About Me

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Lake Mathews (Perris), CA, United States
I am a native of Illinois and grew up in Wilmette, a northern suburb of Chicago. I have one sibling, an older brother. After dropping out of college, I moved to California in 1973 with my first husband. I married my present husband, Butch, in 1977 and got 4 children in the deal. They have gone on to make me a grandmother 25 times over and a great-grandmother of 19. Three years after I married Butch I returned to school. I got my bachelors and masters degrees in speech communication and was a professor in that field for 13 years. I retired in 2001 to return to school and get my doctorate in folklore. Now I meld my two interests - folklore and genealogy - and add my teaching background, resulting in my current profession: speaker/entertainer of genealogically-related topics. I play a number of folk instruments, but my preference is guitar, which I have been playing since 1963. I work in partnership with Gena Philibert-Ortega with Genealogy Journeys where we focus on educating folks about Social History. More about that can be found at http://genaandjean.blogspot.com and more about my own business projects is on my Circlemending website.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday, Gertrude Miller, 14 July 2009/14 July 1935

Gertrude MUELLER was born in Bonn, Westfalen, Germany on 17 February 1853 and immigrated to the United States in 1874, joining her mother who had fled Germany in 1864, leaving Gertrude and her siblings to be raised partly by an aunt and partly by the Catholic Church in Bonn, where she was planning to take her vows when her mother and step-father sent for her to join them in New York. Soon after her arrival, she took on the name of her step-father - WOLBERT - but on 10 May 1876 she married Carl Frederick (Fritz) MUELLER, bringing her name back to its original form. She used to tell people, "I was born a Mueller, I married a Mueller; I changed my name for no man." (Of course, that negates the fact that she used WOLBERT for a couple of years between things, even declaring it her maiden name on her marriage registration and on her children's birth registrations.) Gertrude moved a number of times, but called Chicago, Illinois home for the majority of her adult life, dying in Wilmette, Cook, Illinois on 14 July 1935, 74 years ago today, and was buried in Memorial Park Cemetery, Skokie, Cook, Illinois, next to her son and daughter-in-law. She was my great-grandmother.

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