The Frank side of the Frank-Munzer Family Tree is rooted with my grandparents John Andrew Frank and Mary Madeline Bloh. Any additional information on their parents or siblings will also be presented. Please view the Frank-Munzer Family Tree for the complete lineage chart.
Please note the distinction between my Dad, who is John Andrew Frank, Jr., and my grandfather. I will sometimes refer to Benjamin Frank, my grandfather’s brother, as great-uncle Ben. Also, his son Joseph L. Frank, who is technically my second cousin once removed, will be referred to as ‘Uncle’ Joe since this was how he was known to me. Madeline Frank was my father’s sister and she married Russell Kantner. She was and always will be Aunt Gig to us. The Kantners had two sons, Russy and Johnny, who were obviously our cousins. John Kantner was often referred to as Johnny A. to differentiate him from me, although I was sometimes called Johnny B.
Our grandmother’s name on the paternal side was Mary Bloh, who came from a large family parented by Joseph Bloh and Bertha Breiter. One of her sisters was named Helen Bloh (who we called Aunt Helen). My grandfather’s (John Andrew Frank) parents were Charles Frank and Sarah Virginia Wenzel and they also had another son named Benjamin Frank. The point of interest about this is that the two Frank Brothers married two of the Bloh sisters; John A. married Mary and Ben married Helen.
Although I was always under the impression that my ancestors all originated in Germany, there is evidence to suggest that the Frank genealogy may also have some Swiss and French roots.
Instead of providing a narrative in paragraph format, I have decided to simply present the information (both direct and implied) in a summarized bullet list. I will also include any pertinent information that I can recall. Any available documentation will be included as source information. The source information is provided below the bullet list and all citations to the family members on the Frank side of the family are highlighted with a blue dot.
Observations and Impressions
- Joseph Bloh and Bertha Breiter were Grandmom’s (Mary Frank, nee Bloh) parents (Exhibit 6).
- Joseph Bloh was born in Pennsylvania and his parents were born in German cities (Hanover and Mainz, per Exhibit 2). Exhibit 2 also suggests that Joseph Bloh’s grandfather was born in France.
- The Breiter family emigrated from Switzerland (Exhibits 1 and 4) but there is evidence that they were of German ancestry (Exhibit 6).
- Charles Frank and Sarah Virginia Frank (nee Wenzell) were Grandpop and great-uncle Ben Frank’s parents. As far as I can reasonably tell, their ancestors were from Pennsylvania and they probably originated in Germany.
- Sarah Virginia Wenzell’s parents were Benjamin and Annie (sometimes Anne) Wenzel (nee Still) Exhibit 3.
- It appears that in 1900 the Charles Frank family was living on North Fifth Street (Exhibit 5) with some of the Wenzell siblings sharing the same residence.
- Exhibits 6 and 11 also list Grandmom Frank’s first name as Madeline while Exhibits 9 and 10 list it as Mary Madeline. I am presuming that her first name was Mary and that she was usually called Madeline.
- The 1920 US Census (Exhibit 7) lists the Benjamin Frank Family as living on the 400 block of Buttonwood Street in Philadelphia (it is just South of Spring Garden Street). Some time after the census, this area must have gone through a major redevelopment as Buttonwood Street (and several other small streets) no longer exist below the 900 block.
- The rest of the Bloh clan lived across from them on Buttonwood Street (Exhibit 8).
- The two Frank brothers (John Andrew and Ben) married two of the Bloh sisters (Mary Madeline and Helen). See introductory paragraph above for details.
- John A. Frank and Mary M. Bloh had two documented children, John A., Jr. (Dad) and Madeline B. (Aunt Gig) (Exhibit 10).
- Other independent researchers on ancestry.com indicate that Charles Frank was also a child of John A. and Mary M. Frank and that he was born in December 1927 and died in February 1928. Although I am unable to document this, I am including it since it may have been passed on through oral history on the Bloh side of the family. Update: The Carl Bloh and John Mc Ginley Families of Philadelphia genealogy site has some additional information that seems to confirm the existence of Charles Frank through a burial record that they were able to reference. I have included this source as Exhibit 17 in the event that the linked site is deleted in the future.
- John A. Frank, Jr. and Joseph L. Frank (cousins) lived in proximity to one another during their youth, and this was told to me by both Dad and Uncle Joe. In 1930 they lived next door to one another (Exhibit 10) and in 1940 they lived less than a block apart (Exhibits 11 and 12).
- Great-uncle Ben had the distinction of registering for both the 1st and 2nd World Wars (Exhibits 13 & 14). I don’t know if he actually served in either. This would seem appropriately fitting though, as Uncle Joe told me several times that he was a ‘rough and tumble’ type of guy and maybe a little mean spirited.
- John A. Frank, Jr. registered for World War 2 in 1943 (Exhibit 15). He served in the Pacific Islands but I don’t think that he was in an active combat area. When I was a child he told me that he had achieved the rank of Technical Sergeant. One of the souvenirs that I remember from ‘O’ Street that Dad bought back from the war was a pair of Japanese binoculars in their original case. It was pretty neat.
- Uncle Joe (Joe Frank) also registered for World War 2 in 1943 (Exhibit 16), and I guess that this was another parallel with Dad. Joe told me that he was in the European Theater and saw heavy combat. He indicated to me that he was in the Battle of the Bulge and served under General Patton for a time.
1870 US Census, Breiter family
1880 US Census, Bloh family
1880 Wenzell Baptismal Record
1900 US Census, Bloh family
1900 US Census, Frank family
1910 US Census, Bloh family
1920 US Census, Benjamin Frank Family
1920 US Census, Bloh Family
1923 Baptismal Record for John A. Frank, Jr.
1930 US Census, John A. Frank Family and Ben Frank Family (separate living addresses)
1940 US Census, John A. Frank Family
1940 US Census, Benjamin Frank Family
World War 1 Registration, Benjamin Frank
World War 2 Registration, Benjamin Frank
World War 2 Registration, John A. Frank, Jr. (electronic copy)
World War 2 Registration, Joseph L. Frank (electronic copy)
Charles Frank citation from The Carl Bloh and John Mc Ginley Families of Philadelphia