Early photos of Joseph Peter Weiss and Frances Ryan Weiss

Joseph Peter Weiss is my great grandfather. He died in the 1960s, so I never met him. His wife was Frances Ryan. The Weisses are German, the Ryans Irish. When Anne Falconer sent me photos from Clara Weiss’ album a few months ago, a few of them were of Joseph and Frankie. Without ado, here they are:

Click on each photo to go to the page for each photo on my genealogy site where larger scans can be downloaded.

Joseph Weiss (early 1870s)
Joseph Weiss (early 1870s)

Most of the photos that Anne sent me were copies she had made. However, she sent me an original print of the photo above!

Joseph Weiss early 20s
Joseph Weiss early 20s
Joseph and Frances Weiss (about 1891)
Joseph and Frances Weiss (about 1891)
Frances Weiss holding a child
Frances Weiss holding a child

I don’t know for certain which child this is. It is likely either my great aunt Marie or my great uncle Joe Jr.

Anton and Clara Weiss 50th anniversary

On occasion I’ve contacted distant relatives when I find contact information for them. That’s been somewhat hit or miss. One big hit though was last month I contacted someone who turned out to be the cousin of Anne Klindt Falconer. Anne would be my second cousin once removed. That means she and my father shared great grandparents.

My second great grandparents were Anton Weiss and Clara Voigt Weiss. After Anton died in 1911, Clara moved to California and lived with her daughter Celia. Clara’s photo album went into Celia’s hands when she died in 1915. Her daughter Agnes took the album after Celia died, and Agnes’ niece Anne took the album when Agnes passed away.

Anne sent me copies of the photos. This one is from Anton and Clara’s 50th anniversary in 1906. Seated in the center are Clara and Anton Weiss. Standing behind Clara is, I believe, my great grandmother Frances Weiss holding my grandfather, 2 year old George Archibald Weiss. (click for larger version)

Anton and Clara Weiss 50th wedding anniversary group photo
Anton and Clara Weiss 50th wedding anniversary

The Cassville Index reported on the event. (Back then, the small town newspapers reported on who you had over to dinner.)

Golden Wedding

In Regensberg, Bacaria, on February 27, 1827, Anton Weiss was born. And near Cologne, Germany, Clara Voigt first saw the light of day on May 2, 1833. They both came to America in the same year, 1852, although they never met until within a few weeks of their marriage, Mr. Weiss spending some time in the east and was also in business in Dubuque before he came to Cassville in 1855 in company with Gustav Candler and William Schmitz. He formed a partnership with Mr. Schmitz and for seven years conducted the Cassville brewery and also a hardware store; when they dissolved Mr. Weiss retained the hardware business which he successfully conducted until he retired about fifteen years ago. Anton Weiss and Miss Clara Voigt were married by the late J.H.C. Sueclode, Esq., August 17, 1856, in the house now occupied by Thos. Williams, then owned by Jehn Berhardt Sr. (deceased), and standing on site of Mrs. Bernhardt’s present residence. In that house for a few months Mr. Weiss and his bride lived until their own home was ready, and since then their home has been continuously where they still reside although the building has been continuously enlarged and improved from time to time. TO bless the worthy couple were good sons and dutiful daughters and all now living, except the eldest daughter, were at the Golden Wedding last Friday. Robert was the first born, then Cecelia (now Mrs. Henry Klindt,) they reside at North Ontario, California. Frank of Pukwana S.D.; Theodore J. of Madison, Wis.; Joseph P. of Merrill, Wisc.; Mary died in June, 1898; Clarissa now Mrs. C.F. Troeller of Larrabee, Iowa; the youngest child, their daughter Agnes, died July 21, 1903. Other members of the family in attendance were Mr.s Frank Weiss and children, Marion, Theodore and Agnes; Mrs. J. P. Weiss and children Marie, Glenn and Archie; Harold, Paul and Agnes Troeller; Mrs. Barbara Freidmann of Chicago; and the Cassville relatives: Mrs. G. Kuchenberg, Miss Gertrude Josten, Mr. and Mrs. Joe Kuchenberg and children Hilda and Joe; Peter Voigt; Mr. and Mrs A.B. Teasdale and sons Charles and Harold. Mr. and Mrs Gustav Canderl, who for fifty years have been next-door neighbors, were at the wedding-dinner which was prepared by Mr. Weiss’ niece Mrs. Friedmann, one of whose many accomplishments is that she is a most skillful cook, and her offer to perform this labor of love was highly appreciated by the guests. A number of handsome gifts, leather coach, oak rocker and pieces of Haviland china and other tableware and mementos of the golden wedding anniversary of Mr. and Mrs. A. Weiss from their living family and friends.

