Frank D. Sullivan and Carolina Buertel
What we know about the SULLIVAN line
I have mentioned before that my mother, Lorene Sullivan Andris, has been the unofficial family historian. The information given below is a combination of my mother's story, my own research, and more recently, information from other relatives of Frank Sullivan.
Lorene Andris' story
Frank Sullivan, my grandfather, was born 23 Mar 1881, the son of an Irish father, David Sullivan, and a German mother, Carolina Bartell. He had a short and a hard life, but my mother loved him very dearly. My mother always said that David Marion Sullivan worked on a riverboat. He was born in Cork County, Ireland, from where he had migrated. His main address was Cincinnati, Ohio. He met Caroline Bartell on the river, (when he was fairly young) and they proceeded to have 5 children. My mother tells that he had an older sister, Maggie, a brother Walter, and twin sisters who were scalded to death at an early age. He would go on the riverboat after each child and come back.
Sometime soon after my grandfather was born, his father disappeared, never to be seen again. His mother pined away about his absence, and died of cancer when he was only 4 years old. The children were adopted out. Mom has long speculated on the nature of Frank D.'s disappearance. Could he have fell into the water and drowned, been killed in a gambling squabble, left for another woman? But she just didn't know.
My own research
In the year 2001, I was able to add even more information about my great grandfather. Again my thanks go to Catherine Sams, for helping me to figure this out. I found in Cochran's Washington Co. Marriages this reference: "Frank D. Sullivan and Caroline Battle, 9 Oct 1875." As you can see, there is too much similarity here for this to be just a coincidence. Caroline Battle was, of course, Carolina Buertel. And the family lore about David Sullivan's middle name just had to be disgarded. His name was Frank David Sullivan, probably, and Franklin Marion Sullivan was his namesake.
Catherine Sams also showed me the Census of Washington County, Ohio, taken from the 1880 Ohio Census of Washington Co. Here we uncovered even more exciting facts. The entry reads:
What a wealth of information is here! My great grandfather was not only born in Ohio (if these records are correct), but both his parents were born in Ohio. And he married a German woman several years his senior. We find Maggie and Willie as small children in the home, Maggie is two and Willie is one month old. Yet, I'm not sure how to interpret the statement that Willie's mother was born in Ohio, while his sister's mother was German. If this is true, then Caroline was not Willie's mother. However, this information basically verifies mom's initial story.
And Frank David worked in a sawmill! This is all the more remarkable because, as we shall see later, Frank D. Sullivan probably worked at the sawmill owned by Jacob Zimmer, III and wife Elisabeth Buertel.The Zimmers adopted my grandfather, yet to be born son of Frank D. Sullivan, when Elizabeth's half-sister, Carolina Buertel, died at an early age.
In other words, if all these things are true, it is possible that Frank David Sullivan got a job as a young man in Jacob Zimmer's sawmill, and met wife-to-be, Carolina Buertel through her half-sister Elisabetha, who was married to his boss.
Mom had a picture of her grandmother, and thought her name was Carolina Bartell. However, we have found out much more about Carolina Buertel, my great grandmother. It was an exciting day when I found the following entry in the Personal Descriptions/Berg Church/Membership/Church Business:
20. ADAM BUERTEL
1. Philippina born 28 Apr 1834 in Dennweiler
married the second time in 1847 to
4. Elisabetha born 7 Jul 1849 in Fearing Twp.
They emigrated from Dennweiler in 1848.
These stark facts fit together with pieces of my mother's recollections in such a way that this Carolina Buertel, born 9 May 1847, is almost certainly my great grandmother. Mom knew only that her father Frank's mother's name was probably Caroline Bartell and that she had a sister Elizabeth who married Jacob Zimmer. Jacob and Elizabeth had taken Frank in and raised him. The Berg Church record above surely looked to me suspiciously like the family in question, even though the name was Buertel instead of Bartell.
