Genealogy Assumptions Part II: The Sisters Theory

Genealogy Assumptions Part II: The Sisters Theory

Last week I posted about nearly blending my third-great-uncle Henry Thoss' consecutive spouses into one person, based on an assumption about his household's 1940 census listing. In 1940, Henry was listed with wife Eleanor, 50, and mother-in-law Mary Dietrich, suggesting that Mary was Eleanor's mother, and Dietrich was her...

Last week I posted about nearly blending my third-great-uncle Henry Thoss’ consecutive spouses into one person, based on an assumption about his household’s 1940 census listing.

In 1940, Henry was listed with wife Eleanor, 50, and mother-in-law Mary Dietrich, suggesting that Mary was Eleanor’s mother, and Dietrich was her maiden name. But in the 1930 census, Henry lived with his a 34-year-old wife named Alma, plus Mary. So Mary was Alma’s mother, and she continued living with Henry and his new wife, Eleanor, after Alma died in 1932.

&

&

Related Products

4 Comments

Leave a Reply

ALL COMMENTS

  1. Live Comment Preview
    Eleanor — Part 2 —
    So Eleanor is 9 when her father dies (1899), leaving a widow with 8 kids behind. Since the 4 oldest teens had to work to support the family, I imagine that things were rough in her home… Perhaps that is why she sought a home of her own, by lying about her age at her 1907 marriage to Fred Wessel, done by a "Minister of the Gospel" (likely a Protestant minister). By 1910, however, she returned to the family nest, claiming to be a "grass widow".
    But she has plenty of spunk! In Oct 1913, she is found in Elmira, NY, applying for a marriage license to William Viera Garcia. They are both 23 yrs old & artists. But Eleanor hides her first marriage in her application. This document also confirms that the groom’s parents are from the Azores Islands. (Due to economic & population pressures, Portuguese islanders were more likely to emigrate abroad than the mainlanders).
    Eleanor’s mother’s name is given as "Neuster", but that could be due to the indexer’s call. I could also read it as "Miestes" (comparing clerk’s handwriting for the initial "M" in the Mary, the ending "r" in Eleanor & the ending "es" in Azores). The actual wedding is on 27 Oct 1913 in Binghampton, NY (the next county over), done by a Catholic priest this time.
    In the WWI draft registration, William claims to be an actor, so it is not surprising that 1920 finds them both in Los Angeles, CA. They are still there for the 1930 census with their young son, but… By Oct 1931, they have returned to Eleanor’s family in Cincinnati & William is now a laundry wagon driver. Times are very tough 2 years after the Great Stock Market crash, so on 13 Oct 1931, William hangs himself in the family home, a history of suicidal thoughts being listed on his death certificate — just 2 weeks before their 18th wedding anniversary.
    Eleanor has already lost a brother who shot himself to death & now she is left as a widow with a 7 year old son. The next year, her younger sister Alma dies from a massive abdominal infection, leaving behind her grieving husband, Henry Thoss. This was in the days before antibiotics & the surgeons couldn’t do anything for Alma.
    Henry has had a steady career as a printer, ever since his WWI draft registration days. I imagine that he offered the hope of a secure life for Eleanor & they could continue to have her mother live with them to give emotional support. The 1940 census shows that Mary, now 80 years old, has had only 2 years of schooling, while Eleanor (50 years) has had only 4 years (probably having to leave when her father died).
    But in Familysearch.org, they are found buried together in the New St Joseph Cemetery in Cincinnati, OH — Eleanor (1960) & Henry (1974). May they rest in peace!!

  2. It is nice to know that anyone can make mistakes when they are in the throngs of a genealogy research project!! I sometimes get ahead of myself too! What a great genealogy community for putting in some hints that led you to the answers! Loved the article!