Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Exploratory Data Analysis: Alva Monroe Wehrly (1878-1952)

Alva Monroe Wehrly (1878-1952) was my paternal great-granduncle.  What follows is an exploratory analysis of the biographical data I have discovered about him.

1. Vital Records

     1.1. Birth Certificate

          Alva was born December 18, 1878 in Madison Township, Jay County, Indiana1.  The State of Indiana did not require state-wide registrations of birth until after 1907.  Jay County, Indiana only has birth records from 1882.

          1.1.1. Birth Notice in Newspaper

               If Alva's birth was announced in the local newspaper, it has been lost to history.  The Jay County Public Library has newspapers from the late 1880s.  The holdings of the Indiana State Library in Indianapolis do not indicate any newspapers of the time period.

          1.1.2. Bible Record

               I am not aware of any surviving Bible record of the Wehrly family.  Will continue to reach out to extended family in hopes that one does exist.

          1.1.3. Baptismal Record

               I am not aware of any baptismal record for Alva, nor the church affiliation of the Wehrly's.

          1.1.4. Adoption Record

               There is no indication that Alva was adopted.

     1.2. Marriage License

          Alva married Emma C. Yaegar on October 1, 19011, probably in Jay County, Indiana.  I do not have a copy of their marriage license.  Will add that to my list of "to-do" items for my next research trip.

          1.2.1 Marriage Notice in Newspaper

               Will need to search contemporary newspaper accounts to see if mention was made of Alva and Emma's nuptials.

          1.2.2. Anniversary Notice

               Alva and Emma's 25th wedding anniversary would have been October 1, 1926 and their 50th wedding anniversary would have been October 1, 1951.  Will need to search contemporary newspaper accounts to see if any mention was made of anniversary celebrations.

          1.2.3. Divorce Decree

               There is no indication that Alva and Emma were ever divorced, but a search of Jay County, Indiana court records needs to be done.

     1.3. Death Certificate

          Alva died March 8, 19521 in Portland, Jay County, Indiana.  I do not have a copy of his death certificate.  Will add this to my list of "to-do" items for my next research trip.

          1.3.1. Obituary in Newspaper

               Will need to check local newspapers in Jay County, Indiana to see if Alva's obituary was mentioned.  Will add this to my list of "to-do" items.

          1.3.2. Funeral Home Records

               Once I've obtained his obituary, I might be able to identify the funeral home that handled the arrangements and then contact them to see if they have any more records.

          1.3.3. Tombstone Photograph

               Alva's tombstone in the Salamonia Cemetery in Jay County, Indiana2 has been photographed.  The tombstone reads "Alva M. 1878-1952", and his wife is listed as "Emma C. 1882-1964".

               The tombstone was the subject of a previous post.

2. Census Records

     2.1. Federal Census Records

          2.1.1. 1940 Federal Census

               On April 26, 1940, Alva was enumerated as head of household in Madison Township, Jay County, Indiana3, as Alva M. Wehrly, age 61, Farmer.  He owned his home, valued at $1500.  He was born in Indiana and had resided at the same place in 1935.  He had completed the 8th grade in education.

          2.1.2. 1930 Federal Census

               On April 8, 1930, Alva was enumerated as head of household in Madison Township, Jay County, Indiana4, as Alva Wehrly, age 51, Farmer.  He owned his own home, lived on a farm, and owned a radio.  He was married at age 23, and was born in Indiana.  His father and mother were also born in Indiana.  He could read and write and spoke English.

          2.1.3. 1920 Federal Census

               On January 12, 1920, Alva was enumerated as head of household in Madison Township, Jay County, Indiana5, as Alva M. Wehrly, age 41, Farmer.  He owned his own home, and had a mortgage.  He could read and write and speak English.  He was born in Indiana, his father was born in Ohio and his mother was born in Indiana.

          2.1.4. 1910 Federal Census

               On April 18, 1910, Alva was enumerated as head of household in Madison Township, Jay County, Indiana6, as Alva M. Wehrly, age 31, Farmer.  He had been married for 8 years.  He was born in Indiana and both parents were born in Indiana.  He could read and write and spoke English.

          2.1.5. 1900 Federal Census

               On June 2, 1900, Alva was enumerated in the William P. Wehrly household in Madison Township, Jay County, Indiana7, as Alva M. Wehrly, son, age 21, Farm laborer.  He was born December 1878 in Indiana.  Both his father and mother were born in Ohio.  He could read and write and spoke English.

