Eckenrode-Pierson Family Records
Biographical Notes and Records of the Eckenrode family and relations including Pierson and Gustafson relations
Annie Greenburg Gustafson (1885-1981) holding her granddaughter Bernice Pierson (1919-2008) mother of Regina Eckenrode Lagakos.
Eckenrode - Pierson Family Records
On August 17, 1968 Stephen Lagakos married Regina Eckenrode, bringing together two families each having a long and interesting history.
Stephen and Regina were close in age. Regina Eckenrode was born in Cambria County, Pennsylvania on November 30, 1947. Stephen Lagakos was born in Philadelphia on June 18, 1946. Stephen's family Greek roots are described in the page Lagakos Family History of this site. Regina Eckenrode's family roots in Pennsylvania and Minnesota are described below.
The Eckenrode Heritage
Regina Eckenrode's parents were Donald Michael Eckenrode, born March 25, 1910 in Cambria County, Pennsylvania and Bernice Pierson born October 21, 1919 in Minneapolis, Minnesota of a family with Swedish roots. Both were long-lived, living to age 89; Donald dying December 12, 1999 and Bernice on July 28, 2008 both in Lebanon, Pennsylvania.
Donald and Bernice Eckenrode circa 1951 holding Tom Eckenrode, Regina's youngest brother
Donald and Bernice Eckenrod had 4 children:
- David John Eckenrode born 25 May 1946 and who would die in as a Marine Second Lieutenant in Vietnam 21 July 1968.
- Regina Eckenrode (our ancestor) born 30 November 1947.
- Daniel Eckenrode born in about 1949
- Thomas Edward Eckenrode born in about 1951
the Eckenrode children in April, 1953: Daniel, Regina, Thomas on his scooter, and David
Donald Eckenrode was son of Michael Demetrius Augustine Eckenrode, born in Cambria County Pennsylvania, February 7, 1875 and Mary Elizabeth Metzger born in Cambria County, Pennsylvania October 28, 1878. Michael Eckenrode worked at the Wilmore Coal Mine of the Shoemaker Coal Company in Cambria County. Michael's father and all of his brothers were also coal miners, one of the few occupations in that area of rural Pennsylvania. Mary Metzger Eckenrode died in Cambria County on November 30, 1948.
Michael and Mary Eckenrode had seven children:
- Paul N. Eckenrode born September 25, 1904 - April, 1978 - a coal miner, like his father and grandfather.
- Ruth Eckenrode November 18, 1906 - June, 1987 - a school teacher. Ruth seems never to have married.
- Donald Michael Eckenrode, the Eckenrode ancestor, March 10, 1910-December 12, 1999.
- Raymond Eckenrode February 1, 1912 - June, 1981.
- Wilbert J. Eckenrode June 24, 1914 - April 13, 1905.
- Harold Eckenrode Oct 22, 1916 - January 1987.
- Marion Eckenrode born 1920.
Mary Metzger Eckenrode seems to have inherited the Metzger family home, the Metzger House, from her widowed mother, Caroline Metzger. The Metzger House was a hotel and tavern.
the Metzger House prior to World War I located in Lilly, Cambria County, Pennsylvania
Both Mary Metzger Eckenrode's parents and Michael's parents were both Pennsylvania born, both of German heritage.
Michael Eckenrode was the son of John Eckenrode born September 1845 and Julia Anne Quartz Eckenrode, born January 1849. John Eckenrode's mother, Mary, was born in Germany, and Julia Eckenrode's father, Jene Valentine Quartz, was born in Germany. John Eckenrode married Julia Ann Quartz in 1869 in Cambria County. John Eckenrode, like all of his sons was a coal miner, and later a carpenter.
John and Julia Eckenrode had six children:
- Jacob Eckenrode born March, 1871 a coal miner.
- Annie Eckenrode born 1873.
- Michael Eckenrode the Eckenrode ancestor was born February, 1875. He was a coal miner.
- Agnes Eckenrode born January, 1877.
- Francis Eckenrode born March, 1878 a coal miner.
- Henry Eckenrode born September, 1880 a coal miner.
John Eckenrode died in April 24, 1900 in Cambria County, Pennsylvania. Julia Eckenrode died in Cambria County in 1929, age 80.
John Eckenrode's parents were Peter James Eckenrode, born April 12, 1823 and Mary Douglass Eckenrode born 1825. Both were born in Pennsylvania of parents of German roots.
Peter James Eckenrode and Mary Eckenrode had five children:
- John Eckenrode the Eckenrode ancestor born September 1845.
