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!


  1. Great close-up of the boys, Debi. What a treasure to have that photo--and then the matching corroboration. Are there any local resources, whether through the local library or historical society, that might have additional photos that would help you piece together your family's story? And is there any chance that beautiful home is still standing?

    1. Good suggestion, Jacqi. I will contact the Gilroy Historical Society (or whatever they might be called) and see if they can help. Thanks!

  2. I love that you have these two photos. And one with the four boys. If they were their parents' only (living) children, it is likely that you have guessed correctly on their identification.

    1. They only had four children so I think it is them, too.

  3. What a handsome house. Wouldn't you love to go inside to see how it was laid out, to see the finishes, to see the furniture? I like the fence posts too.

    I think you're right about Abraham -- he looks like the older Abraham photos you've shared.

    1. Do you think it looks like Abraham? I think it does, too, but I figured I just wanted it to be him so badly that I saw the resemblance.

  4. The house is beautiful and I love the story behind your latest discovery. I was particulary intrigued by the boys' jackets - so German-looking! :)

  5. Debi,

    It's so cool that you have a picture of your 2nd great-grandparents' home!

    I want to let you know that your blog post is listed in today's Fab Finds post at

    Have a great weekend!

  6. I stopped by to read as I found you on Jana's Friday Finds: what an interesting story, and those boys are so cute. It's such a great find to find their home and see where they live bringing the family more alive in your eyes!