Thursday, January 17, 2013

Genealogy By the States – Week 2 – Pennsylvania


Ah, Pennsylvania, that pesky state where two of my great-grandaunts claim to have been born.

First, Malissa Elizabeth ROTTMAN, both the 1880 US census and the 1885 Iowa state census state her place of birth as Pennsylvania.1  An index entry in the Iowa marriages database on FamilySearch states Philadelphia as her place of birth2 (no, I have not seen the actual record…ran out of time at the FHL last February).  Yet I have not found a birth record for her in Philadelphia.

Her sister, Mabel ROTTMAN, according to the same two censuses, was born in Iowa.  Later censuses also list Iowa as her place of birth.  Yet for some reason, her obituary states her place of birth as Philadelphia.3  I have yet to find a birth record for her in either place.

This particular family is incredibly difficult to research.  According to the 1880 and 1885 censuses mentioned above, their father, Philip ROTTMAN, was born in Bavaria, and their mother Eva, was born in France.  I have no clue when or where they married or when they immigrated to the US.  These same censuses also suggest they where all over the place, based on the places of birth for their children:

Child Year of Birth Place of Birth
John 1870 Georgia (possibly Henry Co.)
Anna 1874 Missouri
Malissa Elizabeth 1875 Pennsylvania (possibly Philadelphia)
Charles Henry 1877 Iowa (probably Linn Co.)
Mabel Louise 1879 Iowa (probably Linn Co.;obit suggests Philadelphia, Penn.)
George 1882 Iowa (probably Linn Co.)

I have not been able to locate birth records for any of the children.  The next step is to figure out what church(es) they might have attended when they were living in Mt. Vernon, Iowa (where the last three children were likely born) and try to find some baptism records.

Another oddity of this family is the maiden name of the mother, Eva.  On some children’s records she’s listed as Reeder, while on others, she’s listed as Lasser.  Could Philip have married two different woman with the same first name?  Could Eva have been married previously and one name is her maiden name, while the other is another married name?  Who knows!

So do I have a connection to Pennsylvania?  Sure, I have a few here and there.  But through this particular family?  Perhaps.  Once I’m able to dig a little deeper into Philip and Eva, maybe there will be a bigger connection to Pennsylvania, perhaps siblings of one or the other.  And if I do find some sort of connection, there are some great records already online through Ancestry and FamilySearch, as well as plenty of resources at the Family History Library that I can start with.


1.  1880 U.S. census, population schedule, Mt Vernon, Linn County, Iowa, enumeration district (ED) 264, p. 14, dwelling 118, family 121, Phillip Rotman; digital images, Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : accessed 2 February 2010); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T9, roll 351.  Also, 1885 state census, Iowa, population schedule, Franklin, Linn County, p. 321 (stamped), dwelling 81, family 81, line 6, Phillip Rotman; digital images, Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : accessed 11 December  2009).

2.  "Iowa Marriages 1809-1992," database, FamilySearch (familysearch.org : accessed September 2, 2010), Rushek-Rottman, 1896.

3.  "Mable Haase Rites Held Wednesday," (Mt. Vernon) Hawkeye Record, 6 April 1961.

Genealogy By the States is a theme created by Jim Sanders over at the Hidden Genealogy Nuggets blog.



Jim (Hidden Genealogy Nuggets Blog) said...

I have one pesky ancestor who moved around similar to the way this family has. He's the toughest to keep track of. Good Luck.

Regards, Jim

Claudia said...

I would suggest they were Catholic because of the father being born in Bavaria.

Look for the nearest German Catholic Church in each area. The Germans kept excellent sacramental records.

I was able to find my husbands line back to the 1500 with the information found from the Archives of the Diocese of Pittsburgh.

Julie Cahill Tarr said...

Thanks for the tip, Claudia.

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