Tag Archives: Schultze

52 Ancestors – #2 Anna Schulze Roleke

Posted on by 3 comments

I have decided to accept the challenge of Amy Johnson Crow over at No Story Too Small blog. Amy challenges us: 52 Ancestors in 52 weeks.  I think this is an excellent challenge as I tend to focus on my brick walls, and this will force me to fan out in my tree and focus on other ancestors.

Please meet my 2nd-great grandmother, Anna Schulze Roleke. Week two and my second post in the challenge.

Anna Schultze Roleke

Anna Schultze Roleke

Anna Roleke, my 2nd great-grandmother was born December 10, 1862 in Berlin, Germany. She was the daughter of Gustaf and Sophie Schulze. Schultze or Schulze, I’ve seen it spelled both ways, so I’m not sure which way is actually correct.

She married Heinrich Friedrich Wilhelm (William) Roleke on September 2, 1888.  I have not found a copy of this marriage record, yet.  A cool thing about my 2nd great-grandfather William Roleke being Mayor of Bethany, Missouri for 32 years,  is that their lives were well documented and I’ve been able to find a lot of information out about them through books, and newspaper articles.

So, I’ll back up a bit and tell you what I have learned about her mostly from her flowery obituary which I obtained from the Harrison County Genealogical Society, in Bethany, Missouri. I might also add that I wouldn’t have a photo of her at all if it weren’t for this obituary.

Anna Schultze Roleke Obituary

Anna Schultze Roleke Obituary

I learned that she was confirmed in the Lutheran Church in 1876 on a Palm Sunday, and lived a consistent Christian life until God in his infinite wisdom, called her to Him on the anniversary of her confirmation, on March 28, 1915.

Now, I’ve written about Anna’s death before on Sympathy Saturday – Helen Roleke Parks. Her daughter, Helen Parks, my great-grandmother died within six months of Anna, giving birth to my grandfather.  Her obituary speaks of her having a lingering illness of about four years. Helen’s obituary also speaks of a long illness.  Her death certificate says she died of cerebral hemorrhage, with mitral regurgitation contributory and mentions an illness of 3 weeks, and I can’t read it very well, but I suspect it to say acute nephritis.  I’ve never heard any family stories on what the lingering illness was.

Anna Schulze Roleke Death Cert

Anna Schulze Roleke Death Certificate

I’ve also written about how the Roleke’s were my first genealogy trip on My First Family History Road Trip – Rolling with the Roleke’s.  Shortly after this trip, I found Bill Jones.  Bill is the son of Kathryn Roleke Jones, my great grand-aunt and the daughter of Anna and William Roleke.  Bill lives a long way from me, so we have never met, but we have gotten to know each other through phone calls and emails and I’m so happy that I found him.

Anna’s obituary speaks of her graduating from the Royal Academy of Music in Berlin, with high honors.  So far I have not done any research in Germany on any of my ancestors, obviously because I will have to increase my skill set but I would like to find out about her schooling at some point.  This fact really intrigues me and I would love to learn more about it and see if I can learn more about her achievements from the academy.  Cousin Bill Jones actually has some of Anna’s sheets of music.

From her obituary, I learned that she left Germany in 1888.  I found that date to be incorrect as I found her in the New York Passenger lists, 1820-1957 on Ancestry.com.  She was shown to have departed from Hamburg, Germany in May of 1885 and arrived in New York on June 5, 1885 aboard the Steam Ship Bohemia.

Steam Ship Bohemia

Steam Ship Bohemia

Her obituary mentioned that by then end of the month of her arrival, she had made her home with her cousin, Herman Roleke in Bethany, Missouri. This was a little confusing to me because I knew Herman Roleke, was the cousin to William Roleke, but he’s her cousin too? A bit of panic set in, where my 2nd-great grandparents kissing cousins?

