The Gilbreth Family

Generation 2: The (Baker's) Dozen

Anne Moller Gilbreth

b. 9 September 1905 – Manhattan, NYC
d. 16 February 1987 – Palo Alto, California (81y 5m)
e. Smith College (2 years); degree from University of Michigan 1926
m. Robert Ethelbert Barney MD, 18 Sep 1926 – Montclair, New Jersey
c. Robert Ethelbert Barney Jr, 1928; Frank Gilbreth Barney, 1930; Peter Charles Barney 1932
i. unknown

Anne was born in New York City on September 9, 1905. Her name seems to be a blend of the two family histories, with Anne from both Frank Sr's oldest sister and from Lillian's mother Annie Moller. Most of the children to follow would carry such an ancestral first and middle name combination.

She first attended Smith College in central Massachusetts, then transferred to the University of Michigan, where she met her future husband. Although she had lost interest in college, where she had been involved in debate, drama and literary efforts, she felt obliged to the family and completed her degree in 1926.

She married Robert “Doctor Bob” Barney in September, just past her own 21st birthday, in the parlor of the family home in Montclair. They would have three sons — Robert Jr, Frank and Peter — and she would remain largely a homemaker throughout her life, first in Ohio and then in Northern California. Doctor Bob died in 1972, and Anne followed in 1987 after a lengthy illness. She was 81.

Mary Elizabeth Gilbreth

b. 13 December 1906 – San Francisco, California
d. 31 January 1912 – Plainfield, New Jersey (5y 1m)
i. Fairfield, Maine

Mary was born on December 13, 1906, while the family was in San Francisco to evaluate building and contracting opportunities following the disastrous April fire and earthquake. They returned to New York City and in 1909 moved to Plainfield, New Jersey. There, around the holidays of 1911, Anne and Mary contracted diphtheria. Anne recovered easily, but Mary continued to get worse until, on January 31, 1912, the disease took her, just past her fifth birthday. (Three of the other children then also came down with the disease, but recovered.)

The circumstances of her illness and death, on top of the trauma of losing a child, devastated both parents, and while Lillian would calmly answer questions from the younger children about their lost sister, she would always have to leave the room to cry afterwards. Mary was named after Frank Sr's next oldest sister, who had died at age 30 from tuberculosis, and was thus the only child not to be given Moller or Bunker as a middle name. She is buried in the same Maine cemetery as her namesake and many others of the Bunker family, and her gravestone is marked “2nd,” although it is not clear if she was ever so designated in record or in life.

Mary is mentioned only once in Cheaper by the Dozen, but there are many passages listing the children that carefully omit her. An early edition included her (with a wrong age) in an endpaper family tree. Her early death is noted in a footnote in Belles on Their Toes,and her illness and death finally make a single short passage in Time Out for Happiness. It is noted that Frank Sr and Lillian always counted her when discussing the number of their children, and the family seems to have consciously kept her in their thoughts.

Ernestine Moller Gilbreth

b. 5 April 1908 – Manhattan, NYC
d. 4 November 2006 – Fresno, California (98y 7m)
e. Smith College, degree 1929
m. Charles Everett Carey, 1930
c. Lillian Carey [Barley]. 1938; Charles Everett Carey Jr, 1942
i. Fairfield, Maine

Ernestine was born in New York City on April 5, 1908 and named for Lillian's grandmother. She received her Bachelor's degree from Smith College in 1929. The next year, she married Charles Carey, and they would have two children — Lillian and Charles Jr. She was a buyer for Macy's for fourteen years, then for another company for two more. Family lore (probably not true) has it that she was the buyer who took a chance on the new and complicated game “Monopoly” in 1934, leading to its massive and enduring success.

She would of course become the co-author of the first two family books and write three more, then live in Arizona and Southern California before her death there in 2006, at age 98. Her husband had predeceased her in 1986.

