Wednesday, December 2, 2009

An Update on Emil

This is a follow-up to my Finding Emil post from last month.

I haven’t really be able to figure out much since that post, but I’ve found some more information that may eventually help, including a real photo postcard in the box of photos from my aunt.

While I was at the Illinois Archives a few weeks ago, I pulled a few death certificates.  One was for John SEVERING, who was Hulda WACH Miller’s second husband.  And working on a hunch, I pulled one for Hermina Severing.  See, I find a Charles, Hermina, and Lilian in McHenry County, Illinois in 1920, and John and Hermina in 1930, also in McHenry County.  Now, I don’t think Hermina is Hulda (although anything is possible), but I am wondering if he possibly married again.

I’m fairly certain that I have the correct death certificate for John.  Since it lists his wife’s name as Hermina, I’m pretty sure the census records I found for 1920 and 1930 are for him as well.  I’m not certain of the death certificate for Hermina.  First, she was living in Chicago at the time of her death in 1943, and died in Kane County.  This doesn’t necessarily mean anything.  The other information provided, widow of John, born in 1858, seems to correspond to the Hermina found with John in the censuses.  However, it lists her birthplace (and mother’s birthplace) as Hungry, but in the 1920 and 1930 census, it’s listed as Germany.   What I do feel certain about is that this is not Hulda; the birth date is about 10 years off and the birthplace and mother’s name/birthplace do not match.

My new hypothesis is that Hulda may have died between 1910 and 1920, and John remarried.  I suppose they could have also divorced.

Switching over to Emil MILLER, Hulda’s first husband and the topic of this post, I may have stumbled onto something.  I’m working with the hypothesis that the Emil, Henry, Emil I found in the 1900 census is in fact my family, and that Hulda and Emil divorced (as opposed to Emil dying leaving Hulda a widow as indicated in her 1900 census record).  That said, their son’s marriage record in Chicago indicates that he resided in Harvard, McHenry, Illinois in 1909.  This is the only reference I have placing him in the same town/county as his mother.

New Clue

When son Emil was married in 1915, he was living in Chicago.  But, I stumbled across a photo postcard from Henry to brother Emil (living in Harvard) in 1912.  (Side note:  This photo also gives me a clue as to where Henry worked, as he was a blacksmith.  Heck, that could be him in the photo!)  So now I have a reference placing Emil in the same town/county as his mother.  So now I’m wondering if father Emil died prior to 1909 and Henry and Emil went to live with their mother in McHenry County.

I have yet to find son Emil in the 1910 census, but plan to go back and look in McHenry County instead of Cook County.  According to the census record for his mother, he is not living in the same residence as her in 1910.

Unfortunately, I haven’t solved the mystery yet, but new hypotheses have emerged.

  • Hulda died between 1910 and 1920 or Hulda and John divorced during that timeframe.
  • Emil died between 1900 and 1909.

Next Steps

  • Focus death certificate search for Emil during the period of 1900 and 1909.
  • Focus death certificate search for Hulda during the period of 1910-1920.  If that comes up empty, look for divorce records during that period.
  • Continue working on the to-do list from the last post.



Claudia's thoughts said...

For every answer you find, twenty more questions appear. It took me a few months to find my great grandmother in laws maiden name and death certificate. She had remarried and grandmother Mary never had mention it nor did she mention the fact to her daughter in law, my Aunt Edna. At 88 Edna was so surprised. But I have Edna hooked on genealogy.....

Julie Cahill Tarr said...

Very cool about Aunt Edna, Claudia.

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