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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Genealogue Challenge #83

Debbie Atchley sent in this challenge about Fred Friendly, the American broadcaster and author whose birthday was yesterday. According to a recent movie, he bore a striking resemblance to George Clooney.

When did his paternal grandfather become a US Citizen?

How much time lapsed between the death of his paternal grandfather and his paternal grandmother?

I'll add an extra credit question: Where are his paternal grandparents buried?

Doogles McQuig

The target is Ferdinand Wachenheimer. According to the 1900 census he was a naturalized citizen by then, but I can't find a source that is more specific. As to the length of time between his death and his wife's, I'll just take a wild guess that it was five days.

Craig Manson

I'm surprised this is proving so tough. Here's what I know so far: Fred Friendly was born in New York in 1915 as Ferdinand Wachenheimer (Wikipedia). The 1920 census lists Ferdinand Wachenheimer, age 4, as the son of Samuel and Therese Wachenheimer. The 1910 census shows Samuel Wachenheimer as the son of Frederick and Carolina Wachenheimer.

Craig Manson

Ferdinand Wachenheimer died March 9, 1914 and his wife Carolina died March 14, 1914, according to the New York City death index at the Italian Genealogical Group website (

Craig Manson

And finally, Fred Friendly's garndfather Ferdinand Wachenheimer, was naturalized on Oct 13, 1883. I find a naturalization petition at for a Ferdinand "Wechenheimer"; I believe this is the same person.

I'll skip the extra credit!


Phew, I didn't think anyone would take up this challenge.

The extra credit shouldn't be too hard if you get some help from Steve Morse.

Doogles McQuig

Craig, good find on the footnote source. I checked there but didn't use an alternate spelling.

Craig Manson

Ok, with the clues from Steve's website: Fred Friendly's grandparents, his father, and his uncle Harry are all buried at Mt. Zion Cemetery in Maspeth, NY.


Thanks to you both for playing along, and thanks to Deb for providing the challenge!

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