Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Man with An Identity Crisis

When I add a person to my family tree by marriage, I like to include his/her parents. When a female is added through marriage, I ofttimes find it a challenge to identify her parents. Once I identify her parents, I like to include some basic information, such as, when and where her parents were born and died.

My relative, Harry E. Richardson, was married to Frances by 1930. Trying to identify her parents was a challenge. As I dug deeper in, I learned the names of her parents. It wasn't easy because her father seemed to have an identity issue.

Christian Strohm was born 1871-1872 in Michigan. He was enumerated with his parents 1880 in Elmwood Township, Leelanau County, Michigan at the age of 8. His father was born in Wurtemburg, Germany and his mother, in Baden, Germany.

In the 1900 Census, he was enumerated as Christ Strohm and born in November 1871. He had been married for 2 years at that time. The young couple were living in Elmwood Township.

In 1910, the family was living in Blair Township, Grand Traverse County, Michigan. In the 1910 Census, was he recorded as Christopher Srohm (sic) and is a farmer who owns his farm outright. Frances is the youngest child in the household.

I found the change in his name a bit strange and credited it to the enumerator. But then I found that he was enumerated as Christpher in 1920 and in 1940. However in the 1930 Census, his name was written as Chris J. Strohm.

His obituary in the Traverse City Record-Eagle in entitled, "Christ Strohm, Pioneer, Dies." and his gravestone reads, " Strohm, Chris J. 1872 - 1958."

He used the name Chris In the 1903-1904 Traverse City and Grand Traverse County Directory. But by the next directory, he is recorded as Christopher Strohm. Christopher Strohm is listed in the various directories between 1904 and 1927.

Christian, Christopher, Christ, Chris Strohm may you rest in peace.