          2.1.6. 1880 Federal Census

               On June 3, 1880, Alva was enumerated in the William Wherhly household in Salamonia, Madison Township, Jay County, Indiana8, as Monroe Wherhly, age 1, son.  He was born in Indiana. His father's birthplace was blank, and his mother was born in Michigan.

     2.2. State Census Records

          The State of Indiana conducted state census in 1853, 1857, 1871, 1883, 1889, 1901, 1913, and 1921.  These, however, were merely for the purposes of legislative apportionment.

     2.3. Agricultural Census Records

          I have not yet investigated these types of census records to see what light they might shed on the Wehrly farm.

3. Military Records

     3.1. Draft Registration

          On September 12, 1918, Alva registered with the Selective Service during World War I in Jay County, Indiana9.  He was 39 years old and his date of birth was December 18, 1878.

           He was farming, and listed his wife Emma as his nearest relative, at R.R. 4 Portland.  He was listed as medium height, small build, with brown hair and brown eyes.

          On April 27, 1942, Alva registered with the Selective Service during World War II in Jay County, Indiana10.  He was 63 years old and his date of birth was December 18, 1878 in Salamonia, Indiana.

          He was farming, and listed his wife Emma as his nearest relative, at R.R. 6 Portland.  He was 5' 6", weighed 200 lbs., with brown eyes, grey hair and a ruddy complexion.

     3.2. Pension Records

          I am not aware of any military service that would have made Alva eligible for pension benefits.  His father did serve during the Civil War, but I do not believe he was ever eligible for minor's benefits.

     3.3. Service Records

          Not applicable.

4. Land Records

     4.1. Deed Records

          Deed records need to be thoroughly searched in Jay County, Indiana to see what records might mention Alva and his family.  Will add this to my "to-do" list for my next research trip.

     4.2. Plat map / county map

          Plat maps and county maps for Jay County, Indiana will need to be searched.  Will contact the local historical society to see what maps they might have in their collection.

5. Supplemental Records

     Supplemental records available for research on Alva include city/county directories, court records and will and probate records.  Will add these to my list of "to-do" items for my next research trip.

Sources:

1. Wehrly, Blaine & Gladys, "Wehrly & Smith Family History." Report to Wehrly Reunion, New Castle, Indiana, 16 August 1970. Photocopy held by author.
2. Salamonia Cemetery (Jay County, Indiana), Alva M. and Emma C. Wehrly marker, photographed by Travis LeMaster, 26 March 2009.
3. 1940 U.S. census, Jay County, Indiana, population schedule, Madison Township, enumeration district 38-8, SD 5, sheet 8A, household 167; digital images, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 27 May 2013); National Archives, Washington, D.C.
4. Alva Wehrly household, 1930 U.S. census, population schedule, Madison Township, Jay County, Indiana, ED 38-8, SD 5, sheet 3A, dwelling 52, family 52; National Archives micropublication T626.
5. 1920 U.S. census, Jay County, Indiana, population schedule, Madison Township, enumeration district 72, SD 84, sheet 5A, household 46, dwelling 46; digital images, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 27 May 2013); National Archives, Washington, D.C.
6. 1910 U.S. census, Jay County, Indiana, population schedule, Madison Township, enumeration district 67, SD 8, sheet 2A, dwelling 45, family 47; digital images, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 27 May 2013); National Archives, Washington, D.C.
7. William P. Wehrly household, 1900 U.S. census, population schedule, Madison Township, Jay County, Indiana, ED 62, SD 67, sheet 2B, dwelling 44, family 45; National Archives micropublication T623, roll 380, page 77.
8. William Wherhly household, 1880 U.S. census, population schedule, Salamonia, Madison Township, Jay County, Indiana, ED 169, SD 6, page 28, dwelling 6, family 6; National Archives micropublication T9, roll 287.
9. "U.S. World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918," digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 19 June 2013); citing World War I Selective Service Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918: Indiana.
10. "U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942," digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 20 June 2013); citing Selective Service Draft Registration Cards, World War II : Fourth Registration : Indiana.

This post was developed as part of the series relating to Building My 2011 Research Template, an attempt to systematically document and source the details of my ancestors' lives. Comments regarding this template and the conclusions drawn in this article are welcomed.
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