52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – #20 Another Language

Cantons of Switzerlad

French or German or maybe Swiss-German and Norwegian

Stalter is an alteration of Stalder, a name frequent in Switzerland. “Stalder” is an Alemannic word meaning “slope”. No wonder that in a mountainous country like Switzerland many people live on sloping soil and received their names from their dwelling places. The early Stalders were merchants traveling the mining operations in the Alps.

Stalders are mainly concentrated in the Bernese Oberland and in the Canton of Lucerne. The former belong to the Reformed Church, the latter are Roman Catholic. Migration from the Swiss Alps also brought Mennonite Stalders to the Palatinate. Several of these Stalter families still live on farms around Zweibrucken.

The Catholic Stalters, who now live mainly at St. Ingbert, Saarland, go back to Casper Stalter who, being a Catholic, most likely pertains to the Stalders living in the Entlebuch Valley, Canton of Lucerne. His wife, Anna Margaretha, however was Reformed. On their way north, the couple made a halt somewhere in Alsace, where a son Johann Heinrich Ludwig Stalter,  was born about 1702. Casper Stalter made his home in Neunkirchen, Saarland, and was employed at that town’s important iron plant. His wife, Anna Margaretha, died there November 26, 1740 aged 77. Casper survived her by a few years.

Johann Heinrich Ludwig Stalter married about 1725 Maria Magdalena Camus (Camy), daughter of Phillip Camus, an ironmolder. From 1741 to 1759, he was a hammersmith at Muenchweiler, later he moved to Rentrisch, near St. Ingbert, where he died May 4, 1772. He is the ancestor of today’s St. Ingbert Stalters.

Johann Heinrich Ludwig Stalter and Mary Magdalena Camus had at least ten children, among whom was Nicolaus Stalter born at Neunkirchen July 17, 1729. At Muchweiler he met Elizabeth Morlo and was married to her at the nearby Catholic Church of Losheim on November 24, 1755. In 1764 the couple was at Dillingen forge and there responded to Baron Hasenelever’s invitation to come to work in New Jersey.

Longpond mine

Baron Hasenelever’s task was to provide ironworkers, miners and others in these trades to immigrate to America following the War for Independence. Nicolaus Stalter appears in the early census records in Charlottenberg, Bergen County, New Jersey noted for its early mining history.

The above information is a brief story of the Stalter/Stalder/Staldter families of Switzerland. Like many European countries the borders of Switzerland changed depending on who was at war. Sometimes you lived in France and sometimes you lived in Germany and if you wanted to remain Swiss you would have to move. Several tales of the Stalters reveal that the young man was German speaking Swiss and his love was French Catholic.  Obviously the French and the Germans didn’t get along so you had to pick what you wanted to be – French or German. If you were in the German territory and you wanted to be French, then you had to move and vice versa. Some Stalters lived in Alsace-Lorrain.

Joseph the son of Nicolaus had son John P. Stalter whose son John J. Stalter married Emeline Conklin of Monroe, Orange County, New York. Their son was Jacob Stalter who settled in the Hudson River Valley at Stony Point in Rockland County New York. Jacob Stalter and his family including son Perry Stalter appear in the 1910 census in Oklahoma. By 1920 Perry shows up in St. Paul, Minnesota in the Army and served in World War I. Perry married Signe Helmena Anderson whose parents immigrated from Norway in 1892 and their son was Jerry, my father. Another language to add to this ancestral line.

More on the Stalter’s New York history from the book “Doodletown” by Elizabeth Perk Stalter in the coming months.


52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – #5 – In The Census

In 1998 when I first started searching for ancestors I would visit the library to select the microfilm rolls I needed, insert them in the machine and spend hours scrolling through names in the census records. If I was lucky there would be an index of names that would direct me to the exact roll I was looking for making the search much easier. These days with Ancestry and FamilySearch most of the census records are easy to search from home on the internet.

Some of my favorite discoveries from the census include:

  • Finding middle names. Grace Irene Squires (Foreman) sister was Mary I. Squires (the mother was listed as Mary S. Squires.)  The next census had a more diligent recorder and listed her whole name Mary Ivadine Squires. Grandma Hancock would talk about her aunt Ivy saying she was an old maid because she never married.

