Monday, July 26, 2021

1903 Marriage Record of Della Gerner and Thomas Fletcher

Della Gerner is another of Fred and Elvira (Bartley) Gerner's children.  She is the sixth child and third daughter.  She was born in Putnam County, West Virginia, in 1879.  She is standing with her younger brother Paul in this (very blurry) photo.

I met Aunt Della once when I was a young child.  I have the vaguest memory of her being a good-natured, jovial person.  Her grandson confirmed that impression.

Della married Thomas C. Fletcher in 1903.  She and her sister Alma applied for marriage licenses on the same day.  It seems that they were married one day apart but there's a bit of uncertainty when I look closely at this marriage record.  (Details in Comment and Observation section below.)



This is a transcription of Della and Thomas's marriage record which is available here, at FamilySearch's Pennsylvania, County Marriages, 1885-1950 (with a free FamilySearch account).
No. 7650
Thos. C. Fletcher born in Butler Co.
on the 2" day of October A.D. 1877 residing at Broom [Bruin?] Butler Co.
and a Driller by occupation not related by blood or marriage
to the person whom he desires to marry
never married before
and Della Gerner born in Virginia Pa
on the 17" day of Feb A.D. 1879 residing at Fairview
a [blank] by occupation [blank] married before
And now this 28" day of Oct. 1903. Marriage License issued in legal form.
Consent of [blank] residing at [blank]
and [blank] residing at [blank]
      Filed this 28" day of October 1903
      Duplicate Certificate returned and filed this 28 day of Oct 1903 showing
marriage ceremony to have been performed by Albert D. Lero
on the 29 day of Oct 1903.

Observations and Comments
  • Della was 24 and Thomas was 26 when they married, perhaps a little older than was common in 1903, especially for the bride.
  • A close look at this marriage record reveals contradictory information.  The marriage license was filed on October 28, 1903.  The duplicate certificate was filed on October 28, 1903.  The marriage ceremony was performed on October 29, 1903.  It's unlikely that the certificate would have been filed before the marriage occurred.  No doubt there is some explanation, perhaps a clerk's inattention or possibly the handwriting isn't clear, but it leaves me questioning the marriage date.  If you click on the photo and enlarge it, perhaps you will see something different from what I see?
  • I haven't looked yet but I hope a local newspaper published an engagement or marriage announcement for Della and Thomas.

As mentioned above, the image of this marriage record was found at FamilySearch.  The physical record of the license was filed with the Register of Wills, Mercer County, Mercer, PA, in Marriage License Docket, Volume 9, 1902-1905.

- –Nancy.

Copyright © 2021 Nancy Messier.  All Rights Reserved. 
Do not copy or use any content from this blog without written permission from the owner. 

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Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Not Helpful

Two weeks ago we were visiting my daughter and her family.  While there I played dominoes with my grandson, M. age 9, and granddaughter,  O. age 7.  They were enthusiastic and it was all fun and games until we weren't able to add to our domino trains.  Without a domino to play, O. chose one from the boneyard, looked at it, looked around to see if she could place it on her train or someone else's and, when she couldn't, declared, "Not helpful."  

Today I say that Microsoft Windows is not helpful.  Two days ago it updated, and last night it told me it was configuring.  When it finished I had a whole new, unhelpful, computer configuration.  Nothing looked the same and the files were not readily available to my word processing program and were hard to find.  (I'm a dinosaur who still uses WordPerfect (WP).  We are compatible.  We know and like each other, and neither of us has changed for at least a dozen years.  I don't like change, which makes this nonsense with Windows even more unpleasant.  Not helpful.)  I was finally able to find and move some files and folders so they appeared in WP but by the time I figured it out, it was nearing 2 a.m., 3:30 by the time I went to bed.  Now that we're into a new day, I can't remember where I found the files or how I moved them.  But I (or my new Windows) didn't do such a great job last night/early this morning because the files and folders I moved are a jumble, not at all similar in arrangement to how they were before Windows reconfigured my computer.  I'm trying to figure out how to corral them back to their own folders.

Just not helpful.

