Wednesday, September 28, 2011


I came across the granddaughter of a cousin of mine through Find-A-Grave. Her grandmother and my great-grandfather were first cousins. We both have been working on this info for a couple of years now. Her grandmother was sent to an orphanage in 1883 in Terre Haute (St. Ann’s) when she was 2 ½ years old. Our search is to find her biological father, confirm her biological mother and determine why she was sent to an orphanage while her brother, 2 years older than her, was not and who she stayed with until that time. Below is the info we have on her, as briefly as possible, and would love to connect some of the dots.

Her name was Emma Cecilia Bachmann Howe Houston Price. She was born 18 March 1881 in Oldenburg, Indiana (based on a letter she wrote). No records of her birth have been found through Franklin County Courthouse Records in Brookville or the Holy Family Church in Oldenburg or St. Anthony’s Church in Morris, Indiana. No baptismal records were found either. Emma had written a letter to be opened upon her death in July 1929. She indicated in this letter that she had found her grandparents, Gervasis and Magdalena Bachmann from Oldenburg and that she had found her biological mother in Morris, Indiana but had since lost her address. She gave no indication as to how she found this information, nor did she write down her name! We assumed it was from her adoptive mother, Frances Rose Howe but that was never confirmed. Only one of the children of Gervasis and Magdalena Bachmann ever lived in Morris, Indiana. Her name was Magadalena Bachmann Roell. Magdalena had a previous child, out of wedlock, Albert Louis Bachmann, who later changed his name to Albert Louis Gloshen, after his father, Monroe Gloshen. A death certificate confirmed his parentage. We have not looked for any official adoption records for Albert. We assumed he just changed it because he knew his father. We have assumed that Monroe Gloshen was the biological father of Emma, but have not been able to confirm this since we have been unable to find descendents to the line of Albert or Monroe Gloshen.

We found a one line notation from an adoption ledger several years ago listing Emma “Mary” Bachmann, from INDIANAPOLIS. Her granddaughter was confused by the different middle name, as her grandmother always used Cecilia. I assume it was changed in honor of her adoptive mother’s relative, Mother Superior Mary Cecilia Bailly. Mother Superior is the daughter of Joseph Bailly, from the Bailly Homestead at Dunes State Park, in Porter County, Indiana. Mother Superior was the General Superior of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the Woods, directly succeeding Saint Mother Theodore Guerin. Frances Rose Howe adopted Emma. Frances visited her relative regularly and that is how she met Emma at the orphanage that Mother Superior oversaw. We have been unable to find any records of her birth in Indianapolis. These records of St. Ann’s orphanage have since been lost and no one knows where they are located any longer. A contact with the Archdiocese of Indianapolis would be helpful as numerous calls to try to find the records produces no results/return phone calls. There was no other information in this specific ledger. Trying to locate actual files from the orphanage has produced no results at all. We have checked with the Indiana Archives in Indianapolis, who would love to find these records, as they have had several inquiries for info on these orphans. The Indiana State Library has no genealogical records for the orphanage other than a couple of pictures of the building.

While on a trip to Porter County the first of June 2011, I went to several locations trying to find anything on Emma. The Porter County museum has numerous documents on Frances Rose Howe, Emma’s adoptive mother. Only brief mentions of her adoptive daughter are in the documents we have come across through the museum. Emma was officially adopted by Frances 23 September 1904, when Emma was 23 years old. Emma was removed from the orphanage in 1894 by Frances Rose Howe when she was 13, but was never formally adopted until she was 23 in 1904. A reason for this delay has not been found. We have come across some passport applications for Emma as she travelled abroad with Miss Howe. We were hoping to come across some personal diaries or papers from Miss Howe, but have not been able to locate any. We hoped to find that she had made mention somewhere of Emma’s parentage in her documents, as Miss Howe was a very astute business woman and left no T uncrossed or I un-dotted. While at the Clerk’s office in Valporaiso (the county seat), we tried to look up the will or estate of Frances Howe but could not find any records of significance. I showed them a receipt that we had from 1977, stating adoption information dates, etc. but the other information was not with it and we were told that the would have been the actual file of the adoption. The Clerk’s office indicated that the adoption records they once had for that time period “had been shipped to Indianapolis.” Which is a standard answer I receive from them any time I call. They cannot tell me to who or where they were shipped, just that they were shipped to Indianapolis. GEEZ!

While on this visit, I spoke with other individuals in the area at the library and the state park. Some of them suggested that I contact the Genealogical Society in Chicago and Detroit, as Frances Howe contributed much to both of these by way of influence and money. They seem to think that someone from those areas might have purchased the personal records of Frances Howe when the estate was up for auction and we may be able to find something through them. I have yet to find out where to contact someone from those areas. Again, our quest in locating some of the personal documents of Frances Howe may reveal how Emma learned of her parentage.

Emma’s assumed father, Monroe Gloshen, has turned up nothing. He was a resident of Franklin County, Indiana. Son of Nicholas Gloshen. Monroe then was “shipped off” to Rush County, to settle on a farm with his new bride, that his father purchased. Our guess is that Monroe may have been a wild-child of sorts and daddy needed to get him away from the crowd he had been with and straighten up! He married and moved to Rush County about the time Emma was sent to the orphanage, so we assumed there may be some connection, but without any descendents to speak with, we have no way of knowing any reasons for sure; it is all completely speculation on our part as to why he left. We have also not found any descendants of Albert, Emma’s assumed brother, to see if there were any family stories passed on.

Any help with finding descendants, adoption records, or information on the whereabouts of Frances Rose Howe documents or St. Ann Orphanage documents would be greatly appreciated. Please feel free to contact me with any additional questions anyone may have.

Kind regards,

Patti Moy

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