After researching this I found that Herman was the son of Joseph Frederich Roleke and Karoline Emilie Schulze. Karoline was Anna’s aunt, the sister of her father Gustaf Schulze. Joseph Roleke, the uncle of William, and brother to William’s father, Christian Roleke. Ummm, so does this make them kissing cousins??  ha ha

I also found in her obituary that her sister, Helene, was Mrs. Max Roleke. What? Oh my! I haven’t figured this relationship out yet, but it’s obvious the Roleke’s and Schulze’s had mad love for each other!

I found the Roleke family living in Bethany, Missouri on the 1900, and 1910 census. It shows William working as a Tailor, and you can see more about his tailor shop and the house they lived in on the post I mentioned above, My First Family History Road Trip – Rolling with the Roleke’s.

1900 Roleke census

1900 Roleke census

1910 Roleke census

1910 Roleke census

Bill Jones had this wonderful picture, that he sent to me and I have it framed and hanging on my wall.

Roleke Family House in Bethany Missouri. William, Anna, Helen and Kathryn on porch.

Roleke Family House in Bethany Missouri. William, Anna, Helen and Kathryn on porch.

Is this not the most awesome picture, ever? There are my 2nd-great grandparents, Anna and William Roleke, hanging out on the porch with my great-grandmother Helen, and Bill’s mother Kathryn. I love, love, love this picture.  I will forever be thankful to Bill for sending me this picture.

When Anna died, on the day of her burial, apparently the town of Bethany came to a screeching halt.  All the stores closed out of respect for the Mayor’s wife.  City officials were her pall bearers and they laid her to rest in the Miriam Cemetery, in Bethany, Missouri.  At the time the cemetery was called the Pythian cemetery.  You can see more about the family plot at the cemetery once again on the above mentioned post,  My First Family History Road Trip – Rolling with the Roleke’s.  However, this is her headstone.

Anna Schultze Roleke Headstone

Anna Schultze Roleke Headstone

My mother placed those flowers there. One thing we didn’t do on the trip to Bethany was visit the courthouse, if we had, I might have their marriage record at this point. Like I said, it was my first trip and boy was I green. If I had gone there, I would have had no clue what to look for anyway. I will go back one day though, especially since I know so much more about the family. My family, I’m proud to say!

Here’s my relationship to Anna.

Relationship from Susie to Anna Schulze Roleke

Relationship from Susie to Anna Schulze Roleke

As her headstone says, Aufs Wiedersehn.

My First Family History Road Trip – Rolling with the Roleke’s

Posted on by 1 comment

Hey there!  Yep, it’s me.  Still here.  I just had to take a break for a bit.  I had too much on my plate and other things had to come first.

Like 6th grade homework….  Uggghh!

Uggghh, is about all I can say about that on here, but the amount of homework sent home daily is redonk! Poor Knucklehead has no life outside of school.  So much for being a kid.

Anyway, between the chores, chickens, and homework, you can see priorities had to change a bit.  But, I think I have a good system down now and can spend some quality time with my Ancestors for a few hours each week while Knucklehead is at school.

Knock on wood, because I have said that before.

I have spent the last week or so, entering in information from a road trip I took back in October of 2008.  Yes, I realize that was five years ago.  I was such a newbie then that I didn’t even put information in a family tree.  I just collected it.  Now, I’m adding things to my tree and since I spent the last week or so going over the Roleke information, I thought I would share here with you all, my first genealogy road trip.  I have had several since then, but this was a really special trip because I got to share it with my Momma before she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.  She, myself and my sister-in-law Addie loaded up in the car and drove to Bethany, Missouri.  What a treat this was.

Also, it was special because we just enjoyed the moment.  We took our time and whatever information I got was glorious and it didn’t matter if I didn’t find the one thing I was looking for because I wasn’t looking for anything specific.  We just wanted to see where our Ancestor’s live, and my Momma hoped to learn about her grandmother.

