Sunday, June 16, 2013

Hard on the Heels of Christian Gerner & Family

Some obituaries are thrilling to read because they give so much family history information:  birth and death dates, the names of spouse, parents, siblings, and children (though occasionally obituaries can lead researchers astray if not more fully investigated and corroborated with other evidence).  The obituaries below are for Emma Gerner and Alfred Vensel.  Based on other research and the information in Emma's obituary, I am certain she is the sister of my great-grandfather, Fred Gerner, and the daughter of Christian Gerner, the man whose census records I have been tracking (under the names of Garner and Gardner).

I was especially pleased to read that Emma's brother, Christian, lived in California.  I'm certain he's the same Christian (with wife Amanda) whose census records recorded them living in West Virginia in 1910 and in Anaheim, California, in 1920 and 1930, and Amanda as a widow in 1940.

I'm sending a request to the Orange County Clerk-Recorder for a copy of the younger Christian's death certificate.  I hope it will name both parents.  I'm also waiting for Emma's and Alfred's Pennsylvania death certificates.

From the Butler Citizen, Thursday, April 12, 1906, p. 2

   Alfred Vensel of Chicora, aged 59 years, shot himself through the head, last Thursday evening, and died almost instantly.  He is survived by his wife, who is blind, one son and three daughters.

From the Parker Phoenix, Friday, April 13, 1906, p. 4

---Afred Vensel aged 56 years, a carpenter and builder, of Chicora, committed suicide Thursday evening by shooting himself through the head with a rifle.  His friends are at a loss to account for his deed.

From the Butler Eagle, Saturday, December 9, 1922, p. 7

Mrs. Emma Vensel Funeral
   The funeral of the late Mrs. Emma Vensel, whose death occurred Friday, will be held Sunday at 1:30 from the home of her daughter, Mrs. D. S. McGuire, 616 Fairview avenue.  Interment will be in the White Oak cemetery, near Chicora.

From the Butler County Record, Thursday, December 14, 1922, p. 8

Mrs. Emma Vensel
     Mrs. Emma Vensel, aged 76, widow of the later Alfred Vensel, died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. D. S. McGuire, Fairview avenue, Butler, December 7.  Her father was the late Christian Gerner.  She was born in Germany but came to America when a small child.  Most of her life has been spent in Petrolia and Chicora where she was well known.  For the past six years she had resided here with her daughter.  Children survive as follows:  Mrs. E. R. Parker and Mrs. D. S. McGuire, Butler; Mrs. E. L. Guthrie, Sapulpa, Okla.; John V. Vensel, Nashport, Ohio; also three brothers, Fred Gerner, Bruin; Charles Gerner, Butler; Christian Gerner, California; also eight grandchildren and one great grandchild.  Funeral services were held December 10 at the home of her daughter where she died and interment was in White Oak cemetery near Chicora.


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