
J.D. Brower’s Juvenile Fire Engine Co. No. 36
A.B. Gunzendorfer, Photographer, Monterey, Cal.

Who knew the Monterey Fire Department would be so important in my family?

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Fannie Goldstein Gunzendorfer

Goldstein Fannie

I don’t know a lot about my 2nd great grandmother, Fannie Goldstein Gunzendorfer, but my interest in all things Gunzendorfer has been piqued this week due to connecting with not one but TWO Gunzendorfer cousins.  I wrote last week about my first connection here and through her, I’ve connected with her first cousin – both are descendants of Jacob Gunzendorfer, younger brother of my great grandfather, Abraham Gunzendorfer.  Their grandmother, Irene Gunzendorfer Sherwin, was my grandmother’s (Mildred Loraine Gunzendorfer Levy) first cousin.  I remember hearing about Irene and her daughters (and even met the daughters) but I never paid too much attention to how they were related.  But that’s changed now!

Our direct ancestors are Fannie Goldstein and Ferdinand Gunzendorfer, our 2nd great grandparents.  One of my first blog posts was about Ferdinand (here) so now it’s time to add Fannie to the mix.

I’ve seen quite a few birth dates and places for Fannie but I’m going to go with 6 March 1848 in Poland since that’s what it shows on her death certificate and grave.  I’ve also seen 1846 and 1847 and Prussia and Germany.  According to the Memorial and Biographical History of the Coast Counties of Central California (Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1893), Fannie was united in marriage with Ferdinand Gunzendorfer in 1863, which means she was somewhere between 15 and 17 years old.  And then there’s a big gap of Fannie on her own – just census records and City Directories showing her with Ferdinand.  Which isn’t really nothing since she was with her husband and children but it doesn’t really tell me much about her

While sharing photos with my new-found cousins, I came across this.

Gunzendorfer Ferdinand Fannie Buggy

Look closely –that’s Fannie and Ferdinand in the buggy!  Fannie is driving and Ferdinand is sitting in the back seat - could he be giving her a driving lesson?  I love thinking about them out for a Sunday “drive” and wonder where they might have gone.

Gunzendorfer Ferdinand Fannie Buggy cropped

Uh-oh, Fannie had a bit of a checkered past.  What would have made her dump the contents of a slop jar (ewwww) on Miss Johnson’s trunk?  It would be interesting to know THAT story!

Gunzendorfer Lawsuit SC Sentinenel May 30 1897 page 3
Santa Cruz Sentinel
30 May 1897, page 3

A few months later, Fannie’s mother, Sarah Frankel Goldstein, died.  It is this obituary from the San Francisco Call that helped me determine that Sarah’s maiden name was Frankel.  I also find it interesting that the Goldstein’s had daughters by the names of Fannie and Francis – I can imagine that got confusing.

Sarah Frankel Goldstein Obit SF Call 27 Dec 1897 First Edition
San Francisco Call
27 December 1897

By 1907, Fannie was on her own after Ferdinand’s sudden death on 20 October 1907 in Monterey.  Fannie left Monterey for San Francisco, maybe because it was too painful for her to stay in Monterey and several of her sons were in San Francisco.  It looks like she bought property on Clay Street from Mr. and Mrs. Warren G. Bailey.

Fannie Gunzendorfer property SF Call 23 Jun 1908 First Edition
San Francisco Call
23 June 1908, First Edition

And by 1910, she was listed in the City Directory at 3126 Clay Street.  I haven’t been able to find her (or the house) in the 1910 census enumerated on 15 April 1910 – the census page lists 3124 Clay Street and then skips to 3126.  Was the house empty so no one stopped?  Where was Fannie?

A few months later, 22 July 1910, Fannie Goldstein Gunzendorfer died at Mt. Zion Hospital from an Incarcerated Hernia with a contributory cause of death of Peritonitis.  I’m sure today a patient with that type of diagnosis would be rushed into surgery but I’m guessing that option wasn’t available in 1910.  What’s interesting to note, and this if for my new-found cousin, is that in that time period Mt. Zion Hospital was strictly a Jewish hospital.  The hospital had been formed in 1887 by 43 members of the San Francisco Jewish Community and remained a Jewish hospital for nearly 100 years.  Which makes me believe that Fannie was a practicing Jew at the time of her death, although I don’t know if she was Jewish by birth or marriage.

Fannie is interred in the Gunzendorfer plot at Hills of Eternity Cemetery in Colma, California.

Gunzendorfer Plot