Andover, Connecticut

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Immigrant Adam Koerner's grave

The first profile which I put on this blog back on June 3rd was for Adam and Maria Koerner, who came to the United States from Germany about 1850.  When I wrote that, I did not know when or where this immigrant couple died.  Their son Adam had moved to Greenwich some time in the late 1880s but I was not sure about his parents. 

A couple months ago, I found Maria in the 1900 Census.  Remember that her daughter Lena married Phillip Eberhardt who was brother to Adam Jr.'s wife.  Well, I found Maria living with her daughter Lena and her other daughter Maria Berle.  Both Lena and Maria Koerner are listed as widows living with Louis and Maria Berle and their children: Adam, Lena, Louis, Emily and Maria.  They were still living in New York City on First Avenue near 24th Street.

A couple weeks later I found information on a Maria Koerner who died in 1907 at the age of 95.  A person online had seen the Death Certificate and knew she was buried in the Lutheran Cemetery. I wasn't sure this would be the right Maria Koerner, but since the cemetery is only a couple miles from my house, I decided to ride my bike over there and check it out.

Sure enough, I stopped by the office, and they confirmed that Maria Koerner was buried in the cemetery along with Adam and Philip. A very helpful woman in the office gave me the location but didn't know whether there would be a stone or not.  I was doubtful since many immigrants would not be able to afford the expense of a stone back at the turn of the century. 

I rode my bike to the section of the cemetery where the woman had indicated the Koerners were located.  It was far to the back in what was obviously an older part of the cemetery which received few visitors.   The grass had not been mowed in a couple of weeks and was several inches high. It really had the feeling of being out in a field in the country only with scattered gravestones sticking up above the top of the blades of grass.  There was no sence that the largest city in the United States was only a few miles away. 

As I approached the area where the stone would be, I became very skeptical that I would find anything.  The stones were spread out with lots of space between them - space where people were buried but no markers had been laid.

I read each stone, looking for the name and the location marking to help guide my way.  Then I saw it, in the back, at the end of the row. A short, fat stone which read "In Memory of Adam Koerner." I had fulfilled my quest.

You'll notice that Maria's name name does not appear on the stone. It is probable that she died after Philip and the family either did not have money for a stone, or did not have room to add her name on the stone that was already there. Either way, she died in 1907 at the ripe old age of 95 and is buried here with her husband and second oldest son.

As a side note, I returned this morning to take some more pictures and was surprised at the state of the cemetery. You may remember hearing on the news several weeks ago that a tornado touched down in New York City, specifically in Queens and Brooklyn. Apparently the tornado went right through the middled of the cemetery, because there were trees down all over the place.  The path of the storm must have been toward the front of the cemetery, because in the back, where Adam and Maria are buried, the damage was minimal.  These were some pictures I took of trees still not cleaned up three weeks after the tornado hit:

The top of this huge tree was just twisted off the trunk
and thrown on ground under it!

Friday, October 1, 2010

William & Sarah (Cartmel) Crogent

Great Great-Grandparents

1. William John Crogent
+ Sarah Cartmel
2. Frances Harriet Crogent
+ Arthur Joseph Bowman
3. Florence Mary Bowman
+ John Emil Dahlquist
4. Debra Florence Dahlquist
+ Edward Deck Munson
5. Scott Edward Munson

I recently visited the grave of my great great-grandparents, William and Sarah (Cartmel) Crogent, who are buried in Calvary Cemetery which is only a couple miles from where I live.  These were my Nana's grandparents who came to the United States from England. I believe this picture which I posted back in June is of them with their two oldest children. 

Sarah was born about 1865 in Liverpool, England, the daughter Jonathan and Frances (Dixon) Cartmel. She first appears at age 6 in the 1871 Census living in Liverpool with her Father, a millwright, and siblings: Mary J. age 17, Frances H. age 13; Joseph age 10 and John age 4. Her mother had died shortly before the census and her oldest brother, Jonathan, was already living away from home and working as a 14 year old plumbers apprentice.

