52 Ancestors: #1 George Rudolph Nahodil

 

I was reading through my normal blogs yesterday when something caught my eye…”52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks”.  So I headed over to Amy Johnson Crow’s site at http://www.nostorytoosmall.com/posts/challenge-52-ancestors-in-52-weeks/ to read more about her challenge for 2014.  One blog post for a specific ancestor each week… I should be able to swing once a week even with the upcoming move.

 

Since my Pop was always my favorite, it seems fitting that he should be my number 1 post.  My grandfather, George Rudolph Nahodil, was an amazing man.  He was a family man.  He was a hard working man.  He was a caring man.  He was a funny man.

 

Rudy, as George was known by his entire life, had a great sense of humor.  I imagine it must have started as a young boy as he listed his occupation as an “Actor” on his World War II enlistment record in 1942 when he was just 19 years of age (or so he claimed); Rudy’s actual occupation was as a laborer in the anthracite coal mines of central Pennsylvania.

George Rudolph Nahodil - a sampling of the ears

George Rudolph Nahodil – a sampling of the ears

The Nahodil family was blessed with big, beautiful (uh, did I really just say that?) ears.  The ears of the earlier generations were so distinctive that you could pick a Nahodil our in a crowd without even knowing him.  While my actor grandfather was overseas in the military, he must have spent his downtime perfecting his signature move known as the ear wiggle.  He loved to perform this move for us kids, especially when other adults were around but not looking…we broke out in giggle fits every time.  We all wanted to learn this skill and spent a great deal of time practicing but nobody has ever done it as well as Rudy; I’ll turn 40 next week and still catch myself “practicing”.

 

Rudy was the consummate joker and all people and places were fair game.  Dragging his leg behind him as a zombie might was not uncommon while out shopping with the kids and other adults.  This was hysterical when I was a child but I now I cannot help but think of how mortified his wife must have been…still makes me chuckle.

Rudy - This was not Halloween.

Just another day in the Nahodil home.

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Ancestor’s Anniversary – August 24, 2013 – Laura Belle (Wetzel) Klinger

Laura Belle Wetzel was born in Trevorton, Pa. on August 24, 1870, daughter of Henry and Catherine (Kissinger) Wetzel whose children were as follows: Nelson, Laura (married Landis Klinger), Harriet (married Charles Murray), Carrie, Howard, Weimer, Harry, Mildred (married Frank Evans followed by William Patterson) and Grant (died young).

 

Laura gave birth to her first child, Ada Mae, on November 19, 1891; this first child was born illegitimate and the father’s name kept a secret and remained unknown to the family until 2012 when baptism records were found showing the father to be a man named Richard Williams.

 

In 1900, Laura moved to Philadelphia and married Landis Klinger.  January 1, 1903 brought the birth and death of the couple’s first son, Russell.  In April of the following year, Laura gave birth to Landis and a year later to their son Ralph.

 

Laura (Wetzel) Klinger holding young Marlin Strausser (c.1909)

Laura (Wetzel) Klinger holding young Marlin Strausser (c.1909)

Upon moving to Philadelphia, Laura and Landis settled in the Strawberry Mansion section of the city and it is there that she lived in the same Gordon Street house for the next sixty-five years.

 

Laura was very close to her younger brother Howard so the siblings always made sure to get together to celebrate their birthdays, which were a day apart.  The pair continued to celebrate their birthdays together up to and including when Howard passed away during their annual birthday gathering in 1957.

 

Howard Wetzel and Laura (Wetzel) Klinger celebrating their birthdays together

Howard Wetzel and Laura (Wetzel) Klinger celebrating their birthdays together

Not only was Laura close with her brother Howard but also his youngest son Royal.  Royal grew up spending much time with his aunt, including spending summers with her and her family in Philadelphia.

 

Ralph Wetzel, Lillian (Murray) DeConcini, Elizabeth (Osman) Wetzel, Royal Wetzel, Laura (Wetzel) Klinger, Landis Klinger Sr, Howard Wetzel

Ralph Wetzel, Lillian (Murray) DeConcini, Elizabeth (Osman) Wetzel, Royal Wetzel, Laura (Wetzel) Klinger, Landis Klinger Sr, Howard Wetzel

On January 8, 1965 Laura died and was buried with her husband Landis and son Ralph at Whitemarsh Memorial Park.  Laura is now buried with her husband, three of her children, and two of her grandchildren; one day she will be joined by a great grandchild who was born a decade too late but loves her none the less.

August 18, 2013: Ancestor’s Anniversary – Claude Benjamin Lynn

Claude Benjamin Lynn, one of eleven children born to George Washington Lynn and Harriet Fry, was born October 16, 1893 in Tamaqua, PA.  On June 30, 1894, Harriet sponsored her son’s baptism at ZionEvangelicalLutheranChurch in Tamaqua.

 

By 1900, George Lynn’s career as a Railroad Engineer had taken the family to CoalTownship in Northumberland County, PA.  We can see in the 1900 Federal Census that Claude was attending school but at the age of 6 was not yet able to read or write.

 

Like so many others before him, Claude left school before 1910 and had taken to the work force to help support his family as well as save enough so he would one day be able to have his own home and family.  The 1910 census only shows that he was a laborer working odd jobs; I cannot help but wonder if he was following the family professional on the railroad or was he doing some other type of odd job.  Five years later Claude appears as a laborer in the Shamokin city directory; he is still living at home with his parents.

