Monday, June 23, 2014




I have learned to be patient when I submit record requests.  However, after about a week to ten days, I start looking through our mail with greater anticipation.  Let’s just call it “hope.”  Having no idea when the records will appear or even if they will, makes the anticipation all the more fun.

Imagine my excitement when I got the mail on June 20th and saw that envelope I had addressed to myself.  Could this be a response, so soon?  I only mailed my requests on June 10th.  You can nearly always tell by the feel of the envelope whether you have a record copy or a piece of paper/letterhead with the disappointing “sorry no record located.”  Most copies of vital records are printed on a different, heavier type of stock than letter paper.  

In this case when I felt the envelope I was hopeful because it was pretty thick. 
When I opened it, I did in fact receive ALL FOUR records I had requested.  Two birth records and two death records.  

    Time for the genealogy happy dance! One girl dancing for joy

Let’s look a the birth records first.  These are for my husband’s grandparents, Henry August Fink and Freada Emma Meta Doller.  

NOTE: If at all possible it is always a good idea to get every vital record available for a person’s life.  Every piece of evidence we gather and cite makes our identification of this person and their link to the family more concrete.

HENRY AUGUST FINK or as his birth record states BABY FINK

FINK_Henry August_birth record_14 Jan 1954_BuffaloErieNew York
State of New York, County of Erie, City of Buffalo    ______Ward


1.  Name of child – Baby Fink
2.  Sex – Male
3.  Color or Race if other than white – left blank
4.  Date of birth – January 14th 1893
5.  Place of birth – Buffalo Gen’l Hospital
6.  Name of father – Geo. Fink
7.  Maiden and full name of mother – Barbara Ludwick
8.  Birthplace or country of father – U.S.   Age 32     Occupation – Coachman
9.  Birthplace or country of mother – Ger  (Germany?)   Age  31
10. Number of this mother’s previous children – 2   How many of them now living – 1
11. Name & address of medical attendant or authorized person in own handwriting – John V. Woodruff (there is an address under the signature which is not completely readable)
12. Date of this return – January 15th 1893

This confirms some information I already had, such as his parent’s names and his date & the city of birth.  That information came from his descendants and from other sources such as marriage, death and census records.  What this does give me is further verification for what I already know, plus some new information such as:
  • the occupation of his father at the time of his birth 
  • how many previous children were born to his mother and how many are now living. 
  • his place of birth at the Buffalo General Hospital
Since Henry Fink and his wife Freada had four children and all of those children were confirmed, I suspect that perhaps Henry was too. 

Would the confirmation record give evidence of his name? 
How do I find out when he was named? 
Good questions.

Now let’s take a look at Henry Fink’s future wife’s birth record.

FREADA EMMA META DOLLER or as her birth record states META FRIDA DOLLER

DOLLER_Meta Freada_birth record_24 Aug 1895_BuffaloErieNew York_enhanced & made darker

State of New York, County of Erie, City of Buffalo   ________Ward


1.  Name of child – Meta Frida
2.  Sex - Girl
3.  Color or race of other than white – left blank
4.  Date of birth – August 24, 1895
5.  Place of birth – No. 73 Harmonia St.
6.  Name of father – John Doller
7.  Maiden & full name of mother – Bartha Killer or Bartha Koller
8.  Birthplace or country of father – Germany    Age  35   Occupation – Labor
9.  Birthplace or country of mother –     “        Age 30
10. Number of this mother’s previous children – 6     How many of them now living – 1
11. Name and address of medical attendant or authorized person in own handwriting – Mrs. N. S. Smith, 286 Bowen St.
12. Date of this return – 8/26/95

These birth records are two years apart.  The forms appear to be the same.  Although I cannot read some of the information pre-printed on the second record for Meta Frida Doller, I am using the first record as a template.  

Like the first record, this one verifies information that I already have such as date of birth and parent’s names.  Here though, the name of the child is slightly different from the name she went by in all the other records I have for her.
Certainly Meta Frida  is not a common name.  Her marriage record, obituary and cemetery headstone all give her name as Freada M. Fink or Freada M. Doller.  The first time I see evidence of the name Freda E. is the 1925 New York state census.  In reviewing the other documents I have for her, I see no other reference to the name Freada Emma.  
I am married to her grandson and friends with another of her grandchildren.  Both of them have always told me she was called Freada Emma Meta Fink aka Doller.  This now makes me question the validity of that second name of Emma. 

Where did that name originate? 
Did she ever use it in any legal capacity or on any records?
Good questions.

Another note about Freda’s birth record.   Her parents John Doller & Bertha Keller are believed to have been married in Germany about 1884.  They came to the United States about 1885 or 1886 (I still need to get further evidence for their immigration).  Freda’s older brother, Irven Doller was born in Germany.  Note that on the birth record it states that there were 6 children previously born to the mother, Bertha, and only 1 of them was still living.  Family lore tells that one child died on the ship on the way to the United States.
Will I ever find proof of birth for the other children?

All of the information on these birth records has been sourced and cited into my Legacy database.  As well as adding an image of the document to the record for both Henry Fink and Meta Frida Doller. 

More questions have been raised by looking at these documents.  But, we have also added further evidence to facts we already knew.
I was going to write about the two death records I received along with these birth returns, but I’m going to save that for another day.

Please share the experiences you’ve had, both good or bad, when you've sent for records. 

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2014   Diane Gould Hall

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I look forward to reading your comments. If you have any connection to the people mentioned in this blog, please let me know. I write about mine and my husband's ancestors and would welcome new information or meeting a new cousin or two. Thanks for visiting and come back soon.