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Help a Newbie out
Heather Small
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I'm new to this and really don't know how to begin. How do I go about finding my grandparents when I don't know their names??? My father died when I was only 6 yrs old. So I didn't get to know him or his family. My siblings never really ask him anything. They only say he never talked about his side of the family because they had all passed away.. So now the only thing I have to go on is his name and date of birth.. Ervin Elwayne Wagner b.Aug 10, 1929 d. May 20,1983..  and his SS#.. Could someone point me in the write direction?? I would like to find out more about him and his family.
Heather Small
Sweetwater, TN
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RE: Help a Newbie out
Erin Kelley
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Hello

 I did a little research on Ervin.  Can you confirm that he was born in Indiana and lived in the Howard county area..around a town called Kokomo?  I believe I located his family and siblings. 

 So far I know that he served in the military, probably the Korean war between 1951 to 1953 buried at the Dayton National Cemetery in Ohio.   According to his social security death index he was born in Indiana...so I think this is the right family.

1930 US Federal Census

The family was living at 1132 N Phillip St in Kokomo Indiana.

The Head of the Household is Vern Wagner (Ervin's Dad) he is 47 years old making his year of birth approx 1883.  He was born in Indiana and both his parents were born in Indiana.  He was 45 years old when he married the first time.  He rents his home and is a farm laborer.

Nellie A is Vern's wife.  She is 35 years old making her approx birth year 1895. She was 20 years old when she was married for the first time. So she was obviouly married at least once if not more than that prior to marrying Vern.  She was born in Minnesota and both her parents were born in Minnesota.

Shirly W Byron is listed as a step-daughter to Vern.  She is 7 years old and was born in Minnesota.  Mother is Nellie (above) and unknown father were both born in Minnesota.

Marcella Wright is listed as a step-daughter to Vern.  She is 6 years old and was born in Indiana.  Both her parents were born in Minnesota (Nellie above and unknown father.)

Edna C Wagner listed as a daughter to Vern.  She is 5 years old.  Born in Indiana.  Father is born in Indiana and mother born in Minnesota.

Jack Wagner age 2 8/12,  He is a son to Vern born in Indiana.  Father born Indiana and mother born Minnesota.

Ervin E Wagner age 9/12 is a son to Vern.  He was born in Indiana. 

There is a Mildred Youngsman listed as a sister-in-law to Vern.  So she's Nellie's sister.  She is 37 years old was married at the age of 17 and was born in Minnesota with both her parents born in Minnesota.

George E Herren age 18 listed as a nephew to Vern.  Probably Mildred's son.  He was born in Indiana.  His father was born in Indiana and mother was born in Minnesota.

Viola Herren age 16 born in Wisconsin.  Esther Herren age 13 born in Indiana.  Both had father born in Indiana and mother born in Wisconsin.  They are listed as neices to Vern.

So there was quite a large family living together at this time.  Nellie's first two daughters having different last names is odd.  Perhaps an adoption or multiple husbands.  That would take some more research.  Edna Wagner is listed as 5 years old and Vern's daughter but it states he did not marry until he was 45 which was only 2 years prior to this date.  Perhaps a child born out of wed-lock or they got his married age wrong.  Then the two boys Jack and Ervin were close in age.

My first step would be to find your father's birth certificate. This will have his parents names including his mother's maiden which will be important in tracking her further.  The link to the Indiana Department of Health is...http://www.in.gov/isdh/20444.htm.  There is a form you have to download and fill out to mail it in.  The cost is $10.00. 

I can trace Vern (Ervin's father) back.  Wow, in fact I found another researcher working this line.  That may possibly be related through one of Ervin's siblings or Vern's siblings.  I will contact them and see if they are related and try and connect the two of you.  Here is the information  they have listed for Vern Wagner.

Vern Wagner born 9 Sept 1884 in Indiana and died August 1966 in Logansport, Cass, Indiana.  He has no information for Vern's wife so it is essential you get Ervin's birth record.  I would absolutely try and locate an obituary for Vern.  This may help fill in some blanks.  There is a website called Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness.  The URL is www.raogk.com.  There is a volunteer in Cass Indiana that will look up an obituary.  You could contact them and ask for assistance but we will need to get the exact date of death.  You can do this by getting his death certificate from the Indiana Heath Department link above.

He has Vern's parents (your great grandparents) listed as J Warren Wagner born July 1855 in Indiana and died 1908 in Indiana.  His mother is alameda E Keffer born Oct 1857 in Indiana and died 1911 in Indiana.  Vern has numerous siblings listed. Alameda's parents are also listed.  You can also obtain death certificates for both of these people through the Indiana link above.  This may have more information on J Warren Wagner's parents etc.

One more thing- this other researcher has Ervin's brother Jack on his tree.  It is Jack Wagner born 16 July 1927 (which fits with the 1930 census) and he died in 1987 in Kokomo Indiana.

Ok...I know this is a lot of information and it needs to be confirmed it is your family but I think  it is. 

I contacted the Wagner researcher and will get back to you once I hear from them.  I think this is a great start and there are many inexpensive avenues that can be followed to get more information.

Erin

Erin Kelley
Arizona
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RE: Help a Newbie out [2]
Heather Small
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Thank you so much!! I didn't have a clue where to start. I am so happy just to find out my grandparents names.. I will order the birth records so I can confirme all of it.. THANK YOU AGAIN.... and I will let you know what I find!!
Heather Small
Sweetwater, TN
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RE: Help a Newbie out [3]
Erin Kelley
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Heather

 I am so happy to help but now I have more news.  I heard from the researcher who is somehow a cousin of yours.  Vern had a brother Arthur.  Arthur was married to Nellie Roberts and that is where the daughter Edna Wagner came into the picture. Arthur died in 1926.  Nellie married Arthur's brother Vern.  They had two kids Jack and Ervin (went by Wayne or Elwayne.)  I am sure he will have a lot of information for you!

His name is Shane.  Email me at my3blueeyedgirls@yahoo.com and I'll send you his direct email.

Erin

Erin Kelley
Arizona
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