“Mary E” or “Mary O”?

24 Dec

I’m a novice. Or, I feel like a novice as far as family history goes. And that explains why I was a little confused until I started looking at actual documents…

As far as our family is concerned, William was always married to Marie Elizabeth Schuck. Fine. But we also figured out that he was divorced and remarried at some point (actually twice, but we’ll get into that later).

I was searching on FamilySearch.org and I happened upon a Mary O. Ziesel in one of the┬áindices. In my noviceness┬áI thought, “Yes! I found another wife! This is easy!” Of course, I really couldn’t find another “Mary O. Ziesel” listed anywhere, ever, which got me wondering…

Here’s what it looked like:

Screen shot 2012-12-24 at 8.15.58 AM

This is what the indexer thought they saw when they looked at the 1900 US Census for Philadelphia. It quickly dawned on me that those were the same children as Marie Elizabeth and William had. So, where is Marie E. Ziesel? Did “Mary O” do something to “Mary E” and take over as mother?

So I clicked on the “view image” link:

Screen shot 2012-12-24 at 8.19.03 AM

I found the actual census record that has been scanned into FamilySearch and this is what I saw (and maybe you’ll see it, too):

Screen shot 2012-12-24 at 8.21.02 AM

Fine. Let me zoom in to exactly what caught my attention…

Screen shot 2012-12-24 at 8.22.49 AM

At first glance, it looks like “Mary O”, but if you really squint, you can see that the “O” is actually just a beautifully written “E” with a giant bottom and a little top.

So there we have it. She was “Mary E.” all along. Good.

It pays off to look at the actual record.

So what if it is indexed wrong (the person doing to looking and typing so that you can find your ancestor’s name on the computer typed in the wrong letter, etc)? Here’s a post I recently read regarding the subject…

Happy family historying…

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3 Responses to ““Mary E” or “Mary O”?”

  1. Mom December 26, 2012 at 12:19 PM #

    Oh heck,if they weren’t driving us nuts what fun would they be (yeh right :) )

    • BJM December 26, 2012 at 1:22 PM #

      You got it :)

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Well, lookey what I found on a Passport… | Discovering William - December 25, 2012

    […] Lame. Either way, I checked the orignal record and the husband is “William Ziesel”. Another indexing error, I’d […]

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