May 15, 2013

California Death Record + Maiden Name

In tracing the Comfort family members who moved from Catskill, NY to California, I found Hiram and his wife Catherine with a young daughter listed in the 1880 census of Yolo.  I was quite sure Hiram was the son of Absalom Comfort, born in 1842 and last found in the Civil War registration records of 1863. I have still not found him in the 1870 census, though his daughter Alice was born in NY in 1873.

I checked the 1900 census but could not find him nor his wife. I did find a likely match on Alice, now 27, as a boarder in the household of New York born Samuel Wentworth. Also included in the household’s group of 9 was Jennie B. Comfort, 60, listed as “mother-in-law”. So, they were obviously related. Yes, Jennie was the widow of Joseph, brother of Hiram.

In checking additional records for Alice, I discovered her 1950 California death record (she had never married which made the match easier). It listed her birth in New York on 12 May 1873, her middle name as Maude, and her mother’s maiden name of FRY.  Realizing that these death records are a prime source of maiden names, I looked for Samuel Wentworth’s wife, born Katherine Comfort (the daughter of Jennie), born in 1870.  She died in 1842 and her mother’s maiden was ALSO FRY-- BINGO !!

So, looks like brothers Joseph and Hiram Comfort married sisters Jennie and Catherine Fry.  Now, to dig deeper for their marriage records (not found in the usual sources) and records of young Jennie and Catherine with their parents.

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