So this story starts out as a disappointment, then a happy accident, and ends in a mystery.
Here’s the deal:
My maternal 2nd great grandfather, Eugene Stiker, had a son named Frank. He also had a brother named Frank (not someone I’ve done any research for, so … out of sight, out of mind, right?) In an effort to discover more information about Eugene, I requested the marriage record for Frank Stiker, the son.
[this is where the sad music starts playing]
Unfortunately, when I received the marriage record, it wasn’t my Frank Stiker. This Frank Stiker was born 20 or so years earlier, and his wife’s name wasn’t even close. I set the record aside, thinking I might never find any new information about Eugene.
A few days later, I was working on something else in RootsMagic and happened to look on the left side of my screen and noticed there were TWO Frank Stikers. Wait. Really? Hmm … maybe … just maybe …
[happy music can start playing now]
Out comes the questionable marriage record once again. Turns out the record is for Frank Stiker THE BROTHER! Now maybe I can find some new information about their father!
So I start transcribing the record, which has tons of background information about Frank and the new wife, Ida Pfisterer. This was the third marriage for both of them. He was 55, she was 47. Mental note: need to look for other marriages. His first marriage ended in divorce 32 years prior and the second ended in death 2 years prior. New mental note: look up divorce and death records too. This is officially the first evidence I have of any divorces in my tree. This is turning out to be a pretty significant find.
[cue the twilight-zone-y music]
Then I notice something a little weird. HER first marriage ended in death 5 years prior and the second ended in divorce 4 years prior.
So Ida’s apparently not real big on the whole grieving thing. She was remarried AND divorced within a year of her first husband’s death. I dunno, I thought it was a little creepy.
So now I’m intrigued … what happened to her first husband? What was the reason for the divorce from the second husband? Is she a black widow and husband #2 narrowly escaped death? Was she a fugitive? How long were she and Frank married? Was he onto her little scheme? Did he get out in time? I must find Frank’s death records!
Ida Pfisterer is probably as far removed from a blood relative as I have in my tree so far … but I need to know more about her! Is it wrong that I’m excited to have a potential murderer in my tree, even if it is just peripheral?
(Okay, I know it’s pretty far-fetched, and I’m pretty sure I’ll discover that she’s just as boring as the rest of my ancestors … but at least now everyone knows why I never get anything done)
Special thanks to Alona at Gould Genealogy for coming up with the Family History Through the Alphabet challenge!
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