I have an ancestress, Margaretha Karl. I know a fair amount about her, but not as much as I would like. (Isn't that always the case?)

She married Edward McHorney about 1860 (no record that I can find, but children were born in 61/63/65/66/68, and they are listed in the 1870 census (age 28) and 1880 census (age 39) records (living in Jersey City, NJ). The birth records of their children list the mother's name as (various spellings of Margaret) Karl.

She died on 29-Jun-1880. On her death certificate it says that she was 39 years old, born in Germany, and a resident of N.J. for 17 years. Her parents are listed as John Karl and Maria Karl, both born in Germany.

Then - there are a group of people named KARL who immigrated from Germany (landing in Baltimore) in August 1848. A husband, wife, and five daughters.

  • Joseph Karl (age 42)
  • Whilm^a Karl (39)
  • Rosina Karl (25)
  • Marianne Karl (24)
  • Margaretha Karl (11)
  • Minta Karl (9)
  • Johanna Karl (4)

That's not a great match; the parents names don't match, and Margaretha's age is about five years off. However, I have not been able to confirm/refute this connection because I can't find ANY of these people after they arrived in Baltimore. I've looked in the 1850/1860/1870 censuses, (and some state censuses) and come up empty. (Exception: There's a Johanna Karl (age 26) working as a servant in Philadelphia in 1870, and New Jersey in 1885. There's also a Johanna Karhl (age 25) in St. Louis in 1870).

I'm looking for suggestions on how to find these people - the goal is to determine if they are my ancestors or not. If not, then my goal will become "Find Margaretha Karl's family".

  • Hi, welcome to G&FH.SE! While you are waiting for answers, why not reveiw some of the other questions on the site which are similar to yours, such as this one? The answers to other questions may have tips that will help you. genealogy.stackexchange.com/q/248/1006
    – Jan Murphy
    Mar 31, 2019 at 19:05
  • Germans tend to have multiple given names, of which the middle names often get used most, complicating identification. Not solution for you, since the records you referenced in your question each include only a singular given name.
    – bgwiehle
    Apr 2, 2019 at 14:14
  • Usually Germans do not have the concept of middle names as used in the US, but rather the idea of several given (fore-)names without order of preference. Sometimes Germans had more than two first names. Usually the first given name is used when shorten a person’s name unless the order is changed by the person who cares the names. However this might differ in the specific case given.
    – Til Hund
    Apr 3, 2019 at 18:08
  • I found an entry in CastleGarden for a Margaretha Karl reaching to the US in 1872: castlegarden.org/quick_search_detail.php?p_id=5595523 Hope it helps.
    – Til Hund
    Apr 3, 2019 at 18:16
  • I am pretty sure that wouldn't be her, since in 1872 she was married and had five (at least) kids, all born in the USA - but I will check it out. Thanks! Apr 3, 2019 at 21:57


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