More About Bertha and Florence Delcourt

Fri. 10 Sep 2010. 8:47 am

Continuing with the post from the other day, I wanted to see if I could find out more about Bertha and Florence Delcourt. I did my usual searches for Bertha Delcourt first and nothing much came up. But when I searched for Florence Delcourt I got lucky.

Listed in the 1920 Federal Census transcription I found a Florence Delcourt in Chicago. Her age and year of birth are about right when compared to the information from Ellis Island. And her mother’s first name, Bertha, is the same.

But Bertha now has the surname of Gernaey. So sometime between 1914 when Bertha was a Delcourt going through Ellis Island and being listed in the 1920 census, she married someone named Gentil Gurnaey.

As part of the same census transcription I see that Gentil Gurnaey was born in Belgium.

Assuming these transcriptions are correct then, as of 1920, Bertha had possibly divorced Odilon and married Gentil Gernaey. I don’t know why Florence still had her surname as Delcourt. I suppose it’s possible that Bertha and Gentil had recently been married and had not been able to start the adoption/name change for Florence.

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5 Responses to “More About Bertha and Florence Delcourt”


  1. […] the 1920 census, we believe  – since I don’t have a copy of the original census form – that […]


  2. […] the 1920 census, we believe  – since I don’t have a copy of the original census form – that […]


  3. […] the 1920 census, we believe  – since I don’t have a copy of the original census form – that […]

  4. Glenn Says:

    Hi Craig
    Good to hear from you.
    It looks like you might have some information that could tie a few things together. For example it appears Bertha probably went back to her maiden name of DeBureau after she and Odilon separated. This is the first time I’ve heard of the DeBureau surname.
    I have copies of the Ellis Island manifests and I’ll check to see if Gentiel’s sister Maria Elsa shows up there. Funny you should mention this because one of the posts I am planning is to find out more about the Gernaey’s coming to America.
    I’m wondering why Gentiel’s parents have a different surname – any ideas about that?

  5. Craig Gernaey Says:

    I am Craig Gernaey, cgernaey@gmail.com, 562-596-1140. Gentiel or Gentil Augustus Gernaey was born in Ghent Belgium on August 19, 1889. He moved to Chicago in 1916 and is buried there, died in 1965. His first wife was Bertha DeBureau and they married in Indiana. I know nothing more about Bertha including any children. His parents were Arthur and Maria Colombeen or Colombier. I believe Gentiel came through Ellis Island in 1913 with his sister Maria Elsa Gernaey, b. 1891. I know more about his second wife and their children. I can tell you some bad things I have heard about Gentiel and Bertha that you would probably be interested in. I can also put you in touch with his grandson Ted who may know a little more. There could be errors in my info. I do not know my relationship with Gentiel.


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