Sunday, October 30, 2016

Monterey Grammar School

I’ve run across things confirming that my grandmother, Mildred Loraine Gunzendorfer, attended Monterey Grammar School but now I know that she not only attended but she graduated from the school.  From what I can tell, the grammar school went through 8th grade and then off the students went to high school.

Not only did Loraine’s things spend the last 100+ years in an outdoor storage facility, but for whatever reason, some of her things never made it out of my garage.  Until recently, when it was time to bring things inside and make it easier for me to actually look at what I have.  And that’s when I found this.

Oh boy, the years have definitely taken a toll on this document – the Diploma of Graduation for my grandmother, Loraine Gunzendorfer, from June 30, 1911.  The photo actually looks better than it really is and I was anxious to somehow restore it, at least a little bit.  Thankfully, I’m a member of the Random Acts of Photo Restoration on Facebook which is a group of individuals who volunteer to restore photos so I posted the photo to see what could be done. 

And before long, I had a “cleaned up” version.  It looks so much better – I know this wasn’t an easy task!

Loraine Grammar School Diploma After v.1

Today I was looking through some things and I came across an autograph book I hadn’t really paid attention to before.  But it caught my eye today.

Grammar School Autograph Book Front

How beautiful is this?  I can just imagine my grandmother taking it to school for her friends to sign. 

And here’s the back.

Grammar School Autograph Book Back

I opened it up and saw this on the inside front cover.

Grammar School Inside Cover

Although the inside front cover isn’t dated, her friends dated their entries so I’m guessing this was a Christmas gift in 1909.  I sure wish I knew why she destroyed the name of the gift giver and replaced it with ? I’m not sure if she used an eraser or just something sharp to make the name unreadable.

What struck me was that very few of those who signed the book are names I’ve ever heard before.  And since I have her yearbook from just 4 years later, it’s surprising that there were only a couple of friends who graduated from Monterey High School with her.

One was her BFF, Hallie Hitchcock.  I sure would love to find a descendant of Hallie’s so I could share some of the school girl memories and pictures Loraine kept.

Grammar School Hallie Hitchcock

Another one of her girlfriends was Mary Salterbach.  Sometimes I see the name with a K on the end but this, in Mary’s handwriting, looks like an H to me.

Grammar School Salterbach

And Carleton’s name seems familiar – ah yes, she kept some of Carleton’s cigarettes in her COLLECTION

Grammar School Best

This note from Diavillis Hutchinson was one that tells me these were friends from her days at Monterey Grammar School.

Grammar School Hutchinson

And another one which stands out to me – I have a friend with the same name.

Grammar School Perry

I think the handwriting is beautiful – I’m sure kids back then spent a lot of time practicing their handwriting.  I still remember what a thrill it was to give up printing and begin writing in cursive!

Monterey Grammar School

What a beautiful school – and one which held so many memories for my grandmother.  Thanks again for sharing, Grandma!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Joseph Fitzgerald

I last wrote about my cousin, Patti, whom I “met” about 3 years ago.  Our shared ancestors were Fitzgeralds and Patti always loved hearing more about that side of the family.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have much to share but after coming across this photo last week, I realized I have more information than I thought.  And while I’m sorry I didn’t write this post before Patti passed away, I’m thinking about her as I write it today.

Joseph_Lois Fitzgerald

Patti and I both wondered who the cousin on the right was – she thought it might be my mother but that can’t be true as Joseph passed away when my mother was just shy of her first birthday and this child seems older than that.  I’m not sure we’ll ever know who it is but I do know that Lois Fitzgerald is Patti’s mother and Joseph was her grandfather.

I can’t quite be sure when Joseph was born – his Baptism Certificate shows he was born on 4 Feb 1881.

Baptism Certificate

Is it normal that a Baptism Certificate would be dated almost 100 years after the event took place?  I guess this certificate was just taken from the Baptismal Register of the Church so that could make sense.

His WW1 Registration Card showed the same date of birth.

WWI Registration Card

Hold on to that thought.

I don’t know many details about Joseph.  I know he was married to Edna in about 1903 and their son, Eudorus Lawrence, was born in 1905.  And then he married Josephine “Josie” Wilder in 1920-1921 – she was enumerated as a 15 year old daughter on 17 Jan 1920 and by 15 Jul 1921 she was married and gave birth to her daughter, Lois (pictured above).  Patti once told me that the marriage was arranged, which makes sense since Josie would have been about 16 and Joseph close to 40.

Unfortunately, Joseph didn’t live a long life as he was involved in an accident on 3 Jun 1929.

Joseph Fitzgerald Crash 1929 Headline
Woodland Daily Democrat, Monday, 3 Jun, 1929, Page 1

Joseph Fitzgerald Crash 1929

What a horrible accident!  And as predicted, Joseph died that night.

