Saturday, March 17, 2012

Fearless Females – Social Butterfly

Back in 2010, in honor of Women’s History Month, Lisa Alzo created a list of writing prompts for each day during the month of March.  I didn’t participate in 2010, so I’m going to take the opportunity to participate this year, since Lisa was kind enough to resurrect her prompts for 2012.

Social Butterfly? What social organizations or groups did your mother or grandmother belong to? Sewing circle, church group, fraternal benefit society or lodge? Describe her role in the group.

Although not a direct ancestor, Mary (Ludwig) Schwartz probably has the biggest resume of the females in my family when it comes to social activities.  To quote from an article written after her death, she "was one of the best known and most active women in the northeast section of the city [Aurora].”1

Maria Magdalena Ludwig was born in Consdorf, Echternach, Luxembourg on 15 February 1861, daughter of Michel and Elisabetha (Mersch) Ludwig.2  Eventually the family immigrated to the US and settled in Aurora, Kane, Illinois.  On 14 February 1882, Mary married Heinrich Schwartz (my second great-granduncle).She died 20 January 1938 in Aurora.4

As was told in her obituary, Mary was a very active member of her community.  She was involved with the following organizations:  “St. Stephana Ct. No. 529, W. C. O. F., Confraternity of Mary of St. Joseph's church, St. Ann's Society of Sacred Heart church, Third Order of St. Francis, Roosevelt Aurora post No. 84, American Legion Auxiliary, Waldley post No. 468, Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary, American War Mothers, and Auxiliary of Burlington Veterans association.”5


1.  "Mrs. Schwartz Dies After a Heart Attack," (Aurora) Beacon News, 21 January 1938, p. 25, col. 5. 

2.  Consdorf, Echternach, Luxembourg, "Naissances [Births] 1798-1880," section 1861, no. 7, Mary Magdalena Ludwig; digital image, "Luxembourg Civil Registration, 1793-1923," FamilySearch (www.familysearch.org: 17 March 2012); citing FHL microfilm 1,793,114.

3.  Kane County, Illinois, (Kane County Clerk, Geneva), marriage certificate no. 1710 (1882), Schwartz-Ludwig; FHL microfilm 1,480,744. 

4.  Kane County, Illinois, (Kane County Clerk's Office, Geneva), death certificate no. 38 (written), 1833 (stamped) (1938), Mary M Schwartz; Illinois Death Certificates 485, item 4. 

5.  "Mary M Schwartz," (Aurora) Beacon News, 21 January 1938, p. 25, col. 3. 

Read all of my Fearless Females posts.


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