Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Exploratory Data Analysis: John William Wehrly (1870-1954)

John William Wehrly (1870-1954) was my paternal great-granduncle.  What follows is an exploratory analysis of the biographical data I have discovered about him.

1. Vital Records

     1.1. Birth Certificate

          John was born May 17, 1870 in Madison Township, Jay County, Indiana1.  The State of Indiana did not require state-wide registrations of birth until after 1907.  Jay County, Indiana only has birth records from 1882.

          1.1.1. Birth Notice in Newspaper

               If John's birth was announced in the local newspaper, it has been lost to history.  The Jay County Public Library has newspapers from the late 1880s.  The holdings of the Indiana State Library in Indianapolis do not indicate any newspapers of the time period.

          1.1.2. Bible Record

               I am not aware of any surviving Bible record of the Wehrly family.  Will continue to reach out to extended family in hopes that one does exist.

          1.1.3. Baptismal Record

               I am not aware of any baptismal record for John, nor the church affiliation of the Wehrly's.

          1.1.4. Adoption Record

               There is no indication that John was adopted.

     1.2. Marriage License

          John married Esther L. White on August 15, 1891 in Jay County, Indiana2.  I do not yet have a copy of their marriage license.  Will add this to my list of "to-do" items to obtain on my next trip to Jay County.

          1.2.1 Marriage Notice in Newspaper

               Will need to search contemporary newspaper accounts to see if mention was made of John and Esther's nuptials.

          1.2.2. Anniversary Notice

               John and Esther's 25th wedding anniversary would have been August 15, 1915 and their 50th anniversary would have been August 15, 1941.  Will need to search contemporary newspaper accounts to see if any mention was made of anniversary celebrations.

          1.2.3. Divorce Decree

               There is no indication that John and Esther were ever divorced, but a search of Jay County, Indiana court records needs to be done.

     1.3. Death Certificate

          John died January 24, 19541.  I do not know exactly where he died. Will need to add obtaining this information to my "to-do" list.

          1.3.1. Obituary in Newspaper

               Will need to search local newspapers in Jay County, Indiana to see if John's death was mentioned.  Will add this to my "to-do" list for my next research trip.

          1.3.2. Funeral Home Records

               Once I've obtained a copy of his obituary, I might be able to identify the funeral home that provided services and then contact them to see if they had any further records.

          1.3.3. Tombstone Photograph

               John and Esther's tombstone in the Salamonia Cemetery in Jay County, Indiana3 has been photographed and was the subject of a previous post.  The tombstone reads "John W. Wehrly 1870-1954" and "Esther L. Wehrly 1869-1958".

2. Census Records

     2.1. Federal Census Records

          2.1.1. 1940 Federal Census

               On April 22, 1940, John was enumerated as head of household in Wayne Township, Jay County, Indiana4, as John William Wehrly, age 69, born in Indiana, Farmer.  He owned his own home, valued at $2500 and lived on a farm.  His residence in 1935 was the same place.  He had completed 8th grade.  Living in the household was his wife, Esther L., age 70, born Indiana, and son, Robert C., age 31, born in Indiana.  His address was 119 Fairview Road.

          2.1.2. 1930 Federal Census

               On April 4, 1930, John was enumerated as head of household in the 1st Ward of Portland, Jay County, Indiana5, as John W. Wehrly, age 59, born in Indiana.  His occupation was listed as Jeweler.  He was aged 21 at his first marriage, his father listed as born in Pennsylvania and mother in Indiana.  His home was valued at $6500 and he owned a radio.  Living in the household was his wife, Esther L., age 60, born Indiana, and son Robert C., age 21, born Indiana.

          2.1.3. 1920 Federal Census

               On February 5, 1920, John was enumerated as head of household in the 1st Ward of Portland, Jay County, Indiana6, as John W. Wehrly, age 50, born in Indiana.  His occupation was listed as Jeweler.  He owned his home free of mortgage.  He could read and write and speak English.  His father was born in Ohio and his mother born in Ohio.  Living in the household was his wife, Esther L., age 50, born Indiana, and son Robert C., age 11, born Indiana.

          2.1.4. 1910 Federal Census

               On April 1, 1910, John was enumerated as head of household in the 1st Ward of Portland, Jay County, Indiana7, as John W. Wehrly, age 39, born in Indiana.  His occupation was listed as Jeweler.  He was age 19 at his marriage.  His father was born in Ohio and his mother born in Ohio.  Living in the household was his wife, Esther L., age 40, born Indiana, son Robert C., age 8 months born in Indiana, and mother-in-law, Barbara White, age 79, born Indiana.