Anne identified the Troellers in the photo. Charles Teasdale’s son is still alive. I found contact information for him online, and he responded when I requested his help identifying his family in the photo. I haven’t yet built the Kuchenberg part of my tree, so noone yet for me to contact regarding those identifications.

Group photo at Anton and Clara Weiss 50th anniversary, with labels identifying known people
Group photo at Anton and Clara Weiss 50th anniversary, with labels identifying known people

Tracking down the living Weisses

My great great grand-father Anton Weiss had 8 children: Robert, Celia, Frank, Theodore, Joe, Mary, Clarissa, and Agnes.

Robert married Martha Grace and they had one child who died before he was a year old. Martha and Robert divorced and I don’t believe either had any more children. Martha and her third husband do not have any children connected to them in their census records. Robert does not appear to have married again, and if he fathered any more children they are likely illegitimate and untraceable.

Celia married Henry Klindt. They moved to South Dakota and then to Ontario, California and had a few children. I’ve tracked down a number of living descendants but hadn’t found current contact information for any. Yesterday, I found a memorial for one of their children on Find-A-Grave (a site for cataloging grave sites along with virtual memorials and flowers). It had been put up last week, and included photographs of the person. The photos indicated to me that a living relative had put up the page, so I emailed her. She responded this morning, and is related by marriage on the other side of that family. But she is forwarding my email on to her cousin, a Klindt who is living.

Frank married Nancy Conaway and lived in South Dakota. His children mostly lived in South Dakota as well, but the next generation moved to Illinois, Minnesota, and Tacoma. Unfortunately, the Tacoma branch is no longer local. However, one of the Minnesota branch lives in Issaquah now. I attempted contact today, and am keeping my fingers crossed that he’ll respond.

Theodore married Kathryn Franey and stayed in Madison, Wisconsin. However, they had no children.

Joe married Frances Ryan and they also lived in Madison. Only two of their children have descendants. There’s me and my cousins, and a few others spread all over from Minnesota to Texas to New York to Virginia to Massachusetts to California. Although I was unable to attend, a number of them gathered three years ago for the 100th birthday of Joe’s daughter, my great aunt Babe. I know a fair number of second cousins.

Mary never married and died at age 28. She lived most of her life with Anton and Clara in Cassville, but died in Denver. I still don’t know why she was there. No children that I’ve found.

Clarissa married Conrad Troeller and moved first to South Dakota, then Iowa, and finally California. Though she died young, she had four children before she passed. Their descendants live in California, Idaho, and Alaska. And one fellow who has lived in dozens of places, but seems to have settled in Ohio. I’ve corresponded with four living descendants of Clarissa and the wife of another.

Agnes died at age 25, still living in Cassville with her parents. She did not marry or have any children.

If the two contacts made today are successful, I’ll have a line of communication to descendants of each of Anton’s children that have some.

Mary D. Ryan

Yes, this is all genealogy all the time. Deal! Right now, I share with you something that occurred since about 10:30 last night. It is 12:07 a.m. right now. This is mostly to document how pieces get connected.

The story starts with Mary Weiss, my 2nd great aunt. According to the inscription in 2010 Quotations of Emo, she died June 21st, 1898 in Denver Colorado. That’s a long way from Cassville, Wisconsin. Because the 1890 census was destroyed in a fire, I have no easy to find records of her between 1880, when she was 11, and her death in 1898. Why did she move to Colorado? Teaching? Nursing? Was she running a hardware store like her brothers?

The Colorado State Archives has an online index of documents, and one of them was the death record for a Mary Weiss in June of 1898, which meant it was pretty likely the same Mary Ryan. The document itself is available for purchase. However, they want $25 for a copy of it, so I put off buying it. Last week I bought it for myself as a birthday present, and it arrived today. No scan of it yet. But really, it’s pretty minimal, and it doesn’t even look like the original document. More like a transcription that was typed out. Mainly it is independent confirmation of the information inscribed in 2010 Quotations of Emo. Otherwise, it didn’t give me much additional information of the useful variety.

