Chicago Konzens

I can never resist a good Konzen mystery. In August, Mark Konzen posted some information about his Chicago Konzen family on my About page and then a couple days later Lynn Konzen posted on my About page about her Chicago Konzen family. It made me wonder if their two families were related and I am always trying to connect Konzen families back to my Konzen family.

So I started looking into their families. Mark posted “My name is Mark Konzen and I’m originally from Chicago. My father (Frederick Konzen) was from Chicago as was my grandfather (Henry A. Konzen).” Lynn’s post stated “I have a brother Mark Konzen. He is living in Chicago. Our father is Bernard J Konzen. His father was Bernard Konzen as well. We do have a Henry in our family line.” I started tracing Mark’s family line back from his father Frederick Konzen to his grandparents Henry Aloysius Konzen (1890-1955) and Eleanor E Raubal (1894-1981). Then to Henry Aloysius’s parents John Bern Konzen (1858-1928) and Bertha Hoffarer (1863-1928). According to his death certificate, John Bern Konzen was born in Germany and his father was Henry Konzen. John Bern Konzen had a brother named Bernard Konzen (1853 or 1858-1924) and Bernard’s death certificate says he was born in Prüm, Germany, to Henry Konzen and Margaret Molitor (both born in Prüm, Germany). In the 1880 census, Bernard and John Bern Konzen lived in Chicago with their parents Henry Konzen and Margaret Molitor.

I followed Lynn’s information from her father Bernard J Konzen to her grandfather Bernard James Konzen (1887-1970) and his wife Margaret C Plutz (1891-1988). Then from Bernard James, I found his parents Peter Konzen (1846-1925) and Johanna E Weiss (1850-1930). According to Peter’s death certificate, Peter was born in Brime, Germany, and his father was Henry Konzen, born in Brim, Germany, and his mother was born in Brim, Germany. Brime and Brim, Germany, don’t exist so I wondered if Peter was actually born in Prüm, Germany, and related to John Bern Konzen and Bernard Konzen of Mark Konzen’s family line. According to Tom Pick’s index of parish records, Joannes Bern Konzen was born 10/08/1858 in Prüm, Germany, to Henry Konzen and Margaret Molitor. On 02/01/1853 Bernard Konzen was born to Henry Konzen and Margaret Molitor in Prüm, Germany, but there were no other children in the index for Henry Konzen and Margaret Molitor. This could mean that other children born to Henry Konzen and Margaret Molitor were in records for another microfilm, Tom Pick couldn’t read the records for other children of Henry and Margaret on the same microfilm, or their were no other children of Henry and Margaret listed in Prüm’s parish records.

With the help of Craig Pfannkuche, of Memory Trail Research, I got death notices/obituaries for John Bern, Bernard, and Peter Konzen from the Chicago Daily News. Bernard’s death notice on 08/11/1924, reads “Bernard Konzen, loving husband of Maria (nee Ulrich), fond father of Mrs. Bertha McGrath and Mrs. Catherine Pierson. Funeral Tuesday August 12th, from last residence 6534 S. Morgan st. to Sacred Heart Church where requiem high mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m., interment at St. Mary’s cemetery. For seats call Stewart 9460.”

On 04/12/1928, John’s death notice was published and it states “John Konzen, beloved husband of the late Bertha, fond father of Henry, Joseph, John, Mrs. Samuel Rice, Mrs. Herman Smith and the late Thomas, Frank and Johanna. Funeral from his late residence, 5033 S. Bishop st., Saturday, April 14, at 10 a.m., to St. Augustine’s church, where solemn requiem high mass will be celebrated: interment St. Mary’s cemetery. For information, call yard 4765. Member of Third Order of St. Francis.”

Peter’s death notice appeared in the paper on 03/23/1925, “Peter Konzen, beloved husband of Hannah Weiss Konzen, devoted father of Mrs. Margaret Green, Mrs. M. Culkin, Mrs. M. Beck, Mrs. Katherine Mount, Clem H. Konzen, Ben Konzen, Mrs. Anna Schwab, and the late John and Peter Konzen, fond brother of John and the late Bernard Konzen. Funeral Wednesday, at 9 a.m.from late residence, 7133 Eberhardt st., to St. Columbanus church, where requiem high mass will be celebrated: interment Mount Olivet. For information call Stewart 1908.”

After reading the death notices, the index on Pick’s site, and the death certificates, it looks like Peter, Bernard, and John Bern Konzen are brothers. Which means that Lynn and Mark share great great grandparents Henry Konzen and Margaret Molitor and they are third cousins. I haven’t connected the Prüm Konzens to my Konzens, but maybe one day. You never know what information will be available tomorrow : )


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