Catherine Carew – 52 Ancestor Challenge – Birthday in October

This week’s 52 Ancestor Challenge by Amy Johnson Crow is Which ancestor had a Birthday or Anniversary in October. I chose to write about my 2x Great Grandmother Catherine Carew. She was born October 10, 1844 in Ennismore, Canada to Patrick Carew and Ellen Sullivan. She is the second of 9 children: Ann 1842, Mary 1846, Ellen 1848, Bridget 1850, William 1856, Eliza 1858, John 1862, and Lena 1865. Catherine and her family moved to a farm in Northport, Wisconsin in 1852. She is found on 3 censuses with her family, 1851 in Canada, 1855 Wisconsin census and 1860 US census. They were among the first settlers in Northport and frequently encountered Indians in the area. They lived a typical farming life complete with milk cows and dairy products that they would sell to passengers on the steamboats that came by on the Little Wolf River.

I believe the woman holding her great grandson Eddie, is Catherine Carew. The women standing from l to r are granddaughter Rosanna Rice, daughter Loretta Rice, and sister Lena Carew. Eddie was born in 1918 so picture was taken around 1919.

By 1868, Catherine married Charles Rice in New London, WI. They had their first of 3 children, Frank (my great grandfather) in 1869. They can be found on the 1870 and 1880 censuses. Two more children were born, Loretta in 1881 and Melvin in 1885. Sometime in the 1870’s they moved to Ironwood, MI for a couple of years. That part of their life is still sketchy to me. They moved back to New London before 1880 since that is where they were for the census. The family can be found in the 1900 census, minus Frank as he was married by then. They are on the 1905 Wisconsin census and the 1910 US census. The 1910 census reveals that all of their children were on their own but they added Rosanna their granddaughter (Frank’s daughter). I still don’t know the reason they raised Rosanna instead of  her mother who raised her other 2 children. I wish I had known about this when Rosanna was still alive so I could have asked her about it.

Post Appleton Newspaper, October 13, 1924

The 1920 census reveals that Catherine and Charles are living alone, retired and owns the home they live in which is on Shawano Street in New London. Charles passed away in 1921. Also, her son Frank died in 1912. Her daughter Loretta, the city nurse, moved in with Catherine. A fun newspaper clipping from 1924 shows that Loretta gave Catherine a party for her 75th birthday. The dates don’t add up. It seems it should have been her 80th birthday. Anyway, it lists the guests at the party and the fact that they played cards: 500 and schafkopf. I can’t pronounce the last one but asked my mom and I still can’t pronounce it. She had a good laugh listening to me struggle with it though. My mom explained the game to me and the only thing I understood is that there is a trump suit and that you don’t know who your partner is until certain cards are played. If anyone out there can explain this better, please feel free to comment. Catherine Carew can be found in the 1930 census with her daughter Loretta, her son Melvin, and her youngest sister Lena. Melvin passed away in 1931.

Catherine Carew, commonly referred to as Kate, passed away on May 12, 1934 at her home in New London, WI. She had appendicitis and died one week after the diagnosis. There was a lengthy obituary and I have already highlighted some of it. One of the many striking things written was that she saw transportation through the ox team stage to the present day automobile and airplane period. The things we take for granted were invented during her lifetime. The obituary went on to say that she spent many hours helping her neighbors in trouble and making life pleasant for all with whom she came in contact. Many people attended her funeral including my grandfather and the granddaughter that she raised. It doesn’t list my father or grandmother so I guess they didn’t make the trip from Chicago for the funeral. There are a lot of names listed for me to follow up on someday. The funeral mass took place at Most Precious Blood Church officiated by Reverend Paul Herb. Her grave is in Most Precious Blood Cemetery along with her husband and all of her children.


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