A St. Patrick’s Day Puzzle

First, let me tell you how today’s story developed.  I wanted to see if there was any evidence of a person who may have had some connection to St. Patrick’s Day.  I searched for such things as “Patrick” and “Ireland” in our German Family Tree.  I pretty much found nothing that I could use.  I did find a few people with the name Patrick, but they were born well into the 20th century, and it is difficult to find information about those men because you cannot find official documents after 1940 because of privacy issues.  So I gave up on the idea of doing an Irish story.  I then began looking for people associated with today’s date.  I found a name that interested me.  Enos Martin Frentzel was born on March 17, 1882.  And lo, and behold, I found a possible (and I do mean possible) connection to a Fitzpatrick with Irish roots.

Enos has been mentioned in two previous blogs, From Tragedy to Ministry, which was written by Clayton Erdmann, and Noel Nuptials.  I even said in that latter post that I hoped to write a story about Enos someday.  Today I will.

Enos was the son of Carl Arthur Edward and Emma Marie (Telle) Frentzel and baptized at Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown, Missouri, where he was also confirmed in 1895.  His mother was a Telle.  His grandmother was a Hopfer.  Enos’s family history is packed full of surnames that I refer to as “Uniontown names”.

Enos would later attend Concordia Seminary in Springfield, Illinois with his cousin, Ernst Bultmann.  These two photos were previously shown in Clayton Erdmann’s post.  Both show these two cousins during their college days.

Rev. E.G. Bultmann4

Rev. E.G. Bultmann3

Both Ernst and Enos did become Lutheran pastors.  The next record I could find was Enos’s marriage record which was recorded in Hamilton County, Iowa.  I made two images to show the entire record.

Frentzel Millner marriage record 1 Hamilton IA


Frentzel Millner marriage record 2 Hamilton IA
Frentzel/Willner marriage record – Hamilton County, IA

The marriage took place on August 9, 1907.  Rev. Frentzel is shown to be a pastor, however, he is being married in his bride’s hometown where her father was the pastor, so I do not know where Enos was pastor at this time.  His bride was Magdalena Beatrice Willner, who was born in Quincy, Illinois and later was living in Webster City, Iowa.  Here is a photo of the Willner family.  Magdalena is supposed to be the woman standing on the right in the back row.

Magdalene Willner Frentzel
Albert Willner family

In an earlier census (which is practically unreadable) we find that Magdalena’s father was a pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Quincy, Illinois.

According to his World War I draft registration, Enos was a pastor in Oklahoma.

Enos Frentzel – WWI draft registration

In 1918, the Frentzels were living in Breckenridge, Oklahoma.

Not long after this, we begin to see a dilemma materializing.  First, here is a census record from Breckenridge, Oklahoma.

Enos Frentzel 1920 census Union OK
1920 census – Breckenridge, OK

I’m also going to show the date when this census was recorded.  It will add to the dilemma.

1920 census Breckenridge OK date
1920 census – Breckenridge, OK

Here is the concern.  There is considerable evidence that the person shown as the wife of Martin Fitzpatrick in this 1920 census from Aurora, Illinois is also Magdalena (Willner) Frentzel, even though she is listed here as being named Beatrice.

Martin Fitzpatrick 1920 census record Aurora IL
1920 census – Aurora, IL

Once again, here is an image that shows the date when this census was recorded.

1920 census Aurora IL date
1920 census – Aurora, IL

This dilemma becomes more obvious when we look at several other records.  First, we look at this marriage record for Albert Willner, Magdalena’s father.

Willner Miller marriage record

As you can see, they were married in the District of Columbia, and that is where his wife originated, although her death certificate says she was born in Maryland, which is right nearby.  Several census records show her birthplace to be D.C.  We also see her maiden name was Miller.  In those other census records she was also shown using the first name, Mary.

We find some other clues in the 1900 Webster City census.

Albert Willner 1900 census Webster City IA
1900 census – Webster City, IA

Once again, we see Mary Willner’s birthplace as D.C.  We also find that Magdalena (Lena) was born in February of 1884 in Illinois.

You might be wondering how Martin Fitzpatrick and his wife, Beatrice, could have a connection to Magdalena (Willner) Frentzel.  A pretty convincing connection comes when we look at this Social Security application.


Lena Beatrice Fitzpatrick SS record

In this record, we see a definite connection between a Lena Beatrice Fitzpatrick and the Willner family from Quincy, Illinois.  It even has the right maiden name for her mother.

