Monday, February 24, 2014
52 Ancestors - Tressa Rose Froman
Tressa is, in some respects, an enigma. For instance, her name varies several times from early records to later in life. "Theresa" appears in a transcription of her birth/baptismal record of Good Hope Lutheran and Reformed Church in West Salem Township, Mercer County, Pennsylvania. The 1870 U.S. Census and her 1872 file for guardianship after her father died both record her name as "Theressa," obviously a spelling variation as is also "Teressa," as she appears in the 1880 U.S. Census. Her marriage record and the 1900 U.S. Census give her name as "Rose" but in subsequent census records she is "Tressa" or "Tressa R."
Names seem so much a part of personal identity. I can't help but wonder what brought about the changes.
Tressa's birth year is also a little challenging to discover. The Good Hope Lutheran and Reformed Church records give the date as May 24, 1868 -- but perhaps that's the baptismal date and not the birth date. Her father's Orphans Court file gives her birth date as August 20, 1867. The 1900 U.S. Census records that she was born in March, 1867. And her death certificate indicates she was born on September 24, 1867. The only common date is 1867 but only in 3 of the 4 documents. And for every record, a different person gave (or may have given) the information.
Name variations and different birth dates for one person aren't uncommon when searching for ancestors but common doesn't make it less challenging. I know it's too much to wish for a family Bible....
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This post is in response to Amy Johnson Crow's call to her readers to write about 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.