Monday, April 11, 2016

I is for Ida Benert (1863-?)

There's a lot in a name.

Ida Bennett

Ida Benert was the daughter of John Benert #1 and Barbara Horn and it seems, a very practical person. When she was a teenager she changed her name from Benert to Bennett. She told the family that no one ever got her name right, always calling her Bennett, so she might as well be a Bennett. Thanks a lot, Ida. Benert is such a unique name. Bennett; not so much.

After her mother's second marriage, Ida lived with one Horn relative after another in Brooklyn, Philadelphia, and New York. She never married and supported herself by working as a seamstress or as she reported in the 1920 census, a modiste. 

I don't know when she was born. The 1880 census says she was 17 (born about 1863), the 1900 census reports she was 31 (born about 1869) and by 1920 she had lost another 5 years and claimed she was 46 (born about 1874). She must have been getting a bit forgetful because in 1930 she said she was born about 1870 and was 60 years old.

All of those censuses give her name as Bennett. But she is listed as Ida Benert in 1897 when she was witness to a cousin's marriage.

And that's all I know. I can't find her in the newspapers or in the city directories. No obituaries, no cemetery information, not even a date of death. 

I do know she was very much loved by her nephew John Benert #3. He named his daughter, Grace Ida.

It was Grace Ida who left me this lovely pitcher and bowl that Ida used for washing.