Saturday, January 26, 2013

Surname Saturday: The Zellers from Germany

Off we go on another Surname Saturday, a dandy blogging prompt from GeneaBloggers! I blogged a bit this week on Treasure Chest Thursday about some of this family's members, Grandma Kelly's brother's family, and the Zeller Family Ensemble. That was fun! So here comes the line-up for Grandma Kelly and her ancestors, the Zellers from Germany.

It's sort of unusual that we have a lot of information about the known members in this line but it just doesn't go back too far as compared with other lines on Mom's Big Tree. And the other interesting thing, and a project for a day in the future, is that the other children of great great grandfather Charles William Zeller (1829 - 1901) and his wife, Anna Mary (1834 - 1906) are yet to be discovered by us. They disappear in the Chicago area. Mom has some skimpy information but more must be out there and sitting pretty, ready for us to get to.

So here we go: the Zeller family.

1. Diane Kelly Weintraub

2. Francis Patrick " Pat" Kelly
(1916 - 2007)
3. Virginia Williams, living and loving it

4. John Lee "Lee" Kelly (1892 - 1969)
5. Helen Gertrude Zeller Kelly ( 1894 - 1985)

10. Gustav William "Gus" Zeller (1858 - 1927)
11. Moretta Workman Zeller (1859 - 1946), everyone called her "Ma"
Gus and Ma, were both born and died in the Frostburg, Allegany County, Maryland area. See below for the good stuff:)
They had these 5 children:
Charles Sample Zeller ( 1880- 1966)
Adelbert  "Burt" Zeller ( 1883 - 1947)
Gustav William "Gus Jr." Zeller Jr. (1884 - 1964)
5. Helen Gertrude Zeller Kelly ( 1894 - 1985), that's Grandma Kelly there:)
Anna M. Zeller ( 1882 - 1882)

20. Charles William Zeller ( 1829 - 1901)
21 Anna Mary (possibly Bruning) Zeller (1834 - 1906)
This couple were both born in Werttemburg, Germany. They immigrated and settled in the little town of Frostburg, Allegany County, Maryland. Mom believes there were relatives in the area and a search of local records turns up a number of other Zeller families, although their exact connection mystifies us.
After 1878 when the last of the children was born in Frostburg, and before 1886 when Henry died in Chicago, the family moved to Chicago, Cook County, Illinois. All the children except Gustav are buried in the Chicago area. The local Cumberland, MD newspaper mentions Anna Mary's death in the issue printed on 17 Sept 1906 and says she and her husband were residents of Frostburg 22 years ago, making their moving date about 1884. Good tip from a local newspaper!
Charles was a confectioner and his wife, Anna Mary, was a diabetic. Go figgure! Charles ran a very popular sweets store in Frostburg until he moved to Chicago. I wonder if he realized the wider potential of his success in Frostburg and decided to move to the larger market Chicago would promise?
In checking the 1870 US Census Mary Ann is listed as being a milliner. Seems to me I remember Grandma Kelly telling a story about a milliner. Maybe Mom remembers better that I do.
They had these 11 children:
Charles Zeller (1855 - ?)
10. Gustav William Zeller (1858 - 1927)
Gotlieb Zeller (1861 - 1889)
George Zeller (1862 - 1931)
Delbert Zeller (1865 - after 1910)
Frederick Zeller (1869 - 1932), he and John are twins
John Zeller (1869 - 1945), he and Frederick are twins
Henry Zeller (1870 - 1886)
William Zeller (1872 - 1906)
Daniel Zeller (1875 - ?)
Annie Mary Zeller (1878 - ?)

Boom! Done. That was short, too short. Maybe after a while Mom and I will dig into those Chicago records and track down this family. Wouldn't it be fun if we could locate living Zeller people... and they had more family photos and stories? And, we'd like to get more knowledgeable about German records so that we might pursue the Zeller family there.

Something I've noticed because of this family is that if the ancestors were in retail, especially in a small town with a local newspaper with booster tendencies, it's possible to find them mentioned. In a previous post this week which you can see here on Treasure Chest Thursday, I talked about Uncle Delbert's researcher, Sharon. Well Sharon dug into the pages of the wonderful Frostburg Mining Journal, published from 1871 - 1913, and a treasure trove for anyone who has ancestors from the area, to find mentions of GGF Gus Zeller and his barber shop, or as it's often described, "tonsorial emporium". There was giant 6 foot barber pole out front, in case anyone had doubts about his business;) He also had a very large and colorful goldfish tank in the window. It was at 14 East Main Street, but burned in a building fire on 14 Dec 1917. He moved his business to 35 East Main Street after the fire. His new location was also a full-service affair with showers and baths.

Guss, my GGF, had a reputation as quite the drinking man. At the end of this paragraph I'll place links to some of the stories about him I've posted to this blog before. Family lore has it that whenever he'd get drinking such that it hampered family life, Ma would insist that they leave town on a "vacation" with the intention of "drying him out." One mention in the Frostburg Mining Journal of 7 Oct 1899 talks of Gus Wm. Zeller, wife, and little daughter (that's Grandma) having gone on an extended tour, eastward, northward and westward to Boston, Montreal, Chicago, and other cities. Getting GGF Gus to Chicago to visit the family there was a strategic mistake on Ma's part as his father Charles was also a drinking man. Poor Ma!

Here are some other stories about GGF Gus Zeller and his barber shop:

Dad and Mom, Grandpop Kelly and Grandma Kelly:
2. Francis Patrick " Pat" Kelly (1916 - 2007)
3. Virginia Williams, living and loving it
4. John Lee "Lee" Kelly (1892 - 1969)
5. Helen Gertrude Zeller Kelly ( 1894 - 1985)

The next generation back,
10. Gustav William "Gus" Zeller (1858 - 1927), above
11. Moretta Workman Zeller (1859 - 1946), below 

20. Charles William Zeller ( 1829 - 1901), father of Gustav and confectioner.
Sadly, we do not have a photo of his wife Anna Mary Zeller.

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