Halves, Wholes, Steps and Cousins

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I started my genealogy to-do list for my vacation to my hometown.  One of the things on the list is trying to determine if a particular great-great-grandmother had married 2 brothers. The facts are that Mary was married to William Siffrinn. According to the Census records of 1900 they were married in 1888. Mary’s first Siffrinn child was born in 1877 and I was told that her husband was Louis not William.


I knew that the family had lived in Kane and in the Census they show up, misspelled but living on Hemlock Avenue in Kane, Pennsylvania. The Census also shows that Mary had immigrated to the United States in 1882. William’s immigration shows that he immigrated in 1886. Born in 1848, Mary was 13 years older than William who was born in 1861. He would have only been 15 when Mary had her first child. It isn’t unusual to find that a sibling married another siblings spouse after a death. It is just not something I can remember any relation referring to.


Mary’s first 4 children were born in Germany, including my great-grandfather Peter Louis Siffrinn. This would mean her marriage to Louis would have been in Germany and a bit harder to find. Having searched the available ships records, I have been unable to locate Louis and Mary.


The next trick is to see if I can find documentation on Louis. At the Mckean County courthouse I will be able to look up wills and see if there is one for a Louis Siffrinn between 1883 and 1888. I should also be able to find Mary’s marriage record to William listed at the courthouse. My friends at the historical society may be able to help me located the death notice in the newspaper if I can find the will information at the courthouse. Without the death date, looking for the death notice could be very time consuming, death notices were sprinkled through the paper during that time period and not located in an obituary section. The local directories for that time carried a lot of the surrounding towns and with luck I may be able to locate Mary and Louis living together in Kane before his death.


I could do a little research and located the cemetery in Kane and from there find the birth and death date of Louis. There are several in the area and unfortunately time will not allow that part of the search for this trip. An interesting twist on this family, your uncle becomes your uncle-step-father and your cousin is really your half-brother-cousin. Yikes.



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