Jeannette Kay Klein and family

Aaron Klein (1844-1923) and his wife Rosa Scheyer (1858-1941) were both born in Berlin, Germany. Aaron probably came to the US in 1862 at age 18 on the Prince Albert, which departed from Hamburg and arrived in New York,[1] although conflicting census records list various arrival dates for him, from 1874 to 1878. Granddaughter Lois Stein writes in a 1987 journal entry that Aaron Klein

came from Berlin Germany to Canada to avoid military service. On a visit to visit friends in Cincinnati, Ohio, he met my grandmother – Rosa Schayer. After they were married they moved to Chicago where he had relatives. Thru them he worked as a salesman for Fleischmen Yeast.

Rosa Scheyer Klein

Rosa’s parents were Michael Scheyer (1828-1900) and Minnie Newman (1831-1905). They married in 1855 and, in 1863, they took their four small children and left Germany for the United States. They had at least three more children in the U.S. The 1880 and 1900 census records show Rosa’s family living in Cincinnati, Ohio. Rosa’s father Michael was a second-hand furniture dealer. In 1880, Rosa, their oldest daughter, at age 21, was working as a dressmaker.

In 1882, Rosa married Aaron Klein. Their children were:

  • Eva
  • Michael (b. 1885)
  • Gertrude (1887-1929), married William Pitzele in 1908
  • Jeannette Kay (1889-1970), married Alois Stein in 1912
  • Charles (1891-1936), served in U.S. Navy
  • Ruth (1894-1911)
  • Adolph (1897-1972), served in U.S. Navy, attended University of Michigan, married Celia Burke
  • Sidney Samuel (1899-1974), served in U.S. Navy

J.K. Klein

Jeannette on left

J.K. Klein

Jeannette on right

Jeannette Kay Klein and Alois Stein

Alois Stein and Jeannette Kay married on November 25, 1912. They lived on Rockwell Avenue with their daughters Lois Ruth (1913-1996) and Marion Selma (1916-2000).

J.K., Lois, Marian

Jeannette with daughters Lois and Marion


“Little Belles of Baby Show”, featuring Lois and Marion. Clipping from 1919 newspaper.

After Alois and Jeannette Kay divorced around 1918, Jeannette Kay, Lois, and Marion went to live with Aaron and Rosa at 8912 Exchange Avenue in South Chicago. In a 1987 journal entry, Lois recalls:

When I was five – my sister Marion was two – we went to live with my grandparents as our parents were divorced. I have no remembrance of a father and did not see him until I was about 12 – and then never again. My mother never spoke of him – good or bad.

The 1920 Chicago census shows Jeannette at age 30 working as a saleslady. Her parents Aaron and Rosa were retired and some of her brothers also lived in the household.

Klein women

Rosa, Jeannette; Lois, Marion

Jeannette, Rosa (center), Marion, Lois

Memories of Family Life

In a series of journal entries from 1987, Lois Stein remembers her mother, grandfather Aaron, and grandmother Rosa. Excerpts:

I can only guess that my mother went to work soon after we went to my grandparents house as I can not remember ever seeing her in the kitchen – or doing house work – or working in the yard-garden. She was always dressed for public. Her hands were very nice with carefully manicured nails. Likewise her hair was always proper. Her skin was very white – never a hint of sun exposure. I never remember her having a cold or being sick in bed. Her face never had a blemish. Her sense of humor was great and a hearty noisy laugh. Until she retired she was very slender. In the summertime she worked a half day on Saturdays and we always went someplace. It was a planned day – the zoo – the park – the pier – White City amusement park and once in a while to visit a friend or relative.

My grandfather (maternal – Aaron Klein) died when I was about ten. He was a retired gentleman. He had nice clothes – a lite weight summer jacket – a winter coat with velvet collar. During the year when the weather was pleasant he would sit on the front porch – talk with neighbors and service men. Beside the mailman – ice man – vegetable man – fish man – and all others that passed by. He had a white full mustache and used a cane with a silver handle…I have good memories of him. He would send me to the store to buy Dutch Master cigars and he would make a big ado when he would put the paper on my finger for a ring. I never saw him do anything manual or physical in or out to the house or yard. Many a Saturday afternoon we would go walk two blocks to the Calumet Theatre. He had a favorite box and we would enjoy an afternoon of vaudeville. He read a German daily newspaper – spoke German to my grandmother, but not to the children. They neither learned to speak or understand German.

