52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Ella Martha Marie Jonas


Ella Martha Marie Jonas was born 12 Apr 1898,in Cook County, Illinois to Wilhelm and Marie Jonas of Morton Grove, Cook, Illinois. Ella was the tenth child born to Wilhelm and Marie Jonas. She married Fredrick Jaeger on 26 Nov 1918 in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois. Ella died on 11 Oct 1956, Chicago, Cook, Illinois.

She spent her early years in a suburb of Chicago. Morton Grove was home, she was raised there, on a farm, with her siblings. Being that she was the tenth child born in the family, she was not raised surrounded by all her siblings because many had already grown and started families of their own. At the time she was born, her eldest sibling was fifteen years her senior. In 1900, her sister Augusta was already a servant in the home of Morris and May Schoenbrad.

The Jonas family was plagued by death from early on. Mary one of the first children born to Wilhelm and Marie, died in infancy. In 1911, Ella’s siblings, William and Martha, died a few months apart, while in their teens, in Chicago, Cook, Illinois.

While a death certificate has not been found for Mary, who died as an infant, her cause of death remains unknown. William’s death was a tragic event, he was hit by a train and died within a few days. Martha’s death was another tragic event that happened within a few month’s of Williams. She overdosed on carbolic acid over the loss of a young man’s affections. In 1917, daughter Matilda (Tillie) died after suffering from tuberculosis for two long years.

In February 1916, Ella gave birth to her first child, Ruth. Ruth’s birth certificate verifies that Ella was a single mother at the time of her birth and was already living in Chicago, away from her large family in Morton Grove. She does not marry Fred until November 1918, when Ruth is already two years of age. At this point, one cannot confirm if Ruth is or is not the biological child of Fred, though she was treated as such throughout her life. Church records will need to be researched to see if Fred is mentioned in the baptismal records for Ruth.

In November of 1918 when Ella married Fred, though she gained a husband, she lost her identity as a United States citizen. With Fred remaining an illegal alien, Ella became a citizen of Fred’s country upon marriage. Over her married life, she would be a citizen of Bohemia, Austria-Hungary and Czechoslovakia, all without leaving the United States. She would not become a citizen again until 1 September 1942 when she was repatriated by the US government, even though her husband became a naturalized citizen on 8 June 1942.

Ella, Ida and kids
First row (L to R): Betty, Theresa, Dan
Second row (L to R): Ida and Ella
Third row (L to R): JoAnne and Butch

Do any of these names sound familiar to you? Can we be related? I would love to hear from you. You can contact me.




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