The 'Bruner' or 'Brunner' surname is German and Jewish (Ashkenazic). It was originally a topographic name for someone who lived beside a spring or well, derived from the Middle High German term brun(ne)—meaning 'spring'. However, in some cases it might have been a habitational name for someone from a place named after a spring or well.
   At left is one of the earliest-known coats of arms for the Brunner family. The primary colors on the coat of arms are gules (red)—signifying military fortitude and magnanimity, and argent (white or silver)—representing peace and sincerity. The three diagonal stripes ('bends') across the shield stand for defense or protection. The circle ('roundel') on top of the helmet with the flotté design (wavy bands of argent and 'azure'—blue) is called a fountain. It represents a pool or spring of pure water, and is a symbol of purification.
   The Brunner name was first found in Austria and Tyrol, where the family would later play a large role in the political conflicts of the area—which is why there's so much red in the coat of arms. Austria, which was originally home to a Celtic people, was conquered by the Roman Empire in about 15 BC. Following the fall of Rome, Austria was repeatedly invaded by barbarian tribes, such as the Vandals, Visigoths, and Huns, who swept in from the east. During the 5th and 6th centuries, the Alemanni, Avars and Slavs settled Austria. The Avars were defeated in 785 by the Frankish emperor Charlemagne, who set up the East Mark, which later became known as the Österreich.
   Austria was ruled by the Babenburger dynasty until 1278, when they were succeeded by the Hapsburg dynasty, which ruled Austria until the 20th century. During this time, the Bruner family grew, prospered and spread across Europe.
   Some of the first American settlers of this name or some of its variants were: Jacob Brunner, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1728; Heinrich Bruner, who came to Philadelphia in 1731; and Francis Bruenner, who landed in Philadelphia in 1840.

A map of the Frankish Kingdoms in the Carolingian Empire of Europe during the 9th Century, when they dominated the continent. (Click here to enlarge.)

Personal Information
Name:   Frederick BRUNER
Arrival Year:   1854
Birthplace:   Switzerland
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Source: U.S. Naturalization Records Indexes, 1794-1995. Series M1893. Issue Date: 9 Oct 1860, Cleveland District Court, Ohio.
   Our lineage to this family can be traced back to CHRISTIAN FREDERICK BRUNER (sometimes listed as "C. Frederick," sometimes listed as "Frederick C."), who emigrated to Ohio in the United States some time after 1850. Frederick was born @1817 in either Bavaria (according to the 1860 United States Census), Switzerland (1870 census) or Prussia (1880 census).¹ A Naturalization record found in the Cleveland courts lists a Frederick Brunner as having immigrated to the U.S. from Switzerland in 1854, and becoming Naturalized in 1860. The place of birth changes in the record because during that time, wars and revolutions were causing the rulers and borders of those countries to constantly change. The area we know now as "Germany" was really a group of thirty-eight independent states in Central Europe, including Austria, Bavaria, Prussia, and others. The "German Confederation" (or Deutscher Bund), had been created by the Congress of Vienna in 1815 as a replacement of the former Holy Roman Empire. But the German Confederation did not include some German-speaking lands in the eastern portion of the Kingdom of Prussia, the German-speaking cantons of Switzerland, and the French region of Alsace, which was predominantly German-speaking. Border wars between all of these nations in the 1850s, as well as a civil War in the states of the Confederation, created a surge of emigration to the United States, and Christian Frederick was one of them. It wasn't until a decade after Frederick emigrated that Otto von Bismarck united most of these these states into the German Empire, and the modern day "Germany" was created.
   We will probably never know who Frederick was named after, but this was a time when there were many Fredericks reigning as monarchs, so he could have been named after a member of royalty, or else another family member.
   Frederick married CHRISTINE NAFSKER (born @1824 in Switzerland). We first find Frederick and Christine in the 1860 United States Census, residing in Cleveland. Their children are Samuel (8), Peter (4), Frederick (2) and Christian (11) who is not listed again in another Census. Interestingly, Christian is listed as having been born in Ohio, while Samuel, born three years later, was reportedly born in Bavaria.

Personal Information
Census Image
Name: Frederick Bruner
Age in 1860: 36
Birthplace: Bavaria
Home in 1860: Cleveland Ward 10, Cuyahoga, Ohio
Value of real estate: N/A
Personal: 50
Job: Shoemaker
Post Office: Cleveland
Roll: M653_
Page: 0
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 (PDF 136K)
Personal Information
Census Image
Name:   C. F. Bruner
Age in 1870:   52
Birth Year:   1818
Birthplace:   Switzerland
Home in 1870:   Brooklyn, Cuyahoga, Ohio
Value of real estate:   1500
Personal:   200
Job:   Boot & shoe maker
Post Office:   Brooklyn
Roll:   M593_
Page:   50
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View blank 1870 census form
 (PDF 136K)
SOURCE INFORMATION: 1860 and 1870 U.S. Census data imaged from National Archives and Records Administration. Washington, DC.

   Cleveland was growing rapidly when Christian Frederick Brunner arrived, due to the Ohio River and Erie Canal, completed in 1832, which realized the city's potential as a major port near the Great Lakes.
   Industries and people flocked to this newly created business center, and leather products were needed for clothing and industry. Frederick was a shoemaker, and probably also made harnesses and saddles. He was probably a tanner, as well. (Most men in his profession had to tan hides in order to get leather and add income.) When a farmer killed a cow, a calf, or an old ox, he brought its hide to Frederick, who scratched the farmer's initials on it, cleaned it, dehaired it, and soaked it for six months in a solution of tanbark, until the hide became leather. Frederick would have kept half of the hide as payment for tanning (which he used for customers with no animals), and kept the hair—which he could sell to be mixed with plaster. Typically, the farmer's half of the hide was hung in the shop, next to the wooden lasts shaped to the feet of the farmer, so that there'd be no mix-up as to which leather would be used for which family's shoes. Dress shoes were made with calfskin, and work shoes from cowhide. He cut the uppers by patters, stretched them over the customer's last, and tacked to to them in order to let the leather set. Then he sewed the sole on with two "wax ends"—stout linen threads with waxed ends to pass through the holes cut into the leather with an awl. Each hole carried two threads, one for the upper and one for the sole.
   Most shoemakers were "cat whippers"—traveling leathersmiths who went house-to-house throughout the towns and villages. But Cleveland was growing so fast that Frederick could stay in one place and the business ould come to him. So in staying in one place, Frederick was probably a pretty good salesman and schmoozer—servicing the local community, in order to remain in one area long enough to raise a family. Here's a listing of all of his children with Christine:


