Census Sunday – The Rabe Family in 1910

The amazing thing about genealogy is that sometimes a record that seems so minor to your larger family history can lead to connections across multiple families and fill so many blanks. Such is the case of the Rabe family of Topeka, Kansas.

Late in the night, when I tend to lose focus on my research, I bounce from ancestor to ancestor, adding records to my family tree as I stumble upon them. One record collection I was aware of but hadn’t searched in sometime was the “United States, Obituaries, American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, 1899-2012″ collection on Familysearch.org. As my Porubsky and Schulmeister ancestors are Volga Germans, I did a simple surname search for Porubsky. In the process, I located the obituary of Catherine Porubsky (Reeb).

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In reading the names in this record, I instantly recognized Porubsky and Schwerdt. Reeb sounded familar, but my Topeka relatives were Rabes, not Reebs. Catherine Rabe was in my family tree, married to Matthew Porubsky, but she lacked parents in my database. In fact, I had three Rabes in my tree and they all lacked parents.

  • Catherine E. Rabe was married to Matthew G. Porubsky
  • Elizabeth B. Rabe was married to Joseph A. Schulmeister
  • Joseph Rabe was married to Caroline Schulmeister

The three Rabes lived in Topeka and were born within 15 years of each other. The original obituary named a sister Pauline, but no other siblings. Could they be related? I set to find out! I knew she was born in 1901 to John and Catherine, who were born in Russia. From other record sources, I also knew that Elizabeth was born in 1889 and Joseph in 1887. I located a Rabe family in the 1910 United States Census. The details I previously had confirmed from later census and marriage records fit well with this 1910 record.

The three Rabes in my family tree were siblings, and each had married into the family of my ancestors, making them my 3rd great aunts and uncles.

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State: Kansas
County: Kearny
Township: Lakin
Name of Incorporated Place:
Ward of the City:
Enumerated by me on the 2nd of May
Henry H. Cochran, Enumerator

Supervisor’s District: 7
Enumeration District: 83
Sheet No. 9A

Dwelling No. 199
Family No. 200

Address: Unknown (not listed)

Rabe, John, head, male, white, 45 years old, 1st marriage, married 25 years. Born in Russ German. Father born in Russ German. Mother born in Russ German. Immigrated in 1900. Has applied for citizenship and has his first papers (Pa.). Speaks German. Works as a tenant farmer working on his own account (meaning, not an employee or employer). Is not out of work; out of work 0 weeks in prior year. Can read: No. Can write: No. Rents the farm, which is found on Agriculture Schedule 81.1

” Katie, wife, female, white, 45 years old, 1st marriage, married 25 years. 12 children born, 9 still living. Born in Russ German. Father born in Russ German. Mother born in Russ German. Immigrated in 1900. Speaks German. Not employed. Can read: No. Can write: No.

” Joe, son, male, white, 22 years old, single. Born in Russ German. Father born in Russ German. Mother born in Russ German. Immigrated in 1900. Speaks German. Employed as a laborer in the beet fields. Can read: Yes. Can write: Yes.

” Anna, daughter, female, white, 17 years old, single. Born in Russ German. Father born in Russ German. Mother born in Russ German. Immigrated in 1900. Speaks German. Employed as a laborer in the beet fields. Can read: Yes. Can write: Yes. Attended school anytime since September 1, 1909: Yes.

” Frank, son, male, white, 11 years old, single. Born in Russ German. Father born in Russ German. Mother born in Russ German. Immigrated in 1900. Speaks German. Employed as a laborer in the beet fields. Can read: No. Can write: No. Attended school anytime since September 1, 1909: Yes.

” Elizabeth, daughter, female, white, 10 years old, single. Born in Russ German. Father born in Russ German. Mother born in Russ German. Immigrated in 1900. Speaks German. Employed as a laborer in the beet fields. Can read: No. Can write: No. Attended school anytime since September 1, 1909: Yes.

” Katie, daughter, female, white, 8 years old, single. Born in Kansas. Father born in Russ German. Mother born in Russ German. Not employed. Attended school anytime since September 1, 1909: Yes.

” Jacob, son, male, white, 6 years old, single. Born in Colorado. Father born in Russ German. Mother born in Russ German. Not employed. Attended school anytime since September 1, 1909: No.

” Mary, daughter, female, white, 4 years old, single. Born in Colorado. Father born in Russ German. Mother born in Russ German. Not employed.

” Pauline, daughter, female, white, 2 years old, single. Born in Kansas. Father born in Russ German. Mother born in Russ German. Not employed.

Source:
1. “Catherine Porubsky,” The Topeka Capital Journal, 22 Sep 1992, pg 3D; “United States, Obituaries, American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, 1899-2012,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-42560-12683-35?cc=2367299 : 14 August 2015), 100415107 > image 7336 of 8998; American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, Lincoln.

2. 1910 U.S. Federal Census, Kearny County, Lakin, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 83, sheet 9A, dwelling 199, family 200, household of John Rabe; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 15 August 2016), FHL microfilm 1374454, citing NARA publication  T624_441.

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The Porubsky-Schulmeister Nuptials

“Twenty-one year old Carl Porubsky, the son of Mathias and Christina Vogelman Porubsky was wed today to eighteen-year old Elizabeth Schulmeister in a family ceremony at Saint Joseph German Catholic Church in Topeka.”

If I was writing a wedding announcement for these two, it would probably start out with my just-the-facts manner before devolving into a mess of a discussion about roses, 3-button suits, and broaches. Alas, I am not the writer of wedding announcements. This picture was taken on Karl and Lizzie’s wedding day, Sunday, 26 August 1906.¹

I don’t know the time of the service, and unlike other Christian denominations, Mass times for the Catholic churches don’t appear in The Topeka Daily Capital. The weather this Sunday was described as fair, with temperatures in the upper 70’s to lower 80’s.² Surely, for August in Topeka, it was a lovely day to get married.

Carl and Elizabeth would see this marriage last fifty-five years, until Carl’s death in 1962. Elizabeth died in 1972.

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Sources and Notes:

  1. Names appear in the marriage license announcement as Karl Bornesky and Lizzie Schulmeister. “Marriage Licenses,” The Topeka [KS] Daily Capital, 26 Aug 1906, page 11, col 4; digital image, (http://www.newspapers.com : accessed 7 Aug 2016), Newspapers.com.
  2. “Weather Conditions,” The Topeka [KS] Daily Capital, 26 Aug 1906, page 1, col 5; digital image, (http://www.newspapers.com : accessed 7 Aug 2016), Newspapers.com.
  3. Carl Porubsky and Elizabeth Schulmeister Porubsky, photograph, taken in Topeka, Kansas, on 26 August 1906; digital image, photograph of original, taken 2016 by Joseph Lowry; privately held by Barbara Viti, [address for private use], Tallmadge, Ohio; Two young adults in marriage outfits, one a dark 3-button suit and the other a white gown with flowers; Provenance is Carl and Elizabeth Porubsky to Caroline Porubsky Wolford to Barbara Wolford Viti.

Tombstone Tuesday – Michael Schulmeister

My 3rd great grandfather Michael Schulmeister was born in Russia about May 1856. Arriving in New York City with his wife Anna Maria (Mary) Kotterin Schulmeister on April 17 1886, they quickly set down roots in Topeka, Kansas where a large congregation of Volga Germans had settled. There they had at least five children, three girls and two boys. The oldest is my 2nd great grandmother Elizabeth Schulmeister Porubsky.
Photo from FindAGrave.com by Oz.
Michael died in 1937 in Topeka at age 81. He is buried in Mount Calvary Cemetery in Topeka.