She died in St. Anthony’s Hospital, where a cursory search of the internet did not reveal it’s history. This confirms her status as single, which was easy to guess since she still had the Weiss surname. The cause of death is listed as pulmonary tuberculosis. Which made me think perhaps St. Anthony’s was a famous sanatorium at the time and she was shipped there by her parents as a chance for her to get better. No idea as yet. It has a line for Dr., which is listed as J.N. Hall, and the undertaker as Waters and Simpson. None of that will be useful in tracking her down except that she died in St. Anthony’s.

So I started searching. The Google search didn’t have anything. So I jumped on NewspaperArchive.com, which has an extensive inventory of Madison newspapers, but previously only had a paper from Colorado Springs from that state. Still the case. But for some reason, this time I Googled Colorado newspaper archives perhaps hoping to find something I could eventually visit and dig through microfilm. But on the first page was the Colorado Historical Newspaper Archive. Holy crap! Why didn’t I know that was around?

So I searched for Weiss in 1898 in Denver, but found nothing relevant. Some perusing around seems to indicate they have no digitized newspapers from that year for Denver. Damn.

On a whim, before I closed my laptop for the evening, I search for Nat Leonard. That’s the son-in-law of my another 2nd great aunt, Julia Ryan Dolphin. Julia Ryan married Harry Dolphin and moved to Colorado from Glen Haven with her sister Laura Ryan and daughter from her first marriage to William Grimm. They are buried in the main city cemetery in Colorado Springs. Her daughter Kathleen married Nat Leonard, who was a boxer and later ran tour companies. But I hadn’t been able to track down who Nat’s parents or other immediate family. I have a couple of clues from their graves, but I hadn’t pursued them yet.

The first couple of items that showed up were from 1918 and were about Nat and his wife visiting her parents in Colorado Springs arriving by stagecoach. The 4th item was from July 1923:

Plateau Voice 20 Jul 1923
News item from the Plateau Voice

Mrs. George Gibson is entertaining her sister, Miss Laura Ryan; nephew, Edward Leonard; and an uncle, Nat Leonard, of Colorado Springs.

I immediately said (out loud even), Holy crap! Laura Ryan had 4 sisters: Frances Ryan Weiss (my great grandmother), Alice Ryan (who lived in Beetown, Wisconsin), Julia Ryan Dolphin, and Mary D. Ryan. The last had disappeared after the 1900 census. I’ve been trying to find her for 8 months! She has to be Mrs. George Gibson!

Not necessarily. I know she doesn’t have a nephew named Edward Leonard (grand-nephew though), and Nat Leonard himself would be a nephew, not an uncle. So if those are wrong, its possible the sister designation is wrong too.

But I think it is her. Plugging her husband into the Ancestry.com search engine finds him in Collbran, Colorado in 1910, 1920, and 1930. All with a wife named Mary listed as being born in Wisconsin around 1868. Which matches what I know about Mary Ryan.

So I did a search on Find a Grave, to see if I could find her burial site. Bingo! There’s a George and Mary Gibson buried in Calvary Cemetery in Orchard Mesa, Colorado, not far from Collbran and Plateau City.

Tombstone for Mary and George Gibson

And now that I have an online source for Colorado newspapers, I have a lot of digging to do.

Cassville Cemetery

While in Wisconsin earlier this month, I wanted to find out some information about my great great grandparents, Clara and Anton Weiss. I knew when Anton died because of some scriblings in a book a cousin found at my great Aunt Babe’s house:

from the inside of 2010 Popular Quotations of Emo

Most families at the time wrote down births, baptisms, christenings, deaths, etc. in their family bible. The Weiss family? That’s the inside of 2010 Popular Quotations of Emo, a book published in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Why that? I don’t know. My second cousin Christopher Weiss thankfully snapped a photo of that page. I now know whoever wrote that, but it was between 1911 and 1914, because it has Anton’s death but not Clara’s.

I looked through the microfiche holdings of the Wisconsin Historical Society and found a copy of Anton’s obituary a few days after his death in the Cassville Index. I was going to include that obituary here, but I just found out that it didn’t upload properly or something to my archive, so I do not have a copy! Fuck!