My mother worked in downtown Chicago in a big department store on State Street. We were 13 miles from Center City. The Illinois Central Railroad had a commuter line with tracks along Lake Michigan…It started downtown and we were at the end of the line – So. Chicago. My mother did not arrive home until nearly seven, likewise she left early in the morning.

My grandmother was not bossy nor domineering, but she was the captain and director. When it came time for me to go to college, I had a cousin would would be going to college. My grandmother said I should go where he went. I was 16 – he was 18 and maybe she had the idea that I would be protected.

Jeannette Kay

Jeannette Kay

Jeannette Kay

Jeannette Kay

Marion, Jeannette, Lois

Jeannette, Rosa, Marion

Jeannette Kay Klein Stein is buried, along with her parents Aaron and Rosa, in Waldheim Cemetery near Forest Park, Chicago, IL (Gate 43, Lot 19, Section P, Row 25, Graves 2 & 5 & 6).

DSCN7070DSCN7068 DSCN7074DSCN7076

[1] New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010.


Alois Stein and family

Israel Hynek Stein (1840-1925) and Aloisa Ehrlich (1840-1912) lived in Trebon, Czechoslovakia, now in South Bohemia in the Czech Republic. Hynek was a peddler and for many years his family lived in different places throughout the area between Trebon and Tabor, 50 kilometers north of Trebon.

Special thanks to a fellow members for these portraits

Hynek and Aloisa lived in the small village of Cepp near Trebon in House 64. Later they moved into Trebon. They had nine children, nearly all of whom immigrated to the United States and lived in Chicago:

  • Julia (b. 1858?) immigrated in 1880.
  • Albert (1867-1907) married Katie Weiss and lived in Chicago. He died in a train wreck involving the Lake Shore Limited. The Chicago Sunday Tribune describes him as a laborer.
  • Joseph (1869-1932) immigrated in 1891. He worked as real estate agent and later as a banker after founding the State Commercial and Savings Bank in Chicago. He married Mathila Pokorny of Trebon and they had two children. Joseph and Mathilda divorced and Joseph’s second marriage to a woman named Annette also ended in divorce. 
  • Hermine (b. 1871) married Leonhard Horky in Vienna and had three children. After the death of her husband, Hermine moved to Chicago. 
  • Anna (b. 1874) immigrated in 1890.
  • Karel (1875-1938 or 1942) stayed in Trebon and married Josephina Steiner. They operated her family’s inn and had three children. Karel died before WWII, but his wife Josephina and son Jaroslav were arrested and sent to Theresienstadt. Josephina was killed at Treblinka and Jaroslav at Auschwitz. It is not known what happend to Helene and Elsa, the daughters of Josephina and Karel.
  • Ludwig (b. 1876-1945) immigrated in 1890 or 1891 and married Anna Trenk in 1902. They had two children and lived in Chicago.
  • Rose (b. 1878) immigrated in 1892.
  • Alois (1885-1960) immigrated in 1904 and married Jeannette Kay Klein in 1912. They had two children, but were later divorced.

The descendants of Albert, Joseph, and Hermine have shared the information and the pictures featured in this post.

Albert Stein

Albert Stein

Joseph Stein

Joseph Stein

Israel and Aloisa Stein are buried in the Jewish cemetery in Trebon. They died in 1925 and 1912, respectively.

Aloisa death certificate

Special thanks to a fellow member for this image

Israel Hynek death certificate

Special thanks to a fellow member for this image

Passenger list records show that the youngest son, Alois Louis Stein, left Trebon at age 19. On March 24, 1904, he departed from Hamburg, Germany on a steamboat (Dampfschiff) named “Deutschland”, which stopped in Southampton and Cherbourg before arriving in New York. Alois’ accommodations are listed as “zwischendeck” or steerage and his occupation is recorded as “commis” or a clerk.[1]

Alois as young boy Alois as young man

He came with two recommendations from grocery stores (Colonialwarenhandlungen) in Budwies and Pilsen.

