Friday, April 11, 2014

Darned Family Disagreements

Records say the darnedest things

We depend upon records to reveal the “truth” about our pasts.

Yet sometimes records have anomalies.
Some are amusing or humorous.
Some are interesting or weird.
Some are peculiar or suspicious.
Some are infuriating, even downright laughable.

Yes, “Records Say the Darnedest Things.”

Darned Family Disagreements

Not long ago names were often spelled phonetically. As spelling solidified, siblings sometimes adopted different spellings. Clytee Kleager Gold experienced this within her own family. Members of the family, all buried within two rows of each other, spelled their names three different ways. Clytee provided these pictures:

Grave marker of Henry Klaeger, 1884-1932 Grave marker of the wife of Aug. Klager, died 1919.

Grave marker of August Kleager, died 1925.Clytee’s favorite is August Kleager’s, pictured to the right. Apparently, not all his survivors were willing to help pay for the grave marker. Notice the inscription at the bottom: “Bought by Henry only.”

“What a lasting epitaph,” wrote Clytee. “Way to go Henry, we are proud that you would pony up for a tombstone!”

“Yup, that's my family!”

Darned family disagreements!

Thanks you, Clytee, for sharing.


  1. It also pays to check both side of a tombstone. I have a Joseph Hoelscher and all the census records gave his wife as Julia. His daughter, Mary Ann's death certificate said mother unknown. I checked the cemetery where Dad said relatives were buried. There was a large stone for Joseph Hoelscher and wife Franciska (nee Schmidt) and their daughter Minnie. I took a picture and left. Later after Dad died and I was going through some of his pictures and negatives I found one of that stone with his mother and her sister. There was another picture of the back which said it was placed there by Mary Ann and William Joseph Bieger. Bingo! Two of their grandkids put the stone up. Julia must have been a second wife who raised the kids. I haven't found her yet.

  2. The E in this name stands for the " (Umlaut) that would sit on the A in German and which didn't exist on the American typewriter. Maybe some thought it was not so important, even though it changes the pronunciation, or others didn't know where the E was supposed to be????

  3. As the family was apparently given to dissension, consider the entry "Wife of Aug.". The absence of her given name troubles me. Why might this have been done? Surely, her name was known.

    Is this woman a hated step-mother? Worse yet, is she their own, despised mother?

  4. Very neat stories on your post & the comments. I have a similar German name that an "e" was added to in America. Though jive recently found it was a 'o' with an amulet that was translated to 'ae'.

  5. OMG. This is kind of the nightmare I am going through with my Family tree. Whats worse is the one person who traced their lineage though my tree that has now populated Ancestry and FamilySearch had some family members names wrong, which makes trying to back track work harder to do, since I don't know what actual name is on the document. My Family was McLaughlin, but in previous times it was McGlaughlin. Even some of the family members that may have been born McGlaughlin, signed other documents when they got older as McLaughlin and even were buried with McLaughlin on their tombstone and death certs.

    I am trying to retrace the steps this person took, so I can properly cite documents for WikiTree when I submit my tree to it. Even better is the whole census taker issues too. I am trying to trace down the first McLaughlin in the tree that came down from Scotland, though he is documented in a book that is at FamilySearch HQ and one library in the area of their major settlement in the US, but for the life of me I cannot find and real document anywhere else.


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