Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Gerner Collaterals

Sometimes the best next step is to search for the siblings of an ancestor.  When I can't find any more evidence of a relationship between my ancestor and his or her parent, one other hope is to find a relationship between my ancestor's siblings and his/her parents (assuming I can find siblings).

Fred Gerner is my ancestor of interest.  He was born between 1847 and 1849 in Germany and immigrated to the U.S. soon afterward.  Except for short stints in West Virginia and another in Mercer County, Pennsylvania, he lived most of his life in Butler County, Pennsylvania.  His Butler County locations included Fairview, Bruin, and Saxonburg.  Fred died on March 26, 1926, in Bruin, Butler County, Pennsylvania.

Christian Gerner was named as Fred's father on Fred's death certificate.  Searching U.S. Census records I've found the children listed below, including a boy named Fred, in the home of Christian Garner/Gardner in Butler County, Pennsylvania.

  • born about 1847 in Prussia
  • 13 in 1860
  • gone in 1870 census
  • born about 1849 in Prussia
  • 11 in 1860
  • 21 in 1870
  • gone in 1880
 Isabell in1860, Elizabeth in1870, Lizzie in 1880
  • born about 1851 in Prussia 
  • 9 in 1860
  • 19 in 1870
  • 29 in 1880
  • born about 1853 in PA
  • 7 in 1860
  • 17 in 1870
  • 27 in 1880
  • I have already received Charles's death certificate in which his father is named as Christan Gerner and his mother as Mary E. Sthal.
Christena in 1860, Christopher in 1870, Christian in 1880
  • born about 1854 in Pennsylvania
  • 6 in 1860
  • 16 in 1870
  • 25 in 1880
  • born about 1856 in PA
  • 4 in 1860
  • 14 in 1870
  • 23 in 1880
Having identified possible siblings of Fred Gerner, I can now proceed to search for them in other records.



  1. This is a technique I use a lot too, Nancy. I like the clear way you've laid the data out. Looking forward to hearing what you find!

    1. Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment, Shelley. There's really so little data in the post but having a clear list of names and possible birth dates has helped already.

  2. Hello Nancy,
    We've corresponded before--I am the great granddaughter of Charles Gerner. I was so interested to see the copy of the death certificate for Charles listing his mother's maiden name. I went back to look at my baby book, because Mary is the name written there. When I was born we were living with my grandparents, and my grandmother's maiden name was Mary Gerner. I believe that this info came from her. I am also excited to see that you have found the "Gardners" in 1860 and 70. Bravo and thank you! Best, Tracy Merchant Feldsott

    1. Hi, Tracy --
      How nice to hear from you again. I hope all is well with you.

      Yes, not only does Charles's death certificate lists his mother but also his brother, Christian's and his sister, Emma's do, too. It was pretty exciting getting that information.

      But to my mind, there's still a bit of a conflict: the 1860, 1870, and 1880 census records all give the senior Christian's wife's name as Elizabeth/Elisabeth (though the 1860 census doesn't name the relationship).

      I'm still searching for Lizzie/Elizabeth/Isabell Gerner, Charles's and Fred's sister. I find her on census records but haven't looked deeper recently.

      So, your grandmother, Mary Gerner (Merchant?), was the daughter of Charles and Eva Gerner, right?

      Thanks again for visiting and leaving a comment.


I appreciate your comments and look forward to reading what you have to say. Thanks for stopping by.

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