  • CHRISTIAN BRUNER was 11 years old in the 1860 census (born in Ohio, but Switzerland in 1880 census). No further information.
  • SAMUEL BRUNER was born in 1853 in Bavaria, according to the 1860 census. A farm laborer in the 1870 census. On 8 Aug 1877 he married (1) LOUISA CHANDLER (1859 - 28 Feb 1892) in Ohio, and they had the following children: Clara L (1878-1901), Lillian Marie (Walker, 6 May 1880 - 4 Aug 1961), and Earnest Albert Brunner (9 May 1882 - 21 Apr 1950); After Louisa's death he married (2) CATHERINE "KATE" ECKERMAN (b. Apr 1861) on 12 Dec 1893 in Cleveland. They had the following children: Marie Johanna (Andres, 14 Jul 1895 - 4 Aug 1975), Esther Fern (Bettenhausen, 12 May 1897 - 20 Feb 1976), Dorothy (27 Dec 1899 - 19 Feb 1984; she lived with Uncle Albert and Mary in the 1920 Federal Census), and Samuel William Brunner (7 Jun 1901 - Sep 1976). They also raised Cassie Hattie Strader (Bettenhausen, 2 Mar 1883 - 13 Jun 1956), a child from Kate's previous marriage.
  • PETER WILLIAM BRUNER was born in 1856 in Ohio. He was also a farm laborer. He married SUSANNA E. SCHEUERMAN (Sep 1855 - 1917) on 24 Dec 1876 at the West Side Evangelical Church, West 38th & Bridge Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio. They had the following children: Barbara Marie (Anderson, 26 Feb 1876 - 2 Feb 1936); Elenore Dorethea Christina (Harman, 30 Sep 1878 - 30 Nov 1923); Wilhelmina Margareth (b. 28 Sep 1880); and Peter William Brunner (2 Dec 1882 - 11 Nov 1927). Peter died on 6 Feb 1885 in Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio. Susanna then married Casper Staffenbacher (Mar 1862 - 28 Jan 1942) in Cleveland on 6 Jan 1889 (Peter Jr. is still living with them in the 1900 census).
  • FREDERICK K BRUNER was born in 1859 and also became a farm laborer. He died in 1894 in Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio. On 12 Dec 1876, a Fred K Brunner married Alvena A. Laufert (1859-1937) in Cleveland; They had Samuel (b. 1877), Edward (1884-1960), Grover (1886-1967), and Frederick W Brunner (1889-1930). Starting in the 1900 Census, Alvena is listed as a widow with her sons. Another possibility: Fred Brunner, birthdate unknown, death on 18 Nov 1884, is buried at Riverside Cemetery, 3607 Pearl Road, Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, 44109; Section: 11, Lot 13 ("Find A Grave" Memorial ID #131124184); Another possibility: Fred K Brunner, birthdate unknown, died on 20 Mar 1910 and is buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in Cleveland (Memorial ID 96151834). This Frederick is listed as Alvena's husband on Find-A-Grave, but remember she was a widow after 1900? So who knows...
  • ALBERT A. BRUNER was born on 13 September 1861. In the 1880 census, he lived with his parents on Lorain street in Cleveland and was a 19-year-old molder. He married MARY WAGNER and they had four children, listed below. Albert died on 26 Oct 1927.⁵ The Cleveland Public Library's Necrology File (Reel #011) lists that Albert was, "husband of the late Mary; dearly beloved father of Albert G. and Elmer C., brother of Godfrey J., suddenly Wednesday, Oct. 26, age 66 years. Funeral Saturday, Oct. 29, at his late residence, 7103 Colgate avenue at 2:30 p. m. 1927. age 66. Alger Cemetery Cleveland, Ohio.
  • GOTTFRIED "GEORGE" C. BRUNER was born on 18 Feb 1864 in Cleveland, Ohio. In 1880, he lived with his parents on Lorain street in Cleveland, Ohio, and was a 17-year-old a cigar maker. He married ALICE M. BARNES (born 27 Dec 1867 in Canada, died 22 Dec 1941 in Cleveland, Ohio). 'Ancestry 1910 Miracode' shows Goffred J. Brunner residing in Cleveland Twp (ED 0066) with his wife-Alice M, son-Emanual, daughter-Gladys H, and a sister-in-law, Emma B. Lance. Children were: Myrtle A (30 Sep 1887 - 19 Aug 1972) m. Ralph R. Leisek (1891 - 27 May 1957); Emmanuel Godfrey (1 Nov 1892 - 12 Jan 1957) m. Mabel Thomspon (5 Oct 1892 - 5 Jun 1979); and Gladys Harriet (26 Apr 1899 - 12 Sep 1943) m. Edgar Berthold Rannow (27 Jan 1904 - 12 Sep 1983). The Cleveland Necrology File shows Godfrey as passing away on 4 Dec 1939 at 1335 West 89th Street.⁶ He And Alice are buried at West Park Cemetery in Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio.
  • MARY ELIZABETH "LIBBY" BRUNER was born in Jul 1866 in Cleveland, Ohio. On 21 Jul 1886 she married ALBERT W. CHANDLER (b. Jul 1862 in New York) in Cleveland, and they and had two sons: Charles Arthur (5 May 1887 - 5 May 1969); and Clarence Alfred Chandler (15 Mar 1890 - 6 Jun 1976). Her mother Christina Nafzger Bruner was living with them in the 1900 Census. Albert is gone by the 1920 census, and Elizabeth is living with Charles, a music teacher, and his wife Anna (listed as Elizabeth's daughter, but no previous census listing).⁷
  • CHRISTINE BRUNER was born in Dec 1869 in Brooklyn, Cuyahoga, Ohio, accordi g to the 1870 Census. She is not listed with the family in the 1880 census.
  • City Directory
    Directory:   Cleveland, Vol. XV, for 1886
    Name:   Brunner, Albert
    Name:   Brunner, Christ. F., shoemk'r
    Home Address:   1483 Lorain
    Page:   91
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    SOURCE: Cleveland Directory Company, 65 and 67 Frankfort Street, Cleveland; 1885.
       We don't know if Christian Frederick Brunner participated in the Civil War, but he would have been in his early forties when the war started. Tbere was a period of three years between Brunner children during the war, as well. There were actually several people of that name in the Union Army from Ohio: A Private Christian Fred Bruner fought in the 188th Regiment of the Ohio Infantry, Company H, rising to Sergeant; A second (?) Christian Fred Bruner was in the 185th Regiment; Another Private Christian Brunner served in the 28th Regiment, of Ohio Infantry in Company F (this could also be his son); Christian Bruner was in the 25th Regiment, Company H; Private Frederick Brunner was in the 9th Regiment, Company E.
       "German"-Americans were actually the largest ethnic contingent to fight for the Union in the American Civil War (which is ironic, since most of them immigrated to avoid a civil war in Germania). More than 200,000 native-born Germans, along with another 250,000 first generation German-Americans, served in the Union Army, notably from New York, Wisconsin, and Ohio. Only a few hundred served in the Confederacy, being primarily 3rd and 4th generation descended from those who had migrated to the Carolinas in the 18th century and early 19th century.
       Frederick and his young family probably turned out with the rest of Cleveland to view President Lincoln's body in Public Square when the casket was transported across the country in 1865:

