Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A Wedding That Defied Comprehension

From the Brooklyn Eagle of May 19, 1896:

Whitestone, L. I., May 19—A peculiar marriage was solemnized here yesterday. The contracting parties were Corporal John Notter of the engineer battalion of Willets Point, and Miss Louise Schlungle of College Point. The ceremony, which was in the German language, was performed by the Rev. Frederick Kroencke, pastor of the German Lutheran church. The groom did not understand German, and the bride, who is not conversant in the English language, would not consent to having an English ceremony. Several times the groom interrupted the ceremony to ask the clergyman what he was saying.


I wonder whether the article got the man's name wrong. The most likely match in the censuses is named David R. Notter. In 1900, Louisa (b. Switzerland) is head of a household in New York. In 1920, David and Louise are listed in Washington DC. That entry says she was naturalized by marriage in 1896, AND he is an engineer for the Army Corps of Engineers.

David's father was -- like Louise -- a German speaker born in Switzerland.


I also had trouble finding them in the census, so you may be right. I'm suspicious of the surname "Schlungle" as well.

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