Grafted into the Frantz family tree


This researcher is so proud of her “Brethren” family. While documenting a “collateral line,” I unexpectedly “found” another Frantz wife. Information was sketchy at first but I continued to search. What I found made me both sad and glad.

My fourth cousin, Henry Irvin Frantz, adopted the non-relative girl from the Church of the Brethren Orphan’s Home. “Non-relative” because I was curious about her family and why she (and a younger brother) were in the facility.

Gertrude Janet Garrison had four living brothers who experienced the broken home after the death of their mother in 1918. In the 1920 Federal Census, Gertrude (age nine), and William (age five), in the Orphan’s Home.

In 1920 Federal Census, Albert (age eleven) is listed as an “orphan” living in the home of William & Delight Grandstaff. A great-granddaughter writes “He was orphaned as a child and would sometimes hitch rides in boxcars to get from place to place.”

Elery (age 15) is listed as a “lodger” in the 1920 Federal Census.

Three-year-old Charles had already been adopted by Bert and Matilda Smith.

Where was the father? In the 1920 Federal Census, Frank was living at home with his mother–and listed as “single.”

I was sad for the plight of the children; I was glad they survived (and hopefully thrived).

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