Today I decided I should check on my photos.  (I was finally able to find them last night and let the computer, via Picasa, gather them together.)  Now, sadly, I have triple or more the number of folders I had before the reconfiguration and some have the same name (some are named the same thing 3 or 4 times) all with different numbers of photos, some duplicates and some not.  Windows renamed some of the photos or, maybe I should say, added letters, numbers, and underlines to the names they already had.  Those are the easy ones to know they should be deleted.  The others....  How on earth do I determine which are duplicates when they are in separate files?!  And Windows acts like they are not there.

Add to that the fact that Blogger is unable to find photos on my computer.  Well, I'm not able to find some of them either, for that matter.  Is there a lack of communication between Picasa and the computer?  I don't know what's happening.  Besides that, Windows won't let me find or change a photo for the background of my desktop computer, either.

One good thing is that RootsMagic found my files (two with the same name and date, identical as far as I can tell) and everything seems to be in order.  That's a blessing!

My daughter suggested I might have a virus.  I ran TrendMicro's HouseCall last night and again today and no threats were found either time.

I know that in the whole of life, considering the challenges that I could be facing, this is a small inconvenience.  It's not health or life and death, it just prevents me from working on family history -- sources in RootsMagic, renaming photos, etc.  It all just makes me tired, sad, and a little stressed. 

No help.  (No photos, either, for obvious reasons.)

Anyone else have a similar problem with a Windows update?

-–Nancy.

Copyright © 2021 Nancy Messier.  All Rights Reserved. 
Do not copy or use any content from this blog without written permission from the owner. 

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Sunday, July 18, 2021

1883 Marriage Announcement: John Gerner and Maggie Sarver

This announcement of a marriage gives little genealogical information and it's possible this John Gerner is not the son of Christian and Mary Elizabeth (Stahl) Gerner or the brother of my Fredrick K. Gerner.  I'll continue research as though it is until I prove it right or wrong.

                            MARRIED.

GERNER—SARVER— At Freeport, Pa., July
   20th, 1883, by the Rev. H. K. Shanor, Mr.
   John Gerner, of Saxon Station and Miss
   Maggie Server of Sarver Station, Butler
County Pa.


John Gerner is the youngest known child of Christian and Mary Elizabeth, born about 1857.

According to 1860-1880 census records, Christian and Mary Elizabeth (along with their children, Emma, Fred, Charles, Isabell/Elisabeth/Lizzie, Christian, and John) lived in Fairview Township, Butler County, Pennsylvania.

John was listed as 4 in 1860, 14 in 1870, and 23 (and a son) in 1880.  In 1883, at the time of this marriage, he would have been about 26. 

There's always more research to do.  Because John is collateral relative he won't be a serious focus of research but I'll continue to look for him as I research ancestors.

This news article is available at Chronicling America:  https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86071045/1883-07-25/ed-1/seq-2/.

-–Nancy.

Copyright © 2021 Nancy Messier.  All Rights Reserved. 
Do not copy or use any content from this blog without written permission from the owner. 

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Thursday, July 15, 2021

1903 Marriage Record of Alma M. Gerner and Francis E. Kitch

Alma M. Gerner is the daughter of Fredrick K. and Elvira (Bartley) Gerner.  She is the seventh child and fourth daughter (of 16 children). 

This marriage record comes from FamilySearch's collection of Pennsylvania County Marriages and specifically from the Mercer County, Pennsylvania, Register of Wills, Marriage License Docket, Volume 9, 1902-1905, page 202.  With a free FamilySearch account you can see the image and other pages of the docket here.  

No. 7649
Francis E. Kitch born in Coolspring Twp.
on the 20" day of March A.D. 1886 residing at Fairview Twp
and a Farmer by occupation not related by blood or marriage
to the person whom he desires to marry
never married before
and Alma M Gerner born in Butler Co.
on the 29" day of Jan A.D. 1881 residing at Mercer Co
a ---------- by occupation never married before
_____________________________________________
And now this 28 day of Oct. 1903 Marriage License issued in legal form.
Consent of [blank] residing at [blank]
and [blank] residing at [blank]
      Filed this 28" day of Oct. 1903
      Duplicate Certificate returned and filed this 28" day of Oct 1903 showing
marriage ceremony to have been performed by Albert D. Lero.
on the 28 day of Oct 1903.


