|Marriage record for Frank Hill and|
people I was looking for. Record 389 in the upper right corner was exactly what I was after. It was even a spot on match for the marriage date that I had from family records... 18 Apr 1901.
As I read over the record, all of the information just seemed to flow right along with what I knew until... Wait a minute....there where it says "that he was _______ previously married"...ummm...does that say "once" in that blank?!?! I quickly scanned the other records on the page to see how that blank was filled in. Perhaps I was just misreading the handwriting. No, all of the other records Everything that I have to this point, including information from my mother and her sister, indicated that Frank Hill was only ever married to Clara Paessler.
clearly read "nah" in that blank. Ok, this doesn't make any sense.
|Marriage Record for Frank Hill and Anna Clark|
I had only one thing that I could possibly go on...the signatures on each record for Frank J. Hill. I blew up both documents and put them side by side on my monitors. And started to examine them. I am by no means a handwriting expert, and the signatures are microfilmed copies of records that are over 100 years old with the signatures being about 5 years apart, but.... They look close enough to me to have been made by the same person. The way the "r" and "k" are written in "Frank" and the connection between the "H" and "i" in "Hill" are near identical.
|Signature from 1896|
|Signature from 1901|
So, it would appear that my simple search for a marriage record may well have turned up the very, very unexpected result of finding a "skeleton" in my great grandfather's closet! I'm not taking this as true proof of anything yet. I plan to keep digging and searching for more known signatures to see what other evidence I can find, but I have definitely re-learned one of the lessons of genealogy - expect to find the unexpected!