Saturday, September 14, 2019

What Constitutes Proof? - Revisited

You may recall my post from 2014 titled What Constitutes Proof. This post has proven to be one of my most popular articles, even years later. In it, I described what I knew about my great-grandmother and what I discovered about what I believed was her family in the 1855 New York state census. There was no proof discovered but I had a lot of circumstantial evidence.

Following the Genealogical Proof Standard, I didn't believe I proved that Elizabeth Dunzinger's parents were Andrew and Fanny Dunzenger, found in New York City, along with Mary A. Dunzenger, who would be her sister, Victoria Seidlenar, who would be her grandmother and Adam Pacoke, who would be her uncle. I only had the one piece of evidence, along with an Andreas Dunzinger, of approximately the right age to be this Andrew, being born in Wemding, Bavaria, which is the town the newspaper article stated the families were from. I did, however, believe it was her family. I just didn't prove it.Given recent genealogical discoveries, I thought it was time to revisit the evidence and come to a solid conclusion. So, here is what I know about my great-grandmother, Elizabeth Dunzinger Panther, listed in the approximate order of when I discovered the evidence.

The family story passed down through the years says that Lizzie was born in New York in either 1854 or 1856. Her grandparents brought her to Burlington, Des Moines County, Iowa to live with relatives after her parents died when she was about three years old.

Her headstone, which she shares with her husband, Alois Panther and his first wife, Monica Hanle. In St. Mary's Cemetery, Franklin Township, Des Moines county, Iowa.
It lists her birth date as April 12, 1856 and her death date as December 24, 1930. We know this is not the original headstone and her death date on the headstone is definitely incorrect.

Her death certificate lists her parents as "Not known".
 It lists her birth date as April 12, 1854 in New York City.

Her obituary was in the Burlington Hawk Eye on December 26, 1929.
It states her death date was December 23, 1929. It also lists her birth date as April 12, 1854 in New York City. It does not list her parents. Information about her children contains errors. (Horace instead of Maurice and Bernard instead of Benedict as examples.)

The Des Moines County, Iowa Marriage Book #10 index lists their marriage on October 22, 1877.
 Lists her as 23 years old and lists her name as Lizzie Donzinger.

Her marriage certificate lists her name as Elizabetha Juliana Dunzinger.
It states the marriage occurred on October 22, 1877 at the Catholic Church of Kingston, Des Moines County, Iowa and was officiated by an Assistant Pastor of St. John's Church in Burlington.

An affidavit signed by P. G. Guenther (see newspaper article, below), attesting to his acquaintence with Alois Panther and "Lizzie Donzinger" and that he sees no problem with their marriage.
 P.G. Guenther was the young Peter George Guenther, who was married to Margaret Victoria Ziegelmueller.

St. John's Church, Burlington, Des Moines County, Iowa marriage book entry lists the witnesses of her marriage as Theodore Panther (nephew of Alois) and Carolina Ziegelmueller.

This proves Lizzie was close to at least one member of the Ziegelmueller family.

A newspaper article titled "Ziegelmueller (and family)", which appears almost like a letter to the editor written by "Virginia Zaiser Williams" at "Rt 1 Briarcliff".

I do not know when this was published or in what newspaper but I would think it appeared in the Burlington Hawk Eye. There is a handwritten note in the bottom margin of the article, which we believe was written by a granddaughter of Elizabeth and Alois that says "These people were relatives of Grandma Panther". This note refers to Lizzie Dunzinger. It states that the Ziegelmuellers and Wagners came from a town called Wemding in Bavaria. The article also mentions the Guenthers including a young Peter G. Guenther.

The 1870 Federal Census shows Lizzie Dunzinger, 17 years old, working as a servent and living in the Charles Wagner household.

The Burlington city directory lists Charles Wagner as proprieter of the Valley Street Boarding House at 413 and 415 Valley Street.
 Many of the church baptismal records of the children of Leonard Ziegelmueller and his wife, Juliana Wagner show Charles Wagner and his wife Walburga as the sponsors. I don't have an image of the church record but a Wagner descendant has confirmed the Wagners were married Oct 27, 1846 in Wemding, Bavaria.

The 1855 New York state census lists the couple Andrew and Fanny Dunzenger, both born in Germany living in New York City, New York County, New York in Ward 20, Enumeration District 2.
  Also listed are their two daughters, Mary A. Dunzenger, 4 years old, and Elizabeth Dunzenger, 1 year old. Andrew's occupation is listed as a "paper stainer". This shows the age of Elizabeth matching up with the age of our Lizzie.

