23 April 2012

Having fun learning about Gertrude Long Rang

Okay... it's 1910 and you are starting life over in a different part of the state. You're not with your husband and you have one child. The City Directory comes around and asks about your status (occupation, address, etc). As a woman in 1910, do you list yourself as a widow when you're divorced? Or do you just leave off the husband information? If you divorce, would you change your married name back to your maiden name? Or does your family have you confused and you kept your married name because you truly are a widow?

I found this information FASCINATING. My mother's great-aunt Gertrude Long married a man named Edward T. Rang in Huron County, Ohio in April 1895. The marriage records in that particular year only had persons state they were at least of a certain age but no other information was recorded (i.e. parents). Edward and Gertrude Rang had a child in May 1895.The birth certificate of Edward and Gertrude's daughter identifies them by name only.

By the 1900 US Census, Gertrude says she'd been married five years and had one child. The 1910 US Census says that she is divorced. The 1920 US Census lists her as widowed.

The Columbus City Directories lists Gertrude as Gertrude Rang (widow of Edward) or Mrs. Gertrude Rang throughout the decade of the 1910s. After that, she is simply Gertrude Rang.


So, was she divorced and claimed she was a widow in the public city directory? Was she truly a widow and a mistake was made in the census? It's fascinating. I guess I now need to go to Huron County, Ohio records to see if Aunt Gertrude Rang's husband died or they were divorced. Oh the joys of genealogy and digging into people's past. Wa-ha-ha!!!

Here's something very intersting. There are two Edward T Rangs in Huron County, Ohio at this time. One appears to be perhaps an elder to the younger one. One Edward T Rang could have been Gertrude's spouse and remarries in 1905. This record identifies this Edward's parents and mentions that this marriage is his second. Very, very fascinating....

2 comments:

  1. FamilySearch has quite a few Ohio records. Have those been of help in tracking this family? My husband's father was born in Akron and I have found lots of information at FamilySearch for various members of his family.

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  2. Elizabeth, you're such a faithful reader and commenter. Thank you. It's nice to know someone is willing to respond to my posts.

    I have found Gertrude's marriage and the birth record of Gertrude's child on FamilySearch. I have found a Edward T Rang on Family Search who
    remarried. But, since the 1895 marriage records don't list parents or birth dates, I don't know if this 1905 marriage record is for the same man or a different one.

    I think, if I'm not mistaken, that I need to search for a divorce decree for Edward and Gertrude, or I need to find a death certificate for Edward prior to about 1903. I have seen some death records in FamilySearch.org but again, not sure if they belong to the person Gertrude married.

    Perhaps I need to investigate newspapers from Huron County? Perhaps a marriage announcement for Edward and Gertrude would name Edward's parents? However, it looks kind of like a shot gun wedding as the birth of their child came one month after their marriage. Maybe they didn't announce their wedding. I find this all extremely fascinating though I'm not sure how to solve the mystery.

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