- Mary Catherine Eckenrode born 1851.
- William Eckenrode born 1852-1865 dying at age 13.
- Michael Daniel Eckenrode November 21, 1853-July 31, 1898.
- Helena Ann Eckenrode born 1855.
- Romamus Eckenrode born 1857-1872 dying at age 15.
Peter James Eckenrode died in Cambria County on March 21, 1893 age 69.
Peter James Eckenrode's parents were John E. Eckenrode born in Pennsylvania on 20 November 20, 1795 and died in Cambria County, Pennsylvania in 1844. and Anna Catharine Reppert born in Pennsylvania 4 July 4, 1783 and died in Cambria County, Pennsylvania in 1853. John E. Eckenrode had German parents: Christoph Eckroth (1742-1813) and Mary Margaret Eckroth (1734-1795).
Concerning the alteration of the family name from 'Eckroth' to 'Eckenrode', Greg Eckenrode (relationship unknown) wrote in his genealogy page:
"...It is not surprising that the name Eckroth (a signature on documents found on estate indicate this to be the original spelling) could be misspelled. The German pronunciation would be ek' rot (with long o). Therefore seeing spellings such as Eckwrot and Eckrote make some sense. It wasn't very long after 1741 that the name 'Eckenroth' appears to have evolved and then a short time after that 'Eckenrode'..." 2
In German, 'eck' means 'corner' and 'roth' is 'red'.
The Pierson-Gustafson Heritage
Returning to Regina Eckenrode Lagakos's parents: Donald and Bernice Eckenrode: the Pierson and Gustafson Swedish roots are also interesting.
Bernice Eckenrode, Regina's mother, was born Bernice Pierson on October 21, 1919 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her parents were Frank Oscar Pierson and Martha Ann Davis Pierson. One of the confusing aspects of tracing this family heritage was the Swedish practice of changing surnames of sons based on the father's first name. As an example, Pierson is 'son of Piers' and 'Gustafson' is 'son of Gustaf'. Without going further into this, in any case Frank Oscar Pierson, grandfather of our ancestor Regina Eckenrode Lagakos was born in Minneapolis January 15, 1882, son of Swedish-born Charles Gustafson.
Frank Oscar Pierson circa 1910
Frank Oscar Pierson seems to have been a tough and hard-working man. He began as a 'garment cutter' at the Robitshek-Schneider clothing manufacturing company in Minneapolis. He later advanced as a designer and later a manager at Robitshek-Schneider. He also briefly lived in Milwaukee. There was in 1933 a serious employee strike at Robitshek-Schneider, which Frank Pierson was said to have been a key manager in controlling and settling.
the 1933 Robitshek-Schneider strike
Family recollection is that Frank became a Christian Scientist in later life. Frank Pierson died only a few years after the strike, dying on April 14, 1938 in Minneapolis, aged only 56.
Bernice Pierson Eckenrode's mother was Martha Ann Davis Pierson, born June, 1885, whose father had died when Martha was young. She was raised by her widowed mother Molly Davis.
Martha Ann Davis as an infant
Martha Ann Davis Pierson gave birth to Bernice Pierson on October 21, 1919.
Martha Pierson holding baby Bernice Eckenrode early in 1920 - probably a Christening photograph
Martha Ann Davis Pierson was long-lived. She died in August 1981, age 93.
Martha Davis Pierson age 93 in December 1977
Frank Oscar Pierson and Martha Ann Davis Pierson had two children:
- our ancestor Bernice M. Pierson born in Minnesota October 21, 1919.
- Roger Oscar Pierson born 21 Sep 1924 in Minnesota. He died there on October 11, 2006.
Bernice Pierson grew up in Minneapolis surrounded by Pierson and Gustafson relations.
Frank Oscar Pierson holding Bernice with Frank's father Charles Gustafson in the early 1920s. (a stern-looking group!)
Eckenrode ancestor Frank Oscar Pierson was son of Charles Gustafson who was born in Sweden and emigrated to Minnesota in 1871. Charles Gustafson was married twice. The 1880 Census lists Charles's first wife Louisa, born in Sweden in about 1856 and their four daughters: Zelma, Valrina, Elvira, and Helena. The children of Charles's first marriage seem all to have been born in Michigan in the 1870s.
Charles Gustafson emigrated to the United States in 1871, perhaps already married to Louisa Gustafson. Although we have not yet found a record of Louisa's death, she is remembered by the family to have died young. Could this have been from childbirth?
