Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Pedigree Ornament No. 8, my Paternal Great Grandfather.

Karl Streich, born unknown date, probably in Prussia; died 1885, probably in Peale, Clearfield County, Pennsylvania; buried in unknown location.

It is quite difficult to create a unique Christmas Ornament for a person who seems to have been invisible, which is the case for my great grandfather, Mr. Strike. To compound the issue, his descendants used various spellings of the surname which in some cases have been documented, for example, on marriage records and at least one tombstone- his grandson used the “Stryke” version on his inscription. But never mind, the surname has disappeared from this particular descendant line of our family tree. Of course, we know Mr. Streich existed, because four of his children survived- Amalie, Otto, Julius, and Martha- though one of those children, Julius, seems to have also become invisible many years ago. But not before he fathered a daughter who was “found” not so long ago. With some persistence, even Julius’ abandoned wife was located. I believe Mr. Strike’s first name was Karl based primarily on naming patterns and a process of elimination. One of his two sons and a grandson both have the middle name of Karl.

Karl Streich probably resided in Pennsylvania over the 3 years period between 1883 and 1885. The youngest of his children, Martha Streich, was born in June 1883 in Peale, Clearfield Co, PA, and his widow’s marriage application to her second husband states her first husband died in October, 1885. Unfortunately, the town where the Streich family first settled after immigrating to America was completely removed lock, stock and barrel, to various locations around the turn of the twentieth century. After the mines were exhausted, the stores, company houses, and churches, were loaded onto rail cars and transported elsewhere, like a tent circus. The only landmark of the town that remained was the cemetery. But care of the cemetery was abandoned and the tombstones, whether made of wood or stone, have crumbled to the earth and then covered with the succession of a new forest. Only one tombstone survived for many years, but the last time I tried to visit the cemetery, I could not ascertain the outline of the cemetery or the last known tombstone.

Nevertheless, I will still hang Karl Strike’s Pedigree Ornament on my blog just in case someone ever comes around to claim it.


1. The Ghost Company Town of Peale, PA, an informative web site maintained by John Krygier

2. Web site of the Peale Research Foundation organized by a couple of local residents (Wagner family) of nearby Grassflats.

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