William Crogent also grew up in Liverpool.  He was born in 1861 and was the son of William and Mary (Curley) Crogent. He first appears at age 10 in the 1871 Census living with his father William age 31, a green grocer, mother Mary age 30 and siblings Ellen age 7, Annie age 5, Elizabeth age 3 and Louisa age 1. His father is listed as born in Prussia and his mother Ireland. 

Liverpool was a bustling port city at the time, and the last stop for many European immigrants before heading to America by ship. So, it is not surprising that by the 1881 Census, William Sr. was away from home working as a sailor.  William Jr. was living with his mother and siblings.  Added to the siblings listed above who are all ten years older are: Martin age 8, Walter age 6, Benjamin age 4 and Joseph age 1.  William Jr's occupation is listed as Brass Finisher, the trade he would continue in America.  He probably had learned the skill as an apprentice for a local merchant.

It is unclear whether William and Sarah knew each other in Liverpool or met after coming to America.  I have been unable to find any specific information on their arrival but conflicting Census records indicate they arrived in the U.S. somewhere between 1885 and 1888. They were married in about 1888 and William became a Naturalized U.S. Citizen on October 22, 1892.  This is the first record of William in America.

In the 1900 Census, William and Sarah were living at 1720 Second Avenue in New York City.  This is located on the Upper East Side between 89th and 90th Street. Their children were listed as: William age 11, Nellie age 6, Frances (my great-grandmother) age 4 and Joseph age 1.  Also living with the family was Sarah's older brother Jonathan, a Plumber.  "Uncle Jonathan" as he was affectionately known to my Nana, lived with the Crogents during every Census through 1930.  He died in 1947 at the age 90!

Uncle Jonathan

By 1910, the family had moved to East 149th Street in the Bronx. Uncle Jonathan was still living with them, along with Sarah's nephew, Christopher Hopkins who was working with his Uncle as a plumber. He is the son of Sarah and Jonathan's sister Frances Harriet, who still lived in Liverpool.

In the 1920 Census, their daughter Frances and her Husband, Arthur Bowman (Nana's parents) were living with William and Sarah.  Nellie, Joe and Christopher Hopkins have moved out but William Jr and Uncle Jonathan are both around.  Also living with the Crogents is William Jrs daughter Eleanor or Elloise. She is the older sister of Nana's cousin William who we all knew as Uncle Willie.

William Crogent died January 21, 1921 only fifteen months before the birth of his granddaughter Florence Mary Bowman, my Nana. He is buried in a plot of graves purchased by Mary Dixon at the time of her husband William Dixon's death in 1894. William Dixon was probably the younger brother of Sarah's mother Frances (Dixon) Cartmel who died when Sarah was a child. Notice that he was the witness on William Crogent's Naturalization Documents back in 1892.  

Sarah lived another 33 years as a loving grandmother to Nana.  She owned property on the shore in Asbury Park, NJ and the families used to vacation there in the summer.  At some point she was unable to pay the taxes and the property was sold or taken by the government.  Besides her brother Jonathan, her brothers John (Jack) and Joseph also came to America and lived in New York.

This picture from about 1932 includes Sarah with her grandchildren, Virgina Crogent, Florence Bowman (Nana), Arthur Bowman and Charlie Martin.

This is a picture of some of the Cartmels which is from some time in the 1930s or 40s. I'm not positive who is who but the back of the picture has the following names as dictated to my mother by Nana: Uncle Joe Cartmel (or Crogent), Aunt Sarah Cartmel (or Crogent), Sadie Cartmel, Jonathan Cartmel, Jack (John)Cartmel, Gramma Crogent and Jack Brower.  We affectionately refere to this picture of these city slickers as "Tobacco Row."

This is a picture of my Nana with her grandmother Sarah.  It is from the late 1930s or early 1940s.

Sarah died in 1953 at the age of 88 and was buried with William in Calvary Cemetery. A strong woman who lost her mother at an early age, she was able to find the fortitude to seek a better life in a strange country.  She raised four children and then helped raising two of her grandchildren. She lived through the death of her husband, the Great Depression and two World Wars. A salute to Gramma Crogent.