Finding Pauline (I think)…

6 Feb

I’m not very good at finding the details about the women in my ancestry. I can hardly find last names for most of them unless there is a marriage certificate that is easily traceable. That’s how lame I am at genealogy. But I try hard, and periodically I’ll stumble across some success, usually due to someone else’s efforts. Take Pauline for instance…

William Ziesel had a brother named Charles M. Ziesel (1862) and I found from some census records that he was married to “Pauline”. I’ve just had the name “Pauline” sitting there on the family tree without any last name. Yesterday I found that they were married about 1885 because the census record (1910 US Census) asked how long they had been married (25 years). But I haven’t tracked down a marriage certificate or index or anything.

But, I did happen across the baptism registry for their daughter, Annette:

Screen shot 2013-02-06 at 5.24.20 AM

I think it is recorded in German. Someone indexed it and I got birth and baptismal info. I’m having it translated by one of my friends who served an LDS mission to Germany, just to make sure I know what the who thing says. But I also found this little bit of info:

Screen shot 2013-02-06 at 5.24.39 AM

Who ever indexed this record noticed “Schafer” as Pauline’s last name! Woo-hoo!! I was thrilled! I’d still like to see this information on a few other documents, but this is a good breakthrough. Especially because on the 1870 US Census I found a Pauline Shaffer in Philip and Frederica Shaffer’s family:

Screen shot 2013-02-06 at 5.44.39 AM


I don’t know if it is my Pauline or not, but it has the right birth year and birth state. Not enough proof, but I’ll begin scratching around and see what I can find…Pauline lists both her parents as being born in Germany on later censuses, and Prussia was in Germany, right?

3 Responses to “Finding Pauline (I think)…”

  1. Brandy Heineman February 6, 2013 at 12:29 PM #

    Nice! Looks like a good possibility…. And my German ancestors from roughly that time frame were always changing their minds whether they were from Germany or Prussia. I think you probably found her!

    I was able to confirm a maiden name with a baptismal record once too. The one I had was from a Catholic church in PA and was recorded in Latin. The lady at the historical society was quick to make sure I understood that recording the maiden name was customary and that it didn’t mean the parents weren’t married — I guess many people had jumped to that conclusion in the past.

    I’m about to send off for a few strategically selected PA death certificates, in hopes they will list birthplaces and parents’ names and mother’s maiden names. I’ll just have to see what I get… 🙂

    • BJM February 7, 2013 at 6:20 AM #

      Thanks Brandy! I’m glad to know that Prussia and Germany were a bit interchangeable. That helps…


  1. Long Lost Baby Charles! (not lost anymore…) « Discovering William - February 7, 2013

    […] I recently discovered some things about Pauline. But that wasn’t all… […]

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