Frank Speck and Elizabeth Linneman, my great grandparents, were married on 18 January 1915 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I found this marriage certificate for Frank and “Lizzie Lineman” in a file of old family pictures and memorabilia.
Marriage records for this time are available at the Allegheny County Courthouse and I was able to get a copy of their application for a marriage license at the Orphans’ Court. This record provides some details about Frank and Elizabeth:
- Frank reported that he was born in Germany to Peter, deceased, and Agnes, who resided in Germany.
- He lived in Monessen and worked as a hotel clerk.
- He was 28 years old (born about 1887).
- “Lizzie” reported that she was born in Germany to Albert, a miner, and Elizabeth, who resided in West Virginia.
- She lived in Sprigg, West Virginia.
- She was 22 years old (born about 1893).
The above information confirms much of what I know about Frank and Elizabeth, yet there are still come conflicting details. Elizabeth reported that her father’s name was Albert, yet all other records name him as Gerhard Linneman. It is unclear at this time if it was a nickname for him or an error (maybe Frank provided the information to the Clerk).
Elizabeth also reported that she as 22 years old, conflicting with the June 1897 birth date found in her German birth record. This means that Elizabeth was actually 17 years old when she married Frank.
This marriage application also leaves a big question – how Frank and Elizabeth met each other if he lived in Monessen and she lived in Sprigg, which are about 300 miles apart! My current theory is that Frank knew her brother Christian. Around the time of their marriage, Frank worked as a bartender and a hotel clerk, and Christian also worked as a bartender, both in the Monessen/Greensburg area.
The Orphans’ Court record also included the marriage return, which stated that Frank and Elizabeth were married at St. Peter’s Church in Pittsburgh, signed by the Rector, Edward H. Ward.
I looked up St. Peter’s, which was an Episcopal Church in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh. Sadly, this beautiful church was torn down in 1986. Since neither Frank and Elizabeth lived in Pittsburgh, it’s not likely that they were church members, but it still may be worth it to see if the Episcopal diocese has a marriage record as well.
This newspaper clipping was also found in the family memorabilia and I was able to locate it in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette edition from 19 January 1915.
Frank and Elizabeth settled in Monessen after they married and my grandmother Agnes was born just over nine months later on 26 September 1915.
Happy Anniversary Frank and Elizabeth!
 Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, Application for Marriage License and return no. 6374, 18 January 1915, Speck-Lineman; Office of Orphans’ Court Clerk, Pittsburgh.
 Gelsenkirchen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, Geburtsregister [Births], no. 644, Elisabeth Maria Linnemann (1897); Institut für Stadtgeschichte, Gelsenkirchen, Germany.
 Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, Court of Common Pleas, no. 3682, Christ Linneman, declaration of intention; Prothonotary’s Office, Greensburg.
 “St. Peter’s Episcopal Church (Pittsburgh),” Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Peter%27s_Episcopal_Church_(Pittsburgh) : accessed 6 January 2020).
 “Marriage Licenses,” The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA), 19 January 1915, p. 18, col. 7; digital image, Newspapers.com (http://www.newspapers.com : accessed 6 January 2020).
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