I’ve known my maternal grandfather’s lineage from his mother’s side for a very long time. It made such a huge impact on me that I vowed to be married in the church that our ancestors built near Elgin and loved to tell people that the creek that flows on the West side of Elgin is named after the Tyler branch of my family.
I knew very little about my grandfather’s father, however except that he divorced his wife and was out of the picture early in my grandfather’s life. Apparently, he knew his mother’s second husband, Frank Harris, as a father.
Yesterday, however, I discovered more than I’d ever hoped about that great grandfather’s family.
His name was Albert Green and was the son of Swedish immigrants. His father, Emil Green married Amanda Johnson on March 19, 1887, in Cook County, Illinois. His occupation is listed as a carpenter. He was 22 and she was 24. Emil and Amanda had two other children besides Albert. Their first child, a girl named Hildur was born on November 19, 1888, and they lived at 6005 May Street in the Englewood part of Chicago when she was born, according to her birth certificate. Albert was their second child, born on February 25, 1891. Their third child, Harold, was born April 2, 1898. Emil died of Typhoid fever on June 17, 1899, and is buried at Oakwood Cemetery. Amanda died in Elgin on August 8, 1934, and is buried at Bluff City Cemetery in Elgin.
Albert married Jessie May Tyler on May 5th, 1909. My grandfather, Walter Tyler Green was born January 31, 1910. And according to the census of 1910, both Albert and Jessie lived with her parents (and brother and his wife) at the house on Highland Avenue (615 West) in Elgin.
Albert died on October 19, 1921, in South Elgin, Illinois. The family story is that he was struck by a train on the railroad tracks in South Elgin, but the death record does not tell the cause of death. He was a roofer. He is buried at Bluff City Cemetery.
Jessie married Frank Harris, a German who arrived in the United States in 1900, by the 1930 census because he is listed as being the son-in-law of Jessie’s father with whom he, Jessie and my grandfather lived.
I cannot find a record of Jessie’s or Frank’s death, but according to John McCornack, Jessie died in 1949 and Frank died in 1958. According to family legend Jessie was struck by a car while crossing the street and Frank hanged himself out of grief over Jessie’s death. However, 9 years is a long time to grieve and then commit suicide. Something doesn’t seem right.
6 thoughts on “My grandfather’s elusive father”
And now I’ve learned more about you and Elgin. This stuff is fascinating. I wonder if I’ll ever get sucked in? I know almost nothing about my ancestry.
I love that I used to live on West Highland…
I have a despondent suicide in my background too–over murdering a man a few weeks prior. I love genealogy…but sometimes it makes me melancholy!
I wonder if this genealogy is part of your search for definition?
So interesting. I love genealogy and have learned so much about my family through searching Census records, etc. I’ve become quite the sleuth if you need some help with searches. I have an Ancestry membership and therefore access to lots of records, other members family trees, etc.
Hi Melissa — welcome to Clutch Cargo Lips.
I use Family Search (from the Church of Latterday Saints). Not quite ready to plop down money on Ancestry, but almost.
I’m working on my Dad’s side of the family now. It is a lot of fun, but a real time sink.