Friday, May 27, 2016

A Surprise in 1835 Ruhlkirchen Records -- Birkenstock Project, Pt 5

     I left off in my search for Katherine Birkenstock and Martin Kuhn’s marriage with the Catholic Church records in Ruhlkirchen, Hessen.  In part 4 of this Birkenstock Project I was about to dig deeper into the marriage records beginning in 1834.  The deciphering of the script and the language is, of course, the big obstacle.  So, let’s see what I’ve been able to accomplish.
     My first step was to get more deeply into the 1830s marriages on the microfilm from the Family History Library.  I  took photos of the microfilm pages that I wanted to examine closely, to look for the Birkenstock and Kuhn names. Then I began blowing them up on my computer to narrow down the records that could be the one. Since the family records I have give May of 1836 as the birth date of their first child, I concentrated on 1834 through 1836 marriages. My search through the marriage records didn’t turn up anything that appeared to be Anna Katherina Birkenstock and Martin Kuhn’s marriage.   
     I was a little discouraged. But since I have these microfilms rented for a while longer, I decided to look through baptisms too.  Maybe there could be a clue to Kate and Martin’s marriage.  Well, that turned out to be a good idea.  As I was straining my eyes looking for a Birkenstock or Kuhn record, I came across a legible baptism record with both names included. The record turned out to be for a Gottfried Kuhn, the same name as Kate and Martin’s child.
     I’ve concluded that this is the baptism of the first child of our Anna Katherina Birkenstock and Martin Kuhn. The date of this record, 26 May 1835, is exactly one year prior to the date recorded in some family histories for Gottfried’s birth.  And this may explain why Gottfried used 1835 as his birth year in later records. This record lists his parents as we know them from all documentation and states that his father is from Neustadt.  This much of the record I could decipher on my own. 
     To confirm the translation of the remainder of this baptismal record,  I received very helpful assistance from the German Genealogy Group on Facebook.  Below is the record for this 1835 baptism excerpted from facing pages of the Ruhlkirchen Catholic Church book.  I’ve listed the translations under each section.       
Baptismal Record, Ruhlkirchen Catholic Church, Hessen, Gottfried Kuhn, 26 May 1835
First column: #147 of 1835 baptisms
Second column: Birthplace:  House #47?
Third column: Information on the birth: Born 26 May, 12 noon
Fourth column: Place and date of baptism: 26 May, in the church
Fifth column: Sex and name of Child: Gottfried Kuhn, illegitmate son.
2nd portion of the baptismal record of Gottfried Kuhn, 26 May 1835, Ruhlkirchen Catholic Church, Hessen
First column: Parents: der ledigen Ann Catharina Birkenstock....means Anna Catherine was not married.  Followed by the name of the other parent - Martin Kuhn from Neustadt.
Second column: Sponsor: Johannes Birkenstock, Grosvater des Kindes...grandfather of the child
Last column: Remarks: legitimiert durch der Ehe 1842 - legitimized through the marriage in 1842
     The surprise within this record is that Gottfried is listed as the illegitimate son (see first image above, fifth column).  Then, the record states that Anna Katherina Birkenstock was not married, as you can see in the second piece of the record above.  Fortunately for our family history, someone wrote in the last remarks column: “legitimized through the marriage in 1842.”  Now I know that Martin and Katherine were married in 1842.  Yay!!!
     This was such a super find!  I now have a new challenge though.  Find this 1842 marriage.  That should lead to more interesting family facts, since there were two more children born to Kate and Martin between 1835 and 1842. Stay tuned for the continuing exploration of the Birkenstock Project!

Thanks for visiting Indiana Ties,

To learn more about this quest for Kate and Martin’s marriage, read below:
Birkenstock Project, Part 1
Birkenstock Project, Part 2
Birkenstock Project, Part 3
Birkenstock Project, Part 4

Copyright © 2016, Nancy Niehaus Hurley

1 comment:

  1. Wow!!! How exciting to find this info! It makes me wonder why they didn't marry right away after the birth of their first child. I know that today people have several kids and might eventually marry, but that would have been uncommon back in the 1800's, I would think. Sure would be interesting to learn why they waited until 1842. Maybe their parents were against the marriage....who knows??!! Good job, Nancy!!


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