Mary Victoria (Reiber) Schaeffer (1853-1883) was Corinne's maternal 3rd-great grandmother. What follows is an exploratory analysis of the biographical data I have discovered about her.
1. Vital Records
Mary was born circa 1853 in Indiana1, according to census records. Her christening record lists her date of birth as September 3, 1853 in Evansville, Vanderburgh County, Indiana2.
1.1. Birth Certificate
The State of Indiana did not require birth certificates until 1907, so Mary will not have a certificate.
1.1.1. Birth Notice in Newspaper
Without an exact location or date of birth, it will be difficult to locate any mention of her birth in local newspapers.
1.1.2. Bible Record
I am unaware of any surviving family Bible records of the Rieber family. Will continue to reach out to extended family in hopes that one does exist.
1.1.3. Baptismal Record
Mary was christened on September 4, 1853 at the Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Evansville, Vanderburgh County, Indiana2. Her christening record has her name as Maria Victoria Riber. Her father listed as Petro Riber and her mother as Elisabetha Schuhmacher. The record gives her birth date as September 3, 1853.
1.1.4. Adoption Record
There is no indication that Mary was adopted.
1.2. Marriage License
I have not yet located a marriage record of Mary and Charles Schaeffer. They should have been married circa 1872, likely in Evansville. Will add this to my list of "to-do" items for my next research trip.
1.2.1 Marriage Notice in Newspaper
Without an exact date and location, it will be extremely difficult to locate mention of Mary and Charles' wedding in a local newspaper.
1.2.2. Anniversary Notice
Without an exact date for their wedding, it will be difficult to locate mention of their wedding anniversary in a local newspaper.
1.2.3. Divorce Decree
There is no indication that Mary and Charles were divorced.
1.3. Death Certificate
Mary died September 16, 1883 in Evansville, Vanderburgh County, Indiana3,4,5,6,7,8. According to newspaper reports, she was shot and killed by her husband, Charles. I do not yet have a copy of her death certificate. Will add this to my list of "to-do" items for my next research trip.
1.3.1. Obituary in Newspaper
I have not yet located an obituary for Mary, however, there were numerous articles written about her murder4,5,6,7,8. Will add this to my list of "to-do" items for my next research trip.
1.3.2. Funeral Home Records
Funeral home records need to be researched to see what information they might shed on Mary's final arrangements. Will add this to my list of "to-do" items for my next research trip.
1.3.3. Tombstone Photograph
Mary's tombstone in the Saint Joseph Catholic Cemetery in Evansville, Vanderburgh County, Indiana has been photographed9.
A link to her memorial page at the FindAGrave website is here.
2. Census Records
2.1. Federal Census Records
2.1.1. 1880 Federal Census
On June 2, 1880, Mary was enumerated in the Charley Schaeffer household in Evansville, Vanderburgh County, Indiana1, as Mary V. Schaeffer, wife, age 27, born in Indiana. Her occupation was keeping house. Both her father and mother were born in Germany.
2.1.2. 1870 Federal Census
I have been unable to locate Mary in the 1870 census. I assume she would still be living in Evansville, as that was where her mother and other family members were living, but she was not living with the family. Her father died in 1869, so they family may have split up.
2.1.3. 1860 Federal Census
On August 22, 1860, Mary was enumerated in the Peter Reber household in Evansville, Vanderburgh County, Indiana10, as Mary Reber, age 7, born in Indiana. She had attended school within the year.
2.2. State Census Records
The State of Indiana conducted state census in 1853, 1857, 1871, 1877, 1883, 1889, 1901, 1913, 1919 and 1931. These, however, were merely for the purposes of legislative apportionment.
2.3. Agricultural Census Records
There is no evidence that the Rieber family were anything other than city-dwellers.
3. Military Records
3.1. Draft Registration
Not applicable, as Mary was female.
3.2. Pension Records
I have not located any records of military service by Mary's father or husband that would have made her eligible for these benefits.
3.3. Service Records
Not applicable, as Mary was female.
4. Land Records
4.1. Deed Records
Deed records need to be thoroughly searched in Vanderburgh County, Indiana to see what records might mention Mary. Will add this to my "to-do" list for my next research trip.
4.2. Plat map / county map
Plat maps in Vanderburgh County, Indiana will need to be searched to see what might be relevant to my search for Mary.
5. Supplemental Records
Supplemental records available for research on Mary 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.
1. Charley Schaeffer household, 1880 U.S. census, population schedule, Evansville, Vanderburgh County, Indiana, ED 87, SD 1, page 6, dwelling 57, family 68; National Archives micropublication T9, roll 317, page 452B.
2. "Indiana, Births and Christenings, 1773-1933," index,(https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/V2XY-Z27 : accessed 19 Apr 2014), Maria Victoria Riber, 04 Sep 1853; Christening, citing Holy Trinity, Evansville, Vanderburgh, Indiana; FHL microfilm 1433351.
3. Ray Bland, "Matthias and Elizabeth Schaeffer Miller," email message from Ray Bland to Travis LeMaster, 7 August 2010.
4. A Husband Shots His Wife article, Evansville Courier, Evansville, Indiana, USA, September 16, 1883.
5. The Tragedy article, Evansville Journal, Evansville, Indiana, USA, September 17, 1883, page 4, column 6.
6. Another Sunday Murder article, Evansville Courier[?], Evansville, Indiana, USA, n.d.
7. The Wife Murder article, Evansville Courier[?], Evansville, Indiana, USA, n.d.
8. The Schaeffer Murder article, Evansville Courier, Evansville, Indiana, USA, September 19, 1883.
9. FindAGrave Inc., FindAGrave (www.findagrave.com : accessed 25 April 2014), Maria Rieber Schaeffer tombstone.
10. 1860 U.S. census, Vanderburgh County, Indiana, population schedule, Evansville, page 165, dwelling 1225, family 1249, digital images, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 25 April 2014); 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.