Monday, August 3, 2015

Her Name Is . . . ? - Military Monday

Below is Alfonzo F. Gerner's World War I Draft Registration card.  I'm trying to decide whether his wife's name is Geta or not.  What do you think?  Could it be something else?

Here's the transcription.
Registration Card
Serial Number 582
Order Number 2249
First Name Alfonzo   Middle Name  [blank]   Last Name Gerner
Permanent Home Address (City or Town) Baldwin  (State) Pa.
Age in Years  44  
Date of Birth  July 25, 1874
Race  White ✓
U. S. Citizen  Native Born ✓
Present Occupation  Oil Driller
Employer's Name  Waldo & Bucklin
Place of Employment or Business  (City)  Ponca City (County) Kay  (State) Okla
Nearest Relative  Name Geta Gerner (wife)   Address  Baldwin, Pa.
Signature   Alfonzo Gerner

Description of Registrant
Height  Medium ✓
Build  Medium ✓
Color of Eyes  Brown
Color of Hair  Brown
Signature of Registrar  R. Martin
Date of Registration  Sept 12 1918
A True Copy
Local Board  Kay County  Newkirk, Okla.

Yesterday I was checking my tree on FamilySearch to see which children of direct ancestors still needed to be added.  I was stopped with the first family.  I found that four of Fred and Elvira (Bartley) Gerner's 16 children were missing -- all sons.  Alfonzo and his twin Alonzo, their oldest children, were missing.  I added Alfonzo and then noticed a problem with the wife's information which didn't match the information I have.  It's created enough uncertainty that I need to search deeper to see if I can sort out the wife problem.

Sometimes records leave such unlikely messes:  names confused, mis-recorded, not recorded, typos or print errors, etc.  Of course the individuals may have left messes, too.  I hope records can help me sort out Alfonzo's wives (but this record adds to the confusion rather than clarifying).

Thanks if you can read Alfonzo's wife's name and leave a comment. 


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  1. Looks like Geta to me. It is listed as a girl's name on baby name websites. It has Polish, German, and Slavic origins which seems consistent with your family, right?

    I agree about records -- you go to them for "the truth" and find a mess. I have a death record in which the person filling out the form didn't follow directions and gave the wife's married name, not her maiden name as required. Another gave the maiden name, all right, but just the surname, no first name.

    1. Thanks, Wendy. Yes, German origins for my family, but this Geta/Meta's not related by blood, so her ancestry could be German, Polish, Slavic, or any other number of backgrounds.

      It seems like the death records are the worst. I have a certificate in which the woman named her own mother's first and last names when asked for the deceased mother's first and maiden names. I have some other strange ones, too. I just assume that grief is preventing them from thinking clearly sometimes. It could be a fun post to share all the strange results we find on death certificates.

      Thanks for taking a look at the name and sharing what you think. I appreciate it, Wendy.

  2. If I would have to decide I would choose Meta. It looks to me as if he tried to overwrite the G, what he had written first and make it into a M instead.

    1. Hi, Karen. I wondered about whether the person writing overwrote the letter to change it (and left it less clear). Thanks for weighing in on what you saw. I appreciate it.

  3. Replies
    1. Thank you, Anna, for responding with what you see. I appreciate it.

  4. Replies
    1. Thank you, Andrea. So far, most think it's Geta. I guess it's a start for another search. I appreciate your taking the time to respond.


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

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