Much Ado about Jennie Rose

You may not think the first wife of a 1st-cousin thrice-removed “deserves” a lot of research time. But there is a woman in my tree that’s been pulling at me of late, so today I’d like to give Jennie Rose (Beckley) Schmitt her 15 minutes of fame.

Jennie’s husband Arthur J. Schmitt, the son of my 2nd great-grandmother’s brother, intrigues me. His parents lost two sons before Arthur was born. He was just 14 years old in 1896 when cancer took his mother. Two years later his father died. Despite what was surely a difficult childhood, Arthur J. Schmitt became a success in business and found happiness in his personal life. But only after surviving at least one more significant loss.

Arthur and Jennie appear together on just one census record; the 1910 census taken April 15th in Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Ohio:

1910 US Census OH Schmitt, Arthur and Jennie

1910 US Census OH Schmitt, Arthur and Jennie

This one census tells us quite a bit, however. Arthur’s father [Emile Schmitt] was born in France and his mother [Mary Kauffmann] was born in Ohio. This confirms information I found in other sources. He works as an Assistant Secretary at a bank. I know that Arthur later became an executive with the bank, so his occupation provides another confirmation that we have the correct man.

Column 9 asks how long the couple has been married. It looks like Arthur and Jennie tied the knot around 1905. In the Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-1994 collection on FamilySearch, I found this wonderful treasure:

1904 Marriage Record Schmitt, Arthur and Beckley, Jennie

1904 Marriage Record Schmitt, Arthur and Beckley, Jennie “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-1994,” index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 15 Jul 2014), Arthur J. Schmitt and Jennie Beckley, 08 Jun 1904; citing Hamilton, Ohio, United States, reference p 63 rn 63; FHL microfilm 355073.


So, they were actually married on the 8th of June 1904. Armed with additional information provided in the record above, I was able to find Jennie in the only other census in which she would appear:

1900 US Census OH Beckley Jennie

1900 US Census OH Beckley Jennie

Jennie Rose Beckley Schmitt died of pneumonia in 1912. This is a copy of the index card created by the Cincinnati Health Department housed at the Digital Resource Commons at the University of Cincinnati:

1912 Ohio Death Card Schmitt, Jennie Rose

1912 Ohio Death Card Schmitt, Jennie Rose

Jennie is buried at Spring Grove Cemetery in Cincinnati Ohio. Sharing the plot is her husband of nearly eight years and his second wife.

6 thoughts on “Much Ado about Jennie Rose

  1. What a beautiful marriage record! Well, she certainly didn’t live long past her wedding. What a shame. I consider anybody who is connected to my family “fair game” for the family history blog :). How did you find this marriage record?


    • I am frequently “distracted” by interesting stories in my collateral lines! 🙂 The clues they provide often move me further along in my direct lines, so to be honest, I always feel it’s time well-spent. My Schmitts and Muellers from Cincinnati and Chicago stayed connected over several decades. Their stories tend to overlap which makes each one worth investigating – not to mention interesting!

      The marriage record was in the Ohio Marriages 1800-1958 Collection on FamilySearch, although when I checked today, the image was not available. 😦


  2. Jennie Rose (love the name) is part of your family tree, so she’s worth the research time even if not a direct ancestor.

    I’ve several people I’m pulled to like that. One is my gg grandfather’s first wife, Sarah Miller. All I know of her origins is her date of birth in Davidson Co TN, and that she moved to IL “with family.” She became a teacher, and married my gg grandfather in 1833 in Athens, Sagamon Co. IL, and they embarked on the life of Methodist itinerant preachers. I know a lot about where they were after that because the Methodist church kept good records of where they assigned their preachers. Their only child was born in 1848. Since that was 15 years after their marriage, there must have been some heartbreak–or just resignation to the Will of God?–before the joy of his birth. The following year they were sent to Liberia as missionaries, where that child immediately died of “African fever.” Sarah died of it in March 1850, while her husband was back in the US trying to convince the Mission Board to provide more money. I have the obit he wrote for her. He goes on and on about what a fine Christian woman she was, but never says who her parents are. With a common name like that, I have spent years looking for her, but fear she will be a brick wall forever. I do have a picture of her, which must have been taken in 1849, before they left for Liberia. All those corsets could not have helped the health of a woman living in the tropics!

    I also took a look at your related article “Girl to Boy, Man to Woman.” Another powerful story. Even today, young people can struggle being intersex unless they have understanding parents.


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