Did Alma have a secret marriage?

Albert Grunst and Family

Alma Grunst

My pet peeve is finding my ancestors attached to wrong online family trees.  I found this several times over the past few months.  I contacted one that had my grandfather connected to her family tree, and I asked her to remove it because it looked like my grandfather was a bigamist.  To her credit she took him off and put the right one on her family tree.  So far the others I have contacted still have the wrong ancestor on their family tree.  Some people may  think who cares or does it really matter.  Someday when we are all gone and those family trees are still online who is going to be around to correct the error without in-depth research.  It took a whole evening to sort out the one below.  For awhile I thought my husband’s aunt had a secret marriage, however as it turns out there are two people with the name Alma Grunst.  If this person had done her research this mistake would not have happened.  I laid it all out for her and still she leaves my husband’s Aunt attached to her family tree.    In addition to the documentation, my husband remembers his Aunt and cousins.   

Below I laid out a timeline for each Alma.  My husband’s Aunt Alma belongs to Albert Grunst and Anna Schmerling.  The Other Alma belongs to Fred and Pauline Grunst.

Parents Albert and Anna Grunst

Time Line for their daughter Alma Grunst

1888 — Alma Grunst born to Albert and Anna Schmerling. [1]

1900 – Census Alma is living in Chicago, Illinois with her parents  Albert and Anna Grunst plus her siblings Albert Jr., Walter, Lillian.[2] 

1910 – Cenus Alma is living in Cicero, Illinois with her parents Albert and Anna Grunst plus her siblings Albert Jr., Walter, Lillian, and Elmer.[3]

1914 – Alma marries Max Weihs[4]

1920 – Alma Grunst Weihs is living in Cicero, Illinois with her husband Max and two children Dorothy and Elmer.[5]

1959 Alma Weihs died.[6]

Parents Fred and Pauline Grunst

Time Line for daughter Alma Grunst

1889 – Alma Grunst born to Fred and Pauline Grunst. [7]

1900 – Census Alma is living in Chicago with her parents Fred and Lina Grunst plus siblings Martha, Anna, Lena, and Clara[8]

1908 – Alma marries Henry Mergan.[9]

1910 – Census Alma Mergan is living in Chicago, Illinois with her husband Henry, and her son Frederick.[10]

1915 – Henry Mergan died.[11]

1920 Alma Mergan is living in Chicago, Illinois with her mother Pauline Grunst, Sister Martha, and son Frederick.[12]

1971 Alma Mergan died.[13]

This is why you evaluate the evidence in each document and cite your sources.  Genealogy 101 — Cite your sources, cite your sources, cite your sources.

Copyright © 2018 Gail Grunst


[1] Ancestry.com. Cook County, Illinois, Birth Certificates Index, 1871-1922 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.  Original data: “Illinois, Cook County Birth Certificates, 1878–1922.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2009. Illinois. Cook County Birth Certificates, 1878–1922. Illinois Department of Public Health. Division of Vital Records, Springfield.”Illinois. Cook County Birth Registers, 1871–1915.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah. Illinois. Cook County Birth Registers, 1871–1915. Illinois Department of Public Health. Division of Vital Records, Springfield.

[2] Year: 1900; Census Place: Chicago Ward 10, Cook, Illinois; Page: 17; Enumeration District: 0288.  Source Information:  Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004.  Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1900. T623, 1854 rolls.

[3]Year: 1910; Census Place: Cicero, Cook, Illinois; Roll: T624_238; Page: 20A; Enumeration District: 1539; FHL microfilm: 1374251  Source Information:  Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006.  Original data: Thirteenth Census of the United States, 1910 (NARA microfilm publication T624, 1,178 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C. For details on the contents of the film numbers, visit the following NARA web page: NARA.

[4] Source Information Ancestry.com. Cook County, Illinois, Marriages Index, 1871-1920 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.  Original data:  “Illinois, Cook County Marriages, 1871–1920.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2010. Illinois Department of Public Health records. “Marriage Records, 1871–present.” Division of Vital Records, Springfield, Illinois.

[5] Year: 1920; Census Place: Cicero, Cook, Illinois; Roll: T625_359; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 54.  Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.  Original data: Fourteenth Census of the United States, 1920. (NARA microfilm publication T625, 2076 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C. For details on the contents of the film numbers, visit the following NARA web page: NARA. Note: Enumeration Districts 819-839 are on roll 323 (Chicago City).

[6] Ancestry.com. U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.Original data: Find A Grave. Find A Grave. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi.

[7] Source Information:  Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2011.  Original data: Social Security Administration. Social Security Death Index, Master File. Social Security Administration.

[8] Year: 1900; Census Place: Chicago Ward 9, Cook, Illinois; Page: 11; Enumeration District: 0226.  Source Information:

Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004.  Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1900. T623, 1854 rolls.

[9] Ancestry.com. Indiana, Marriages, 1810-2001 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014.  Original data: Indiana, Marriages, 1810-2001. Salt Lake City, Utah: FamilySearch, 2013.

[10]Source Citation:  Year: 1910; Census Place: Chicago Ward 11, Cook, Illinois; Roll: T624_252; Page: 10B; Enumeration District: 0551; FHL microfilm: 1374265

Source Information:Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006.  Original data: Thirteenth Census of the United States, 1910 (NARA microfilm publication T624, 1,178 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C. For details on the contents of the film numbers, visit the following NARA web page: NARA.

[11] Ancestry.com. Cook County, Illinois, Deaths Index, 1878-1922 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.  Original data:  Illinois, Cook County Deaths 1878–1922.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2010. Illinois Department of Public Health. “Birth and Death Records, 1916–present.” Division of Vital Records, Springfield, Illinois.

[12] Year: 1920; Census Place: Chicago Ward 34, Cook (Chicago), Illinois; Roll: T625_354; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 2148

Source Information:  Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.  Original data: Fourteenth Census of the United States, 1920. (NARA microfilm publication T625, 2076 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C. For details on the contents of the film numbers, visit the following NARA web page: NARA. Note: Enumeration Districts 819-839 are on roll 323 (Chicago City).

[13] Source Information:  Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2011.  Original data: Social Security Administration. Social Security Death Index, Master File. Social Security Administration.

 

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