Sunday, January 26, 2014

52 Ancestors Challenge: #4 - Katharine Grunsst, Grunst or Jungst?

The 52 Ancestors Challenge is a blogging series initiated by Amy Johnson Crow at the No Story Too Small blog. I'm having a great time bringing our ancestors to this party and reading other bloggers' stories.  
Ancestor #4 of my 52 Ancestors In 52 Weeks series is my third great grandmother, the mother of Adam Weber, Katharine Grunsst.  Or is her maiden name Grunst?  Or maybe it’s Jungst? 

My knowledge of Katherine's family history is brief, as it stands today.  But, there are some interesting tidbits that came to light from a surprise discovery.  That’s where the confusion on her name sprouts.  While researching my second great grandfather, Adam Weber, I was fortunate to unearth the record of his marriage in the Catholic church in Vilbel, Germany that contained his parents’ names.  I was pleasantly surprised to find this record in Adam's Civil War records. It came to be there because his widow was required to provide documentation of her marriage for her widow’s pension application.  Of course, the discovery fertilized this branch of the family tree considerably.  In this case, an element of uncertainty grew too, Katherine’s maiden name. And, I have this name issue that still needs solving. All opinions are welcomed!    
The first document that I uncovered with Katherine's name was created in 1892, 36 years after the marriage of her son.  The German parish priest provided this transcription in English for the bride/veteran’s widow, Amelia Micol Weber.  Based on my limited knowledge of reading the script of that time, I believe Katherine’s maiden name circled in red in the excerpt below is Grunsst.  Or could it be Gurnsst?  What do you think?  Extract from the parish register in the Community of Vilbel, Germany.  Adam Weber of Bremen, single, son of Adam Weber and Catharine, nee Grunsst, his wife.
But wait!  The next step in this research process was to find the actual church record to see if it might contain additional family information.  When my husband and I had the chance to explore the historical wonderland of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, I hit pay dirt again. The original records of the Catholic church in Vilbel, Germany, are microfilmed. Using the date from the above transcript, I was able to find the marriage record of Adam Weber and Amelia Micol on May 12, 1856. The excerpt below shows, outlined in red, Katherine’s maiden name.  (Any German readers who have an opinion on the translation of this name?)
Adam Weber, Amelia Micol Marriage, Vilbel Catholic Church, p. 69, 1856
From there I was pleased to find folks at the FHL who offer to translate records.   I was given the name Grunst in the translation of the above record by experts in Salt Lake City.  
imageAnd there’s more to Katherine’s name story.  Later, when I was trying to squeeze more information out of this piece of evidence, I realized there were a few words or names I wasn’t 100% clear about in the record.  Next, enter a knowledgeable friend at the Indiana German Heritage Society who came to my rescue.  I’m grateful for another translation of the complete 1856 record.  This time, the opinion on her name was Jungst!

To recap this brief family story:
Katherine Grunsst (or Grunst, or Jungst) lived in Altenstadt, Hessen, Germany approximately 1800 to 1860.    She married Adam Weber sometime before 1821, when their son, Adam, was born.  Generations of her descendants lived in Indianapolis, Indiana, after her son and his wife emigrated in 1856.

Perhaps I will never have the definite spelling of Katherine Grunsst Weber’s maiden name.   But, I hope to come to know a lot more about her history.  I’m motivated now to revisit her. She’s a part of my research goals for this year. 
In fact, that should be a way to conclude each 52 Ancestors post. Make at least one research goal:  
--  Order the Vilbel Catholic Church microfilm from FHL to search for more Grunsst, Grunst, Jungst records. 
Have some news about this ancestor?   Click on Comments below to leave me messages about Katherine or any family history subject. 
To learn more about the 52 Ancestors In 52 Weeks challenge click on the link in the left column.  If you would like to reread my #1 – #3 posts go to the 52 Ancestors link at the top of the Post Topics on the left also. 

Source: Catholic Church of Vilbel (Friedberg District) (Vilbel, Hessen, Germany), Church Registers, 1655-1876, 1856 marriages, No. 2, Adam Weber and Maria Amelia Micol, 12 May 1856; FHL microfilm #939213-4.
Translation of Adam and Amelia Micol Weber’s Marriage Record. From the records of the local Catholic Church in the Community of Vilbel, Germany
In the year one thousand eight hundred fifty six (12 May 1856) according to the authority of the local Catholic parish and in the parish of St. Johannes church in Bremen, and after receiving dispensation because of the second degree of blood relation, and after the official approval of the regional court with regard to the civil and clerical conditions of the union that there were no problems with proceeding with the marriage; and with the approval of both sets of parents, Adam Weber, citizen and policeman in Bremen, the legitimate unmarried son of Adam Weber, citizen and sheep herder in Altenstadt, and his wife, Katharina, nee Grunsst (Grunst) (Jungst), of the Catholic religion, and at the age of 36 ½ ; and Maria Amalia Micol, the legitimate unmarried daughter of the late local citizen and master tailor, Frederick Ludwig Micol and his wife, Julianae, nee Weber, of the Catholic religion, age 22 and 7 months.
Witnesses: Johannes Weber, son of deceased carpenter, Adam Micol, single, brother of the bride
Signed by the acting priest of the marriage ceremony.
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  1. I'm thinking Gumpst. I think "m" because it looks just like the "m" in Adam above it. Just going by the handwriting in the sample above, I don't see where your experts came up with "r". The other "r"s have squared tops.
    I'm a rebel, I guess.

    1. Thanks for your comment Vera Marie. I see exactly what you're saying about the similarity to the "m" in Adam. This is giving me other options for researching the name. It's so good to have other eyes to see something. Now I'm seeing Gunsst, or Gumsst (the double "s" being the traditional German script extending below the line, looking like our "f"). I appreciate your feedback very much.


Hi: Your own stories or suggestions are welcome here any time. Thanks for being a part of Indiana Ties.