Martha Bunker Gilbreth

b. 5 November 1909 – Plainfield, New Jersey
d. 15 November 1968 – Chehalis, Washington (59y)
e. New Jersey State College for Women, degree (Douglass College) 1930
m. Richard E. Tallman, 8 June 1940(?) – Montclair, New Jersey
c. Martha Blair Tallman [Wilson], 1946(?); Mary Elizabeth Tallman [Brown], 1948; Janet Wallace Tallman [Sandvik] [Brown], 1948(?); Richard E. Tallman Jr, 1949; Stephanie Scott Tallman, 1950(?)
i. Valhalla, New York

Martha was the first child to be born in the Plainfield, New Jersey home, on November 5, 1909, and was named after Frank Sr's mother. She attended the New Jersey State College for Women, which became Douglass College before she graduated. She remained at home in Montclair as her mother's assistant with the younger children for almost ten years after graduation.

Martha married Richard Tallman in June of 1940, when she was 31. They would live most of their lives in and near Seattle, Washington, where they would have and raise five children (the most of any of “the Dozen”) — Martha, Mary Elizabeth, Janet, Richard Jr and Stephanie.

She would become the only one of the children that reached adulthood to die at a relatively premature age, succumbing to cancer in 1968, just days after her 59th birthday and a few months after the graduation of her last child from high school. Richard would remarry but then pass himself in 1973, and be buried next to Martha in the Tallman family plot in New York.

Frank Bunker Gilbreth Jr.

b. 17 March 1911 – Plainfield, New Jersey
d. 18 February 2001 – Charleston, South Carolina (89y 11m)
e. St. John's College, MD (1 year); degree in Journalism University of Michigan 1933
m. Elizabeth Cauthen, 1934-1954; Mary Pringle Manigault, 1955 – Charleston, South Carolina (?)
s. USN, Lieutenant Commander (1945)
c. Elizabeth Gilbreth [Cantler], 1937; Dr. Edward Manigault Gilbreth, 1956; Rebecca Gilbreth [Herres], 1959
i. Fairfield, Maine; cenotaph in Charleston, South Carolina

[More to come... ]

William Moller Gilbreth

b. 18 December 1912 – Providence, Rhode Island
d. 14 April 1990 – Rough & Ready, California (77y 4m)
e. Purdue University, degree 1937
m. Jean Irvin, 24 Apr 1936 – Indiana (?)
s. USN, Lieutenant (1945)
c. Lillian Gilbreth; William Moller Gilbreth Jr
i. unknown

[More to comel... ]

Lillian Moller Gilbreth Jr.

b. 26 June 1914 – Providence, Rhode Island
d. 23 June 2001 – Middletown, Connecticut (86y; 3 days before 87th birthday)
e. Smith College, degree 1935
m. Donald Dodge Johnson, 7 September 1935 – Montclair, New Jersey
c. Julia Gilbreth Johnson [Lindquist]; Donald Dodge Johnson Jr.
i. Owl's Nest, Delaware

Rare but not unheard of for the era, Lill was formally named "Junior" after her mother's full name.

Infant Gilbreth

b./d. 13 September 1915, Providence, Rhode Island
i. Providence, Rhode Island

On September 13, 1915, Lillian had a late miscarriage or premature stillbirth, possibly caused by a fall down some stairs. The unnamed daughter was buried in a common church grave for infants in Providence, Rhode Island. It is possible that none of the other children knew of this lost sibling until much later in their lives — possibly not until after Lillian's death in 1972.

Frederick Moller Gilbreth

b. 17 August 1916 – Buttonwoods, Rhode Island
d. 30 November 2015 – Larchmont, New York (99y 3m)
e. Brown University, M..E. degree ?
m. Jessie Blair Tallman, 13 August 1943 – California
s. AAF, 2nd Lieutenant 1943
c. Susan Gilbreth [Kaseler]; Frank Bunker Gilbreth II, John Tallman Gilbreth
i. unknown

Fred was born, like two of the children who followed, while the family was on summer vacation — in this case, before they had purchased the Nantucket cottage, at Buttonwoods, a resort area on the Rhode Island shore. Family lore says he was born in the aftermath of a hurricane and that the phones were out. While the latter may be true, the “hurricane” was most likely “Three” (as storms were named in that era), which brushed Massachusetts and Rhode Island on July 21st, three weeks before Frederick's birth.

