George Wenzel

First Record in America


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What God hath joined together, let not man put asunder - Matt. XIX.6. This certifies that the rite of Holy Matrimony was celebrated between Geo Wenzel of Baltimore County and Catherine F. Kibler of Baltimore City on 8th October 1850 at Baltimore by Rev. Miller, Y. R. Preacher. Witness Mr. Muker, Witness Mrs. Muker”.

The above record is the first known written account in the United States that mentions our immigrant ancestor, George Wenzel. After a thorough search, I have not located him in the 1850 Census. He likely had not immigrated to the United States by July of 1850. It is possible he was missed by the census taker. Another possibility is that he immigrated before July 1850, but was not living at a fixed location.  [When I searched for Wenzel in 1850, I considered serious census taker and transcriber misinterpretations and spelling errors, such as any name starting with a W, V, or M with a third letter of N, M, or T.]

In the 1920s, Annie Virginia Wenzel gave Neva Day Moser and old purse.  Found in the old purse was a photo made from one of the earliest photographic processes.  Two curved pieces of glass are pressed against one another.  On the back of one of the curved pieces of glass, you can clearly see brushstrokes to create the image to be seen on the other side.  The substance put on the glass is very fragile.  The subject's left check had a hole where the substance had come loose.  I used photo editing software to better represent the photo.  I estimate the photo to be from the 1850s.  I could be wrong.  Based on the age of the man in the photo, the date of the photo, and where it came from, my best guess is this is George Wenzel.