Genealogy Wise

The Genealogy & Family History Social Network

And That's the Way It Is in Walter Cronkite's Family Tree

CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite is 92 and seriously ill.

Walter Leland Cronkite, Jr., is the son of Dr. Walter Leland, Sr., and Helen Lina (Fritsche) Cronkite, born 4 Nov. 1916 in Saint Joseph, Missouri. He married 27 Mar. 1940 in Jackson County, Missouri, Mary Elizabeth "Betsy" Maxwell (you can see for yourself, with an subscription). His parents were married 24 Nov. 1915 in Leavenworth County, Kansas (again, see for yourself). Family lore has it that Helen Fritsche almost married Douglas MacArthur, then stationed in her hometown of Leavenworth.

Walter, Sr., was born in St. Joseph, Missouri, on 24 Sept. 1893. His parents were Dr. Frederick Pierce and Anna Louise (Prussia) Cronkite—he a native of Warsaw, New York, she of Dansville, New York. Further information on Frederick and Anna's origins will be found on his death certificate and hers (both PDF). According to Margaret Cronkhite Taylor, the Cronkites descended from a Dutch settler named Herck Sybouts:
Herck Sybouts(en) arrived ca. 1641 in New York and married Weyntie Teunis Quick on Nov 16, 1642. They had 15 children. According to McKenzie "They lived in New Amsterdam until 1654 when they moved to the Arme Bouwery at Hell gate, then a part of Newtown, L. I. While he went by the name of of Sybouts and his children by the patronymic Hercx, his grandchildren adopted the surname Cranckheit, later shortened to Crank and Cronk." It is not known at this time why they took this change in name but it has been documented in the records of the NY Reformed Dutch Church, and also in publications by Riker, McKenzie, Doherty, and others.
Walter Cronkite wrote that his "[m]other's grandparents on both sides had come from Bavaria in the great German immigration of the mid-nineteenth century." He may have been "the most trusted man in America," but Walt should have done some fact-checking on this. In truth, his maternal ancestors came from several German states. His mother, Helen Lina Fritsche (a brief obituary here, her gravestone here), was the daughter of Edward Charles and Mathilda (Renz) Fritsche, born 18 Aug. 1892 in Kansas. Edward's parents, Edward and Lina (Gerold) Fritsche, were born in Altenburg, Saxony, according to a profile in William G. Cutler's History of the State of Kansas (1883). Edward the younger was a druggist, and died 1946 in Kansas City, Missouri. His death certificate may be viewed here (PDF). His wife, Mathilda Renz, was the daughter of August and Helena (Graeif) Renz—he born in Württemberg, she in Prussia. Here is Mathilda's death certificate (PDF). A biographical sketch in William Elsey Connelly's A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans (1918) describes August Renz's immigration to America.
In 1853 at the age of twenty he set out for America. It took forty nine days to cross the ocean on a sailing vessel.
His arrival at Castle Garden in New York, on 29 Oct. 1853, is shown in this transcribed record. And this is quite possibly the passenger record of his future bride.

Corrections and additions are welcome in the comments.

Views: 1829


You need to be a member of Genealogy Wise to add comments!

Join Genealogy Wise




© 2019   Created by Nat Ins for Genealogical Studies.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service