Archive for February, 2014

#52 Ancestors – No. 8 – Alma Jeanette Hartley

This post is number 8 in the series of the 52 Ancestors Challenge where we blog about a different ancestor for each week of the year.

Alma Jeanette Hartley is the alleged adoptive mother of Borden Hays Baumgartel, Sr.  I blogged about Borden in post six of this series.  Borden is the second husband to my great-grandmother, Mabel L. (Pittman) Roll.  Alma Hartley was born in New Albany Township, Indiana, in 1872.  Here parents were James Madison Hartley and Maria Jane Lewis.  She had four sisters and one brother.

Alma marries Lawson V. Baumgartel on 28 December 1897.  Eight months after the marriage, their son, Henry Madison Baumgartel, was born on 7 August 1898.  Two more children follow, a son, Earl, in 1901; and a daughter, Pearl in 1903.  Borden, Sr birth date is, 7 October 1897, two months before Alma and Lawson get married.

Unfortunately, Lawson dies just five days after Pearl is born in March 1903.  In October 1904, Alma marries Robert  W. Samuels.  There is a New Albany Tribune  newspaper record of their divorce in 1906.  However, both are still enumerated as husband and wife on the 1910 Census. Alma Samuels is listed in the 1911 Louisville City Directory.  Robert is not with her or at the same address. By 1915, she reverts back to using Baumgartel as her last name as recorded in the Louisville, Ky city directories.

Alma owns a boarding house in Louisville by 1920.  She marries one of her boarders, Harvey Samuel West prior to their enumeration on the 1930 Census.  Harvey dies in 1931.  Alma passes away in 1939 and is buried next or with her first husband, Lawson Baumgartel.

Lawson_Alma Baumgartel

So is Borden Baumgartel, Senior, adopted?

Our ancestors were good at fudging dates.  Back dating a marriage date was common to include a child born before the actual wedding.  Alma and Lawson could have done the same when the census taker came around in 1900.  However, Borden has the words “adopted grandson” entered on his line in the census.  They made a statement indicating he was adopted.

Pregnancy Math 101 – We all know how long human gestation is right?

Possible, yes.  Likely, no.  I going to state, that Borden is not Alma’s biological child.  If Alma waited til her wedding night to have marital relations, son Henry, would arrive nine months later, not eight.  Maybe Henry was early, or if he was a 9 1/2 month baby, we can figure out Lawson and Alma didn’t wait until their wedding night to co-mingle.  If Borden is Alma’s son, yes it is plausible that she got pregnant (with Henry) four to six weeks after giving birth to Borden.

It appears Henry was named after Lawson’s father, Henry R. Baumgartel (1835 -1916).  If Borden is their son, why didn’t he get his grandfather’s name. The name Borden does not appear in the Hartley line. My research so far has not turned up a prior marriage for either Alma or Lawson.  I also checked to see if any of the Hartley or Baumgartel siblings had a child they couldn’t care for that Alma and Lawson took in.  No luck in that.

If Borden’s name is a clue, then his birth parents last names could be Borden or Hays. Borden, Sr’s son John changed his last name to Borden because there is a story that was the original birth name.  And, Borden was easier than try to spell Baumgartel and Borden wasn’t a German sounding name in the 1940’s.  I tried looking for marriages and births using the last names Borden and Hays with no luck finding a match.  Borden is a common name in Indiana.

Borden, Sr’s birth certificate was issued as a delayed birth certificate.  The information was supported by Alma’s sister Clara Hartely Biesel, in 1941.  Alma passed away in 1939 and obviously couldn’t provide information.  There is another family story that Borden was the son of a Jewish couple and that his adoptive parents were not going to raise the child in the Jewish faith. Well the Baumgartels and Hartley’s were not members of the Jewish faith.  Lawson died when Borden was five, so I doubt the story started there.  I don’t believe his step father Robert Samuels was of the Jewish faith.  That leaves Harvey West, but he comes into the picture too late in being a parent figure to Borden.

Alma and Laswon lived briefly in Louisville just after their wedding.  Borden, Sr, and Henry were both born in Louisville.  I also looked for people with the last name Borden or Hays that may have lived near Alma and Lawson. Using a theory that they adopted a neighbor’s child, I found no clues. A Baumgartel cousin, Glenn Vogedes; wasn’t able to find a court record or other information on an adoption when he was searching either.

