Sunday, October 17, 2010

Snagged - - - Sorta

Copyright 2010, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

Been searching for years for Valerie.  Or is that Valarie, or Valery, or ???  Her maiden name might be Buckus.

She was wife # 2 of Man's father.  Marriage during World War II.  Short lived. 

Gotta say right up front, we were never really sure the name was right, or even close, we had NO paper work showing her, only a guess at the spelling of her maiden name.

We have known of Val (let's shorten her name, just for this discussion, since we have so many variables) for a number of years.  This summer it became more important for a while that we really had the goods on her, when they married, when they divorced.  It was a matter of $$, but, that is not the point of this post, became a moot point when Man's mother died.

So, back to the search.

We went to Lansing and tossed down the $$ asking for a divorce record and a marriage.  50% success.  Divorce, bingo!  Female name, Valeria, no maiden name.  Married IN Georgia.  OK, that is verification of Val's given name, and we know where to look for the marriage.  Oh, and a FULL date of marriage.

Georgia has no state wide marriage index (available to the public) that covers 1944.  After a few false starts (another story, another time) we figured out what county to start our search in.  I called down there to determine procedures, got very lucky, a very, very nice clerk actually checked their indexes and came back to tell me, yes, indeedy, the happy couple married there.  Her name, Valeria Bernice Butkus.

Sent $$, shortly thereafter, received Marriage Certificate (typed, not a copy of original) in mail.  Typed name, Valarie Bernie Butkus.  Darn, no parent's names.  Darn!

Another call to my nice clerk, "is there a application for marriage?"  Yes indeedy, there should be, send in more $$ and we will search around for it.  Not quite as positive as my first encounter with her, but, OK, it is only another $11.00, and after all we have spent on this search so far, peanuts.

Off goes another small hunk of $$ to Georgia and yesterday, BINGO!  An envelope in the mail from Georgia, kinda thick, ohhhh, hopes rise - -

Inside:  Copy of the marriage license - - returned to me - - I had sent a COPY so there could be NO error in what couple I wanted the data on. 

Copy of the marriage license, yea another, only this was the original, not a typed copy.  WAHHOO.  Her name:   Valeria Bernice Butkus, a bit different than the typed version.  I can deal with it.

Last in the envelope:  THE application. Has the bride and groom's signatures, always a bonus.  Her name:  Valeria Bernice Butkus.  Has her home address in Michigan, birthdate - - a bit hard to read the day, but, I got a month and a year!!  Where she was born - - ya!!  Her parents names, Anthony Butkus, deceased and Barbara Schultz Butkus, also deceased.

I have been searching for Val and her parents, did some directory work, and some census snooping.  Of  course, Val never shows as Val or any other take off of that name. 

I believe she is listed as Velma in 1930.  The father in that household is Andrew, mother Elizabeth.  In the directories he is Andrew Butkos, she is Barbara.  I found a death on FamilySearch for Barbara, hubby, Anthony, deceased.  Oh, and is par for the course in this time frame, they moved around a lot.

Well, Val, or Valerie, or Valery, or Valarie, or Valaria, Butkus, I snagged ya, sorta.  Just a warning, I am still snooping around for you.

Snooping, snagged, sorta,

SSS - - -

* Graphic courtesy of


hummer said...

I love it. Don't you feel like, 'You can try and hide, but I will find you'. ; )

Greta Koehl said...

Had a similar experience over the past couple of weeks with a family named Borger. Only it wasn't Borger. It wasn't even my guess from the 1900 census - Boyer. Not Boger, another guess. It was Bogar. That brought up plenty of information on the family. Except where it was misspelled Boger, Borga, etc.

Barbara said...

This is an excellent piece of how to find something and not give up. I really enjoyed this, and also the fact you mentioned how nice clerk. Knowing you, I can imagine a follow-up on Val soon.