Saturday, March 12, 2011

Marriage Certificates-Answers-More Questions?

Two weeks ago I went to the Philly Archives to find copies of the marriage certificates that I had found in the index on Family Search. I had found the license numbers for my mother's parents, James J. McCarry and Theresa V. Gunther. For James' parents, James F. McCarry and Bridget Welsh. For Theresa's parents, Emil Gunther and Catherine McCarron. And James F.'s brother Patrick McCarry and Frances Gallagher. I was able to get all but my grandparents that day because the archives only has microfilm for up to 1915 and they were married in 1920. So last week when I was back in the city again I went to city hall and ordered the copy of their certificate at Orphans Court. It arrived today. Adding to both the answers and more questions.



First big information I was looking for was to confirm where James F. McCarry was born. I had information from different census that said he was born in Connecticut. But his death certificate said he was born in Philadelphia and that his parents were unknown. So I needed to confirm where he was born in Connecticut and where in Connecticut. Also who his parents were so I could confirm that the family I had for him was correct. Well this was all confirmed. He was born in Waterbury , CT, 14 May 1873. His parents were Patrick McCarry and Margaret O'Connell. This was confirmed by his brother Patrick's marriage certificate. And his place of birth was also confirmed on my grandparent's marriage certificate. So I am very happy with this result!



The second big information I was looking for was answers about my grandmother's father, Emil Gunther. This man has been such a mystery! My grandmother talked about her father all the time. I knew he came from Germany. the only place she ever said was that it was the Black Forest. Not a big help! Had an idea when he was born. My cousin had given me a date a few years back. I have not been able to find him in a census and a few years ago I found out that my grandmother's oldest sister was her half sister. So he had been married before my great grandmother. and the mystery grew! then this past October I found Catherine McCarron Gunther's death record. My grandmother had always said her mother died when she was a little girl. Well she died in 1914. So I went to the cemetery to find out about her death and was hoping that Emil would be buried there also. I had a bonus that day. Not only did I find that Emil was there and that he had died in 1924, but also there was my grandparent's first child that had died at 11 months old in 1922. So I ordered their death certificates but they have not come yet. So I will have to follow up on that information. Coming back to the information from the marriage certificates. Well his place of birth on both his marriage certificate and my grandmother's was..... you guessed it......Germany! So I still have no idea where in Germany he was from. So that will be a continued work in progress. But there was another mystery on his marriage certificate. It said that this was his first marriage. that did not match what I had known. So he will continue to be a work in progress.

So on to the questions that came out of these certificates. Emil was not the only one that gave me questions. First, my great grandmother, Bridget Welsh McCarry. the information I had from her death certificate was that her birthdate was 23 Nov 1875. Her son Thomas was the informant, her husband, James F, had died 10 years before. Well when I saw their marriage certificate her birth date was 6 April 1873. I could see if she lied about her age because she would have been under age if she was born in 1875. And there was not a consent with the certificate. But these dates do not match in anyway at all! So I need to try to find a birth record for her. Another work in progress.

The second question that came out of the certificates was my grandmother, Theresa V Gunther McCarry. I grew up hearing how she was 15 when she was married. Well she was married in 1920 and her birth date on her death certificate was 31 May 1905. My mother was the informant. this would make her 15 when she married. Well her certificate said she was born in 1902 and that she was 18 years old at her marriage. So another work in progress.

So I am really excited to get these documents in the last couple of weeks. While I am disapointed that not only did I not get all the answers I was looking for, but more questions were added, I ask the question.....what would we do if we had all the answers about our family?????

Happy Hunting!!!!!!!