Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Amelia, his wife

In the never ending battle for paper organization of my genealogy "stuff," I ran across a death certificate that I received last summer from Topkea, Kansas. I was so thrilled when I got it, but had trouble reading it at first. I put it on my table and it sank into the paperwork and got lost. Until the other day.

I've blogged a few times about my great-great-great grandfather on my mom's maternal line, Karl Kline. This is about his wife, Amelia. What I can gather about her life from what little family lore I have, the sparse census records, as well as some reading on life for women as Kansas pioneers, she had a tough life. I'm not ready to blog about some of those details, as I'm still working on some of the research.

Amelia survived her husband by about 17 years, passing away on July 28, 1923. They are buried together at Highland Cemetery in Marion, Kansas. I put the death certificate up on my Facebook page and solicited some help in reading the document from my friends.

One of my new Facebook friends is also a descendant of Karl and Amelia. I had seen her posts on family history bulletin boards and websites, but didn't know who she was. I did a little digging and realized we were related...her mother was my great-grandmother's little sister. So my new friend and I are first cousins, 2 times removed. She still lives in the area that Karl and Amelia lived in. I'm hoping we can collaborate more in the future on our mutual family lines. She gave me some interesting insight into Amelia as part of the death certificate deciphering.

Some of what was reported on the death certificate confirms information I had before. Here is what I learned about Amelia from her death certificate, with much thanks to my friends and family on Facebook for some additional insight:

  • She was born in Germany. Some earlier census records report it as "Prussia," which by 1923 had become part of Germany.
  • At the time of her death, Amelia lived with her youngest daughter, Daisy, and her husband George Powell. In fact, George is the informant for the death certificate.
  • Her maiden name was Windel. It asks for her father's name it says "Don't know, Windel" I've seen the name spelled elsewhere as Wendel, as well. Where it asks for the mother's maiden name, it also says "Don't know." My new-found cousin tells me that Amelia did not speak much English, so it was difficult to get information from her on her ancestry. (Did Daisy not speak German?) Perhaps this wasn't considered important by them at the time. I know many people who don't seem to think their stories are important. (How wrong they are!)
  • She died a week after her 81st birthday.
  • Her cause of death was central stenosis, a heart valve disorder that involves a narrowing or blockage of the opening of the mitral valve, which separates the upper and lower chambers of the left side of the heart. She suffered from this disease for 2 years, 3 months and 10 days.
Karl and Amelia have captured my interest for some reason. I have a lot more to share about them, but its too soon yet. I am still in the process of learning and gathering information. I was thrilled to connect with my new cousin who also is a granddaughter of the Kline's. Are there any more of you out there?

Here's the actual death certificate:

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