Recommendation Budweis Recommendation Pilsen

On September 10, 1910, he became a naturalized citizen at the Cook County Circuit Court in Chicago. Alois was 25 years old, 5 feet and 9 1/2 inches tall, and described as having brown eyes, black hair, and a dark complexion. He lived at 8940 Commercial Avenue, where his sister-in-law Katie Weiss ran a boarding house. She was the widow of Albert Stein.

On November 25, 1912, Alois Stein married Jeannette Kay Klein (1889- 1970), the daughter of Aaron Klein (1844-1923) and Rosa Scheyer (1858-1941). Alois and Jeannette Kay lived at 6912 S. Rockwell Avenue with their daughters Lois Ruth (1913-1996) and Marion Selma (1916-2000).

Around 1918, Alois and Jeannette Kay divorced. Jeannette and her daughters went to live with her parents, Aaron and Rosa. In a 1987 journal entry, Lois recalls:

When I was five – my sister Marion was two – we went to live with my grandparents as our parents were divorced. I have no remembrance of a father and did not see him until I was about 12 – and then never again. My mother never spoke of him – good or bad.

The 1920 census shows Alois Stein, age 35, living with his sister Rose Stein, age 42. Rose is listed as unmarried and the head of a household with a number of boarders. She lived at 828 48th Street off Drexel Boulevard in Chicago. The census also says that Rose arrived in the United States in 1892 (twelve years before Alois) and that she became a naturalized citizen in 1914. The census also notes Alois’ occupation as a salesman and his industry as “electrical.”

By 1926, Alois married Caroline Smetana (born in Bohemia) and they had a son named Alois in 1927. According to the 1930 census, they owned their home at 1458 West 17th Street. However, by the late 1930s, they were divorced.

Alois and sister Rose

Alois and sister Rose

Alois Stein at left

Alois Stein, sitting at left

Alois Stein

Later in life, Alois Stein moved to Los Angeles, where he died in 1960. His daughter Lois recalls in a 1987 journal entry:

In May 1960 a telephone call from Los Angeles. My father[‘s] attorney with the message that my father was in the hospital and dying. Yes I could come. It was the first in our married life (since 1933) that we had a savings account and the total sum of 300 dollars. So much later that nite I arrived in Los Angeles. The lawyer met me and took me to a hotel. The lawyer was very impersonal – did nothing helpful for me but took advantage in many ways for the funeral and execution of the will. In the morning an unknown cousin arrived. Her mother was my father’s sister. Ann Blackburn. After breakfast she had the seals removed from my father’s apartment and we moved in. She was older than I – very friendly and had more know how in such a situation than I. She had friends maybe distant relatives in L.A. that gave us transportation, entertainment, and tourist tours. Arrangements were made for the funeral, cemetery lot, and such. We went to the hospital for valuables. We received a wallet containing only a ticket from a Chinese laundry. No money or any IDs. The landlady said he always wore a diamond ring or a ruby one and a wrist watch. We could find neither. It was a furnished apartment – a young couple came and said that they were promised the TV. We packed clothes, playing cards, many pipes, a few books and called the Veteran Hospital and they took all away.

[1] Staatsarchiv Hamburg. Hamburg Passenger Lists, 1850-1934 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2008.

R. F. Shoemaker and Almira Lowmiller

The son of Samuel G. Shoemaker and Mary Pott, Robert Fleming Shoemaker (1835-1893) married Almira Lowmiller (1840-1923) on September 5, 1867.