    Cleveland residents line up to view the body of President Lincoln, on 28 Apr 1865.

    Personal Information
    Census Image
    Name:   Fredrick BRUNER
    Age:   63
    Birth year:   <1817>
    Birthplace:   Prussia
    Occupation:   Shoemaker
    Home in 1880:   Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio
    Marital status:   Married
    Year:   1880
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    Roll: T9_1007; Family History Film: 1255007; Page: 163A; District: 33; Image: 0329.
       The Civil War was responsible for an economic explosion in Cleveland, changing it from an agricultural town supplying the Erie Canal into an industrial giant. Railroad iron and gun-carriage axles were manufactured for military use. Naval crafts were built to patrol and defend the Great Lakes. Due to the cutoff of Southern trade, Cleveland opened its first tobacco factory, T. Maxfield & Co., in 1862. The garment and textile industries also prospered. By 1865, the city's banks held $2.25 million in capital and $3.7 million in deposits.
       In the 1870 Census, Frederick's family is listed as living in Brooklyn, Cuyahoga County, Ohio. (Brooklyn is in what we now know as the greater Cleveland area, but at this time was probably a short distance south of the city, in a farming area.) "CF" Brunner is 52 in this Census, married to 46-year-old Christine. Their children are Samuel (17), Peter (14), Frederick (11), Albert (8), Gottfreid (6), Elizabeth (4) and Christine (6 months).
       In the 1880 Cleveland city directory, he's listed as a retired shoemaker living at 685 Lorain. It's confirmed by that year's Census, but in that document 63 year-old Frederick had only been unemployed for two months. It also lists Christine (56) but only three children: Albert (a "moulder", age 19), George (a cigar maker, age 17) and Elizabeth (14 and in school). Christine is no longer listed, and apparently died young.

    LEFT TO RIGHT: Albert & Mary Brunner (twice); Albert and granddaughter Helen Brunner in 1914; Albert's pipe, now in the possession of of his great grandson, Carleton Marchant Hause, Jr.

       Their son, ALBERT A. BRUNER (soon changed to BRUNNER), was born the 13th of September in 1861, in Cleveland, Ohio. (His Certificate of Death, completed by Albert G. Brunner, shows the birth date as September 12, 1861.)
       Albert received at least some basic schooling, because he was listed as an eight-year-old student on the 1870 census. But by the age of 18, according to his listing in the next United States census, he was working as a molder. Albert then worked as a day-laborer in various professions for the next thirty years in the Cleveland area, in various directories as a teamster, a "huckster," "saloon," handyman, and day laborer.
       On the seventh of October in 1890, Albert married MARY WAGNER (4/3/1872 - 3/3/1925). The Cuyahoga County Records show that Albert's mother, Christine, applied for a Marriage License on behalf of Albert Brunner and Mary Wagner on October 2, 1890. Christine couldn't write, but placed her mark, "X", on the application. Her name was then written in by the witness, Deputy Clerk, H. A. Schwab.

    The marriage license of Albert A. Brunner and Mary Wagner, signed (with an "X"), by Christina Brunner.

       Albert Brunner and Mary Wagner were married in Cleveland, Ohio, on October 7, 1890 by Pastor William Renter. They resided at 3922 Prospect; Cleveland, Ohio, in the 1880-1890's as shown in the scrapbook of Mary Wagner Brunner. Albert and Mary look to be a proud, handsome couple, always well-dressed and dignified.
       By 1910, Albert had become a varnish maker, called a "förnsler" in German. He would control the equipment to melt, cook, and mix gums, oils, turpentine, and naphtha, for use in manufacture of varnishes. Albert worked under trying and dangerous conditions. The fumes were not only carcinogenic, they created a terrible smell in the neighborhood on the days he cooked varnish. Fire was a common occurrence, and he was constantly reminded to place his work shop far enough away from other buildings so that they would not be endangered. Copal and amber were probably the worst offenders because they had to be melted before they would dissolve in a solvent. When melting these resins, Albert would keep a wet blanket nearby to smother a fire in case anything ignited.

