52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Fredrick Jaeger


Week 3 of our 52 Ancestors challenge takes us to my paternal great-grandfather.

Fredrick Jaeger was born 27 Dec 1882,  son of Herman Jaeger, mother currently unknown. Fred married Ella Martha Marie Jonas on 26 Nov 1918 in Cook County, Illinois.  Fred and Ella had three daughters, Ruth, Margaret (Ida), Dorothy and Irene.

 Jaeger Family History

Little is currently known about the family background of Frederick Jaeger (prior to his life in the United States), beyond the name of his father and the small amount of information that is given in his naturalization papers. Family lore states that Fred was raised in a castle in Germany, as the son of a servant.

Fred immigrated to the United States through Canada in 1913. Currently a ship log has not been found to verify his passage. According to his naturalization records, he traveled to the United States via train (Grand Trunk Railway) from Canada to Port Huron, Michigan.

According to various census records, Fred held many different jobs over his lifetime, such as a machinist, chauffeur, and truck driver. According to an interview with Fred’s granddaughter,  he also spent time in Alaska building the Alaska Highway. Research at the National Archives will need to be conducted to see if that story can be verified.

Family Story

Over the summer I had the chance to interview two of Fred’s grand-daughters and the one thing they shared with me is that Fred felt it was very important to keep his ties to his home country. They said that Fred’s wife, Ella made sure he visited home every few years. I currently have not found any ship records for him, and need to do some more research to find them. He did not become a naturalized citizen until World War II.



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  1. Aagh. So close. I was hoping that Frederick Jaeger that is in my family tree was connected to yours. After reading your blogs (love them) I not sure if it is a match. My Frederick Jaeger went to Ohio from Germany. He married Louise Herancourt,Heraucourt, Haraucourt born 1845. This is the family line I am obsessed with. Frederick and Louis had three children Fred (birth ?) Christian (b:1871) and Henriette Louis (b: 1877-d:1950). All lived in Ohio.
    If you think they could be related somehow please let me know.
    I also follow you on Twitter.
    Typing from my tablet,
    Please excuse any typos.
    Peggy Bychkowski

    1. Peggy,

      How I wish I could say they are related. My Frederick came into the US in 1913 through Canada. He took a train from Canada to Michigan. I have no clue if he stayed in MI for a bit of came straight to Chicago, but by 1916 he is having a family with Ella Jonas. Also, he was born in 1882 so he would be too young to be the father. I do wonder if there could be some kind of cousin relationship. I have no clue what brought him to the US. The only information I have on his family is that his father’s name was Herman and supposedly his mother worked in a castle in Austria.

      Has anyone in your family taken the autosomal DNA test yet? I would be interested to see if it will pick up any relationships between the families.

      Thanks for reading and commenting, and your kind words. It means a lot.

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