In honor of Armed Forces Day, this is a military honor roll for members of my family who have served the United States. My current count is 29 people from my family tree have made this list.
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.
I got Louis F. Schillinger’s death certificate today from the NYC Municipal Archives, and now I have a bit of a mystery on my hands.
The problem arises when I examine the section about the deceased’s parents. It says:
Name of Father of Decedent: Francis X.
Birthplace of Father: Germany
Name of Mother of Decedent: Mary Boch
Birthplace of Mother: Germany
What??? His mother is listed as Mary Boch? I don’t know who Mary Boch is. My records all show his mother as Catherine Autretter. In census records, the mother in the household was always listed as Catherine. I’ve never seen anything where is mother is listed as a Mary Boch. (On the plus side, I finally have a document that lists his father’s first name as Francis. Everywhere else, his father went by his middle name Xaver.)
Who is Mary Boch? That is a really good question. The first thing I want to do is verify other information on the certificate to confirm that I have the correct Louis F. Schillinger.
Five other facts match facts I know about my Louis F. Schillinger. I’m confident this is the right person. Back to the mysterious Mary Boch.
The next thing I want to look at is who the informant was on the death certificate. In this case, it is Louis Schillinger, his son. The son was born in 1896, nine years before the death of Catherine Autretter, so as he would have known his grandmother early in his life. The family all lived within blocks of each other while he was growing up, so he likely saw his grandparents on a regular basis. It’s reasonable to assume that he would have reliable knowledge about his grandparents’ identities.
This leaves me with a bit of a conundrum – who is Mary Boch and why is she listed as the mother on Louis F. Schillinger’s death certificate? Now I have a new family mystery to solve.
Louis Schillinger and Louisa Bauer were married on 21 September 1885 in East New York. I recently acquired their marriage record from the New York Municipal Archives, and it contains vital clues to further research on the Bauer family. Previously, all I had confirmed was that Louisa Bauer’s mother was also named Louisa, as she shows up in census records as a widow living with her daughter and son-in-law. I did not know the father’s name or the mother’s maiden name. Now I do, thanks to this valuable vital record.
According to the Marriage Record of Town of New Lots, East New York:
I got this idea from fellow genealogy blogger History Repeating. I thought it was a really interesting idea, and using the Statistics report in the Legacy software that I use to track my research, I pulled together my own infographic about my family tree. Here is the Reilly & Douglas Families by the Numbers: