Saturday, January 3, 2015

William Lentz....#2 in 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge

My Great Grandfather,William (aka Wilhelm) Lentz was born in May of 1853, most probably in Mecklenburg, Prussia although this area later became Germany.  He had two older siblings; Henry, born in 1842 and Lena (short for Caroline), born in 1845 and two born after him; Frederick (Frank) born in 1855 and Elizabeth born in 1860.  Lena listed her place of origin as Mecklenburg in census reports.

According to a number of census readings, William immigrated to the United States in 1856 at the age of 3.  It is assumed that he did not travel alone although no passenger record can be found.  

In 1876, he married Elizabeth Stoebener, daughter of Jacob and Anna Marie Christoffel Stoebener.

In the census of 1880, William and Elizabeth (Lizzie) with Lentz spelled as Lence, were living at 152 Fill Street.  William listed his occupation as "carpenter".  Interestingly, Elizabeth's sister, Mary, had married Henry Kropp and those two were living at 151 Fill Street with Jacob and Anna Marie Stoebener spelled as Stevener.  Jacob was listed as a "boilermaker" and Henry was working as a "butcher".  William and Elizabeth were raising their first child, Anna (age 3).

The couple went on to have nine children, of which eight lived.  Louisa (born in 1879), William Frederick (born in 1880), Katie (born in 1884), my paternal grandmother, Mary (born in 1887), George (born in 1889), Robert (born in 1892), Albert (born in 1895) Henry (born in 1897) and Walter (born in 1901).  Little Anna, the first to be born in 1876, died in 1885.

IMG_0219.JPGAt the time of the 1900 census, William and Elizabeth lived at 145 Park Avenue in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania.  William continued to list his occupation as "carpenter".  He could read, write and speak English but had been out of work for six months.  William owned the home they were living in although it was mortgaged.  He was a "naturalized citizen" which I believe means that he was automatically made a citizen upon his own fathers' gaining citizenship.

William died at the age of 57.  He was a patient in the Hospital for the Insane Retreat in Luzerne, Pennsylvania at the time of his death on the 22nd of November of 1909.  He had been hospitalized for 27 days.  Cause of Death was listed as Organic Brain Disease and Arteriosclerosis.
Williams obituary listed his siblings as well as his children but no mention was made of Elizabeth, his wife, who survived him by twenty years.  Had there been a divorce?  It is unknown at this time.

William was laid to rest in Hollenback Cemetery, Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania.  Plot 1625 N 1/2.  I visited his grave with my niece in the summer of 2013.


  1. Where is Elizabeth buried? I have an ancestor of my husband and he developed a brain tumor. His wife was about 8 months pregnant and his family took care of him. She was not mentioned in the Obit either...

  2. PA Death certificates are on line at Ancestry, he should have one because they began in 1908

  3. I have his death certificate. That is how I know the COD. Elizabeth is actually buried in Detroit, Mi. Having moved there around 1922.