Three more children were born to Julius and Brunis in quick succession during their years in the Bush. Arthur was born 17 May 1898, probably at the house on Commercial Avenue. Ewald was born 3 August 1900, surely at the house on Superior Avenue. Finally came Gertrude on 15 March 1902, most likely at the house on Buffalo Avenue where her two older siblings had died. These must have been grateful moments for the family after so much early tragedy.

None of the Chicago-born children were issued birth certificates. Perhaps it never occurred to Julius and Brunis to register them? In 1877 the State of Illinois legally mandated all births to be reported to the county clerk, but clearly this law was neither enforced nor probably well known among the immigrant population of Chicago. Statewide registration of births did not begin until 1916, and full compliance was not enforced until 1922.

Art, Ewald, and Gertrude wound up registering their births long after the fact. Art and Ewald did so together on 19 March 1941 in Chicago. Both had to come into Chicago from their homes in Wisconsin; perhaps they were visiting their sisters Helen and Gertrude and took up the task while they were in the city?  Even though he was the younger brother, Ewald registered first (certificate #71298) and Arthur followed (certificate # 71299). Perhaps they did so because they needed birth certificates for the WW2 draft which had begun six months earlier. Perhaps they needed proof of birth to register for Social Security, which had started paying out benefits to retirees thirteen months earlier. Who knows? Art and Ewald were fairly prompt in getting their births registered compared to Gertrude. She didn’t come by her delayed birth certificate until 1958 when she was 56 years old!



FamilySearch, “How to find Illinois birth records.”

WTTW, “Chicago’s neighborhood parks“. 


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