I received Mary Katherine Schillinger’s death certificate from the New York Municipal Archives this past week, and it has provided more information that may help clarify the Mystery of the Mothers that I posted before.
First, I want to confirm that this is the same person I have as Katarina/Catherine/Katherine Schillinger. Now, as a German immigrant, it is quite likely that she anglicized her name, and that Katherine is a reasonable match to Catarina. So the difference in the middle names is not surprising or even that unusual. It is also not unusual with a common first name such as Mary in a Catholic family to use the middle name as the commonly used name during her life. In large Catholic families, several daughters might have the first name Mary, with their middle name serving as their commonly used name. [The various spellings can probably be explained by census enumerators spelling it they way they wanted to spell it instead of the way she actually spelled it.]
Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem that this certificate records information about the decedent‘s spouse, other than notating that she was in fact married, so this doesn’t help me confirm that she is the Catherine Schillinger that I know to be the wife of Xaver.
The next thing I note is the date of death, which the certificate has recorded as 10 August 1907. I previously have known her death to have occurred on 9 August 1907, so the death dates are within a day of each other.
The most telling piece of information is the place of death, which is recorded as 234 Jerome Street. As of the 1900 Federal Census, my 3rd great grandmother Catherine Schillinger was living at 234 Jerome Street. Bingo! She apparently died at home seven years later.
The death certificate is a match! Now I want to compare it to Louis F. Schillinger’s death certificate a few decades later, when his mother is listed as Mary Boch. I want to see if I can find any more information that will confirm Catherine Schillinger (née Autretter) is the same woman as Mary Boch. The fact that the death certificate lists her actual first name as Mary and her middle name as Katherine, I think we can draw a preliminary conclusion that the Mary Boch and Catherine Schillinger may be the same woman.
However, we want to see if we can explain the Boch surname listed on the son’s death certificate, since we know her maiden name to be Autretter. In looking more closely at Mary Katherine Schillinger’s death certificate, we can look at the information recorded about her parents to see if Boch makes sense.
Her father is listed as Xavier Auteritter (which is a close enough spelling variant of our known surname Autretter). Her mother is Magdelina Kaiser (which is a completely new name to me!). There’s no indication that Boch is a surname associated with our Katherine Schillinger.
So why would her name be listed as Mary Boch on her son Louis’s death certificate? Her grandson, who was the informant on her son’s death, could have mis-recollected her maiden name. He would have only been nine years old when she passed away in 1907. She was known to be married before marrying Xaver Schillinger, to a man name John Moelig, who was the father of her first child Amelia. John died during the Civil War, and she married Xaver a short time later. Boch is not likely to be explained by a previous marriage.
The most likely explanation, therefore, is that by the time of her son’s death in 1943, her grandson mistakenly listed her surname as Boch.