Edit: I requested a copy of the obituary from the Wisconsin Historical Society. They didn’t even charge me the normal fees for research and copying (I had a a complete cite including the microfiche reel catalog number), and they emailed me a copy before I woke up. Huzzah for the Wisconsin Historical Society!

Obituary for Anton Weiss
Obituary for Anton Weiss

Anyhow, the obituary stated that Anton had been buried in the Cassville Cemetery. So I drove two hours to Cassville that night and got a room in a really rundown motel. As best as I can tell, there are only two places of lodging in Cassville, which has about the same population today as it did in the 1880s. The people at the restaurant there were not friendly either.

The next morning, I drove up the bluff to the cemetery outside of town. I’d guess the cemetery is a three or four acres in size. Not super-large, but not tiny either. I parked and looked around.

View looking southwest

The rows aren’t particularly neat, and I didn’t immediately see the marker. My fear was that the graves would be unmarked. I could have written to the cemetery association, but the turnaround time would have prevented me from getting a reply before I returned home. Tombstones tend to blend together so I went systematically. I walked crosswise to the rows, straight out from about where that photo was taken. Got to the end, moved over about 10 feet, and walked back. It was on the second return leg that I looked over (outside of my 10 foot range) and saw the headstone a ways off. You can see it in that photo just behind the tree.

Here’s the plot close up.

Weiss Plot

That’s a huge headstone! Pretty much my entire family in Washington is buried at Evergreen Memorial Park, which means flat markers. The Sorenson markers I found at Forest Hill Cemetery in Madison were actual tombstones, but they were maybe 6 or 8 inches tall. That thing is about 4 or 5 feet tall and wide, and around 18 inches deep above the base. It is a massive piece of rock!

Buried in the plot are Anton and his wife Clara. She died in California 3½ years after him at the home of one her daughter Celia Klindt in Ontario California. I took the year of death from the marker and went back to the Historical Society and looked up her obituary to find that out. Also buried there are two of their daughters, Mary and Agnes. I know Mary died in Colorado, and Agnes in Cassville.

Obituary for Clara Voigt Weiss
Obituary for Clara Voigt Weiss

After getting a few shots of the individual markers and the headstone, my next task there was to photograph every tombstone in Cassville Cemetery. Yup. Every damn one. I suspected that I’m related to additional people buried there, but I didn’t know who. Since I won’t get back there for a while, I figured I might as well walk the entire cemetery. I’d purchased an 8 GB memory stick for this, which gave me room for about 2,600 photos. I took about 1,550 photos there.

The side with the older markers took a long time. Some of the markers are nearly unreadable. So I took multiple photos from different angles hoping to catch the shadows different ways so I could read them. At first I tried to dictate into my phone some of my guesses as to names while I was there to actually touch the markers and feel the words. However, after one such marker I decided I didn’t have the patience for that and stopped.

In addition to the Weisses, I also found the graves for Clara Weiss’ brother Peter Voigt and his family, and the first husband of one of Clara’s sister. I’ve barely begun to track down the Voigt branches. Also buried in the Cassville Cemetery are a couple dozen of the Grimm family. I’m not directly related to any of them, but William Hugo Grimm Sr. was the first husband of a third great aunt, Julia Elizabeth Ryan. They had one child and then divorced. Theirs is one of the earliest divorces in my family tree. Julia Ryan remarried and moved to Colorado with her husband and William Grimm’s daughter.

After all that, I drove to three more cemeteries, two of which I also photographed in their entirety. Although they were smaller. And the bugs started getting to me so I gave up 80% of the way through the last one. But it’s 1:45 now, so end of story.

Weiss Hardware

While looking for information on Robert Weiss, my second great uncle, I came on some advertisements for his business. If there’s a family business, it’s being a hardware dealer. Second great grandfather Anton Weiss was a hardware dealer for a while after initially running a tinning business when he immigrated. His sons Joseph, Robert, Theodore, and Frank were all hardware dealers. However, after that generation, I don’t know of any who continued in that profession.

Robert was the oldest. Somewhere around 1880 he moved from Cassville to Jenny and started a hardware business. There, he married and had one child who passed away. The following is an advertisement for his hardware business that ran in the Lincoln County Advocate on 12 Jan 1880.

