Today’s Tidbit | Lorenz Heller

A cousin, who lives in South Dakota, sent me some information she found concerning my 3rd great grandfather. She’s been helping trying to locate his grave in SD. While she didn’t have any further information on that, she did find this article about him in the Grant County (South Dakota) review dated March 10th, 1892:

(Lorenz Heller), an old man over 70 years of age, residing four miles north of Revillo, was rolled and trampled by an infuriated bull on Monday afternoon, and died from the effects of the injuries the same night. The animal was de-horned and the old man was endeavoring to drive it into the stable with a pitchfork when it turned upon him.

Lorenz was born in Prussia in 1817. He arrived with his family at Castle Garden in New York City on May 16, 1866. They settled in Wisconsin and then went to South Dakota in about 1881.

Backgrounds of My Families

This is some background information for the eight families (mine and my wife’s) of my grandparents’ generation.

Harris

Our Harris family is of English decent. Their ancestry can be traced back to the earliest days of our country. John Earl Harris was born in Greenfield, Saratoga Co., NY in 1798. He married Nancy Ormsbee in 1820. The Ormsbee family originally came to America in the 1630′s, settling in Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Nancy’s father Joshua fought in the Revolutionary War and travelled to Greenfield with his family around 1796. John Earl, Nancy and their descendents moved on to Pierpont Ohio, Town of Morgan Indiana, and eventually Cato, Manitowoc Co., WI. There, they engaged in the mill business. Related families include Seybold, Protz, Cleveland, Ormsbee, Benjamin, Newcomb and Bradford.

Harvey

George Harvey and his wife Elizabeth (Louden) were married in England in 1859. Soon after, they came to America and settled in Leoni Twp., Jackson Co., Michigan. Their son and grandson farmed on Harvey Road in Waterloo Twp., Jackson Co., MI. Related families include Musbach, Louden, Notten and Kruse.

Hau

Came to America from Prussia in the early 1860′s. According to family stories, Wilhelm Hau was a land owner in Prussia. He settled in Russel Twp., Sheboygan Co., Wisconsin. He married Kathrine Tuepper in January of 1869. Her family was also from Prussia and settled in Marshfield Twp., Fond du Lac Co., WI, where they farmed. Wilhelm and Kathrine’s descendants remained in the county, with our family owning a restaurant in Fond du Lac. Related families include Fuhrmann, Tuepper and Michels.

Heim

Our Heim family came to America in the 1840′s. Damian Heim was born in Steinbach Germany in 1815. His wife, Regina, was from the same area. They settled in Sylvan Twp., Washtenaw Co., Michigan. Related families include Gage, Hoppe, Parker, Knight and Lombard.

Hela/Heller

Laurentius Hela, his wife Elizabeth (Fleming), and their five children arrived in America from Prussia/Poland in May of 1866. They settled in Princeton, Green Lake Co., Wisconsin. Their grandson, Francis (Frank) married Catherine Jackowski in 1905. Her family was also from Prussia/Poland. Frank worked in the granite quarry in Montello, WI. Related families include Jackowski, Soda and Swiderski.

LeVan

The LeVan family was among the German-speaking French Huguenot refugees who fled from France to Holland, probably after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685. Family tradition says they were manufacturers of brocade and taffetas in their native country, and that they were of considerable wealth.

Jacob LeVan was born about 1702 in Amsterdam. Records indicate he came to America around 1717. Jacob married Mary about 1725 in Maxatawny Twp., Berks Co., Pennsylvania. The family lived for many generations in Berks Co. They moved to Logan Co., Ohio and eventually to Waterloo Twp., Jackson Co., Michigan. Related families include Robison, Winner, Leymaster and Leidigh.

McConnell

Our McConnell family can only be traced back to the early 1800′s. Charles Russell McConnell was born in New York in 1828. He married Sophia Laib in Kent Co., Michigan in 1859. She was born in Ohio in 1837. They farmed in Carmel Twp., Eaton Co., MI. Related families include Bradley, Laib, Blackmer, Kimball and Lankton.

Voiland/Weller

Originated from the town of Essert in the Territory of Belfort, France. Charles Xavier (Jean Baptiste) Voiland, his wife Adelaide (Perrin) and their children arrived at Castle Garden in New York City in December of 1857. His son Joseph Voiland and wife Felicitée Marie (Sadie) Romond arrived in New York City in May of 1857. Sadie’s family was from the town of Urcerey, also in the Territory of Belfort. Joseph and Sadie traveled to Buffalo, NY, and then settled in Little Wolf Twp., Waupaca County, Wisconsin.

The family name was changed to “Weller” when their children started school in Wisconsin. Their German school teacher couldn’t pronounce the French name “Voiland” and so it was changed to reflect the German pronunciation “Weller”. Their descendants remained in Waupaca County, with our family living in Clintonville and owning a hardware store. Related families include Heinke, Romond and Eglin.

There was also a Voiland family that came from Cravanche, another small village in the Territory of Belfort, France, in the 1850’s. Thibeau (Tebo) Voiland, his wife Marie (Frossard), and their eight children arrived in America on October 15, 1852, and settled in Macomb Co., Michigan, just north of Detroit. The homestead was located a short distance west of Gratiot Avenue between what is now Fourteen Mile Road and Masonic Boulevard.

