Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Maria Elizabeth Winblad (1895-1987) Freudenberg

Maria Elizabeth Winblad (1895-1987) aka Mae Winblad, was a housewife, and a cleaning and laundry woman. (b. February 16, 1895; 294 West Houston Street, Greenwich Village, Manhattan, New York County, New York City, New York, USA - d. March 07, 1987; Christ Hospital, Jersey City, Hudson County, New Jersey, USA) Social Security Number 147188206.

Her parents were John Edward Winblad I (1856-1914) aka Johan Edward Winblad, of Sweden; and Salmine Sophia Severine Pedersen (1862-1914) aka Salmina Olsdatter, of Norway. John was the son of Anton Julius Winblad I (1828-1901); and Elsa Maria Elisabeth Näslund (1829-1907) of Ytterlännäs, Sweden. Salmine was the daughter of Ole Mattias Pedersen (1822-1914) and Thea Johanne Torstensdatter (1825-1865) of Farsund, Norway.

Maria was born in Greenwich Village in Manhattan on February 16, 1895. The New York City Birth Index incorrectly lists her as "Mary E. Weinblad".

Maria's siblings are: Anton Julius Winblad (1886-1975) aka Anthony Winblad, who married Eva Ariel Lattin (1892-1939) and after her death married Marguerite Van Rensselaer Schuyler (1891-1972) aka Marge Van Rensselaer Schuyler; Theodora Winblad (1888) who died as an infant; Mary Winblad (1889) who died as an infant; Otto Edward Winblad (1892) who died as an infant; John Edward Winblad II (1897-1899) aka Eddie Winblad, who died as a youth from pertussis; and Otto Perry Winblad (1902-1977) who was born in New Jersey and married Helen Louise Hollenbach (1905-1928) and after her death he married Leah Maria Way (1901-1986).

New Jersey:
The family moved out of Manhattan to live in the quiet of New Jersey around 1900. They had a new house built on Wayne Street in Jersey City. Otto Perry Winblad was born in 1902 in Jersey City.

Isle of Pines, Cuba:
In 1910 the family decided that they would move to the Isle of Pines in Cuba. John Winblad had wanted to be a plantation owner, and many other American families moved to the Isle of Pines during this time. Maria spent a year and a half in Cuba, where she rode a horse named "Happy". She said when she arrived in Cuba there was no one there to greet her, and she had to get help to find out how to get to the Isle of Pines from Havana.

She returned from Cuba to Jersey City on March 26, 1912 with her brother Otto. While in Jersey City she met Arthur Oscar Freudenberg I (1891-1968), who was a Sunday School teacher at Waverly Congregation Church. Maria was a very devout Lutheran at Trinity Scandinavian Church in Jersey City. Maria and Arthur married on February 28, 1914 at the Trinity Lutheran Church at 195 Claremont Avenue in Jersey City.

Death of parents:
Maria's father and mother attended her wedding, and then they went to Norway to visit family. Both parents died within a few months of each other in 1914. Otto Winblad was with them in Norway and returned to live with Maria and Arthur in Jersey City on July 6, 1915. On the same day that Otto arrived from Norway, Maria's brother, Anton and his wife Eva returned from Cuba with their two children: Anthony Leroy Winblad and Norman Edward Winblad. They brought with them Eva's two youngest brothers: Theodore Roosevelt Lattin; and Dewey Ernest Lattin. Eva's father and mother stayed in Cuba until 1924 and then settled in Lake Helen in Florida. Otto lived with Maria and Arthur from 1914 until he married in 1927.

Together Maria and Arthur had the following children: Naida Muriel Freudenberg (1915-1998) who married Burnett Peter Van Deusen (1913-1993) aka Peter Van Deusen; Selma Luise Freudenberg (1921-2009); and Helen Eloise Freudenberg (1928-1989) who had a child with Edward Ganley and later married John Earl Borland I (1924-1986) and later married Albert Brindley.

Abandoned by husband:
Around 1928 Arthur abandoned Maria, although he appears as the head of household in the 1930 census. The oral family tradition has been that Arthur ran off with a burlesque stripper. At the height of the depression, Maria lived on Claremont Avenue in Jersey City and raised her three children earning money by being the superintendent of a four-unit rental property owned by someone else. She took in laundry, scrubbed floors, and prepared meals for other families. She did all that she could to keep the family housed and fed. Arthur never provided any money and lived with his mistress. Maria wore her wedding ring for the rest of her life.

Middle years:
When Maria's children got married she split her time between them, living at their houses. She lived in Paramus for a number of years and also spent time with Pete and Naida at their home.

Broken hip:
In the late 1970s she broke her hip in Paramus and was confined to the Lutheran nursing home in Jersey City.

She died in 1987 of a heart attack at age 92 at Christ Hospital.

She was buried in Bayview Cemetery. In the same plot are the ashes of her daughter, Helen; and her brother who died as an infant, John Edward Winblad II.

Many of her letters are extant and archived.

Memories of Maria Elizabeth Winblad:
Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) wrote on February 20, 2011. When my parents moved to Paramus, Maria lived with us for several years. She did the cooking and used to wash me in the kitchen sink. It is one of my earliest memories about her. Everyone called her "Nanny". She could read and speak Norwegian and had a Norwegian bible. She was very religious and would go to church events during the week and never miss a Sunday sermon at the Lutheran church. She was a very good cook and once told me that she cooked professionally at one time. She would make Swedish meatballs in gravy and would never buy ground beef, she would buy whole cuts and grind the meat herself. She also made excellent desserts, apple pies and lemon meringue pies. If I asked her what was going to be for desert she would tease me and say "apple sauce". Another dish she made that I enjoyed was Harvard beets, its beets in a sweet and vinegary sauce. I am not sure of the year she broke her hip but I was there when it happened, she was standing in the doorway to my room and talking to me while I was in bed when she just leaned against the doorway and collapsed, her hip had fractured and could no longer hold her weight. After the hospital she moved into the Lutheran Home in Jersey City and I would visit her. The home was a terrible place, but she was happy there, because she had volunteered there was she was younger and she still would visit other rooms in her wheelchair and share whatever cookies or candies I brought her. The home had a mix of demented patients and the infirmed. Some of the demented patients would be screaming or crying continuously. She had a heart attack in 1987 and was moved to Christ Hospital and I visited her the night she died.

Her eulogy reads as follows: "Mae Freudenberg was born Saturday, February 16, 1895 in New York City. Her parents were members of the Scandinavian Evangelical Lutheran Trinity Church in downtown Jersey City. Mae was a member of Trinity for most of her life, and her children were all baptized there also many of her grandchildren. She taught Sunday School and was a member of Glad Tjeneste. On the 95th anniversary of Trinity, Mae received a certificate of recognition for her years of faithful service to the church. For about fifteen years, Mae was a volunteer of services to the Lutheran Home on Nelson Avenue in Jersey City."

Researched and written by Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) for Findagrave starting on June 16, 2003.

Updated by Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) on February 20, 2011 with minor fixes.