Notes, Comments, Observations
  • I like the fact that this marriage records gives the dates and location of birth of both spouses.  Unfortunately, Alma's location of birth is not accurate:  she was not born in Butler County, Pennsylvania.  According to her county birth record, she was born in Scott District, Putnam County, West Virginia. 
  • Alma's birth record gives her name as Mary Alma.  Through the years of her life she went back and forth, finally settling with Alma as her chosen name.
  • Alma's father moved their family from Butler County to Mercer County, Pennsylvania, sometime between 1900 and 1910, then back to Butler County between 1910 and 1920.  Did Fred have a touch of wanderlust?
  • There is a discrepancy in birth dates between this record (January 29) and Alma's birth record (January 20).  It's hard to dispute the birth record even though it is a set of ditto marks from two records above it.
  • It has always interested me to see marriage license applications given on the same date the marriage occurred.  For many years now, at least in Ohio, a couple must procure a marriage license days or weeks before the marriage occurs.
  • Alma is noted as divorced in the 1930 U.S. Census and is living with her daughter and son-in-law, Kathryn and Elbert Knox, in Bruin, Butler County, Pennsylvania.

-–Nancy.

Copyright © 2021 Nancy Messier.  All Rights Reserved. 
Do not copy or use any content from this blog without written permission from the owner. 

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Friday, July 2, 2021

To Email Followers of My Ancestors and Me

To all of you who follow this blog via email, I am in the process of transitioning to follow.it's email service in the next few days.  (I hope it works!)  I'm doing this because sometime this month Google is discontinuing its Feedburner email service for blogs.  I'm working to make sure there's not a disruption in receiving emails but if it happens that you don't get them and would like to continue having posts come to your emailbox, please return to this blog next week and resubscribe.

I'm grateful to all of you who read my posts however you do it and especially to you who visit and leave comments.  I love the feedback.

Thanks!
-–Nancy.

Copyright © 2021 Nancy Messier.  All Rights Reserved. 
Do not copy or use any content from this blog without written permission from the owner. 

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Thursday, July 1, 2021

Fred Holland, Leota Gerner's Second Husband

I'm not eager to search in too much detail or spend too much time to find more information about Leota (Gerner) Riss's second husband, Fred Holland.  Leota is my paternal grandmother's sister, not in my direct line.  I may come back to Fred in a few years but for now I'm happy enough with what I've found below.

FamilySearch had Ohio death indexes only for more recent years.  This is Fred's.
 
It tells me that he was born in 1992, died on August 18, 1958 in Youngstown, Mahoning County, Ohio, and that his residence was Struthers, Mahoning County, Ohio.  It also tells me that he was married.

I found a little more information in his death notice at Google News Archive.  It is on page 16 of the August 18, 1958, issue of The Youngstown Vindicator
             Fred Holland
     (Special to The Vindicator)
   Struthers, Aug. 18---Fred Hol-
land, 76, of 380 Spring St., was
pronounced dead at 7:55 a.m. to-
day at South Side Hospital after
Collapsing in a Struthers restau-
rant. The body is at the D. A.
Davidson Funeral Home.

Fred's obituary was published the next day, August 19, 1958, in The Youngstown Vindicator, on page 19, column 3, again available at Google News Archive.
            Fred Holland
     (Special to The Vindicator)
   Struthers, Aug. 19---Funeral
services will be held at 1:30 p.m.
Thursday at the D. A. Davidson
Funeral Home for Fred Holland,
76, of 380 Spring St., Apt. 14.  He
died of a heart ailment Monday
in South Side Hospital.
   Mr. Holland was born July 10,
1882, in Oxford, England, a son
of Harry and Elizabeth Holland,
and emigrated to Struthers in
1914.  He was a foreman at the
Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co.
coke plant, retiring 10 years ago.
He was a member of Wesleyan
Methodist Church.
   Besides his wife, the former
Leota Riss, whom he married 22
years ago, he leaves a daughter,
Mrs. Isabella Homer of Struth-
ers; a son, Harry, of Denver,
Colo.; a sister, Mrs. Anna Fox
of Struthers; and five grandchil-
dren.
   Friends may call from 7 to 9
p.m. Wednesday at the funeral
home.

