Who was Rosamond Astor?

The SS Switzerland arrived at the Port of Philadelphia on August 24, 1892 carrying Rosalie Nahodil and her four children. For many years, the passenger list announcing her arrival would be the earliest record to be found for Rosalie, who is most commonly known as Rosamond. The difficulty in researching Rosalie stems from almost every document having a slightly different name. The ten variations of Rosamond’s first name include: Rose, Rosa, Rosia, Rosie, Rosalia, Rosalie, Rosamond, Rosamund, Rosemond, and Rosmond. Do you know which name was given to her at birth?

Death certificates and obituaries for Rosamond and many of her children provide an array of maiden names for Rosamond: Arusta, Astor, Austro, Austruia, and Estorkia (?).

Of the sources documenting snippets of Rosamond’s life, only one was provided by her. In 1906, Rosamond was the informant providing information for the death certificate of her daughter Francis. The name she provided as her maiden name was Rosa Estorkia (?). This is the only primary source record found with Rosamond’s name after she immigrated. To further complicate matters, on a number of death certificates where one of her children was the informant, “can’t say” was written in response to being asked for Rosamond’s maiden name.

Name and birthplace provided by Rosamond on death certificate.

Enough background, let’s get to the reason for this post.

Friends, family, fellow searchers…it is my great pleasure to introduce you to Rosamund Julianna Oesterreicher. Would you like another surprise? Then let me also introduce you to Rosamund’s parents, Franz Oesterreicher and Marie Brumbauer. Rosamund was born in 1860 and was baptized in the Roman Catholic Church. At the time of Rosamund’s birth and baptism, the family lived in Ruszkabánya, a commune in Western Romania. The baptism record shows that Franz was a shopkeeper, though it is unknown what type of shop.

Birth and baptism record for Rosamund Oesterreicher. Ancestry.com. Records are in Latin.

In late 1883, Rosamund and Rudolf Nahodil are found in Petroșani, Hunedoara County, Transylvania, Romania where the birth, baptism, and death of their son Antonius are among the records of the Roman Catholic Church.

A view of Petroșani, Transylvania. This community appears similar to the community of Shamokin, Pennsylvania, where they made their home in the U.S.

You may be asking yourself how Oesterreicher becomes Astor. I cannot provide an absolutely positive answer how the change occurred, but I can provide what I have found for you to interpret.

  • Oesterreicher is not only a surname that literally means “one from Austria,” but it is also the German word for Austria.
  • Although Rosamund arrived in the United States in 1892, the 1900 US Federal Census shows that she did not speak English.
  • As a final surprise, I am including an audio recording of what Rosamund’s name would have sounded like in her native German language. After listening to this, consider how Oesterreicher may be shortened upon arriving in America.
An audio introduction to Rosamund Oesterreicher by Jennifer Fidder.

Did these factors play a part in the variations in her maiden name? Was her maiden name Americanized? Did her English-speaking children not fully understand the pronunciation? Maybe she rarely mentioned her maiden name.

If you knew Rosamund (Oesterreicher) Nahodil and have memories that you would like to share, please email findingmydead@gmail.com. I would love to learn more about this woman from those who knew her directly.

I would like to give a special thank you to Jennifer Fidder for her kindness in making this post’s audio introduction to Rosamund for us.

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.

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 – Catherine I. Nahodil Johnson

Catherine I Johnson

Catherine I. Nahodil was born in Shamokin, PA in 1915.  The name of her parents have not been confirmed at this time but it is believed that she was the daughter of either Frederick or Julia Nahodil.

Catherine was raised by her grandparents, Rudolf and Rosamond Nahodil, and was listed as Rosamond’s adopted daughter in 1930.  Rudolf passed away in 1929 and when Rosamond died in 1939, Catherine was still living at home.

The 1940 U. S. Federal Census shows that Rudolf and Rosamond’s daughter Julia (Nahodil) Snyder has now moved into the home that Rosamond and Catherine shared and Catherine is now listed as Julia’s daughter.

Catherine married William M. Johnson in 1940, after the census take recorded.  Catherine and William had lived a block apart on Franklin Street for at least the previous five years.

The plastic marker show in the image above is all that marks the location of Catherine’s cremains.

Wordless Wednesday: Frederick Nahodil

Frederick Nahodil with child. Likely taken in Shamokin before work, note the helmet and his cleanliness.

Frederick Nahodil with child. Likely taken in Shamokin before work, note the helmet and his cleanliness.

Fearless Females: March 19 – Becoming Sister Catherine

 

The March 19 blogging prompt to celebrate National Women’s History Month  as brought to us by Lisa Alzo of The Accidental Genealogist is — Have you discovered a surprising fact about one of your female ancestors? What was it and how did you learn it? How did you feel when you found out?

 

Catherine Nahodil first appeared on my tree about six years ago while I was recording the details of the 1920 census for 2nd great grandparents; Catherine was listed as the “Grandchild” of Rudolph and Rose Nahodil.  I didn’t give this much thought as the youngest child of Rudolph and Rose was still at home along with two of their adult children, I figured that Catherine was probably one of theirs.

 

Time came to enter the 1930 census information for Rose Nahodil, Rudolph had passed away the year prior, and I couldn’t help but notice that Catherine was now listed as the “Adopted Daughter”.  For five years I wondered who’s child she was but nothing popped up and I never really spent an extensive amount of time looking for her but I always kept an eye out.

 

Last year I received the death certificate for the first wife of Frederick Nahodil who was a son of Rudolph and Rose.  His wife, Iona died in 1915 from cardiac insufficiency caused by nephritis and pregnancy.  Oh my…could my grandfather have had an older sister that he never knew about?

Fearless Females: March 11, 2013 – Great adventure stopped by death

 

March 11 — Did you have any female ancestors who died young or from tragic or unexpected circumstances? Describe and how did this affect the family?

 

Throughout the summer of 1935, Rosemond Nahodil talked of attending school for the first time. Rosemond was anxious to get her books and begin the journey of learning how to read, write and spell. She spoke of it constantly and when the opening day drew near she was as thrilled as any little girl could be.

 

On Saturday, August 31, 1935, 6 year old Rosemond completed her preparations for attending school. Her mother had her clothing cleaned and ironed for within 48 hours the youngster would begin school.

 

The following day Rosemond complained of not feeling well. She was stricken acutely ill and her anxious parents called for a physician, who ordered her placed in bed and immediately began treatments. But Rosemond failed to rally. Her condition became critical the following Friday and at 11:00 that night she was rushed to Shamokin hospital. Five hours later she died.

 

Rosemond would never have the chance to begin the adventure she looked forward to for so long. Though her older brother George, my grandfather, did not speak of this often, I know that her death affected him deeply. When I was her age, my grandfather bought me books and we spent the summer playing school; it now seems to me that this may have been influenced by Rosemond’s abrupt death.

Wordless Wednesday: My Fearless Nahodil Females

Rosamond Nahodil and her daughters

Rosamond Nahodil and her daughters

Mystery Monday: Rudolph Nahodil’s family?

Rudolph Nahodil arrived at Ellis Island aboard The Braunschweig on 12 April 1892; he was alone and destined for Pennsylvania.  Aside from Rudolph, his wife and their children, only four other people with the Nahodil surname are listed in the US Federal Census for the year 1900 as living in the United States.  The four are:

 

Name

Age

Location

Arrival

Notes

John Nahodil

66

Nanticoke, PA

1891

Widowed and living with his married daughter and her family.
John Nahodil

28

Nanticoke, PA

1892

Married to Kate below.
Kate Nahodil

20

Nanticoke, PA Married to John above.
Frank Nahodil

25

New York, NY

1900

Arrive in the US 2 months prior to census.
Rudolph Nahodil

42

Coal Twp., PA

1892

Arrived alone.
Rosia Nahodil

38

Coal Twp., PA

1892

Married to Rudolph above. Arrived in Philadelphia with their children.

 

Rudolph and Rosamond Nahodil have been a mystery to many of us for generations.  Nobody in my family or other Nahodil relatives I have spoken with knew anything about Rudolph’s parents or his origins.  Most family stories about Rudolph and his wife are related more to her alleged royalty as a part of a well known Austrian family.  No story ever mentions additional Nahodil family arriving before, with or after Rudolph.

 

For many years, the first glimpse of Rudolph in records after his arrival to this country showed that he lived in Coal Township, PA with his family; this continues to be the primary residence of most of his descendants.  For the same amount of years, I have wondered why the passenger list for his wife and children shows that their destination was Duryea, PA.  Heck, where is Duryea?  Well, Duryea borders Wilkes Barre, as does Nanticoke.  Over the years, I have seen a few Nahodils in and around Duryea and believe they must be related to my Nahodil family.  I have searched and searched but couldn’t connect the two…until now!

