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Monday, February 1, 2010

Monday Madness - Lawrence Carl Youngberg

Lawrence Carl Youngberg is a mystery man who appears on the Tolf branch of my family tree. His mother, Frida Katrina Tolf gave birth to Lawrence October 12, 1887 as documented by a Chicago, Cook County, Illinois birth certificate. This is a mere five months after Frida married Carl Johan Youngberg, and I presume the reason all of Lawrence's subsequent records show his birthdate as October 12, 1888.

Lawrence grew up in Hyde Park, a neighborhood on Chicago's south side. He and his younger sister Myrtle attended the Swedish Evangelical Mission church in Pullman. They were both married in this church; Lawrence to Alma Sandstedt in November 1909, and Myrtle to Joseph Friend in March of 1913.

The 1910 census reveals that Alma and Lawrence lived with her widowed mother and two unmarried brothers. Lawrence worked as a manager in a grocery store. The couple's first child, Dolores Lorraine was born October 1, 1913. In 1920, it appears Lawrence is the head of the household, renting part of their home to Alma's older brother August and their mother.  A second daughter, Evelyn was born April 3, 1921.

By 1923, the family of four had moved to their own house on Rhodes Avenue. A 1928 Chicago City Directory shows that Lawrence worked as a salesman. Then the plot thickens...

Alma's brother has taken over as the head of household on Rhodes Avenue in the 1930 census. Alma is listed as a widow. Yet when Lawrence's mother Frida died in 1937, her obituary referred to her as the dear mother of Mrs. Myrtle Friend and Lawrence Youngberg.  And Myrtle's 1941 obituary refers to her as the fond sister of Lawrence Youngberg. Neither obituary uses the word "late" to describe Lawrence, so was he still alive? But if that's the case, where is he?

Can't find him in the 1930 census, he doesn't appear in any city directories, no WWII draft registration pops up during a search on Ancestry. Maybe he wasn't alive?

A search of the Illinois State Archives, spelling Youngberg every imaginable way, reveals nothing. Lawrence doesn't appear on the Social Security Death Index. Maybe he wasn't dead?

Perhaps the church records are hiding a clue as to Lawrence's whereabouts, or to his demise. But until I am able to look at those records, Lawrence will continue to be a mystery.

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