Andrew Dunzenger - M - 32 - born in Germany
Fanny Dunzenger - F - wife - 27 - born in Germany
Mary A. Dunzenger - F - child - 4 - born in New York
Elizabeth Dunzenger - F - child - 1 - born in New York
Victoria Seidlenar - F - 68 - mother - born in Germany
Adam Pacoke/Jacobe(?) - M - 16 - brother - born in Germany

The 1853 New York City directory has a listing for: Dunzinger, Andrew, paperstainer, h. 329 Seventh av.
 Andrew Dunzinger is not found in the 1857 or 1858 New York City Directory. Names surrounding his in the 1853 directory are found in these other directories but not his. This tells me the deaths likely occurred in either 1855 or 1856.

A search request submitted to the New York City Municipal Archives for a birth record for Elizabeth Dunzinger in New York City, New York County, New York in 1854 resulted in no record found.

The book "Jahrbuch der Stadt Wemding 1835-1836", found on Google books, on page 28, lists an Andreas Dunzinger listed as an Oberlieutenant in the local militia.
It shows his occupation as Faerbermeister. This translates along the lines of master dyer. He would be too old to be the same Andrew Dunzinger found in the 1855 New York census but he does have a son named Andreas that would be approximately the correct age. The church records of Wemding list his occupation as a tinctor, which is a dyer. His full name is Georg Andreas Dunzinger. He was married to Maria Francisca Leinfelder on June 19, 1821 in Wemding, Bavaria. His son Andreas is listed as being born February 12, 1822 in Wemding, Bavaria.

The researcher in Wemding found the marriage record in Parish Wemding, book 8, page 95, no. 4, for Leonard Ziegelmueller and Juliana Wagner. They were married on September 11, 1843. Leonard's parents were Paul Zieglmüller and his wife Victoria nee Seefried. Juliana's parents were Joseph Wagner, servant and his wife Juliana nee Laber.

The church around the corner from where Andrew and Fanny Dunzinger lived was St. John the Baptist Church. This church burned to the ground in 1847 and their records were lost. During the period of rebuilding, it appears Andrew and Fanny attended St. Nicholas Church. I found their marriage record in their church records. The transcription lists Andreas Dunzinger, son of Georg Andreas Dunzinger and Franciska Leinfelder, marrying Anna Ziegelmilch, daughter of Dauli Ziegelmilch and Victoria Siefrie.

Lining all of this information up, and rectifying what are apparent spelling and/or transcription errors, I've come to the following conclusion:

Elizabeth Dunzinger was born to Andrew (aka Andreas) Dunzinger and his wife Anna Ziegelmueller Dunzinger in 1854 in New York City. Andrew's parents were Georg Andreas Dunzinger and Franciska Leinfelder, originally from Wemding, Bavaria. Anna's parents were Paul Ziegelmueller and Victoria Seefried, originally from Wemding, Bavaria. Anna's brother was Leonard Ziegelmueller, who married Juliana Wagner and moved to Burlington, Des Moines County, Iowa. In 1855, Andrew and Anna lived in New York City with Anna's mother, Victoria Seefried, their daughters Mary A. and Elizabeth, and Adam Pacoke, whose identity is still unknown but is listed as a brother in the census. Sometime around 1856, Andrew and Anna died, causes unknown, and Mary A. disappears. Victoria Seefried brings Elizabeth to live with Elizabeth's uncle, Leonard Ziegelmueller and his wife Juliana Wagner Ziegelmueller. No later than 1870, Juliana's brother Charles Wagner needed help in his boarding house, Valley Street House, and Elizabeth went to live and work in the home of her aunt's family.

Each single piece of evidence that doesn't prove much on its own supports another piece of evidence, which supports another. All together, they support each other. The fact that the marriage record shows that Anna Ziegelmeuller has the same parents as Leonard Ziegelmueller and that the Ziegelmuellers and Dunzingers are from Wemding, Bavaria, lining up with the newspaper article and the fact that Charles Wagner, owner of the boarding house Elizabeth was found living in in 1870, was the brother of Mrs. Ziegelmueller, I believe, proves that the parents of Elizabeth Dunzinger Panther were Andreas Dunzinger and Anna Ziegelmueller Dunzinger, found in the 1855 New York State Census. And the marriage record and the email from the Wemding researcher explains the identity of the Victoria found in the 1855 New York state census.

I am still missing a few pieces of the puzzle: Death records for Andrew and Anna Dunzinger and whatever happened to Mary A. Dunzinger. The death record for Victoria Seefried Ziegelmueller. Did she die in Iowa or did she go back to New York? Information about Adam Jacobe/Pacoke. He is listed as a "brother" in the 1855 New York state census. Brother to whom? What ended up happening to him? I won't be 100% satisfied until I find the answers to these questions.


1 comment:

  1. Excellent job analyzing and putting all the pieces together, Matt.I agree you've proved the connections.