Sunday, February 18, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 7 - Valentine

This week's 52 Ancestors prompt  is "Valentine". Is there a love story in your family tree? Maybe a couple was married on Valentine's Day or you have a valentine that one ancestor gave to another. Maybe you have an ancestor named Valentine. 

I wish I knew the stories behind some of my ancestors' marriages, but I don't have any love stories or Valentines that have been passed down. Nobody named Valentine either! I found one Valentine's Day marriage in my family tree and it's for Bertha Rose Niehaus and Joseph Frederick. Bertha was the sister of my great-grandmother Anna Niehaus Creeden.

This newspaper article about their wedding was published in the Celina Democrat on February 17, 1911. I noticed that my great-grandmother isn't mentioned in the article. She gave birth to my grandfather 2 days before the wedding, so was probably recovering from the birth. 

There was a lot of information in this article. The wedding took place in the Catholic Church of Celina (Immaculate Conception) at 6:30am and was celebrated by the Rev. Fr. Ernest Hefele. The bride was attended by a younger sister, Miss Carrie Niehaus and the best man was a brother of the groom, Clarence Frederick. A wedding breakfast was served at the home of the groom's parents after the ceremony.

The groom was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Frederick and worked at the furniture factory. He was a pitcher for the local baseball club. The bride was the third daughter of the Infirmary Director and Mrs. Henry Niehaus. She was a graduate of both the Parochial and Public High Schools and taught school in the county,. She resigned her position in West Jefferson the month before the wedding. They lived in a home purchased by the groom on Lisle street.

Several years of the Celina Democrat are available on the Chronicling America site. They always listed their marriage notices under "Cupid's Victims" which is a tad quirky, but makes them easy to search for!

#52Ancestors is a series of weekly family history prompts developed by Amy Johnson Crow.


  1. It would be interesting to discover the story behind the marriage of Joseph and Bertha. Six-thirty on a week-day morning is a unique time to get married, even in a Catholic Church. Did they get married before or during the Tuesday morning mass? It was a very quiet wedding considering how well known and popular the two young people were.

    1. Louise, I wondered the same thing about the early morning wedding. I took a look at more of the wedding notices in the Celina Democrat and the early morning weddings were really common at the Catholic church there. They were often followed by breakfast at the house of the groom's parents. The articles usually just mentioned the maid of honor and best man, so it's hard to tell how many people were in attendance. I'm guessing the weddings were before the morning mass, but I didn't find any mentions of that either way.