Maria Elisabeth Winblad
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Sex: Female
Birth: February 16, 1895 (1895-02-16) (122 years ago)
Manhattan, New York
Baptism: Lutheran
Manhattan, New York
Death: March 7, 1987 (age 92)
30 years ago
Jersey City, New Jersey
Burial: Bayview – New York Bay Cemetery
Jersey City, New Jersey
Father: John Edward Winblad I (1856-1914)
Mother: Salmine Sophia Pedersen (1862-1914)
Siblings: Anton Julius Winblad II (1886-1975)
Theodora Winblad (1888)
Mary Winblad (1889)
Otto Edward Winblad (1892)
John Edward Winblad II (1897-1899)
Otto Perry Winblad (1902-1977)
Spouse/Partner: Arthur Oscar Freudenberg I (1891-1968)
Marriage: February 28, 1914 (age 19)
103 years ago
Trinity Lutheran Church, Jersey City, New Jersey
Children: Naida Muriel Freudenberg (1915-1998)
Selma Louise Freudenberg (1921-2009)
Helen Eloise Freudenberg (1928-1989)
Findagrave: Maria Elisabeth Winblad
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Maria Elizabeth Winblad (1895-1987) circa 1905-1910

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Maria Elizabeth Winblad (1895-1987) circa 1910

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Maria Elizabeth Winblad (1895-1987) circa 1910

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Nelson and Lattin wedding in 1929 in the Bronx

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Maria Elizabeth Winblad (1895-1987) circa 1940

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Maria Elizabeth Winblad (1895-1987) circa 1950

Winblad VanDeusen Norton 1952

Maria Elizabeth Winblad (1895-1987) in 1952 in Jersey City

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Maria Elizabeth Winblad (1895-1987) in 1959 in Paramus

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Maria Elizabeth Winblad (1895-1987) circa 1970

Maria Elizabeth Winblad (1895-1987) aka Mae Winblad. She was abandoned by her husband in 1928 and she raised her three children by working as a cleaning lady and by doing laundry for neighbors during the Great Depression. (b. February 16, 1895; 294 West Houston Street, Greenwich Village, Manhattan, New York County, New York City, New York, USA - d. March 07, 1987; Jersey City, Hudson County, New Jersey, USA) Social Security Number 147188206.


She was 50% Norwegian and 50% Swedish.


She is a descendant of Lars Magnus Wingblad of Vingaker, Sodermanland, Sweden. Some of her Swedish lines go back to Scotland. She is a descendant of Hans Hansen I of Log (1729-1767). He is the earliest family member in Norway for which a birth and death date are known.


The name Winblad likely derives from the location of Vingaker, Sodermanland, Sweden where the earliest members of the family were born. Winblad also translates as "grapeleaf". She was named after Maria Elisabeth Winblad I (1865-1937).



Maria was born in Greenwich Village in Manhattan on February 16, 1895 and her birth certificate was number "9529". The New York City Birth Index incorrectly lists her as "Mary E. Weinblad".


Maria's siblings are:

New Jersey

The family moved out of Manhattan to live in the quiet of New Jersey around 1900. They had a new house built on Wayne Street in Jersey City. Otto Perry Winblad was born in 1902 in Jersey City.

Isle of Pines, Cuba

In 1910 the family decided that they would move to the Isle of Pines in Cuba. John Winblad had wanted to be a plantation owner, and many other American families moved to the Isle of Pines during this time. Maria spent a year and a half in Cuba, where she rode a horse named "Happy". She said when she arrived in Cuba there was no one there to greet her, and she had to get help to find out how to get to the Isle of Pines from Havana.


