Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Name on Her Death Certificate is "Will Hall Minnie." Huh?

Among the hundreds of records I received from my family in Kansas a few weeks ago was a death certificate for my great, great grandmother's sister. They were both born in Germany in the mid-1800's and immigrated to the United States in 1869 at the ages of 23 (my 2x great grandmother) and 10 (her youngest sister).

Wilhelminia (Werther) Heuszel's death certificate
The sister's name was Wilhelmina Fredericka Augusta Werther, but she went by Minnie. The name recorded on her death certificate as reported by her son, Frank, threw me for a minute... and then I understood. She's listed as "Will Hall Minnie" Heuzel (her married surname). I guess that Frank said "Wilhelmina" and the registrar wasn't sure how to spell it!

Also, Wilhelmina's mother's maiden name was "Molly" (Rheinhard) Werther, but her maiden name is listed as "Will Hall Werther". I guess Frank got confused and gave HIS mother's maiden name by accident! There are other errors on this document and I believe the notes under it were recorded by my grand aunt, Beulah Brewer.

A good reminder that you can't always trust a single document!

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