Was there an orphan train that come through the area at this time, a family friend in trouble, or a mother who died in childbirth and left a son behind.  I don’t know, is there a document yet to be discovered?  Or, will this mystery need to be solved by DNA genetics?

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#52 Ancestors – No. 7 Oliver Cromwell Roll

This post is number 7 in the series of the 52 Ancestors Challenge where we blog about a different ancestor for each week of the year.

Oliver Cromwell Roll (aka Ollie C. Roll) was of medium height and build with gray eyes and brown hair. His life was short t down by bronchopneumonia in the 1918 Influenza Epidemic. He lived long enough to marry my great grandmother Mabel Pittman and have one child, Olive A. Roll.

Ollie Roll 1884 8 mos

Ollie C Roll, 8 months old, 1884
Scan of a tintype photo

At 16, Ollie is working as day laborer, so is his 13 brother David; according to the 1900 Census.  On his 1917 WWI Registration card, he lists his occupation as miner for Woolley Mines.  I find it interesting that he and Mabel live on Olive Street in Evansville, Indiana with their daughter named, Olive.

Born to David W. Roll and Katherine Traylor Guy in 1884, most likely named for his father’s brother; Oliver C. Roll (1848-1926). He is the oldest son with five living siblings.  He married Mabel on August 10, 1906.  I do not have a copy of the marriage certificate.  The record at cites a record showing Ollie’s last name as ROSE.  It is most likely a transcription error.

My grandmother, Olive, was very fond of her father and greatly sadden by his death. Her family story is that she passed the flu virus on to her father that eventually claimed his life in 1918. After Ollie’s death, Mabel kept in touch with the Roll family throughout her life and so did my grandmother Olive.


Death Certificate – Vanderburgh Co Health Department certified copy issued October 2003 from the original record. The original source of this record is the book CH-5 on page 342 within the series produced by the Indiana Works Progress Administration.

WWI Registration Card

Marriage Certificate – “Kentucky Marriages, 1785-1979,” index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 17 Feb 2014), Ollie Rose and Mabel Pittman, 10 Aug 1906.

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#52 Ancestors – No. 6 – Borden Hays Baumgartel, Senior

This post is number 6 in the series of the 52 Ancestors Challenge where we blog about a different ancestor for each week of the year.

Borden Hays Baumgartel, Senior married into the family.  He is the second husband of my great-grandmother Mabel Pittman Roll and the step-father to my grandmother Olive A. Roll. Borden was a friend of Ollie Cromwell Roll, Mable’s first husband. Ollie Roll died of flu related symptoms in 1918.  Borden and Mable were married in Evansville, IN, in 1920.  Two boys, Borden, Junior (aka Uncle Bob, born 1922) and John Donald Baumgartel (born 1925) were added to the new family.

Borden Baumgartel World War I

Borden Baumgartel World War I

Who was Borden H. Baumgartel?  For starters, he most likely was not a Baumgartel. Borden is listed on the 1900 Census living with his grandfather, Henry M. Baumgartel, his parents, Lawson (Losson) and Alma J. Hartley Baumgartel and his brother Henry. There is an added word on Borden’s line indicating he is the adopted grandson of Henry M. Baumgartel. The family resides in New Albany, Floyd Co, Indiana at that time.


I will provide details of my analysis on this adoption in another blog post. I just want to get a quick bio out today. Briefly, his original birth name may be Borden. Borden’s son John Donald Baumgartel changed his last name to Borden either in the late 1940’s or 1950’s.   Borden may have known he was adopted.  The Baumgartel’s may have used his last name as his first name when they adopted him. Which was common as I have seen guardian records from that era using that naming pattern.

Lawson Baumgartel tragically died in 1903. Leaving Alma with four children, the youngest, Pearl, was only five days old.  Alma remarries twice and seems to cut ties with the Baumgartel family. She moves the family to Louisville, KY.  Borden starts working as a clerk when he is 15 years old in 1913.  By the start of WWI he is a Western Union messenger and serving in the Kentucky National Guard.  Shortly thereafter, he is inducted as a Private in the US Army in August 1917 and serving in the war.

