Schwitzgebel Genealogy

Peter Schwitzgebel's Marriage Questions

Since the start of my involvement with the research into the Kansas City Schwitzgebels, one of the big genealogical problems concerned the confusion over Peter John's wife or wives prior to his marriage to Katherine Homringhausen. I believe I have that all sorted now, but I've moved the rhetorical discussion to this page for posterity.

The confusion stemmed from the following:

At first glance, it appeared that these were three different women, but I gave it a closer look. Minnie is a nickname for Wilhelmina, so it's not difficult to see where Wilhelmina Long and and Minnie Hoehle have some common ground.

Likewise, Otto's wife may never have seen his mother's maiden name spelled, and Haley is likely the way she heard Hoehle (Höhle) pronounced. But what about the fact that she reported his mother's given name as Katherine? My theory is that it was a mistake. The Wilhelmina Schwitzgebel who died in 1871 had been dead for nearly 50 years by the time Otto passed away, but Otto's stepmother, Katherine (neé Homringhausen) was still living, and I think Otto's wife may have known Otto's mother's maiden name was "Haley" but forgot or didn't know that her mother-in-law, Katherine, was not Otto's birth mother.

And what about the Long surname? I don't have access to Doris Dillon Schwitzgebel's sources, so I don't know where she got the information. However, in light of Otto's birth date and the time of Peter Schwitzgebel's migration to Kansas City, I can't see how there could have been another marriage before Wilhelmina Hoehle. Also, Wilhelmina Hoehle's elder sister, Catherine, married Charles Long. Anyone who has spent any time doing genealogy research can easily imagine how family information obtained in interviews with aging relatives straining to remember the family lore might have gotten the two sisters mixed into such a hybrid identity.

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