How can this be when we have two different censuses which were taken in 1920, one with Magdalena Frentzel and one with Beatrice Fitzpatrick?  I suppose you might think that there could have been a split-up of the Frentzel marriage in 1920 with a later Fitzpatrick marriage that same year, but the dates on those two census records do not support this.  It appears the Frentzel census was taken AFTER the Fitzpatrick census.

I did find this marriage record from Illinois that seems to fit this Fitzpatrick profile.

Fitzpatrick Matheson marriage record

The name Beatrice also matches the name on the Aurora 1920 census.  This would indeed separate these two families and rectify some of our problems.  It also solves a problem that existed concerning the age discrepancies in the two 1920 censuses. However, I cannot figure out where that name Fitzpatrick manages to end up associated with Lena Beatrice Willner social security record.

At any rate, I must also point out that Martin Fitzpatrick was born in Ireland.  Here is an enlargement of that 1920 census from Aurora, Illinois which shows Martin’s birthplace.

Martin Fitzpatrick 1920 census native tongue

I also find it very interesting that, even though several other people are shown on that page to have their native language listed as “English”, Martin’s native language is shown to be “Irish”.  And by the way, Martin was a radio salesman.

If that is not confusing enough, we find this birth record from the city of Ft. Wayne, Indiana.

Ermil Charlotte Frentzel birh record – Ft. Wayne, IN

It shows the birth of Ermil Charlotte Frentzel to Enos and Lena (Willner) Frentzel in 1927.  That is 7 years after those two confusing census records from 1920.  There are other interesting things to note here.  Lena is said to be in the occupation of practical nursing, and her address is simply listed as “Jail”.  How odd is that?  And Enos is just as odd, considering that we see there is so much “unknown” information there.

Let’s get back to Enos.  We have this record of him being a pastor in the Farmington, Missouri area.

Enos Frentzel History of St. Paul's Farmington

He is attributed with having written a history of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, and that history was published by Concordia Publishing House in St. Louis.

When Rev. Frentzel filled out his World War II draft card, he was living in Shenandoah, Iowa.

Enos Frentzel WWII draft card

You will notice that by this time, his wife’s name was Anna.  There are records that indicate that Enos was married twice.  His second marriage was to Anna Brockmiller.  Enos had a child by his first marriage whose name was Lambert Arthur Frentzel.  This military document gives evidence that he was born while Enos was serving in Oklahoma.

Lambert Frentzel military record
Lambert Frentzel military record

He served in World War II.  After the war, he was also living in Shenandoah, Iowa.  I cannot help but point out that Lambert entered the military in September of 1941 and departed the United States on December 4 of that year…just 3 days before the attack on Pearl Harbor.

We also have this anecdotal evidence which shows Rev. Frentzel serving Salem Lutheran Church in St. Louis in 1960.  It comes to us in this biographical sketch of the life of Rev. Garry McCracken which can be found on the website of  Trinity Lutheran Church in Troy, Missouri.

Enos Frentzel reference Salem Afton

One year after baptizing Rev. McCracken (who might also be Irish), Enos Frentzel died in 1961.  His second wife, Anna, died in 1981.  These two are buried together in St. Trinity Cemetery in St. Louis.  Here is their gravestone.

Rev. Enos Frentzel gravestone St. Trinity St. Louis
Enos and Anna Frentzel gravestone – St. Trinity

In closing, I will say that I do not think that Magdalena Frentzel was married to Martin Fitzpatrick.  I did enjoy pursuing the possible Irish connection, though.  However, I must say that I cannot resolve all the issues presented in this story.  Maybe someone with more knowledge of this family can help us out.  Maybe my Irish friend, Clayton McErdmann, will chime in.


3 thoughts on “A St. Patrick’s Day Puzzle

  1. Lambert Frentzel, son of Rev. Enos Martin Frentzel and Magdalena Beatrice Frances Willner, suffered severely burned hands in WWII when his carrier, the US Lexington, blew up in the Coral Sea in 1942. He died in 1982.


  2. I am a descendant of Magdalena Beatrice Francis Willner’s sister, Augusta Cornelia Willner Mensing, and I have much more accurate information about this family in my Ancestry tree. Magdalena was divorced from Enos Martin Frentzel and went on to marry a Michael Fitzpatrick, an older man in St. Louis, and another older man, Sylvester Hake, whose sons forced him to divorce her. The one mystery that does remain is her exact date of death. According to her daughter, it was probably early 1950s in Chicago, and she may have been buried in a paupers’ grave site in Chicago. This is a VERY sensitive story due to Magdalena’s mental health issues. Her daughter is still alive. Please be careful in what you publish! Respectfully, Magdala Trautsch Ray


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s