Which Sister Married Charles? – Genealogy Research

Genealogy research questions come in three varieties: events, relationships, and biographical information. Today, I will examine a relationship question to determine, “Who married Charles H Stahl on 12 Apr 1883 in Franklin, Ohio, United States.


Begin With a Supporting Document in Your Genealogy Research

Marriage of Charles Stall to Mary Calsberger

In this marriage record for Charles Stall, we read that he married Mary Carlsberger. These early marriage records provide little more than a date and a place. I could seek out church records since they were married by Rev. R Herbst.

Columbus, Ohio, City Directory, 1883, page 3434

The possible church records are the German congregation of Zion Church for the Evangelical Lutheran religion. At this time, I’m seeking out other documents that could help me develop a theory before I dive into church records.


I’m having a lot of difficulty reading who signed the Affidavit (Thom ???). Let me know if you can read it.


Learn More About Mary Carlsberger


Before I can determine Mary’s maiden name and parents, I need to know enough about her to know I have reached the correct answer once I find it. I turn to census records as the fastest way to find out details about Mary. (Click on the years to see the documents)

The name of Mary M Stahl remains consistent throughout the census records. What’s not shown in this table is that Mary M was born in Ohio. So I’m searching for a Mary M born in Ohio in about 1863.


Search for Mary Carlsbeger Prior to Marriage


I searched for a potential set of parents for Mary Carlsberg. I discovered the following possible family.


George Karlsberger and his wife Maria Elizabeth Danner had six children born in Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio. Since I’m focusing on Mary, I focused on her and potential conflicts.


1870 Census

1880 Census



Between the two census records, the family did not use the same name for these daughters. Is Mary M, really Mary Magdalena?


I want to find records that can confirm this. In some German families, Maggie is a nickname for Magdalena. There is a possibility that Mary M is Mary Magaret and the names were flip-flopped in the census records.


In short, I am not 100% sure that I know which of these sisters married Charles Stahl. Some of you would say, “There’s no way this happens!” but when in doubt, search it out.


Find Additional Documents Answer the Genealogy Research Question


Vital records immediately come to mind as a possible solution to my query. According to the FamilySearch Wiki, “Although Ohio enacted a statute in 1856 -1857 requiring registration of births, deaths, and marriages, many counties did not comply. A second law was written in 1867 but, again, was not always followed.”


In 1908, Ohio registered births at the county level. Birth records for dates between 1867 – 1908 are kept at the Franklin County Probate Court, but most are accessible online.


The daughter’s birth years precede the registration of births in Franklin County. Therefore I must search for alternative records.


To further establish who married Charles Stahl, I’ve researched the children of Charles and Mary M using online Vital Records.





(FYI: It is believed Charles H is the same son found in the Census record as known as Harvey C.)


Current Conclusion For Which Sister Married Charles


Although I have not completed a reasonably exhaustive search, I think I have enough evidence to support my conclusion. I think that Magdalena in 1870 and Mary M in the 1880 Census is the same person and the sister who married Charles Stahl.


What other records would you examine in this genealogy research question to further establish the case? Or do you think it’s fully resolved?


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