Message Boards > Localities > North America > United States > States > Illinois > Counties > Whiteside


Subject: Charles Smith
Author: Kevin_Paul_Baase
Date: Friday, October 11, 2019
Classification: Query
Surnames: Smith, Schluter

Charles Michael Smith (11/15/1869 Chicago - 10/17/1948 Skokie IL; ) married Hannah Schluter (3/22/1870 WI - 5/16/1957 AZ; ). They had two children.

* Celia Smith (born Feb 1894 IL) married Mr. Jorensen / Jornsen
* Germaine A. Smith (11/22/1899 IL - 8/15/1987 San Mateo CA; ) married Austin Grey Smith (10/9/1898 – 1/12/1961; )

This is the family in the 1900 census in Chicago: and in 1910 as "Schmid" with Hannah as "Johanna" and Celia as "Julia": and the same Charles and Hannah in Rock Falls IL in 1920: and in 1930 in Coloma (also Whiteside county): and in 1940 back in Rock Falls:

The obit for Charles mentions that he came to Sterling in 1915. The obit for Hanna says that Charles "was machine shop foreman at the Fort Dearborn Manufacturing Co., coming from Chicago with the firm when it moved to Rock Falls." The obit for Charles mentions that their daughters were living in Skokie IL in 1948. Hannah's obit mentioned that she previously lived in Rock Falls, but that she "had been making her home the last nine years with a daughter, Mrs. Austin G. Smith" in Scottsdale AZ (so, pretty much, right after Charles died) and that she was survived by Celia and Germaine and two grandsons and two granddaughters, but preceded in death by one daughter" - I have no information on this daughter including her name, so I suspect that she died very young. I did not find this child, but in the 1900 census it lists Charles and Hannah/Johanna as being married for 7 years, and she is listed as the mother of 3 children, 2 living; that narrows down the years a bit, but I did not find any birth or death records for this daughter.

I do not have any other information on Celia, and only got her two different spellings of her married name from the obits of her parents. However, it is possible that neither of those is the right spelling. This may be Celia in 1940 as "Cecelia Joranson", widowed and living in Sunnyvale, born c. 1896 IL, with children Laura (born c. 1919 CA) and Germaine (born c. 1921 CA): and this may be her death record as Cecelia Marie Goranson (2/15/1894 IL - 8/26/1984 Alameda CA), father's name Schmid and mother's name Schluter: Being widowed in 1940 makes sense given how she was mentioned by first name in the obits of her parents, unlike her sister, rather than being mentioned as "Mrs. So-and-so Jorenson". That death record is pretty compelling, as we have the right month and year of birth for her, as well as state of birth, and the right mother's maiden name. The 1910 census where the family is "Schmid" instead of Smith matches for the father's name, and that year's census had the wrong first name for her but did give her middle initial as M., so I think this death record is a likely match, but we need to verify this and find out where she is buried.

There is an SS application for Laura Antoinette Stockton (9/9/1919 Sunnyvale CA - 12/29/2001), parents Celia M. Smith and Hjalmar Goranson, with a matching memorial in Colorado: There is also a matching SS application for Germaine Dolores Shevlin (6/22/1920 Sunnyvale CA - 8/2/2006), parents Celia Smith and Henry Goranson, no matching memorial, but her SSDI: I believe there is an Ancestry tree showing Germaine possibly married to a Eugene Buckley Shevlin (8/12/1919 Cortland NY - 9/7/1944 Philippines), which matches this memorial:

So given the above, I think that we have the family recorded as "Johnson" in 1920: and 1930: Both of those have Cecelia / Celia born in IL, father born IL and mother born WI, living in Sunnyvale CA as in 1940 above, with the matching children info and now a husband Henry (born c. 1888 Sweden). So given that, I think this is almost certainly the death record for the right Hjalmar Goranson (died 8/25/1934, died at age 46), given the matching county of death and the fact that he died between 1930 – 1940: No memorial for him though, so no idea where he would be buried. Celia and Henry appear at the same address in the 1934 San Jose city directory. This newspaper clipping sure looks like it does show Charles and Hannah from Rock Falls IL visiting their daughter (Mrs. Henry Johnson) in Sunnyvale CA in 1929, although it erroneously gives her first name as Geraldine, her sister's name, instead of Celia:

Other possibilities for Hjalmar / Henry are this is the death information for Henry - 1935 and I am told there is a better transcription on Ancestry that clarifies that it is December 8, 1935 in San Mateo; there was no coroners inquest. There is also a Hjalmar who died in 1939 San Francisco that is a close match, but the birth was off by a year.

Germaine Smith married Austin G. Smith and had children with him: (Yes, a Smith married a Smith!) This CA death record for Germaine has her mother's maiden name as "Schleuder":

I have obits for Charles and Hannah Smith, but I do not have obits for Celia Jorensen, and Germaine and Austin Smith.

As for Charles, his death record lists his parents as Charles Smith and Walburga Vogel: The obit of Charles from 1948 indicated that he was survived by two sisters, but their names are not mentioned. I am looking for more information on these folks. This could very well be them in 1880, with parents Charles (born c. 1842 Germany) and "W" Smith (born c. 1850 Germany), and children Charles (born c. 1870 IL), Amelia (born c. 1875 IL), Frank (born c. 1878 IL), and Paulina (born c. 1880 IL):

The main points here are:
1) Find out more information about the parents and siblings of Charles M. Smith, confirm if that 1880 census was them, and if so when did they die and where are they buried, and were his siblings married.
2) Find out the name of Celia's husband, and find out when they died and where they are buried.
3) Find out about the child of Charles and Hannah that died before 1900.
4) Get obits for Celia and her husband, and Germaine and Austin Smith.