I need help determining if 3 girls listed on US 1870 Census are daughters or servants.

+7 votes

On the 1870 US Census, under Frank Metriges (Metzger-264) and Apolonia Gutierrez-336, there are three young woman named Maria Metriges (Metzger-271), Pastora Metriges (Metzger-272), and Josefa Metriges (Metzger-263).  Their profiles show them as the daughters of Frank and Apolonia and the sister of Maria Juana (Metzger) Korte (Metzger-270), Frank and Apolonia's oldest daughter.  I think these three girls are not biologically related for the following reasons:

1) On the 1860 US Census, Apolonia has an Indian servant that shares her last name, Sofia Gutierrez.  I've never seen any family tree on Ancestry or FamilySearch that includes her as a daughter.

2) On the 1870 US Census, Apolonia and Frank are both listed as white but two of the three girls are listed as Indian.  

3) In 1895, the New Mexico Supreme Court issued a ruling on de Cordova vs. Korte.  The three daughters of Viviana Martinez were suing Henry Korte, Frank Metzger's business partner, for half of the business as Frank's heirs.  They claimed that they were his only natural daughters.  Korte's lawyers claimed that Henry Korte's wife, Maria Juana Metzger was not only Frank's natural daughter but that he adopted her as well.  (Apparently Frank didn't believe in marriage.)  There is no mention of three other  daughters with Apolonia.

Part of me says I should just exclude them until I find more information but part of me says I shouldn't be so hasty and I should look for more information first.  The main reason I was happy to find this site is because I know I need a lot more training and  I hoped I could get it from all the experienced people here.  What would you do?

Edit to Add:  It looks like Josefa Metzger might be related.

WikiTree profile: María Metzger
in Genealogy Help by Marcie Ruiz G2G6 Mach 6 (63.8k points)
edited by Marcie Ruiz

1 Answer

+8 votes
Best answer
Here is how I would handle it on Wikitree.

I would put all of the relevant census information on each profile as a source.

I would create a Free Spaces profile for your New Mexico Supreme Court ruling explaining (1) what it is (2) why it is important (3) what it shows.

In the body of the profiles for Frank and Apolonia I would write a paragraph describing the household in 1860 and 1870 and I would put links from each one of their profiles to the three girls and then to the Free Spaces page on the supreme court profile.

THEN I would disconnect the three girls from Frank and Apolonia as parents.

In that way, you have documented your research you did on the three girls and the household and you have preserved your thoughts for future researchers (who knows, that future researcher might be you - you might find more information on this household next year sometime).  In this way you can also keep the links between the profiles by putting the link in the body of the text instead of in the "tree" itself.

Hope that helps.
by Crispin Reedy G2G6 Mach 4 (47.0k points)
selected by Marcie Ruiz
Thank you. I will do this and hopefully get a more definitive answer someday.  In my other work today, I saw a possible connection between the youngest girl who was marked as white instead of indian and Apolonia's oldest daughter from her marriage to Bernardo Martinez.  It's possible she is one of Viviana Martin's daughters with Franck Metzger (and Apolonia's grand-daughter) and was one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit.
Good luck!  By the way this is exactly the kind of thing that DNA might be able to help you out with when you want to get started on that.  I myself haven't done much with DNA yet but there are some good Help pages on here that explain how to use DNA and Wikitree.

Great answer (helpful and fresh), Crispin!

Now: So first I'd copy all a persons basics (a baseline to work from)

Then You copy  in "a paragraph describing the household in 1860 and 1870 ." [How would you know that???]

You'd then "put links from each one of their profiles to the three girls and then to the Free Spaces page on the supreme court profile. " So you'd go back to each's profile copy and try to infer from each profile the distinctive descriptions for each one (yes, or no?).  

Please clarify the following:  " then 'you'd 'put links'" to the Free Spaces page on the supreme court profile." What is that profile and how'd you find it? What, then, would you do there? What kind of link on each and how do you choose what to use?

Really, I'd like to know how to do this, but as you might see above, I've found understanding it to be confusing. It just needs some clear phrasing introduced in the original statements from you. 

Hi Roberta,

I think you've missed my suggestion in the third sentence about creating a FreeSpace profile.  (Forgive me if you know all this already).  A FreeSpace profile is kind of like a blank page here on WikiTree that you can use for whatever you want.  I use a lot of FreeSpace profiles for things like property records, pictures of houses, news articles, or group school photos - things that pertain to more than one person in the same family or even more than one person across several families. FreeSpace profiles are useful because you can create a new page which describes something that "belongs to" more than one profile and then link back to it.  Here is a link that talks about making a Free Space Profile:


The original question mentions a New Mexico Supreme Court ruling about "de Cordova vs. Korte" which pertains to the paternity of the children. I am suggesting that the original poster create a FreeSpace profile specifically for the court case and describe it just as she has done in #3 in her original question. Then she will have a place to write about all of this original research she has done which is relevant to more than one profile, and she can create a link from each page back to the FreeSpace profile.   In this way she can write about the "de Cordova vs. Korte" ruling one time, on one page, and link to the new FreeSpace profile from each individual profile page so that all of the individual profiles will have a link to it.

Hope that makes sense. 

As far as "a paragraph describing the household in 1860 and 1870 I'm just saying the original poster should incorporate the information she already has about each census into the individual profiles.  Hope that helps!

Crispin --I hope you find my message above to you, written but not activated (I find this morning) from yesterday. I want to be able to do that, so I've asked for specific instructions where you've thought you'd given  them already. I hope you can provide them. I want to do a better job of my work here on Wikitree. I think you'll understand. (My computer wants to spell your first name incorrectly even though I have copied it as you've written, sigh.)
Crispin, I'll need to study it. Sigh. OR I hope I'm not losing my memory.
Hi Roberta,

The original poster (Marcie) had a very specific thing they wanted to do with regards to the three girls who may or may not have been daughters.  The purpose of my advice was to give her a way to document what she had found.  You may not need to follow MY advice if you are just doing general WikiTree work on your profiles.

But if you are interested I think the most important thing to understand about what I told her to do was the idea of Free Spaces. Try and read up on the link I posted about what they are and why someone would use them.  Hope that helps!

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