Interlocking Generations

Yesterday, I attended a 90th birthday party for my husband’s great-grandmother’s brother’s wife.  It is okay if you need to read the first sentence again.  I did.  For the most part, the relationships got even more complicated from there.

It was a fun morning with descendants of Grandma Long (Wendla Batmastar Long).   There are some complex relationships because some families had children late, some early, and some had children in second marriages.  Grandma Long had 4 surviving children that were born between 1907-1913.

The grandchildren of Grandma Long were born across a 24 year period (1927-1951).  My husband’s line comes from the first grandchild born.  This means that my husband’s father was born and raised within a few years of his mother’s cousin (the last grandchild born).  My husband and I are the same age as my father-in-law’s second cousins.  We jokingly refer to the “extra generation” that was added to the line.

When we get together with this side of the family, I like to hang out with cousin Judy.  Although Judy is 9 years older then myself, we have some common interests (genealogy) and small kids.  I came home yesterday and powered up my genealogy software to figure out just how are children are related.  Judy is another second cousin of my father-in-law.  Her parents waited to have children a little older so age wise she is smack in the middle of generations.  Our children are 3rd cousins 1x removed.  They sure had fun playing together.

There was one contingent of the family that was missing yesterday.  They add even more fun to the generation layers in my husband’s family.  They are almost the same age as their aunt (5-8 years apart).

It was a great morning visiting with everyone.  There was lots of talk about who each person belonged to and how we all fit into the puzzle.  It was fun for me to have my husband’s family interested in family history for the day.

Those Places Thursday – 2 Wright Street, San Francisco, California

This is the house that my husband’s grandmother, Shirley Gingg, grew up in.  She was raised by her grandmother, Wendla Botmaster.  Wendla married twice, first to Charles Mattson, and then to John Long.  All of the stories I hear about her refer to her as Grandma Long.
2 Wright Street is located in the Bernal Heights neighborhood.  The picture above looks from Bernal Heights towards Potereo Hill.  It now lies very close to the intersection of Cesar Chavez (Army Street) and Hwy 101.  Here is a Google Maps satellite view of the area today.

Wedding Wednesday – The many husbands of Agnes Mattson

Agnes Mattson is my husband’s paternal great-grandmother (Shirley Gingg -> Agnes Mattson).

From the stories I have been told, Agnes Mattson is one of those people you wish you had the chance to know.  She was born May 1, 1909 in San Francisco, California to Charles Mattson and Wendla Botmaster.  She was the middle child of five, having two older brothers and two younger brothers.  The eldest son died an early death and Agnes never knew him.  She worked in the Talmage State Hospital for many years and also owned 1000 acres in Hopland at one time.

Agnes is a woman who never gave up on love and kept trying her had a marriage.  She has 7 documented marriages and a deathbed confession of an 8th marriage.  We have not located any information about the 8th marriage.

Here is a peek at Agnes’ many husbands:

1.  Charles Frank Gingg.  Agnes and Charles married September 5, 1925 in San Francisco.  Charles was 22 at the time of the marriage.  The marriage certificate indicates that Agnes was 19 but she lied.  She was only 16 when she married the first time.  They had one daughter, Shirley Marie Gingg.  Shirley would be Agnes’ only child.  Charles and Agnes were divorced October 10, 1934.  The reason for the divorce was Charles having been sent to San Quentin Prison for his involvement of a burglary/murder in Santa Rosa, California in 1933.

2.  William Earl Hines.  Agnes married Bill Hines June 15, 1936.  The wedding was witnessed by Edwin and Sylvia Mattson, Agnes’ brother and his wife.  They lived in Napa, California.  Bill died in 1945 of a heart attack.

3.  Andrew A. Hooks.  Agnes married a third time to Andy Hooks on November 3, 1950.  Andrew was in the Air Force and stationed at Travis AFB in Fairfield, California.  There is a family story that this marriage ended in a quickie divorce in Mexico.  I do not know if this is true or not.  But I have no other knowledge of how the marriage ended.

4.  Daniel M. Williams.  Dan and Agnes married March 3, 1953.  Their marriage was annulled in the first two weeks of February 1955.

5. Donald Edward Frazier.  As soon as her previous marriage was annulled, Agnes married Don Frazier on February 14, 1955 in Reno, Nevada.  They lived in Talmage, Mendocino, California.  Don was Agnes’ favorite husband and they are buried next to each other in Colma, California.  He died in May 1958 from lung cancer.

6.  Peter Klick.  Agnes went back to Reno for her next marriage to Pete Klick.  They were married may 18, 1963.  They lived in Hopland, Mendocino, California.  Pete died June 4, 1975 of cancer.

7.  Patrick O’Malley.  Pat O’Malley was Agnes’ last husband.  They were married in Reno, Nevada (do we see a pattern here?) on March 31, 1978.  My mother-in-law remembers being pregnant with my husband as she traveled to Reno to witness the marriage.  Agnes had met Pat in the mobile home park she was living in Cloverdale, California.  The story is that she broke many of the other single women’s hearts when she married Pat, one of the only single men in the neighborhood.  Pat outlived Agnes.  She passed away March 22, 1982 in Cloverdale.

Agnes did have a family bible that she kept written notes about births and deaths in her family.  She wrote information about Don Frazier’s family in the back pages of the bible.  On random pages, she wrote the first names of all of her other husbands in the bottom margins except for Frank Gingg and Dan Williams.  Her many marriages were “hidden” inside of the bible.

Unfortunately, we do not have any information about the name of the mystery 8th husband or the year she may have married him.  I am considering doing some searching in the Reno marriage registers to see if any of her married names show up.  The time frames which Agnes could have married an 8th time are limited as the time periods between marriages were generally only a couple of years apart.

Charles Mattson & Wendla Botmaster (Johnson)

Charles Oscar Mattson married Wendla Botmaster (Johnson) on February 13, 1904 in Berkeley, California.  Wendla unofficially took the last name Johnson when she arrived in the United States from Finland.  They had 5 children, 4 boys and 1 girl, during their short marriage.  Unfortunately, Charles died only nine years after they married on May 13, 1913.

Charles and Wendla are John’s second great grandparents through his father’s maternal line (Shirley Gingg -> Agnes Mattson ->Charles Mattson.)