Mary Ivedine Squires

Mary Ivadine Squires 1866-1921

  • Finding surnames. I could not find my dad in the 1940 census which was made public in 2010. I kept searching and finally last year found him in Tacoma, Washington under the name Jerry Frahm. His mother Signe Anderson Stalter had remarried. The family had been enumerated with Clarence Frahm as head of household and my dad and his brother Victor were listed as Frahm instead of Stalter. I never knew he lived in Tacoma, Washington. Seven years it took me to find that!


Jerry, Clarence, Uncle Frank & Grandpa Anderson

Left to right – Jerry Stalter, Clarence Frahm, Uncle Frank Martin, seated in car is my great grandfather Hinberg Anderson who immigrated in 1892 from Norway. My best guess is this picture was taken about 1937.

  • Finding places. Looking for my grandfather Perry Stalter in 1940. He was divorced from Signe and was listed by himself in a place called Work Camp #3, Glendale, Minnesota. Minnesota does a midterm census so I found him in 1935 in a different work camp.  During the depression men who did not have jobs and no place to live were placed in work camps and trained for jobs or placed on work crews building “public works” projects from bridges to schools and the like. This included art projects and music projects.  Perry wrote lyrics for music, he also wrote poetry. In 1942 he entered Word War II. He also served in World War I. Sometimes gravestones provide a lot of information.

Ft. Snelling Natl Cemetery

  • Finding families. Most of our family lines moved as a group from one part of the country to another. By reading the entire page of the census and going back one page or forward a page you can usually find a brother or father or son with their family listed nearby. The Foreman’s in Illinois all lived within a ten mile radius of each other. Their farms were next to each other. Edwin Squires farm was next to his father, Levi Squires farm in Wisconsin. Daughters were a little harder to track because their names changed, but looking carefully, usually can be found within a short distance of her family.

Robert Allen Foreman Family to Oklahoma copy

This is the Robert Allen Foreman family. They left Time, Illinois and settled in Cherokee, Oklahoma about 1877. At the same time Jacob Foreman, older brother of Robert, left Time, Illinois and settled in Carroll County, Missouri about 250 miles from Time, Illinois. In 1887, Jacob and Sarah Foreman brought their family to Vernon, Colorado to homestead.

Finding a story within ten years. My husbands grandmother Beckie Singer was one of four children. In 1900 I found each of her siblings, a sister Fannie in St. Louis and two brothers, William and Harris living in Friar’s Point, Mississippi. Harris was married to Lizzie and the 1900 census shows they had four children. In the 1910 census there is no listing anywhere for Lizzie and Harris yet two of their children were living with William and his wife in Friar’s Point, Mississippi. With a lot of hard work I found that Harris and Lizzie had moved to San Antonio, Texas and Harris had died of tuberculosis in 1904 in San Antonio. Lizzie had died of tuberculosis in 1908 in San Antonio. In the 1910 census two of the their children are living with William back in Mississippi, one daughter is living with Lizzie’s brother’s family in Memphis Tennessee.  The fourth child, Sarah, shows up in the 1910 Colorado census. She is 18 years old. Sarah contracted tuberculosis in Memphis and moved to Colorado in 1909 for treatment at the JCRS hospital. Sarah died in 1917 in Colorado. JCRS, for many of us who remember, was the name of a shopping center on west Colfax in Lakewood. The entire property was owned by the Jewish Community Relief Society. The synagogue remains behind the shopping center. Both Denver and San Antonio were cities that people with tuberculosis sought treatment.

Several months ago I found Lizzie’s will in a digital collection from Mississippi. The will lists five children. With a lot more digging I found the fifth child, David, born in 1901 and 9 years old in 1910 census,  living in a Jewish orphan’s home in New Orleans. At age 18 he left the orphanage and went to live with his sister in Memphis. After communicating with a member of the board of directors for the history of this orphanage I learned many people in the early 1900’s were dying from tuberculosis and the B’nai B’rith Society placed the surviving children in orphanages to continue their education and religious studies. For me, it was heartbreaking to put this information together and find that an entire family was devastated by this horrible disease.

In 2020 the government will release the 1950 census and it will be fun to look for myself and many of you!

Next week #6 – Favorite Name.

What’s In A Name?

What’s in a name? Stories. Even if the story is a little far fetched or not quite accurate, a name can tell you a lot.

Here is Jerry’s story.

