Tuesday, April 20, 2010

James Hugh and "Rose" Gross Ryan -- My Great-Grandparents - Part II

I've yet to find out why my g-grandparents got married in Ottenheim, KY.  In putting this post together, I tried to put together everything I knew about "Rose" Gross Ryan.  Surprisingly, it appears as if Rose was actually living in Cincinnati before James Hugh.

Rose's parents are Charles C. Gross from Wuerttemberg, Germany and  Rose Becker from Lorraine, France.  (Alsace-Lorraine is a territory that shifted back and forth between France and Germany.  The family, although citizens of France, were ethnically German). The 1900 Census lists the date of immigration for Rose Becker as 1860.  (A later Census lists the date of immigration as 1855).This is an interesting fact because further investigation may allow Rose's parents to be submitted to the Hamilton County Genealogical Society for a "Settlers and Builders" designation.  This designation is available for any direct ancestors that can be "proved" to be living in Cincinnati before 1861.

So here is what I know about "Rose" Gross:

  • Rose was born on May 2, 1865 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

  • Rose married James Hugh Ryan on June 27, 1888.

  • James Hugh and Rose were the parents of nine children.  Three of them died before 1911 -- two of scarlet fever and one of diphtheria.

  • Rose became a widow of six children when her husband died of pneumonia in 1913.

  • Mary Julia Cecilia Ryan married J.J. Gill of Chicago.  She died of the flu during the 1918 flu pandemic at the age of 28.

  • As a result of Hugh's death, her 7th child, Roy, had to drop out of school at the age of 13 to help support the family.

  • Once when I was asking my aunt what she recalled about Rose, she said that Rose didn't seem to be able to manage money.  I then asked, "What money?"  Again, this was a time before Social Security.  What was a woman with young children supposed to do?

  • The family was so poor that when James Hugh died, he was buried in a "single" unmarked grave at St. John's Cemetery.  The three children were buried in a plot owned by Anton Beckerle.  Rose was also buried in a "single" grave that is not located next to her husband's grave.  None of the graves are marked.

  • After becoming widowed, Rose lived with and was supported by her children.  In here older age, she moved back and forth between the homes of her daughter's, Rose and  Florence.

  • Just to keep me on my toes, there were three generations of girls with the given name of "Rose".

    When Rose was growing up with her widowed mother, the family lived with Rose's old Becker siblings Catherine, Nicolas and Victor.  The1880 Census lists an extended family of 8 running a stamping and embroidery shop on West 6th Street in Cincinnati.Rose is listed as "working in the store". She obviously learned to embroider.

    One of the family's treasures is the lining of a hat that belonged to James Hugh.  Someone in the family had the foresight to keep that lining.  Luckily for us, my mother wrote on the reverse side of the hat liner that it had been embroidered by Rose for her husband, J. Ryan.  Pictures don't due the item justice.  It includes a beautifully embroidered bird.

    This is the only evidence we have of what was obviously a loving and caring relationship between my g-grandparents. I'm so glad we have it.
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