I thank God every time I think about this trip because if I had taken any other trip at that time, I would not be as hooked into my family history as I am now.  We found out so much stuff on that trip that it almost addicted me.  I just wanted to see what else I could find out, and when and how could I?

Ok, I know you are saying almost addicted?  Ok, I admit, I am addicted to it.  My children and grandchildren will thank me one day.

The reason we picked Bethany was because of one little news article clipped into my Momma’s baby book.  Here it is:

Roleke Trip to Arkansas

I guess Mother hadn’t spent much time looking in her baby book (I have told you before, but her baby book was in the pile of stuff my grandmother was going to throw away and I saved) because when I asked her about her great-grandfather William Roleke, being a Mayor, she had no clue. Her grandfather J.T. Parks, never talked about her grandmother’s family, the Roleke’s. It was too painful for him I guess, and he had remarried and put his life back together. You see my mother’s grandmother, Helen Roleke Parks died after giving birth to her father, Bill (William John) Parks. It was a very sad time for her Granddad Parks. In fact, he never once mentioned it to my mother, but his wife Missie, who my mother called Nanny, and loved so much was the one who finally told her.  My Momma was stunned.  She had always thought Nanny was her grandmother.  It didn’t change a thing for her and Nanny though.  Nanny was always so good to her.

After reading that clipping in my mother’s baby book, I started digging a little more through my grandmother’s things and I found a newspaper from Bethany with Helen Parks’ obit on the front page. You can read about that here, on my Sympathy Saturday – Helen Roleke Parks post.

A search of Google before we left let me know there was a road in Bethany, named Roleke. There was a park in Bethany named Roleke, and I could see on Google maps, in street view that the house William lived in, was still there.  I also knew that the Harrison County Genealogical Society was there in Bethany, and we planned our trip around when they would be open.

Loaded with where I needed to go and what I wanted to see, we took off.  After a 7 hour road trip, we made it to Bethany.

Mt. Vernon to Bethany

We checked into our hotel room and headed straight to the cemetery.  We were more than amazed at what we found at the Miriam Cemetery.

William Roleke Family Cemetery Plot

The family plot headstone was massive, and finally, here they were, my great-grandmother Helen Roleke Parks, and my 2nd great-grandfather, William Roleke and my 2nd great-grandmother, Anna Schultze Roleke.  I would later find out that Edith Morgan Roleke, also in the plot, was William’s 2nd wife.

This was pretty emotional for Momma.  Here she stood at the grave of her grandmother, her namesake, a woman she’d never met.  And she wept.  And then I wept.  I think Addie did too, but she can usually hold it together pretty good.  To show you the size of the headstone, here is me and Momma standing next to it.

Mom and Susie at William Roleke Plot Marker

This photo of Momma and Addie was from the next day, we had to go back and take one because I guess I was so emotional while there, I never thought of photos, Addie saved the day on that and I wanted a picture of Addie there too.

Mom and Addie William Roleke Plot Marker

We placed flowers, and spent quite a bit of time there.

Mom putting flowers Roleke Plot

If you will notice on the right side of the next photo, down the hill we found another plot of Roleke’s.  We put flowers beside the plot marker there as well.

William Roleke Plot

Come to find out, that plot belonged to the family of Herman Roleke.  Cousin to my William Roleke.  He came from Germany before William did, and William settled here in Bethany and started working with Herman at his Tailor Shop.

Here is the Herman Roleke Plot. There are 16 people buried in his plot, with 13 headstones.  At the time, I didn’t know who they were or how they connected, but I have since put the pieces together.

Herman Roleke Plot

After this, since it was pretty emotional, we decided to just see some sites around town and get a lay of the land.  We found Roleke road.  I thought at the time, that since William was Mayor of Bethany for 36 years, that Roleke road was named after him.  I’m not so sure as Herman was also a major pillar of the community and it could just as easily have been named for him.   Either way, I don’t care.  I’m happy and proud to say I’m related to either one of them and regardless of which one it was, the road is still named after my family.

