Before My Time is about the ancestry and extended family of my four grandparents: John Samuel Krentz (Indiana/North Dakota), Margreta Tjode Hedwig (Gertie) Buss (North Dakota), Rosmer Pettis Kerr (Pennsylvania/Michigan), and Evelyn Elvina Hauer (Michigan), and other topics in genealogy and family history.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Wolfschlaeger-Wigger Marriage Record: Some Questions

You'll want to view the record below on a large screen. The handwriting is pretty hard to read. I have four questions about entry number 4, but I've left the record intact because it may help to see how other entries were made. You may have to scroll horizontally to see the fourth question. Below the image, I've explained what the record is and what my questions are. Read that first, before you go straining your eyes.

This is the German marriage record of Johann Peter Wolfschlaeger, age 25, and Maria Elisabeth Wigger, age 19, who were Catholic. With their parents' consent, they tied the knot on 24 May 1829. Pastor Fernholz officiated.

Question 1: After the groom's name, Joh. Peter Wolfschlaeger, I believe it says, gt. Merren Ackermann in Repe. I don't know what gt. is abbreviating... genannt? geburtsort? something else entirely? I don't know whether Merren is a place name or a surname, but as you'll see, it's coming up again in a minute. Also (and considerably less important to me) while we're on Question 1, I suppose it's possible that the henscratching I've read as Ackermann could be Arbeitmann. I say that only because there appears to be a dot hovering over the latter half of the word in both this column and the next. Someone who can actually read German handwriting without a letter chart might know for sure. I can only say I don't see anything that looks like a t so I think it's Ackermann (farmer) and the dots are random and meaningless.

Question 2: The groom's parents are Wilhelm Wolfschlaeger, gt. Merren Ackermann, then a short word I can't make out but I am guessing it either says or means und (i.e. and) Anna Gertrud Merren in Repe. I have no problem with Repe--it is a place name 2.2 km from Helden, where these records were kept. But again, Merren does not come up in a general Google search, nor in a Google Maps search, for such a place in Germany. Still, it may be too small a community or perhaps no longer in existence. But if I knew what "gt." meant, I'd probably have a better idea what to make of it.  You'll see gt. in other records also. For example, in record number 6, Franz Fischer gt. Rademacher. Google Maps also doesn't seem to recognize Rademacher as a place name... hence my confusion. (Coincidentally, there was a woman with the surname Rademacher who married into the Wolfschlaeger family. This is the stuff that makes my head spin.)

Question 3: The bride's father is Mathias Wigger, but I can't make out what it says between his surname and Ackermann. Maybe someone with German vocabulary and handwriting skills will know. The bride's mother is M. Catharine Ronnewinkel, followed by what appears to be in Stachelau Pfarrer Olpe. Stachelau and Olpe are place names; Pfarrer means pastor. I'm not sure what to make of that.

Question 4: The last column is for comments and it appears to say Zeugen something, probably Zeugen namen, which means it's naming the witnesses. The last two words, right above the big red 4, are in Helden but I'm open to suggestions for the names and other words between Zeugen namen and in Helden. The witnesses' names may come in handy later when I try to prove various family ties.

Merren, schmerren... what does it matter? Well, I'll tell you! For awhile, I thought Merren might be Anna Gertrud's last name, but I no longer think so. Elsewhere on the interwebs, there exists the idea that a Wilhelm Wolfschlager was married to an Anna Gertrud Klover (alas, the sources were not cited!). If these are the same two people named in my question number 2 above, they are the link that hooks up the two Wolfschlager (aka Wolfslayer) families of Detroit--my Johann Peter's family and that of Anthony F. This is a hook-up I've been trying to find for decades!

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Blog Archive


Our Family in Books: A Bibliography

  • My Ancestors in Books (a library of resources and notes pertaining to Reverend Samuel Stone, Major General Robert Sedgwick, Elder John Crandall, and other early Americans in the forest where my family tree was grown)
  • The Zahnisers: A History of the Family in America by Kate M. Zahniser and Charles Reed Zahniser (Mercer, Pa. 1906)
  • History of St. James Lutheran Church [full title: A little of this and a little of that in the 141 year (1861-2002) History of St. James Lutheran Church, Reynolds Indiana] by Harold B. Dodge, published at Reynolds, Indiana, 2002; 170 pages.
  • Lisbon, North Dakota 1880-2005 Quasuicentennial, published at Lisbon, North Dakota in 2005; 391 pages.
  • The Paschen and Redd Families of Cass County, Indiana by Alfred Paschen, c. 2005 (Gateway Press, Inc., Baltimore, MD); 322 pages.
  • Sheldon Community History: Sheldon Centennial 1881-1981, published at Sheldon, North Dakota in 1981; 376 pages.
  • Sheldon, North Dakota 1881-2006 - 125th Anniversary: The Queen of the Prairie, published at Sheldon, North Dakota in 2006; 498 pages.
  • A Standard History of White County, Indiana, written under the supervision of W.H. Hamelle, c. 1915 (The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago and New York).
  • The Roots of Coventry, Connecticut by Betty Brook Messier and Janet Sutherland Aronson, c. 1987 (Coventry 275th Anniversary Committee, Coventry, CT); 206 pages.
  • "Elder John Crandall of Rhode Island and His Descendants" by John Cortland Crandall; New Woodstock, New York, 1949; 797 pages.
  • "The Descendants of Robert Burdick of Rhode Island." Nellie (Willard) Johnson, Pd.B.: H & L Creations, LLC.

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