Friday, August 26, 2016

Finding More Pieces of Her Story: Birth Certificate of Rosemary Ethel Weber

  It seems as though there’s something revealed each time another historical record surfaces. But there's just never enough time to gather all those juicy pieces.  In this case I would say that procrastination paid off.  You see, I hadn’t yet paid for my parents' birth certificates from the health department.  Then, one day they appeared online!  Recently a new database of Indiana birth certificates was added to  Now I can locate these rich documents from home for the years 1907 to 1940.  My keyboard has been burning up with searches. Sure, I knew most of the birth dates already, including my mother's.  But consistently I find that each of these old documents confirms a date, adds a place I didn’t know or provides other details adding to the person's story.  For Rosemary Ethel Weber’s birth certificate that's the case.  (Full transcription is at the end of this post.)
     I didn’t necessarily expect any revelations.  I just wanted to have Rose’s birth certificate because it’s primary documentation of her history.  Her baptismal record at Sacred Heart Catholic Church had already provided an indirect confirmation of the date and place of her birth.  However, we could question the place of birth that someone listed on the church record. Sure enough, it’s the same address on the official birth certificate: 733 Parkway Avenue, Indianapolis,  Indiana.  A search on Google for that address shows an empty lot. Oh well, I can see the homes on Parkway remaining today and get an idea of the neighborhood where this young family lived.  I also found that Rose’s older brother Bob was born at this same address on Parkway in 1914.   I drove to that spot.

         There was also a family story that might be connected, or confirmed, through this document.  There’s the question about whether any of the Weber children born at home may have been assisted by Miss Anna Wintz, who we all know to have been the family caretaker later in their lives.  She was said to have been a midwife, or at least assisted families in the local area at the time new children arrived. 
       I found the signature and address of the attending physician, C. W. Marxer.  Brief research on this doctor resulted in a listing for Dr. Conrad Marxer as an instructor in obstetrics at the Central College of Physicians and Surgeons in Indianapolis in 1902.   This certificate also has an additional line where a midwife could be listed.  There’s a signature of H. G. Morgan.  Records online confirm a Dr. H. G. Morgan was the secretary of the City Health Board in 1916.  He may have signed all birth certificates at this time.  For  sure, Miss Wintz isn’t recorded anywhere on this official document.   Now I’m a little closer to the description of her involvement in my mother’s birth.  Maybe she was present.  We might never know the details.  If she was there, I can now say it probably wasn’t in the capacity of official midwife.   
     What else did this 100-year-old record from the Indiana State Board of Health bring? Of course, the age and occupation information on Harry and Tillie Weber, Rose’s parents, is included.  Also, I see that Rose was born at 8:30 a.m. on that March 3 in 1916.  It may have been a sleepless night for Tillie.  Probably for Harry as well.  And possibly for their two-year-old son, Bob.  Just speculating.  But with a little more reason to do so, right?
    Indiana State Board of Health Certificate of Birth, Reg. No. 36169   
     Place of birth:  County of Marion, Township of Center, City of Indianapolis, No: 733 Parkway Ave., 13th Ward
     Full name of child:  Rosemary Ethel Weber
     Sex of child: girl
     Legitimate: yes
     Date of birth:  Mar 3, 1916
     Father: Harry L. Weber
     Residence: 733 Parkway Ave.
     Color or race: White
     Age:  28
     Birthplace: Indianapolis, Ind.
     Occupation: Clerk
     Mother: Tillie Kuhn
     Residence:  733 Parkway Ave.
     Color or race:  White
     Age:  25
     Birthplace:  Indianapolis, Ind.
     Occupation: House work
     Number of children born to this mother, including present birth: 2
     Number of children of this mother, now living, including present birth:  2
     Were precautions taken against opthalmin neonatorum: yes
     Certificate of Attending Physicial or Midwife
     I hereby certify that I attended the birth of this child, who was alive at 8:30 a.m. on the date above stated. 
   Signature:  C. W. Marxer
     Attending physicial, midwife, householder:  H. G. Morgan
     Address:  503 E. McCarty St.
    Filed: March 6, 1916
     It really is true that each old record is valuable, regardless of what information we already have.  This database online is definitely a treasure chest for anyone lacking the basic family facts. But even though I had many of the facts on my mother,  her birth certificate is very important to me.  I’ll probably connect more dots along the road as a result of having this additional piece to add to Rose Weber’s history.  
     Thanks for visiting Indiana Ties,

Copyright © 2016, Nancy Niehaus Hurley

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