4 Replies Latest reply on Sep 25, 2020 6:54 PM by Crystal Davis

    Seeking information on John Goetz


      I've been researching this branch of my family tree and have come to a kind of dead end. I've done searches on ancestry.com, MyHeritage.com, familysearch.com, and findagrave.com looking for my great-grandfather's parents. I was told from a cousin that his parents died when he was young and was raised by an aunt and her family. Unfortunately, some of the information I'm looking for is probably in the 1890 federal census that was destroyed.


      I was able to find out his parents names from a social security application but I haven't been able to find out much else. I've also been able to piece together the aunt and the maternal parents, but really nothing on my great-great grandparents. What I do know: Great-grandfather John Raymond Goetz born 2 Jan 1886 in Altoona, PA, died 30 Sep 1940 in Meadville, PA. Married Emma Irene Chapel in 1912; John's Parents from Social Security Application: William J Goetz, Ellen "Ellie" Guinivan (Ellie born in 1864 in Altoona, PA) Raised by Mary Somers (born Guinivan) and Michael Somers of Altoona, PA. Comparison to other family trees lists John Raymond Goetz parents as a Columbus B Goetz and Ella N Stratiff of West Virginia, but I don't think that's right. Can anyone help me? Or point me in the right direction?

        • Re: Seeking information on John Goetz
          Susannah Brooks Pioneer

          The Altoona PA newspapers had articles that show that the parents of your ancestor were William J. (or John William) Goetz and Ellen Guinivan.  From various articles (I found them on Newspapers.com) show that William was a tailor, then a policeman, and then a tailor again.

          from Altoona Times 23 Apr 1889

          William and Ellen's other son died in 1890.

          from Altoona Tribune 25 Jan 1900

          William remarried in 1892 or 1893.  His new wife was Mame Redding and they had a son named Wallace.

          John visited his father in 1912

          from Altoona Times 10 May 1912

          John William Goetz died in 1921.


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          • Re: Seeking information on John Goetz
            Grace Yuhasz Adventurer

            Concerning William (John William) Goetz, the possible father:

            Using census entries, city directories, and the Pennsylvania death certificate of John W. Goetz, as well as the information Susannah Brooks mentioned, you can piece together that his occupation was tailor.   He died in 1921 (his death certificate is on Ancestry.com).  All of this information may help you going forward.


            I didn’t find mention of John William and Ellen Guinivan’s marriage in the Altoona newspapers on Newspapers.com.  Nor did I find an obituary for John William.  They may be worth looking for.


            From Find-A-Grave

            John W. (William) Goetz



            John Guinivan



            Mary A. Somers



            There is a stone listed for Ellie Guinivan, born 1864.  The poster states the stone is hard to read so no death date can be read.  This may or may not be the Ellie under discussion.



            From Newspapers.com

            Death of John Guinivan

            Altoona Tribune
            Feb 8, 1892
            Says he has a daughter Mrs. James Kaylor


            Death of Mary Guinivan

            Altoona Tribune
            April 21, 1892

            Says daughter Johanna, wife of James Kaylor


            Death of Mary A. Somers

            Altoona Tribune
            Apr. 4, 1946

            Husband Michael.  Father John Guinivan, sister is Mrs. James Kaylor


            These articles indicate there is a family connection between all of these people.  If Mary A. Somers was John Raymond’s maternal aunt, then everything fits.  (Of course, it would require more of a paper trail, but it shows we are on the right track. I didn’t include everything I found on Newspapers.com and elsewhere.)  After a quick search of probate indexes, I didn’t locate anything to help.


            Since the newspaper articles indicate that William & Ellie Goetz were Catholic, I suggest you contact the St. John’s Roman Catholic Church in Altoona.  They may have a marriage record for the parents, as well as a baptismal record for John Raymond.


            There also may be Altoona/Blair County resources that could help you -- historical or genealogical society, or library that could assist you. 

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