Sunday, August 30, 2009

1900 Census

Since I was very familiar using censuses, I began searching the Detroit census returns. Knowing that the family arrived in 1890, I started with the 1900 census and found them listed as Colbe. This "misspelling" was not a surprise to me. My entire married life I have dealt with people wanting to spell Kolbe as Colby (like Colby cheese.) After all, that's how it sounds. By the way, Colby cheese is named for Colby, Wisconsin where it was developed in 1874.

In 1900 William, age 65 and Pauline, age 62 and 6 of their children lived at 251 Wabash Avenue. Everyone was born in Germany. William's occupation was listed as a baker. The children, ranging in ages 18-29, all had occupations in the bakery industry, except Emil who was a druggist. It is noted that everyone could speak English except Pauline.

Another daughter named Hedwig (Hattie), age 31, (also born in Germany) lived with her husband William Hackenberger at 553 E. Antoine St. and their 4 children: Emil, Madie, Hattie, and Frank. William's occupation was listed as a feedman. According to the census, Hedwig and William were married about 1889 and their son Emil was born in September 1889 in Michigan. Hedwig's year of immigration to the U.S. was listed as 1888 and William's as 1869. This leads to several unanswered questions:
  • Did Hedwig come to the U.S. before the rest of her family?
  • Where did Hedwig and William get married?
So here is what I knew about the Kolbe Family members:
William was born February 1835 and Pauline was born December 1837; they were married about 1864. William emigrated from Germany to the United States in 1891 and had filed his first naturalization papers. Their children's names and birth information:

Ida - August 1870 (daughter)
Herman - November 1872 (son)
Paul - April 1875 (son)
Emil - February 1876 (son)
Berthold - November 1878 (son, although listed as Bertha, a daughter in this census)
Hedwig (Hattie) - March 1879 (daughter)
Emma - July 1882 (daughter)

The census indicated Pauline had given birth to 9 children and 7 were currently living. That added a mystery to solve-when were those other 2 children born and where did they die? I also knew that census information may be inaccurate, so I would keep an open mind when doing future research.

Next time: 1910 Census

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