Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wedding Wednesday: Marriage of Michael Bilse and Wilhelmina Fensterer

August 4th, 1861 entry in the Diary of James P. McPherson, Springdale, Wisconsin
James Peter McPherson,  kept a diary, nearly daily, from the time his 1850 arrival in Wisconsin until his death in 1900. During that time he served in a number of elected positions, including Justice of the Peace.   In 1861, having again  been elected as Justice of the Peace, in the small village of Springdale, Wisconsin,  he performed many marriage ceremonies in the area.

On August 4th, 1861,  he made the following entry:  "4th Sun. At Morichs.  Married Michael Bilse & Wilhelmina Fenstrer."

The diary entry is not specific; however, the wedding ceremony for Michael and Wilhelmina may have been performed at the home of McPherson's neighbor and friend, Christian Morich.  Bilse was from the  village of Perry, some 15 to 20 miles south of Springdale.  The couple apparently then returned to make their home in Perry.

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© Joan Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications


  1. Thanks for the Michael Bilse & Wilhelmina Fensterer article. They are firmly rooted in my Hotlen tree.

    Phil Hotlen

  2. The diary provides such a wonderful record of events that occurred 150 years ago. I often wonder if the electronic records and emails of today will survive 150 years--or if our descendants will find it difficult to learn about what it was like in 2011.

  3. Are you certain Wilhelmina's surname in the diary reads Fensterer? I can only see 3 characters prior to the t en no more than 8 in total.
    Reason for asking is that Wilhelmina is a typical Dutch name but a quick scan reveals that Fensterer does not exist here in the Netherlands.

  4. Phil, Sheryl, & Peter,
    Thanks you so much for reading and commenting on this diary entry. I hope that folks who are interested in the people of my gggrandfathers diary find some tidbits of their history. Thanks again.