By 1894, my great grandfather Joe Weiss had also moved to Merrill, as Jenny came to be named. There he joined Robert in the business.

The Merrill Advocate could print much nicer graphics by 1894. The business would remain in Joe Weiss hand’s until he moved to Madison in 1907 where he also dealt in hardware. Robert moved to California and Utah by 1900. There he worked as a hardware dealer and occasionally as a prospector.

tablet mobility and cemeteries

The mobility of my Xoom tablet was a major plus for me yesterday. I’m staying a few extra days in Wisconsin after Wiscon (more about Wiscon later perhaps) in order to do some genealogical research. I decided yesterday to search for graves. I first went to Resurrection Cemetery to find the graves for my great grandparents Weiss. The cemetery office printed up a helpful map and I found the plots with little difficulty.

Then I went across the street to Forest Hill Cemetery, where many of the Sorenson’s were laid to rot (“laid to rest” is the euphemism of choice I suppose). However, by that point it was after their office had closed. The burials records for Forest Hill are online though. I hadn’t written down the locations, but I was able to look up everything online while wandering the cemetery.

At this point, having the tablet with me only made up for having been lazy and not having written down the locations ahead of time. Which is awesome by the way. Anytime technology allows me to be lazier I am all in favor. But it was really useful beyond that. The locations at Forest Hill aren’t exactly easy to find. Some sections are on a grid. Some use rows and tiers. Some just numbered the plots semi-sequentially. They did not mark plots with their locations (Pacific Lutheran Cemetery in Seattle does). What I could do was look at names on markers and look them up as I walked, giving me their locations and thereby guesstimating how far away I was from the ones I sought, and whether I was getting hotter or colder.

At Resurrection Cemetery,  in addition to my great grandparents Joseph Weiss and Frances Ryan Weiss, the plot also had the marker for my great uncle Joe Weiss, who died young. A family member had told me he thought Joe Jr. died around 1926, but that turned out to be 5 years off. The marker had his year of death as 1931. That allowed me to find his obituary (page 1 in 2 Madison newspapers).

At Forest Hill, I found my great great uncle Theodore Weiss and his wife Anna Franey Weiss. Then while walking away I serendipitously found my great grandfather William Solle, who I hadn’t looked up yet. Forest Hill is a giant cemetery, so that was kind of weird. Other graves found there included my great great grandparents Nels and Katherine Sorenson, their son Alfred Sorenson, daughter Marie Bouchard, son Emelius Sorenson and wife Anna Bjelde Sorenson, and other relatives William Martin Sorenson, Elmer Bouchard and Elizabeth Frutiger Bouchard, Edward Bouchard and Donna Moran Bouchard, and Carolyn (or Carlynn) Bouchard. I also photographed the space where Mae Sorenson should be buried, but there was no marker. I still don’t know if this is the ex-wife of Alfred or someone else. Today’s project is to research Alfred and Mae at the Madison Library.

Bad obituary!

That’s an obituary that appeared on 27 December 1972 in the Wisconsin State Journal of Madison for my father. It had to have been passed along from someone who knew my aunt Jane, who lived in Van Nuys California at the time. There were a few Weisses still around in Madison at the time (there’s only one now), so I don’t know who got everything garbled. It could easily have been someone who got it from one of my great aunts who got the info from my aunt.

For such a short piece, it got at least six items incorrect:

  • George hadn’t lived in Madison.
  • He hadn’t lived in Van Nuys either.
  • He didn’t die in Van Nuys.
  • The funeral was not in Van Nuys.
  • His son is named Philip, not Phillips.
  • His mother was no longer Mrs. George Weiss (they divorced in the 1960s).

I’ve run into a fair number of sources of information that were wrong. So far, this one is the wrongest. It’s a damn good thing I already knew the correct information, otherwise I might be searching all over Van Nuys for additional information. And for all I know, some of my current dead ends are wrong for the similarly bad information.

Agnes Troeller leads to Celia Weiss Klindt

I wrote about tracking down Clara Weiss, my second great aunt, in Upland California. I didn’t really know what had happened to her sister, Cecilia Celia. Turns out she was just down the road.

