Waterloo Region Generations
A record of the people of Waterloo Region, Ontario.

John Henry Frederick "Frederick" Grischow[1, 2]

Male 1840 - Yes, date unknown


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  • Name John Henry Frederick "Frederick" Grischow 
    Born 4 May 1840  , Mecklinburg Schwerin, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3, 4, 5, 6
    Gender Male 
    Rsrch. Note
    • Lydia Clemens was born in Williamsburg, Waterloo County, and Fred Grischow in the northern region of Germany called Mecklenburg-Schwerin. Fred immigrated to Canada in 1868 and became a naturalized Canadian citizen in 1878.
      Frederick's birth year is a bit unclear. Three sources peg his birth year at 1845: the 1881 census says he is 36 years old, his first marriage registration in 1873 says 28 years old, and his second marriage registration in 1878 says 33 years old. The 1901 census states he was born May 4, 1840. His death registration says he was born May 4, 1837 and his tombstone says 1837-1923. Assuming his death record is correct, it seems his birth year got earlier as Fred got older. Of course, as an immigrant whose birth record was back in Germany, it would be hard for any of his peers to double-check. It could be that Fred initially wanted people to think he was younger than he really was.
      Lydia Clemens' birth record was discovered in New York State in the 1960s. There was a collection of documents owned by a rare book dealer that originally belonged to Thomas Saunders, the Clerk of the Peace during the 1840s for Wellington District, Upper Canada. The documents were purchased by A. Leone Hinds, who transcribed them and donated the originals to public archives in Ontario.
      Waterloo County was part of Wellington District in those days. Some of the documents were letters from church ministers complying with the new requirement to submit lists annually for all births, marriages, and deaths that they presided over in their congregations. Many from Waterloo County were from the Mennonite Bishop Benjamin Eby. One birth record was the following:
      May 8, 1848, Abraham D. Clemens, Veronica formerly Shantz, a daughter.
      p. 19, Waterloo County Marriages, Births and Burials, 1840-1849 as Recorded in Wellington District by the Clerk of the Peace Thomas Saunders, compiled by A. Leone Hinds, Waterloo-Wellington Branch of the Ont. Genealogical Society, June 1992.
      That was the entire official record of Lydia Clemen's arrival. Notice that in those early days of collecting vital statistics, the baby's name was not even included in the birth record!

      Family Life
      On Jan. 12, 1873, Frederick and Lydia were married by Jacob Hoelsche, a Lutheran minister. Both are residents in Lydia's birthplace, Williamsburg, Waterloo Twp., a small hamlet south-west of Berlin. Fred is a farmer.
      On their marriage record, both bride and groom are listed as being Lutheran, although Lydia was raised Mennonite. They seem to have raised their family Lutheran without completely losing Lydia's ties to the Mennonite church. Both of them were eventually buried at First Mennonite cemetery, and daughter Mary would eventually marry a Mennonite (Leander Snider).
      Six months after Fred and Lydia married, on June 20, 1873 son Noah C. was born. The "C." likely stood for Christoph, after Fred's father. Mary Lydia came on Feb. 5, 1877. At this time, the family is still in Waterloo Twp., and Fred is a labourer, likely a farm hand.
      Ezra Eby, writing in his Biographical History of Waterloo Township in 1895, records a third child of Fred and Lydia, Susannah, but with no birthdate. He lists her first, but it is unlikely she could've been born before Noah given how soon he was born after his parents' wedding. She may have been a twin to Noah, or may have been born between Noah and Mary. There is no birth record for Susannah, but neither is there one for Noah as it was just after mandatory birth registrations had been introduced. She is not listed with the family in the 1881 census, nor is there any death record for her. If Susannah Grischow did exist, she apparently lived a short life.
      Shortly after Mary's birth in 1877, the family moved from Waterloo Twp. to Wilmot Twp., probably close to New Dundee. Fred likely got a job working for a different farmer.

