Part 710p – Smith Groh Genealogy – The Mystery of Brayton C. Placeway – Whatever Happened to Johanna (née Plischke) Placeway?

11 June 2012

Good Day,

Sometimes in the search and understanding of genealogy, documentary information and data may provide an answer. And then, sometimes the information does not get you any further ahead.

Accordingly ggg-grandfather Brayton C. Placeway filed for a divorce from his 2nd wife Johanna (née Plischke) of Austria, per The Flint Daily Journal of 17 November 1917. (See Part 697p.) Also I have the 1920 US Census that on 9 January 1920 ggg-grandfather Brayton was living with his first wife, ggg-grandmother Mary (née Seigel), his children, and his in-laws. They were living in Wauwatosa City, in the County of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

I chanced upon the 1920 US Census for one Johanna Placeway. This Johanna Placeway is a roomer on 8 January 1920 at 816 Buckham Street in Flint City, in the County of Genesee, Michigan. She was employed as a "Drill Press Operator" at an "Auto Factory".The distance between Johanna and ggg-grandfather Brayton is one day, per the dates of the Censuses, and due west across Lake Michigan about 250 miles, as the crow flies.

There are a couple of points recorded in the 1920 Flint City Census that peak my interest and genealogical curiosity. The Johanna Placeway enumerated on the Census has to be ggg-grandfather Brayton’s wife or ex-wife. Her birthplace, as well as that of her parents, is listed as “Bohemia”. (See Part 694p.) And of course these listed points raise some questions.

1. Johanna Placeway is noted as Married – “M”. My question – When did ggg-grandfather Brayton’s and Johanna (née Plischke)’s 17 November publication for divorce become final?

2. The year of immigration to the United States recorded for Johanna is “1900”. She is also listed as “Na” – “Naturalized” in the year “1915”. The year 1915 makes sense; based on the 1 February 1915 Emergency Passport Application issued at the American Embassy in Berlin, Germany to both ggg-grandfather Brayton and his wife Johanna. My question – Did Johanna visit/come to the United States in the year 1900? Why?

3. Was ggg-grandfather Brayton C. Placeway legally divorced from his first wife, ggg-grandmother Mary (née Seigel)?

And I guess I just keep on searching…

Stay tuned, and enjoy,



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