Charles Gustafson remarried before 1896. His second wife was Annie Greenburg Gustafson (March, 1859-December 20, 1926).
Charles Gustafson and Annie Greenburg Gustafson in 1900 had living with them nine children. It is unclear which were children of Charles Gustafson's first wife Louisa, and which were children of Annie Gustafson. This is further less clear since this seems to have been the second marriage of Annie Greenburg Gustafson. She is listed in the census as having had three children. It seems likely that Ester I. Gustafson born in Minneapolis January 1889, listed below may have been from a first marriage of Annie Greenburg Gustavson, and that Lillian V. Gustafson born in Minneapolis January 1897 was the child of Annie and Charles Gustafson:
- Abina Gustafson born in Michigan May 1876 and died in Illinois October 22, 1942. She married Hans J. Christianson in Illinois.
- Frank Oscar Gustafson, family ancestor who later changed his name to Frank Oscar Pierson. Born in Minneapolis January 15, 1882 and died in Minneapolis April 14, 1938. He married Martha D. Pierson (June 24, 1885 - August 1981).
- Oscar Gustafson who retained the Gustafson family name, born in Minneapolis March 27, 1884 who died in Winnebago County, Illinois in April 1971. He married Clara Gustafson.
- Frieda J. Gustafson born in Minneapolis June 1886 - June 16, 1962 (later Frida Peterson).
- Anna J. Gustafson born in Minneapolis July 25, 1888 and died there October 20, 1961. Anna married E. Gustav Anderson, a jeweler, in 1918.
- Edward Karl Gustafson who retained the Gustafson family name, born in Minneapolis March 18, 1890, died in Rock Island, Illinois May, 1969.
- Joseph E. Gustafson who later changed his family name to Joseph Pierson, born in Minneapolis November, 1892, and married Myrtle Pierson. Joseph Pierson occupation was listed as a candymaker in Minneapolis.
- Ester I. Gustafson born in Minneapolis January 1889.
- Lillian V. Gustafson born in Minneapolis June 1897.
The extended Pierson and Gustafson family can be seen in the family reunion photograph below.
standing: not yet identified
seated: center - Charles Gustafson (born in Sweden in July, 1851, died January 28, 1923?), left of Charles is his son, Frank Oscar Pierson (January 15, 1882 - April 14, 1938), and to right of Charles is his second wife Annie Greenburg Gustafson (March, 1859 - December 20, 1926). To the right of Annie Gustafson is Martha D. Pierson (June 24, 1885 - August 1981), wife of Frank Pierson.
front: in low chair, Bernice M. Pierson (October 21, 1919 - July 28, 2008).
on ground: three children and infant Roger Oscar Pierson (September 21, 1924 - November 10, 2006).
Donald Michael Eckenrode, father of Regina Eckenrode Lagakos:
Returning to Donald Michael Eckenrode, father of Regina Eckenrode Lagakos, Donald had a career significantly different from the life as a Pennsylvania anthracite miner of most of his relatives. His parents were able to send him, even in the depths of the Depression to a nearby Catholic college. This was St. Francis College, at Loretto, Pennsylvania was founded in 1845 by the Brothers of St. Francis of Assisi.
Donald Michael Eckenrode class of 1933 St. Francis College.
Donald Eckenrode received his Bachelor of Science degree, after which a contemporary account described:
"...he pursued graduate study in Psychology and Vocational Counseling at the University of Pittsburgh...During World War II, he served in the US Army Infantry for four years discharged with the rank of Captain in 1946..." 1.
Then, Donald Eckenrode served in World War II when he volunteered in 1942 until discharge in 1946. He worked with the Veteran's Administration, and then transferred to Social Security. He worked in the Social Security Administration, becoming "Officer in Charge" of the Social Security office in Lebanon, Pennsylvania in 1967. This led to the Eckenrode family transferring to Lebanon. Both Donald and Bernice Eckenrode lived into old age in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, both living to age 89; Donald dying December 12, 1999 and Bernice on July 28, 2008.
David Lagakos, Regina Eckenrode Lagakos, Betty Powers (Bernice Eckenrode's lifelong fiend), and Adrian Lagakos, April, 2009.
1 page 12. Donald Eckenrode Assumes Position at SS Office Here. Lebanon Daily News. Lebanon, Pennsylvania. August 30, 1967.
2 Greg Eckenrode family roots web site accessed 2015: http://gregeck.tripod.com/family.html
If you have any comments or questions about this site, please e-mail me (Larry Huffman) at e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org