My grandfather, Joseph Marschall/Marshall, a.k.a., Big Paw Paw, was a bigger-than-life character who had some really rocky relationships. Though not well-loved nor fondly-remembered by many (that I can find), his story and his family's story seem to demand to be found and told.
I've been reviewing some older research I did previously on Big Paw Paw so I can unearth his parent's and grandparents' stories. Basically, I've been exploring as many of the details of his life I can possibly find in the two places he lived in Texas — Galveston and San Antonio.
In doing so, I researched a little more about his marriage to his first wife, Emma Rosin, who also happened to be his sister-in-law — his oldest sister's husband's youngest sister. (Emma wasn't my grandmother. My grandmother was Big Paw-Paw's Wife No. 4. What can I say? My Big Paw Paw was a complicated man, but his complications have left me records. So there's that.)
St. John's maintains their own records and archives on-site and it's partially online as well. Their church records date to their founding in 1857. Here is a list of what can be found on their website:
Pretty nice, huh? Online and free — magical words that make a genealogist's heart beat faster. Makes their pulse race. Gets their blood pumping ... well, you get the picture.
Big Paw Paw's and Emma's marriage record was not online but a quick email sent to their office yielded, within a few days, a copy of the church marriage record entry that provided the names of the witnesses to their ceremony.
Since its founding in 1857, St. John's Lutheran Church served the German-Texan community in the San Antonio area. And it's still an active church. If you have German-Texan ancestors who lived in the San Antonio area, checking these records just might help you with your family story just as it has helped me find a few more research avenues for discovering more about my Big Paw Paw, his parents, and his grandparents.
And his wives.
And his mistresses.
I told you he was complicated.