Sunday, June 15, 2014

Casimir Bruyneel vs. THE Sam Gompers (52 Ancestors - #24)

Bud had a great grandfather, Casimir Bruyneel, who we feel was a fascinating family member.  He was married to his paternal great grandmother, Emily VanCauwenberg.  
Casimir Bruyneel was born on December 26, 1882, in Belgium.  We are not sure if he was the only child of his parents Alois and Rosalie. It is not quite clear as to when he immigrated from Belgium to the United States.  

One of the first things of interest about Casimir is his last name.  It is unclear if he was born with the name Bruynell or Bruyneel.  My father-in-law, Ken Bruynell, says the last name was Bruynell when he arrived here from Belgium, but due to Casimir's inability to speak clear English whomever the customs officer was either spelled his name incorrectly or one of the "L"s in Bruynell was written small and it was interpreted as a small "e" and therefore the name became Bruyneel.

Shortly after his arrival here is the U.S., he had to marry and underaged Emelie A. VanCouwenberghe and they had one child, Oscar Bruyneel, together in 1905. Like many Belgian men of that error, he was a cigar maker.  We are not sure what transpired, however before Oscar turned 5 years old Casimir had moved on.

In looking at border crossing records it seemed that Casimir made many trips to Canada.  He then married Theresa Mary Batsleer and they had one child together in 1912.
In the process of Casimir building his home, apparently he was unaware he was supposed to use union workers because he worked for the cigar union at the time prior to becoming a poultry farmer. Well, apparently Sam Gompers did not take too kindly to this action and fined him $50. This was a lot of money back in 1915!

Information about Bruyneel, Casimir 1915 Source: Google Story about Casimir vs Sam Gompers

He died on December 30, 1947, in Goffstown, New Hampshire, at the age of 65.

Note:  If I could have just one conversation with Casimir, I would ask about his family, did he have siblings?  Would he tell me why he decided to leave his first family?  Did he arrive in New York or in Boston when he first came from Belgium?  What was going on in Toronto?  Do we have unknown family up there? 

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