I have a copy of his discharge papers from the National Guard stating he is being inducted into the Army.  I found a copy of his application to get a duplicate copy of his Army discharge papers in  1932. There was a fire in August 1932 that destroyed most of the photos and other memorabilia belonging to the Roll, Howes, and Baumgartel families.  I am not aware if he went overseas or stayed stateside during the war.

Borden and Mable reside in Louisville, KY after they marry in 1920 for about five or six years.  They relocate to Dearborn or Garden City area west of Detroit, Michigan around 1926 for looking for better work.  Allegedly, Borden and Mable ran a grocery store in Detroit, then Garden city.  As a result of the Great Depression, the family could no longer make a living having the store.  Borden was able to get a job at the Ford Motor company in Dearborn.  The story passed down is that Borden was in a car accident involving an executive at Ford’s.  Borden told the executive if he wanted payment for damage, he would have to hire him.

While working one day at the Ford plant, Borden had a heart attack and died in 1944. His son, Borden (Uncle Bob) remained in Dearborn until his retirement in the 1980’s.  Mable and her son, John, moved down to Mango, FL.

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#52Ancestors – No. 5 – Ignacy Frank Borucki

This is post #5 as part of the 52 Ancestors Challenge were we blog about a different ancestor for each week of the year.

Ignacy Francis Borucki is my great-granduncle, the brother of my great-grandmother Marianna Borucka.  Ignacy preferred to go by Frank in most of the sources records I have for him.  So I will use Frank.  Frank seesawed in using variants of his name.  He would sometimes go by Ignac or Frank; or use Borucki, Borucky or Borke, as his last name.  Frank was born in Mamino, Makow Mazowicki, Poland, on 24 Dec 1872 or 1873.  Various records list his birth year between 1872 and 1874. I don’t think Frank could make up his mind.

He married Alexandra Lipinska in Poland before they immigrated to America.  They arrived on 27 May 1896.  The New York passenger list states their final destination is Chicago, IL.  Their first child, Ladislaus Borucki, is born in November 1896 in South Chicago, IL.  In late 1897 or early 1898 they have moved to Pittsburgh, PA.  Ladislaus passes away in April 1898 in Pittsburgh.

He and his family still reside in Pittsburg as of the 1900 census. Frank and Alexandra have two more children, John and Wladytawa, (Lottie). There are three boarders listed with him.  One is my great-grandfather, Adam Budny, who recently arrived in America.

I discovered another passenger arrival list for Frank dated October 1900.  This record lists his hometown as Mamino.  Alexandra is not on the passenger list.   His final destination is Schenectady, NY.  Was he previously in the U.S? Yes. What was the name and location of the person he was going to stay with, his brother in Chicago, IL?  The Schenectady information appears in a thinner ink stroke and could have been added later.  I have two issues with this record regarding the brother in Chicago.

I have a copy of Franks’ 1918 Declaration of Intention for citizenship.  His lists the arrival date and ship name of his1900 arrival on his application. The Detroit address listed is the same one on his WW1 registration that states his wife’s name, Alexandra.

Growing up, all the Aunts and cousins stated there were only three Borucki siblings, Frank, Marianna and a younger sister, Josephine.  Josephine remained in Poland.  If Frank was telling the truth, who is this brother listed on the passenger list?   Why Chicago, when his family is in Pittsburgh?  A polish researcher located a record of birth for Marianna Borucki-Budny’s child born in Mamino, Poland.  One of the witnesses was a Ksawery Borucki, which could be a cousin or another possible brother.  It is possible that there were more than just the three siblings.

Frank does take his family back to Chicago.  The next three children, Stanley (1902), Edward (1907), and Raymond (1910) are born in Chicago.  The 1910 census remains elusive for me as well as any city directories and birth records. The family finally settles in Detroit, MI.  The last of the children, Zigmund and Irene, are born in Detroit.

Frank’s occupation is a die maker at Ford Motor Co.  Irene is 14 when her father, Frank dies, October 1929.  Stanley Borucki is divorced and has custody of his two young children.  He supports his mother and siblings, all living in the same house on the 1930 census.


1900 Census

Ladislaus Borucki Death Certificate

1917 World War One registration

1918 Declaration of Intention for Citizenship

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