Sunday, May 8, 2011

Emma Sargent's Tombstone and More

This is the tombstone of Emmar Osenbaugh from the Iowa Veterans Home Cemetery in Marshalltown, Iowa.
Does it say "Emmar" or "Emma R"? Based upon other records on her, I'm inclined to think it was actually Emmar, but comments can be posted to this blog post for those who have other thoughts.

Emma was married six times as shown below:

Groom (name transcribed on FamilySearch)
Bride (name transcribed on FamilySearch)
18 March 1856
James W. Pollard
Emily Sargent
Appanoose County, Iowa
23 March 1871
Robert Ross
Emma Pollard
Lincoln, Lancaster, Nebraska
17 Feb 1874
Joseph H. Oades
Emma Ross
Lancaster County, Nebraska
11 March 1881
James W. Pollard
Emma Sargent Oads
Cromwell, Union, Iowa
14 February 1883
David Snavly
Emma Sargent Pollard
Cromwell, Union, Iowa
7 July 1896
John Osenbaugh
Emma Snavely
Chariton, Lucas, Iowa

We discussed formulating our search strategies for her divorce in issue 34 of Casefile Clues and we'll have further information on her as it is located. 

As mentioned in the newsletter, it is important to keep in mind our goals when searching Emmar--and that is to locate information on her brother Ira Sargent, the actual ancestor. 

Image posted from with permission of the submitter. We'll have a complete citation in the issue of Casefile Clues when the image is used. 


  1. From Case File #34 you state she was married 6 times (and from the records listed) but you posted only 5 above.

    I would agree that it might possibly be "Emmar." I wonder if it is a pronunciation issue. As someone from the south, many of the older generation around here referred to people named Emma as "Emmer."

  2. Not looking at the actual married record document, but seeing the transcription 5 times of Emma and one of Emily, maybe there was a middle name she did not like to use, but family put the initial on the gravestone? Did she have a daughter with her last husband John Osenbaugh? That could have resulted in a second Emma Osenbaugh, which would possibly move them to using an initial on the gravestone?
    that's my 2 cents...Kat

  3. Would you mind sharing how you get the nicely formatted tables into your blog? Pretty please...

  4. MHD- I use blogger to create/maintain the blog. I simply took the table that was already in Microsoft Word (where I created it for the newsletter) and copied the table into my blog post. If that doesn't work for you, let me know and we'll see if we can figure it out.

  5. If it werent' that it does list her husband as John Osenbaugh,I'd have said that her name was Emma Rosenbaugh based on your recent posts about consonants dropping off of names. And I would have guessed that they didn't have room for the "R" on the next line. Another thought: I've seen the female name Emmorette before.

  6. Anonymous raises a good point--but on this stone, they would have had to do something similar with her husband's name which also appears on the stone. But I have seen names split in strange ways on tombstones before.

  7. It also appears to me that the spacing between the "A" and "R" are the same as between other letters in the first name. That's apparent only at the bottom of the legs of both letters, and it's hard to be positive because of the black spot on the stone.


  8. Going by the spacing, I would say it is EMMAR but had to chuckle when I read the comment by Carla C which reminded me of my grandmother who was born in WV. I sat down with her around 1970 and started recording names of her family and almost every name that actually ended with an "a' suddenly ended with an "r" when she said them. Her cousin Cora was Corie. Corda became Cordie. Alpha became Alfie. When she gave me Alfie's name, I wrote it the way it sounded but when she saw it, she actually got mad that I had spelled it wrong so I had her spell it for me and she gave me Alpha. I explained to her that I could only go by the way she gave it to me and she did call him Alfie ~ lol


  9. I think it looks like "Emmar" and agree that it could be a dialectical issue. My great-grandmother's name was "Morning" and on her tombstone it is spelled "Marning"--perhaps just a misspelling, or possibly due to the regional Texas twang. (Other spelling variants have included "Mourning" and "Mournery".)

    So my guess would be "Emmar" for the above.

  10. I would say the R is an initial. It could very well be a pronunciation issue. Several of the federal censuses show her as Emmar and others as Emma. One individual did submit a correction for the 1895 Iowa census to change it from Emmar Snavely to Emma.