      Death & Remarriage
      A couple months after daughter Mary's first birthday, her mother became very sick. After a month of gradually getting weaker, Lydia died of consumption on May 3, 1878, 5 days before she would have turned 30. Consumption was a medical term of that day referring to a gradual wasting away of the body, usually related to pulmonary (lung) dysfunction. The most common cause of consumption was tuberculosis. Lydia's physician was Dr. H. Miller from New Dundee, and a neighbour, John S. Hallman, informed the local registrar of the death.
      Needing a mother for his two (or three?) young children, Fred remarried 10 weeks after Lydia's death, on July 21, 1878. Mary Rodass (Rhodes) was a Lutheran from Germany, born Nov. 20, 1855. Her parents were John and Dorothea Rodass. Her immigration year is not known.
      Fred and his new wife would have 8 more children, half of them "May babies": Lillie (May 24, 1879), twins Ella and Elma (May 14, 1881), Ivan R. (May 17, 1883), Ida Hulda (Dec. 15, 1887), Alfred F. (June 2, 1891), Dorothy A. (Sept. 1, 1892), and John Milton Herbert (Sept. 21, 1895). Alfred was known as "Freddie" and Dorothy as "Dora." The youngest went by "Herbie."
      Throughout these years, Fred is consistently listed as a labourer, probably a farm hand. The family moved back to Waterloo Twp. after the twins were born (May 1881) and that would turn out to be the final move for Fred. He would live at that residence for another 42 years until his death.

      The Grischow Kids All Grown Up
      Noah Grischow was a 28-year-old miller in Berlin when he married Harriett Bartholomew on Nov. 20, 1901. Harriett's parents were Martin Thomas Bartholomew and Sarah Lesham, who were born and married in Kent, England. Both Noah and Harriett listed their denomination as Church of England. (Harriett may have also gone by the name Lucy.) In 1904-5, Noah was the postmaster of Strasburg, a position his father-in-law had held since 1891 and one his mother-in-law would later take on until that post office closed in 1914. (For the postmaster data, see this page by Mrs. A. Reist and scroll down towards the end of the article.)
      They had five children: Ford, Roxie, Noah Jr., Thomas, and Elmer. Roxie would marry Henry Sittler , who became one of the founding managers of Home Hardware.
      Noah and Harriett's married life would not last too long however. On Mar. 14, 1914 at age 40, Noah succumbed after a year of suffering from asthma. Dr. J. H. Cormack from New Dundee recorded the immediate cause of death as "hemorrage of lungs, duration 1 week." Harriett would remarry in 1919 to Andrew Holt, and would live to age 65, passing away in 1945. Noah and Harriett are buried at Strasburg Cemetery on Biehn Dr. in Kitchener.
      Mary Grischow married Leander Snider and died at age 40 of diabetes.
      Lillie Grischow married Joseph Miller on Sept. 4, 1898 in Berlin. Joseph's parents were Ferdinand Miller and Hannah Wagner.
      What happened with the twins Ella and Elma is not yet known. Elma was a witness at her sister Lillie's wedding.
      Ivan R. Grischow is buried at Woodland Cemetery in Kitchener. He died in 1957. Beside him is his wife Amelia (1890-1972). There are two stones adjacent which are likely sons of Ivan and Amelia: Howard Grischow (1914-1970) and Walter Grischow (1921-1998).
      Ida's later whereabouts are not yet known, nor are Alfred's.
      Dora Grischow had a son out of wedlock on Sept. 22, 1908 in Waterloo Twp. However, young Stanley Lloyd Grischow died of pneumonia less than 2 years later on May 27, 1910.
      Herbert Grischow's life appears to have been varied and the details are still sketchy. We have 3 pieces of information about him.
      Fact #1: Kathleen Dorothy Grischow was a 2-day-old infant who died March 19, 1923 in Kitchener. Her parents are listed as Herbert Grischow, born in Waterloo Twp., and Venata Mader, born in Breslau. Venata's father was Aaron Mader.
      Fact #2: Martha (Snider) Arndt remembers a visit from a Herbie Grischow and his American wife Belle in the late 1940s or early 1950s. They drove all the way from California, an unusual accomplishment in those days. They had no children.
      Fact #3: Herbert Grischow died in Los Angeles, California, on Dec. 10, 1953 at age 58. He had no social security number, suggesting he never became an American citizen. His death record can be viewed online.
      Piecing together these three facts, it appears Herbie was married twice. Sometime after being widowed or divorced from his first wife, he moved to the U.S. and remarried an American.

      Later in Life
      Fred Grischow lived to be 85 years 10 months and 10 days old, according to his death registration. He died of heart failure on Mar. 18, 1923 and was buried 5 days later at First Mennonite Church cemetery in Kitchener.
      His wife Mary died in 1931 and is buried with Fred.

