Mistaken Monday: Frank’s Daughter

Mrs. Frank Fritz went to visit her daughter one winter day when she slipped on the icy walk, breaking her ankle.

Wait, since when did Frank Fritz have a daughter?

In the “Carroll Daily Herald” on Thursday, January 10, 1935 appeared the following publication:

Mrs. Frank Fritz, who suffered a broken ankle last Friday when she slipped on the icy walk as she was walking to the home of her daughter, Mrs. Grayson Billmire, is at St. Anthony hospital where she is getting along favorably.

This newspaper was printed in Carroll, Iowa. And, indeed, there is a St. Anthony hospital in Carroll.

What I’d like to know is, is this the wife of one of my Frank Fritz relatives?

I have two relatives named Frank Fritz. One is my second great granduncle, Franklin Fritz, born in 1868. The other is my first cousin four times removed, Frank L. Fritz, born in 1867. (They were first cousins, having the same paternal grandparents.)

Both Franks lived in Iowa. And both were married. Franklin married Emma Barnhart, and they had a son, Edward Barnhart Fritz. However, in 1912, Franklin married Grace Stevenson. I have no record of their having any children, and there is no mention of children in this mention of her death her hometown’s newspaper, “Mason City Globe-Gazette” on Monday, July 20, 1936:

GOLDFIELD—Mrs. Frank Fritz, 50, of Blakesburg, a former Goldfield resident, died Thursday following serious illness of several months’ duration. She was an only sister of Harry, Roy and Frank Stevensen, all of this vicinity.

Frank L. Fritz married Sophia Magdalena Schlarb, but he’s part of the Christian Fritz line (son of Christian) and I haven’t researched this line yet. What I do know is the two were married and living alone in both 1915 (Iowa State Census) and 1920 (United States Federal Census). Based on their ages, if they had any children, it would have been around 1890 to 1900 most likely. This would put a daughter at about age 35 to 45 during the time of the news item.

I planned to search next FamilySearch for information on Grayson Billmire, the husband of the daughter of Mrs. Frank Fritz in the news item, but as I write this, searching doesn’t seem to work, instead taking me to their blog. Although I prefer to use a free site when writing about search results, it appears I will have to go with Ancestry, my non-free site of choice for looking up a new person.

The first result on Ancestry is very promising:

Iowa, Births and Christenings Index, 1857-1947

Billmire Name: John Grayson Billmire
Birth Date: 3 Jun 1928
Birth Place: Carroll, Carroll Co, Iowa, United States
Father’s Name: R Grayson Billmire
Mother’s name: Charlotte Fritz
FHL Film Number: 1477415

We have Charlotte Fritz here, wife of R Grayson Billmire, and to add to that we have a son for her: John Grayson Billmire.

Following a couple of links on Ancestry lead to the family in 1940 (United States Census) with a link to the following items:

  • Charlotta Fritz: 1910 United States Federal Census
  • Charlotte Fritz: 1915 Iowa, State Census
  • Charlotte Fritz: 1920 United States Federal Census

Her family (with ages) in 1910 was:

  1. Frank Fritz (42)
  2. Tillie Fritz (37)
  3. Arthur Fritz (17)
  4. Mary Fritz (15)
  5. Annie Fritz (10)
  6. Charlotta Fritz (7)

This Frank was born in Iowa in September of 1867, the same month but one year off from my Franklin Fritz. However, this Frank’s parents were born in Pennsylvania. My Frank L.’s father was born in Austria and mother in Ohio. Franklin’s parents were born in Austria.

Frank isn’t listed on the 1920 census, but in 1900 he’s listed with his father born in Ohio, and mother Pennsylvania. Still not a match.

To finalize the lack of match is this item from the “Iowa Cemetery Records” collection on Ancestry:

Name: Frank Fritz
Death Date: 10 Jan 1915
Page #: 38
Birth Date: 1 Sep 1867
Cemetery: St. Joseph
Town: Carroll
Level Info: Tombstone Records of Carroll County

My Franklin Fritz was born September 16th, 1868, and died in 1944.

If I had tried including this “daughter of Frank Fritz, and her husband” to my family tree, I’d be making a big mistake. This mistake would be very costly not only in time spend adding to the tree, but after finding this was not a relative, removing them from the tree would likely leave the tree tainted with bits of information related to this family.

2 thoughts on “Mistaken Monday: Frank’s Daughter

  1. Hello Harold. Thank you for your offer, which I must decline. The Frank Fritz whose daughter married Grayson Billmire had turned out to not be the same Frank Fritz from my family tree. This posting shows how easy it can be to make a big genealogy mistake if one doesn’t thoroughly research each new piece of information found.

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