She returned from Cuba to Jersey City on March 26, 1912 with her brother Otto. While in Jersey City she met Arthur Oscar Freudenberg I (1891-1968), who was a Sunday School teacher at Waverly Congregation Church. Maria was a very devout Lutheran at Trinity Scandinavian Church in Jersey City. Maria and Arthur married on February 28, 1914 at the Trinity Lutheran Church at 195 Claremont Avenue in Jersey City. On Monday, March 02, 1914 the Hudson Observer reported: "Worst Storm Since 1888 Still Sweeping Over This Section. Railroads are nearly paralyzed and are running only a few local trains - - Nearly all of the trolley lines suspended and wires covered with snow and ice are down in all the Hudson cities -- Only a little milk and and coal delivered -- most of the streets impassable."


Together Maria and Arthur had the following children:

Death of parents

Maria's father and mother attended her wedding, and then they went to Norway to visit family. Both parents died within a few months of each other in 1914. Otto Winblad was with them in Norway and returned to live with Maria and Arthur in Jersey City on July 06, 1915. On the same day that Otto arrived from Norway, Maria's brother, Anton and his wife Eva returned from Cuba with their two children: Anthony Leroy Winblad and Norman Edward Winblad. They brought with them Eva's two youngest brothers: Theodore Roosevelt Lattin; and Dewey Ernest Lattin. Eva's father and mother stayed in Cuba until 1924 and then settled in Lake Helen in Florida.

Maria raised Helen

Maria raised the child of Arthur and one of his mistresses:

Abandoned by husband

Around 1928 Arthur abandoned Maria, although he appears as the head of household in the 1930 United States Census. The oral family tradition has been that Arthur ran off with a burlesque stripper. At the height of the depression, Maria lived on Claremont Avenue in Jersey City and raised her three children earning money by being the superintendent of a four-unit rental property owned by someone else. She took in laundry, scrubbed floors, and prepared meals for other families. She did all that she could to keep the family housed and fed. Arthur never provided any money and lived with his mistress. Maria wore her wedding ring for the rest of her life.

Middle years

When Maria's children got married she split her time between them, living at their houses. She lived in Paramus, New Jersey for a number of years and also spent time with Pete and Naida at their home in Fairfield, New Jersey.

Broken hip

In the late 1970s she broke her hip in Paramus and was confined to the Lutheran nursing home in Jersey City.

Death and burial

She died in 1987 of a heart attack at age 92 and was buried in the Bayview – New York Bay Cemetery, Jersey City, New Jersey. She is buried with:


Many of her letters are extant and archived.


Her eulogy reads as follows:

Mae Freudenberg was born Saturday, February 16, 1895 in New York City. Her parents were members of the Scandinavian Evangelical Lutheran Trinity Church in downtown Jersey City. Mae was a member of Trinity for most of her life, and her children were all baptized there also many of her grandchildren. She taught Sunday School and was a member of Glad Tjeneste. On the 95th anniversary of Trinity, Mae received a certificate of recognition for her years of faithful service to the church. For about fifteen years, Mae was a volunteer of services to the Lutheran Home on Nelson Avenue in Jersey City.

