January 23, 2012

Who knew that John Quigley remarried !

John Quigely married Anna Sheils in 1917, just a year before her untimely death. When checking the Ulster County Marriage Archives for the specific date of their marriage, a second entry was found for John.

Ulster County Clerk's Office. Marriage Record Index
 Groom Name             Bride Name               Date of License
Quigley, John J. Jr.   Sheils, Anna M.           04-12-1917   
Quigley, John, Jr.     Feigert, Wilhelmina     11-18-1932   

NOTE:  I searched just for John Quigley which produced the two matches. Had I used the more exact John J Quigley Jr only the 1917 record would have displayed.  Sometimes it is helpful NOT to be too exact.

Apparently John and Wilhelmina Feigert married in November 1932.  As this date was after the 1930 census, we have no record with them together indicating her age or place of birth.  Starting with the assumption that she was a local Kingston resident, a search for her in the 1930 census did not find a match.

Looking more closely at the 1930 census, I wondered if she could be the one (the only one, in fact, with that name) listed in the Bronx, age 36 with a widowed mother Barbara.  That would make her about 9 years younger than John Quigley. How could we say for sure?

Checking the Kingston Daily Freeman (the local daily newspaper), no marriage announcement was found. However, an item dated 1933 was spotted titled "Mrs Quigley Inherits" which went on to mention that her mother, Barbara Feigert, had died and named Wilhelmina her heir.  So, it seems I had the right family in 1930.  Then checking earlier census records, Barbara and Wilhelmina were found actually living in Kingston in 1910 with Barbara listed as a widow. Who was Wilhelmina's father?  Might she have been born in Kingston?  

Moving back in time, the 1900 census listed Wilhelmina with both of her parents, father Nicholas J. and mother Barbara in Manhattan where he was listed as a manufacturer.  Wondering now if Wilhelmina was born in NYC, a birth record was found for her both on familysearch.org and on italiangen.org listing the date as 16 Apr 1893 in Manhattan with both parents named.

Since Barbara was a widow in the 1910 census, her husband must have died between 1900 and 1910.  I checked the Italian Genealogical group's NYC death index and found: Nicholas J. FEIGART, age 37 died 3 Mar 1903.

Checking the New York Times archive for Nicholas Feigert, a brief death notice at 113th Street was found. Additonally, his wife Barbara's death notice popped up in the 12 Sep 1932 paper .... Barbara Henkle Feigert, widow of Nicholas, survived by only daughter Wilhelmina, died in KINGSTON. A more thorough check of the Kingston Daily Freeman found that Barbara Feigert of 97 Main Street died on September 10 following a long illness and named her only daughter and her deceased husband Nicholas. So, they had been living in Kingston again -- or perhaps had residences in both NYC and Kingston which is about 90 miles north along the Hudson. Wilhelmina married two months after her mother's death.

Lessons learned:  Although the census often serves as the starting point in piecing together a family, many other records and sources can provide clues and proof of births, deaths, marriages, family relationships. Local newspapers, if you can find and access them, are key. Most public libraries can be contacted via email to request local newspaper searches with the results delivered often at a nominal cost. It is a coup when someone's life events are published in the New York Times whose archives go back to 1851 and provide great glimpses into the city's history.

Luckily in New York, the Italian Genealogical Group has worked tirelessly to index and publish decades of NYC birth, marriage and death record indexes for FREE ! These records can be most helpful, as seen in this example, even when tracing family members outside of NYC.  If you have family in or near NYC, check out this resource ... and, if you find something useful, consider making a donation.

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