          2.1.5. 1900 Federal Census

               On June 11, 1900, John was enumerated as head of household in the 1st Ward of Portland, Jay County, Indiana8, as John W. Wehrly, age 30, born May 1870 in Indiana.  His occupation was listed as Jeweler.  His father was born in Ohio and his mother in Indiana.  He could read and write and speak English.  Living in the household was his wife, Esther L., age 31, born May 1869 in Indiana, and his mother-in-law, Barbara White, age 69, born September 1830 in Ohio.

          2.1.6. 1880 Federal Census

               On June 3, 1880, John was enumerated in the William Wherhly household in Salamonia, Madison Township, Jay County, Indiana9, as John Wherhly, age 10, born in Indiana.  His father's birthplace was blank, and his mother was born in Michigan.  He had attended school within the year.

     2.2. State Census Records

          The State of Indiana conducted state census in 1853, 1857, 1871, 1883, 1889, 1901, 1913 and 1921.  These, however, were merely for the purposes of legislative apportionment.

     2.3. Agricultural Census Records

          I have not yet investigated these types of records to see what light they might shed on the Wehrly farm.

3. Military Records

     3.1. Draft Registration

          John was too old to meet the draft requirements during World War I.

     3.2. Pension Records

          I am not aware of any military service that would have made John eligible to receive pension benefits.  His father did serve in the Civil War, but I don't believe John ever received any minor's benefits.

     3.3. Service Records

          Not applicable.

4. Land Records

     4.1. Deed Records

          Deed records need to be thoroughly searched in Jay County, Indiana to see what records might mention John and his family.  Will add this to my "to-do" list for my next research trip.

     4.2. Plat map / county map

          Plat maps and county maps for Jay County, Indiana will need to be searched.  Will contact the local historical society to see what maps they might have in their collection.

5. Supplemental Records

     Supplemental records available for research on John include city/county directories, court records and will and probate records.  Will add these to my list of "to-do" items for my next research trip.

     In 1897, John was listed as a jeweler in the city and business directory of the Portland, Indiana, at the corner of Wayne and Water10.

     In 1907, John was listed as a jeweler in the city directory of Portland, Indiana at 201 N. Meridian11.

Sources:

1. Wehrly, Blaine & Gladys, "Wehrly & Smith Family History." Report to Wehrly Reunion, New Castle, Indiana, 16 August 1970.  Photocopy held by author.
2. Phyllis (Strock) Franklin, Salamonia Cemeteries : Salamonia, Madison Twp., Jay County, Indiana (Portland, Indiana, USA: The Jay County Genealogical Society, 2000), page 1.
3. Salamonia Cemetery (Jay County, Indiana), John W. and Esther L. Wehrly marker, photographed by Travis LeMaster, 26 March 2009.
4. 1940 U.S. census, Jay County, Indiana, population schedule, enumeration district 38-23, SD 5, sheet 6B, 119 Fairview Road, digital images, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 21 May 2013); National Archives, Washington, D.C.
5. John W. Wehrly household, 1930 U.S. census, population schedule, Portland, Jay County, Indiana, ED 38-18, SD 5, sheet 5B, dwelling 73, family 78; National Archives micropublication T625, roll 595, page 154.
6. John W. Wehrly household, 1920 U.S. census, population schedule, Portland, Jay County, Indiana, ED 17, SD 84, sheet 2A, dwelling 76, family 76; National Archives micropublication T625, roll 440, page 196.
7. 1910 U.S. census, Jay County, Indiana, population schedule, 1st Ward, Portland, enumeration district 80, SD 8, sheet 5A, 411 E. Walnut, dwelling 118, family 119, digital images, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 21 May 2013); National Archives, Washington, D.C.
8. 1900 U.S. census, Jay County, Indiana, population schedule, 1st Ward, Portland, enumeration district 74, SD 8, sheet 12A, dwelling 295, family 295; digital images, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 21 May 2013); National Archives, Washington, D.C.
9. William Wherhly household, 1880 U.S. census, population schedule, Salamonia, Madison Township, Jay County, Indiana, ED 169, SD 6, page 28, dwelling 6, family 6; National Archives micropublication T9, roll 287.
10. A City and Business Directory of the City of Portland, Indiana (1897) (Defiance, Ohio, USA: The Hubbard Company, 1982 (reprint)), page 87.
11. Complete Directory of Jay County (Portland, Indiana, USA: M. & M. Directory Co., 1907), page 31.

This post was developed as part of the series relating to Building My 2011 Research Template, an attempt to systematically document and source the details of my ancestors' lives. Comments regarding this template and the conclusions drawn in this article are welcomed.
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