Monday, October 13, 2014

This is why your surname is Krapf, not Reichwein.

I am writing this post for my two sons, Jason and Eric Krapf and my sister in-laws Anna Salamatin and Katherine Granillo.  So very little was known about the family, that I just had to do it.

Children who lost their parents before 1935, were generally raised by relatives or neighbors.  Most times those children's surname would be changed to the family that raised them.  Changes in identity were common and simple before 1935 since there were no formal arrangements and no going through the court system, however; legal documents were necessary after 1935 when the Social Security Act was signed.

This is relevant in the case of Elwood (11 Aug 1922 Lavelle, Schuylkill, Pennsylvania) and Gloria Krapf (10 Apr 1924 Lavelle, Schuylkill, Pennsylvania).  Elwood and Gloria were the children of John William Reichwein (1869-1974) and Anna Krapf (1903-1924).  This is their story.

Let's start with Elwood and Gloria's parents, John William and Anna Krapf Reichwein.

Here is a bio for John William Reichwein found on ancestry via The Shamokin News.

Bio for John Williams Reichwein - on Ancestry via The Shamokin News - My Family History Journey - Debbie Lowrance
Printed in Shamokin News - Oct 2, 2012 - A flag raising ceremony in Mount Carmel, flag presented by his daughter Catherine Fantina.

As you can see John William Reichwein was married 4 times.  We will be looking at John's second wife Anna Krapf.  Anna was born about 1903 in Pennsylvania, the daughter of John Krapf (1876-1940) and Margaret Quinton Eister (1882-1964)

They were married 28 Dec 1921 in Schuylkill, Pennsylvania.  John was 25 and Anna was 18.

John W Reichwein and Anna M Krapf Marriage Certificate - from Family Search - My Family History Journey - Debbie Lowrance
John W Reichwein and Anna M Krapf,FamilySearch ( : accessed 19 Oct 2013)

John and Anna had two children, Elwood in 1922 and Gloria in 1924.  Anna Krapf Reichwein died on 29 Nov 1924 at the age of 21.  

Anna Krapf Reichwein Death Notice - from - My Family History Journey - Debbie Lowrance
Anna Krapf Reichwein
Mount Carmel Item Tuesday, December 2, 1924 Pin Scratch Kills Woman of Lavelle Anna, wife of John Reichwine (Reichwein), Lavelle, aged 22 years, is dead, the result of a pimple on her face being picked by a pin in a towel as she dried after washing. It was a week ago that she was using the towel with the pin in it. As the pimple was scratched open little was thought of it, but blood poisoning developed and spread through her system, causing death. The funeral will be held Wednesday morning. Services will be conducted in the St Mauritius church at Ashland and burial will be made in the parish cemetery.

Anna Krapf Reichwein Headstone - My family History Journey - Debbie Lowrance
Anna Krapf Reichwein Headstone

John married Kathryn Bosche in 1925.  I am not sure when Elwood and Gloria went to live with their grandparents; however, by 1930 they are living with Anna's parents John and Margaret Quinton Krapf.

John Krapf Family 1930 Census
Butler, Schuylkill, Pennsylvania
17 Apr 1930

The names of the family show as:

John Krapf52
Margaret Krapf48
Chas Krapf18
Marie Krapf15
R Elwood Krapf7
R Gloria Krapf5

Notice the "R" in front Elwood and Gloria's name.  Does the "R" stand for their actual last name Reichwein?  If not, then what does it mean?  As you can see they already have the Krapf surname.  

The 1940 census only shows Elwood C "son" and Gloria "daughter" to Margaret Krapf (who is widowed at this time).  

Margaret Krapf Family 1940 Census from - My Family History Journey - Debbie Lowrance
Margaret Krapf Family 1940 Census
Lavelle, Butler, Schuylkill, Pennsylvania
29 Apr 1940

Why were Elwood and Gloria raised by their grandparents?  Why did they not stay with their father and step-mother?  I am not sure if we will ever find the answers to those questions.  

So now you know why you have the surname Krapf and not Reichwein.  


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