Comments
  • Might Fred have been married before?  Beulah Evelyn is not mentioned as a step-daughter and I haven't found any information that suggests Leota had more children.
  • I've been unable to find Leota and Fred in the 1940 census, the first census in which they would likely have been married, based on this obituary's statement, "his wife, the former Leota Riss, whom he married 22 years ago."

Leota and her spouses certainly present a puzzle to be solved.  At some point in my past I remember the briefest of conversations between my parents about Aunt Leota in which my father said that she had been his wet nurse after his mother died when he was only weeks old.  If that's true, Leota would have had another child between about 1911 and 1913, and may (or may not) have been married.  I've found no record of a marriage from about that time nor a record of a birth.  Puzzles, puzzles.  Gotta love those family history puzzles to be solved!

-–Nancy.

Copyright © 2021 Nancy Messier.  All Rights Reserved. 
Do not copy or use any content from this blog without written permission from the owner. 

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July Celebrations Among Family and Ancestors


There are some interesting relationships among family members and birthdays this month.  You know how we say, "It's a small world."  I'm thinking, "It's a small month!"

Holly and Jeff both share a birthday with their great-grandmother, Emma Bickerstaff, on July 6.  And Emma's daughter, Doris Jean, was born this month.

Chuck P. and Bob and Eva share the 10th for his birthday and their marriage.  Chuck and Bob are brothers-in-law.

Ian, born on the 18th, and Seth, born on the 25th, are brothers.  Jacob, born on the 28th, is their cousin.  Seth shares a birthday with his great-great-grandfather, Henry Carl Meinzen.

Four Gerner brothers were born this month:  Warren on the 10th, Edward on the 16th, and twins Alonzo and Alfonzo on the 25th.  And their parents, Fredrick and Elvira, were married this month.  Also, Fred's younger brother, Christian, was born this month.

Evelyn Lengauer Leathers is the daughter of Emma Doyle and John Lengauer.  After John died, Emma remarried Chauncey Leathers who adopted Evelyn.

Living Relatives
July   6   Holly P. S.
July   6   Jeff P.
July 10   Chuck P.
July 10   Bob and Eva D.
July 18   Ian D.
July 25   Seth D.
July 28   Jacob E.

Ancestors
July   6, 1893   Emma Virginia Bickerstaff
July 24, 1872   Frederick K Gerner and Elvira Bartley
July 25, 1837   Henry Carl Meinzen
July 27, 1848   Jacob Thompson and Mary Richardson

Other Relatives
July   1, 1873   Joseph A. Bickerstaff
July   3, 1907   Evelyn Lengauer Leathers
July   4, 1893   Carrie Mack
July   4, 1923   Edward Calvin Bickerstaff
July   5, 1905   Emma Doyle and John Lengauer
July   6, 1921   Richard E. Davis
July 10, 1890   Warren Franklin Gerner
July 11, 1906   Bertha Meinzen and William R. Henderson
July 11, 1907   Russell Sage Pugh
July 12, 1854   Christian Gerner
July 13, 1871   Margaret Doyle
July 13, 1893   Lucy M. VanKirk
July 16, 1877   Edward G. Gerner
July 16, 1911   Helen M. Bickerstaff
July 17, 1948   William Edward Doyle and Doris I. Condit
July 19, 1921   Doris Jean (Dot) Meinzen
July 25, 1858   John Laws
July 25, 1874   Alonzo J. Gerner
July 25, 1874   Alfonzo F. Gerner
July 28, 1902   Lina Proud
July 31, 1914   Sidney Eugene Harris

Happy Birthday, Happy Anniversary, all!

-–Nancy.

Copyright © 2021 Nancy Messier.  All Rights Reserved. 
Do not copy or use any content from this blog without written permission from the owner. 

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Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Research Tip: Read Every Entry on the Page

When you search for an ancestor in court records where there are several entries on a page be sure to read all the entries on that page.  You never know who you will find. 

I searched for and found Alma Mary Gerner's marriage recordnin the Mercer County Orphan's Court Marriage License Dockets.
Looking at the rest of the entries, I found Alma's sister Della Gerner's marriage record as the next entry.  I love it when that happens!

It's worth the extra minute to look at all the records on a page because you never know who you'll find.

-–Nancy.

Copyright © 2021 Nancy Messier.  All Rights Reserved. 
Do not copy or use any content from this blog without written permission from the owner. 

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