Monday, September 12, 2011

How Does One Piece Of Paper Effect Your Research?

Today I received some new information in the mail and have been neck deep in online research. This means I've largely neglected other things I should have been doing. Oh well, such is the life of a genealogist... right?

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago I sent off for a marriage certificate for my husband's gg grandparents. They were Reinhold Witthaus and Bertha Schanbacher, married 17 May 1896 in New York City. Both of them were born in Germany. This marriage certificate held more information than I ever could have imagined. A genealogy gold mine! The certificate listed their ages, parents names (with mother's maiden name!!), names of witnesses, place of birth, name and address of the Pastor who performed the marriage, and their residence at the time of marriage (they lived in the same building).

I searched around on, but didn't come across anything that seemed very solid. So I switched my search over to I plugged in Christain Schanbacher (Bertha's father) and came up with an excellent possibility of a marriage record for him in Germany. This particular record stated that Immanuel Christian Schanbacher married Wilhelmine Barbara Hauser  (the names are a good match) on 1 May 1873 in Stetten Im Remstal, Germany (place matches and the date works, Bertha was born in 1878). It also gave the birth dates/place for the bride and groom, along with parents' names for each (again mother's maiden names!). I'll have to gather some more evidence to make a solid conclusion, but so far it is looking good.

Amazing how one piece of paper can provide you with so many clues and avenues to research.

1 comment:

  1. I am researching Bertha for her great grand daughter. She went missing and was hoping I could find her. According to the 1920 and 1930 census Reinhold Witthaus lists himself as widowed. He told family she went to CA to become an actress. He was a butcher by trade and they fear he may have done something to her. In the 1920 census he went by the name Weinhold Williams and in 1930 census he went by William Witthaus. All his other information matches. Including him living in the Bronx.

    Are you researching for someone or is he in your family? Please email me at Thank you for your post. I was shocked we are searching for the same people. Amazing :) got to love the Internet!
    Thank you.