Tuesday, July 19, 2016

A More Detailed Divorce

Two years ago I shared the discoveries found in the divorce records of my great grandparents, Howard Lutter (1889-1959) and Ethel Laurel Winterton (1891-1962).  Howard filed for divorce on October 27, 1926 in New Jersey on the grounds that Ethel had abandoned him and their two children.  Ethel did not respond.

Howard remarried to Fiorita Lorenz in on October 28, 1928 in New York City.  Fiorita herself was newly divorced from James Winnie.  Howard boarded at the home of Fiorita and James in the 1920s.  Fiorita testified on Howard's behalf in his divorce case, omitting that her current address was not with her husband but rather with Howard's mother.

I wondered what really happened to end these two marriages.  Fiorita's divorce papers provided the expected details.

Fiorita filed for divorce in 1927 alleging that her husband, James Winnie, committed adultery with Mildred L Yunker in Newark.

James Winnie responded that Fiorita committed adultery with Howard Luther.

October 9, 1926 is the day of the break up claimed by Fiorita and James.  Howard Lutter filed for his divorce two weeks later.

In the 1930 census, James was living in Irvington with Laura M Winnie and stepson Clifford C Yunker.  I did not find a marriage record for them in New Jersey from 1928-1930.  [Note: Brocker was Mildred/Laura's former name.]

In 1930, Howard Lutter was living with Fiorita in Bloomfield with his two children, Clifford and Beryl, and one of hers, Rita.

You can read the divorce records for both couples at Dropbox.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

New York City Marriage Records: Application, Affidavit, and License for a Second Marriage

When the New York City Marriage Index was published online (thanks to Reclaim the Records), I requested copies of the Application, Affidavit, and License for two couples.  Records from 1928 for the first couple, Robert Paul Shaw and Jane Louise Sonntag, arrived a few weeks ago.  The genealogical gem contained in these records, and not contained on the marriage return, was that the whereabouts of the bride's father were unknown.

Records for my great grandfather's second marriage in 1928 just arrived, three weeks later than the first request, perhaps because more documents were included.

The Affidavit provided a line for the bride's occupation.  "Swimming instructor" was Fiorita's occupation.
(When she testified for her soon-to-be husband's divorce, her occupation was "the wire act on a bicycle.")
The marriage certificate did not ask the bride's occupation.

Howard Lutter and Fiorita Lorenz married in New York City on October 10, 1928.  This was a second marriage for both of them after divorcing their first spouses.  The packet from the New York City Municipal Archives included copies of the divorce decrees of both parties.

Howard Lutter divorced Laura (Ethel) Winterton in 1927.  The testimony of Fiorita Lorenz and other witnesses painted Laura as disinterested in her husband, children, and housekeeping duties.

Fiorita Lorenz was still married to James Howard Winnie when Howard Lutter and children moved into the Winnie home in Bloomfield, New Jersey.  In 1928, Fiorita divorced James for adultery.  The divorced was finalized September 6, 1928 in Essex County, New Jersey.  Fiorita sailed to France and returned to New York on October 9, 1928.  The next day she married Howard Lutter.

I still need to track down copies of the divorce testimony for Fiorita Lorenz and James Howard Winnie.  The divorce records for Howard Lutter and Laura Winterton can be found on DropBox along with the additional New York City marriage records.

Monday, June 27, 2016

An Exact Match for ODonnell Y-DNA

My ODonnell cousin has an exact match for his Y-DNA test at the 37 marker level at FamilyTreeDNA.

This surname of this Y-DNA cousin is not ODonnell or a variant.  FamilyTreeDNA provides a "Tip" report, estimating the chances that these two individuals share a common paternal line ancestor as we go back through the generations.  By the time we go back seven generations, there is a 95% chance that the lines will have merged.

This match can trace his direct paternal line back about two hundred years to the Isle of Bute in Scotland.  I can also trace back two hundred years, but land in Donegal, Ireland.  These two locations were near enough to be accessible around the year 1800.

If someone is knowledgeable about traveling in Ireland and Scotland in this time period, please weigh in.

Francis Patrick ODonnell was born about 1856 in Killybegs and came to New Jersey, United States, before 1880.  So the lines were separated by an ocean for three generations.  If they arise from the same ancestor, this merging will be found in the early 1800s or 1700s.

If this 37 marker Y-DNA match is related within seven generations, he may share autosomal DNA with any of my ODonnell relatives.  He has not done this type of DNA test, though.

My ODonnell cousin has thousands of matches in his Y-DNA results.  Even an exact match may not be a match at all because of convergence.  Markers change over time.  These two people may not be recently related, but rather their marker values could have mutated towards the same values and are now identical.

So far, there is only one ODonnell match at the 111 marker level.  This is the same person who was the initial top match at the 37 marker level.  Both testers upgraded to 111 markers and still match very closely, 106 out of 111 markers.  Two hundred years ago his ODonnell ancestors were in Boston, Massachusettes. 

Without other ODonnell cousins with similar Y-DNA markers, we cannot be secure in our placement as an ODonnell line based on markers alone.  In an upcoming article, I will demonstrate the necessity of using the markers of multiple distant cousins with my Duryea line.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Photographs in a Series Reunited

A cousin kindly sent me some more family photographs.  (Thank you D.W.!)

A snow scene caught my eye.  My aunt had given me a similar picture a few years ago of a couple standing in snow, the woman holding a snowball.

These people are still unidentified.  Based on who inherited these pictures, they come from the Walling and Winterton branches of the family tree.  They lived in the Keyport area of Monmouth County, New Jersey.

In an earlier article, I compared an identified photograph from a cousin to unidentified photographs I received years ago and determined that they are from the Walling and Winterton branches.

The pictures and heirlooms handed down through the generations are analogous to DNA.  Each child receives different bits of the parent's DNA and passes the different parts down to their descendants.

My branch received some tools from David Uhl (1834-1884), while a cousin received other tools, all marked with UHL to signify the common origin.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

German Y-DNA Match

My father finally has a Y-DNA match at Family Tree DNA.

Both my father and the person who is a match tested 37 markers.  His surname is not Lutter.

(Another person tested 111 markers, but there are too many differences to qualify as a reportable match beyond 12 markers.)

FamilyTreeDNA did not report this new person as a match at the 37 marker level.  When I compared the actual numbers, they have five differences out of 37.  The values are off by only one for each difference.  Without testing additional cousins from these lines, we have nobody else to compare to determine if this man and my father might share a common direct paternal ancestor.

This other person has roots in Germany.  He can trace his direct paternal line to about 1830, which is how many years back I can get on my Lutter line.  His line originated in Treppeln, Brandenburg.  Mine was from Scheibe, Thueringen.  Treppeln is a few miles west of the current border with Poland and is about 180 miles northeast of Scheibe.  If I have the correct Treppeln.