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Old 06-08-2012, 01:55 PM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
8,240 posts, read 12,863,880 times
Reputation: 10464

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Since we've had so many topics about mysteries lately, I thought I'd jump in. I just posted this to my blog:

There is something very weird going on with this one family in my tree and I'm going insane trying to figure it out. I have every census record for my second great grandfather Edward William Bauer except 1910. By this point, he was married to Anna Jane Russell and they had three children together. But Anna was found on the 1910 census living on her own in a lodging house. I know it's her because it says she's married (for the correct amount of years) with the right amount of living children. All other details are correct too. But where are her husband and kids?

I finally found what I thought was Edward and two of his sisters living with him. The names are all correct but the ages are way off (especially for the sisters) and Edward is reported as a clerk whereas all other documents say boilermaker or treasurer/secretary of a Boiler Manufacturing Company. Also, they are living on the opposite side of Pittsburgh from where Edward lived both before and after 1910 (basically, his whole life). Lastly, Edward is supposedly single. Granted, it's not unheard of for ages to be 5+ years off or a martial status reported incorrectly. And on closer inspection, his occupational industry says "Fdy Co." which, after Googling, suggests is short for "Foundry", the production of metal castings - not a far cry from boiler manufacturing. So it's plausible this could be my Edward despite the inconsistencies.

But crucially, the thing that throws me off the most is the absence of the children. The oldest was only 9 so they were not old enough to have left the nest and they were not living with their mother, Anna. So if this record is the correct Edward, where are the kids? And why is Anna living in a lodging house?

By 1920, all three kids were back living with their father. Anna is missing this time but Edward is reported as still married, and again in 1930. This suggests to me the couple were estranged. But the missing children in 1910 are still a mystery to me. I've searched for each of them individually and I've looked for them with other family members - no luck.

Anyone who can shed any light on this, I will be eternally indebted to.
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Old 06-08-2012, 03:59 PM
 
Location: Southeast Missouri
5,812 posts, read 16,256,954 times
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I've seen similar cases where one parent died and the children were spread out among relatives, friends, and even non-relatives. I wonder if it's possible that she decided she didn't want to be a mother any more (there have been cases like that before, could have been that she met another man who didn't want kids or maybe she had bipolar or some mental issue). Again, I don't know anything about them. I'm theorizing here. If she didn't want the kids, and Edward couldn't care for them and work, maybe they were farmed out to other people, even in other areas of the country. Was the census taken all at one time? Maybe the kids were being shuffled back and forth and the census taker just missed them.

Strange.

What ever happened to Anna?

Using the information you gave I found an William Edward Bauer on Ancestry that lived around Pittsburgh and was born in 1888. I realize that the two first name are in the wrong order, but that's all Ancestry could come up with when I was searching trees. I also couldn't find Anna Jane on any trees.

There are three men with similar names of similar ages around Pittsburgh

Edward William Bauer
United States, World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942
birth: 20 May 1888
residence: 1942 Pittsburgh,​ Allegheny,​ Pennsylvania
other: 1942 Pittsburgh,​ Allegheny,​ Pennsylvania

William Edward Bauer
United States, World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942
birth: 21 Feb 1888
residence: 1942 North Versailles,​ Allegheny,​ Pennsylvania
other: 1942 North Versailles,​ Allegheny,​ Pennsylvania

William Edward Bauer
United States, World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942
birth: 09 Jan 1891
residence: 1942 Baldwin Township,​ Allegheny,​ Pennsylvania
other: 1942 Baldwin Township,​ Allegheny,​ Pennsylvania

There's also an Anna Bauer born 1891, daughter of John and Maggie Bauer. But obviously once she married her name would have changed. There's also an Annie Bauer born 1893 daughter of John W. and Maryettia Bauer.

There's also an Edward Bauer born 1867/8. Is this him instead?

There's the William Edward born in 1888 and his wife Anna born in 1891. Anna had been previously married to William Love and had the two children that appear in the first census I posted. That's probably not your couple, but they could easily be confused for them.

There's this Edward Bauer, born 1868.

residence: 1910 Pittsburgh Ward 11,​ Allegheny,​ Pennsylvania
Name: Edward W Bauer
Birthplace: Pennsylvania
Relationship to Head of Household: Self
Residence: Pittsburgh Ward 11, Allegheny, Pennsylvania
Marital Status: Single
Race : White
Gender: Male
Immigration Year:
Father's Birthplace: Germany
Mother's Birthplace: Germany
Family Number: 326
Page Number: 15
Household Gender Age Birthplace
SELF Edward W Bauer M 42y Pennsylvania
SIS Amellia W Bauer F 34y Pennsylvania
SIS Emma L Bauer F 31y Pennsylvania

Is this the one with him and his two sisters?

What are the kids names and years of birth?

Last edited by STLCardsBlues1989; 06-08-2012 at 04:45 PM..
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Old 06-08-2012, 05:53 PM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
8,240 posts, read 12,863,880 times
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Edward was born July 21, 1873. I have his WWI draft registration card but I don't think he lived to WWII. Unfortunately, online death records for Pittsburgh only extend to 1905 from what I can find so I can't confirm when he died but I think it was before WWII, possibly in 1931.

Anna was born November 16, 1882 to Robert and Catherine Russell. Likewise, since she died at some point after 1910, I haven't been able to find a death record for her. Annoyingly, I haven't been able to find her in the 1920 or 1930 censuses but like I say, Edward's records for these years say he's still married. It's SO annoying that this family is so hard to find in censuses.

I have a directory record for Edward in 1909 at 2747 Merwyn Ave and one in 1912 at 1331 Hopkins Street (where I believe he lived for the rest of his life). SO close to 1910 but he's not living at either of those addressed in 1910.

Quote:
Was the census taken all at one time?
I believe the bulk of the census is all taken on the same day. But if an enumerator could not obtain a household's details (say if no one was home and neighbors didn't know anything), he may have returned the following day. I'm not totally clear on those details but that's the impression I've gotten.

I know that it was not unheard of for children to be temporarily farmed out to relatives or other neighbors for various reasons. But all three?

Quote:
There's this Edward Bauer, born 1868.

residence: 1910 Pittsburgh Ward 11,​ Allegheny,​ Pennsylvania
Name: Edward W Bauer
Birthplace: Pennsylvania
Relationship to Head of Household: Self
Residence: Pittsburgh Ward 11, Allegheny, Pennsylvania
Marital Status: Single
Race : White
Gender: Male
Immigration Year:
Father's Birthplace: Germany
Mother's Birthplace: Germany
Family Number: 326
Page Number: 15
Household Gender Age Birthplace
SELF Edward W Bauer M 42y Pennsylvania
SIS Amellia W Bauer F 34y Pennsylvania
SIS Emma L Bauer F 31y Pennsylvania

Is this the one with him and his two sisters?
Yeah, that's the one I was referring to. As you can see, the age of Edward is off a bit but his sisters are way off, especially Emma. Amelia was born in 1870 and Emma in 1864 so they would have been 40 and 46 respectively. It's not impossible for ages to be this inaccurate on census records but without the children there to confirm it's the right family, I don't know what to make of it.

Quote:
What are the kids names and years of birth?
Katherine C. Bauer - b. 1901
James Edward Bauer I - b. 1902, d. 1969
Helen Grace Bauer - b. 1905

Given Anna's situation, it should also be noted that as an adult, James divorced his wife and effectively abandoned her and their two children.

Thanks for looking into this, I really appreciate it. It's good just to hear that my suspicions of Anna abandoning her family are not unfounded. It certainly gives me insight into my great grandfather and why he abandoned my grandfather, especially if he was also farmed out to another family for at least a few years - he might have struggled with feelings of abandonment from both his mother and father.
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Old 06-08-2012, 06:31 PM
 
Location: Southeast Missouri
5,812 posts, read 16,256,954 times
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It does seem strange that Anna wouldn't have had the children, either. Usually if the couple splits up the kids go with mom.

I had a family on my tree that had like 8 or 9 children. Both parents died the same year. The kids that were too young to care for themselves were spread across 4 different families in the area.

It could be that the kids were separated and sent to live with relatives. Sometimes the census taker just gives foster kids the names of the people they are with. You could look at the census records for Anna's and Edward's siblings and see if any of them have the kids.

Here's a Grace Bauer about her age living with some different people. I can't look at the record itself, since I don't have Ancestry. It might be transcribed wrong or something.

Name: Grace E M Bauer
Birthplace: Pennsylvania
Relationship to Head of Household:
Residence: Pittsburgh Ward 1, Allegheny, Pennsylvania
Marital Status: Single
Race : White
Gender: Female
Immigration Year:
Father's Birthplace: Ohio
Mother's Birthplace: New York
Family Number: 46
Page Number: 3
Household Gender Age Birthplace
SELF George A Rhiner M 46y Pennsylvania
WIFE Mildred H Rhiner F 40y Virginia
DAU Sarah E Rhiner F 16y Pennsylvania
Patrick H Bauer M 31y Pennsylvania
Minna Bauer F 30y Pennsylvania
Grace E M Bauer F 3y Pennsylvania
Frederick Henning M 41y Pennsylvania
Robert P Vial M 34y Ohio
Mary E Vial F 29y Canada
Louis Rogerson M 35y Virginia
Emma Rogerson F 26y
William Williams M 35y
Kate Williams F 30y

https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/MGS1-8XF

Probably not her, since that Grace's parents appear to be Patrick and Minna.
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Old 06-08-2012, 06:41 PM
 
Location: the Beaver State
6,468 posts, read 11,185,126 times
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It's also possible the kids were given to neighbors to take care of. That is if they weren't staying at another relative's.

It'd be worth the time to glance through the Census close by to see if they're in there.

