Geneablogy: An occasional Journal about our experiences exploring our heritage

Thursday, July 13, 2000

I've found the missing Ralph.

The death records for Saginaw county that I needed came into the local Family History Center last Thursday, so last Friday I went in and had a look. Sure enough, there he was, dead on May 30, 1912, at the age of four months, of what appears to be "multiple convulsions". His parents names are given as Ralph Brandi and Anna Washnaski, near as I can decipher it. I suspect the person doing the records at that time didn't know how to spell Wisniewski, because Aunt Yola's mother's name is given as Anna Wisniewski. I've noticed in the county records that there are occasionally corrections made with notations that the correction came from the M.D.V., or Michigan Department of Vital Statistics (I think). So it's not unheard of for there to be mistakes in these records. So I'm going to order the death record from the state and see if I get different answers there.

Incidentally, Ralph's age at death would put his birthdate at about the end of January, 1912, and there was a baby born on January 31, 1912, to a tailor with the last name of Brandi and a woman with a Polish name that very well might be Washnaski, except that I can't decipher it in the shadow on the microfilm from the tight binding of the book. Oddly, though, that baby's name is given as Joseph Henry Brandi. I think it might be the same child; I've noticed other mistakes in the records, such as Bernice A. Brandi being recorded as Antoinette Brandi. Unfortunately, the state of Michigan won't send out birth certificates except to direct descendants for 110 years after a birth, so I won't be able to get his birth certificate until early 2022, twenty-two years from now. I'll have to mark the date in my PalmPilot. :-)

I also got the death record for Philip Brandi, the first child of Ralph Brandi Sr. and Helen Prillwitz. He died on April 18, 1898, age five-and-one-half (although the death record mistakenly lists him as six-and-one-half) of what appears to be tuberculosis (only the "culosis" part of the cause of death is legible in the shadow of the book binding). His mother's name is listed as Helen M. Wendt. Carol tells me that her great-grandmother Helen's mother's maiden name was Wendt. I wonder why they gave that name at the time. Probably just another mistake.

We (Laura and I) found a ton of other stuff last weekend between going to the New York Public Library on Saturday and visiting Laura's parents on Sunday, but it's taking time to put it all together in a format that works here. I hope to post about it in the next day or two.

Posted at 12:05:17 AM