Finding a girl through the census records is hard, because they usually changed surnames when they got married. Celia shows up in 1860, 1870, and 1880. Then she disappears. She got married and doesn’t show up anywhere. Ancestry.com tells me the most likely entries are: Cecilia Garthwaite, Cecilia Lindsey, Cecilia McCready, etc. All of them born about 1858 in Wisconsin. Ancestry seems to rank them in terms of how close they are to Celia’s birthplace of Cassville, Wisconsin. In fact, Celia doesn’t show up at all in the first five pages of possibilities for censuses after 1900. I checked a lot of them, and most didn’t match up. Some could have been Celia, but I had no way to know via the census records.

So I kind of sat on that for a bit and pursued other Weisses. I got to Clara. She appeared only in 1900, and later I figured out why she wasn’t in 1910. Before I’d done that though, I started looking for her children. Her third child, Agnes Marie showed up in 1910, but not with Clara or Clara’s husband Conrad. She was part of the Henry J. and Anna C. Klindt household in Ontario, California. Her relationship to Henry was listed as niece.

1910 United States Federal Census Record for Henry J Klindt

Agnes is listed as the niece of Henry Klindt. So either Conrad Troeller is the brother of Henry or Anna, or Clara was the sister of Anna. There were no daughters of Anton Weiss listed as Anna in the 1860 through 1880 censuses. However, it was possible that Cecilia was a middle name. Among my grandparent’s family, George Archibald went by Arch, Florence Marie went by Marie, Richard Glenn went by Glenn and Laura Ann Francis goes by Francis. Perhaps that was common in their parent’s family as well, and Anna C. is Anna Cecilia.

Anna C.’s other stats matched up: born in Wisconsin around 1858, with both parents from Germany. Not enough to confirm it, but enough to start digging more. Luckily a few other things turned up. One other person had listed the wife of Henry Klindt as Anna C Weiss in their family tree. Still tenuous, but looking better. Around then I found Frank Smitha’s biography, and his page about his grandmother Clara.

My mother’s sister, Agnes, four years and three months older, was sent to live with Clarissa’s sister, Celia Klindt, whose husband, according to my mother, owned the main grocery store in Upland. Celia and husband were the family members on a path to wealth. They were putting their spare cash into buying property and in a few years, according to my mother, “Aunt Celia’s family owned flats as they called them, on Lake Street in Los Angeles. I think the property has been absorbed into McCarthur Park, as near as I can figure.”

The weight of the evidence was enough for me to put it in a confirmation column, even though some of the other facts on Smitha’s page are wrong.

The Klindt’s lived in South Dakota and Iowa for a bit, then went overseas to Germany for a couple of years. When they returned, they moved to Ontario. Henry’s passport application gave birth dates for his children as well as his intention to return in a couple of years. That’s awesome, because the census only gives approximate birth years and was generally transcribed as told to the census taker by the head of the house. The head of the house might not remember birth dates as well; the transcriber could mishear; the transcriber could miswrite it; the transcriber could have a bad sense of policies about first names vs. middle names. Some of them are really bad spellers.

I’m not sure the Klindts were wealthy, even though Smitha’s mother seemed to think they were. There were five children. Pauline, who married one Fred Jacobs. They moved back to Iowa where Fred died about 1916. Pauline moved back to California, and as best as I can tell never remarried or had more kids. Daughter Agnes married a George Bunker, then divorced him just a couple years later. She never appeared to remarry and the Bunkers had only one child George Jr. Daughter Mildred died about 1916 without marrying. Robert married Jessie Hermes around 1916, and by 1930 they had not had any children. The youngest child, Irving, married Edith Smith and they had a couple of daughters by 1930. None of the Klindts appeared to have lived in particularly wealthy neighborhoods, and I haven’t found any of them among the movers and shakers of southern California. But perhaps they were quietly wealthy. Who knows?

Neither Henry nor Celia lived to see 1930.

Clara Weiss Troeller

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:

1880 United States Federal Census Record for Anton Weiss family
1880 United States Federal Census Record for Anton Weiss family

Then I checked the 1860 and 1870 census records and also found Anton and Clara Weiss:

1860 United States Federal Census Record for Anton Weiss
1860 United States Federal Census Record for Anton Weiss
1870 United States Federal Census for Anton Weiss
1870 United States Federal Census for Anton 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.

1900 United States Federal Census Record for Anton Weiss
1900 United States Federal Census Record for Anton Weiss

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.