Orla Good, b. 1889. Looking for parents, original German surname

+3 votes

Hi All,

Orla Good, b. 13 May 1889, Alabama.  Mother born PA, father born Germany (1930 Census).  I can't locate a single record showing her parents.  I highly doubt her father's name was Good at birth, but I don't know what it actually was.

I've seen the 1880 Census record for Orla J. Good, but I don't see that being her.  It gives her born Ohio and both parents born PA.  Any ideas?



WikiTree profile: Orla Good
in Genealogy Help by Fred Remus G2G6 Mach 4 (40.6k points)

1 Answer

+2 votes
Best answer
Hi Fred,

Have you considered that Good may not be her birth name? The marriage certificate you have provided on her profile doesn't specify that she was a spinster at the time, and she is listed as Mrs. Orla Good. (1912 is late enough that Miss would have been in use for unmarried women.)

This may be a bit of a stretch, but Family Search has this marriage between an Adam J. Good and an Orley Whitmer: https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/XF4T-XK1

Orley's parents Phillip and Catherine are here in the 1900 census, with a daughter born May 1889 in Alabama enumerated as Orvilla: https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/M99Q-ZCR

Something to poke at and think about?

by Erin Breen G2G4 (4.5k points)
selected by Fred Remus
Very interesting!  If that's correct, both her parents were born in Alabama and THEIR parents were born in Germany.  It will take a little while for me to sort this all out, but this is definitely a good (no pun intended) line of investigation.

Thanks so much, Erin!

I'll get back to you when I've figured something out with a little more certainty.
This is working!  I can't believe that the "Mrs." on the marriage certificate slipped by me without notice.  I've determined that Mr. Good's name was Iden, not Adam, that they were divorced and that he remarried in Michigan in 1924.

Thanks again!
I'm glad to hear it was a fruitful lead! (I've had a few records of divorced and widowed women give me the slip, too.) I took another quick spin on Family Search for Whitmer siblings, and like Orla's 1930 census, some records say their father was born in Germany, which opens up a can of worms for Phillip Whitmer. (Did he lie about his birthplace because of cycles of anti-German sentiment in the US? Were his children mistaken about his birthplace? Did he grow up speaking German because his parents were immigrants, and people around him made assumptions?)

Ha! In case you can't tell, I'm excited for you :)

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