19 October 2013

The case of two Caroline Puseckers (part 2)

Caroline kept knocking at my door trying to tell me that I need to investigate her further. So, I finally paid attention.  I was still confused and had Caroline (1844) with a potential birth date of 1837 linked to Karl Pusecker and his wife Johanna Macke. I loved the little love story of neighbors and fellow immigrants marrying on this side of the pond. But was that the case?



After re-examing the marriage record, I realized that Caroline 1844's birth date was not provided. All I have is that a Louis Mack married a Caroline Pusecker in 1868.

I had happened to be in Ohio and obtained a copy of Karl Pusecker's will. (Heinrich Mack and Joseph Geisler didn't have any, darn it). In the will, a daughter named Caroline was listed. But she was married to a John Eitermann. What? She's supposed to be married to Heinrich Mack. Time to do some more research.

Jordan Dodd, Liahona Research. Ohio, Marriages, 1803-1900 [database on-line].
Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2001.


Ancestry.com showed an index entry for Caroline Pusecker marrying a John Eitermann on 18 Oct 1859 in Franklin County, Ohio. This would explain why Karl's 23 year-old daughter was not living with him at the time of the 1860 US Census. And, if you follow Caroline and John Eitermann through the Census records, you find that they were and had five children at the time of the 1870 US Census, two years after Caroline Pusecker (1844) married Heinrich Mack. John and Caroline Eitermann were living in Prairie, Franklin County, Ohio while Heinrich and Caroline Pusecker were living in Norwich, Franklin, Ohio. Yep. I have two Caroline Puseckers, from Germany on my hands.

Family Search, "Ohio Death, 1908-1957" database, (http:/www.familysearch.org) :
Entry for Carolina W Mack, died 2 September 1917 Source Film: 1984107, Reference No: fn 58003

Now... much of this would have been clear very quickly had I stopped to review Caroline Pusecker Mack's death record. Her father is listed as Wm Puesecker and Charlotta Strunkenberg (a Strunkenberg family was also living on a farm near the Macks, Geislers, and Puseckers in 1860). And, Caroline Pusecker born in 1844 also had the middle name of Wilhelmine. No doubt, in tribute to her father Wm Pusecker. Additionally, the 1900 US Census had a migration date for Caroline of 1867, not 1854.

I think it's safe to say I learned a few lessons from the case of two Carolines.
  1. Retrace the research.
  2. Assume new information, especially those that aren't well documented, are full of certain inferences. 
  3. Pending the discovery of more facts, some of the entries have to be regarded as speculative rather then as gospel.  
  4. Just because someone did the research, doesn't mean they did it right.

This diagram is not correct when it connects Caroline Pusecker, wife of Heinrich Mack,
to her parents Carl Friderich Pusecker and wife Johanna Macke. The author confuses
two very different Caroline Puseckers. (The creator was probably misguided at the onset).



Apparently on Ancestry.com, some people thought I was crazy for connecting Caroline Pusecker (1837) to Heinrich Mack when this one should be connected to Johann G Eiterman. And I should have Caroline Pusecker (1844) to an entirely different set of parents. They conflicting information should have served as huge red flags.

Thankfully the will threw down the major red flag that turned things around for me. I wish someone on Ancestry.com would have told me I was crazy sooner. However, I have learned many valuable lessons and I plan to keep watching for the red flags as I investigate new lines.

Now... to untangle the trees on FamilySearch Family Tree.

2 comments:

  1. I just ran into a very similar situation with my own family. I was shocked to discover a census record that I was certain was correct is, most likely, not the correct person after all. And I would have realized this if I had really looked at the record. Now I'm back at square one with that family member disappearing around 1900. Back to the drawing board!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dannell, So frustrating, right? But, this are the moments that we learn so much.

      Delete

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