R. F. Shoemaker Almira Lowmiller
Almira Lowmiller Almira Lowmiller

Robert was a farmer. He and Almira had seven children:

  • Amelia Pott (1869-1952), married Coleman Bubb
  • Jessie (1870-1946), buried in Muncy
  • Robert Fleming (b. 1872), moved to Ohio
  • Harold (1874), died in infancy, buried in Muncy
  • Emily Crouse (1875-1950), buried in Muncy, married Harry Herbert Houston
  • Paul E. (b. 1877), married Margarett Painter and moved to Idaho
  • Carl Ickis (1883-1941), buried in Muncy

Jessie Shoemaker

Jessie Shoemaker

Emily Crouse Shoemaker

Emily Crouse Shoemaker

Shoemaker family plot in Muncy Cemetery, E. Penn Street, Muncy, PA

More on the Lowmillers

Almira Lowmiller was a daughter of William Lowmiller (1809-1879) and Lanah  Van Steever (1815-1904). The Lowmillers had six children who survived infancy:

  • Almira (1840-1923), buried in Muncy
  • J. Henry (1843-1864), enlisted in the 84th Regiment – Pennsylvania Volunteers and died in a Falls Church, VA hospital
  • Marietta (1845-1924), married Roland B. Fiester and moved to Iowa
  • Jenetta (b. 1847)
  • William (b. 1852)
  • Elizabeth (b. 1855), married Warren B. Hoffman

Almira Lowmiller and friends

Almira Lowmiller and friends


Marietta Lowmiller


Jenetta Lowmiller

William Lowmiller came from Level Corners (west of Williamsport at a bend in the Susquehanna between Linden and Jersey Shore [1]) and wove coverlets. Later in life, he became a carpet weaver.[2] His father was likely Henry Lowmiller (1770-1844), who owned land in Anthony Township, northwest of Williamsport and north of Linden, PA. Henry Lowmiller was the son of Johann Heinrich Lowmiller of Kassel, Germany, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1752 and married Feronica Snevely.[3] They lived in Dauphin County, PA, possibly East Hanover Township.

William Lowmiller’s wife Lanah Van Steever[4] was born in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania. The 1900 census lists her family as originating from Germany. Her family moved to Paradise Valley (south of Muncy, near Turbotville) and, before coming to Muncy, she lived with a friend in Sugar Valley (near Loganton, PA).[5]

William and Lanah married and moved to Muncy in 1838. They moved William’s weaving equipment from Level Corners by boat to their home at  124 S. Main Street in Muncy.[6] William dyed his own wool and used jacquard cards to make designs. Examples of William Lowmiller’s coverlets include:

Coverlet from Level Corners (1835)

Double-side coverlet from Muncy (1845)

A 1939 article on the Lowmillers

The Lowmillers are buried in the Muncy Cemetery on E. Penn Street.

[1] Mrs. Frederic Hoffman, “The Lowmiller Coverlids and their Makers” in The Muncy Luminary, June 15, 1939.

[2] Clarita S. Anderson, American Coverlets and Their Weavers (Colonial Williamburg Foundation, 2002). Accessed November 16, 2012,

[3] A Lowmiller genealogy is available at

[4] Variant spellings include seen in the census and in secondary sources: Lena, Lenah; Staver, Stover, Stuver

[5] Mrs. Frederic Hoffman, “The Lowmiller Coverlids and their Makers” in The Muncy Luminary, June 15, 1939.

[6] Ibid.

Samuel Givin Shoemaker and Mary Pott

Samuel Givin Shoemaker (1791-1873), son of Henry and Susan, was a farmer.   He married Mary Pott (1797 – 1880) of Pottsville, PA on May 22, 1817.  They had nine children:

  • George Washington (1819-1842), buried in Muncy
  • Susan Harriet (1821-1823), buried in Muncy
  • Catherine (1825-1901), moved to Ohio
  • Jasper (1826-1907), moved to Lackawanna, PA
  • William Pott (1829-1897), moved to Kansas
  • Charles Bell (1831-1877), moved to Iowa
  • Matthew Houston (1833-1917), moved to Nebraska
  • Robert Fleming (1835-1893), buried in Muncy
  • Melissa Mary (1838-1890), buried in Muncy

