Friday, February 11, 2011

How a Baker Led Me to Ducky Hour

Cheese breadImage by Smaku via FlickrWhy, oh why, did I look?  I know better.  I suppose I still wasn't happy with Emma's unhappy ending.  I suppose I was looking for a little reassurance about her happiness.  But I should've left well enough alone.

When I read on the 1930 census [where Louis & Emma appear together] that Louis had been a manager at a bakery, I thought to myself, "Oh good.  A man with a low-key occupation.  Someone that ~hopefully~ [fingers crossed] was good to her.  Not someone that was 'bigger than life' like Big Paw Paw."

I know better than to make assumptions like that, but I was really pullin' for Emma, you know?  So, as I was updating her info in my family tree database, the blanks for Louis M. Seidemann taunted me.  "Fill me in.  Fill me in.  You know you wanna know."  Dang it.  Did I really wanna know?

Apparently, yes.

I quickly looked at their 1930 census entry & notated some details about Louis, and then hopped on over to for his death certificate.  [We're really spoiled here in Texas with our death certificates.]  And I found him.  Or at least who I thought was the correct Louis M. Seidemann.  The info coincided with the info on his 1930 census, or at least nothing ruled them out as being the same person.  His father was Peter Seidemann and his mother was Genoveive Holzinger.  He died in New Braunfels, Comal Co, Texas in a nursing home in 1969.  And he had been a baker. 

Louis M. Seidemann's Death Certificate

I then hopped back onto and quickly looked for him in any previous censuses.  I had remembered seeing another Louis M. Seidemann with a wife with a funny given name when looking for Louis M. and Emma in the 1930 census.  [No offense to all the Hedwig's out there.]  Yup. right there.  Louis M. and Hedwig Seidemann.  Living in San Antonio, Bexar Co, Texas.  3 kids.  Yadda, Yadda, Yadda.

But wait a minute.  That's the 1930 census that they're together in.  And my Emma and her Louis M. were together in the 1930 census in Guadalupe Co, Tx.  Crap.  Did I have the wrong guy?

So then I took a look at the dates the enumerator, um, enumerated these households to see if perhaps Louis had been married to Hedwig for the census in one county, and then perhaps divorced her and remarried Emma ~ all between the 2 enumerations.  [Don't look at me like that.  It could happen.]  However, um, both households were enumerated on the same day, 2 Apr 1930.

Usually, when this happens, it means I've mixed up 2 people with the same exact name.  However, there were no other Louis M.'s or Louis' or L.M.'s that fit this man's age, birth date, birth place., etc.  And the clincher?  I'll give you three guesses as to what this Louis M. Seidemann's [who was married to Hedwig with 3 kids in the 1930 census] occupation was.

Right.  A baker.

Under Main Street.Image via Wikipedia
Under Main Street Photo by Timothy Miller
I even went  back to the 1910 census, and found Louis M. Seidemann and Hedwig together in Houston, Harris Co, Texas.  He was a baker, then, too.  I also took both of them back to their parent's households.  His parents were Peter and either Genevieve or Genovese Seidemann.  According to their descendants' online trees (partially sourced), Louis and Hedwig had both been born in Boerne, Texas, [pronounced Bern-ie] a small town (that I actually know some people in) just north of San Antonio.  I love Boerne.  It's so cute.  You could even call it quaint.  I've always wanted to live in a town that had a duck crossing smack dab in the middle of the town.  That's right.  A duck crossing.  On Main St.  The ducks have a crossing so that they can get to the 150-year-old mill pond off of Cibolo Creek safely.  In this town, one must drive slowly enough so that one can brake quickly so the ducks can cross the road.  That's a town I could get used to, you know?

Anyways, back to my identity crisis.  Well, Louis' identity crisis.  I found a Louis Michael Seidemann's World War I draft registration card.  Residence? Boerne, Kendall County, Texas Occupation?  Baker.  And wife?  Lucked out.  He put down her first name.  Hedwig.

Louis Seidemann's WW1 draft registration card

Now I don't really have to tell you that there just aren't  that many Hedwig's in this world, do I?  That were born in Boerne, Texas?  Who married a Louis Michael Seidemann?  Also from Boerne?  A Louis M. Seidemann who happened to be a baker?  Who also both lived in San Antonio, Bexar Co, Texas?
So was this the same Louis M. Seidemann that was on the 1930 census with Emma?  Well, I couldn't find any other likely candidates before or after 1930 in any of these counties.  And both of the 1930 census entries for these Louis M.'s indicate that they were both married.  To 2 different women.

Not having online access and in the interest of getting this story out quickly, I wasn't able to run over to these counties for a look-see at some marriage records.  But I did remember to check something out.  Hedwig's death certificate.  [How many Hedwig's could there be, right?]

Well, lucky for me when Hedwig died, her last name was still Seidemann.  Hedwig died in 1961 in San Antonio.  And her marital status? Divorced.  [I'll just bet she was.]

Hedwig Seidemann's Death Certificate

So, what happened?  I dunno.  There's a lot of scenarios for this one.  Maybe there was  another Louis M. Seidemann who was a baker, who was the same age, and who both had parents that were born in Germany.  *shrugs*  It could happen.  Right?

Or maybe it is the same Louis M. and he and Hedwig were separated, and for appearances sake, Hedwig put him down as the head of her household.

Or maybe Emma had been Louis-the-baker's mistress.

Or maybe, um, Louis had 2 lives with 2 wives.  At the same time.

Did Emma just have bad luck with men?

Goodness.  I don't know what to think.  This won't be settled until I see some marriage records and some divorce records.  *sigh*

Floating Down the RiverImage by photine via Flickr
Floating Down the River
Well, I definitely will be going back to the Bexar County courthouse  [Thanks, Big Paw Paw].  And I really need to find Big Paw Paw's mama's origins [she's another Emma]All of Big Paw Paw's siblings' death certificates list either Seguin or New Braunfels as her place of birth, which means Guadalupe County and Comal County.  So while I'm there "Emma Schleicher" hunting, I could do some "Seidemann" hunting as well.  At least, there's some great places to get some German potato salad, bratwurst, & sauerkraut in New Braunfels.  And maybe I could fit some tubing down the Guadalupe River into my schedule as well.

The Dodging Duck Brewhaus

And I guess I could go visit the ducks while I'm in Boerne, which is in Kendall County [right next to Bexar and Comal counties].  If I plan carefully, I can even spend some time at The Dodging Duck Brewhaus and Restaurant  right there in Boerne ~ a fine establishment that has managed to bring home, according to its website, 3 gold and 3 silver medals from the World Beer Championships; that touts its motto with pride ~ Carpe Anatem [Seize the duck.]; and that advertises "Ducky Hour" every weekday from 3-6pm.  Yeah.  I could get used to a place like that.  Sounds like a place I could really get in touch with my German-Texan roots.   

For research, of course. [wink]

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  1. Why are the side roads often so much more interesting than the highways? I guess our love of "true facts" just pulls us down those roads. I'm really enjoying this whole story!

  2. Interesting story and New Braunfels is one of my favorite places!

  3. Excellent sleuthing and looking forward to the next chapter! Jo

  4. I am so cackling here! Your story is great! The way you tell it is even better! Can't wait to find out what you discover.

  5. What a great story teller you are. Truly a gift! Thanks for sharing.

  6. Waiting to hear what you find out!


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