Joseph Fitzgerald Rites Woodland Daily Democrat 4 Jun1929 Page 4
Woodland Daily Democrat, 4 Jun 1929, Page 4

Joseph Fitzgerald Laid to Rest Woodland Daily Democrat 5 Jun 1929 Page 3
Woodland Daily Democrat, 5 Jun 1929, Page 3

Ernest Bourn?  I don’t know why it’s ringing a bell to me that Joseph’s first wife, Edna, was a Bourn.  I need to look at that more closely.  I do find it interesting, though, that there wasn’t a Fitzgerald in the group of pallbearers.

Now back to the date of birth.  Joseph is buried in Woodland Cemetery, Woodland, Yolo County, California.  And look at his date of birth.


Patti once told me that his birth certificate showed his birth date as 3 Mar 1884 yet everything I’ve seen shows 4 Feb 1881.  Another mystery to solve.

As a side note, I think Yolo County wasn’t a great place to be in 1929 if your name was Joseph Fitzgerald.

Man Electroluted
Oakland Tribune, 19 Jul 1929, Page 18

Thinking of you today, Patti, and her mom, Lois!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

We found each other, and now she’s gone

Three years ago this month, a cousin and I found each other from our trees on  Our shared ancestor was Mathew Fitzgerald, my 2x great grandfather and her great grandfather. 

I knew so little about my mother’s side of the family and even Mom couldn’t help me fill in the blanks.  I knew my maternal grandmother was Clara Maxine Fitzgerald and her father was Edward Francis Fitzgerald but not much more on the Fitzgerald side.  Until I started researching about 6-7 years ago.  I’d find some new nugget and ask Mom about it and she’d reply “hmmm, I don’t know”.  But I knew she loved hearing about the discoveries I’d made.

Mom passed away in May, 2013 and I thought whatever connection I had to the Fitzgeralds was gone since she was an only child and had minimal contact with her Fitzgerald cousins.  But just a few months later that changed – I connected with Patti, who’s grandfather, Joseph, was Edward’s younger brother.  We were second cousins, once removed, and we’d found each other!

Patti Anderson Cannoy

We had so much fun getting to know each other, sharing photos and stories, becoming friends on Facebook, and even playing Word with Friends together.  She shared a photo of Mathew with me, which I wrote about here.  But the photo is too good not to share again.

Matthew Fitzgerald

He looks like such a nice, and almost mischevious, man – I wish I’d known him.  And how I wish my mom had been able to see this face!

Patti was a follower of my blog and often times was the first person to “like” my post on Facebook.  She especially loved hearing about our Fitzgerald ancestors but, unfortunately, I didn’t have much to share.  Looking back, I do recall that when I wrote this post in July about my great grandfather, Edward Fitzgerald, and his revisit to the Cooper King Mine she didn’t “like” it or comment on it, even though I had tagged her on Facebook.  Rather than contact her to make sure everything was fine, I just figured she was on vacation or somehow missed it and I went on with my life.

Patti, in a roundabout way, was the cause of my most recent connection to my Fitzgerald ancestors.  While researching Mathew Fitzgerald, another cousin contacted me after he read my blog.  Turns out, his great grandmother was my grandmother’s sister!  I clearly remember spending time with my grandmother, Clara Fitzgerald Martin Hunter, in Fresno but sadly, I don’t remember ever meeting her sister, Viola.  But now I’m in contact with her great grandson and I’m thrilled about a new connection.  My very, very small family seems to grow almost daily.

In fact, last Monday I sent an e-mail to Patti to tell her about this new connection as I knew how excited she’d be.  She really loved this journey she was on and was always so anxious to learn more.  How fun for us to have found another descendant of Mathew Fitzgerald.  When I didn’t hear from her, I wasn’t terribly concerned because often times when we’d send e-mails back and forth our responses to each other might take days or even weeks. 

But on Friday everything changed.  Patti’s mother, whom I am also connected to on Facebook, posted that she had a “drastic” day after she learned that Patti had passed away!  WHAT?  How could that be?  Had she been sick, was she in an accident, or just what?  And that’s when I learned that she had been battling cancer and my heart broke because I knew nothing about it. 

What I did know about Patti is her love for her family and the joy she found when working in the garden.  I was tickled when I saw that she and my sister had become friends on Facebook (another cousin for her!) and smiled every time I saw them commenting on each other’s posts.  You see, while I don’t have the gardening gene my sister does and together they shared their love of gardening.

And now she’s gone.  I wish I’d had the opportunity to meet her in person but I am thankful for the relationship we had virtually.  But I wish I knew more about her.  Why didn’t I ask her questions and truly get to know her?  I can tell how much she was loved by her friends and family and know what a hole has been left in their hearts. 

And what I take away from this is, again, the reminder of how short life can be and how we never know if today might be our last day.  I’m just happy that I had the opportunity to “meet” her, even though our time together was just a blip on the radar. 

RIP, my dear cousin!