Figuring out that Anton Weiss is my great great grandfather opened up a lot more of the family tree quickly. The 1880 Census lists a number of children of Anton and Clara Weiss, and that’s where I started from:
Then I checked the 1860 and 1870 census records and also found Anton and Clara Weiss:
The listed children in 1880 were: Cecilia (~1859), Franz (~1862), Joseph (~1866), Mary (~1869), Clara (~1871), and Agnes (~1878).
The listed children in 1860 were: Robert (~1857) and Celia (~1858). I’d previously found the 1860 record, but didn’t do anything with it because I didn’t know if Anton Weiss was the correct father for Joseph. Celia is certainly Cecilia. Over the course of the decades, the U.S. Census has been taken on different dates: 1 Jan, 1 Apr, 15 Apr, and 1 Jun (at least). But both the 1860 and 1870 censuses were taken officially as of 1 Jun, so the difference in approximate birth dates is just someone getting it wrong, either the census taker, or whoever in the Weiss household the worker talked with.
The 1870 census record was harder to find. In the 1870 Census, the two are listed as Antony and Clarra Weist. All of these census records are found on Ancestry.com, where people have transcribed and indexed them. The Ancestry.com name matching algorithm is pretty good, but for some reason it never matched Anton Weiss with Antony Weist. Wise and Weise match, but the t messed up the soundex type search. At this point, I don’t remember what I put in that finally pulled up the name, or if I went through the Cassville records page by page. For a small place like Cassville, reading every page is fairly easy. There are 23 pages for Cassville in 1860, and 34 in 1870. Reading page by page would be much more laborious for a place like Los Angeles.
The children listed in 1870 were: Robert (~1857), Cecelia (~1858), Frank (~1860), Theadore (~1861), Joseph (~1863) and Mary (~1869).
Here, the birth years for Joseph and Frank really don’t match up, and Theodore’s doesn’t match with other information I have either.
It’s usually easiest to track the male children, because they don’t change their names when they get married, like women overwhelmingly did. However, I had a really good clue for Clara Weiss, so I started tracking her first.
In the clip of the 1900 Federal Census record for Anton Weiss, I included the house and family number column. Some of the censuses include the street address, but this is a different number. Each census taker basically counted off families and dwellings. Sometimes several families would live in the same house. Anton and Clara had the 44th house counted in Cassville, and were the 45th family. Everyone in the same family number is
related. Related being in quotes because sometimes servants were counted as their own family, and sometimes not. The last person listed is a Loueller, Clara, listed as a daughter born in March 1871. So it looks like Clara married someone named Loueller!
There’s possibly an interesting story behind that. Why was Clara at her parent’s house in 1900? Was she just visiting? Were she and her husband estranged for a period? Was she stashed at her parents’ for expediency while the husband was setting up a new household or conducting business? I still don’t know.
Searching for women named Weiss who got married in Wisconsin at the Wisconsin Genealogy Index brought up 2 promising hits: Clara Weiss married in Grant County in May 1896, and Clarissa S. Weiss married in April 1894 in Monroe County. I checked Grant County first, because that’s where Cassville is. That Clara Weiss looks to have married a Richard Gross. I’m not 100% certain of that because I haven’t purchased the original record, but his is the only male name that came up as getting married on the same day. It would have to be a pretty weird set of circumstances to marry someone in 1893, marry someone else in 1896, and carry the first person’s surname again in 1900. Clarissa Weiss getting married 4 Apr 1894 seemed like a better possibility, but the
possibly spouse search turned up no hits.
Then I looked at the 1900 Census image again, and thought perhaps the name was not transcribed correctly. That could possibly be a Tr and not an L. Plugging in Clara Troeller brought up all sorts of hits, including another one for 1900 in Larrabee, Iowa married to a Conrad Troeller! Thank god for double counting. As it is, a number of people in the Troeller family had already entered her into their family trees, some with the Weiss last name. None of them had connected her to Anton Weiss, but it was enough for me to match them.
Going back to the Wisconsin Genealogy Index, Conrad Troeller does indeed appear, and married someone on 4 Apr 1894. But his marriage is listed in Grant County rather than Monroe County, which confused the
possible spouse search. I haven’t yet ordered the original record for that, but I assume it’s an indexing error.
Other states they’ve lived in kept better records and more of them are public, so I as able to find a lot. Helpfully, someone in San Bernardino County, California cataloged a lot of head stones and put the list online, and one of them had her name. Upland California seemed like a long way away, but the other information matched.
So here’s the story as best as I can piece it together from the genealogy records: Clarissa Sophia Weiss was born on 4 Mar 1871 in Cassville, Wisconsin. She married Conrad Troeller from Dodge County, Wisconsin on 4 April 1894 in Cassville, Wisconsin. The Troellers moved to Brule County, South Dakota either with or shortly after her brother Frank (more on him later), where she had a son Harold in 1896. By 1898, Conrad and Clara had moved to Larrabee, Iowa where Conrad worked as a hardware dealer and they had son Paul in 1898 and daughter Agnes in 1903. By 1907, they’d moved to the Los Angeles area, where daughter Margaret was born in that year. But Clara is not to be found in the 1910 census; she died a couple of months before the census on 24 Feb 1910.
What happened after she died explained why they moved to California in the first place, and provided me with a clue as to where other members of my family were. And I have more sources than I did last month too. But that will have to wait for another entry.