19 November 2011

Surname Saturday - Signature for Joseph Gesizler


I've been trying to take a break from genealogy by reading rather than going haphazardly through my research. Another thought hit me. Why don't I go over the sources I have and make sure I've looked at everything thoroughly. Perhaps there are more clues. Well, this has been very rewarding.

I was using GenSmarts to find clues of records I should search. It recommended looking for the marriage certificate of my great-grandmother Caroline Mack (b. 18 March 1838 - d. 11 Oct 1904) to her second husband Michael Billman (b 13 Oct 1832 - 1 Aug 1884). I reviewed my GEDCOM file in RootsMagic and noticed that I had sourced the record, but perhaps looking at the actual marriage certificate again would be of use.

I went to FamilySearch.org and typed in Caroline's name and set Any Place to Ohio. I received 1,300 hits. I wanted to look specifically at marriage records in Ohio. So I used the side filters to do just that (Collections - Births, Marriage, & Death). There are two options for marriage certificates in Ohio. Knowing the Ohio, County Marriages, 1790-1950 usually has pictures of the actual certificates, that's the one I chose.

As I was looking for Caroline and Michael, I saw the name Joseph Gesley in the far right column. Knowing that Caroline married Joseph Geiszler first, I was curious. Michael is a collateral line whereas Joseph is a my direct line. I figured I should look at these records again (and save the digital image to my computer this time around!).

As it turns out, there are two entries for Joseph and Caroline. The first is their marriage license obtained on 16 Feb 1856. The second entry is for the day they were actually married, 19 Feb 1856, and who solemnized the marriage.

Although I was disappointed to find such limited information in the records, I did make a discovery. First, I corrected the family research that they were married on the 16th. Second, I found a signature for Joseph on the marriage license.


After looking at the marriage license, is it any wonder it's truly difficult to find this man in historical records?

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