Grandpa Golcher

three guysThis is one of the few pictures I have of my dad, grandfather (my mom’s dad) and myself.  I think I am about three years old here. How many pictures will my grandchildren have with their grandfathers? Hundreds and hundreds.

Grandpa Julius Golcher is somewhat of an enigma. When a friend who knew his way around genealogy attempted to do a family tree on my mom’s side, he could go no further back than Julius’ parents in Costa Rica. Which is interesting, because we were always told he was from Argentina.

As you can see from the picture, he wore one of those old wired hearing aids. He worked as a machinist in Philadelphia, but was placed in the Philadelphia State Hospital at Byberry at some point, suffering from a form of Parkinson’s disease attributed to the Spanish influenza epidemic of the early 20th century.

I do remember that he primarily spoke Spanish, which means that there must be a compelling story of how he met his wife Mary Fox, my mom’s mom. She immigrated from England and worked as a nanny in Philadelphia, which is interesting because we were always told she was a governess, but census records tell a different story. Ancestry on her side only goes back as far as a lighthouse somewhere along the North Sea. (There are too many “Mary Foxes” from that time frame to know which branch of the tree to follow.) She came to America with two sisters, Peg and Elsie. I knew her much better, and will write about her in a future post.

Somehow that unlikely couple got together and had three daughters, but I’m not sure there is anyone left who knows that story. They raised their family in a row home on Rosalie Street in the Olney section of northeast Philadelphia.

Me with grandpa golcher

Here we are in NE Phila when I was 15 months old.

That’s all I’ve got on Grandpa Golcher. But I am pretty sure that my brother and sister and I all got our thick heads of hair from him.

 

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