Thursday, August 1, 2013

Brief Lives

A few years ago I wrote a family history. Basically a series of very brief biographies on my direct ancestors. I've decided to update and expand on these biographies when at a loss for a blog topic. I hope this will be a way to connect with others researching the same family names.

Recently, my father's friend's infant son died. The loss of such a young life can cause irrecoverable damage to a family. It has become important to me to record the existence of these short lives in my family's history. Although they had no heirs, they are a member of the family all the same.

My great-great grandfather, John Prince Jr., was born Johann Prinz on May 2, 1853. I was always told by my mother that the Prince Family was Polish but from all accounts, Johann was born in in Jungwozic, Bohemia which was part of Austria and is now known as Mladé Vožici in the Czech Republic

I will now refer to him as John Jr. to distinguish him from his father, also named Johann Prinz. John Jr. was the oldest child of Johann Prinz and Franzisca “Frances” Preuss-Prinz. I believe it was Johann Prinz Senior who first anglicized the family name to Prince and used John rather than Johann. 

John Jr. was the oldest of 9 children. He outlived all but 2 of his siblings. For the longest time it was believed that there were 8 children until a researching cousin of mine, Cousin Carol, came across a database of Czech records: There I discovered that John had a brother Joseph who was born on March 2, 1857 in Mladá Vožice and died there on April 9, 1858 at just 13 months old. So sad. Although I do not read Czech, the cause of death is listed in the register as angina. That, I know, is a defect of the heart.

Johann and Franzisca's children were as follows:

  1. John Jr. - my great-great grandfather - (born May 2, 1853, in Bohemia -  died April 21, 1929, in New York City, age 75)
  2. Charles (or Karel, or Carl) (born December 24, 1854, in Bohemia – died May 4, 1891, in New York City, age 36). 
  3. Joseph (born March 2, 1857, in Bohemia - died April 9, 1858, in Bohemia, age 1).
  4. Barbara (born February 28, 1858, in Bohemia – died September 7, 1946 age 88).
  5. Anton (or Antonio or Anthoni) (born April 28, 1861, in Bohemia – died January 17, 1892, in New York City, age 30).
  6. Frances “Fannie” (born July 28, 1863 in Bohemia - died February 21, 1950, in New York City, age 86).
  7. August (born August 25, 1865, in Bohemia – died July 17, 1896, in New York City, age 30).
  8. Annie (born July 19, 1868 in New York City – died before 1895).
  9. Mary (born February 16, 1871 in New York – died April 6, 1881 in New York City, age 10).


  1. This is a great idea April...I also have quite a few ancestor's siblings who died fairly or very young. And you're right - that doesn't mean they don't deserve to be remembered. Will consider blogging about this myself! :)

  2. Thanks, Cousin Mary. The loss of young lives are so sad. They should not be forgotten.

    Mostly, I'm doing these entries though with the hope that by including more info on my direct ancestors siblings, perhaps some other online family research will connect with me and help to further my knowledge of my different branches.