This post is part of a series. To read from the beginning, go here.
I was thrilled to be able to construct a small family tree for Freda Rose and get so much information from her first letter to her cousin, Marie. I found more about her immediate relatives with a dig into the US Census Records and other documents on Ancestry.com
I still don't know exactly how Freda and her cousin Marie are related. I am assuming that Freda's mother had a brother named Carl and Carl is the father of Marie, as per Freda's first letter which said "Uncle Carl Liste's daughter." Freda wrote at least three more letters to Marie, who was living in Germany in 1947.
The next letter was sent on February 19, 1947.
The letter is transcribed below (I kept any spelling or grammatical errors in order to be accurate in my transcription:)
Scranton PA Feb 19-1947
Dear Cousin Marie,
I am writing you to let you know we sent you to boxes of clothes some new and old. People told us it has to be old or they will take it out. It is a shame and to bad that we can not as we like to do. so we put new in water to make it look old. we just sent, not knowing of the fiting part. You did not let us know what your sizes in things. We say here shoes and the way I read you call them boots, but its best to have the sizes so we could not say well send any. We put patches on coat and the sweater to make them look as thoe they were worn out. But you can take patches off if it gets to you alright which I hope. We all sure feel bad about this awful war. I am sending the list of things we sent. I pray for you people that it soon will come to an end and you can enjoy life again as it should be. Love not Hate. I hope your dear Husband health come back again. Wishes you soon much Happiness and good Health, Love cousin Freda
We sent you a care box it should be their by now.
Inside the letter was this list of what Freda had sent in the care box to Marie:
It really moved me to see Christian and Freda's generosity to their German relatives. They themselves were struggling and had to use ration coupons. But things in Germany were worse.
Freda's letter reveals that officials were rifling through packages that were coming from America and probably stealing anything of any worth. Hence, Freda's efforts to make new clothes look 'worn'.
There are small x's next to most of the items on Freda's list. Were those x's written by Marie, to signify what actually made it to her? We may never know. But we do know from the next letter that Freda's lovingly packed "care box" made it to her cousin in Germany.
Freda's next letter to Marie was sent on May 12, 1947.
This third letter from Freda to Marie is transcribed below. (As in my previous posts, my transcription includes spelling and grammatical errors:)
Scranton PA May 12-1947
Dear Cousin Marie,
I got your letters and see you got the boxes alright. We are going to send another care box and I will send a box with a pair of slippers for you and your daughter. We will half to make sole dirte so they wont look new. and I hope they will be alright. Know I dont have a maid Christ only gets pension. I have to pay the maid all his money for they take 3 of the 5 dollars a day. We have to be Rich. I do my own work, if you see my fingers and toes they are all out of shape, from arthritis in my shoulder and arm. clothes and some of eating things are still hard to get. We have rations to. sugar is very litter, we can not use it for everything. We have to take our points, and I dont have many. their are only two of us, and we are tax so high.
My neice Husbands and nephews they were at war in Japan. they had enough and dont want see anymore. We have a big family and lots of trouble, it ant all sunshine. Christ and I have to help plenty. Brother Carl has 5 children living, and 12 grandchildren, and 6 Great grand children. and my sister Bertha thats dead has 4 living children, and 10 Grandchildren. her oldest daughter was always with me, and help me and was going to care for me when I get to old. but here she died. 3 years ago she was 43 years old. but her youngest sister Grace helps me out quite a bit. The weather here is still cold we even had snow the other day. its colest May we ever had. I did not plant anything in the garden yet. I will send later your Husband and son shoes after we send yours out. Erika drawing is very nice. she can model styles after a while. I close with a prayer for days soon to come to be brighter and different of a better way of living.
Wishing you Health so you can keep in good Spirit
Sincerely Cousin Freda
I have cousin over their on my father side Rose
Our clothes for big people is very little. Christ and myself have a awful time to get something Christ waight is over 200 lbs and I am 195 lbs weight.
Those stamps my neice Mrs. Mildred Dolphin gave me she had them left when she wrote to her husband I ask at the post office they said they dont have any air mail stamps so I dont know if thoes are good or not so he gave me the coupons.
You write and use good English. We can not read German so if letter came in German we would not know how to make it out. When my Mother live it use to be German and in the churchs but not anymore for some years.
There was so much in this letter to Marie! I looked a little deeper into Freda's family. She mentions her niece's husband and sons who fought in Japan.
I knew from my search on Ancestry that the Rose family consisted of dad, August Rose, mom, Joahanna Rose (also known as Hannah) and the following seven children: Charles, August, Emma, Bertha, Christian, Frederic and Freda.
I decided to research each of them to see if there may be living descendants in the area since it appeared that Freda was single and had no children.
This has taken me weeks to research all of the children. In all, I found that August & Johanna Rose had 12 grandchildren and at least 30 great grandchildren. Many of their descendants live in the Scranton area today.
August and Joahanna's oldest son, Charles Rose, married Lizzettia Zigler in 1892. Charles and Lizzettia had six children. Their daughter Jennie married Wesley Smith and had two children, Edna and Charles. Charles died in childbirth. Jennie died of tuberculosis a few months later. Wesley Smith then married his sister-in-law, Charles and Lizzettia's oldest daughter, Florence. They had two sons. Charles and Lizzettia's other children were Carl who married Margaret Reuther, Harold, who married Beatrice Young, Viola, who married Eugene Martin and Emma who married Robert Jackson.
August Henrich Andreas Rose, the second son of August and Johanna may have died in Germany or on the way over to America. He doesn't show up in any records here that could be found.
August and Johannah's daughter, Emma Lisle Rose, died of tuberculosis at the age of 17.
Bertha Rose, the only daughter of August and Johanna to have children, married Ernest Becker. They had six children. Bertha and Ernest Becker's son, Herbert, was a Scranton Policeman and the last police officer to patrol on horseback in the city. Herbert married Margaret Pesarchik. Bertha and Ernest's daughter Mildred married Saul Dolphin and wore a black crepe gown at her wedding. Bertha and Ernest also lost a son, Earl Rudolph Becker, who died of pneumonia in 1938 at the age of 25. He is the one mentioned in Freda's letter to Marie. Bertha and Ernest Becker were also the parents of Hilda, who married Fred Hopf, Esther, who married Lester Wagner and Grace, who married Fred Woehrle. Fred Woehrle fought in Japan in WW2 and he may be the one Freda mentioned in her letter.
I found this article about his service overseas, including coming underfire from enemy planes.
The Scrantonian Tribune, June 24, 1945, p14, accessed at newspapers.com
August and Johanna's son, Christian Rose, never married and had no children. He is the "Christ" mentioned in his sister Freda's letters. More on him later.
Frederick Rose, the youngest son of August and Johanna, died of pneumonia in 1906 at the age of 29. He was single and had no children.
Freda was the youngest of the Rose children. I found out so many interesting things as I dug into her life and the life of her family. More to come soon!