Saturday, January 9, 2010

Great-Grandma is still a Riddle Wrapped in a Mystery

I've talked before about my mysterious Great-Grandmother, Elizabeth Obendorfer Domelle. For years I didn't even know for sure what her death date was, but eventually I came across the "Jasper County, Indiana Funeral Home Records of Rensselaer & Surrounding Areas" and found this on page 129:

Domelle, Elizabeth
b Nov 29 1877 Vienna Austria
d Apr 14 1958 Dyer IN
sp Wm

Inexplicably, I can no longer find that source in, but that's a different blog post for another time. Also, remind me to vent about the annoying dys-functionality of using the tab key when filling in search forms. WHY does it skip the last name field??? WHYWHYWHY!!!!!

But, anyway, fortunately, I don't need the reference because I was able to order the actual death certificate. Indiana is one of the states that requires 18 different forms of identification for you and your ancestors in order to get a certificate. I sure hope they tell the truth when they say they shred everything.

Anyway, oh happy day, earlier this week I got the death certificate annnnnddddd....I don't really know that much more than I did before. Oh well.

The informant was her son Anthony, and I guess he never knew her parents names either. I do have a bit more of family medical history, which is good to have, apparently she had diabetes and severe generalized arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).

What I do know about her is what my grandfather has told me, things like how wonderful of a cook and baker she was (as in, how when she made pastry dough, she would stretch it out so thin it would cover the whole table and you could see through it!) and that she told them that her father was in the Austrian army (family lore says general), and once, she was so hungry back in Europe that she ate grass. Maybe that's why she loved cooking so much...

Also, she called herself an orphan, but there's also other family lore where she called herself a twin as well. She didn't talk that much about herself. So remember that the next time you are around an older relative...get them talking!!!

Next for me I guess is to try to locate the marriage certificate for her and my great-grandfather. It's probably in Chicago, around 1912, but that's all I know. Wish me luck!


  1. Quite an interesting story. Good luck in finding the missing stories that perhaps the Marriage Certificate might tell.

  2. I have enjoyed reading your blog and have awarded you the Happy 101 Award. You can pick up your award at Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories

  3. Leah, I enjoy reading your blog and I too have given you the Happy 101 Award!

  4. Leah,

    I have a lot of relatives from Jasper County, IN. Generally, I found much more information on Indiana marriage certificates and licenses than from death certficiates. Have you tried for the marriage certificate? They have digitized a lot of Cook County, Illinois marriage certificates from that time period. Good luck in your research.

    I too awarded you the Happy 101 Award! Congratulations!

  5. Leah, if time ever permits and it's not too far from your home you should try to visit the Valparaiso public library. They have a pretty nice genealogy department with lots of information on Indiana. Many books with indexes for not only Jasper county but White County, Lake county, and many more. You wouldn't by any chance have any Hanaway's or Kleckner's on your family tree would you? Who know's---we may be distant cousins! Laugh often friend!

  6. Hi, I just gave you a Happy 101 Award. Go to My Ancestors and Me at to learn more about it.