Thursday, June 28, 2012

Summer in the City

Well, summertime has arrived bringing temperatures well into the upper 90s tipping over into the 100s. Heat and humidity mean only one thing. It is time to bring out the swimsuits and head to a nearby beach or community swimming pool to cool off. In my father’s childhood, he would head to the river and jump in.

This beach shot of bathing beauties was most likely taken in the 1920s. My grandmother’s Uncle Fred, Aunt Frances and cousin Florence were enjoying a beautiful summer day. Uncle Fred Duntemann was a Chicago Park Policeman. He spent a great deal of time outdoors patrolling the parks on horseback. This accounts for his very tan head.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Not So Wordless Wednesday

Wednesdays are sometimes called “Wordless” but that is not the case this particular Wednesday, June 27, 2012. Having been wordless for exactly sixteen days and it is time to change that statistic and get chatty.

Today I dragged my husband and puppy to Mount Carmel Cemetery in search of the Dooley grave site. It was a hot day to wander Mount Carmel Cemetery. Locating the monument proved challenging. With the help of Uncle Steve, Uncle Dave, and a helpful cemetery worker, we were able to locate the Dooley Family headstone.

The gravestone gave important death dates for William and Mary Dooley that should aid my research. We also learned of two new Dooley family members: Celia and James. John and Mildred Dooley, my husband’s great aunt and uncle, offer proof that this gravestone belongs to my husband’s Dooley family.  YEAH!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Dooley Talk

Do you have Caller ID? I do for the simple reason that it helps me screen calls. I tend to avoid answering 800 phone numbers and occasionally cellular calls especially this election year for I am not a fan of political robo calls.

For some reason this morning I decided to answer an unknown cellular phone call. I made a good move in answering the call for it was my husband’s uncle. We had been meaning to connect for most of last year and the moment had finally arrived. Uncle Dave Dooley wanted to meet and have a Dooley Talk. He is up in years and wants to learn of his Irish ancestors’ origin now.

Our meeting place was a local Irish Pub for there is not better place to dine and talk Dooley than an Irish Pub. Much to our disappointment, the pub was closed on Mondays. Not a problem, we chose a charming French bistro down the street.

Uncle Dave treated me to lunch and I agreed to organize the Dooley information for him. He wants to hire an Irish genealogist to help him locate his Irish ancestors and living family. Finding his Irish roots is very important to him.

I think this might be my chance to try my hand at the business of genealogy. I plan to treat his request as if he was a client! It will be good practice to see if I can cut my teeth in the professional world of genealogy.

Our plan is set. I will organize Dooley family information. We will then visit the Irish Heritage Center of Chicago. Uncle Dave was active in the organization and in the past he took part in Chicago’s annual St Patrick’s Day Parade. He plans on introducing me to the Irish librarian and get busy searching.

I have finally found my partner in crime. Oops! I mean my partner in Dooley Family history!


Friday, June 8, 2012


Today has been a day of confusion. I am trying to decide my next plan of attack. 

Who to search? What to search? Where to search?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A Piece of History

Last weekend the German community of Chicago celebrated Maifest. The arrival of springtime means maypole dances, music, food and big crowds.

My German ancestors beckoned me to attend and so we did. Lincoln Square is the heart of the German community and was the location of Maifest Chicago 2012. We missed the crowning of the May Queen but had a great time nonetheless.

City parking is always a challenge. Once the parking space was secured we headed off to Maifest. Our route took us past the Western Avenue El stop. There we found a piece of the Berlin Wall!



Friday, June 1, 2012

What Do I Know

James Lawrence Adams was born between the years 1869-1872 to Dr. James William Adams and Mary I. Cox. He lived in the Des Moines area from birth through 1900 and was the younger of two children.  His older sister, Katie, was born in Michigan. Their father attended medical school at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

In 1900 James married Edna J. Brass in Council Bluffs, Iowa. The newlyweds lived with his parents in Prairie City, Des Moines Township. The young couple had one son, James Lyman Adams, who was born on 4 March 1905 is Des Moines, Iowa. Sometime between 1905 and 1910 the young family moved west to Long Beach, California.

In 1910, James Lawrence Adams and family resided at 1132 Pacific Avenue, Long Beach, California. James worked as an accident insurance agent. Just for fun, I performed a Google search and found the home. This multi-family residence built in 1923 is located in downtown Long Beach.

Details of James Lawrence's life during the years from 1910- 1926 remain a mystery. During that time, his marriage to Edna Brass failed. James Lyman graduated with a law degree from Stanford University and was admitted to the California State Bar in 1929. In 1930 James Lyman, lived with his paternal grandmother, Mary Adams nee Cox. Mary is eighty-two years of age and James is twenty-five. Grandmother Mary Adams nee Cox passed away in 1931 and in 1933 James Lyman Adams wed Helene M. Rapp. Where is James Lawrence Adams for all of this?

At some point James Lawrence made his way to Chicago. It is here he met Charlotte Ludiger. This was a first marriage for Charlotte Ludiger. The 1930 census records report she was married at the age of 24; which suggests a marriage year of 1924. Charlotte Jane Adams was born in 1926.

From this point on, James lived at 5550 Kenmore Avenue in Chicago. His occupation is reported to a salesman of stocks and a racetrack employee. Charlotte Jane reports that her father gambled. He was known to bet on racehorses at all the Chicago area racetracks.

James Lawrence made friends with celebrities and would bring home personalized autographs of famous people for his little girl. Her collection includes autographs from Judy Garland, Jimmy Durante and Uncle Al Jolson just to name a few. A Chicago Tribune sports writer wrote about James Lawrence Adams saying “Old Doc Adams” just sits around mumbling. I have not yet found the newspaper article.

During those World War II years, James Lawrence Adams would invite servicemen home for dinner.

James Lawrence came from a highly educated family. He was a stickler about school and good grades. He wanted Charlotte Jane to be well educated. Charlotte Jane desired to attend Northwestern University and become a doctor. Of course, she wanted to live on campus and James Lawrence told her no. She could get her education but had to come home at night.

He then suggested that nice Catholic College down the road. It was supposed to be a good school for girls. Charlotte Jane Adams enrolled in Mundelein College just a bus ride down from their apartment. Mundelein College later became Loyola University located along Lake Michigan’s shore in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago.

Charlotte Jane Adams never met her paternal grandparents. She recalls her father telling her that his father passed away from throat cancer. He told her he grew up in a small town in Iowa and that he had a sister. He never spoke about his mother. He also told her about his son Jimmy. During the war, Jimmy had an important job with the government. When Jimmy passed through Union Station in Chicago, he would go meet him.

James Lawrence’s life was in Chicago. He was an aging man with a young family. He gave the following advice to his daughter, Charlotte Jane. Be Good. Be Kind. Stay with your mother and her family. He was thinking of her future.

On July 4th, 1945, James Lawrence Adams did not wake up from his night rest. His passing was a shock to the family. His wife ran across the street and fetched the doctor. This seemingly active and healthy man was pronounced dead at home.

Women made their condolences to the family. No men attended his funeral as they were away serving in World War II. His death certificate reports his burial on 6 July 1945 in Graceland Cemetery, but his final resting place is at Memorial Gardens, Skokie, Illinois.