Thursday, March 15, 2012

Treasure Chest Thursday - Joseph documents galore!

The Manitoba Vital Records Agency came through for me this week in a big way. Several weeks ago, I sent off for a set of records from the Agency - death records for Ludwig Joseph and Justine (Witt) Joseph, and marriage records for Karl Siegel and Wilhelmine Joseph, Samuel Joseph and Elizabeth Ackermann, and Justine Joseph and Adolph Leistiko. I was excited to get the marriage records, particularly Sam's, because I really wanted that added confirmation that it was my Sam that married Elizabeth Ackermann. But beyond that, it was the death records I was really anticipating. The death record format used by Manitoba had fields for parents' names and birthplaces, and I have none of that info for Ludwig or Justine. So I was hoping the death records would come completely filled out.
Samuel Joseph and Elizabeth
Ackermann marriage record
When the envelope came from Manitoba, I couldn't wait to see what those records had to say. I read quickly over the marriage records for the Siegels and Leistikos - not much new there, except most of the witnesses' names weren't familiar. Samuel's marriage confirmed that it is indeed my great-great-grandfather who married a young lady half his age. It also confirmed the exact location of the marriage - 508 Henry Ave. in Winnipeg. Interestingly, that is also the address given for one of the witnesses, Gustav Rudel. The other witness, Julius Neumann, lived at 540 Henry Ave. I wonder if Gustav was a relative, a friend, or just someone who routinely offered his home up for weddings. More leads to follow!

Ludwig Heinrich Joseph death record
Then came the moment I was waiting for - the death records. First up was Ludwig. It gave his birth date and death date, which matched the other records I have. Birth place was different - Neuhof, Poland. I don't know where that is, and Google wasn't much help, so I'll have to look for that later. But then the real treat came - both of his parents were listed! According to the informant, his son-in-law Karl Siegel, Ludwig Heinrich Joseph's parents are - Christian Arthur Joseph and Frasin Froelich, both born in Neuhof, Poland! I realize that this is secondary info, as I have no evidence that Karl ever met Ludwig's parents, and I'll need to corroborate it with additional records. But he was married to Ludwig's daughter, and knew Ludwig for over 30 years. If he made no mistake, I now have the names of my 4th-great-grandparents on the Joseph line!

Justine (Witt) Joseph
death record
The good news didn't end there. I went on to Justine (Witt) Joseph's death record, hoping to continue my good luck streak there. It gave her birth and death dates - same as what I had. Birth place matched as well - Reischewo, Poland. Not surprising since the informant was Gottlieb Joseph, her son (and author of the info in the family Bible). Then - bingo, her parents were listed as well! This is secondary information as well, but Gottlieb stood a better chance of knowing Justine's parents, as he was their grandson, and could have met them in person. So according to Gottlieb, Justine Witt was the daughter of - Jacob Witt and Anna Joseph! Another set of 4th-great-grandparents' names!! Anna's surname was especially intriguing, as my cousin Jim Joseph told me months ago that the family believed Ludwig and Justine were cousins (maybe first cousins). The surname connection seems to lend weight to that story.

So now, having received these records, I need to spend some time analyzing them, extracting all the details I can and putting them in my database. I still like repeating aloud the names of my 4th-great-grandparents - Christian Arthur Joseph, Frasin Froelich (whose name I'm probably pronouncing totally wrong), Jacob Witt, and Anna Joseph. Their names have been lost to their descendants for generations, but now we know them again. Hopefully this is just the beginning of learning about them, and I will make sure that their names are not forgotten again.


Sierra said...

Your excitement is contagious! I am so excited for you even though you don't know me. Congratulations on such a huge find!

ironhide781 said...

Thanks Sierra!

Gibson Family said...

First cousins married? That explains a lot in the Gibson line! lol

ironhide781 said...

It happened a lot back then. Jack Bergstad's parents were first cousins too, actually.