All doubt was removed when I remembered seeing an obituary for Elisabeth Bartell in a clipping in one of mom's scrapbooks. I called her long distance and told her that I wanted her to dig out that obituary and see if the date of birth corresponded to the July 7, 1849 date in the Berg Church records. She was gone for a long time. When she returned, she exclaimed, "Jimmie, that's your grandmama!"
Thirty years of census records on the Buertel family
In the 1850 Census of Washington Co., Ohio we find this entry:
This information confirms almost exactly what the church records state, with one glaring exception. In the church records, Carolina and Elisabetha are almost exactly two years apart. In the 1850 Census records, the two girls are 5 years apart. Moreover, in the 1860 Census of Washington Co., presented below, this same discrepancy occurs again only now it is 6 years! We also note that the daughter of Catharine and Peter Born, Philippina, is no longer in the Buertel household. There are also three new children, two of which, Julia and Carl, will play a special relationship in my genealogy.
In the 1870 Census we find yet another metamorphosis of the family name, and both Carolina and Elisabetha are gone from the family home. What happened to Elisabetha was that she got married to Jacob Zimmer on Jan 13, 1870, according to Cochran's Washington Co. Marriages. We know that Carolina got married on Oct. 9, 1875. What happened to her in the years between 1870 and 1875 is not known.
There is no 1890 Census (it burned), and I didn'f find the Adam Buertel family in the 1880 records. However, in the 1880 Census, we do find the following entry for his son, Frederick. In 30 years we have seen the following name transformation: Frederich Buertel -> Fritz Battel -> Fritz Burtel -> (Adam) Bartell -> Frederick Bartle. Actually some of this can be explained as the difficulty of understanding the German "ue" sound. Referred to as U-umlaut, and written as ü, it is pronounded by saying "ee" with the lips rounded as in "oo." There is no direct English equivalent, but all of the above pronunciations are close approximations to the German sound.
In the document "Baptisms 1881 on the Hill Lowell" we have a record of two of the cousins of Carolina Buertel. Friedrich Buertel of Dennweiler Fronbach and Carolina Becker of Schwartzerden, St. Wendel, Rheinprussia had these daughters:
Current research into the Sullivan line
I looked in the Ohio 1870 Census to see if I could find another record of Frank D. Sullivan. I found a record that was slightly off: Frank 14 (should have been 16) white male, b. Indiana, Hamilton, Cincinnati, Roll 1207, pg. 104. Ernest Thode also assisted me by looking in the Restored Hamilton Co. Marriage Records 1850-1859. This record was found: David Sullivan married Catharine Lucy, Aug. 26, 1854, St. Thomas Parrish. Then on Ancestry Plus we looked up the 1860 Hamilton Co., Ohio, Census and found David Sullivan, 25, (would have been born 1835), deckhand, Ireland.
Following these leads, I wrote the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and requested specific information on the David Sullivan who married Catharine Lucy. However, the genealogical worker in that office was not able to confirm this hypothesis.
What became of Frank D. Sullivan's siblings
According to Lorene Andris, Maggie was adopted by someone and moved to town. She had a child who went by the name of Marie Preston. Then she married a man by the name of Ernest Shires and they ended up in Oneid, Oklahoma. Mom found out through correspondence that she was working as a waitress in a hotel after her husband had died.
Near the end of 2002, I was contacted by two of Maggie Sullivan Shiers relatives who corrected this information and added considerably to my understanding of Maggie's descendents. You can read about this communication in my connections section.
William married Mary McBride before 1913. They had six children: Pearl, Garnet, Mabel, Walter, Ralph, and Betty. Pearl was a man, very handsome, looked like mom's father . He moved to Akron, went to work at the Quaker Oats Company in the 20s. Garnet and Mabel also went to Akron and died very young, in their 30s. It was in the paper.
Walter married a Schaeffer girl and they had children by the name of Walter, Jr., Polly, Susan, Clifford, Jack, Lester. James, Lorene's oldest son, went to school with Walter, Clifford, Jack. They lived at 303 Green. Columbus is where some of them are. Leslie went to Alaska for a while. Polly married Ed Hadley and works up to the Big Bear.