    Personal Information
    Census Image
    Name: Albert Brunner
    Age in 1900: 38
    Birthplace: Ohio
    Home in 1900: Cleveland Ward 32, Cuyahoga, Ohio
    Occupation: Day Laborer
    Birthplace of Father: Switzerland
    Birthplace of Mother Switzerland
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    View blank 1900 census form
    Roll: T623 1258; Page: 14B; Enumeration District: 158.
    Personal Information
    Census Image
    Name:   Albert Brunner
    Age in 1910:   48
    Birthplace:   Ohio
    Home in 1910:   1-WD CLEVELAND, Cuyahoga, Ohio
    Occupation:   Varnish Maker
    Father's POB:   Switz, Germany
    Mother's POB:   Switz, Germany
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    View blank 1910 census form
    Series: T624 Roll: 1166; Page: 1, Page 260B.
    SOURCE INFORMATION: 1900 and 1910 US Census data imaged from National Archives and Records Administration. Washington, DC.

    Personal Information
    Census Image
    Name: Christina Brunner
    Home in 1900: Cleveland Ward 40, Cuyahoga, Ohio
    Age: 72
    Birth year: Jun 1822
    Birthplace: Switzerland
    Occupation: Mother-In-Law
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    View blank 1900 census
     (PDF 13K)
    Year: 1900; Census Place: Cleveland Ward 40, Cuyahoga, Ohio; Roll: T623_1260 Page: 7B; Enumeration District: 199.
       We don't know exactly when Christian Frederick Brunner passed away, but a 71-year-old Fred C. Brunner was buried in the Monroe Cemetery of Cleveland, Ohio, on April 24, 1889.² The 1900 Federal Census lists 72 year-old Christina Brunner as a widow living in Cleveland Ward 40. It says she is a widow, born in June of 1822 in Switzerland, living with 33 year-old daughter "Libbie" Chandler (later censuses confirm her as Elizabeth) and her family (husband Albert and children Charles and Clarence). The Cleveland Public Library holds an obituary for Christina (from an unknown source) on October 28, 1900: "Brunner-Christina, aged 76 years, widow of Fred C. Brunner, October 26. Funeral from residence, No. 2 Dearborn St., Monday at 2 o'clock, standard. Friends invited."³
       The 1900 Census shows Albert's family—now spelled "Brunner"—residing at 56 Colgate in Cleveland. Whether the name change was Albert's idea or the census-takers, we don't know. But from then on, the name would always be spelled with two n's The Brunners ran a small farm on this property. Their granddaughter Marjorie Carlin recalled that Albert had two horses, which he kept in a barn in back of the house, that she would ride.
       The Brunner/Wagner union produced two extremely talented and industrious children (two sons died young). The caste systems of Europe were nonexistent in America, and Albert's children would take full advantage of all of the opportunities available to them in a free country.
       In fact, the Brunner children were practically the embodiment of the American Dream for poor German immigrants: They were the progeny of a varnish maker/day laborer, who would go on to become business owners, painters and millionaires, and did it all with style, creativity and flair.
       Mary and Albert had the following children:


  • ALBERT GODFREY BRUNNER, was born on 16 Oct 1892, in Cleveland, Ohio. He married EMMA LYNCH and they had three daughters, listed below. Not only was Albert a great businessman, he was a great salesman who supported his family by selling sculptures during the Great Depression, and an extremely talented artist. He died on 12 Jan 1972 in Pompano Beach, Broward, Florida, leaving two daughters, a lot of grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and countless friends and admirers. He is buried at Holy Sepulchre Catholic Cemetery in Southfield, Oakland County, Michigan.
  • ARTHUR ERNST BRUNNER was born on 03 May 1893 in Cleveland. Records from the Cuyahoga County Probate Court also indicate Arthur died from pneumonia on March 21, 1894 at the age of 11 months. Dr W. D. Johnson was his physician. Arthur Erny Brunner is buried in the Monroe Street Cemetery in Cleveland, Ohio, Section G, Lot 1G N 1/3, Grave NL (on top).
  • ELMER CLARENCE BRUNNER was born December 20, 1894 in Cleveland, Ohio. He became a partner at Pickands Mather & Co., a chief supplier of raw materials to the steel industry and one of 4 major ore houses in the U.S.; According to family lore, he was also an early investor in Coca-Cola. Elmer married FLORENCE NALLY (b. 31 Aug 1894). They had three children: Geraldine (Meket, Rollo, 20 Mar 1919 - 16 Dec 2002), Jay Alan (23 Sep 1923 - 6 Jun 2002) and Neal Harlan Brunner (29 Mar 1925 - 01 Jul 2001). Elmer was an early investor in Coca Cola, and purchased a large ranch as a summer home in Kerrville, Texas, which the family still owns today. Elmer died on 29 Jun 1976 in Belleair, Pinellas, Florida. Florence followed him on 12 Dec 1977 and they are buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Brook Park, Cuyahoga County, Ohio. See a photo of Elmer and his brother Albert in the 1960s here.
  • FREDERICK HERBERT BRUNNER was born on 22 January 1897 his parent's home at 56 Colgate; Cleveland, Ohio. The midwife present was Fanny Siebert who resided at 1255 Clark Ave; Cleveland, Ohio. He was baptized on September 26, 1897 under the name Friedrich Herbert Brunner. "Freddy" died in an influenza epidemic on 17 Jan 1910, in Cleveland. He is buried at the Monroe Street Cemetery in Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, Section G, Lot 1 Add. N 1/2, Grave NL.
  • Lynch
       Their son ALBERT G. BRUNNER, epitomized the rise of the American worker in the 20th century. He grew up in a poor family, and didn't attend school past the eighth grade. In the 1910 census, Albert G. is 18 years old, living at home with his folks and working full-time as a balance clerk in an automobile factory. But by the 1950's, he was a Vice President at Kelsey Hayes, a manufacturer of steel car wheels, making a lot of money, dining on hundred dollar meals at a fine country club in Dearborn, Michigan, and enjoying VIP box seats at Tiger games in Detroit. He was always the first to reach for the bill at a restaurant, and always tried to pay at least a hundred dollars for dinner, not counting the liquor bill (no easy task in the fifties, when prime rib only cost two bucks).

