On this Day: What were your ancestors doing? – 52 Ancestors #10

So, today is my birthday, and taking a hint from other #52Ancestors posts (here, here and here), I wondered what were my ancestors doing on 30 October 1919?

And immediately the question arises — which of my ancestors were alive 100 years ago today? Let’s see… 

This is my dad’s side.  Dad, obviously, was not yet alive; his mom was approaching her 12th birthday.  His dad Cassius was almost 15 and therefore was in high school — the first family member to attend and graduate.   Both of Cassius’ parents were alive, but none of his grandparents.  Margaret’s father William was alive; William’s parents were deceased.  Margaret’s mother Eileen had died, but her grandfather Charles was still alive in Athea, Co. Limerick, where he was a farmer, living with two of his younger children.

Dad_Ancestors

On my mom’s side, both her parents were alive, and living in the Healdsburg, Sonoma, California area.  Each was 5 years old.   Both sets of their parents were living.  I don’t know if Giuseppe Diamantini’s parents were still alive back in Fano, Italy, but possibly not as they would have been born no later than, say, 1852, if not earlier. 

Maria Bolognesi’s parents were dead, and Hazel (Englehart) Holst’s mother had been deceased over a decade.  Peter Holst and his wife Caroline, and Sam Englehart, who crossed the Great Plains to California with his family as a little boy were both still living.  Sam was in Healdsburg, living in the house his late sister had bequeathed him, and working odd jobs.  Peter and Caroline were in the hills just outside Healdsburg, growing grapes and running a small but thriving winery.

Mom_Ancestors

So, in summary, this is the count of my ancestors alive 100 years ago today.

0 – parents

4 – grandparents (ranging in age from 5 to almost 15)

7 – great-grandparents

4 – great-great grandparents

Peter Nicholas Holst’s father reportedly lived to at least 97 years of age; based on Peter’s birth year, I estimated Peter (Sr.) to be born c 1822, and died c 1919 — so he might have been alive on 30 October 1919.  He would have been living in Flensburg, Schleswig-Holstein (Germany now and at the time — but Denmark when he was born).

Part I – My dad’s side

My father’s father 

Name: Cassius Dempsey

Born:  December 1904 in San Francisco

Age: 14

Occupation: high school student

Location: San Francisco, California

Children:  None at the time

Did I know him?  Yes.  He died when I was 31 years old.  I did not see him often, though, as we lived in Florida and Texas in my childhood.  

What was going on in his life at the time?  He was likely in school, and he possibly worked odd jobs after school.  He likely heard about the Chicago “Black Sox” throwing the World Series, and could have played sports at school, or with the neighborhood boys.

Y-Line Haplogroup:  Haplogroup information keeps changing as the science gets better and the data set grows.  Obtained from one of his grandsons, and depending on how you label it, it’s either R-ZS8379 or, further downstream (per http://ytree.net today) R-BY11707.  Closest relatives all have the Molloy surname; historically, the Irish clans of Molloy and Dempsey came from the Co. Offaly area.

mtDNA Haplogroup:  Unknown at this time.

My father’s paternal grandparents

Name: William John Dempsey and Mary Erma Lamburth

Born:  1869 and 1867, respectively, both in San Francisco

Age: 50 and 52, respectively

Occupation: Storekeeper (pump company), and housewife, respectively

Location: San Francisco, California

Children:  7 children; 6 living on 30 October 1919

Did I know them?  No. William died about 6 months after my father was born.  Mary died while my father was still in high school.  

What was going on in their lives at the time?  He was likely in school, and he possibly worked odd jobs after school.  He likely heard about the Chicago “Black Sox” throwing the World Series, and could have played sports at school, or with the neighborhood boys.

Y-Line Haplogroup:  William’s haplogroup was R-ZS8379 (or, more recently) R-BY11707.

mtDNA Haplogroup:  Unknown at this time for either William (who had only brothers) or Mary.

My father’s mother 

Name: Margaret Colbert

Born:  January 1908 in San Francisco

Age: 11

Occupation: student

Location: San Francisco, California

Children:  None at the time

Did I know her?  Yes.  She died on my 22nd birthday.  I did not see her often; the last time was in summer 1976, when I was 14.  

What was going on in her life at the time?  She was probably in school, and lived at home with her 2 older sisters, her younger brother, and her widowed father.  (She was just shy of her 4th birthday when her mother died.)  Her paternal aunt Nan, her paternal uncle Jack, and her maternal aunt Margaret lived near enough that she probably saw them regularly.

mtDNA Haplogroup:  W1c (inferred, based on her son’s test, and grandchildren of her daughter)

My father’s maternal grandfather

Name: William Cornelius Colbert

Born:  January 1877, near Athea, Co. Limerick, Ireland

Age: 42

Occupation: Teamster – municipal works (not sure what that means; it comes from the 1920 census)

Location: San Francisco, California

Children:  4 children; all living on 30 October 1919

Did I know him?  No. William died in October 1931, before my grandmother even married, let alone had her children. 

What was going on in their lives at the time?  

Y-Line Haplogroup:  Unknown at this time.

mtDNA Haplogroup:  Unknown at this time.

My grandmother’s maternal grandfather

Name: Charles Houlihan

Born: about 1832, probably Co. Limerick, Ireland

Age: about 87

Occupation: Farmer

Location: Athea, Co. Limerick, Ireland

Children:  5 children; at least 2 living on 30 October 1919 (in U.S.).  2 more living in Athea as of 1911 who could’ve been alive in 1919.

Did I know him?  No. Charles died in 1924.  In fact, my grandmother never knew him either.

What was going on in their lives at the time?  The daily life of farming in a rural community.  From the census taken in 1911, I know that he was Roman Catholic, and that he was able to read and write, both in English and Irish.

Y-Line Haplogroup:  Unknown at this time.

mtDNA Haplogroup:  Unknown at this time.

To be continued, with my mother’s side…

 

 

 

 

 

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