Martin Nimrod Wehrly (1888-1954) 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
Martin was born April 5, 1888 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 of his birth certificate to my "to-do" list for my next research trip.
1.1.1. Birth Notice in Newspaper
If Martin'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 Martin, nor the church affiliation of the Wehrly's.
1.1.4. Adoption Record
There is no indication that Martin was adopted.
1.2. Marriage License
Martin married Cora Burley on January 1, 19141, 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 Martin and Cora's nuptials.
1.2.2. Anniversary Notice
Martin and Cora's 25th wedding anniversary would have been January 1, 1939. 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 Martin and Cora were divorced, but a search of Jay and Henry County, Indianacourt records needs to be done.
1.3. Death Certificate
Martin died February 5, 19541, probably in Henry County, Indiana. I do not yet 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 and Henry County, Indiana to see if Martin'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
Martin's tombstone in the Salamonia Cemetery, Jay County, Indiana2 has been photographed. A link to his FindAGrave memorial page is located here.
Martin and Cora's tombstone was the subject of a previous post.
2. Census Records
2.1. Federal Census Records
2.1.1. 1940 Federal Census
On April 1, 1940, Martin was enumerated as the head of household in Ward 4 of New Castle, Henry County, Indiana3, as Martin N. Wehrly, age 52, married, born in Indiana. His residence in 1935 was the same place. He had completed the 8th grade in education. His occupation was Assistant Foreman at an Automobile Factory. He was born in Indiana and his home was valued at $3000. The residence was at 1212 South 17th Street.
2.1.2. 1930 Federal Census
On April 8, 1930, Martin was enumerated as the head of household in New Castle, Henry County, Indiana4, as Martin Wehrly, age 41, married, born in Indiana. His home was valued at $3500. He was 25 years old when married. He could read and write and spoke English. He was a laborer in an auto factory. His father and mother were both born in Indiana.
2.1.3. 1920 Federal Census
On January 8, 1920, Martin was enumerated as the head of household in Ward 7 of New Castle, Henry County, Indiana5, as Martin Wehrly, age 32, married, born in Indiana. He could read and write and spoke English. His occupation was Automatic in auto factory. Both his father and mother were born in Ohio. His residence was at 1212 17th Street.
2.1.4. 1910 Federal Census
I have not yet been able to locate Martin in the 1910 U.S. Census. His military service (see below) may have something to do with this.
2.1.5. 1900 Federal Census
On June 2, 1900, Martin was enumerated in the William P. Wehrly household in Madison Township, Jay County, Indiana6, as Martin N. Wehrly, son, age 11. He was born April 1889 in Indiana. His father and mother were born 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 census records to see what light they might shed on the Wehrly farm.
3. Military Records
3.1. Draft Registration
On June 5, 1917, Martin registered with the Selective Service in Henry County, Indiana during World War I7. He was 29 years old and living at 1212 South 17th Street in New Castle, Indiana. His birthdate was listed as April 5, 1888. He was an Automatic operator at the Maxwell Motor Company in New Castle. He had a wife and one child. He had 1 1/4 years of prior military service in the Signal Corps. He was described as short and stout, with brown eyes and black hair.
On April 27, 1942, Martin registered with the Selective Service in Henry County, Indiana during World Ward II8. He was 54 years old and living at 1212 South 17th Street in New Castle, Indiana. His birthplace was listed as April 5, 1888 in Salamonia, Indiana. He was employed at the Chrysler Plant in New Castle, Indiana. His wife, Cora E. Wehrly, was listed as his closest relative. He was described as 5' 5" tall, 190 lbs., with brown eyes, grey hair and a light complexion. He had birth mark on his left shoulder.
3.2. Pension Records
I have not yet searched pension records to see if Martin's service in the Signal Corps qualified him for a military pension. His father did serve during the Civil Ward, but I don't believe that Martin ever received any minor's benefits.
3.3. Service Records
Martin enlisted in the U.S. Army at Columbus, Ohio on October 20, 1908 for a period of three years9. He was enlisted by Captain Owen. He was a 20 year old telephone operator from Salamonia, Indiana. He had brown eyes, dark hair and a muddy complexion. He stood 5 foot 4 3/4 inches. He served in Company G of the Signal Corps. He was discharged January 8, 1910 on the Cable Ship Joseph Henry.
4. Land Records
4.1. Deed Records
Deed records need to be thoroughly searched in Henry County, Indiana to see what records might mention Martin and his family. Will add this to my list of "to-do" items for my next research trip.
4.2. Plat map / county map
Plat maps and county maps for Henry 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 Martin include city/county directories, court records and will and probate records. Will add these to my "to-do" items for my next research trip.
1. Wehrly, Blaine & Gladys, "Wehrly & Smith Family History." Report to Wehrly Reunion, New Castle, Indiana, 16 August 1970. Photocopy held by author.
2. Salamonia Cemetery (Jay County, Indiana), Martin N. and Cora E. Wehrly marker, photographed by Travis LeMaster, 26 March 2009.
3. 1940 U.S. census, Henry County, Indiana, population schedule, Ward 4, New Castle, enumeration district 32-22A, SD 10, sheet 22B, 1212 South 17th, dwelling 476; digital images, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 28 May 2013); National Archives, Washington, D.C.
4. Martin Wehrly household, 1930 U.S. census, population schedule, New Castle, Henry County, Indiana, ED 33-23, SD 9, sheet 6A, dwelling 112, family 115; National Archives micropublication T626.
5. 1920 U.S. census, Henry County, Indiana, population schedule, Ward 7, New Castle, enumeration district 74, SD 6, sheet 10B, 1212 17th Street, dwelling 185, family 204; digital images, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 28 May 2013); National Archives, Washington, D.C.
6. 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.
7. "U.S. World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918," digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 31 July 2013); citing World War I Selective Service Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 : Indiana.
8. "U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942," digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 31 July 2013); citing Selective Service Registration Cards, World War II : Fourth Registration : Indiana.9. "U.S. Army, Register of Enlistments, 1798-1914", digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 30 July 2013); citing Register of Enlistments in the U.S. Army, 1798-1914 (National Archives microfilm publication M233, 81 rolls); Record Group 94; National Archives, Washington, D.C.
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.