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Two photos of Mina Hintze Wernse.

Below: Mina, about age 10 (so photo taken c. 1860).

Below: No date for this photo but my guess would be around 1900 given the clothes she’s wearing.

My gr-gr grandfather, William F. Wernse, married Mina Hintze (in the photo above). There’s been hardly any info about her passed down through the family, and now that everyone is gone, I’m on my own to see what I can find. I’ve been able to gather bits and pieces about her family but it’s not much. Thus far I have only a handful of sources I’ve gleaned some info from (her death certificate, an old copy of The Central Magazine, Vol. VI, No 5, Nov. 1875, and internet census reports). Here’s what I’ve found out:

- William F. Wernse and Mina Hintze married in 1869 (Central Magazine).

- She was born 28 OCT 1850 (death certificate), though that doesn’t jive with the 1880 census.

- Born in St. Louis, MO (death certificate).

- Her father’s name was Henry Hintze (dc) and her mother’s Sophia __?__ (1880 census), both from Germany.

- She graduated with academic honors from the Ursuline Convent at Alton, IL (Central Magazine).

- Her occupation was listed as “housekeeper” (1880 census; death certificate).

- She died on 4 DEC 1930 at age 80 (death cert.).

- She was buried 6 DEC 1930 in Bellefontaine Cemetery, St. Louis, MO (death cert.).

- She and William had 14 children.

I don’t know if “Mina” is short for Wilhemina, though it’s likely. Her death certificate identifies her as “Minnie Wernse”.

Below is a photo of Wm. F. Wernse, I believe, in his civil war uniform. I don’t know what type of photograph this is, but it seems to be the original. The image below is digitally enhanced as the original is too dark to see.

Below is the Civil War enlistment document of Wm. F. Wernse. Transcription follows.

No. 21022

STATE OF MISSOURI,

ADJUTANT-GENERAL’S OFFICE

City of Jefferson, Aug 25, 1896

It is Hereby Certified, That according to the Records

of this office, Wm F. Wernze (should be spelled “Wernse”) Enlisted on

the twenty eigth day of August 1861, at Nashville Illinois and was mustered into service as a

Private in company E., Tenth Regiment Infantry Missouri Volunteers for ——– years

unless sooner discharged, on the thirty first day of

August 1861, at Pacific Mo and Mustered Aug 24, 1964

(signature) J A ___?___

Adjutant-General.

This certificate is furnished free of charge upon application of the soldier or any member of his family.

Above: Photo of William Frederick Wernse taken around the mid-19th century.

A recent internet find was that of a biographical sketch of my gr-gr-grandfather, William Frederick Wernse in a recently uploaded copy/scan of the Bench and Bar of St. Louis, Kansas City, Jefferson City, and Other Missouri Cities (Published by the American Biographical Publishing Company/H. C. Cooper, Jr. & Co., Chicago, 1884), which featured biographical sketches of various figures in those regions whose employment was involved in law. Below is the bio on William Wernse, p. 207 & 208:

William F. Wernse.

Saint Louis

William F. Wernse is a brother of H.H. Wernse, a banker of Saint Louis, who has been engaged in the banking business for many years. William first came to Saint Louis in 1855, but removed to Illinois the same year. he attended the public schools in Illinois, where he lived until 1861, when he entered the United States service, serving with honor until 1864, and was in many of the battles of the Army of the Cumberland, and the Tennessee. In 1864, he engaged in the banking business, and continued until 1874, working in various capacities, commencing as messenger, and by industry, energy and by his superior business capacity, by gradual promotion obtained the position of cashier. In 1875 he entered the law department of Washington University, at Saint Louis, and is a graduate of the class of 1877. He was admitted to the Saint Louis bar and to the bar of the United States courts, and practiced law successfully until 1879. he is now editor of the “American Law Digest and Legal Directory” and the “American Banker’s Manual,” on which he has bestowed years of unremitting labor, and distinguished capacity, and enjoys a large patronage for these publications in all parts of the country. As a writer he is careful, accurate and discriminating, and has as aides in his work much of the best legal talent of the United States. Personally, Mr. Wernse is exceptionally courteous, kindly and gentlemanly in all his business and personal relations.

The information above is part of the book project Google is participating with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible and useful.

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CBC Genealogy Series

Over the fall of ’07 and through the winter of ’08, the CBC has been airing a  half hour television series called “Who Do You Think You Are?”, “a genealogy series in which 13 well known Canadians set out to discover their family roots”.  I think I’ve seen every episode aired thus far and I can say, it’s fun and intriguing to watch each of these people explore their family history.  “Who Do You Think You Are?” is presently airing on CBC TV on Thursday evenings at 7:30 p.m. est.

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