[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Charles Wagner

fenenga at connpoint.net fenenga at connpoint.net
Sun Dec 4 10:52:23 PST 2011


> I thought I'd try to make my problem with Charles Wagner a bit
> in 1987 I began researching my ancestry. I started out by
gathering what family papers were available, which was very little. I
then wrote older living relatives, sent for vital records and, while I
was living near an archive (I now live 500 miles from the closest one)
started going through available census records. being a late child, (my
parents were in their 40's when I was born) it was too late to ask my
grandparents any questions, my grandfather died in 1969 and my
grandmother died in 1976. plus they were both only children with no
siblings, both lost their father's at a very young age, he at 9 and she
before she was born, one to...well, we aren't sure, the other to
sunstroke, and most of the family papers had been burned by the previous
generation. so I started out with a deficit, and it has remained mostly
a deficit since. I did eventually track down my Charles Wagner's
remaining family papers-a total sum of around 12 handwritten letters
with no family information in them, and a Boston, Massachusetts form for
a death record, which had not been complete filled out or sent in, the
original still in a cousin's possession, plus 4 childhood photos of my
grandfather and a candid photo of his mother and her second "husband"
(I've never succeeded in finding a marriage record for them, said to
have been in Omaha, NE abt 1898). why there are no photos of Charles, I
don't know. maybe Annie (his wife) threw them away in a pique. I also
acquired all of my grandparents vital records, as well as some of
Charles' medical records from the Marine hospital of Chelsea, MA, and
his pay records for seamen from NARA. but none of them furthered
information on Charles or his ancestors. I haven't found when or where
he died and was buried, where his death record is, where an obit for him
is, if one exists, or much of anything else about him. I started going
to the FHC's around 1980, using the IGI and ordering films. where I live
now I can't find an FHC that works with me, either schedule wise, or
useability. the whole place is run on a numbers system without any
writing at all, and I'm numbers dislexic. so between the irratic
schedule they keep, and using only numbers so you can't find anything, I
don't use the FHC here. there is no FHL for well over 500 miles. that's
just the way it is. 
> in 20+ years, this is pretty much all I've found
on Charles via letters to NEHGS and NARA, visiting FHC's and FHL's,
searching the net and paying for monthly subscriptions to Ancestry.com,
examining any site, message board or list that looked like it was even
remotely promising. I'm sure I've missed something out there, but
probably not Charles and his family, I've dug deep, even using Google
and Mocavo, and 99% of what I find are my own posts. I even paid for
autosomal dna specifically in the hopes of finding a connection to
Charles. I admit, I wonder if Hitler murdered my relatives and we are
all that's left of the line. but there's some intriguing matches. I did
find I don't have Jewish ancestry, but do have some Jewish relatives. I
also found that Germans who do test aren't all that interested in
sharing with their American relatives. a few have shared, but most
> Charles' timeline, such as I know it. 
> abt 1855-1857 born
in either Poland or Russia, father Anton, mother Thekla
> said to have
been raised in England-nothing found in English census records or the
Freebmd on any of them or any likely Wagners
> bef 1883 arrived in
America-states he is a US Citizen in 1883
> Jun 1883 arrived in New York
from Liverpool, England on the ship Ethiopia
> Oct 4 1883 married in
Boston, MA to Annie McDonald father Alan, mother Sarah
> Aug 1884 on the
ship Katherine J. Ireland-filed a claim against Master and first mate
for abuse. which he won.
> 1885 resided 46 Fayette, Boston, MA
> 1886
resided 46 Fayette, Boston, MA
> May 3 1886 son Allan b. in Boston, MA
(only child by Annie)
> 1887 possibly living at 6 Grenville place-Mrs.
