After years of searching still have found out very little about my great grandfather. What we do know. He had a daughter, Theresa, born in 1872. She married Otto Ahrens in Chicago , Illinois in 1892 and was living in Chicago working as a maid while living with her father and step mother at that time.
She said her mother was named Mary Birch and that Mary was a daughter of a chief of the Winebago tribe. She said that when she was little her dad was seriously injured and her mom got scared and ran off. She says she was placed in an orphanage until her father could bring her to Chicago to live when she was a teen.
What I have found or think I have found..... in the 1880 census a Theresa Schulte the same age was living in Putnam, Ohio with a Weir family. One of the sons was married to a Josephine Schulte. The census lists Theresa as being born in Illinois. It lists her dad as being born in Germany.
I think this is her and that maybe Josephine was an older sister or aunt and she stayed with her when her mom ran away.
As for the mom running away I have assumed maybe she was moved with the Winnebago tribe farther west onto a reservation because that was what was happening at that time in history. At this time we have no proof of the Native American story. Though out of the blue one day an older Seminole Indian here in Florida asked me about my Indian heritage because of the bone structure of my face-not because I look like a Native American with my blond, blond, hair and blue eyes. LOL He told me I should have it researched but don't have a clue where to start.
Any similarities or ideas?
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