Why a web site on Newark? I’m asked
that question quite frequently. Maybe it’s a repository for
my research. I don’t really know.
When you do genealogy work, you collect a lot of information.
Some of it is personal data and some is general historical data.
The Old Newark web site would fall into the latter category. I needed
a place to store the data that I was collecting as I tried to unravel
the mysteries of past generations.
In Part 2, I mentioned that my family lived in Newark for over
100 years. Actually only parts of it did. My father’s paternal
side (his grandfather) arrived in Newark in 1866 (age 16) and his
maternal side (his mother) in 1883 (age 2). My mother’s maternal
side (her mother) arrived in 1917 from the hills of Maryland and
her paternal side (her great-grandfather) was here by 1853. It’s
my mother's paternal side, which I’ll focus on here.
My grandfather (my mother’s father) had been dead for many
years before I caught the genealogy bug. Since he was the oldest
person in the family that I knew, I often wish he were alive today
to discuss what he knew. Opportunities lost that never can be reclaimed.
My mother did have a short family tree that he had put together.
It’s a start, I figured. A problem quickly arose; the tree
only went back as far as his father. I asked my mother about this
and she said that my great-grandfather was an orphan and no one
knew his father. A mystery to be solved!
I love a mystery even if it drives me nuts. Here is the story
of what I did and how much information is out there.
My first stop would be the New Jersey State Archives to search
for all information on the Frielinghaus name (I was lucky it was
an unusual name) and in particular, the birth certificate of my
great-grandfather. Most birth, marriage and death information before
1880 is not in the form of a certificate, but only a line in a ledger
book. To add further problems, most of the time a lot of the columns
are not filled in. But at least there is information. Vital information
prior to May 1848 is hard to come by, the best avenue for that is
church records. The vital information between May 1848 and May 1878
is indexed so checking for this information is relatively easy.
Misspellings, bad handwriting, and blurry or light sheets can make
this a little difficult. But, it’s there and we can thank
the WPA for the indexing.
Finding my g-grandfather’s birth listing was easy. It quickly
revealed my gg-grandfather and mother. I had the link back a generation,
now to find information on them. As unusual as the name Frielinghaus
is, my gg-grandmother’s name, Decker, is very common in New
Jersey and to make matters worse, her first name, Elizabeth is even
more common. Needless to say my search in her direction is next
to impossible. Time to focus on my gg-grandfather, Daniel Frielinghaus
(he had the same name as my great-grandfather).
Going through the index books for births, marriages and deaths
revealed much information, although there were some leaps of faith
I had to make that were later confirmed. I quickly found his marriage
record to Elizabeth Decker and his death record. I found Elizabeth’s
death record and a strange entry, a marriage certificate for a Peter
Frielinghaus and a Mary Theurer. Who was Peter? Since the marriage
came after Elizabeth’s death I figured (leap of faith) that
it was probably Daniel but how to prove it was the question.
That old standby, a will, showed that Mary did indeed marry Daniel
but why did he use the name Peter in the marriage listing? The will
also revealed that Mary had a daughter, which Daniel adopted. This
showed that the marriage was the second for both of them. I also
assumed that Peter was his middle name. I also found Mary’s
death record. The rumors did prove right; my g-grandfather was indeed,
basically an orphan. He was 6 when his mother died, 10 when his
father died and 12 when his stepmother died.
A new set of problems, what did a 12 year old orphan do and where
were the interments of Elizabeth, Daniel Sr., and Mary? This is
where my mother’s cousin steps in to sort out some of the
problem. First we’ll deal with Daniel Jr. After his father
died, his stepmother sent him to Fuerst Institute in College Point,
Queens County, Long Island; my cousin has a button from his uniform.
What happened next is family legend. He was supposed to have gone
to Alsace (his mother’s birthplace) to college and then return
to Newark. So far, I’ve not been able to find any information
to support that, only the start of his
(mid 1880’s) in the Newark City Directory. I met my mother’s
cousin at Fairmount Cemetery and he showed me the plot that Daniel
Sr. is buried in. A search of the records in the cemetery office
revealed that his second wife, Mary Theurer, purchased the plot.
Buried in the plot was Mary, her first husband, her second husband
Daniel and three others.
Mystery solved? No, there were more avenues to follow. First,
a search of the City Directories revealed that Daniel was a brewer
by profession and was part owner in two breweries. The first brewery
was with Frederick Rumpf on S. Canal Street and the second with
on Springfield Avenue. The City Directory also showed that Lyon’s
and Sons purchased the brewery from Frederick Rumpf and Daniel.
Next, a search of the 1860 Federal Business Census showed more
information on the Rumpf and Frielinghaus Brewery.
A search revealed his Declaration of Intent to Naturalize, which
renounced the King of Prussia. The index also revealed a Robert
The 1860 and 1870 Federal Censuses revealed the makeup of his
family at that time.
Further vital records research revealed Mary Frielinghaus’
first marriage, the death date for her first husband, and the marriage
of the adopted daughter Mary.
Another avenue brought me to the Essex County Hall of Records.
A search there revealed deeds and mortgages for Daniel Sr. and sheriff
sales of property left to Mary Frielinghaus by Daniel.
Luck and the internet presence that I spoke of before helped me
solve the "Peter" mystery and where my gg-grandfather
originated. Someone in Germany, surfing the internet, found my personal
genealogy site, emailed me and provided me the missing link back
to Germany. A MAJOR stroke of luck since I could never find the
ships records for his journey. As with German tradition, Peter Daniel
Frielinghaus was born to Peter Daniel Frielinghaus in Lennep, Rheinland,
Prussia. The Robert mentioned before turned out to be his brother.
The moral of the story is that there is a lot of information out
there to enable you to piece together your ancestor’s life.
You just have to know where to look and how to look.
To see the above information in a life story form that is different,
less confusing than the above and a listing of the documents that
I acquired, please click
For a listing of avenues for genealogical research, click