23 February 2009

Who Is Number Twenty One?

It is great to see that Randy Seaver's Saturday Night Fun and Games is becoming quite popular with the genea-bloggers. I'm late in participating but our task was to find number 21 on our pedigree chart which is the paternal 2nd great grandmother.

My paternal 2nd great grandmother is Mary Elizabeth Hobrock Borgstadter. She was born 26 December 1861 in Beardstown, Cass County, Illinois to Henry Hobrock and Mary Thron. She was the second of 14 children.

Elizabeth Hobrock Borgstadter (age 56) 1917

Henry Hobrock (age 63) and Mary Thron Hobrock (age 68) c. 1900

Fred Borgstadter (age 64) 1917
Elizabeth married Fred Borgstadter 24 March 1881 in Beardstown. They had four children, the first two were born in Beardstown. Annie Borgstadter was born 21 December 1881 (almost exactly 9 months after the marriage) and Henry Fred Borgstadter (my great grandfather) born 25 August 1884. In the fall of 1886 The Borgstadter family moved to Lincoln County, Kansas. There the last two children were born. Herman George Borgstadter born 29 January 1891 and Clara Borgstadter born 28 February 1902.
Lincoln, Lincoln County, Kansas c. 1889

The photos of Elizabeth and her husband Fred were taken in 1917 when they were required by law to register as "Enemy Aliens". They had to sign their photographs and a copy of that was used to issue them an I.D. card that they were required to carry at all times. It seems that Fred had filed his first papers - his intent to become a U.S. citizen - with the Circuit Court in Virginia, Illinois, but never completed the naturalization process. I can see this happening. The intent was filed in Illinois and then the family moves to Kansas and gets put on the back burner.
When World War I breaks out, the law required anyone of German descent who was not a U.S. citizen to register as an "Enemy Alien." Elizabeth was also required to register because when she married Fred, the law required that she give up her citizenship and assumed that of her husband.
I look at their photos and then realize what age they were when those pictures were taken and am shocked. Elizabeth's was taken at age 56. She looks like she might be 76. I know life was hard back in those days and she looks so weathered and tired. We most certainly take for granted they way we all live in this day and age.

Photo of Lincoln, Kansas courtesy of Special Collections and University Archives - Wichita State University Libraries

1 comment:

  1. I really like your pictures! I was inspired to do a verrrry belated Number #21 post of my own after reading yours! Thanks so much for your interesting stories.