Tuesday, July 24, 2012

New Finds

I just got back from my vacation in Wisconsin where I was able to do some genealogy research. I was working on obtaining birth, marriage and death certificates for my DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) application. My Hiltz ancestor is my patriot.

I had come across a birth index several months ago that listed an un-named male child born to my great-great grandparents. Since I had not been able to find my great-grandfather's birth certificate I decided this was worth looking into, just in case I had the birth way off.
The certificate was in the county courthouse located in my Wisconsin hometown of Fond du Lac. I looked up the birth and the parents were my great-great grandparents. This un-named child was new information to me. It listed the the name of the other issue living as Chas O; Mabel O. Chas O is my great-grandfather, so now I at least have a connection from him to his parents with his known sister. My great-grandfather was known by many names, Obie Charles, Orville Charles and now Charles O which could stand for Obie or Orville. His sister Mabel has always been known to me as Mabel so this information helps to confirm known information that I had.

I continued my search to see if I could find a death certificate for the child, but none was found. Since registrations of birth, marriage and deaths was not required until 1907, and his death probably happens before then, thus I am not surprised that a death certificate was not found. Or perhaps it is in the next county, since the town is split between two counties.

I know that my great-great grandfather Seymour Hiltz left the family or his wife Wilena Booth left him because of cruelty to the children. Perhaps the child died and caused strain on the marriage or perhaps he was rough on the little tyke and caused his death. These answers may never be found.

Another interesting find was my grandmother’s birth certificate.  I was always told that her name was Katherine Orlien Hiltz and my mother’s name is Orlien and I named my oldest child, Katherine Orlien after both of them. My grandmother’s birth certificate listed her name as Katherine Arlena Hiltz. Her marriage certificate listed her name as Katherine O Hiltz. I wonder how her middle name got changed.

This makes me ponder on how birth certificates get created. What paperwork was filed out by the mother at the time of her child’s birth? Did the mother fill out paperwork or did a hospital official if she gave birth in a hospital? Was this a home birth and the doctor reported the birth? If the mother didn’t fill out paperwork, and verbally told someone the name, did they guess on how the name was spelled? Lots of questions come up on paperwork.