MISTCLAI-L ArchivesArchiver > MISTCLAI > 2009-08 > 1249360006
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Subject: [MISTCLAI] Ratel in the NY/NJ Area, especially Elizabeth/Linden, NJ
Date: Tue, 04 Aug 2009 04:26:46 -0000
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I'm just beginning to look into my family background. My name is Joseph Ratel. William Ratel, born in 1870, was my great grandfather. Census records 1900-1920 have him listed as being born "at sea" but the 1930 census lists his birthplace as NY. He was a marine engineer and lived in Elizabeth, NJ (Union County), except for a period around 1902 when he lived in Providence, RI. His first wife's name was Rose. He married again some time between 1920 and 1930.
Stephen J Ratel was born in 1855. He also lived in Elizabeth, NJ. His wife's name was Emma. His occupation was listed as boatman, barge captain, car driver, confectioner, and foreman at various times. Both he and William lived on Elizabeth Avenue as well as Fulton (not sure St. or Ave.) within a block or two of each other. Decades later, William's son Leo and Stephen's son Francis (Frank) lived directly next door to one another.
At the same time Stephen J and William Ratel lived in Elizabeth, a Julia Ratel lived in Elizabeth. For a short time she lived at Stephen's address. Then Stephen moved to a new address and Julia stayed at the old address.
There are a series of Elizabeth, NJ directories that have been published. Julia first appears in the 1883-84 edition. Her occupation is listed as nurse, and she is described as the widow of Alexis. The last edition in which she appears is 1898. Stephen appears in the listings from 1883-84 up until 1900. William first appears in the 1895-96 directory and then up until the 1901 directory. It seems likely that Julia was probably Stephen and William's mother.
I'm looking at the Buffalo branch of Ratels with great interest. I understand that Joseph, born around 1818, was an engineer. Both William and Stephen J worked on boats or ships. I also looked at Joseph Ratel's sons George P and Joseph E from that branch and both were involved in shipbuilding. Both William and Stephen listed their parents as being Canadian of French origin according to census records. Also, the names Joseph and George continue to be family names within my branch of the family.
Two more things of note that I'll mention. Frank Ratel, Stephen's son, attempted to cross the border, presumably to relocate, with his family into Canada, I think around 1932 at the Peace Bridge Crossing. His application was rejected and I assume he was turned away. His application was difficult to read, but both he and his wife indicated on the application that they had each spent time living in Canada before. I could be mistaken, but I think the timeline maybe coincided with the time they married, as if they had met each other in Canada.
The second thing of interest I found was a birth record from Quebec from I believe 1903 for a Marie Joseph Emma Rose Ratel. It could be purely coincidence, but Emma was Stephen's wife's name and Rose was William's wife's name. The birth record is written in French. Deciphering that could provide some very interesting information.
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