Monday, August 23, 2010

Madness Monday - Hiding Henrietta

I knew she existed.  She was my grandmother!  I knew when and where she was born.  Her parents were Hermann and Eva (Schmitz) Burbach.  Henrietta was born in 1888, the sixth child.  The family lived in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Given all these known facts, it should have been easy to document Henrietta and her family.  Let me list the ways it drove me to madness.

Henrietta was born August 23, 1888 but her birth record does not appear in the Wisconsin births on  Since the 1890 census is basically unusable, I decided to concentrate on documenting Henrietta in the 1900 census.  That's the only one where she would appear as Henrietta Burbach, since she was married in 1907.

Hermann Burbach died in 1896 and Eva married Charlie Mueller in 1898.   Given these facts I began searching the 1900 census   There was no entry for Henrietta, so I began looking for Charlie (Charly, Charles, Chas, C) Mueller (Meuller, Muller, Miller) or any other variations I could think of trying.  I tried using the age range of 45 - 55 years old since Eva was born in 1858.  No luck and I couldn't find Eva either.

Finally, I went to Heritage Quest using my library's subscription and used their search because I could search on first name and age only.  She was listed as Hennietta Mueller stepdaughter of Charley Mueller with the birth year of 1886.  Going back and re-checking the Wisconsin Births 1820-1907, still does not yield a record for Henrietta.  I accept the 1900 census listing of Henrietta Mueller as being the correct person because her mother and brothers appear in the same household.  I'm not concerned about the birth year variations since these changes are common for a multitude of reasons.  I'm just glad that Henrietta is no longer hidden.