    The marriage license of Albert G. Brunner and Emma Lynch (click here to enlarge).

       On April 16, 1912, Albert married EMMA WILSON LYNCH, formerly of Painesville, Ohio, at St. Coleman's church in Cleveland. Emma was the daughter of WILLIAM LYNCH and related to the poet Robert Burns, through her mother SARAH BURNS.
       Emma was raised by her Aunt in Painesville, Ohio, after her mother died. According to MARJORIE CARLIN, Emma's daughter, she had a cousin named Dorothy Giblin (she married Philip Giblin). Dorothy and Emma were very close as children. Dorothy Giblin lived in Painesville, Ohio and had a son who was a priest. Marge Carlin saved a news clipping from when her mother and father married in 1912. Albert Brunner was listed in the wedding announcement in the local newspaper as working at the firm of "Brunner & Sons." It added:

    Miss Emma Lynch, formerly of Painesville, was married at St Coleman's church, Cleveland, Tuesday morning, April 16 to Albert Brunner of the firm of Brunner & Sons. After a wedding breakfast at the Hollenden, they came to Painesville and spent the day with Mrs Brunner's aunt, Mrs L. G. Loomis, with whom she lived while attending school here. They were accompanied by her brother, J. D. Lynch of Grand Rapids, Mich, Mrs P. T. Ferrie and Mrs S. E. Burns of Cleveland. A bridal dinner was served at _______. After an informal reception during the evening, the party returned to Cleveland where, after May 1, Mr & Mrs Brunner will receive their friends at their pretty new home on 83rd Street.

    LEFT TO RIGHT: Albert Jr. with parents' pooch; Albert Jr. and Emma with baby Helen in 1914; Albert Brunner Jr. in 1930; John Lynch, daughter Jeanne Brunner and Albert, Jr. in 1936; Daughter Helen with Al Jr. in the 1950's; Brothers Elmer & Albert Jr., 1960's.

    Helen and Jeanne Brunner
       Al was a consummate schmoozer. Everybody loved Al Brunner. He would even schmooze dogs! After his daughter Jeanne married and had kids of her own, their family dog would begin to bark crazily and race around the house in excitement when Al's car approached, even before any humans could hear the engine coming, because Al always brought a thick hunk of bologna, generously cut by his butcher, for the dog to dine on as he visited, periodically tossing him slices as he told stories to the family.
       Al Jr. bought only the best food, clothes, and cars, but was just as generous with everyone else as he was to himself. He grew more prosperous, more important, and always more popular, with his Christmas card list numbering in the hundreds every year. His grandson, CARLETON MARCHANT HAUSE, JR., remembers taking out a secretary in college on a first date, only to discover that she knew Al well from work, where he had been schmoozing the staff expertly, shrieking with delight when she learned the identity of Carl Jr.'s grandfather—and yup, she had one of his Christmas cards on the mantle.
       But I'm getting ahead of myself. Speaking of grandchildren, Albert and Emma had three daughters, two in West Virginia—all cute, all popular, and all married off very quickly:


  • HELEN BRUNNER was born 26 February 1913 in Cleveland. Helen was married three times, to: (1) FRANK MESKILL, the Manager of the exclusive Chevy Chase Country Club in Chevy Chase, MD. (2) WILLIAM BASS, a successful builder in the Cleveland area. (3) LARRY RAGAN, who worked at the Pentagon. Helen attended the University of Detroit and inherited her father's artistic talent. Dianna Carlin has a painting done by Helen in 1926, when she was thirteen years old. Helen died on 3 May 1966 in Chevy Chase, Montgomery, Maryland, and is buried with her parents at the Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, listed as "Helen B. Meskill."
  • MARJORIE ANNE BRUNNER was born on November 07, 1916, in Wheeling, West Virginia; Her god parents were William Lynch (her uncle) and Anna Lynch Beaumont, her mother's half-sister. She was baptized on December 10, 1916, at St Vincent de Paul Church in Elm Grove, West Virginia. Marjorie married auto worker JOHN BERNARD CARLIN, SR, on June 26, 1937, Detroit, Michigan. Marge died on August 22, 1999, at Lighthouse Point, FLA. She rests with her husband, parents and sister, Helen, in the Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Southfield, MI.
  • JEANNE MAY BRUNNER, born 17 May 1918. Baptized May 23, 1918 at St Vincent de Paul 2244 Marshall Avenue, Wheeling WV 26003 by Rev J. B. Capesius, S.M. Sponsors were Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Brunner. She married CARLETON MARCHANT HAUSE, SR. Children are listed below. She became an English teacher and moved to Southern California with her husband and children. She was a doting grandmother, but strict: Her granddaughter Carolyn remembers sending her a Christmas card that came back in the mail with spelling and grammar corrections marked in red ink! Jeanne died on 15 May 2000 in Oceanside, San Diego Co., California. Her ashes were spread at sea.

  • Marjorie, Jeanne and Helen during the 1920s.

       After the marriage, Al was employed by the Donald P. Cochrane Paint Company, who transferred him to Wheeling, West Virginia. He was transferred back to Cleveland a few years after his daughter, Jeanne, was born in 1918. Albert's World War I draft card says just as much. (Shown below. Notice under "race," the interviewer has written the politically sensitive "German," which Albert has made him cross out and change to "white.")

    Personal Information
    Draft Card
    Name: Albert Brunner
    Status: Natural born citizen
    View file
    SOURCE INFORMATION: National Archives and Records Administration. World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. M1509, 20,243 rolls. Washington, D.C.
    Personal Information
    Census Image
    Name:   Albert Brunner Jr.
    Age:   28
    Birthplace:   Ohio
    Home in 1920:   3-WD Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio
    Occupation:   Factory Superintendent
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    View blank census form
    SOURCE: 1920 US Census data; Series: T625; Roll: 1360; Page: 178

    Personal Information
    Index Image
    Name:   Albert Brunner
    County:   Cuyahoga
    Code:   18
    Volume:   5465
    Certificate:   56541
    Date of Death:   10/26/27
    View image
    Source: State of Ohio Death Index, Department of Health Division of Vital Statistics, Page 1042.
       Meanwhile on 22 Oct 1917, Albert Sr. finally retired from his teamster job, putting his horse and wagon up for sale in the Cleveland Plain Dealer: "Horse and top wagon; job goes with it; bargain to quick buyer." It was the end of an era. In 1920, Albert Jr.'s family was back in Ohio, living next door to Albert Sr. and Mary in Cleveland. They're all on the same census page, living on the same street, alongside Elmer and his family. Albert Jr.'s job is listed as "factory superintendent." Albert Sr. is listed underneath his son on the census, still making varnish at age 58.
       It was about five years later that Mary passed away. The Cleveland Public Library's Necrology File (Reel #011) lists an obituary (source unknown) that reads: "Brunner-Mary (nee Wagner), beloved wife of Albert, mother of Elmer C. and Albert G., age 52 years, suddenly, Monday p.m. Funeral from late residence, 7103 Colgate Avenue, Thursday, March 12, at 2:30 p.m."⁴
       Albert Sr.'s Certificate Of Death lists his occupation as Varnish-Maker, and his date of death as October 26, 1927. His parents are shown as Fred Brunner and Christine Nasker, both having been born in Switzerland. He was residing at 7103 Colgate at the time of his death. He is buried at Alger Cemetery in Cleveland, Ohio.⁵
       In about 1928, Albert Jr. was transferred to Detroit, Michigan. He and the family moved into a flat at the corner of Santa Rosa (then called Wark) and Buena Vista in Detroit. After a few years they moved down the street to 13133 Santa Rosa. (The first City Directory in which his name appears is the 1935 Detroit Directory, which lists him as a Sales Representative living with his wife, Emma, at 13133 Wark.)
       Al was credit manager for John P. Cochran Co., but the Great Depression came shortly after their move, and the company went bankrupt—even though Al worked without wages. At that time, there were no safety nets in America for unemployed heads of families. So with a wife and three daughters to support, Al had to find a way to make some cash. He started sculpting and painting ceramic statutes and sold them door to door. If you question the talent, industriousness and ingenuity of Al Brunner, imagine selling knickknacks to broke homeowners during the Great Depression, and making enough money from it to support five people. (Al's grandson, James Carlin, remembers the ceramic statues still stored in his grandfather's garage on Santa Rosa during the 1950s.)

    Personal Information
    Census Image
    Name:   Albert Brunner
    Age:   38
    Birth year:   1892
    Birthplace:   Ohio
    Home in 1930:   Detroit, Wayne, Michigan
    Occupation:   Manager
    Owns radio:   Yes
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    View blank 1930 census form
     (PDF 136K)
    Census Roll: 1054; Page: 15A; District: 537; Image: 407.0.
       St. Cecilia Church (10400 Stoepel St., Detroit, MI 48204-0209) was an important part of the Brunner family life. Al's daughters went to school there (as did some of his grandkids), and it was Father Wholihan who got Albert a job at Kelsey Hayes Wheel Co. He became Production Manager for Kelsey Hayes (now Hayes Lammert), which made wheels for Ford automobiles.
       The Great Depression had taking its toll on the auto industry: At the onset, US President Herbert Hoover requested that industry freeze worker wages [from dropping] to fight off disaster. So Henry Ford astounded the car industry and the entire country by announcing a wage increase—to a seven-dollar day, a one-dollar increase over his previous daily minimum for common labor. Ford's gesture was page-one news, and he was labeled a hero of the working man. But the publicity obscured Ford's real agenda, reported by the New York Times: He was cutting wages severely in the middle and upper brackets of labor, firing a man in one division and rehiring him for less in another division, and cutting costs at his subsidiaries. For instance, Kelsey-Hayes, which made Ford's wheels, had to cut the wages of its toolmakers from $1.10 an hour to eighty cents, and increase the hours of the night shift to fourteen a night, seven nights a week.
       So Al inherited a general manager's nightmare—he was being assaulted by Ford on one side and labor unions like Jimmy Hoffa's teamsters on the other (there was a dramatic 'sit-down' strike by the union in 1936 and then his workers walked out in the "wildcat strike" engineered by Hoffa). Al's son-in-law, JOHN CARLIN, was employed at Ford in the Purchasing Department, and later enjoyed telling his kids about Harry Bennet, the enforcer for Henry Ford, whose security men assaulted the UAW organizers on the Miller Road overpass. But somehow "AG" kept his factory running smoothly through all of it.
       Meanwhile, his daughters quickly won the hearts of many a Michigan man. Helen, the eldest, married a millionaire, but that didn't stop her from dating Schoolboy Rowe of the Detroit Tigers. (Helen married three times, altogether. Helen lived a pretty wild life. When she stayed at the home of her sister, Jeanne, and slept in the room of Jeanne's son, Carl Jr., Helen hid liquor bottles everywhere—under furniture, in the shoe box for Carl Jr.'s tennis shoes, and even hung them on strings outside the bedroom window, concealing them in the ivy on the walls. She died from liver failure on 03 May 1966 in Chevy Chase, Maryland.) Marjorie married auto worker JOHN CARLIN, JR. Meanwhile, Jeanne met CARLETON MARCHANT HAUSE, SR. Al liked Carl so much that he gave him a job at Kelsey-Hayes, while Jeanne quit school to raise a family.