We are unable to connect the Michigan Voilands to our Wisconsin Voilands. Since both families came from the same region in France during the same time period, we are hoping to find a connection!

Today’s Tidbit | Frank Heller – March 19, 1878

My maternal great grandfather, Frank Heller, was born on this day in 1878. He was the youngest son of Mathias and Frances (Swiderski) Heller, and was born in Princeton, Green Lake Co., WI. He worked on farms at Fox Lake and in the lumber camps at Ashland.

After several years, he came to Montello, WI and joined the Montello Granite Co. In the 1920 census, his job description is that of a “polisher”.

Frank married my great grandmother, Catherine Jackowski, in 1905. He worked for Montello Granite for about 45 years until becoming ill in July of 1944.

Today’s Tidbit | May 16, 1866 – Lorenz and Elizabeth Hela

My 3rd great grandparents, Lorenz and Elizabeth (Fleming) Hela, and their children Anna, Andreas and Rosalia, arrived at Castle Garden in New York City on May 16, 1866, on-board the “Bark Johanna” from Prussia. They were from Sossnowd, Prussia.

Johanna Passenger List Showing Hela Family

They settled in Neshkoro, WI and then Princeton, WI before moving to South Dakota in about 1881. Many of their descendants changed their name to “Heller”.

Today’s Tidbit | March 20, 1883

On this day, in 1883, my great grandmother, Catherine Jackowski was born to Stephan and Rosalia (Soda) Jackowski in Princeton, Green Lake Co., WI. She married my great grandfather, Frank Heller (see yesterday’s post), on September 26, 1905 in Princeton. They had eight children together, the oldest being my grandmother, Florence.

Tuesday Treasure | March 16, 2010

When my Grandpa and Grandpa Hau passed away several years ago, I was lucky enough to receive many of their things. Among them was my grandpa’s high school yearbook. Raymond Christian Hau was raised in Fond du lac, WI. His father, John, was in the restaurant business, a business that Ray would eventually join. Ray graduated from Fond du Lac Senior High School in 1926.

The 1920′s in America was an era distinguished by several inventions and discoveries of far-reaching importance, unprecedented industrial growth, accelerated consumer demand and aspirations, and significant changes in lifestyle. The city of Fond du Lac was no exception. It was a classic American mid-western small town, highlighted by its bustling main street. After his graduation, Ray attended Lawrence college in Appleton, his being the first generation of the Hau family to attend college.

Yearbooks from this era are far different from the color photo laden, current events filled books of today. They contain pages full of  poetry and song; pages detailing highlights of the freshman, sophomore, junior and senior classes; and in-depth descriptions of the accomplishments of the Service Club, Glee Club, Commercial Club, Peptimist Club, etc. The class motto for the Senior Class of 1926 was “Character is All!”

The class president described their senior year as follows: “…it was our senior year that we must look to appreciate truly our high school life. The hopes of years were at last realized. Early in November the school addition, containing the new combined gymnasium and auditorium, was finally completed. What senior has not experience a sincere thrill of pride and of satisfaction as he has entered the gymnasium for programs, pep meetings, parties, and basketball games? We are equally proud of our cafeteria where we have enjoyed hot dinners on cold winter days and appetizing lunches after organization parties. Our school life has been further rounded by the new courses of home economics, manual training, auto mechanics, and physical education….”

It’s hard to imagine our ancestors as high school kids. My only memory of my grandpa is as…a grandpa. I’m grateful to have these treasures. They really help me to know him better.

Tuesday Treasure | November 17, 2009

This is the marriage certificate of my grandparents on my mom’s side, Raymond Christian Hau and Florence Rose Heller.

Marriage Certificate of Raymond Christian Hau and Florence Rose Heller

My grandpa was born in Fond du Lac, WI on February 29, 1908. He spent a year at Lawrence College in Appleton. Ray eventually went to work for his father, who owned the Lion Cafeteria, in Fond du Lac.

My grandma was born and raised in Montello, WI. She graduated from St. Agnes School of Nursing in Fond du Lac and then worked, until their marriage, at St. Agnes Hospital.

Ray and Florence were married, on October 10, 1933, at St. John the Baptist Church in Montello. Their marriage was witnessed by Ray’s sister, Delores, and Florence’s brother, Howard.

Surname Saturday | HELLER

My grandmother on my mom’s side is a Heller. Passenger list records show that Lorenz, his wife Elizabeth (Fleming), and their children Anna, Andreas and Rosalia arrived at Castle Garden in New York City on May 16, 1866, on the ship Johanna. They were from Sossnow, Prussia. They lived in Neshkoro, Marquette Co., WI in 1870 and by 1880 had moved on to Princeton, Green Lake Co. In 1881, they moved to South Dakota. My direct line stayed in Wisconsin.

My great grandfather, Frank worked on farms at Fox Lake and in the lumber camps at Ashland.  After several years, he came to Montello and worked for the Montello Granite Company for about 45 years. His daughter, Florence married Raymond Hau in 1933.