Monday, November 23, 2009

Paul Kolbe's Death Information

Paul Kolbe's Holy Cross Cemetery burial card listed his date of death and burial. However, a mystery emerged - his cause of death was listed as gas asphyxiation. Cousin Sue said Paul had committed suicide. My mother in law said she had never heard that he had taken his own life. More research to do. Perhaps his death certificate and/or a newspaper article might be helpful.

Paul Kolbe died on October 15, 1928 and was buried on October 17. This fits into the suggested death time frame of 1920 to 1930 as he was listed in the 1920 census, but not in the 1930 census. (See the October 10, 2009 blog entry).

Thinking about Paul's possible suicide I noticed that he passed away 3 months after his mother. Perhaps he was depressed due to her death. Maybe he had financial difficulties; Cousin Sue said that Paul was the manager of the Belle Isle Casino.

Suicide rates in the U.S. for 1920-1928 were about 12%, then rose sharply following the market crash in 1929 and subsequent depression. The current rate is about 11% and has decreased about 2% since 1950. Perhaps increased depression/suicide screening helps people avoid that decision.

Next: Holy Cross Cemetery Wrap-Up

Friday, November 13, 2009

Cemetery Surprise-A Previously Unknown Kolbe

The Holy Cross Cemetery cards contained a surprise - a previously unknown Kolbe family member. Buried in the plot along with William and Pauline Kolbe was a premature baby named Bert. He died and was buried on July 14, 1914. Since he was named Bert, I assume he was a child of Berthold and Margaret, although I can't be sure without a death certificate-another future project.

I reflected on premature births these days and how many infants do live. The current survival rate for babies born at 7 months is greater than 90%, and infants born at 6 months is about 50-90%. Baby Bert would have probably lived if he had been born within the past 25 years or so.

I also came to realize that many children are not represented in the census returns because they are born and die in between enumeration years.

Next: Paul Kolbe's Death Information

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

William and Pauline Kolbe's Death Information

Sue Kolbe had burial cards from Holy Cross Cemetery in Detroit, Michigan. These cards provided a lot of valuable information such as: age at death, cause of death, birthplace, cemetery plot, address of the deceased, and undertaker.

William Kolbe died on August 31, 1913 and was buried on September 3. This fits into the suggested death timeframe of 1910 to 1920 as he was listed in the 1920 census, but not in the 1920 census. (See the September 28, 2009 blog entry).

Pauline Kolbe died on July 9, 1928 and was buried on July 12. This fits into the suggested death timeframe of 1920 to 1930 as she was listed in the 1920 census, but not in the 1930 census. (See the September 28, 2009 blog entry).

Now that I knew their death dates and places, I could obtain a copy of their death certificates. Hopefully the death certificate will contain the names of their parents!

NOTE: If you are interested in additional information about Holy Cross Cemetery, a new book, "Detroit's Holy Cross Cemetery"is available November 30, 2009 from Arcadia Publishing. The author, Elaine Walters Raymo, will be featured in future blog posts.

Next: Cemetery Surprise-A Previously Unknown Kolbe

Monday, November 9, 2009

Family Collaboration and Brick Walls

I contacted my husband's cousin, Sue Kolbe, who is also a genealogy buff. She shared information she had found on the Kolbe line which was very helpful and helped me tear down a few of those "brick walls."

Genealogists use the term brick wall to describe a spot where their research has been temporarily halted due to unsuccessful attempts to uncover a piece (or pieces) of information. Brick walls stop the forward progress in researching a particular family line.

Brick walls can be short lived or last for decades. And just like a real brick walls, there are many ways to get past one. You can go over, under, or around it. It can be blown up or disassembled one brick at a time.

My collaboration with Sue was very helpful. The next few posts will outline some of the information I obtained from her.

Next: William and Pauline Kolbe's death information