Annie Wagner (may be someone else)
> 1888/1889 resided 434 Chelsea in
East Boston
> 1888/1889 possibly living at 6 Grenville place-Mrs. Annie
Wagner (may be someone else)
> 1889 sailed on Stephen G. Loud, H. C.
Sibley, bark Sarah-Mate (otherwise just a sailor)
> Apr 17, 1889 wrote
from Fallriver, MA
> May 12, 1889 wrote from Brunswick, NS
> Jun 4 & 5,
1889 wrote from Boston, MA
> Jun 7 & 8, 1889 wrote from Bangor, ME
> Jun
7 1889 payed 5.00 from H. C. Sibley
> Jul 15, 1889 wrote from
> Oct 9 1889 payed at rank of Mate from bark Sarah
> 1890
residing 267 Columbus Ave. Boston, MA
> 1890 sailed on Sachem, bark
> Mar 4, 1890 wrote from St. Michaels
> Mar/May (illegable) 6 1890
payed from bark Sarah
> May 23 1890 payed from the Sachem
> May 28, 1890
wrote from Fayal
> Jun 13, 1890 wrote from St. Michaels
> Aug 16, 1890
wrote from Boston, MA
> Aug 19, 1890 wrote from Boston, MA
> Sep 18,
1890 wrote from Fayal
> Sep 28th 1890 wrote from St. Michaels 
> 1891
residing 267 Columbus Ave and rear of Prince-same man? or two different
> 1892, 1893 and all years after not listed in Boston/Chelsea city
> 26 Apr 1892 arrived in Boston, MA from St. John NB on the
steamer Cumberland
> Jan 1894 sailed on the Mercedita
> Feb 1st payed
2.00 from the Mercedita
> Feb 3 1894 in Marine Hospital, Chelsea, MA for
aneurism of arch aorta-released improved in Mar 1894 
> 3 Aug 1894 said
to have died on this date, form for a death record started, never
completed or returned to Massachusetts vital record office and there is
no death record for him for 10 years on either side of 1894 in Suffolk
Co., MA-I have been told that in MA (and most other states) one MUST
have a death record to be buried. 
> by 1898 Annie had removed to
Chicago, IL, then to Omaha, NE where she met and married(?) Paul
> Paul is the person who burned the family papers. he had no
right to, but he did it. 
> Seaman's protection papers for the latter
half of the 19th century are non-extant. I have failed to find his
immigration or naturalization papers. personally, I don't think Charles
died in 1894. among his extant letters is an inferance to an affair by
him. perhaps Annie never forgave him. I suspect she had the form for a
death record forged and fled to Chicago with her son. they didn't stay
long. she is supposed to have come to America in 1864, and does show up
in a few city directories, yet does not appear in any census until 1900.
Charles never shows up in an American census. everything about this
couple is slippery and elusive, and I'm tired of it. 
> I'm on the west
coast-Annie and Paul removed to California because Paul was an engineer
and California was building bridges. anyway, I'm on the wrong side of
the nation to dig in to the archives, and NEHGS charges more than my
retirement can afford. 
> returning to FamilySearch today I find a Karl
Joseph Wagner, son of Thekla, but baptised in 1875 Bayern. no image is
available. is he mine? not a clue. the father isn't mentioned, and it's
way off of the date, so I suspect not, but won't totally reject it. 
it doesn't help that there's a family story of a name change, which was
attached off-handedly to both of my German great grandfathers...my
grandfather Al's father was German, as was his wife's, my grandmother
Flo's father was German. we know where he came from, a little border
town on the edge of Germany that crosses into Alsace. but we don't know
for certain where Anton and Thekla were from, by any means. it also
doesn't help that the person who wrote down the little they remembered
was Flo., not Al, and when she was in her 90's. I've found a lot of
errors, some things completely inaccurate-no proof of Charles ever
making it to Captain, and I know why, and no proof of our being related
in any shape or form to the musician, Richard Wagner. I've searched out
his pedigree, and if there's a relationship, it hasn't been found yet.

> ok, I think that is as clear as I can make it. if I knew more, I
could make it clearer, but Charles somehow managed to burn most of his
bridges behind him, even when he wasn't around to do so. 
> Cornelia


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