March 2017: Rose Meisner -- Her Early Life
Describe Your Brick Wall: Seeking pre-1870 records for my great-grandmother, Rose L. Ott Meisner (c. 1850-1925), and her family in Pennsylvania.
What Do You Know: The earliest record I have of Rosa/Rose Ott is an 1870 Pittsburgh census (Ward 10, page 309A) where she is listed as a 22 yr old domestic servant of the family of grocer Mathias Schwartz, living at 686 Penn Ave. On 10 Jun 1875 she married my great-grandfather Joseph Meisner in St. Philomena Church in Pittsburgh. In the church record she is listed as the daughter of Johann and Christ. M.E. Ohy (sic), with witnesses: Andreas Meissner and Josephine Greber. Rose and Joseph subsequently lived in Steubenville, Ohio (1887-1895); Rochester, PA (1900-1902); and Homestead, PA (1910-1928), a suburb of Pittsburgh. Rose’s place of birth is given as Pennsylvania in all the census records. Rose and Joseph had six children. Rose died on 21 Mar 1925 in Homestead. No family members other than her husband are mentioned in the death notice. Joseph was also the informant for her death certificate (Pennsylvania #26839), listing her father as John Ott, her mother as Christina Summer, and her birth date and place as 25 Feb 1850 and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Rose is buried in the family plot with her husband and several of her children, but there are no Otts in nearby graves.
Where Have You Looked:
Ancestry: Pennsylvania, Births, 1852-1854; and 1850 & 1860 census for Pennsylvania and neighboring states. I found a John and Christina Ott with their family, including a daughter “Henrietta” (born about 1849) in the 1850 and 1860 censuses living about 55 miles from Pittsburgh. However, Henrietta was still living with her family in the 1870 census.
FamilySearch: Pennsylvania Births and Christenings, 1709-1950; and 1850 & 1860 census for Pennsylvania and neighboring states. Rose was not living with or near the Schwartz family in the 1860 Pittsburgh census.
Posted Rose and Joseph’s family on Ancestry, FamilySearch, FindMyPast and MyHeritage, but no useful hints have appeared.
FAN Search: Found bridesmaid Josephine Greber/Graeber (6 Nov 1852 - 26 May 1908), also the servant of a local area grocer, in 1870 and 1880 census and Pennsylvania death certificate, which indicates she was born in Pennsylvania to Adam Graber and Magdalene Schauer. Have not found Josephine in the 1860 census either.
MCGS member Jane Aronhalt suggests tracing potential siblings of Rose Ott. She notes there is a Pennsylvania Death Certificate (#25689) for a John Ott, father John Ott, mother Christina Ott, born 27 Aug 1847 in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, died 23 Mar 1910 in Bradys Bend, Armstrong, Pennsylvania.
1.Check death certificate County and State -- sometimes there is a difference 2. Check for state census -- between the Federal census. 3. Check for tax records -- everyone had to pay taxes whethered they were counted in census or not. 4.Check with churches within a 3 mile radius -- would be helpful if you knew the dominate religion of the Meisner family. 5.Check the DAR database. 6.Contact local genealogy club. 7.Check Google Books. 8.Check Google pictures. 9.Check NextGen -- I went to the web site and the person in charge of the PA web site has a subscription to Genealogy Bank and she will do searches for you at no charge -- check for obituaries of family members, birth announcemets and marriage announcements. 10.Search National Archives - Mid Atlantic Region - Philadelphia. 11.State Library of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, PA. 12.Pennsylvania State Archives, Harrisburg, PA. 13.Northland Public Library, Pittsburgh, PA. 13.Historical Society of Pennsylvania -- 4338 Bigelow Blvd, Pittsburgh, PA. 14.And finally hire a professional!!!!!!!
Armstong county was not formed until 1880 -- It was carved out of Allegheny, Lycoming, and Westmoreland. I don't know if that might be important in your search.
In the Spring 2017 issue of American Ancestors there is an article on how to search for deeds. Thought it might be of interest in your search. See attachment