I very glad to see you found this site! I have been hoping someone from the West (or should it be 'Left') Coast pop up around here.
I have found a Harry Heidel (14 Apr 1911 - 23 Nov 1998) on the Social Security Death Index having a Minnesota (some might say "Minnie-soo-da") SS#. He last lived in Ventura, CA. There is also a Kathryn Heidel (29 Mar 1919 - May 1987) who last lived in Oxnard, CA. Would these be your grandparents? If so, we need to learn whom the father of Harry was and then it may start to fall into place.
I have traded e-mail with a person in Mankato (Blue Earth County), MN and she has offered to do some investigation of the county records for me to help sort out some of the Heidels I have discovered on the SSDI with MN SS#s. Mankato is where my father and grandfather are from.
My great grandfather Frank Heidel had two brothers Fred & AT (Adolph?) and a sister Minnie Heidel. These Heidels first settled in the area of Ripon, Wis, then later lived in the area of Markesan (Green Lake County) before migrating to Minnesota. Of the Heidels that remained in Wisconsin, I have yet to establish a bloodline, but I am working on it. Frank had no fewer than 3 sons and 3 daughters. The sons were named Frank (18??-19??), William (1871-1949) and Harry (1878-1921) who was my grandfather – not the Harry above.
Of the gentlemen having the surname of Heidel, I have yet to learn of only three children. Two were my father Robert (1915-1986) and his sister Mary (1916-1997). The third was a son of A.T. named Cecil who lived in Sherburn, MN in 1904. Certainly there must have been a few more as the SSDI possibly indicates. Any of the stories for Fred Heidel have yet to be discovered by me. In 1904 he was in Oregon and by the 1920s in Hillsboro (Portland). I would have to double-check it, but I think there were one or two Heidels with an Oregon SS# that last lived in the LA area.
By the way, the name Heidi Ida Heidel sounds cool, very cool! (Somewhere recently I heard the name Heidi Heidel.) However, I agree with your ‘poor girl.’ My story is that my wife, too, suggested the name ‘Heidi’ as choice for our only daughter. In part that was my reaction was the same. (Hmm, could this mean we are related?) However, I have an added wrinkle since my wife is Chinese. Somehow, a brown eyed and brown haired Heidi would not fit the stereotype! Wouldn’t you agree? <grin> My children have been named Jamie, Jason and Jacob. It kind of goes along with a father whose name is James. Wouldn’t you agree?
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