Monday, July 23, 2012

Mystery Monday - Otto Is Not The Only Dork

When I last left off on my tracking of Otto Dork and his origins, he was living in Lansing, Ingham, Michigan. I knew his wife and children. But where did Otto emigrate from? Who was HIS family? The census records to this point named West Prussia most often as his place of birth. But not only did West Prussia encompass a very large area, its borders also moved though time and wars and rulers. It was a clue, but not a big one.

I knew Otto was born about 1870, but that gave a me huge 30-year gap between birth and a full-fledged family in 1900. None of the census records had anyone except immediate family members living with him. I did know that he had to have married in approximately 1892 using the years of his children's births as a starting point.

I decided to start a possible sibling search. The problem was, I had little clue as to who his siblings might be. Using the FamilySearch International Genealogical Index, I got a few hits on the surname "Dork" and the county of "Ingham" and marriages between 1880-1900. [These same records later were digitized, below.] That was as good a start as any!

  • Johanna Doerk to Johann Beck in 1886
    • Johanna born in Charlotten Werdez

  • Auguste Doerke to Albert Emil Sanders in 1884
    • Auguste born in Charlotteworth

  • Carl Herman Doerk to Louisa Massuch in 1885
    • Carl born in Charlottenwerth

  • Otto Doerk to Minnie Kopkau in 1893
    • Otto born in ... Germany (oh come on!!)
    • Parents are Carl Doerk and Carrie Popka
Snips from Michigan Marriages, 1868-1925

So the good news is that I know had three additional marriages for similarly named and aged Dork's who lived in Lansing. This new three were also born in most likely the same village in West Prussia. Thank you to the State of Michigan and whomever completed these records for providing the details!

The bad news is, while I have built a circumstantial case for Otto's siblings, there is no actual record tying them together.

To be continued...
© 2012 Sally Knudsen