Monday, January 24, 2011

HAUSMANN family - Illegitimacy as Reason for Moving

Sometimes it is hard to determine why a family moved from one place to another. In my husband's family I have a good clue as to why the family of George HAUSMANN and Victoria ZIRGER moved from Bucyrus, Crawford County, Ohio to Toledo, Lucas County, Ohio in 1900.

In 1880, the HAUSMANN family was living in Bucyrus. The children were baptized and had first communions there at Holy Trinity Catholic Church into the 1890s.

On 1 January 1900, Paul HAUSMANN was baptized at Holy Trinity Church. He was the illegitimate son of George and Victoria's daughter Clara. Paul was born to Clara on 12 December 1899. Clara's brother Thomas and sister Matilda Hausmann served as the godparents.
Holy Trinity (Bucyrus, Ohio), 1882-1924 Baptisms, page 99, Paulum Robert Housmann, 1900; digital images, FamilySearch Record Search ( : accessed 13 November 2010).

Paul's birth was reported in Lucas County, Ohio, possibly after his baptism and their move. It is unlikely that Paul would have been born in Lucas County and then taken back to Bucyrus for his baptism. On the Lucas County Record of Births, his parents are listed as George Hausmann and Clara Hausmann. So is his grandfather also his father? Or was George listed as the father because he would take up those duties for his grandson?

By 1 June 1900, the entire Hausmann family was living in Toledo. Paul is listed as the son of George and Victoria in the 1900 census. In 1910, he is listed as their grandson but in 1920 he is again their son.

When Paul married in 1919, he lists George Hausmann and Victoria Reinboldt as his parents. The maiden name of his grandmother should be Zerger or Zurcher, but he may have been thought it was Reinboldt since one of Victoria's sisters married a Reinboldt.

Clara went on to marry Ernest CARR around 1902 and have six more children, including my husband's great grandmother.

Here's what I think may have happened. Clara got pregnant and had an illegitimate son, Paul. The family decided to cover up this birth and moved to Toledo, where Paul was raised as the son of George and Victoria instead of a grandson. Maybe Paul knew who his mother really was and the family just wanted to keep up appearances in the neighborhood. Maybe Paul never knew that his sister was really his mother. But a move so soon after an illegitimate birth may have been an easy way to conceal the truth.

1 comment:

  1. That seems right. Toledo is about 100 miles from Bucyrus, far enough away to make a fresh start. I wonder how Paul temporarily slipped back into being a grandson in 1910.