 

On June 3, 1917 Claude completed his World War I Draft Registration.  Looking at this document, you’ll notice that he listed his year of birth as 1892 instead of 1893 as listed on his baptism record; you’ll also see that he listed his place of birth as Shamokin, PA which, again, is different than recorded at his baptism.  The most interesting piece of information gathered from his registration is that he has noted that he is physically disabled and refers the Draft Board to his physician Dr. A. S. Jones of Shamokin.  What physical disability did Claude have, how sever was it, and how long had it affected his life?

 

Claude Lynn died on August 18, 1917 at the age of 23; cause of death is listed as Pulmonary Hemorrhage due to Pulmonary Tuberculosis.  Was this the physical disability Claude previously mentioned?  Claude was buried in this family’s lot on the 21st of August.

 

The August 21, 1917 edition of the Mount Carmel Item includes the following article:

 

Hemmorrhage Caused Death

Seized with hemorrhages at Independence and Orange streets, Shamokin, Claude Lynn, Shamokin.  Reading railroad engineer, died less than a half hour later.

August 9, 2013: Ancestor’s (100th) Anniversary – Thelma (Strausser) Rothman

Rothman(Strausser)Thelma

Thelma Strausser, the second of seven children born to George and Ada Mae (Wetzel) Strausser,  was born August 9, 1913 in Trevorton, PA.  Within  a few short years of her birth, her family moved to neighboring Coal Township.  Thelma’s father George was killed in a mining accident when Thelma was just 13 years of age.

 

Aside from the mines that took the life of the head of the family, there were few options for employment so the family decided to relocate to Philadelphia.  Not only did this move provide more opportunities, but it also moved them to the same neighborhood as Thelma’s grandmother Laura and her family.

 

Thelma married notorious police figure and numbers runner Max Rothman around 1933 and by 1934 they had their first son, Clair A. Rothman.  A year later came their second son George and in 1939 they gave birth to their daughter Maxine.

 

By 1940 the Rothman family was living in Upper Darby.  Tens years later they were living in Millbourne, which is a neighboring community of Upper Darby.  I have spoken to an elderly cousin who remembers Thelma and told me stories of taking trips in Thelma’s convertible down to the Rothman’s shore home at the Jersey shore.  From pictures I have seen and people I have talked with I, hear over and over again that Thelma was a physically stunning woman who women tried to emulate.

 

Thelma went missing in the early morning hour of April 11, 1951; her car was found later that same morning on the Strawberry Mansion Bridge.  The Philadelphia Police searched the area and Fairmount Park guards dragged the Schuylkill River without success.  On April 26, Thelma’s body was found floating in the Schuylkill River five miles from where her car was found.

 

Official date of death is April, 26, 1951; cause of death is drowning; age 37 years.

Sunday’s Obituary – Landis Klinger

 

 

Obituary for Landis Klinger JR as published in The Philadelphia Inquirer on 06/07/1970.

Obituary for Landis Klinger JR as published in The Philadelphia Inquirer on 06/07/1970.

KLINGER
LANDIS, JR., on June 4, 1970, of 3042 W. Gordon St., beloved son of the late Landis and Laura Klinger and brother of Mrs. Mae Strausser; also survived by 3 nieces and 3 nephews.  RElatives, friends and employes of PNB are invited to the service Monday, 1 P.M., from the parlors of Harold B. Mulligan, 1119 W. Lehigh ave.  Int. Whitemarsh Memorial Park, Friends are invited Sunday eve., 7 to 9.

 

Landis was born on April 18, 1904 to Landis and Laura (Wetzel) Klinger.  Born in Philadelphia, he lived in the same house in the Strawberry Mansion section of the city throughout his entire life. Landis’ father died in 1941, his mother in 1965 and his younger brother Ralph died in 1962.  Mae (Wetzel) Strausser was Landis’ step sister, they had different fathers.

 

Landis never married or had children and he was a banker for at least forty years.  I wish I could include his photograph in this post but I have not yet found one as he seemed to always be the person taking the pictures.

 

Whitemarsh Memorial Park, Ambler, PA.

Whitemarsh Memorial Park, Ambler, PA.

Wordless Wednesday is Ancestor’s Anniversary – Mr. and Mrs. Fred Nahodil’s wedding anniversary

40th wedding celebration announcement published in the Shamokin Citizen on June 2, 1960. Today is the 93rd anniversary of their marriage.

40th wedding celebration announcement for Frederick Nahodil and Flossie Irene Lynn published in the Shamokin Citizen on June 2, 1960.
Today is the 93rd anniversary of their marriage.

Tombstone Tuesday – Marlin L. Hess

Marlin Lawrence Hess 12 May 1944 - 1 Jan 1980

Marlin Lawrence Hess
12 May 1944 – 1 Jan 1980

 

The 99th anniversary of Marlin L. Hess’ birth was two days ago so I thought his marker would be appropriate for this week’s Tombstone Tuesday.  Marlin was born in Shamokin, PA to George Hess and Carrie Alice Lynn.  Marlin spent at least half of his life living in Shamokin before moving to Bristol, PA where he passed away.  Marlin is buried at Sunset Memorial park in Feasterville-Trevose.