Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Searching for Annie's Maiden name

This is the first in a series detailing my research of Annie Katy Hotz (Shimitz) Holmes and her family.

I was recently contacted by two very distant cousins who are looking for more information about their ancestor, Annie, who I have in my tree. I had her listed as Anna Katy Simitiz and one of them asked where my information came from. When I looked it up I determined that her name came either from the cousin who was asking or another cousin who has a tree at So I decided to find a more reliable source. I do not have a subscription to so I turned to several other sources and often I had access to only an index.

Annie was the wife of Emory O Holmes. Emory was my 3rd cousin, 2x removed so what I had researched on him was minimal. Emory O Holmes was the son of Watson Arabia Holmes and Mary Jane (sometimes Jennie) Loan and was born 22 Sept 1884.
[Iowa Births and Christenings, 1830-1950 @FamilySearch (index only). Three records. Emory Holmes, 4th child of Watson A. Holmes (b. Canada) and Mary J Loan Holmes (age 30 b. Iowa), born 22 Sep 1885 Pleasant Valley Twp, Johnson, Iowa.]

I have Annie's birth as 4 Aug 1879, the exact date given by cousins. On the 1910 census she was born abt 1882 and on the 1920 census Born abt 1881. I could not locate an Annie Shimitz on the 1900 or 1880 censuses at FamilySearch despite the number of spelling variations that I tried.

I also did not find a marriage record by searching for Annie Shimitz so I decided to search instead for Emory Holmes and quickly found their marriage record at FamilySearch, however, her name was listed as Annie Hutz.


State of Illinois, Cook County } ss, THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS

Marriage may be Celebrated between Mr. Emery Holmes
Of Iowa City in the County of ---- and State of Iowa of the age
of 22 years, and Miss Annie Hutz of Chicago
in the County of Cook and State of Illinois of the age of 22 years.

Witness, PETER B. OLSEN, County Clerk and Clerk of the Court of said
Cook County, and the said Court, at my office in Chicago, this 16 day of
Jan'y A. D. 1903. [signed] Peter B. Olsen
County Clerk and Clerk of the County Court

STATE OF ILLINOIS, COUNTY OF COOK} ss, I, Denis Hayes a Catholic Priest
hereby certify that Mr. Emery Holmes and Miss Annie Hutz
were united in Marriage by me at Chicago in the County of Cook and State of Illinois, on
the 18 th day of January 1903
Denis Hayes
______ __ R_ses Church

Illinois, Cook County Marriages, 1871-1920,
Emery Holmes was said to be of Iowa City and thus far I have only found one Emory Holmes in that area. The record says that Emery was age 22 and I suspect he lied just a bit. Annie's age is off by just a year (actually a few months). Emory and Annie Holmes had a son, Leonard J Holmes, who was born in Illinois 1903. I am confident that this is the correct marriage record.

Now that I had the maiden name of Hutz I went back to searching in the census indexes. I could find nothing for Hutz but I did find Anna Hotz.
Iowa State Census, 1885 @FamilySearch (index only). Highland, Washington, Iowa, page 15, family 79:
Franklin Simitz, age 35
Barbra Simitz, age 38
Mary Simitz, age 4
Mary Hotz, age 9
Anna Hotz, age 6
Rosa Hotz, age 4

So now I had found the Simitz name associated with Annie. The question was why were three children named Hotz with the Simitz family? Note that there were two girls in the home named Mary and also two children, Mary Simitz and Rosa Hotz both age 4.

I next looked at the 1880 census where I found two listings for Frank and Barbara Simitz. Tomorrow I will tackle sorting them out.


Anonymous said...

I've been searching for years on my great, great grandmother trying to determine her maiden name. I have several leads but they all have gone nowhere. I don't know if you've already 'solved' your question and your series is about that journey or not. It looks like you've got a good start and I'm interested in the outcome.

Anyone interested in taking up a research project, here's a post on some of what I've done to find my search my great, great grandmother:

Charley "Apple" Grabowski said...

Hi Kay,

While I think I have determined who Annie's parents were there are still some discrepancies that her descendants will have to address. I think I have a couple of more posts to write, the last being a timeline like yours to sum up what I've found and what still needs to be found or looked at.

I hope you find Martha's parents. Based on her marriage license and the other things you have my feeling is that her maiden name was Conn and her mother's maiden name Jester. Ohio is a BIG state to search :-(

Annie in Austin said...

Hello Apple,
I love the way you told this tale!

Did you notice that FamilySearch recently put a collection of many very old Illinois Chicago Catholic Church records online?

I've spent a lot of time on that site lately, so when I looked at the image of Annie's marriage record, the line under Denis Hayes looked like "Pastor St Roses" to me. I guessed it might be in the St Rose of Lima (Chicago) records... check image 63, Marriages 1882-1915... it's Anna Hotz & Emery Holmes, includes names of witnesses.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

PS In lead paragraph wrap-up post change marriage date 1803 to 1903.

Charley "Apple" Grabowski said...

Annie - Thank you so much! I did miss that the Catholic church records were available. Besides the actual record that you found, they also have hand written index pages where Annie's name was written as HOLTZ. So for one event there are three records with three spelling variations!

Annie in Austin said...

Three spelling variations for a single event really is over the top. I've lost count of the spellings for my grandma Anna's name... and when she married my grandfather that just added to the fun. Happy hunting!

Nancy said...

Apple, it's great to see that you're blogging regularly again. Welcome back! I hope you're feeling well.

Don't you just love a good family history to research? This one seems very interesting--and challenging. Those name variations before standard spelling sometimes seem to have very wide variations.