The case of two Caroline Puseckers (Part 2)

Caroline kept knocking at my door trying to tell me that I need to investigate her further. So, I finally paid attention to the knock.  I was still confused and had Caroline Pusecker (1844) with a potential birth date of 1837 linked to Karl Pusecker and his wife Johanna Macke. I loved the little love story of neighbors and fellow immigrants marrying on this side of the pond. But was that the case?


After reexamining the marriage record, I realized that Caroline 1844’s birth date was not provided. All I have is that a Louis Mack married a Caroline Pusecker in 1868.


I had happened to be in Ohio and obtained a copy of Karl Pusecker’s will. (Heinrich Mack and Joseph Geisler didn’t have any, darn it). In the will, a daughter named Caroline was listed. But she was married to a John Eitermann.


What?


She’s supposed to be married to Heinrich Mack. Time to do some more research.

Jordan Dodd, Liahona Research. Ohio, Marriages, 1803-1900 [database on-line].

Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2001.


Ancestry.com showed an index entry for Caroline Pusecker marrying a John Eitermann on 18 Oct 1859 in Franklin County, Ohio. This would explain why Karl’s 23-year-old daughter was not living with him at the time of the 1860 US Census.


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And, if you follow Caroline and John Eitermann through the Census records, you find that they were and had five children at the time of the 1870 US Census, two years after Caroline Pusecker (1844) married Heinrich Mack.


John and Caroline Eitermann were living in Prairie, Franklin County, Ohio while Heinrich and Caroline Pusecker were living in Norwich, Franklin, Ohio. Yep. I have two Caroline Puseckers, from Germany on my hands.

Now, much of this would have been clear very quickly had I stopped to review Caroline Pusecker Mack’s death record. Her father is listed as Wm Puesecker and Charlotta Strunkenberg (a Strunkenberg family was also living on a farm near the Macks, Geislers, and Puseckers in 1860).


And, Caroline Pusecker born in 1844 also had the middle name of Wilhelmine. No doubt, in tribute to her father Wm Pusecker. Additionally, the 1900 US Census had a migration date for Caroline of 1867, not 1854.


I think it’s safe to say I learned a few lessons from the case of two Carolines.

  1. Retrace the research.

  2. Assume new information, especially those that aren’t well documented, are full of certain inferences.

  3. Pending the discovery of more facts, some of the entries have to be regarded as speculative rather than as gospel.

  4. Just because someone did the research, doesn’t mean they did it right.

Apparently, on Ancestry.com, some people thought I was crazy for connecting Caroline Pusecker (1837) to Heinrich Mack when this one should be connected to Johann G Eiterman. And I should have Caroline Pusecker (1844) to an entirely different set of parents. The conflicting information should have served as huge red flags.


Thankfully the will threw down the major red flag that turned things around for me. I wish someone on Ancestry.com would have told me I was crazy sooner. However, I have learned many valuable lessons and I plan to keep watching for the red flags as I investigate new lines.


Now… to untangle the trees on FamilySearch Family Tree.


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