Sunday, September 25, 2016

Is There Anything More to Learn? My Father’s Birth Certificate: Frank Julius Niehaus, Born 26 March 1916

          Yes, I know my father’s birth date and the city and his parents without seeing his birth certificate. But I still definitely wanted to have a copy.  To see what might be there.  Not only is it the primary document to prove all of these facts, but there could be more details to be found.  I just hadn’t made myself get to the board of health.  Again, the recent posting by of the Indiana birth certificates database for 1907 to 1940 answered this need.  There I was able to easily download this document:  

Niehaus, Frank, Birth Certificate, 1916
     Indiana State Board of Health , Certificate of Birth, #36181
     Place of Birth: County of Marion, Township of Center, City of Indianapolis, No. 1719 South Keystone , 10th Ward.
     Full Name of Child: Frank J. Niehaus
     Sex: Boy
     Legitimate birth: yes
     Date of birth: March 26, 1916
     Father: John Niehaus; Residence: 1719 South Keystone Ave; Color: White; Age: 27; Birthplace: Indiana; Occupation: Overall Cutter
     Mother: Louise Albers; Residence: 1719 South Keystone Ave.; Color: White; Age: 23; Birthplace: Indiana; Occupation: None
     Number of children born to this mother: 3; Number of children, of this mother, now living, including present birth: 3;  Were precautions taken against opthalmia neotatorum? Yes
     Certificate of attending Physician Or Midwife:
    I hereby certify that I attended the birth of this child, who was born alive at 5 pm on the date above stated.
    Signature: J. W. Canaday
                       H. G. Morgan 
     Address:  1229 Prospect St.
     Filed Mar 28, 1916
     I found it fascinating to read the documentation of my dad’s birth since I had never seen this record.  And there are a few details that add scope to that day.  Of course, we were aware of his birth date, March 26, 1916.  But now I know his arrival time was 5:00 p.m. that Sunday evening at their home, 1719 Keystone Avenue, Indianapolis, Indiana.  The certificate tells me that the attending physician was J. W. Canaday whose address was 1229 Prospect Street, 1.5 miles from the birthplace.
     At first it appears that there was no middle name recorded on the certificate.  But if you look carefully there’s a space between the first and last names and you canRobert, Frank, Charlotte Niehaus, About 1920 faintly see a faded “J”.   It helps to have known his middle name to be Julius.   Frank appears in this photo at about age four.  He’s in the middle, with his brother, Robert on his right and his sister, Charlotte, on the other side of the dog.
     As I reviewed the parents listed data, John Niehaus at 27 and Louise Albers at 23, the background brought them to life in a way.  Frank was their third child, the second boy.  I began to think about the scenario of this young family of five. John was supporting them as an overall cutter at C. B. Cones Overall Manufacturing Company.  I searched for the house at 1719 Keystone Avenue on Google maps. It has been torn down, but I can see others in the neighborhood that may be of the same vintage.  (The map also reminded me that where Frank was born is 3 miles from the home where my mother, Rosemary Weber, was born 23 days earlier.  They were south side Indianapolis children and were to cross paths and marry in 1940.)
     This new knowledge of the Keystone Avenue birthplace sent me searching for other connections.  Brief research in the 1916 and 1917 Indianapolis city directories shows that Louise’s mother and brother, Martha (Marsischky) Albers and Julius Albers, lived at 1721 and 1722 Keystone Avenue.  And that Louise’s uncle, William Marsischke’s address was 1725. Apparently, when the new baby arrived, the Albers and Marsischky families were close.  Frank even received his middle name from his Uncle Julius.
     In this particular case, the little details that the birth certificate contains are very valuable.  You see, the next three years are all I have to tell of Frank’s mother, Louise’s history.  When Frank Julius Niehaus was not quite three years old, his mother died in the horrible flu pandemic that killed millions world wide.  (See link to story below.)  So Frank didn’t have the opportunity to grow up with his mother, Louise.  I’ll be squeezing every ounce of worth from this data recorded on March 26, 1916.
     Thanks for visiting Indiana Ties,

Here are related stories and photos you may want to see:
Frank Niehaus: 500 Memories
John Niehaus, C. B. Cones Overall Co.
Louise Albers Niehaus Story
1950s Summers

Copyright © 2016, Nancy Niehaus Hurley

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