More than a year ago I found Grandma Jane's marriage record had been transcribed on NewFamilySearch Labs. I only had the transcription not the actual image. For those of you who are unfamiliar with genealogical work, transcriptions are records that are typed by common people like you and I. Their job is to fill in the blanks on a form. In the case of marriage records usually it has you fill in the blanks for Grooms name / Brides name / parents of each / possibly their birth date or at least how old they were at the time of marriage and other such information. I copied the transcription down from the website and walked away from searching again for quite a while. A few months ago I went back in to NewFamilySearch and now they had digitized records of marriage for West Virginia AND there were IMAGES!!! Oh my gosh, I thought... I get to download a copy of grandma's marriage record!
I opened this document below and my mind went reeling!!
See the little snipit of paper in the upper left area of the document???? It says Minnie Harshfield (mother) gives her consent to Jane Elizabeth's marriage to George Bogner. OH MY HECK!! Really? Harshfield, the name of her 2nd husband!
Family lore was that her 2nd husband was abusive and it was quite a bad marriage. Some accounts are that he was looking for some money Minnie might have had due to her husband's accidental death from a fall from a telegraph pole.
Alfred Erwin Wooley at work
Whatever the reason. "Mrs. Minnie Harsfield" was Minnie Rhea Adams-Wooley-Harsfield... my great grandmother. And this document shows she was still married to Roy Harshfield at the time her daughter Jane married George. Only 4 months after Minnie's husband Alfred died she married Roy on 23 Sep 1933 (this record is in my possession), and sometime later divorced him.
Minnie's third marriage was to John Walker. They married about 1937 but I haven't found the record of their marriage yet. Minnie died in New Albany, Floyd County, Indiana while she was still married to John. I'm not sure what became of John after Minnie's death.
George Bogner Jr. (my grandfather) had a brother Frank Christ Bogner. Frank had been married 3 times, and I didn't have much information on the first two wives. I had the pleasure to meet his last wife Ann, when I was in Jr. High. Mom & grandma took us kids out west for vacation from Ohio. We went to Frank & Ann's house in Colorado and I remember only two of their children: Linda and Gary. Their oldest, Donald I don't remember... he may have been married at the time as I believe Gary was already in High School.
Though I had 3 wives and not much info, I left it that way for years... until I purchased an Ancestry.com account and began adding information and photos to the site. One photo was this one:
It was the 2nd week of April, 2011 and I received an email from a lady stating that I had a photo of her father on my page. I went to my ancestral file and sure enough, there was NO CHILD listed for the first marriage. WEIRD, I thought, mom and grandma were super accurate on family history and why isn't Sharon here? I searched and quickly found her birth certificate and it confirmed her story and the next email she sent me had that birth certificate attached! She is definitely the child of Frank!
Since that time we have corresponded back and forth and in only 6 weeks I get to meet her in the flesh! In the last year while corresponding, we've solved another mystery together. The name of Frank's 2nd spouse. I only had "Naomi", but continued to dig. I was able to obtain Frank's divorce papers from the probate court from Naomi and found that she wanted her name restored to "Karchner" a quick search in the Mansfield News Journal revealed that Naomi Karchner was the widow of Willard N. Karchner who died in Belgium during WWII. Further research revealed that she was the daughter of Clarence Buell, a prominent photography shop owner in Mansfield. The name of his business was Buell-Kraft Studios located in Mansfield, Ohio... and is still in business today!
Oh, and my goodness, look at the photo above of Frank clearly: It was taken at Buell-Kraft Studios.
These are only two of the "journeys" I've been on over the last few years. They've netted loads of secrets, surprises and blessings in my life that I still can hardly fathom! I'm so grateful for all the doors this work has opened up and for all the help I've received from relatives here on this side of the veil and on the other side of the veil as well. I know for a fact that those on the other side are "happy" with these finds and that they've actually had a hand in guiding me to the records I need to confirm all the facts.
Never dismiss anything, never think you have EVERYTHING just because you have one document, and never neglect to go over and over and over those documents again and again and again... you never know what your OLD eyes will see for the first time on a document you've looked at a thousand times!!