 

While researching over the weekend I ran across a new document, the 1896 City Directory for Pittston , Pennsylvania…another border town of Wilkes Barre.  This directory listed John, John Jr., Louis, and Rudolph Nahodil.  This is the first document I have for Rudolph between his arrival in the US and the 1900 census; this tells me that my assumption that he went directly to Coal Township was wrong.  Finally, it is starting to come together.

 

I have started pulling death certificates from the Pennsylvania State Archives which show that Rudolph’s father was named John and his mother was Susannah.  I have also pulled the young John’s death certificate and found that his father was named John and his mother was not known.  I am still trying to track down the elder John’s death certificate as well as his daughters to see who are listed as her parents.  Could I have finally found more of my Nahodil ancestors?  Was the elder John that was living in Nanticoke in 1900 my 3x great grandfather?  Ah, the mystery begins to unravel.

Sunday’s Obituary: Adam L. Nahodil

Soldier Previously Reported Missing Now Listed Dead

Adam Nahodil Killed In Korean Fighting

     Secretary of the Army, Frank C. Pace, Jr. yesterday informed Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Nahodil, 438 South Pearl Street, their son, Corporal Adam L. Nahodil, 20, who was listed as missing in action, was killed in Korea.

 

The telegram received by the Shamokin couple did not mention the date when Corporal Nahodil was killed. In a previous communication, the Army reported Corporal Nahodil as missing in action since October 18, 1951.

 

Two months ago, Mr. and Mrs. Nahodil received a telegram notifying them their son was missing in action.  When the first telegram was received, Frederick Nahodil, the father, veteran of World War I, was a patient in Lebanon Veterans Hospital.

 

Adam L. Nahodil on right during training at Fort Knox.

Adam L. Nahodil on right during training at Fort Knox.

Corporal Nahodil was assigned to Company A, Fifth Cavalry Regiment, First Cavalry Division.  He arrived in Korea in June 1951.  The local soldier enlisted in the Army May 25, 1950, and received training at Fort Knox, Ky., and Camp Breckenridge, Ky.

 

Adam L. Nahodil was born February 4, 1931, in Shamokin, son of Frederick and Flossie (Lynn) Nahodil.  He attended Grant School and Shamokin High School.  The local service man was employed at an independent mining operation before enlisting in is Army unit.  The late soldier was a member of St. John Reformed Church.

 

Two other sons of the local couple are serving in the Army, Private First Class Blyler Nahodil, 19, is stationed in Germany.  He enlisted in the Army one month after Corporal Adam Nahodil.  Another son, Staff Sergeant George Nahodil, 28, was recalled to active duty by the Organized Reserve Corps and is assigned to Fairchild Air Force Base, Fairchild, Wash.

 

Survivors include the parents and the following brothers and sister, in addition to Blyler and George; Fred, of Chester, Edward, John and Jacqueline, at home.

 

Friday, January 11, 1952 , Shamokin News-Dispatch

 

Adam L. Nahodil is buried atop Shamokin Cemetery with his mother and siblings.

Adam L. Nahodil is buried atop Shamokin Cemetery with his mother and siblings.

Funeral Held for Late Service Man

     Funeral services for Corporal Adam L. Nahodil, son of Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Nahodil, 438 South Pearl Street, were held this afternoon in the family home.  Rev. Leroy C. Brumbaugh, pastor of Salem Reformed Church, officiated.  Burial was in Shamokin Cemetery.

 

The body of Corporal Nahodil was recently returned to this country from Korea, and arrived in Shamokin Monday night on a Reading Company train.

 

Corporal Nahodil, who was assigned to Company A Fifth Cavalry Regiment, First Cavalry Division, was first reported missing October 18, 1951.  Mr. and Mrs. Nahodil were notified January 10 that their son was killed in action.  The communication did not mention the date when Corporal Nahodil was killed.

 

The local soldier enlisted in the Army May 25, 1950 and received training at Fort Knox, Ky. and Camp Breckenridge, Ky.  He arrived in Korea in June 1951. Corporal Nahodil, a machine gunner, attended Shamokin High School.  Before enlisting in the Army he was employed at an independent mining operation in the area.

 

Mr. and Mrs. Nahodil have two other sons who are serving in the Army.  Private First Class Blyler Nahodil, is stationed in Germany. Staff Sergeant George Nahodil, who was recalled to active duty by the Organized Reserve Corps, is assigned to Fairchild Air Force Base, Fairchild, Wash.

 

Survivors include the parents and the following brothers and sisters in addition to Blyler and George; Fred, of Chester, Edward, John, and Jacqueline, at home.

 

Thursday, February 14, 1952 , Shamokin News-Dispatch

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