Are any of the immediate family living rural during that time? That'd be the most likely place to look for the kids.
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Old 06-09-2012, 02:38 AM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
8,240 posts, read 12,863,880 times
Reputation: 10464
Quote:
Originally Posted by STLCardsBlues1989 View Post
It does seem strange that Anna wouldn't have had the children, either. Usually if the couple splits up the kids go with mom.
I don't know if that was the case in 1910 though. Divorce was taboo and women didn't have a lot of rights. Society may have turned against her if she wanted a divorce and therefore the consensus might have been that the kids stay with the father. But then, they're apparently not with the father in 1910 either - argh! *beats head against wall*

Quote:
It could be that the kids were separated and sent to live with relatives. Sometimes the census taker just gives foster kids the names of the people they are with. You could look at the census records for Anna's and Edward's siblings and see if any of them have the kids.
As far as I know, Anna didn't have any living whole siblings. She had a sister who died in infancy and then her mother died. Her father remarried and had kids with his new wife but in 1910 they are still living with their parents and no sign of other kids.

As for Edward's siblings - he had two brothers but I have 1910 censuses for them and again, no sign of the missing kids. He also had four sisters - two of whom may have been living with him. The other two I don't have more information on. I presume they married but I haven't found records of it. So this is still open to possibilities. The kids could be with them but I can't find them because I don't know what married name to look for. I have searched for the kids individually, looking for them living with other people but it's possible the enumerator mistook them for the household owner's own children and put down the wrong surname. Then I really have no way of finding them!

Oh and Edward's parents were dead by 1910.

Quote:
It's also possible the kids were given to neighbors to take care of. That is if they weren't staying at another relative's.
Yeah, in another family in my tree, I had found an ancestor living with a neighbor.

Quote:
It'd be worth the time to glance through the Census close by to see if they're in there.
I hadn't thought of that, I was just doing name searches. With Edward living on completely the opposite side of the city from where he spent the rest of his whole life, I imagine he wouldn't be as familiar with the community - he could have left the kids with a neighbor and good friend back in the community he knew well instead. But I will have a look, thanks.

Quote:
Are any of the immediate family living rural during that time? That'd be the most likely place to look for the kids.
Not from what I've found but like I say, what happened to two of Edward's sisters hasn't been found yet. They could be anywhere, married to anyone. It's definitely an avenue I need to pursue but so far, I've found no leads. The other two sisters were Mary Bauer, b. abt. 1869 and Emily Bauer, b. March 1882.
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Old 06-09-2012, 09:57 AM
bjh
 
Location: Memphis - home of the king
26,348 posts, read 22,843,380 times
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Divorce was rare, but not completely absent. I have a set of 2gg parents who divorced in the 1880s. All but one of their children was grown.

What you might be seeing is the result of a divorce or separation.

A woman could often hardly afford to care for herself, never mind a household of children. Hence, her not having the children.

Nowadays, if a man was with his children and without a wife for whatever reason, he'd continue to raise them as best he could. In previous generations there was a sensibility that a man couldn't care for children, especially younger ones, and that he shouldn't try. He wouldn't even have considered it without at least hiring a nanny or maid, something he might not have been able to afford.
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Old 06-09-2012, 12:52 PM
 
Location: Southeast Missouri
5,812 posts, read 16,256,954 times
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Did they have foster families back then? Or places children could be taken to if their parents couldn't care for them?

I also agree about looking at the neighbors. They may have taken some of the children in. Obviously Edward didn't give the kids up permanently because he had them later. He apparently knew where they were.
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Old 06-09-2012, 02:28 PM
 
Location: Not where you ever lived
11,544 posts, read 25,145,971 times
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I had something similar happen with brothers. They lived 100 miles apart and brave their of their sons the same first name. Another relative married three times. Wife #2 and #3 had same first name and very similar second names. The daughter of wife #2, and, Wife #3 gave their sons identical names. They were born 30 days and 1000 miles apart in 1828. I found one grandson of Wife #3 that moved to IN; thence one of his sons moved to IL and married my grandmother's aunt.

Some of these puzzles take years to solve. Be patient.
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Old 06-09-2012, 02:35 PM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
8,240 posts, read 12,863,880 times
Reputation: 10464
I don't know when fostering came into practise. I know orphanages were still around in 1910. I know it was not unusual earlier in history for parents to drop off a child at an orphanage and come back for them years later. But just like any other institution, the people living in an orphanage should be listed on the censuses.

I have since looked through the entire district on the census where Edward was in 1910 and didn't see anything conclusive. I even looked just for the given name and then checked the age in case the surname was incorrectly recorded. I found one that could have been James (with the wrong surname) but his sisters weren't with him so there was no way to confirm it was him.

I'm going to try looking at neighbor where Edward spent the rest of his life. Edward's dad had owned several houses and rented them out - in fact, Edward married the daughter of one of his dad's tenants and he worked at a company started by another former tenant. His brother also lived with a former tenant. So I've started looking into other tenants they maybe made friends with who might have taken them in too.

It's exhausting.
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