He was Jessie Tallman's second husband; her first was an American who joined the Canadian air force in 1940 and was killed in a ground accident in North Africa in early 1943. Jessie was also the sister of Richard Tallman, who had married Martha a few years earlier.

Fred was the last survivor of the Dozen, outliving Robert by eight years and Dan and Ernestine by nine.

Daniel Bunker Gilbreth

b. 17 September 1917 – Providence, Rhode Island
d. 13 June 2006 – West Caldwell(?), New Jersey (88y 9m)
e. Wharton School of Business, degree University of Pennsylvania ?
m. Irene Jensen, 1941(?) – Montclair, New Jersey(?)
s. USN, Lieutenant 1946
c. David Gilbreth; Daniel Bunker Gilbreth Jr, 1950; Peggy Gilbreth
i. Fairfield, Maine

Dan married his high school sweetheart and lived nearly his entire life in Montclair and nearby cities.

John (‘Jack’) Moller Gilbreth

b. 29 May 1919 – Providence, Rhode Island
d. 25 December 2002 – Caldwell, New Jersey (83y 7m)
e. Princeton University, Industrial Relations degree 1941
m. Dorothy Girvan, 1944(?) – Montclair, NJ(?)
s. USN, radio tech, 1945
c. Peter Gilbreth, 1948; James Bunker Gilbreth, 1949–2008; Deborah Gilbreth [Harrison] 1954–2018
i. Fairfield, Maine

John was called Jackie, then Jack from birth, and was best known by that name. Reminiscences from his Princeton classmates indicate he was known to them as “Gil.” Jack was the only one of the children to go into his parents' field as an industrial engineer.

Robert Moller Gilbreth

b. 4 July 1920 – Nantucket Island, Massachusetts
d. 24 July 2007 – Franklin, New Hampshire (87y)
e. University of North Carolina, B.A. 1943; University of Massachusetts; Plymouth State College, M.Ed. ?
m. Barbara Eleanor Filer, 25 Aug 1945, East Longmeadow, CT (divorced ca. 1972)
c. Ann Gilbreth [Wilson], 1948; Roy D. Gilbreth, 1953
i. Marker in family plot in Fairfield, ME; may have been cremated and ashes scattered off Woods Hole, Massachusetts.

Bob's early married life was chronicled in the family lore book Innside Nantucket. He later became a high school teacher in both Nantucket and Franklin, New Hampshire, then served in the New Hampshire House of Representatives for ten years.

Bob was the only son among the Dozen who did not serve in the military and WWII, apparently because of minor heart damage from a bout of rheumatic fever that caused him to miss a year of school — the same disease that crippled his father's last years and eventually led directly to his death. Unlike his father, though, and like most of his siblings, Bob lived an extended lifespan. He would be the only one of the Dozen to have a marriage end in divorce (after nearly 30 years).

Jane Moller Gilbreth

b. 22 June 1922 – Nantucket Island, Massachusetts
d. 10 January 2006 – Longview, Washington (83y 7m)
e. Sweet Briar College (1 year), degree University of Michigan, 1943
m. George Paul Heppes Jr, 20 May 1944 – NYC
c. Laura Jane Heppes [Roiter]; Paula Heppes [Berzanski]
i. unknown – there was no service, and her husband who died shortly thereafter also had no memorial, was cremated and likely scattered, may be same

Jane was the last of the Dozen, and the only one to be born in a hospital. Like all of her sisters except Ernestine, her career was largely as a homemaker.