Mom and Susie Roleke Drive

Thank you Addie, for taking these priceless pictures.  I actually have this photo in a frame. It marked such a special moment for me with my Mom, and Addie.  This trip was where my love for digging up family history really began.

Next we found Roleke Park.  I did not take good pictures.  This was my first time, what can I say.  Maybe I will get to go back one day and take more.  I think at the time, I thought they were good.  Ha Ha

Herman Roleke originally owned this land and built the park.  This is the spot where most of the scenes I have found on old postcards and in books is located.

Roleke Park


Here is the Pavilion where a plaque had been placed in honor of Herman Roleke.  Did I take a picture of the whole Pavilion?  No, no I did not.  Dumb.

Herman Roleke ParkI took a picture of a pretty little bridge though.

Roleke Park

Then we drove to where William’s house was.  I couldn’t believe the house was still there.

William Roleke House

I shyly knocked on the door, and even though this car was parked out front no one came to the door.  This being my first trip, not really sure of what I should or shouldn’t do.  We left, and didn’t go back by.

Now a days, knowing more about research and learning all that I have learned about that house – I would keep going back until someone came to the door.

William Roleke House

Then we went to the Harrison County Historical Society.  If I filled this page with nothing but nice things about the Society, it wouldn’t be enough.  They have really done the work there.  I made a copy of anything that had the name Roleke in it.

One of the best things I found was this obituary there that actually had a picture of Anna Roleke, my 2nd great-grandmother.  I had never seen her before, and still to this day have not found another picture of her, so this was worth the whole drive alone, and it was just one of many treasures we found that day.

Anna Schultze Roleke Obituary


Here is just one of the many things I found about Herman Roleke.

Herman Roleke house razed


Then the kind ladies at the Historical Society directed me to the Bethany Clipper office, the local newspaper where I found some information in books about William Roleke.  One thing about it, when you are Mayor of a town for 36 years, there is a lot of information out there about you.

I found out the Tailor shop used to be on the town square next to the Bethany Clipper.

roleke tailor shop


I wish I had taken this picture from the same angle, but I did not.  There again, I was a Newbie.

Bethany Missouri


Right across from this is of course the courthouse.  Did I go in the courthouse?  NO!  Like an idiot!!!   I thought I had found so much at the Historical Society what else could I possibly need, right?  Uggghh!  I wish I could go back and kick my former self.   We did find a lot though and the trip was worth it, and for a Newbie, I did pretty dang good.  So good it just took me a week to add all the stuff I got on this trip to my family tree.

If you have any Roleke relatives from the Bethany area, contact me.  I have put all the information on my ancestry.com and I will be glad to share it with you.

Also, I need to stress to you that if you are a newbie, like I was during this trip, always check the local historical society, I can’t even begin to tell you all the wonderful things I found there.  Plan your trip around this, trust me.

Next, check the courthouse.  Everyone is always talking about their AHA moments, I call that my DUH moment.  CHECK THE COURTHOUSE!!!

Check the local paper.  Would I have ever known William’s business was next door had I not??

Of course, check the cemeteries, all of them in the town if you have time.

Check the phone book, and call some local’s while you are there.  I tried this, but they all thought I was crazy.  Which is true.

Search out cousins!!  Some of the articles mentioned that my grandfather had a cousin Bill Jones.  I found him!!  Alive and well and living in Portland, Oregon!  And if you think alive and well isn’t a big deal, you haven’t been doing genealogy for very long.  Everyone you find is dead and gone!  Anyway, Bill and I talk often and he sent me some killer photos and get this, he sent me the actual certificates my great-grandmother received when she graduated from Osteopathy school.  Most importantly, he’s a link to my family and my history and I enjoy so much talking with him.  I hope to meet him one day.

And last, but not least, knock on doors, and wait for them to answer!  You never know what history they might know!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Bulk Email Sender