Saturday, July 2, 2011

Sunday's Obituary - Octavia Villers nee Wagner

I've actually got 2 wonderful obituaries for Octavia.  One was sent to me from a cousin that I met through the absolutely wonderful world of message boards (I love those darned boards so very much!).  The other I found during Scanfest last Sunday.

Yes, can you believe that I had the obituary published in Wisconsin for years and didn't know it.  That's why I'm forever grateful that I finally remembered to tune in and do a scan fest.  I knew I had lots to scan, but never seemed to get to it.  This find has certainly motivated me to get down to it and get it done!

So for you long-time readers of my blog (there are one or two of you out there) may recall the murder trial of Martin Joseph Villers that I posted on back at the end of 2010.  Well, Octavia was his wife.  She is my husband's great-great grandmother.  I'm posting both obituaries, because they are a bit different and they therefore give slightly different genealogical information.  It also makes for a pretty good comparison.

The Bismarck Tribune

The following is from the Bismarck Tribune, July 1940:


Funeral Services Will Be Held At St. James Church Monday

Mrs. Octavia Villers, aged pioneer resident of Jamestown and Stutsman county, died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Mary LaJoie, at 6:30 o'clock this morning.

Mrs. Villers came with her parents to the United States 84 years ago from her native land, Belgium, where she was born December 18, 1842.  The trip was made in a sailboat and took six weeks.  The family went to Rosiere, Wisconsin, near Green Bay.  It was 54 years ago when Mrs. Villers came to Stutsman county to Montpelier.  She came to Jamestown over 30 years ago and for nearly 20 years lived with her daughter, Mrs. Ella Naze and since that time has lived with Mrs. LaJoie.

Mrs. Villers was active until about two years ago.  She was a member of St. James Catholic church.  Surviving are three daughters, Mrs. LaJoie; Mrs. Eli Cayemberg, Pulaski, Wis.; Mrs. Agnes Tardiff, Duluth, Minn.; and a son, Louis Villers, Green Bay, Wisc.; 24 grandchildren; 36 great grandchildren and four great great grandchildren.  Mrs. Naze, a daughter, died several years ago.

Funeral services will be held at St. James Catholic church Monday morning at 9:00 o'clock.  The body is at the Daly Funeral Home.  The family requests that no flowers be sent.  The rosary will be said Sunday night at 8:00 o'clock at the funeral home."

The date is hand-written in as July 5th.  No year is given.  Octavia died in 1940 at the age of 97.  She missed her 98th birthday by 6 months. You can also note that her husband is not mentioned in her obituary at all. Not surprising I guess considering his crimes in the region. He is mentioned in the Wisconsin obituary below.

This obituary was taken from a local Wisconsin newspaper.  It's a clipping, so I'm not sure which one, but I'd be willing to bet it wasn't the Green Bay newspaper.  Perhaps Algoma's newspaper:

"Former Rosiere Woman Dies in North Dakota

Word has been received here of the death of Mrs. Octavia Mary Villers, 98, which occurred Friday morning at the home of her daughters, Mrs. Felix Lajoye, Jamestown, N.D.  She was a former resident of Rosiere.  

Unknown Wisconsin newspaper
Mrs. Eli Cayemberg and Walter Cayemberg, Pulaski; Henry and Wilfred Cayemberg, Manitowoc; Mrs. Russell Anderson, Green Bay, and Hubert Guillette, Anston, attended the services which were held this morning at St. James Catholic church with burial in the church cemetery at Jamestown. 

The deceased was born in Belgium Dec. 22, 1842, and came to America in 1854 with her parents Mr. and Mrs. J. B. Wagner, settling in Rosiere.  She married M. J. Villers in 1864 and lived in Algoma for 10 years before coming to North Dakota 54 years ago. 

Survivors are four children, (Florence) Mrs. Eli Cayemberg, Pulaski; (Mary) Mrs. Felix Lajoye, Jamestown; (Agnes) Mrs. Joseph Tardiff, Duluth, Minn.; and Louis Villers, Green Bay; 46 grandchildren and several great grandchildren.  A daughter, Mrs. Prosper Naze, died four years ago." 

No date on this one, but again, I know when she died.  I this obituary they state that she's 98 years old even though they listed her birth date.  Ah well...math!  It's a small point either way.

This last one is the one that I "found" last weekend, and I'm glad that I did.  I've been scanning obituaries that my husband's paternal grandmother collected and have been wondering how they are going to fit into our family tree, if they will at all.  This last obituary gives some pretty great information on her children.  And you know what?  I recognize some of the names.  Scoreboard!  Naturally, the search isn't over with just this obituary.  They are prone to errors.  After all, they aren't submitted by the deceased.  All second-hand information, which may or may not be accurate.  I mean look at the birth dates.  They were off.  Either by the person submitting the information or the person writing the story.   It does give me a great starting point to continue that research though!