I have been following The Armchair Genealogist for a little while now. It is all about how to write your family history on a blog. I have several blogs but find it difficult to keep up with them. Lynn Palermo does a great job of breaking down the steps from blog to book. With that in mind, I am going to start blogging the never-ending-story of our family history. I really want to turn it into a book. I know, my family history is my family history and maybe not as interesting to you as it might be for me. I can promise intrigue, lies and a story of real people affected by one woman's decisions. It is the search for my husbands missing siblings. There are at least 13 of them and we have found 8. It may be a never-ending-story because finding these kids gets more and more difficult every day.
Frank Arnold Gaulthier was born on Feb 13, 1896 in Lansing, Iowa. In the 1905 Iowa Census, the family was still living there. Several states over Mabel Myrtle Morgan was born on June 7, 1906. In 1910, both families had moved with the Gaulthier’s going to La Crosse, WI and the Morgan’s taking up residence in West Virginia. We don’t know anything about these families other than their meeting was the catalyst for the this story.
Wisconsin was in the midst of a heat wave on September 25, 1925, when Lida Mary Gaulthair was born. There was not much going on in the world. Hitler was making noises in Germany but World War 1 was over. Calvin Coolidge was the President of the United States and it would be several years before the Great Depression. In La Farge, Wisconsin, none of it mattered very much as the families went about their day to day tasks.
In 1925, Frank Arnold and Mabel Myrtle Gaulthair had one living child. Little Louisa had passed away at 28 days when she had been taken to bed by her mother who rolled over and smothered her. She died of asphyxiation but the death certificate read “Acute Gastro Enkhitis”. Doc Haggerty was a family friend.
Violet was three when Lida came home. They had a new brother in 1927 but he died at three months due to bronchial pneumonia as a complication of the flu. It looked like that was it but in 1928 Frank Lee Gaulthair made his entrance. He was called “Jackie” by the family.
They seemed like a any normal 1920’s family. Dad was a laborer on the Wisconsin State Road Aid and made a decent wage. They lived in a two-story four bedroom house on Welsh Street with plenty of space for the children to play. They were surrounded by family, Frank’s parents lived nearby and Mabel’s mother and father were next door. Frank’s sister, Sophia and her brood, lived a couple blocks away on Main Street. La Farge only had one school so the kids went together.
By 1940, Frank Arnold was no longer working. Injured in WWI, medical issues had sidelined him. Mabel’s father still lived next door but her mother had passed away. Sophia Kendall, with her husband and kids, moved to California for better jobs during the depression. Violet was married and living in Minneapolis, leaving 13-yr-old Lida and 10-yr-old Jackie at home. Still, there were many kids around. Some of them would become part of Lydia’s story but while all of this swirls around her, it is not her story.
This is about the 13 children who were unnamed and abstracts in a story that spanned decades. This is the search for the Gaulthair children.