      [
    Immigration 1868  Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Name Frederick Grischow 
    Naturalization 1878  [4
    Occupation 1878  Wilmot Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    labourer 
    Occupation 1891  Waterloo City, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [6
    Laborer 
    Residence 1891  Waterloo City, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [6
    Lutheran 
    Occupation 1901  Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Farm Laborer 
    Eby ID Number 00023-1802.1 
    Died Yes, date unknown 
    Buried First Mennonite Cemetery, Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I17159  Generations
    Last Modified 22 Apr 2021 

    Father Christopher Grischow,   b. 30 Apr 1815, , Germany Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 14 Feb 1901, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 85 years) 
    Mother Elizabeth Holtz,   b. 2 Oct 1813, , Mecklinburg Schwerin, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 8 Nov 1888, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 75 years) 
    Family ID F8661  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Lydia Clemens,   b. 8 May 1848, Williamsburg (Kitchener), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 3 May 1878, Wilmot Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 29 years) 
    Married 12 Jan 1873  Waterloo City, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 7
    Children 
     1. Susannah Grischow,   b. Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     2. Noah C. Grischow,   b. 20 Jun 1873, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1914  (Age 40 years)
     3. Mary Lydia Grischow,   b. 6 Feb 1877, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1917  (Age 39 years)
    Last Modified 23 Apr 2021 
    Family ID F4495  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Mary Rhodes,   b. 20 Nov 1855, , Germany Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Married 21 Jul 1878  Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [3, 6
    Children 
     1. Lillie Grischow,   b. May 1879, Wilmot Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     2. Ella Grischow,   b. 1881, , Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     3. Elma Grischow,   b. 14 May 1881, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 20 Oct 1963, Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 82 years)
     4. Ivan Rhodes Grischow,   b. 17 May 1883, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     5. Edith Grischow,   b. Dec 1887, , Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     6. Ida Hulda Grischow,   b. 15 Dec 1887, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     7. Freddie Grischow,   b. 2 Jun 1891, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     8. Dora Grischow,   b. 2 Sep 1892, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     9. John Milton Herbert "Herbert" Grischow,   b. 21 Sep 1895, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 10 Dec 1953, Sunland, Los Angeles, California, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 58 years)
    Last Modified 23 Apr 2021 
    Family ID F18823  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Sources 
    1. [S3] Book - Vol I A Biographical History of Waterloo Township and other townships of the county : being a history of the early settlers and their descendants, mostly all of Pennsylvania Dutch origin..., 427.

    2. [S7] News - ON, Waterloo, Kitchener - Berliner Journal (1859-1917), 9 May 1878.
      Died 3 May 1878 Lydia Grischow nee Clemens, wife of Friedrich Grischow died at the age of 29 years, 11 months and 26 days

    3. [S4] Vit - ON - Marriage Registration, 10886-1878.
      Frederick Grischow (labourer of Wilmot) Born: Mecklenburg Schwerin Age: 28 Father: Christoph Grischow Mother: Elizabeth Holz Born: abt 1845 Spouse: Lydia Clemens Age: 24 born: Williamsburg Father: Abraham Clemens Mother: Veronica Schall married 12 Jan 1873

    4. [S132] Census - ON, Waterloo, Waterloo North - 1901, Waterloo C-5 Page 14.

    5. [S214] Census - ON, Waterloo, Waterloo North - 1911, Div. 5 Page 14.

    6. [S1573] Census - ON, Waterloo, Waterloo City - 1891, Section 1 Page 31.

    7. [S4] Vit - ON - Marriage Registration.
      Frederick Grischow Born: Mecklenburg Schwerin Age: 28 Father: Christoph Grischow Mother: Elizabeth Holz Born: abt 1845 Spouse: Lydia Clemens Age: 24 born: Williamsburg Father: Abraham Clemens Mother: Veronica Schall married 12 Jan 1873

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 4 May 1840 - , Mecklinburg Schwerin, Germany Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsImmigration - 1868 - Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 12 Jan 1873 - Waterloo City, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - labourer - 1878 - Wilmot Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 21 Jul 1878 - Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Laborer - 1891 - Waterloo City, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - Lutheran - 1891 - Waterloo City, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Farm Laborer - 1901 - Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - First Mennonite Cemetery, Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth