Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Marriage Records in Family Search for My Great Grandma and Grandpa Yeager

After spending a few minutes browsing through Family Search, I quickly learned interesting details about my father's maternal grandparents' marriage. First, I ran into their marriage record that was recorded at the Erie County Courthouse. I had always thought that they were married in Ottawa County, Ohio, since my great grandmother, Lena Piehl, was from Oak Harbor, in Ottawa County, Ohio. Their application for marriage was recorded on September 28, 1903, on page 115 of Volume 12 in the large books of Marriage Records housed in Erie County Probate Court. Judge U.T. Curran signed the license. Grandma's surname was misspelled Pheil, and her father's name was listed as Martin, instead of Ferdinand. The minister who was expected to perform the ceremony was Rev. Joseph Widmann, a minister at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Sandusky, Ohio. I always recall hearing it said that Grandma Lena Piehl Yeager was a staunch Lutheran, and I was very surprised to hear that she was married in a Catholic Church, though I knew that Grandpa Andrew Yeager had been baptized as a Catholic in Germany.

Having at hand the exact date of the marriage license, I then looked up their marriage record in the St. Mary's Catholic Church Records, a part of the Ohio Diocese of Toledo Catholic Parish Records, 1796-2004 available at Family Search. The record states that Andrew Yeager married Helena Piehl at St. Mary's Catholic Church on September 30, 1903. Standing up for them were Uncle Frank Yeager and Aunt Martha Piehl. Father F.A. Reuter signed the record, and on the right hand side of the marriage record is written in Latin a phrase that roughly translated reads:

Mixed Religions

To the best of my knowledge they raised all their children in the Lutheran faith, and many of their grandchildren and great grandchildren also were brought up as Lutherans. Though they were labeled as having a marriage of "mixed religions" they celebrated both a 25th and 50th wedding anniversary, with large family gatherings to celebrate each. In my memory bank, I recall Great Grandma Yeager as a very quiet, soft spoken dear older lady. She was as gentle as could be, and I personally never heard her raise her voice to anyone. Looking at these 1903 marriage records makes me think that either Grandma or Grandpa Yeager, or perhaps both of them, may have been considered rebellious, for marrying outside of the faith in which they were brought up! On my way to work in downtown Sandusky, I pass by the Erie County Courthouse and St. Mary's Catholic Church several times a week. Now I can associate both of those buildings with my dear great grandparents!

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