Sunday, June 06, 2010


It's Sunday and I was catching up on blogposts from the genealogy blogs I follow. One of them is James Tanner's Genealogy's Star. Today's post was "What is going on with Family Search?". Reading it brought the realization that it had been awhile since I'd used the Family Search Record Search, so followed the link from James' article. I took a few m inutes to decide which one of my ancestors I'd run a search on, and decided on my maternal grandfather, Edward F. White Sr. to see if I could find a record of his second marriage. Then I decided on searching for his parents, Edward J.White and Pauliine(Paulene, Lena) Offlinger/Offlincher/Offenger. I knew nothing of their families beyond some theories that Pauline's father was named Charles. So I put in the information that I had, hit search and .....BINGO!!

There from the Massachusetts Marriages 1695-1910 Collection was a transcription of their marriage record. They were married on 27Nov 1895 in Boston. And there on the screen were the names of their parents: Patrick G. White and his wife Mary, and Charles J. Offinger and his wife Johanna C. I'd found the names of my maternal great great grandparents! I also found records of the births of three of their daughters and added that data to my PAF file as well. I decided to push my luck a little and now search the names of the 2x great grandparents,so next I tried Charles Offinger and wife Johanna. My luck held true; I found a transcription and image of Johanna's death certificate. From this I learned that she'd died of cancer on 14Aug 1908 in Boston. She was a widow and died at home at 32 Folsom St She'd been born in Germany in 1844 and,most importantly, her maiden name was Luick!

Another result on the search screen was a record of Charles' and Johanna's marriage on 11Sep 1870 in Cambridge, Middlesex, Ma. and gave his occupation as cabinetmaker. This confirmed my theory that the Charles and Johanna Offingen I'd found on the 1880 Census in Cambridge and their daughter Lena were indeed my relatives. And once again I was l lucky, because the marriage license gave me the names of Charles' and Johanna's parents. His were Jacob Offinger and Christiana; hers were Christian Luick and Christine. (I'm a little bit skeptical about those last two.) I also found records of the marriages of some of their children on which Charles was listed as Carl,and the record of Charles' death on 17Jul 1881 in Cambridge at the age of 33. But a search on the names of Charles' and Johanna's parents came up with too many possibilities to narriow them down to definite people.

The same was true of Patrick White and his wife Mary.

Now I decided to search for these names over on

The first person I decided to look up was Charles Offinger. On a hunch, I checked the Immigration files, and once more I'd been lucky. Carl Offinger arrived in New York aboard the ship Deutschland on 13Jun 1870 from Bremen, Germany. I looked at the image of the passenger list and couldn't believe just how lucky I was. Listed below "Carl Offinger" was "Johanna Lucke"! Were the two of them already engaged when they came to America, or was it a shipboard romance that led to their marriage in Cambridge in September? I also found a Christian Luick in the 1880 Cambridge City Directory whose occupation was listed as "varnisher". Did he and his son in law Charles work together in the cabinetmaking industry?

All in all, it was a productive Sunday afternoon, and once again it proved that it pays to be persistent. But sometimes, it also helps to be lucky!

And thank you, James, for pointing me back towards Family Search Record Search!


Nancy said...

It looks like you really hit it big today! How wonderful. I have recently (re)discovered, where the lists of collections are once again available. It has been a big help to me too - which will be a future post. Congratulations to you on all your finds!

Greta Koehl said...

Congratulations on a great discovery! One of the great things about reading the blogs is getting those reminders about resources we haven't checked in a while. I love the Family Search Record Search site for Texas Death Certificates and Arkansas County Marriage Records, plus a host of other stuff.

Jo said...

Bill congrats on your find. I know just how you feel. The same kind of thing happened to me about three weeks ago. I put in the name of my gt gt grandmother who I knew nothing about except her name, date of birth and death date and ended up with three more generations back plus the siblings and all from church records so I am confident of the source. Family Search is becoming my new best friend.