A Year in the Life of An Ancestor

At a recent Genealogy Networking Group meeting several people responded to the challenge of writing up an ancestor’s profile on one particular day or year. They agreed to share them on the blog.

Today we read about Pam’s grandmother in 1918.

Clara Smolen Krull
This year a century ago

This year a century ago, my grandmother Clara Smolen Morowczynski Krull was about  27 – 30 years years old.  Sometimes she used the spelling Krol or Kroll. She had been  married  for 7 years with 3 children and living in Detroit , Michigan. Her children were John Frank Krull 6, Irene Krull, 4, and Henry Louis 2.  In 1918 she lived at 1913 Chopin St, Detroit, having moved from Chicago probably in 1917.  Oddly her husband was living at another address also in Detroit at the time of the 1920 census.  He was an engineer at Ford Motor Co. and listed as single . Clara was listed as dressmaker in 1920, a skill she learned from her mother, and as married and living at 102 30th St. Detroit. This address no longer exists and it looks as if it would have been where the expressway is now.   In 1918 her 3rd child, Henry Louis,who was 2 years old , died in October of pneumonia.  Within 2 years she had moved back to Chicago with her husband into the family neighborhood and had given birth to her 4th child, also named Henry Louis

It is unclear if she was a naturalized citizen at this time, because information in the records is conflicting. Some records show that in 1918 she had been in the US for 15 years.

In 1918 both her mother, Maryanna and father John were alive and living in Noble Square in Chicago.  It is unclear if her Grandparents were still alive in 1918.  Her mother in law, Anna, was alive and living in Chicago.

In 1918, two of her 6 siblings had died.  In this year when her daughter was 4, she also had a sister who was 4 and one that was 3.

Within 11 years both her mother and husband had died, and she lost all her savings in the bank collapse in the Depression

2 thoughts on “A Year in the Life of An Ancestor

  1. This is a great idea! I can’t imagine how difficult it was for Clara to lose a son, then lose all her savings in a bank collapse. Then to lose one’s mother and husband in the next decade.


  2. Fascinating! My family also settled inDetroit around that time, on the northwest side.
    Taking a narrow slice of her life like that made her seem more alive. Thanks!


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