Covering genealogy, family history, historical events and places, and anything else related!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

52 Ancestors: Week 28 "Road Trip": The Boe Family's Move from Chicago to Los Angeles

My mother moved often when she was growing up. Her father worked for P. F. Collier, and he started his career with them as an encyclopedia salesman. In 1947, the family moved from Chicago, Illinois to Los Angeles, California. I have heard stories about this road trip from family members, including my mother. My aunt Joan wrote a story (unpublished) which includes information about this trip. Her story was especially informative, and it helped me learn some of the important details about the trip.

U.S. Route 66 artwork on the side of a claw vending machine. By Xnatedawgx (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 ( or GFDL (]. Available from Wikimedia Commons.

On a summer day in the late 1940s (my aunt Joan said the family moved in 1947, but my mother said the family was in Chicago in 1948), John and Margaret (Schneider) Boe set off for Los Angeles with their five children: Margaret's daughter Joan and son Herb from her first marriage to William Herbert Foerstel, and their daughters Margaret and Karen (my mother) and son Dobby. Their spitz dog Skippy was also with them. My grandparents had purchased a used Chevrolet station wagon for the trip.

Drawing of a woodie wagon built on the popular Chevrolet truck chassis 1947-1953. 6 December 2010. By Truemanbruce (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (]. Available from Wikimedia Commons.

To travel from Chicago to Los Angeles, they took Route 66. My grandparents took turns driving. Unfortunately, most of the children got very carsick. (My aunt Joan said that my uncle Herb did not, but the others did.) The driving speed made no difference. My grandparents were heavy smokers; the cigarette smoke may have contributed to the car sickness.

Image by SPUI. Public domain. Available from Wikimedia Commons.

At one point, they stopped at a gas station to refill the gas tank and use the rest room. They then got back on the road. About an hour later, they noticed that Skippy was missing. He had been left behind at the gas station!

Of course they had to go back. My grandfather turned the car around and drove for another hour or so, until they reached the gas station. Skippy was there waiting, and he got back in the car with the family.

The Boe family definitely arrived in California by 1948. John and Margaret Boe appear in the 1948 Los Angeles, California voter registrations. They were living at 7815 S. Dalton Av. Their political affiliation was listed as DS. A blog post at indicates that DS may mean "declined to state."

Index to Register of Voters. Los Angeles City Precinct No. 208. Los Angeles County, California, 1948. California, Voter Registrations, 1900-1968 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2008. Original data: State of California, United States. Great Register of Voters. Sacramento, California: California State Library.

No comments:

Post a Comment