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Monday, August 29, 2011

Mildred Schrader Brock Gibson

     Client has a surname in my father’s family tree. This should be easy, right? Mr. Brock contacted me way back when I was still with Due to pending projects I wasn’t able to get to his project for several months.  During our phone conversation I realized that Mr. Brock knew all about his descent from Revolutionary War soldier Jesse Brock. Anything about this family is located at including DNA results. However, he would like to know more about his grandmother, Mildred Schrader, first wife of his grandfather, John Brock. They were married in Lincoln County Kentucky 17 July 1914.
     He shared with me what little he knew of Mildred’s life. She was born 28 Sep 1895 in Pennsylvania. She passed 20 Nov 1983 Cincinnati, Hamilton, Ohio. She was adopted by Fred “Fritz” Shrader/Schroeder and his wife, Henrietta Neuman. When Fred Schrader died he only left Mildred one dollar. John Brock and Mildred had eight children. The first two children died in infancy: Walter Mitchell Brock born 20 July 1915, died 21 Oct 1915 Lincoln County Kentucky. Henry Richard Brock was born and died 16 Nov 1917 Lincoln County Kentucky (Kentucky Death Records). Yet, sometime after the birth of the youngest and last child Helen born in 1928, John and Mildred divorced. This was also the era of Great Depression. The oldest child living at that time, Robert William Brock, the clients father, born 1 Dec 1918, went to live with his paternal grandmother. The other children were placed in an orphanage near Louisville, Kentucky.  Mildred is known to have removed her daughter, Elsie from the orphanage, and by all reports was a good mother. Eventually, all the children were reunited, except the youngest child Helen. She may have been adopted out immediately. No one seems to know what happened to Helen.
    Client, Mr. Robert Brock, is the son of Robert William Brock (1 Dec 1918-8 Feb 1945), who died  honorably serving his country. He is buried at Ft Wm McKinley Cemetery, Manila, Philippines. Young Robert and his widowed mother lived near his grandfather, John Brock and his second wife, Maxline Helton Baker. John and Maxline were married 20 Sep 1934 in Harlan County Kentucky. Young Robert only saw his grandmother “Milly” once as a small child. He had tried to find her in the ‘80’s, but didn’t know her married name. Now he would like to know more about her.

  Can I learn more about Mildred’s life? Who were her adopted parents? What happened to little Helen?
   Over a cup of coffee, I explain to my Mom (who is 83) that I had been walking through the Ottenheim Cemeteries. I found no stone for Frederick Schrader, or his wife, Henrietta Neuman (9 Mar 1846-28 Oct 1929). I had also been to the Lincoln County Kentucky court house and found the will of ‘Fred Schroeder’ written 26 Sep 1927. Upon the death of his wife, Henrietta, the property was to go to his nephew, Frederick Scheffler. Carl Scheffler was named as the Executor of the will. Fred Schrader name his “adopted daughter, Mildred Brock” and did will her only one dollar.  The will was probated 9 Apr 1928. Frederick Schrader died 23 Mar 1928. (Kentucky Death Records). Death certificate states he is buried at Ottenheim. So who are Carl Scheffler and Frederick Scheffler? How is Frederick Scheffler, Fritz Schrader’s nephew?
   Hearing my pleas my mother says “My first cousin Christine is married to a Scheffler, maybe she would know.” So, I call Christine. Low and behold! She knows all about the Schefflers and the Schraders. Frederick Scheffler, heir and nephew of Fritz Schrader, was her father-in-law. Young Frederick’s parents were Carl Julius Scheffler and Louise C. Gretzner.  Carl Julius Scheffler’s parents were Carl Scheffler and Leopaulina Neuman, sister to Fritz Schrader’s wife, Henrietta Neuman.
  Christine tells me that Frederick and Henrietta Schrader only had field stones and now they are unrecognizable, but that they were located near the wooded side of the cemetery.  Having checked the Ottenheim records at the Lincoln County Library and the surname files with no results, it appears the Ottenheim Immanuel Lutheran Church records must be somewhere else.
  The historical Ottenheim community is a story unto itself. Briefly, it was a German, Swiss farming community that began around 1884.  Immigrants were encouraged to settle on farm land purchased by New York investor, Mr. Oppenheimer. The community was originally named Lutherheimer, but was changed to Ottenheim in 1886.

  Next day, second cousin Donnie (Christine’s son) emails me with the Church records that I need!  Mildred Schrader was christened 6 July 1902 by Pastor Mehrtens. From the Immanuel Luthern Church Christening Records - Parents: Fritz Schroeder and wife Henrietta (Foster parents). Godparents: August Pertenbreiter and Elizabeth Kuchenbecker. Notice: The child was in a fosterhome and was raised as their child by Mr. and Mrs. Fritz Schroeder.
   The last notation for Mildred in the church records was Good Friday, 14 April 1916. Mildred Brack [Brock] seated with Fritz Schroeder and wife. Mildred Schrader had married John Brock 17 July 1914 in Lincoln County Kentucky. The marriage bond reveals that Mildred was born in Pennyslvania, and her parents (not named) were born in Germany. Is she referring to her birth parents, or her adoptive parents?

   Mildred and John Brock had eight children. The first two children died in infancy.
  • Walter Mitchell Brock 20 July 1915-21 Oct 1915, Lincoln County (Kentucky Death Records)
  • Henry Richard Brock born and died 16 Dec 1917 Lincoln County(Kentucky Death Records)
Death certificate states this child was buried on M.F. Lawrence farm, Rowland.
This is likely Marion F. Lawrence farm. 
  • Robert William Brock born 1 Dec 1918 Crab Orchard, Lincoln County Kentucky, died 8
              Feb 1945. He is  buried at Ft. Wm McKinley, Manila, Philippines.
  • George Brock born 9 Feb 1920 Lincoln County Kentucky. Died 11 Nov 1983 Norwood, Hamilton County, OH
  • Lucy Mae Brock born 3 Sep 1921 Garrard County Kentucky. Legal name change to Ann. She died 29 Sep 2009, Latonia, Kenton County Kentucky. Ann Ryan is buried at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Fort Mitchell Kentucky.
  • Edward Thomas Brock born 23 Feb 1923 Garrard County, Kentucky. Died 17 May 2005. He is buried at Spring Grove Cemetery, Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Ohio
  • Elsie Brock was born 20 Mar 1924 Garrard County Kentucky. She married Emil Shilling. She died 26 July 2006 Tuson, Pima county, Arizona.
  • Helen Brock was born 19 Jan 1928 Lincoln County Kentucky (Kentucky Birth Records)     

There have been no leads regarding Helen Brock. One death certificate for a Helen Brock  of the approximate birth age,who died in Bell County, Kentucky was not the correct Helen. There was no match from the Luzerne County Pennsylvania Historical Society regarding the birth date of Mildred Schrader. The family tells me that the name Robinson or MacRobinson may have been her birth name. She and Henry are known to have lived at one time on Liberty and on Vine Streets in the Over-the-Rhine district, another historic German community in Cincinnati. They also believe that she spoke fluent German with Henry. Mildred also liked to work jigsaw puzzles. Mildred Gibson passed 20 Nov 1983. She is interred at the Spring Grove Cemetery, Hamilton County, Ohio along with her husband, Henry J. Gibson. The grandchildren are trying to piece together her life, and find their ancestry. With some connections from both sides of my own family tree, I am happy to have had the privilege to share with them a few more pieces of Mildred’s life puzzle.

Permission for use of photo given by Robert Brock. 
Sources: Personal information provided by Mildred's grandchildren, Robert Brock and Gloria Baker; also, by Christine Blevins Scheffler, and son Donnie Scheffler; and Ralph Scheffler of California.
Kentucky birth and death records
Ottenheim Luthern Church records
Kentucky Census records

Mildred Gibson and caregiver

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