Memories about Maria Elisabeth Winblad

  • Richard Arthur Norton (1958) wrote on December 14, 2007: "She loved Gjetost cheese from Norway, she said it reminded her of her childhood. She would bring some back when she would take the bus into Jersey City to visit with friends. I am writing this today, because I just bought some Gjetost cheese, and it reminds me of my childhood with her. When we moved to Paramus she would attend the Lutheran Church there, on Farview Avenue. She always missed her brother Otto after he died. Marie, or Nanny as we called her, always made a dessert for after dinner, sometimes something as simple as pudding from a mix, but sometimes it was her trademark lemon meringue pie or an apple pie made from scratch. It would take her an hour just to make the pie dough. Her trademark vegetable was her Harvard Beets which were thin slices of beets in a sweet sauce. If I asked her what was for dessert before dinner, she would just say applesauce, to tease me. Once when she was living with us, and I was very small the ironing board was against the wall folded up and leaning against the wall in our living room, I must have touched it and it came falling down toward me and she tried to grab it, but it hit her in the face, and gave her a black eye."
  • Naida Muriel Freudenberg (1915-1998) wrote in 1987: "Mother cleaned a doctor's office once a week. Father had a real estate office. My mother was an outstanding Christian. A good mother and a good cook. Mother wrote poems and also wrote her own material when she spoke at Glad Tjeneste. My father is buried in Flower Hill Cemetery with his family. My mother is buried with her little two year old brother, Eddie, who died of whooping cough. They are buried in the cemetery on Ocean Avenue in Jersey City."
  • Susan Penny Van Deusen (1952) wrote circa 1980: Maria Elisabeth Winblad (1895-1987) told me that her mother was Salmine Pedersen, of Norway and her father was John Edward Winblad, of Sweden. She was born in New York City and when she was nine months old they moved to Jersey City and had a two family house built. In 1896 Jersey City was considered countrified, compared to lower Manhattan. There were fruit trees and dirt roads with horses and carriages. They had seven children and three lived beyond childhood. Anton was the oldest and Otto was the youngest. John (Eddie) Edward Winblad was a middle child and he died of pneumonia when grandma was four years old. One daughter died of whooping cough (pertussis). Eddie was buried in the Greenville section of Jersey City. Salmine Pedersen was the youngest child of her family and was two years old when her mother died. Her father was a baker and he never remarried after his wife died.
  • Selma Louise Freudenberg (1921-2009) said in 1998: "Otto came from Norway to live with Maria (his sister) when his parents died (Otto was not born in Norway). Otto could only speak Norwegian then. Maria did laundry to support the family. Maria could speak Norwegian and owned a Norwegian bible. Maria stayed behind when the family was either in Cuba or in Norway to collect the rent from Summit Avenue. It was a one family house that they rented. Maria said that she would not have married Arthur Oscar Freudenberg if she had gone with her parents."
  • Thomas Patrick Norton II (1920-2011) said in 1998: "Maria Elizabeth Winblad (1895-1987) would ride her horse in Cuba. May had a friend called Pedro in Cuba. Maria had an ovarian tumor removed while I was away during the war. Maria visited her brother Anton in California. This was in 1953. Maria took care of Thomas Patrick Norton III and Judith Elizabeth Norton."
  • Richard Arthur Norton (1958) wrote in 1998: "I remember when grandma fell and broke her hip. She was coming into my room and calling me to wake up, and she just collapsed. I always wondered if she had tripped. When I was a kid, the folded ironing board was leaning against the wall and started to fall toward me. She ran to grab it and it hit her in the eye and gave her a black eye. She would make the best desserts. I think she said once she worked in a kitchen professionally. Swedish meatballs, Harvard beets and apple pie were the dishes I remember the most. She never drove a car, she would take buses everywhere. She never had a home of her own and had to rely on the family to take care of her."
  • Judith Elizabeth Norton (1951) said in 1998: "Maria Elizabeth Winblad (1895-1987) told me she had a horse named "Happy" in Cuba. Her family grew oranges on a plantation in Cuba. She never learned Spanish. It was her father's dream to run a plantation. Eventually her father went to Cuba. Maria went later with her brother Otto and she was scared because she didn't know the language and no one met her at the port. She didn't know where to stay so someone there translated and they found a hotel. Maria said it was a very traumatic experience. Maria's mother was Norwegian and her father was Swedish. Maria could speak both languages and had a Norwegian bible. One member of grandma's family was a violinist and he played for the Kaiser. John Winblad, her father found the name "Naida" in a story book. Her favorite book was "Mama's Bank Account" which was made into a movie called "I Remember Mama". She worked as a cook at one time making salads at a restaurant or diner, at another time she cooked meals in her house and brought them to people in their houses for money."
  • Selma Louise Freudenberg (1921-2009) said in 1999: "Around 1945 Oscar had us move into Ogden Avenue from Claremont Avenue to live with Marie Elizabeth Winblad, his estranged wife. Oscar was living at Summit Avenue with Edlycoe Klynman. We also had a choice to live on Palisade Avenue in a better neighborhood, the house was bigger but it was more run down. Ralph Freudenberg eventually bought the house from Oscar. No one ever talked about Oscar not living with us. When we moved in there were four oak chairs with hearts cut in the back. I had two (one damaged) and I gave them to Judy Elizabeth Norton in the 1980s. Helen Elizabeth Freudenberg and Naida Muriel Freudenberg got one each. Maria Elizabeth Winblad insisted they each get one. The wicker furniture in my shed was on the porch in that house. Helen got a beautiful chair from Oscar. It was a carved wooden chair with bow legs. Helen had it on Grace Street. Helen at one time lived above my father near Journal Square on Cottage Street. He owned a big piece of property that stretched from one street to the next. The lawyer took the property when he died."
  • Mark Andrew Dahl (1970) wrote on November 3, 2004: "I remember my great grandmother Mae. She stayed in my mother's childhood bedroom. She had very long hair that she braided and wrapped around her head in a halo style. I once saw my cousins Christy and April Linson through her bedroom door brushing her hair. It was the only time I ever saw it down. I thought it was the most incredible thing! Nanny, as we called her, was a very religious woman. For some reason I remember her eating dandelions. Is that crazy? When I was very little she fed me spinach smothered in butter so i would eat it. I also remember that Nanny would not wear her hearing aid because she said the world was too noisy. When I think about how much things changed during her lifetime, I can imagine what that must be like. From horse drawn carriages to Airplanes. She preferred the quiet without the noise. Nanny would pray in Norwegian at all the family get togethers. It was a prayer that my Grandmother Naida Van Deusen used after nanny had passed."

