Saturday, October 3, 2009

Peter and Carrie Deller

[Picture Left: Grandpa Pete & Pawpaw Bill Asbell.
Picture Right: Maybe a Deller son with Carrie Miller Deller.]

Peter & Carrie Deller are my husbands great-grandparents. From a relative, we had a little information about him; his name, place of birth (Germany), and where he had lived (Coffeyville, Kansas).

Both Peter and Carrie arrived after the 1880 Federal Census, and there is no 1890 Federal Census (to speak of), but I did find a listing in the 1890 & 1891 Norristown City Directory (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), for Peter, whose occupation was listed as glass-maker. This would fit with the census records of 1910, which lists his occupation as 'gatherer' in a glass factory.

I'm still searching for them in the 1900 census, so the 1910 Federal Census, is the first Federal record I've found with Peter & Carrie Deller listed. According to this census: they lived in a rented house in Wetmore Township, McKean County, Pennsylvania, both they and their parents were born in Germany, and spoke German in the home. Peter immigrated in 1885, and Carrie in 1883, and Peter nad been naturalized. It also indicates that Peter could read and write, but Carrie could read, but not write.

They had been married 18 years, and Carrie had borne 10 children, 9 of which were living. Nine children were listed in their household: Jennie - 17, Sophia M. - 15, Mary - 13, Pauline - 10 (or 18), George M. - 8 Margarette (Marguerite) - 5, Charlie (Charles) J. - 4, Joseph - 2, and Josephine - 2 (these last two may have been twins).

By the 1920 Federal Census, Peter and Carrie had moved, and were living in a rented house at 907 Delaware Street, Coffeyville, Kansas. In this census, Peter's immigration was 1882, and naturalization in 1891. Carrie's immigration date was 1883, and this record marks her naturalized in 1891. Peter's birth place is listed as Alsace-Loraine, Germany, where he spoke German in his home. His parents were born in Bavaria and spoke German in their homes. Carrie's birth place was listed as Bavaria, where she spoke German; her father was from Bavaria, where he spoke German, and her mother was from France and spoke French. [This may be the French grandmother who loved to dance!] Peter worked as a laborer at a Rail Road Shop, and Carrie worked in the home.

The children listed in the household are: George M. - 17, Marguerite - 16, Charles J. - 14, Josephine - 12, and Theodore - 5. All of the children were unemployed, except for Marguerite, who was a sales girl in a Notions Shop. All of the children were born in Pennsylvania, except the youngest, Theodore, who was born in Kansas.

From the 1930 Federal Census I learned that Peter and Carrie still lived at the house in Coffeyville, Kansas, except now they owned it, AND they owned a Radio too (one of those strange questions asked). Peter was 23 when he first married, and Carrie was 18. This Census records both their immigration years the same, 1882, and lists both them and their parents as all born in Germany speaking German in the home. Peter is still working as a laborer, but now he's working in a Foundry, and Carrie still works at home.

Theodore - 16, and George - 28, are living in the home with them and George is working as a paper hanger. Their daughter Sophia - 35, is also living with them, with her husband, Charles H. Jackson, daughter Lillian - 18, and son Keith - 22 months.

Other than these Federal Census records, I've found Peter in the Coffeyville City Directories in: 1937, 1939, & 1941. We have a family picture of the double grave stone, Carrie, 1874-1945, and Peter, 1869-1944. We're assuming these graves are in Coffeyville, Kansas, but we don't have proof of that.

Things I'm still looking for: immigration records, 1900 Federal Census record, death and burial records - and any living family connections. We don't have any family information about Peter's or Carrie's parents, except what was found in the Census. I found a limited gedcom at that included Peter as a brother to Charles, Nickolas Joseph, Margaret and Catherine, children of Carl and Catherine Deller - BUT - there were no sources for this, and I can't find anything that either refutes it or supports it. This is one of those time when I REALLY wish I were near a library and could refer to the Germans to America reference books. The web is good - but all the records aren't there yet.

So from all that I can say, with a little certainty, that Peter Deller was born in 1869 in Alsace-Lorraine, Germany, and died in 1944, probably in Coffeyville, Kansas. He immigrated from Germany in either 1882 or 1885, and was naturalized in 1891. He married Carrie about 1892, probably in Pennsylvania, and together they had 11 children. Peter worked primarily in the Glass Industry, and Carrie worked in the home. In 1891, they lived in Norristown, Pennsylvania, and by 1910 were living in McKean County, Pennsylvania. Theodore was born about 1915 in Kansas, so that would date their move to Kansas between 1910 and 1915. They continued living in Coffeyville, Kansas until at least 1941, but most likely until their deaths.

So until next time... I'll keep searching.


  1. Have you tried to get a copy of Peter's Naturalization records? The intention papers can give you more information about his life in Germany, like the exact city he was born in...They can be ordered through You might have to search a bit, once you do, they process rather quickly!

  2. Thanks for the tip. I actually have been looking for them, but only through (I'm limited to internet searches for now - until January, when I'll be back in the States). I'll check the site you gave... I'm getting used to searching. :-)