2008: The goal was to flesh out the family of Louisa Wagner McHugh [1849-1906]. [consultants: Joy Price & George Ott] This was my first of five (so far) Problem Solving sessions with George Ott. All have been very rewarding. I knew from census records and Lafayette Co., Wisconsin research that my great-grandmother, Louisa Wagner was born in Missouri, married in Wisconsin and died in Chicago. Her parents, John Wagner and Catherine Laubscher, were natives of Baden.
and settled in Pennsylvania.
This P.S. session provided some nice twists and turns as the week progressed. I had decided that the maiden name of Louisa's mother was Laubscher based on rather poor handwriting on her brother William's death registration. Others had deciphered it as Lancher or Lanscher. The P.S. group was in agreement on it being Laubscher.
The 1850 census for the lead mining district near Fredericktown, Madison, Missouri showed a Margaretha Wagner with children John, Henry and Mary residing with a George Laubscher. The ages and birthplaces were right for Catherine, Henry, William and Louisa. The father for this family was missing, but the Laubscher surname was promising. Lafayette Co., Wisconsin, where the Wagners were found in 1860 was also lead mining country.
Lafayette Co. deeds provided the proof that Margaretha and Catherine were one and the same. George Laubscher and the Wagners acquired land together in Lafayette Co. in 1851. The WI State Census for 1855, showed only Catherine and her three children. Evidently, John had died between 1851 and 1855.
As it turned out, Catherine had three brothers. George and Louis/Lewis had gone to Missouri as miners. Youngest brother Charles remained in Pennsylvania. Both George and Louis both served with Missouri Union forces during the Civil War and returned to Pennsylvania after the war. I was able to order the pensions of George and Lewis from the NARA, which helped flesh out their stories.
Catherine died during the 1880s. Louisa married James McHugh and, after his death in 1898, moved with her children to Chicago. Louisa died there in 1906.
On the Saturday after SLIG, I finally had time to dig into Lafayette Co. probate records which shed some light on the death dates of John and Catherine. In a warranty deed dated 1882 [recorded 1885], Lester Metcalf had purchased 40+ acres from the Wagner estate. Metcalfe wanted to sell the land in 1892 and told the probate court that Catherine had died "10 or more years ago" and John had passed "many years ago." Catherine was alive in 1880, so must have died in 1881 or 82. John's death remained in the 1851-1855 range.