|Samuel Joseph (center) and his children - |
back - Augusta and Lydia, front Pat and Elmer.
Courtesy of Fred Gibson
Sam's record said nothing about Pauline, or any of his kids. It linked him to his father, Ludwig Joseph, so that matched. But it had another name listed as well - Elizabeth Ackermann. Who was she? How was she related to Sam? Each record was created with the subject's name at the top, then listed family members below, and gave any pertinent dates and relationships. Next to Elizabeth's record, it said married. I did a double-take, and then a triple-take. Married??? Sam Joseph had a third wife? Really??? I double checked the birth info, just to be sure it was my Sam, and the birthdate was 1869. Ok, so that means it's him (how many other Samuel Josephs, born around 1866, being the son of Ludwig Joseph, could be living in the same little town as mine?). The date of the marriage was 15 November 1909. That also made sense, given that Sam's first wife had passed away 6 January 1909. Elizabeth was born in Russia, according to the database, around 1886. That meant she was roughly 20 years younger than Sam. I started having flashbacks of watching that old guy Lazer Wolf (or however you spell his name) in Fiddler on the Roof that tries to marry the girl who later becomes the tailor's wife - except my great-great-grandfather was Lazer! I've been surprised by things in my family history, but this just blew my mind. I sat there thinking "Really? Really???" over and over again.
|Marriage record of Samuel Joseph and Elizabeth Ackermann|
I went right to the marriages, and found the record for Sam. It was indeed a marriage for Samuel Joseph, of Grass River, Manitoba (the same city where his wife, Pauline, had died just 10 months before) to Elizabeth Ackermann, daughter of Phil. Ackermann. Once again, I sat there staring at it, unable to believe it was really him. I really wanted to know more about Elizabeth, but there wasn't anything else on her in the Trinity church's records. I searched the censuses for 1906 and 1911 - nothing. I searched Manitoba's vital records - found a civil copy of the marriage! Ordered that (and some other Joseph records I've been wanting - no sense ordering just one, right?) but couldn't find anything else. Went back and searched other Canadian census indexes for 1906 and 1911 - nothing. Searched FamilySearch - nothing. Went through the plat maps in Tracks of Time looking for Philip Ackermann - nothing. Went through the index of Tracks of Time - not one Ackermann. I wrote to Adrene Schmidt of Christ Lutheran Church - nothing. She even went through the communion lists for the period, and saw Samuel listed as attending communion, but alone. He does eventually appear with a wife, but not until 1914 - which would make the wife Juliana, not Elizabeth.
Not one to be deterred, I wondered if she might have come down to Montana with Sam and then died there. Searched the Montana death index - nothing. Searched Montana censuses - nothing. Searched Montana marriage indexes to see if she remarried - nothing. Searched border crossing records - nothing. What was going on? What happened to Elizabeth? It's like she dropped out of the sky just to marry my ancestor, and then disappeared. Something happened to her - death or divorce seem equally likely. Sam was listed as a widower in the 1910 census, living with his kids. The census was taken in April, just five months after his marriage to Elizabeth. Did she die? If so, that makes sense, seeing as Sam could and did marry Juliana in 1913, just four years after his marriage to Elizabeth.
|Closeup of Lydia Joseph's marriage, showing her|
mother "Lizzie Rossanke"
Unfortunately, that's where I'm at still. I haven't been able to find anything else on Elizabeth or her father, Philipp. I still need to follow up on the address given for Elizabeth in the marriage record - 508 Henry Ave. If I can find a city directory for the Winnipeg/Waldersee/Glenella area for 1909 or thereabouts, I might be able to find her or her dad in it. And I'm still waiting to get that civil copy of the marriage record, which will hopefully at least give me Elizabeth's parents full names, and an address for her residence at the time of marriage.
Until then, I'll keep looking through the records I have now, only I'll be looking at them with new eyes.