Week 3 of our 52 Ancestors challenge takes us to my paternal great-grandfather.
Fredrick Jaeger was born 27 Dec 1882, son of Herman Jaeger, mother currently unknown. Fred married Ella Martha Marie Jonas on 26 Nov 1918 in Cook County, Illinois. Fred and Ella had three daughters, Ruth, Margaret (Ida), Dorothy and Irene.
Jaeger Family History
Little is currently known about the family background of Frederick Jaeger (prior to his life in the United States), beyond the name of his father and the small amount of information that is given in his naturalization papers. Family lore states that Fred was raised in a castle in Germany, as the son of a servant.
Fred immigrated to the United States through Canada in 1913. Currently a ship log has not been found to verify his passage. According to his naturalization records, he traveled to the United States via train (Grand Trunk Railway) from Canada to Port Huron, Michigan.
According to various census records, Fred held many different jobs over his lifetime, such as a machinist, chauffeur, and truck driver. According to an interview with Fred’s granddaughter, he also spent time in Alaska building the Alaska Highway. Research at the National Archives will need to be conducted to see if that story can be verified.
Over the summer I had the chance to interview two of Fred’s grand-daughters and the one thing they shared with me is that Fred felt it was very important to keep his ties to his home country. They said that Fred’s wife, Ella made sure he visited home every few years. I currently have not found any ship records for him, and need to do some more research to find them. He did not become a naturalized citizen until World War II.