Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Exploratory Data Analysis: Blaine Pearl Wehrly (1884-1966)

Blaine Pearle Wehrly (1884-1966) 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

          Blaine was born August 31, 1884 in Madison Township, Jay County, Indiana1.  The State of Indiana did not require state-wide registrations of birth until after 1907.  Jay County, Indiana has birth records from 1882.  Will add obtaining a copy to my "to-do" list for my next research trip.

          1.1.1. Birth Notice in Newspaper

               If Blaine'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 Blaine, nor the church affiliation of the Wehrly's.

          1.1.4. Adoption Record

               There is no indication that Blaine was adopted.

     1.2. Marriage License

          Blaine married Ermina Gladys Ashcraft on November 28, 19091,2, probably in Jay County, Indiana.  I do not yet have a copy of their marriage license.  Will add this to my list of "to-do" items for my next research trip.

          1.2.1 Marriage Notice in Newspaper

               Will need to search contemporary newspaper accounts to see if mention was made of Blaine and Gladys' nuptials.

          1.2.2. Anniversary Notice

               Blaine and Gladys' 25th wedding anniversary would have been November 28, 1934 and their 50th anniversary would have been November 28, 1959.  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 Blaine and Gladys were divorced, but a search of Jay County, Indiana court records needs to be done.

     1.3. Death Certificate

          Blaine died February 27, 19661, probably in Jay County, Indiana.  I do not have a copy of his death certificate.  Will add this to my list of "to-do" items for my next research trip.

          1.3.1. Obituary in Newspaper

               Will need to check local newspapers in Jay County, Indiana to see if Blaine's obituary was mentioned.  Will add this to my list of "to-do" items for my next research trip.

          1.3.2. Funeral Home Records

               Once I've obtained his obituary, I might be able to identify the funeral home that handled the arrangements and then contact them to see if they have any records.

          1.3.3. Tombstone Photograph

               Blaine's tombstone in the Green Park Cemetery in Portland, Jay County, Indiana3 has been photographed.  A link to his memorial page at FindAGrave is located here.

2. Census Records

     2.1. Federal Census Records

          2.1.1. 1940 Federal Census

                On April 17, 1940, Blaine was enumerated as head of household in Ward 2 of Portland, Jay County, Indiana4, as Blaine P. Wehrly, age 55, Watch repairing, own shop.  He was born in Indiana.  His residence in 1935 was the same place.  The home was valued at $ 2000.  He had completed the 8th grade in education.  The residence was at 936 N. High Street.

          2.1.2. 1930 Federal Census

               On April 8, 1930, Blaine was enumerated as head of household in Ward 3 of Portland, Jay County, Indiana5, as Blaine P. Wehrly, age 45, Manager of a nursery.  He was born in Indiana, his father born in Ohio and mother born in Indiana.  He was age 25 at his marriage, rented his home.  He could read and write and spoke English.

          2.1.3. 1920 Federal Census

               On January 12, 1920, Blaine was enumerated as head of household in Ward 2 of Portland, Jay County, Indiana6, as Blain Wehrly age 35, Manager of jewelry store.  He was born in Indiana, his father born in Ohio and mother born in Indiana.  He owned his home free of mortgage.  He could read and write and spoke English.  The residence was at 522 N. High Street.

          2.1.4. 1910 Federal Census

               On April 15, 1910, Blaine was enumerated as head of household in Ward 2 of Hartford City, Blackford County, Indiana7, as Blaine Wehrly, age 25, Proprietor of Jewelry store. He was married within the year. He was born in Indiana, father born in Ohio and mother born in Indiana.  He could read and write and spoke English.  The residence was at 622 N. High Street.

          2.1.5. 1900 Federal Census

               On June 2, 1900, Blaine was enumerated in the William P. Wehrly household in Madison Township, Jay County, Indiana8, as Blaine Wehrly, son, age 15, born Indiana.  He was born August 1894.  His father was born in Ohio and his mother in Ohio.  He could read and write and spoke English.

     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

          On September 12, 1917, Blaine registered with the Selective Service in Butler County, Ohio9 during World War I.  He was 34 years old and living at 102 Ross in Hamilton, Ohio.  His birthdate was listed as August 31, 1884. He was a machinist at the Hooven Owens Rentschler Co.  His wife, Gladys, was listed as his nearest relative.  His physical description was medium height, medium build, brown eyes and black hair.

          On April 27, 1942, Blaine registered with the Selective Service in Jay County, Indiana10, during World War II.  He was 57 years old and living at 936 North High Street in Portland.  He was born August 31, 1884 at Salamonia, Jay County, Indiana.  He was self-employed in the Meeker Building in Portland.  He was 5' 8" tall, weighed 185 lbs. and had brown eyes, grey hair and a rudy complexion.

     3.2. Pension Records

          I am not aware of any military service that would have made Blaine eligible to receive pension benefits.  His father did serve in the Civil Ward, but I don't believe Blaine 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 Blaine 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 researched.  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 Blaine 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.

Sources :

1. Wehrly, Blaine & Gladys, "Wehrly & Smith Family History." Report to the Wehrly Reunion, New Castle, Indiana, 16 August 1970.  Photocopy held by author.
2. Brown, Walter L., "The Maxson Family. Descendants of John Maxson and Wife, Mary Mosher of Westerly, Rhode Island", 1954, p. 180.
3. Find A Grave, Inc., FindAGrave.com (http://www.findagrave.com : accessed 1 July 2013), Blaine Wehrly memorial page.
4. 1940 U.S. census, Jay County, Indiana, population schedule, Ward 2, Portland, enumeration district 38-20, SD 5, sheet 62B, 936 N. High, dwelling 303; digital images, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 27 May 2003); National Archives, Washington, D.C.
5. Blaine P. Wehrly household, 1930 U.S. census, population schedule, 3rd Ward, Portland, Wayne Township, Jay County, Indiana, ED 38-30, SD 5, sheet 6A, dwelling 153 family 175; National Archives micropublication T626.
6. 1920 U.S. census, Jay County, Indiana, population schedule, Ward 2, Portland, enumeration district 88, SD 5A, 522 N. High, dwelling 107, family 107; digital images, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 27 May 2013); National Archives, Washington, D.C.
7. 1910 U.S. census, Blackford County, Indiana, population schedule, Ward 2, Hartford City, enumeration district 10, SD 11, sheet 2B, 622 N. High, dwelling 31, family 31; digital images, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 27 May 2013); National Archives, Washington, D.C.
8. William P. Wehrly household, 1900 U.S. census, population schedule, Madison Township, Jay County, Indiana, ED 62, SD 67, sheet 2B, dwelling 44, family 45; National Archives micropublication T623, roll 380, page 77.
9. "U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918," digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 2 July 2013); citing World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 : Ohio.
10. "U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942," digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 2 July 2013); citing Selective Service Registration Cards, World War II : Fourth Registration.

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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