William Pott Shoemaker

William Pott Shoemaker

Anne, wife of William

Anne, wife of William

Anne, wife of Charles Bell Shoemaker

Anne, wife of Charles Bell Shoemaker

Matthew Houston Shoemaker

Matthew Houston Shoemaker

Robert Fleming Shoemaker

Robert Fleming Shoemaker

Melissa Shoemaker

Melissa Shoemaker

Samuel Givin purchased the family plot in the Muncy Cemetery in 1860:

The Shoemakers Across Pennsylvania

Henry Shoemaker (1731-1797) was the first Shoemaker to come to Muncy. In 1761, he married Barbara Kepner (1744-1817), daughter of a miller named Benedict Kepner and Maria Barbara Lindemuth. The Kepners lived in from Bern Township, Berks County, north of Reading. (It seems Henry’s younger brother Charles married Barbara’s sister Maria.)

Henry and Charles moved “to Shoemakersville—then a dense forest, almost an unbroken wilderness—about the year 1765, where Henry built the first stone house in 1768.”[1] The brothers bought a pipe organ from Europe for the house.[2] They also operated a tannery “on the east bank of the Schuylkill river at Shoemakersville”[3] and served in the Berks County army during the Revolutionary War. Charles (1735-1820) and another of the Shoemaker brothers, Jacob, were important citizens of Berks County as evidenced by their profiles in History of Berks County, Pennsylvania.[4]

Henry went on from Shoemakersville to Muncy. The author of the black notebook (see previous post) describes how “Henry I came to Muncy with his family in May 1783. Coming by way of Harrisburg, he struck the River near Peter’s Mountain. His wife, being a large woman and not able to ride far in a wagon, they put in a canoe with her youngest son Samuel and poled it from Harrisburg to Walton’s Landing, then to the mouth of Muncy Creek.”[5]  An early Muncy settler, Henry built a “grist and saw mill” and accumulated about 2,000 acres of land.[6]

Page 1 of Shoemaker notebook

Page 1 of the Shoemaker notebook

Page 2 of Shoemaker notebook

Page 2 of the Shoemaker notebook

Henry and Barbara had ten children, the first son being Henry Shoemaker II (1762-1805).  Henry II was Muncy’s first postmaster and married Susan Dudder (1763-1835), whose family settled in Muncy “at an early date.”  Henry II and Susan had nine children. Their youngest son was Samuel Givin.

[1] The Shoemaker Family of Shoemakersville, PA (Reading: L. H. Mohr, 1909), 6. Accessed November 15, 2012,

[2] The Shoemaker Family of Shoemakersville, PA (Reading: L. H. Mohr, 1909), 7. Accessed November 15, 2012,

[3] The Shoemaker Family of Shoemakersville, PA (Reading: L. H. Mohr, 1909), 7-8. Accessed November 15, 2012,

[4] Morton L. Montgomery, History of Berks County, Pennsylvania (Reading: Chas F. Haage, 1894), 269-271. Accessed November 15, 2012,

[5] Story confirmed by John F. McGinness, History of Lycoming County Pennsylvania (publication data unknown: 1892), 947. Accessed November 15, 2012,

[6] Ibid.

The Shoemakers in America

The Shoemaker family has a rich history, made complex by two separate family lines. Both lines came from the Palatinate region of Germany, but settled in Pennsylvania at different times. Jacob Shoemaker of Mainz came to Germantown in Philadelphia, PA in 1683, while Simon Shoemaker of Zweibrücken came to Reading, PA about 70 years later.[1]

The Shoemaker Family of Shoemakersville, PA incorrectly traces the Reading line to Jacob Shoemaker, who set out for America in 1683 with Francis Daniel Pastorius and settled Germantown.[2] Sources from the Germantown Historical Society show that Jacob Shoemaker was not the grandfather of Henry (1731-1797) and Charles (1735-1820) Shoemaker, the brothers who founded Shoemakersville. No records exist listing Jacob Shoemaker II and his wife Elizabeth Roberts as being the parents of two boys named Henry and Charles.

The incorrect lineage is also reiterated in a small black notebook, which otherwise contains accurate genealogical information. The notebook is identified on the last page by the name “Mary Lightfoot, Williamsport,” the likely author of the volume.