    LEFT TO RIGHT: Jeanne Brunner in stroller; Jeanne and "Patsy"; Jeanne with Carl Hause Sr.; Jeanne with Carleton Jr., 1939; With Carl and grandkids Jeff and Carolyn, 1962; Family portrait in 1999.

    Jeanne May Brunner

       JEANNE MAY BRUNNER was born on May 17, 1918, Elm Grove, West Virginia. She grew up to be a proud, dignified woman who still had a wonderful, self-deprecating sense of humor. She would pay every grandchild five dollars when they grew taller than her—and since she was barely over five feet, she lost the money fast!
       Jeanne grew up to be a down-to-earth, patient woman who loved to laugh. She delighted in being a mother, grandmother, and eventually a great-grandmother (although everybody just called her "Grandma").
       While Jeanne was attending Wayne State University, she met and married a student at Eastern Michigan University named CARLETON MARCHANT HAUSE (24 Jul 1917 - 08 Jun 1983) on the 17th of August, 1938, in Indiana. They had their first child, a son named CARLETON MARCHANT HAUSE, JR., on November 25, 1939. This was quickly followed with a daughter, MARJORIE JEANNE HAUSE, on December 18, 1942. Carleton Jr. remembers Jeanne as a wonderful mother who loved him fiercely and unquestioningly, and who taught him valuable lessons on being a good parent: "No matter what I did, no matter how how big or small, she was always proud of me, and let me know it." Jeanne then completed college and started a teaching career after Marjorie was in school (Marjorie became a very talented painter, like Al, and makes her living today as the artist "Tugboat Tillie").

    Personal Information
    Census Image
    Name:   Al Brunner (Emma W.)
    Age:   48
    Birth year:   1892
    Birth State:   Ohio
    Home in 1940:   Detroit, Wayne, Michigan
    Occupation:   Mgr. Religious Store
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    View blank 1940 census form
    Personal Information
    Census Image
    Name:   Albert G Brunner (Emma W.)
    Age:   58
    Birth year:   1892
    Birth State:   Ohio
    Home in 1950:   Detroit, Wayne, Michigan
    Dwelling:   86
    View image
    SOURCE: Left: 1940 Census Place: Detroit, Wayne, Michigan; Roll: T627_1870; Page: 11A, 11B; Enumeration District: 84-1008. Right: Seventeenth Census of the United States, 1950; Record Group: Records of the Bureau of the Census, 1790-2007; Record Group Number: 29; Residence Date: 1950; Home in 1950: Detroit, Wayne, Mich.

       But tragedy struck the Brunner family when Emma died in Detroit, on March 5, 1951. The March 7 obituary for Emma in the Cleveland Press (Cleveland Necrology File, Reel #096) reads: "Brunner, Emma W., Mar. 4. In Detroit, formerly of Cleveland, beloved wife of Albert G., mother of Helen Meskill and Marjorie Carlin and Jeanne Hause and 5 grandchildren. Funeral service at Fred Wood Funeral Home, Detroit, Mich., Thursday, Mar. 8, and St. Cecelia's Church Detroit, Mich., 10 a.m." She was buried at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Southfield, Michigan. Touchingly, Al had two headstones made—one with his name, so that the graves of he and his wife would look and age identically.

    VIDEO: Albert Brunner visits California in 1963.

    Albert and Carl Jr. pose after fishing in Lake Erie, in 1950.
       When Carleton Marchant, Jr., started college at Eastern Michigan, Al sent him a secret, sizable check every month—but only with the provision that he would never tell his Jeanne or Carleton, Sr., and with the promise that one day Carl would do the same for his grandchildren.
       In 1959, Jeanne and Carleton Sr. moved to California, both working as teachers, where Al often visited them.
       Finally, Albert Jr. quit working and took up painting—of course, quitting work was impossible for Al—he learned oil painting quickly and turned out a lifetime's worth of paintings in a few years. (Watching his father expertly mix paints and varnishes in his youth probably helped.) Al first tried paint-by-numbers to learn the process, then announced he was ready for his first orginal work. The family braced itself for a series of cheap, messy oils... but Al amazed them all once again! His first painting was a beautiful, dramatic ocean scene (shown above), and Jeanne Hause remembered her father visiting her house on Lake Erie and studying the characteristics of the waves on the lake to incorporate into his painting. Most impressive of all was the fact that he turned out to be extremely talented! Financially secure, he retired to paint full time.
       But then Albert began suffering a debilitating series of heart attacks. But Al being Al, it never stopped him from working—he just kept painting in his hospital room! Then he was told by his doctor that he suffered from "hardening of the arteries—the same illness that had taken his wife—and that had only a little while to live. He spent his time visiting relations and friends, spending his money freely on the people he loved. But something strange happened between heart attacks: He lived another twenty years! Albert Godfrey Brunner ended up living with relatives in Broward county, Florida, practically penniless, but with many great paintings... and greater friends. In 1971, Albert took his grandson and his wife to dinner at the Top Of The Ponchatrain restaurant to celebrate his grandson's graduation from law school. His grandson remembers Albert telling them the one thing he never could imagine when he was young would be for a plane to fly. When he was young around the turn of the century it was not conceived by him that an object could fly in the air. What would he say about computers, the Internet, fax machines and cell phones? A gentlemen's gentlemen, Albert died January 12, 1972 at 33064 Pompano Beach, Broward County, Florida, at the age of 80. Albert Brunner is buried next to his wife and daughters in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Southfield, Michigan.
       Jeanne and Carleton, Sr., retired in California in the early 1980's. He died on 1984, and she followed him on 15 May 2000. They were survived, and missed constantly, by the following children:


  • CARLETON MARCHANT HAUSE, JR., was born on 25 Nov 1939. He grew up on the shores Lake Erie in Gibraltar, Michigan. Until recently he had no idea that his great, great, great grandfather Augustus had lived just a few hours by boat down the Erie Canal in New York. Of course, with the way that waterway smelled while he was growing up, nobody would've tried sailing down there to find their roots, anyway. He died in 2014. Man, do I miss this guy...
  • Click on the photo at right to access the Carleton Marchant Hause, Jr., page.
  • MARJORIE JEANNE HAUSE was born in 18 Dec 1942. From an early age she showed amazing artistic ability inherited from her maternal grandfather, Al Brunner. She had one daughter, Carolyn (b. 6 July 1962). Marjorie is an extremely talented painter and free spirit who went on to become the artist "Tugboat Tillie" in Northern California.
  • Click on the photo at right to access the Marjorie Jeanne Hause Genealogy Page.
  • TOP PAINTING: The first known painting by Albert Godfrey Brunner.


    ¹—A "Christian Friedrich Brunner" was baptized on 30 Nov 1817 in Bern, Switzerland; The father was Johannes Brunner; the mother was Elisabeth Raeber Lefeber (FHL Film Number: 2005319).

    ²—Cleveland Public Library Necrology File, Reel #011: "71-year-old Fred C. Brunner was buried in the Monroe Cemetery of Cleveland, Ohio, on April 24, 1889."

    ³—Cleveland Public Library Necrology File, Reel #011 Unknown source, October 28, 1900. "Brunner-Christina, aged 76 years, widow of Fred C. Brunner, October 26. Funeral from residence, No. 2 Dearborn St., Monday at 2 o'clock, standard. Friends invited."

    ⁴—Cleveland Public Library Necrology File, Reel #011: Mar. 12, 1925; Source: unknown, Reel #11: Brunner-Mary (nee Wagner), beloved wife of Albert, mother of Elmer C. and Albert G., age 52 years, suddenly, Monday p. m. Funeral from late residence, 7103 Colgate avenue, Thursday, March 12, at 2:30 p. m."

    ⁵—Cleveland Public Library Necrology File, Reel #011: Oct. 29, 1927; Source: Cemetery record, Reel #11; Brunner-Albert, husband of the late Mary; dearly beloved father of Albert G. and Elmer C., brother of Godfrey J., suddenly Wednesday, Oct. 26, age 66 years. Funeral Saturday, Oct. 29, at his late residence, 7103 Colgate avenue at 2:30 p. m. 1927. age 66. Alger Cemetery Cleveland, Ohio."

    ⁶—Cleveland Public Library Necrology File, Reel #011: Dec. 04 1939; Source: unknown. "Brunner: Godfrey J., beloved husband of Alice M., father of Myrtle Leisk, Emanuel G. Brunner, Washington, D. C., Gladys Rannow of Athens, O., and grandfather; residence 1335 W. 89th. Friends may call at Wm. R. & Roy A. Daniels' Funeral Home, 15800 Detroit ave., where services will be held Monday, Dec. 4, at 3 p. m."

    ⁷—Cleveland Public Library Necrology File, Reel #014: Aug. 20, 1926; Source: unknown. "Chandler-Elizabeth (nee Brunner), age 60, beloved wife of the late Albert W., mother of Charles and Clarence, grandmother of Lester Neville and Mary Chandler, Tuesday, p. m. Funeral Friday, Aug. 20, from her late residence, 7720 Dearborn avenue, at 2:30 p. m."


    • Brunner family records, by Jim Carlin, great, great-grandson of Frederick Bruner (.txt file).
    • Cleveland Public Library, located in Cleveland, Ohio operates the Main Library on Superior Avenue in downtown Cleveland, 27 branches throughout the city, a mobile library, a Public Administration Library in City Hall, and the Ohio Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled.
    • "Descendants of George Peter Bruner" by Harlan Keith Bruner.
    • "Joseph Brunner of Rothenstein, Schifferstadt, and Frederick" by Donald Lewis Osborn.


    CHRISTIAN FREDRICK BRUNER (1817 - 1889) married CHRISTINE NAFSKER (1824 - 1900) and begat...

    ALBERT A. BRUNNER (1861 - 1927) who married MARY WAGNER (1872 - 1925), and begat...

    ALBERT G. BRUNNER (1892 - 1972) who married EMMA LYNCH (1891 - 1951) and begat...

    JEANNE BRUNNER (1918 - 2000) who married CARLETON MARCHANT HAUSE, SR. (1917 - 1983) and begat...

    CARLETON MARCHANT HAUSE, JR. (1939-2014) who married MARTHA WENK (b. 1940) and begat...

    JEFF (who married LORI ANN DOTSON), KATHY (who married HAL LARSEN), ERIC (who married MARY MOONSAMMY), and MICHELE HAUSE (who married JOHN SCOTT HOUSTON).

    The Cuyahoga River in 1870.


  • JAMES ALBERT CARLIN, SR., the son of Marjorie Anne Brunner and John Bernard Carlin, Sr., was invaluable in reconstructing this family history. Jim and his brother, John Jr., became attorneys in Michigan, and grew up with two sisters, Mary Catherine Pryde of Florida and the late Susan Turner, who is greatly missed by the entire family. Jim raised five kids: Dianna Mary (a fashion designer and creator of Lola Staar clothing on Coney Island), James Albert Jr., Christina Carole, Cathryn Anne... and Sparky. Jim died in 2024.