Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Finding John Glen/Jan Glein's Father

As I described in my previous post, I have been researching John Glen #319928 (1864-1939), a family friend of my maternal grandparents.  I found his passenger manifest when he immigrated to New York City, but I wanted to find his parents, whose names were unknown.

First, I tried plugging in all the information that I had about him into Ancestry and FamilySearch, but I found nothing useful.  I got a lot of family trees that had been put up by descendants of his wife's family [Aganetha Heidebrecht #319927 (1882-1947)], but they had no information about his parents.  I decided to try his marriage license, death certificate, and obituary since those are common sources for parents' names.

Since he was Kleine Gemeinde, I figured that Christlicher Familienfrend, the denominational paper of the KG, would be the most likely place for an obituary.  The nearby Mennonite Library and Archive at Bethel College in North Newton, Kans., has the Christlicher Familienfreund, and it was easy to find his obituary in the July 1939 issue, the month after he died.
J. H. Reimer, “Todesberichte Johann Glen,” Christlicher Familienfreund, July 1939, p. 4, Mennonite Library and Archives, Bethel College, North Newton, Kansas.
Unfortunately, it gave no information about his parents.

From Grandma I knew that he had married on 7 May 1905, in Jansen, Nebr.  Recently I was in Fairbury, Nebr., the county seat of Jefferson County where Jansen is located.  The FamilySearch wiki for Jefferson County, Nebr., reports that the county kept marriage records from 1864, so I should be in luck.  And the county clerk indeed had his marriage record to Aganetha Heidebrecht.

Marriage license, John Glen to Agnes Heidebrecht, 7 May 1905, Jefferson County, Nebraska, Marriage Record G:272, County Clerk, Courthouse, Fairbury.
And the marriage license gave his father's name as Frank Glen but his mother's name was unknown.  This made sense because John Glen's youngest son was named Frank as well - he must have named him in honor of his father.  Even though I was a touch disappointed that it didn't give his mother's name, I was thrilled to find his father's name.

I'm sure that his father's real name was not "Frank Glen" because "John Glen" was the Americanized version of his Polish name, Jan Glein.  So his father's surname was surely "Glein."  And Franciszek is the Polish version of the name Francis or Frank, so I am sure his father's real name was Franciszek Glein.

I think it says something that he didn't know his mother's name.  Most likely his mother died when he was young.

BTW, I haven't checked the death certificate yet, but it would be interesting to see if the informant knew his mother's name, although I doubt it.

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