Research on Maria Elisabeth Winblad

  • On February 11, 2013 DNA results from showed that Arthur is a common ancestor between Richard Arthur Norton (1958) and Kevin Borland (1975). Marie Elizabeth Winblad (1895-1987) was not a common ancestor. Kevin's test showed 0% Scandinavian ancestry. Richard matched to a cousin on the Norwegian side of the family, Todd Wickman, and Kevin did not. Kevin will order Helen's birth certificate to see who's name is on it as the mother. We have solved an old family mystery with the DNA evidence. We know that my grandfather, Arthur Oscar Freudenberg (1891-1968) abandoned the family in 1928, the year that Helen Eloise Freudenberg (1928-1989) was born. So now it appears that my grandmother raised one of Arthur's children from one of his mistresses. That baby was Helen Eloise Freudenberg. The next step is to order her birth certificate and see who is listed as the mother. Update: The birth certificate shows that Helen was the daughter of Maria Winblad. Ancestry recalculated everyone's ethnicity in the fall of 2013 and now Kevin does show up as Scandinavian.

See also

External links


Maria Elisabeth Winblad II (1895-1987)'s ancestors in three generations
Maria Elisabeth Winblad II (1895-1987) Father:
John Edward Winblad I (1856-1914)
Paternal Grandfather:
Anton Julius Winblad I (1828-1901)
Paternal Great-grandfather:
Lars Magnus Wingblad
Paternal Great-grandmother:
Brita Christina Ökneberg
Paternal Grandmother:
Elsa Maria Elisabeth Näslund (1829-1907)
Paternal Great-grandfather:
Israel Israelsson Näslund III (1796-1858)
Paternal Great-grandmother:
Johanna Gustafva Ruuth (1800-1860)
Salmine Sophia Severine Pedersen (1862-1914)
Maternal Grandfather:
Ole Mathias Pedersen (1822-1914)
Maternal Great-grandfather:
Peder Andreas Hansen (1790-1849) of Log
Maternal Great-grandmother:
Maren Sophia Olsdatter (1791-1868) of Gullestad
Maternal Grandmother:
Thea Johanne Torstensdatter (1825-1864)
Maternal Great-grandfather:
Torsten Christophersen (1786-aft1825) of Vetteland
Maternal Great-grandmother:
Johanne Jacobsdatter (1795-?) of Lindtjørn

About the author

This article was created by User:Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ).

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