Signe Viola Stalter and Jerry Frimpter Stalter

Signe Viola Stalter and Jerry Frimpter Stalter

My dad, Jerry Frimpter Stalter, while we were growing up, told us his name was really Perry, not Jerry and that his middle name was not Frimpter but should have been Trimpter. His reason, he told us, was because his mother’s Norwegian accent was difficult to understand and the people at the hospital put down the wrong name for his birth certificate. Ok, dad, good story!

Now for the facts, ma’am just the facts:

Signe Helmeena Anderson

Signe Helmeena (Anderson) Stalter

Jerry’s mother, Signe Helmeena (Anderson) Stalter was born in Bruce, Rusk County,Wisconsin in 1902. Her parents Hinberg and Signe (pronounced Sena) Anderson traveled from Norway to America in 1892. So, it was easy to believe that Signe, the daughter, could have an accent because it was obvious that her parents would have Norwegian accents.

(click on the pictures to make them larger)

Frimpter tombstone

Frimpter Headstone

During my genealogy research I found the family name Frimpter. The Frimpter name was the maiden name of Jerry’s grandmother Sarah (Frimpter) Stalter, mother of Perry Stalter, grandmother to Jerry. Check, question answered. Proof found.

Perry Stalter

Perry Stalter

Even though I had the answer to the Frimpter/Trimpter story I was puzzled by the Perry/Jerry part of the story.

Baptism registration for the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America

Baptism registration for the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America

Well this week was my lucky week. You can sign on to Ancestry through Labor Day for free and I used this opportunity to check out my “hints” since I am no longer a member of Ancestry. I found a reference to the baptism of Jerry Frimpter Stalter and to my surprise he was baptized Perry Frimpter Stalter. Check, question answered. Proof found.

His name probably should have been Perry.

(Growing up, everyone called him “Bud.”)

Makes me feel pretty good about the stories my dad told.

Young Sena and Himberg Anderson

Young Sena and Himberg Anderson

The Norwegian side of Stalter

Himberg (Hinberg) Anderson was born July 4, 1864 in Harstad, Norway. He married Simmonitte Signe (Sena) Christoferson in 1870. Sena was born 26 October 1870 in Oslo, Norway. They immigrated to the United States in 1893 and were naturalized in 1896. Himberg, Sena and their first child Adolf who was born in Norway settled in Buce, Wisconsin, a small town in the west-central part of the state in Rusk County.

Sena and Himberg had 9 children, 8 living to adulthood. Adolf 1891-1977 age 86; Clarence 1893-1979 age 86; Harry 1896-1972 age 76; Jureen (Jack) 1897-1982 age 85; Helmer 1899-1962 age 63; Signe Helmena born 03 September 1902 (Jerry’s mother) died 23 August 1950 age 48; Stafford 1905-1991 age 86; Birt born before 1910 but did not survive; Arnold 1910-1962 age 52, all born in Bruce, Wisconsin.

(click on pictures to enlarge)

According to Stafford Anderson’s autobiography notes, the family farmed and Sena ran a restaurant in Bruce, Wisconsin. To support the farm the sons were not drafted to serve in World War I. The 1920 census shows Sena and Himberg in St. Paul, Ramsey County, Minnesota. Himberg was employed by the Federal Government in the prison system. One census classifies him as custodian. The 1930 census shows Sena and Himberg in St. Paul, Minnesota and I have not found them in the 1940 census yet.

After Sena’s death in 1945, Himberg moved to Springfield, Missouri to be near his daughter Signe.

Sena Anderson

Sena Anderson

Sena Anderson and Viola Martin. I don’t exactly know the relationship between Viola Martin and Sena Anderson yet, however references by the Anderson children to Viola and Frank Martin are aunt and uncle.

Viola Martin and Sena Anderson

Seated inside the car is Himberg Anderson. Left to right in front of car is Jerry Stalter, Clarence Frahm (Jerry’s step-father) and Frank Martin.

Through the web site Find A Grave, I made contact with a gentleman who sent me pictures of the headstones for Sena and Himberg who are buried in Acacia Park Cemetery in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Himberg Anderson (also spelled Hinberg) Memorial #93011794 on Find A Grave

Sena Anderson Memorial #93011765 on Find A Grave

The birth year for Himberg is not correct on the headstone and I don’t know why Sena has a middle initial of ‘D’. More puzzles to solve!

More stories and pictures on the Anderson children to come, stay tuned!