Story of Jacob Shoemaker who came to America in 1683

A Shoemaker genealogy in the black notebook

However, Benjamin H. Shoemaker’s “Annals of the Shoemaker Family of Germantown” sets the record straight:

It is unfortunate that the Reading Shoemakers are unrelated, as they have had many prominent descendants. Henry and Charles Shoemaker who founded Shoemakersville above Reading were children of Simon Shoemaker of Zweibrücken, Germany, as show by the records of Trinity Lutheran Church, Reading. This may be the Simon Shoemaker, listed by Rupp [in his 30,000 Immigrants] as reaching Pennsylvania in 1752.[3].

Further research at the historical and genealogical societies of Berks County may yield additional information about the Shoemakers of Reading.

[1] Benjamin H. Shoemaker, 3rd, “Annals of the Shoemaker Family of Germantown,” Germantown Crier 3 (1952?): 20.

[2] The Shoemaker Family of Shoemakersville, PA (Reading: L. H. Mohr, 1909), 4-6. Accessed November 15, 2012,

[3] Benjamin H. Shoemaker, 3rd, “Annals of the Shoemaker Family of Germantown,” Germantown Crier 3 (1952?): 20.

Harry Herbert Houston, Sr. and Emily Shoemaker

Harry Herbert Houston (10.06.1880 – 07.16.1959) was born in Tampico, IL to Herbert Merton Houston and Lucy Smith. A copy of Harry’s birth certificate shows that Herbert Merton worked as a farmer and Lucy as a housewife. Harry was the youngest of four children: Merton (b. 03.14.1871), Edith (b. 06.16.1873), and Walter (b. 05.1878).

As an adult, Harry worked for the Bell Telephone Company as an electrical engineer and for a time he lived in Jersey City, NJ. At age 26, he married Emily Crouse Shoemaker (03.19.1875 – 10.31.1950), an elementary schoolteacher from Muncy, PA. Robert Fleming Shoemaker, a farmer, and Almira Lowmiller had seven children: Amelia (b. 1869), Jessie (1870-1946), Robert F. (b. 1872), Harold (b. 1874), Emily, Paul E. (b. 1877), and Carl (1883-1941).

The wedding took place on June 27, 1907 at St. James Episcopal Church (215 S. Main Street) in Muncy. Emily’s brother, Paul, gave her away as their father, Robert Fleming, had passed away in 1893. The couple spent their honeymoon visiting Rochester, Buffalo, and Niagara Falls.

By 1909, Harry and Emily had moved to Yonkers, NY (Ward 9, Westchester, according census data from 1910, 1925, 1930, and 1940)  and Harry began working for the NY Central Railroad. They lived first at 84 Chester Place with two other families (1910 Census). A few years later, they moved to Edgewood Avenue and by about 1918, they moved to 52 St. James Terrace.

Emily and Harry had two sons: Harry Herbert Jr. (b. 1909) and G. N. Crosby (b. 1916), both born in Yonkers.

Harry Herbert Houston Senior and Junior

Harry Herbert Houston, Jr. at Edgewood Avenue

Emily with her sons Herbert and baby Crosby

On September 18, 1918, Harry completed a WWI Draft Registration Card. His occupation is stated as a telegram and telephone pilot for the N.Y.C.R.R.Co. The registrar described Harry as tall and of medium build with grey hair and grey eyes.

According to the 1940 census, Harry at age 59 still worked full-time for the NY Central Railroad along with his son, Crosby. Harry continued work as a telephone wireman and his 24-year-old son worked as a “dynamo man.” They both worked 52 weeks per year and their salaries were $2200 and $1800, respectively. Amelia Bubb, Emily’s widowed sister, aged 71, lived with the family as this time.

Emily (far right) at an antiques show in Yonkers, NY.

Harry Herbert Houston, Sr.

Harry and Emily moved back to Muncy in their old age. Emily died from a stroke and Harry from cancer. They are buried on the Shoemaker family plot on the far western end of the Muncy Cemetery on E. Penn Street. Their son Crosby continued to live at the St. James Terrace house in Yonkers, NY.