Diggin' up Dead People

A Genealogy Blog

Week 40: October:Joannem Marinum Goetz

The 40th post of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks highlights an October ancestor.  The never before profiled in my blog ancestor of October birth is Joannem Marinum Goetz.

Like all of my old-country German ancestors, I have very limited information on my 5th great grandfather.  What information I have has been obtained from the index of German births, baptisms and marriages found on Family Search.  I hope one day to examine the records that the index is compiled from.  Original records or microfilms of the originals may give more information.

 

Joannem Marinum Goetz was christened in the the Katholish church in Forbach, Baden Germany on 2 Oct 1761.  The index provides the same date for the birth date.

On the 15th of October 1792 he married Maria Elisabetha Hoffmann in Forbach.

They had at least two children, their son Phillipus, born in 1797 was my 4th great grandfather.

The death date for Joannem is unknown.

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Week 39: Unusual: Frank Serviss

Week 39 (September 24-30) – Unusual: What is the most unusual record you’ve ever found? Or, who is the most unusual of your ancestors? (You can take that any way you want to!)

 

Frank Serviss, my grandfather died in 1948.  His death certificate says he was born Dec 15, 1890.  His WWI and WWII draft registrations both support the Dec 15 date, one giving the year 1890, the other 1891.  1917 Serviss, Frank WWI Draft Card rs00215

1944 Serviss, Frank WWII Draft Card rs00213 Frank Serviss

These documents lead me to believe Frank was born on the 15th of December in either 1890 or 1891; it makes sense to this point!

In the 1892 NYS census, a census where Frank should have been enumerated, there is no Frank!  In fact, his mother Clara is listed (under her stepfather’s surname) with her mother, stepfather and sisters.  Frank’s father Remsen is also nowhere to be found.  Strangely enough Clara’s also married sister is listed with the wrong surname in the household.

Searching for a birth record for Frank first led me to his cousin Frank’s birth record.  That gives the birth date of March 22, 1893 for cousin Frank.  In the WWI & WWIII draft registration cards, cousin Frank’s birthdate is February 15, 1896 and Feb 15, 1895, respectively. The Social Security Death index lists Frank Serviss, born Dec 15, 1895 died 1966!

There is no birth record for my Frank Serviss with the parents Remson Serviss and Clara Bowen. That is not unusual in itself, birth registration compliance was not 100% at that time.

What has been unusual has been the tangle of records that I’ve found for Frank Serviss.  The shifting birth dates make it difficult to be sure I am reading records for the correct Frank at times.  Turning to the census records for more clarification adds to the confusion.  It also appears there is another unrelated Frank Servies that is close in age in the same NYC vicinity.

In 1900, I cannot find “my” Frank.  Cousin Frank was in a household with his parents and siblings.  The 1900 census was great in that it asked for not only age but month and year of birth.  Cousin Frank was enumerated as 4 years old, born Dec. 1895!  Furthermore he has a brother, Arthur, enumerated as born in Aug. 1893 making the March 22, 1893 birthdate impossible.

In 1905 NYS census, I find my Frank and cousin Frank listed together in the household of uncle Frank. (Did I forget to mention earlier that cousin Frank’s father was also a Frank Serviss?!)  In this census only ages are given.  My Frank is 15 and cousin Frank is 10.  Ok, this makes sense with the 1890 and 1895 birth years.

But wait, there’s more!  In the 1915 NYS census my grandfather Frank is listed as 23 yrs old- so born in about 1891/2!  Five years later in 1920 he’s 30 years old.  Isn’t census math grand?!  Five years later, he’s lost one of those extra years, listed as 34 years old, and five more years after that in 1930 Frank is 37!  This would be a lot less frustrating if there weren’t two closely related Frank close in age.  Thank goodness for family members to help sort them out.  But they did give some of their children the same names too…

 

 

 

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Week 38: Favorite Place: Sophia Alice Wombwell

Week 38 (September 17-23) – Favorite Place: What has been  your favorite place to research? Which ancestor came from there?

Amy Johnson Crow challenges to write about a favorite place for the 52 Ancestors theme of the week.  I’ve chosen to highlight an ancestor from Rochester, New York.  I’ve found the availability of access to records in Rochester to be terrific and that helped me to greatly advance my research there.  In particular there is one location that figures prominently in this ancestor’s life.

Title Church of the Epiphany Date circa 1900. Physical Details 1 photomechanical reproduction : b&w ; 16 x 11 cm. (6 x 4 in.) Collection Rochester Public Library Local History Division picture file Summary The Church of the Epiphany, located on Jefferson Avenue at Adams Street, began as a mission church of St. Luke's Church. It opened for services in 1870. After 1961 it became the Jefferson Avenue Seventh Day Adventist Church. Notes Mounted on thin cardboard. Picture caption: Church of the Epiphany. Subjects Church of the Epiphany (Rochester, N.Y.). Episcopal churches New York (State) Rochester. Churches New York (State) Rochester. Jefferson Avenue (Rochester, N.Y.). Image Number rpf01488

Title Church of the Epiphany
Date circa 1900.
Physical Details 1 photomechanical reproduction : b&w ; 16 x 11 cm. (6 x 4 in.)
Collection Rochester Public Library Local History Division picture file
Summary The Church of the Epiphany, located on Jefferson Avenue at Adams Street, began as a mission church of St. Luke’s Church. It opened for services in 1870. After 1961 it became the Jefferson Avenue Seventh Day Adventist Church.
Notes Mounted on thin cardboard. Picture caption: Church of the Epiphany.
Subjects Church of the Epiphany (Rochester, N.Y.).
Episcopal churches New York (State) Rochester.
Churches New York (State) Rochester.
Jefferson Avenue (Rochester, N.Y.).
Image Number rpf01488

Sophia Alice Wombwell was born in December 1870, daughter of Alfred Wombwell and Jane Taylor Wombell.  She was baptized at the Church of the Epiphany on 19 February 1871.  She received confirmation at the same church 30 June 1889.  In 1896, the church was the site of her marriage to Thearon Richards.  Their three children, Raymond, Florence and Edna, were also baptized at that church.

Sophia and her husband, Thearon Richards lived their lives in Rochester New York at several addresses, the final 20 or so years were spent at a small home at 19 Delmar Street.  The house, built in the late 19th century, still stands.

Sophia died on 3 January 1948, three years after her husband.  She is buried with Thearon at the Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester, NY.

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